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Customer reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars

on 2 August 2014
I am a sociology academic reasonably well versed in philosophy but was almost completely lost when I first tried to read this due to the density of the text. In my opinion it is not a good starting point for Heidegger's work. I ended up listening to Dreyfus' lectures on B&T and reading his book discussing Div1 of said book. I then discovered Greg Sadler's excellent lectures (on YouTube) in which he walks the viewer through several of the chapters in this volume. Since then I have got a handle on Heidegger's writing style and use of language and read and re-read several of the chapters Sadler looks at as well as a couple of the ones he hasn't yet lectured on. I still find much of it confusing but also extremely stimulating, and at times exhilarating. The introductions (two at the start and one for each chapter) also get clearer and more helpful the more you understand the main text. So, on balance, I think this is a superb book but, for me at least, it required an extraordinary amount of commitment just to get started, and there are still a couple of chapters (over a year after buying it) that I haven't had the energy to read yet!
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on 19 April 2016
present appreciated
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on 10 October 2010
This is a strong collection, benefiting from an excellent and up to date critical apparatus and providing a decent, if not exhaustive, overview of the thinking of German philosopher Martin Heidegger through a well judged collection of essays by that author. These include the introduction to Being and Time, The Letter on Humanism, The Question Concerning Technology, The Way to Language and more.

It is indeed the collection's main strength to show the development, spanning several decades, of Heidegger's thought albeit with a larger emphasis on later pieces, as Heidegger's shorter writings tend to belong to the post World War Two period.

I read, or should I say re-read, this collection after having taken a year long break from my forays into the captivating world of Heideggeriana, looking into other ways of interpreting history, the world, morality and so forth. Over this period I have become more sensitive to the role of conspiracy in human affairs, including the occult, Natural Law, the monetary system and methods of mind control and mass manipulation.

With this in mind, Heidegger's writings as contained in this book, for all their poetic beauty, sensitivity to the nuances of language, awareness of the predicaments of our time and attempts at providing new foundations for thinking the now, lack gravely in worldly knowledge and street wisdom when it comes to assessing actual as opposed to fictitious motors in human history.

While I am not prepared to discount the role of the metaphysical tradition in the shaping of today's world, including modern technology and this very web page, that is far from being the whole story, if one samples one's reading widely, and that is not something Heidegger will tell you.

Thus I would characterise this collection and Heidegger's writings generally as otherwordly, not quite of this world, but as nonetheless shedding light on basic phenomena such as the difference between beings and Being (the ontological difference), the origins of modern science, what technology actually entails on a planetary scale for the human species, the meaning of freedom, the relationship between thought and language, etc.

Thus with a bit of recule, as the French say, I would heartily recommend this compendium of Heidegger's but with the proviso that however seductive and totalising a narrative Heidegger provides, it is far from being the whole story and any genuine quest for truth will require study in many more areas - including political history, the occult, the works of independent researchers worldwide - than that provided by a single philosopher, however genial.

For as Heidegger himself says in his essay on technology, the destining of revealing that sends into enframing also contains within it the seeds for a more primal and dignified existence which is to observe all essential unfolding on this planet. And that includes the step of reading authors besides Heidegger who look(ed) deeply into the fabric of the world but with different, less philosophical, lenses on.

All that being said, this is philosophy of the first rank and deserves nothing less than five stars.
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on 3 February 2016
Essential for study. This book was useful for contextualising my artwork when I was studying for my BA. Fantastic, if you can get into it.
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on 29 February 2016
This is an excellent guide to Heidegger's philosophical defence of fascism and nazism.
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on 11 June 2015
The edge is a bit dirty
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