On the advantages and disadvantages of reading Heidegger backwards: White's time and death

Inquiry 50 (1):103 – 120 (2007)
Abstract
In Time and Death: Heidegger's Analysis of Finitude, Carol White pursues a strange hermeneutic strategy, reading Heidegger backwards by reading the central ideas of his later work back into his early magnum opus, Being and Time. White follows some of Heidegger's own later directives in pursuing this hermeneutic strategy, and this paper critically explores these directives along with the original reading that emerges from following them. The conclusion reached is that White's creative book is not persuasive as a strict interpretation of Heidegger's early work, but remains extremely helpful for deepening our appreciation of Heidegger's thought as a whole. Most importantly, White helps us to understand the pivotal role that thinking about death played in the lifelong development of Heidegger's philosophy.
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