Heidegger: A (Very) Critical Introduction

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Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, Aug 20, 2008 - Philosophy - 131 pages

Martin Heidegger is one of the greatest conundrums in the philosophical world, alternately incredibly inspiring and mind-bogglingly frustrating. S. J. McGrath acknowledges the impossibility of trying to encapsulate Heidegger in a nutshell, and refuses to present him here in summary, thereby absolving the audience of the task of reading the philosopher. Instead, this introduction is truly that -- leading readers to Heidegger where they can then begin or continue their own relationship with him.

McGrath deals extensively with Heidegger's excursion into ontology, for which he is most famous, having single-handedly resurrected the study in the twentieth century. A chapter is also devoted to Heidegger's phenomenology, including an examination of his best-known work, Being and Time. No book on Heidegger would be complete without a discussion of his life as a Nazi, and McGrath does not shirk that duty, offering a chapter on the philosopher's politics. His ethics and theology are also enthusiastically tackled, giving this deceptively small book a very wide range.

McGrath writes, “If in this book I take the trouble to point out something essentially wrong with Heidegger's philosophy, it is only because there is so much that is right about it.” Nonetheless, the book closes with a thoughtful explanation of why McGrath himself, though an admirer, is not a Heideggerian.


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Introducing Heidegger
Why I Am Not a Heideggerian
Index of Names

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About the author (2008)

S. J. McGrath is assistant professor of philosophy atMemorial University of Newfoundland and the author ofThe Early Heidegger and Medieval Philosophy:Phenomenology for the Godforsaken.

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