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Martin Heidegger's "Being and Time"
October 22, 2012 10:32 AM   Subscribe

Simon Critchley on Martin Heidegger's Being and Time: 1 - Why Heidegger Matters. 2 - On "mineness". 3 - Being-in-the-world. 4 - Thrown into this world. 5 - Anxiety. 6 - Death. 7 - Conscience. 8 - Temporality (previously)

If you want an even more succinct summary, Philosophy Bro has you covered.

If you want a fuller introduction, William Blattner's was recommended in this epic dust-up on "The Heidegger Question".

If you want to read the book itself, you have your work cut out for you. Your two choices in English are the original Macquarrie translation and newer Stambaugh effort evaluated here.

This glossary of terms might help. But probably not.
posted by Egg Shen (20 comments total) 44 users marked this as a favorite

 
Heidegger’s virtuoso portrait of human being wasn’t just compelling, it was damning. It wasn’t just an unprecedented way of grasping the nature of being, indeed, of human being. It was a critique, too. And this is the nub of Heidegger’s appeal, his remarkable historical resonance.
posted by Egg Shen at 10:37 AM on October 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


I still remember reading the sentence "The being of Being is not itself a being." for my philosophy class sophomore year of college.

What a mindfuck.
posted by Aizkolari at 10:40 AM on October 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


The nothing noths once again?
posted by Pyrogenesis at 10:56 AM on October 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


Thank you for a most helpful post!
posted by stonepharisee at 11:14 AM on October 22, 2012


After not one but two seminars reading Being and Time, I was baffled by Heidegger until I read Harman's Heidegger Explained. Harman has what might be a unique reading of Heidegger, I haven't gotten into this Critchley material yet (and thanks for sharing it here!) to see how the two might differ. But Harman is upfront about this stuff, and interjects the philosophical explication with relevant biographical and historical information on the man himself.
posted by ifthe21stcentury at 11:46 AM on October 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


> The being of Being is not itself a being.

They usually try to work you through "The set of all sets is a set" first. After that, easy-peasy.
posted by jfuller at 11:50 AM on October 22, 2012 [2 favorites]


For those who are interested in philosophy but maybe a little bit lazy, I definitely recommend The Partially Examined Life podcast. It's basically three guys discussing some work in philosophy, but they don't assume you have any formal background or have even done the reading. Which is awesome, because I'm lazy as hell.

They have an episode on Being and Time, but you might want to start from the beginning as the concepts/jargon do build over time.
posted by ReadEvalPost at 12:26 PM on October 22, 2012 [2 favorites]


"The being of Being is not itself a being" sounds like a more confused way of saying, as Quine puts it, "to be is to be a value of a variable."
posted by wobh at 1:14 PM on October 22, 2012 [2 favorites]


If you think Quine is any less impenetrable than Heidegger you've clearly drunk some really strong Analytic kool-aid.
posted by oddman at 1:23 PM on October 22, 2012 [2 favorites]


I can only say that one quip makes more sense to me than the other. What either philosopher intended in their words, I yield to the experts. But here is Quine's On what there is for consideration.
posted by wobh at 1:38 PM on October 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


Ah Heidegger, a philosopher that I found almost 100% invalid.
posted by telstar at 1:58 PM on October 22, 2012


Yeah, no, I've read both. Both are full of jargon and a specificity of context that is impossible to comprehend unless you happen to be a member of their club (continental on one hand, analytic on the other). In which case, of course, one seems clear and the other murky, but that's an illusion created by your training. (For example, when I read Descartes, it's clear as day to me. To my colleagues in contemporary logic, it may as well be C.S. Lewis in Chinese.) To a non-philosopher in North-America, Quine might seem more accessible, but that's only because his views have been more successfully integrated into our "default," essentially scientistic, way of being.

Where you to show the texts to different audiences (including, of course, the many non-Anglo cultures around the world) I seriously doubt that Quine would be seen as clearly more lucid.
posted by oddman at 2:01 PM on October 22, 2012


Man, suggesting Being and Time to Heidegger neophytes is probably the most sadistic thing I've ever heard of. That book wasn't meant to be understood.

If you want to start on Heidegger, pick up a copy of the best edition of his shorter essays, the Basic Writings. I'm not saying they're easily comprehended or anything, but at least you can start to digest what's going on.
posted by koeselitz at 2:13 PM on October 22, 2012 [2 favorites]


suggesting Being and Time to Heidegger neophytes is probably the most sadistic thing I've ever heard of

I spent years in therapy with a psychologist of severe mien who had on his shelves the book in the edition with the forbidding black cover.

I don't know if he actually read it; I never dared to ask. But my assumption that he had established him in my mind as someone sufficiently smarter than me that I ought to listen carefully to what he had to say.
posted by Egg Shen at 2:30 PM on October 22, 2012


"The Question Concerning Technology" is a really great essay..
posted by oddman at 2:31 PM on October 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


Ah Heidegger, a philosopher that I found almost 100% invalid.

Haven't you just, with unintentional irony, substantiated his main point that men are compelled to validate their individual existence through some kind of destructive gesture?
posted by No Robots at 2:34 PM on October 22, 2012


Heidegerrians: the man had a long career after Sein und Zeit. Did he ever directly address the question of what he thought was wrong in it, what he still stood by, and so on? I get the impression that he thought he had moved beyond his earlier thought, to other concerns, which is not that unusual for philosophers, but it would be fascinating to see what he thought of the book after a few decades.
posted by thelonius at 7:12 PM on October 22, 2012


So glad I studied with Richard Rorty and can ignore this bullshit.

Kidding. Actually no, not kidding.
posted by bardic at 8:35 PM on October 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


speaking of invalid philosophers...
posted by koeselitz at 8:37 PM on October 22, 2012




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