The New Heidegger (book review) Miguel de Beistegui

131016: another great book on heidegger is a great book even if i do not want to read it all. but i have to. so this work is fascinating through most and frustrating towards the end. the blurb suggests it is also for those who have not read the man or on the man. i do not think it will work as it can if you are not familiar with at least some understanding of phenomenology, of others in that canon, such as husserl, sartre, some knowledge of the times, particularly when you are right to be confused, horrified, frustrated by his later course when, as the chapter calls it, heidegger was 'politically adrift'...


and why he calls it 'new' heidegger? well hard as it might be to believe, 'being and time' hereafter bt, was published 89 years ago and so there has been a lot of writing on hd. this book might take much of this already written and read. but from our remove in time it might be easier to evaluate both his thought and bio. if he had stopped with bt, no one would have to excuse his political acts. somebody says you should not speak ill of the dead, somebody should realize that speaking of the ill committed is needed to constitute a complete portrayal of anyone living or dead... but this frustration comes later...


the fascination comes first. rather than work on specific texts, this refers to several evolutions of his thought, for bt this one is possibly the best: [book:Heidegger: Thinking of Being|18968591], but also his later thought as in: [book:The Question Concerning Technology and Other Essays|207864], and later work such as this: [book:What is Called Thinking?|257146] ,or if you want a biography of life as well as thought: [book:Martin Heidegger: Between Good and Evil|207897], or if you just want to read him and are not up for bt: [book:Basic Writings|6121767], or [book:The Heidegger Reader|7118395], though in fact my first and most effective exposure to his thought is: [book:The Philosophy of Heidegger|13238145]..


so, basically i am telling you to read those other books of other reviews, most i rated five, most i enjoyed, most are on as well as by... because i just finished this book today and am trying to decide if i have learned anything new or is this book deserving a five because it offers a new angle, new perspective, new way of being fascinated. and frustrated. i am not alone in fascination. yes the most influential philosopher of the past century, at least in the 'continental' tradition. yes still relevant, still inspiring, still texts that must be read and read and read again...


i started a copy from the u library- enjoyed it so much, afraid it might be recalled so ordered it at the u bookstore, waited, waited, got it and reread the 60 pages and went on. slowly. savouring it. little neural explosions every few pages. hd's 'question of being', the 'beginning' of 'forgetting' this, then his concepts of truth as 'unveiling' or 'uncovering' before simple 'verifactionist', his 'essence' as 'unfolding' in 'becoming' or 'being IN time', his insistence on meditative 'letting be' the world versus 'calculative' 'use', then best chapters i have understood of his later thoughts, though again this could be just all the other reading on him i have done: 'essence' of 'techne' as in 'technology' that 'grips us' and in the 'saving power' of 'art'... not in opposition but threaded through... how 'art' is no longer just 'mimesis' but now also 'expressive'... there is so much in his thought!


and then the 'end'. just when he becomes so fascinating, so brilliant, he also rather enthusiastically pursues what politics he imagined would somehow promote the 'dasein' of german 'volk', would reshape the currents of social worlds from the elevated position of his sort of university. okay, maybe the times of the weimar republic were very bad and certainly impressed that 'democracy' was failing- but was the answer the nazis? of all the reading on hd i have done, the last chapter is one of the most effective in describing this 'greatest error', though if you want a somewhat more sympathetic, more involved, portrayal of this time safranski's [book:Martin Heidegger: Between Good and Evil|207897] is best... this is doubly frustrating because even if somehow without hindsight anyone could argue with hd that the nazis were a very bad idea... i mean, c'mon man! but no one at the time was able to correct his course and end his drifting... so maybe there is a significant difference from being a nazi when it just seemed a patriotic thing, reaction to 'technocracy' as seen in usa and russia, but again, were the nazis the right answer? culpable drifting and no, no, never, apology for his support... this is incredibly frustrating!

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