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Contributions to Philosophy (Of the Event) (Studies in Continental Thought) Hardcover – June 11, 2012

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"[This book is] an impressive achievement." ―Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews



"Written during the dark years 1936-1938, these Contributions help us to make the transition from Heidegger’s masterpiece, Being and Time, to his later thinking. Some of the darkest pages Heidegger wrote are here, and also some of the most brilliant. The translation by Richard Rojcewicz and Daniela Vallega-Neu is judicious and inspired." ―David Farrell Krell, DePaul University



"Contributions is among the most challenging works of our time: rigorous, it is also acrobatic in its leaps and logic; imaginative, it is nonetheless precise; intensely self-reflexive, it engages far-reaching questions. Its greatest challenge though is its language and the new vocabulary it forges. This new translation meets that challenge and so marks a real advance in our understanding of this impossible, yet indispensible book." ―Dennis J. Schmidt, The Pennsylvania State University



"I had tried to study the Contributions before, but I found it impossible. Now, thanks to this new translation, I have access to what may turn out to be the most important philosophical work of our time." ―Bruce Ledewitz, Duquesne University



"" ―

About the Author

Richard Rojcewicz is Scholar-in-Residence in the Philosophy Department at Duquesne
University. He is author of The Gods and Technology: A Reading of Heidegger and translator of several volumes of Heidegger's Gesamtausgabe, including Basic Concepts of Ancient Philosophy (IUP, 2008).

Daniela Vallega-Neu teaches philosophy at the University of Oregon. She is author of Heidegger's Contributions to Philosophy: An Introduction (IUP, 2004) and editor (with Charles E. Scott, Susan Schoenbohm, and Alejandro Vallega) of Companion to Heidegger's Contributions to Philosophy (IUP, 2001).

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Product Details

  • Series: Studies in Continental Thought
  • Hardcover: 456 pages
  • Publisher: Indiana University Press (June 11, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0253001137
  • ISBN-13: 978-0253001139
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.3 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #419,902 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Steven Rokosz on June 25, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Written a decade after the masterwork Being and Time, Contributions to Philosophy was Heidegger's second major attempt to reflect on the meaning, or truth, of Being. While Being and Time approached the question of Being from the perspective of the human being in its everyday engagements with the world, here Heidegger shifts his attention away from the ontology of the human being and towards an analytic of beyng as the event of appropriation.

To fully grasp this work, it is crucial to note Heidegger's change in locution here from the metaphysical conception of "being" to a more primordial conception of "beyng". These concepts refer to entirely different things with entirely different histories. In illuminating beyng as event, Heidegger rejects the metaphysical understanding of being as the Platonic form of beingness--the most universal and vague concept under which all beings (objects, particles) are subsumed. According to Heidegger, this has been the reigning manner of understanding Being since the time of the ancient Greeks, and it was out of this vulgar understanding that the sciences, with their preoccupation with beings and the advancement of technology, were born. Heidegger does not want to eliminate the metaphysical conception of being outright; rather, he wants to work to overcome it through a "new beginning" that will give priority to the basic question of the truth of beyng. Addressing the basic question will require a re-thinking of the "first beginning" that was initiated by the Greeks in their relegating being to mere beingness.
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The first English translation of Heidegger's Beitraege was a complete disaster as a general reading experience, though worthwhile as a reference to how you might translate certain passages if you wanted to radicalize or push the target language. The second English translation of Beitraege by Rojcewicz and Vallega-Neu is much better as an overall reading experience, but it sometimes fails to get at the richness of Heidegger's vocabulary. Grundstimmung as "basic disposition," really? Ahnung as "presentiment"? Both of these English equivalents are rather too abstract and lead us away from what Heidegger had in mind. Heidegger's vocabulary calls attention to itself in this and related texts as poetic words that are complex. Whereas the old translation tried its hand at strange neologisms and turns of phrase in order to get at this aspect of the text, the new translation covers over the original, as if to "forget" it in the Heideggerian sense. I wouldn't have minded the normalizing of the text, if it had been accompanied by a proper apparatus of notes on a facing page that would give one the German word or phrase and its various meanings and intertexts (to other writings). If you look at the German/English vocabulary list at the end, it's clear that complex words like Versagung aren't delved into, as 'withholding' would be only one among a number of possible translations for it. Of course, the translators are aware of the possibilities; however, one suspects a reluctance to dwell on them in the interests of simplifying and standardizing. When they offer transition as the English equivalent to Uebergang, you know that something is being "lost in translation." Fine, if that's what's needed for easier comprehension overall. But let's have a note on what's being lost, please.Read more ›
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I think I like this work more than Being and Time. The passages remind me of Pascal in a sense...but each phrase is thoroughly Heidegger. Do yourself a favor and read "Tao Te Ching" as a companion to this work. Phrases like "Truth is untruth" and other paradoxical sentences are very much intended in earnest. With Heidegger, one always feels suspicious as to whether he is kidding or serious or insane or delusional or the very prince of Western Philosophy itself. He teases us. Tickles us and then bowls us over with the "unthought" in the realm of thought. Perhaps even the "un-thinkable". The commentary mentions this book is compiled from Heidegger's lecture notes, so who knows what some of his abbreviated statements really might have developed into...but the book reads as if it were ready for publication and its perspective well founded, perhaps even more deeply founded than his earlier work.

I give it 4 stars for its not being a complete publication, but 5 stars for its content and importance. How come this book isn't at the center of academic discussion? My guess? It's too challenging and ground breaking...yet I found many of its arguments to be simple and playfully creative. Highly Recommended!
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By Steiner on September 14, 2012
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Richard Rojciewicz and Daniella Vallega-Neu have done an extraordinary job with this new and improved translation of Heidegger's "Beiträge," a notoriously difficult and mysterious text. Written over throughout the dark years of 1936-1939, the text is a private account of the development of Heidegger's so-called "turn" after the period of "Being and Time." It is here that Heidegger's thinking undergoes a radical revision--his emphasis shifts from the point of view of Dasein (human existence) to an exploration into the meaning of Being in general--or, what Heidegger will refer to as "the event of appropriation." It is here that we find the development of many of the concepts of Heidegger's late work: e.g. the event, de-cision, the other beginning, and the flight of the gods. Moreover, we see (I believe for the first time), the articulation of the fourfold: the strife between earth, world, mortals, and gods. Additionally, there is a major destruktion of the history of metaphysics, particularly with reference to the Kantian transcendental. Heidegger's thinking here is so radical, so impenetrable, that it can never be fully appropriated. It is fragmented, insular, and repetitive to the point of quasi-hysteria. And it is also bold and infinitely creative in its fundamental insights into the forgetting of the ontological difference--that is, the difference between Being and beings.
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