In ‘ The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy ’ Laurence Sterne writes: That of all the several ways of beginning a book which are now in practice throughout the known world, I am confident my own way of doing it is the best—I'm sure it is the most religious—for I begin with writing the first sentence—and trusting to Almighty God for the second.
Q: If necessity is the mother of invention, whence necessity? A. : The matrix of necessity in God-talk is religious experience, philosophically interpreted. The interpreters, theists and non-thesists, have indeed been inventive.
With the exception of three articles, all of the pieces collected here by Ballard and Scott appeared in the Winter, 1970 issue of The Southern Journal of Philosophy commemorating Heidegger’s 80th birthday. The opening essay by Poeggeler, "Heidegger Today," masterfully reviews the state of Heideggerian scholarship, sketching the direction which Heidegger’s interpretations have taken, and outlining his own unitary view of Heidegger’s development. This is followed by an interesting essay from the Heidegger critic Karl Löwith who, after some revealing personal (...) recollections about Heidegger, takes up the question of the relationship of Dasein, which stands out from and transcends nature, with the natural world, a question Heidegger himself omits. There is also a close exposition by Joseph Kockelmans of the all-important "Time and Being" lecture of 1962 and of its relationship to Being and Time. Hans-Georg Gadamer contributes a philosophical essay—not a piece of Heideggerian scholarship—on the nature of "empty" time, i.e., the temporal project which we hope to "fill up," and of the "transition" into fulfillment. Editor Scott gives an account of Dasein in Being and Time by an analogy with Leibniz’s monad as a self-originating, purposeful unit of activity. Theodore Kisiel differentiates the mathematical a priori, described by Heidegger as the root conception of modern science, from Heidegger’s own "hermeneutical" a priori. There are three studies of language: Volmann-Schluck discusses language and myth, while John Sallis studies how language and the reversal are intertwined in Heidegger’s thinking; Don Ihde differentiates "existential" phenomenology as a phenomenology of perception from "hermeneutic" phenomenology as a phenomenology of meaning, signification, and language. In addition to essays by A. V. Schoenborn, F. J. Smith, and Edward Ballard, there is also a concluding contribution by Jean Beaufret who offers a portrait of Heidegger "as seen from France."—J.D.C. (shrink)
This compact profile by the co-translator of Sein und Zeit is one in a series of introductory studies of major contemporary theologians and philosophers who have influenced theology. This study of Heidegger is a remarkably lucid general introduction to his thought. Macquarrie considers in turn Heidegger's "life", "thought", and "significance." Macquarrie accepts for the most part Heidegger's own self-interpretation of his development--that his thought represents a continuous progressive path, all along guided by the problem of being. As one might expect, (...) there are a number of illuminating comparisons between Heidegger and other theological literature, including gnosticism, Barth, Bultmann, Tillich, and Heinrich Ott. The account of Heidegger on God is among the most meritorious features of the book. The references to Heidegger are to the English translations. There is no bibliography, but there is an excellent glossary which explicates clearly, simply, and accurately many important words in Heidegger's vocabulary.--J. D. C. (shrink)
It is perhaps no accident that one of the finest books to appear on Heidegger in any language should come to us from the East. Mehta’s book was first published in India. The present Harper & Row edition constitutes chapters I, VIII, IX and X of that volume, the chapters devoted to Being and Time in the original having been omitted. That decision can only be regretted because, if the chapters on Being and Time are of the same quality as (...) those here published, they should be made available to us. What we have in fact then is a study of the later Heidegger, preceded by an introductory analysis of Heidegger’s method and language. Mehta’s scholarship is exhaustive, his numerous and lengthy notes touching upon all the major sources in the literature. His interpretation is so incisive that it is no exaggeration to place this book along with the works of Poeggeler and Marx among the outstanding studies of Heidegger’s thought. There is a great need for a thorough and reliable treatment of the later Heidegger in a readable English and Mehta’s book fills the bill.—J. D. C. (shrink)
