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on 9 May 2011
This is a very good introduction to Heidegger. It neatly explains most of the concepts from Being and Time in a much easier to understand manner than Being and time itself does. Its main focus is on Being and Time (about 90%) so it is not really an introduction to Heidegger's later philosophy, but then Being and Time is his most well-known work. I would recommend it as something to read prior to tackling Being and Time by oneself.
Most of its explanations are good but I felt it could do with more time spent on seizing our finite possibilities, and the covering up and closing off of inauthentic Dasein.
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on 9 February 2012
This could be a good introduction to Heidegger's main concepts in 'Being and Time' but for one thing that Inwood does.He introduces complex Heideggerian terms like 'Present at hand','World time','Nullity' without bothering to really explain what they mean (the glossary contains definitions of German terms).I could understand his text because I've read other Heidegger texts where these concepts are explained.
The book focuses mainly on the ideas set out in Heidegger's 'Being and Time' apart from a few short pages at the back on Heidegger's later work on art.
Inwood is a member of the logical positivist school of thought which has it's own particular way of analyzing concepts. Unfortunately when applied to other schools of philosophy the effect can be less than clarifying. It would have been better if Inwood kept his logical analysis away from an introductory book on Heidegger and just described and explained Heidegger on his own terms.
I recommend that the novice Heidegger reader avoid it as a primary introductory text.I recommend Richard Polt's 'Heidegger;An introduction', it's clearer (doesn't assume a background in philosophy and attempts to meet the reader than the usual take it or leave it Oxbridge attitude) and more comprehensive.
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VINE VOICEon 26 April 2016
This is a solid, compact, analytical take on Heidegger. I was engrossed but disappointed. The book is written from the head only, not from the heart. To get a flavour of Heidegger on Being, you’ll need to go to Steiner’s book or Richard Polt’s ,who are swept up by the spirit of the work. What I couldn’t understand was this was a closely reasoned book using logical argument. I still don’t know what Inman thinks of Heidegger, really. He’s like a carpenter who’s done a job, but without artistry. What is worse, I couldn't remember anything he had said at the end.
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on 27 September 2002
Heidegger is not an easy thinker, and to write a "very short introduction" to his thought is a huge task. This book succeeds admirably in introducing the key ideas in Heidegger's work. I read it before embarking on Being and Time and found it really useful in orienting myself in the text. But even without reading Being and Time this book would have enabled me to think confidently about Heideggerian ideas. Very enriching.
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VINE VOICEon 12 December 2011
I would consider myself to have an understanding of "A" Level philosophy and I have read a bit about most of the "great philosophers".I was looking to find an easy introduction to the thought of Martin Heidegger so I purchased this little book thinking it would do the job.Unfortunately it didn't.I gave up reading this book halfway through it , none the wiser than when I started it. I would hazard a guess that intelligent Philosophy undergraduates would struggle with this book, never mind an interested amateur like myself. And if they struggle with this supposedly simplified guide to Heidegger's work, how would they cope with reading "Being and Time" itself ? I don't know. Maybe there are simpler commentaries on Heidegger available than this , but for the time being at least I'll stick to simpler philosophy than Heidegger's ,into which I can't get a foothold at all.
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on 3 October 2011
A pretty sympathetic portrait of a one-time Nazi, a philosopher who is often chastised as a hack, Heidegger's thoughts at first feel fairly self-evident but the deeper we go the more it appears that Heidegger is the one philosopher who's not writing foot-notes for Plato. He has his own systems and it seems to see the beauty in everything, as a 20th Century Man it's still too early to tell if he'll be remembered for his dabbling in National-socialism or for constructing an entirely unique world view. Incidentally Terrence Malick is big fan has actually translated some of Heidegger's work from German to English).
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on 10 September 2016
Michael Inwood generally does a good job of explaining Heidegger in simple and clear language. But I wish he focused more on explaining the meaning behind the words like 'Casein' and so forth. For the english speaker these words can get confusing.
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on 21 February 2015
This book covers a wide range of information about Heidegger and his philosophy, and does it in a way that is clear and easy for the layman. Unfortunately, the lack of depth and complication carves away almost all the insightful, radical and interesting aspects of Heidegger's thought. One is left with the impression that Heidegger was a pretentious man who said obvious things in a convoluted way. Nowhere do we find any discussion of his massive impact on later continental philosophy, of his attempt to discuss nothingness, of the processive nature of his metaphysics. The one exception is the chapter on Heidegger's aesthetic philosophy; its prose is so muddy, it could have been written by the man himself. The book as a whole was a breeze to read, but all the way through I kept thinking 'when do we get the interesting bits?'.
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on 19 May 2016
Good book. Thank you
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on 5 January 2006
Mike Inwood's book is a great introduction text to begin reading the works of Heidegger.
Whilst Heidegger's language remains fairly obtuse, Inwood's explanations clear the mist.
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