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Being and Time by Martin Heidegger

Being and Time (1927)

by Martin Heidegger

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This is one of the most rigorous and methodically constructed treatises you will find anywhere in philosophy. Heidegger is known for his difficulty, but this book holds an added challenge due to its cumulative dependence. What I mean is, you cannot possibly come to fully grasp the later sections of the book without grasping earlier sections. Every bit of the author's impressive terminology (whether it be a common term imbued with new meaning or a clever neologism) is systematically chosen, introduced, questioned, and developed as the text moves along. If you have never read Heidegger before, expect to reread certain paragraphs at least twice before their meaning begins to dawn on you. If you are persistent, the meaning of his precisely formulated sentences will cause you to perceive the world in entirely new ways. I recommend - at least at first - taking this book in small doses. If you feel your mind wandering at all just stop and go back to it later. If you are looking to scan this book for tidbits of wisdom you will likely be disappointed. Alternately, I would plan on a commitment of at least a few months if you want to glean anything at all from the text.

For those who have read Heidegger before: this book is definitely his magnum opus. Within it he establishes a point of departure for all of his later thought and works. It is also the most engaging and enlightening read you will encounter in his repertoire. Compared to Heidegger's post-kehre writings, you will find the material and style in Being and Time to be far more precise and clear [a very difficult feat indeed considering the elusive nature of the subject matter]. Also, reading this book more than once is a must! Do not be surprised if after the first read you feel as though you are missing something - you probably are. ( )
1 vote cliffhays | Dec 27, 2013 |
i didn't read all of it. but i read it with 2 of my friends who actually had backgrounds in philosophy. we read long passages out loud and sifted through the words to get at the meaning. it took 13 months. i learned alot. i respect the ideas. but damn if it wasn't like reading an alien comic book. ( )
  evanroskos | Mar 30, 2013 |
great to compare this and the famous Macquarie translation ( )
  dagseoul | Mar 30, 2013 |
Good luck with this one. One of the "greatest philosophical works" of the 19th. How much of that rep is due to the fact that most people struggle to read it? (I know I did.) It's hopelessly convoluted and esoteric, even frustrating, and when you do cut down to his points they're hardly more than wordplay. Sartre would go on to continue some of that legacy, but with easier sentences and/or an involving fiction. ( )
  palaverofbirds | Mar 29, 2013 |
A mediocre translation of this well-known work.

The translation by Joan Stambaugh is better. Unfortunately, Stambaugh's translation was tied up for years in copyright issues, with the result that far too many people have had to try to wade through this translation by MacQuarrie and Robinson.

As for Sein und Zeit itself -- well, let's just say that Heidegger's later work is better written, shorter and less bloated. Furthermore, in the later work he writes about much of the same philosophical territory, but he writes with the benefit of additional thought and life experience. I'm not sure I'd waste my time reading Sein und Zeit unless I were forced to do so. (And if you are forced to read Sein und Zeit for some course, just remember that the purpose of academia is to reinforce incomprehensible mediocrity.) ( )
  danrharper | Dec 30, 2012 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Martin Heideggerprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Macquarrie, JohnTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Robinson, EdwardTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Edmund Husserl in Verehrung und Freundschaft zugeeignet )Todtnauberg i. Bad. Schwarzwald zum 8. April 1926
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0060638508, Hardcover)

One of the most important philosophical works of our time -- a work that has had tremendous influence on philosophy, literature, and psychology, and has literally changed the intellectual map of the modern world.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 14:03:34 -0400)

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