Heidegger: an introduction
Richard Polt provides a lively and accessible introduction to one of the most influential and intellectually demanding philosophers of the modern era. Covering the entire range of Heidegger's thought, Polt skillfully communicates the essence of the philosopher, enabling readers, especially those new to his writings, to approach his works with confidence and insight. Polt presents the questions Heidegger grappled with and the positions he adopted, and also analyzes persistent points of difference between competing schools of interpretation. The book begins by exploring Heidegger's central concern, the question of Being, and his way of doing philosophy. After considering his environment, personality, and early thought, it carefully takes readers through his best-known work, Being and Time. Heidegger concludes with highlights of its subject's later thought, providing guidelines for understanding Contributions to Philosophy and other important texts. It gives special attention to the philosopher's political involvement with the Nazis in the 1930s, indicating the strengths and weaknesses of the reactions to his politics, reactions ranging from exculpation to complete condemnation.
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LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - LibraryThing
There's plenty to dislike about Heidegger - the nazism, the self-mythologization, the rather too frequent dips into nonsense - but I most dislike the insufferable literary habits of his epigoni. Thankfully Mr Polt writes clearly if not beautifully. Although he has a penchant for the hackneyed or tasteless which I've come to expect from Heideggerians (e.g., Heidegger's writing can be beautiful, Polt says, and gives as his example: "the clearing center itself encircles all that is, as does the nothing, which we scarcely know." Indeed. Or the original idea that we shouldn't speak well by 'policing our words,' but by "learning to respect the mysterious powers of language." That seems to me, well, a little bit like Metaphysics, treating humans as objects; in this case objects which are affected by the Great God of Language.), it never gets in the way of the point, which he makes seem important. I think maybe I *should* try to be open to Being a bit more often. That Polt structures the book more as a commentary and less as a monograph is the major downside here; the good news, of course, is that it is very helpful as a guide to Heidegger's own writing.
Review: HeideggerUser Review - i! - Goodreads
Succinct and substantive. The intro to read. Read full review