Being and Time by Martin HeideggerThe most important philosophical work of the 20th century, and a text whose influence will still be felt for some centuries to come, I am willing to reckon. Even if you are one of the many detractors, the fact remains that it is simply an outstanding monument to mans ability to think deeply, freshly, terrifyingly, and poetically about himself.
Heideggers main focus is on Being ; what does it MEAN to be? This is of course an old question, stemming from the days of Aristotle, but Heidegger is foremost a phenomenologist (i.e. To the phenomena themselves) and therefore refuses any recourse to anything that is outside the scope of what is immediately apparent in the one thing that human beings often overlook, that is to say, human existence itself. This means that the scope of ambition of Heideggers project is staggering ; he intends to determine WHAT a human being IS, by HOW it is ; and this means that he not only takes on a nearly 2000-year-old philosophical tradition, but also a nearly 2000-year-old deeply embedded conception of what a human being is (and by extension, what a human being should be). It is a provocative assault, which may account for the polarizing reactions that Heidegger seems to evoke. But this also means that Being and Time is a primordially humane book, for it was Heidegger who truly brought the existentialist consciousness to the fore of our developing consciousness as a species. Make no mistake, this is still hard-core philosophy, but it is a book about the many banalities of the average human life, and thus, about the many hidden profundities of the average human life. Appreciate Heideggers phenomenal (see what I did there) insight into the human condition, and you will never look at life, time, the world, concern, other people, a hammer, language, reality, and death in the same way again.
Now for the mandatory words of warning. This book is DIFFICULT. But it is difficult in the way the ending stages of a hard-fought chess game is difficult ; Being and Time may be difficult, but it is NOT boring. Stick with it, make the effort, and you will not be disappointed. You may even (as happened to me) slowly neglect the other distractions of your life and set aside a solid block of time to tackle the text (for me, 3 months), and not even be aware of anything like a sacrifice being made. You just feel like youve decided to venture a few steps deeper into the rabbit hole, is all. And with regards to the language, I actually love the language in Being and Time, leave alone finding it something to rail against. It has a kind of an austere beauty to it, a kind of mathematical poetry if you will. For those who complain that Heidegger could have said what he wanted to say in easier language, the answer is that, NO he could not have. Since his project was a radical rethinking of the nature of human existence, he needed a radically new vocabulary to describe the stages of his project. The usual words like soul, consciousness, and even human being are too embedded in the tradition he is attacking, and have too much baggage. Once you appreciate this, and read the text with fresh eyes, then you appreciate the hidden intricacies of his language, as well as to the depths he takes these new terms too.
And finally, this is most definitely not a book that a casual reader can dip into ; this is hardcore philosophy that was meant to overthrow another philosophical tradition. So, these would (in my opinion) be the absolute prerequisites before any reader wishes to pursue Being and Time ;
1)A general knowledge of philosophy and the history of philosophy, and at least a surface-level knowledge of what the major philosophers of the Western tradition had to say about life, the universe and everything. This is important, because this tradition represents substance metaphysics or the metaphysics of presence which Heidegger attacks throughout the entire text ; (these terms simply mean the positing of some kind of unit of stable timelessness that stands behind or hangs over human existence, be it the soul, consciousness, God, Atman, Will, Forms or what have you). A good introductory book on philosophy should do the trick, and in my knowledge, Will Durants The Story of Philosophy is still the best way to go, though of course, any equivalent book which goes over the main theme of Western philosophy should do the trick
2)An intuitive understanding of Nietzsche. His influence is present throughout the text of Being and Time, because he is the bad boy cousin of Heideggers who sounded the death knell of traditional philosophy ; a project which Heidegger systematizes, enhances, and pursues. Since Nietzsche is primarily a poet and a cultural critic rather than an actual philosopher (in addition to being a superb writer) a quick crash course of reading his main works (The Gay Science, Beyond Good and Evil, Twilight of the Idols, and if you can stomach the overblown prose, Zarathustra) would do you good here.
3)A good guide to Being and Time ; predictably, for a work of such complexity and importance, several guides have sprung up of varying quality. The one I used was Gelvins Commentary which is clear, friendly, excited, and straightforward. Everything that you need.
4)A surface understanding of phenomenology ; a Wikipedia search should do the trick, or any such introductory article. If youre seriously gung-ho then An Introduction to Phenomenology by Sokolowski will ground you more than you strictly need to be grounded.
And thats it, youre ready to go. This is not a book that you can read once, and I wonder if read is even an appropriate word. For the same reason that you do not read Finnegans Wake, but experience it as if it wasnt a book but a sentient entity which would get insulted if you labelled it as a book, I think the same would go for Being and Time. It is a profound exploration of the most primordial questions a man can ask about anything, and as such, it demands a steady commitment of your time, energy, your curiosity, and the latent profundities that lie within you and which will be awakened as you thumb through the master piece that is Being and Time.
Heidegger: Being and Time Part II - Time
Heidegger's Being and Time, part 8: Temporality
Martin Heidegger is widely acknowledged to be one of the most original and important philosophers of the 20 th century, while remaining one of the most controversial. His critique of traditional metaphysics and his opposition to positivism and technological world domination have been embraced by leading theorists of postmodernity Derrida , Foucault , and Lyotard. On the other hand, his involvement in the Nazi movement has invoked a stormy debate. Although he never claimed that his philosophy was concerned with politics, political considerations have come to overshadow his philosophical work. In his fundamental treatise, Being and Time , he attempted to access being Sein by means of phenomenological analysis of human existence Dasein in respect to its temporal and historical character. He also stressed the nihilism of modern technological culture. By going to the Presocratic beginning of Western thought, he wanted to repeat the early Greek experience of being, so that the West could turn away from the dead end of nihilism and begin anew.
Martin Heidegger was the most important and influential philosopher in the continental tradition in the 20th century. Being and Time, first published in , was his magnum opus. There is no way of understanding what took place in continental philosophy after Heidegger without coming to terms with Being and Time. Furthermore, unlike many Anglo-American philosophers, Heidegger has exerted a huge influence outside philosophy, in areas as diverse as architecture, contemporary art, social and political theory, psychotherapy, psychiatry and theology. However, because of his political commitment to National Socialism in , when he assumed the position of Rector of Freiburg University in south-western Germany, Heidegger continues to arouse controversy, polemic and much heated misunderstanding. The hugely important matter of the relation between Heidegger and politics is the topic for another series of blogs entries.
Being and Time (German: Sein und Zeit) is a book by the German philosopher Martin Heidegger, in which the author seeks to analyse the concept of Being.
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Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read., Being and Time German : Sein und Zeit is a book by the German philosopher Martin Heidegger , in which the author seeks to analyse the concept of Being. Heidegger maintains that this has fundamental importance for philosophy and that, since the time of the Ancient Greeks, philosophy has avoided the question, turning instead to the analysis of particular beings.
T o try and compress dense pages of Being and Time into eight brief blogs was obviously a difficult exercise from the start. But, I must admit, this was also part of the attraction. Despite the limits of this virtual medium, I hope that something of the book has been conveyed in a way that might encourage people to read more and further. Being and Time is extraordinarily rich, difficult and systematic work of philosophy that repays careful reading and rereading. That Heidegger continues to arouse controversy and heated misunderstanding is evidenced by some of the responses to these blogs. All I would ask is that Heidegger's detractors you know, the "this is bullshit" brigade take the trouble to read his work with a little care and to pause before reacting. Although there is so much more we could say about division two of Being and Time, there is one final topic that I'd briefly like to explore and which some readers think is the climax of the book: temporality.