Heidegger: The Man and the Thinker

Review of Metaphysics 37 (1):146-148 (1983)
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Thomas Sheehan, one of the most lucid exegetes of Heidegger in this country, has published the most original collection of essays on the philosopher since Michael Murray's Heidegger and Modern Philosophy. According to Sheehan, the collection aims to address two frequently misunderstood topics: Heidegger's "complex but simple thought and his simple but complex life." His thought is essentially concerned with a single question: the meaning of Being as disclosure. As for his life, it is mainly a matter of furnishing a context to what Sheehan calls "that misguided sally from philosophy" from May, 1933 to February, 1934, during which Heidegger supported the Nazi regime. Yet Sheehan's assessment of the anthology is a bit too modest, for it is actually much more critical and eclectic than that. In addition to the direct treatments of the two topics, the collection contains essays on Heidegger's theories of art and technology, reflections on the political implications of his ontology, recollections by his contemporaries, and comparisons between him and other thinkers. Moreover, it contains the largest bibliography of Heideggerian material in English that has ever appeared.



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