Heidegger was rector of Freiburg University from April 21, 1933, until sometime in March 1934. Soon after becoming rector, he joined the Nazi Party and devoted much energy and personal initiative to the implementation of Nazi programs in his university. A documentary record of this year is collected in Guido Schneeberger's Nachlese zu Heidegger. Of Schneeberger's 217 documents, 41 contain actual texts by Heidegger or reports of things he said. Thus there is room for useful editing. In the present "translation," (...) Runes unsuccessfully undertakes this task. He retains just 17 of the Schneeberger documents; eight of these contain words by Heidegger. Or perhaps one should say words by Runes, for the mutilated translation does even less credit to Heidegger than the brown clichés that pervade the original. No page is free from such mistranslations as "outdated" for "vollendet," "the State" for "die Stätte," "adherence to tradition" for "Wille zum Wesen," "kiss good-bye" for "einbüßen," "old people's home" for "Elternhaus." In eight different places the word "Hitler" has been inserted. On page 22, e.g., Runes has added his own "Heil Hitler" to Heidegger's signature. Thus, though many of the general facts can be gleaned from this book, it is not reliable as far as detail is concerned. And of course it shares with the original Schneeberger documentation the limitation of giving no hint as to Heidegger's Nazi activities, if any, after early 1934.—J. B. B. (shrink)
Bucher reads Heidegger’s thought as a contribution to the "problem of the concept". Heidegger says in Being and Time that the meaning of Being must be "conceived in a way of its own, essentially contrasting with the concepts in which entities acquire their determinate signification." Heidegger’s thought is construed, therefore, not as an attack upon all conceptualization but as an attempt to renew the conceptual terms in which we think upon Being. The focus of Bucher’s analysis is Heidegger’s critique of (...) Western metaphysics which he interprets as Heidegger’s critique of the traditional mode of conceptualization. Since it is clear that Heidegger himself does not consciously formulate his problem in this way, Bucher claims that he is dealing with the unthought implications of Heidegger’s work, rather than with his explicit expressions. This accords with Heidegger’s own counsel that we look for what is still unthought in a philosopher’s thought. The heart of the book is the last three chapters in which a "search for a new understanding of the concept" is undertaken, and in which Bucher argues that Heidegger’s repudiation of metaphysics constitutes an implicit, formally negative mode of conceptualizing a post-metaphysical understanding of Being. This contradicts the letter of Heidegger’s thought, Bucher concedes, but is in keeping with Heidegger’s own approach towards the great thinkers. Bucher’s proposal is quite interesting and is perhaps a sign of a new movement among philosophers to appropriate for philosophy Heidegger’s own critique of philosophy.—J. D. C. (shrink)
This book is a valuable contribution to the growing list of works appearing in English on Heidegger. Its special merit lies in the fact that its author brings to his discussion of Heidegger a familiarity with Anglo-American analytic philosophy. The author explains Sein und Zeit in a language with which any student of analysis would be comfortable. By way of example, Schmitt refers to Heidegger's idea of fundamental ontology by noting "a reform of talk about being involves a reform of (...) talk about human beings." The book does not attempt to recap all of Sein und Zeit but provides the reader who approaches that work for the first time with the basic concepts needed. The author's basic claim is that in Sein und Zeit Heidegger is making new "conceptual recommendations" for our understanding of man and the world. This represents, Schmitt argues, a break with his earlier, pre-Sein und Zeit and Husserlian conviction of the existence of an a priori and ideal language and its "objective meanings." The whole discussion of Sein und Zeit's idea of language is more original and illuminating than anything yet to appear in English. As the title of the work indicates, the author regards Heidegger's main contribution to lie in the theory of man, and he sees the celebrated "turn" as testimony to the failure of Sein und Zeit to provide a new way of speaking about being. But even as a theory of man, Schmitt warns, Sein und Zeit is blind to the social and the communal. Schmitt's book is a challenging and illuminating introduction of Sein und Zeit for the American reader and one which no Heideggerian can afford to miss.--J. D. C. (shrink)
Sefler has written a helpful book on the question of the relationship between Heidegger and Wittgenstein which should contribute to clearing up the grounds upon which this discussion must take place. Sefler’s book, based on his 1970 doctoral dissertation, employs what he calls a "methodological" approach. Instead of comparing Wittgenstein and Heidegger directly in terms of the content of their thought, he claims it is more fruitful to compare them "relationally," using Carnap’s "structural descriptions." Thus in Part One, he argues (...) that while Heidegger is speaking of the things themselves and Wittgenstein of language, still for both thinkers philosophy is an "interpretative description," which, having renounced the ideal of a "pure" description, always sees a thing "as" something. (shrink)