- Series: Athlone Contemporary European Thinkers
- Paperback: 240 pages
- Publisher: Continuum; Text is Free of Markings edition (August 5, 2002)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0826459242
- ISBN-13: 978-0826459244
- Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 0.7 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 1 customer review
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,410,049 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Essence of Human Freedom: An Introduction to Philosophy (Athlone Contemporary European Thinkers) Paperback – August 5, 2002
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From Library Journal
Over the past decade, an abundant number of Heidegger's writings have been translated into English. Key among them are the lectures he delivered both prior to and following the writing of his magnum opus, Being and Time, which allow us as never before to chart Heidegger's philosophical development. Here are two new additions to the series. The Essence of Human Freedom, which derives from a set of lectures Heidegger delivered in 1930 at Freiburg, focuses on human freedom as the leading question of philosophy. Heidegger contends that this emphasis on freedom enables us to understand philosophy as a "going-after-the-whole" that is at the same time a "going-to-our-roots." In other words, we must search for the essence of human freedom in the constant presence of being-in-the-world that precedes and grounds philosophical thinking. Heidegger plunders Kant's understandings of freedom and Aristotle's theories of metaphysics to establish his own theory that the understanding of human freedom provides the starting point for philosophy (metaphysics).
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
"These new volumes reveal Heidegger's consummate exegetical and hermeneutical skills...recommended."—Library Journal
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Heidegger also typically links his question to the 'leading question of philosophy', which permeates Heideggers oeuvre - that of being. After a brief investigation into the positive and negative concepts of freedom in Kant and concepts like causality etc., he explains why it is necessary to understand being to understand human freedom and launches a hermenuetic/etymological inquiry into the concept of being in Aristotle's metaphysics.
At this stage you begin to wonder, why Heidegger is taking you deeper and deeper into the question of being when you are reading the book in order to understand human freedom. But Heidegger rarely follows a line of argument aimlessly. By discussing being and causality, he connects back to Kant to show that there can be a double causation of being and humans are the only beings who can ascertain this causation through their consciousness, bringing human will and freedom back into the picture.
He then discusses the other concept of freedom in Kant, based on 'the categorical imperative' but here he falls a little weak, especially when he dismisses the contributions of Scheler and Hartmann towards a non-formal ethics, (although his grounds of dismissal remain valid in principle, they miss the critique of Scheler).
Yet, this book teaches you more than the essence of human freedom - it teaches you philosophy and the method and duty of philosophy, something which many contemporary philosophers easily forget.