This book is an excellent aid in understanding Heidegger's often frustrating and always challenging Introduction to Metaphysics. This book consists of a series of essays written by Heidegger scholars on the main topics that are found in Heidegger's text. As the previous reviewer has pointed out this book is not free of the Heideggerian "jargon" that is often so frustrating to the new-comer, and it would certainly help in approaching this work to be already fairly familiar at least with Being and Time. In fact, I would not suggest that anyone who has not read Heidegger's Being and Time attempt to tackle Heidegger's Introduction to Metaphysics at all. But that is my personal opinion.
It is also my opinion that a Heidegger secondary that was entirely free of Heideggerian jargon would be of somewhat limited value. No doubt there is a suspicion when reading Heidegger and his many commentators that they are being purposely or unnecessarily obscure. One often gets the feeling that matters could and should be stated much more plainly and in plainer language. I think there is some truth to that feeling. But the role of a Heidegger secondary source is not just to explain Heidegger's main thoughts, but also to try to make his jargon and terminology more understandable. That is precisely what this text accomplishes. But I don't think that can be done if you simply avoid Heidegger's frustrating terminology altogether.
After reading this text I had a much better understanding of Heidegger's interpretation of the Greek concept of physis which is probably the central notion of the whole book, as well as his interpretations of Parmenides, Heraclitus, and Sophocles's ode. I also felt like I was finally getting a glimpse into the notion of Ereignis and it's historical nature.Read more ›
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So I bought this after having purchased and read half of Introduction to Metaphysics. Since I was reading it on my own (having finished with college), I thought that it would be beneficial to have some secondary sources to aid in my comprehension of that book. Amazon reccomended this work, and since it was edited by the same two professors who had translated/editied the version of Introduction to Metaphysics I was using, it seemed like a great idea - I could maybe get some more background info on Heidegger's works/thoughts, maybe some views on his handling of classical Greek philology. That's what I had hoped anyway.
What this book consists of are scholarly essays on Heidgger whose topics coincide with some of the topics of Introdoction to Metaphysics. These articles are written for other Heidegger scholars, and assume familiarity of Heidegger's complete life and works, often exceeding Heidegger's obscurity and (mis)use of non-English terminology. Perhaps Walter Kaufmann (in his twin trilogies, Discovering the Mind and Life at the Limits) that one of Heidegger's cheif virtues was in providing work for a certain species of "scholarly oxen" who are unwilling to admit the essential unsoundness of Heidegger's methodology. At any rate, I find his impressions of Heidegger (whom he knew first-hand) to be rather accurate, and can highly reccomend any of his works.
Also, for those interested in the thoughts of another great German philosopher on the Greeks, I highly reccomend Greg Whitlock's edition of Nietzsche's lectures on the Pre-Platonic Philosophers.
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