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Customer Review

on 26 January 2014
I've owned the "Contributions to Philosophy" for years, but have never been able to make head or tail of it. I even bought some companion volumes published by Indiana University Press… but again, total mystification.

And yet, I knew from Rudiger Safranski's biography that the "Contributions" was one of Heidegger's key works, a kind of goldmine from which he drew for all of his later writings.

This book at last makes the "Contributions" accessible - I won't say to the average reader - but at least to the reader who is not a professional philosopher or a graduate student in continental philosophy. Some previous reading of Heidegger is certainly advisable before approaching this book, simply because the material in the "Contributions" is very sketchy and unorthodox, not fully worked out - it is the beginnings of thinking rather than a fully polished exposition.

However, there is indeed much there by way of suggestion and possibility - particularly in terms of conceiving a future direction for mankind "beyond nihilism".

The "Contributions" seems to have been Heidegger's most concentrated attempt to put aside his demolition tools and try to build instead. There is something quite magical and playful about it, albeit slightly loopy and probably not destined to become a common currency - but nonetheless it's full of suggestions and possibilities for concrete experiments.
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