Review of Metaphysics 56 (4):910-912 (2003)

This is the third and final volume of the author’s “attempt to understand and communicate the insights of Martin Heidegger... the most important philosopher of modern times”. It is a discussion of the “later Heidegger” or “‘finished’ Heidegger,” which Julian Young defines as texts written after 1936 and characterizes as a “complementary mingling of both meditative and poetic thinking, a happy marriage of the two”. He comments: “The ground from which [the texts] spring lies, not in any product of ratiocination, but in, rather, poetic vision”. Professor Young, who teaches at the University of Auckland, sees Heidegger as “the ‘physician’ of modern Western culture” who “identifies three leading symptoms of modernity’s spiritual ‘sickness’: loss of the gods, the ‘violence’ of technology, and loss of ‘dwelling’ or ‘homelessness.’” The pathogen of the sickness is metaphysics, which “is one and the same error as that of believing there to be no more to truth than correspondence”. Like a malignancy that commandeers all of an organism’s energy in servitude to one pathological process, metaphysics “elevates a particular disclosure [of reality] to tyrannical status, a status which allows the possibility of no other reality-revealing horizon”. This small but rich volume concludes with a nuanced discussion of “the therapeutic aspect of Heidegger’s ‘medical’ thinking” on Western culture’s spiritual malady which the philosopher had diagnosed early in the twentieth century. In nine neatly argued chapters, the author offers a number of fresh interpretations of familiar themes in Heidegger scholarship, including the meaning of Sein, the Kehre that affected Heidegger’s way of thinking, Gestell, Wohnen, Ereignis, and the Geviert.
Keywords Catholic Tradition  Contemporary Philosophy  General Interest
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ISBN(s) 0034-6632
DOI revmetaph200356472
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