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Heidegger (book review) John Richardson

(The Routledge Philosophers)

150512: this, like heidegger's thought, is of two parts: being and time, then everything after the 'turn'. after he establishes h's particular senses of truth as more than correspondence, being as the question, brief bio overview not neglecting h's nazi error, i read with great pleasure richardson's series of chapters approaching b&t from various perspectives: from phenomenology, from pragmatism, from existentialism, from its own way as time and being.

no small feat, this book makes each chapter elucidate h's ideas, from h's version of method of phenomenology, searching for truth and being, to embedded but unmentioned pragmatic attitudes, through concern, theory, thrownness, talk, das man etc. to falling, anxiety, authenticity, finally to temporality, historicality... this is all great stuff. i do not know if it was h's cartesian, regular, logic that makes these ideas cohere and inspire, or richardson unearths a logic not there but in retrospect. this is the first part of b&t. could see how h could influence so many fields, people, colleagues and adversaries. great, felt i understood it. then it stops.

or at least for me. a long chapter about what h called his 'turn', prepared me for something completely different. and yes, this is when h becomes the obfuscatory, opaque, anti-philosophical-way of telling h's new thoughts, that i have heard analytic philosophers find annoying to the nth power. but then, h is addressing that question that some analytics might feel settled: when you say 'the dog is red' instead of 'dog' and/or 'red', h investigates the 'is' between them.

so the four is how well i feel richardson has explicated h, not necessarily how congenial i find his later thought. h becomes more and overwhelmingly interested in the question of being, of presence, and there is a good argument about how being and beings can best translate to being and entities. great. but in his later work h does become particularly difficult to parse- or even not be thought to say anything of value. h becomes poetic, prophetic, and this argues surpasses nietzsche's idea of the overman etc. not that the nazis' ever needed philosophical backing, but clear reading will not find it in h.

more to read? yes. and maybe i will come back to this and think it too simple or something, like the merleau-ponty in this series. maybe i will read h myself. i have some books holding down one end of the shelves...

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