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In these lectures, delivered in 1933-1934 while he was Rector of the University of Freiburg and an active supporter of the National Socialist regime, Martin Heidegger addresses the history of metaphysics and the notion of truth from Heraclitus to Hegel. First published in German in 2001, these two lecture courses offer a sustained encounter with Heidegger's thinking during a period when he attempted to give expression to his highest ambitions for a philosophy engaged with politics and the world. While the lectures are strongly nationalistic and celebrate the revolutionary spirit of the time, they also attack theories of racial supremacy in an attempt to stake out a distinctively Heideggerian understanding of what it means to be a people. This careful translation offers valuable insight into Heidegger's views on language, truth, animality, and life, as well as his political thought and activity.
"The heart of history, for Heidegger, is not a sequence of occurrences but the eruption of significance at critical junctures that bring us into our own by making all being, including our being, into an urgent issue. In emergency, being emerges. "-from The Emergency of Being The esoteric Contributions to Philosophy, often considered Martin Heidegger's second main work after Being and Time, is crucial to any interpretation of his thought. Here Heidegger proposes that being takes place as "appropriation. " Richard Polt's independent-minded account of the Contributions interprets appropriation as an event of emergency that demands to be thought in a "future-subjunctive" mode. Polt explores the roots of appropriation in Heidegger's earlier philosophy; Heidegger's search for a way of thinking suited to appropriation; and the implications of appropriation for time, space, human existence, and beings as a whole. In his concluding chapter, Polt reflects critically on the difficulties of the radically antirationalist and antimodern thought of the Contributions. Polt's original reading neither reduces this challenging text to familiar concepts nor refutes it, but engages it in a confrontation-an encounter that respects a way of thinking by struggling with it. He describes this most private work of Heidegger's philosophy as "a dissonant symphony that imperfectly weaves together its moments into a vast fugue, under the leitmotif of appropriation. This fugue is seeded with possibilities that are waiting for us, its listeners, to develop them. Some are dead ends-viruses that can lead only to a monolithic, monotonous misunderstanding of history. Others are embryonic insights that promise to deepen our thought, and perhaps our lives, if we find the right way to make them our own. "
Heidegger's Introduction to Metaphysics, one of the most significant philosophical works of the 20th century, combines a powerful reinterpretation of Greek thought with a sweeping vision of Western history, and offers some clue as to the reasons for Heidegger's support of the Nazi regime. This new translation provides conventional translations of Greek passages that Heidegger translated unconventionally. There are also extensive notes, a German-English glossary, and an introduction that discusses the history of the text, its basic themes, and its place in Heidegger's oeuvre. Fried teaches philosophy and humanities at Boston University. Polt teaches philosophy at Xavier University. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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