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Heidegger: A (Very) Critical Introduction (Interventions) [Paperback]

By S. J. Mcgrath (Author)
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Item Number 93783  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   131
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.8" Width: 5.9" Height: 0.5"
Weight:   0.45 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Oct 1, 2008
Publisher   Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company
ISBN  0802860079  
EAN  9780802860071  


Availability  0 units.


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Item Description...
Overview
Martin Heidegger is one of the greatest conundrums in the philosophical world, alternately incredibly inspiring and mind-bogglingly frustrating. S. J. McGrath acknowledges the impossibility of trying to encapsulate Heidegger in a nutshell, and refuses to present him here in summary, thereby absolving the audience of the task of reading the philosopher. Instead, this introduction is truly that - leading readers to Heidegger where they can then begin or continue their own relationship with him. McGrath deals extensively with Heidegger's excursion into ontology, for which he is most famous, having single-handedly resurrected the study in the twentieth century. A chapter is also devoted to Heidegger's phenomenology, including an examination of his best-known work, Being and Time. No book on Heidegger would be complete without a discussion of his life as a Nazi, and McGrath does not shirk that duty, offering a chapter on the philosopher's politics. His ethics and theology are also enthusiastically tackled, giving this deceptively small book a very wide range. McGrath writes, "If in this book I take the trouble to point out something essentially wrong with Heidegger's philosophy, it is only because there is so much that is right about it." Nonetheless, the book closes with a thoughtful explanation of why McGrath himself, though an admirer, is not a Heideggerian.

Publishers Description
Martin Heidegger is one of the greatest conundrums in the philosophical world, alternately incredibly inspiring and mind-bogglingly frustrating. S. J. McGrath acknowledges the impossibility of trying to encapsulate Heidegger in a nutshell, and refuses to present him here in summary, thereby absolving the audience of the task of reading the philosopher. Instead, this introduction is truly that 2; leading readers to Heidegger where they can then begin or continue their own relationship with him.

McGrath deals extensively with Heidegger's excursion into ontology, for which he is most famous, having single-handedly resurrected the study in the twentieth century. A chapter is also devoted to Heidegger's phenomenology, including an examination of his best-known work, Being and Time. No book on Heidegger would be complete without a discussion of his life as a Nazi, and McGrath does not shirk that duty, offering a chapter on the philosopher's politics. His ethics and theology are also enthusiastically tackled, giving this deceptively small book a very wide range.

McGrath writes, "If in this book I take the trouble to point out something essentially wrong with Heidegger's philosophy, it is only because there is so much that is right about it." Nonetheless, the book closes with a thoughtful explanation of why McGrath himself, though an admirer, is not a Heideggerian.

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More About S. J. Mcgrath

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! S. J. McGrath is an Assistant Professor at Memorial University of Newfoundland. He is the author of The Early Heidegger and Medieval Philosophy: Phenomenology for the Godforsaken, as well as articles on Heidegger, Lonergan, Aquinas, and Boehme.

S. J. McGrath was born in 1966 and has an academic affiliation as follows - Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada.

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Product Categories
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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Strong Critique  Mar 8, 2010
I found this to be an interesting and helpful introduction into some of the issues in Heidegger's thought. McGrath does a good job of showing the lack of distinction between the ontic and ontological that so much of Heidegger's writing (in Being and Time) is based upon. McGrath shows the natural implications of Heidegger's thought for ethics, and how they played out in Heidegger's life. Finally, he shows the theological reasoning behind much of Heidegger's thinking and subtly shows the flaws in Heidegger's thinking that led him to such outcomes.

I also cannot help but commend McGrath for his very personal (and reflective) final chapter titled, "Why I am not a Heideggerian." It gave a telling account as to why this Heidegger scholar cannot practically take on a true Heideggerian worldview. I recommend this book for anyone who has read Heidegger (at least Being and Time), and are interested in what a thorough (yet brief) critique of his thought would look like.
 
Especially recommended for its willingness to challenge complex concepts  Dec 9, 2008
Heidegger: A (Very) Critical Introduction is, as its title suggests, a highly skeptical discussion of ideas attributed to philosopher Martin Heidegger (1889-1976). Sticking to the neologisms Heidegger himself used rather than take the "analytic" tack of swapping more commonly used philosophical terms for Heidegger's precise words, Heidegger: A (Very) Critical Introduction notes that Heidegger frequently ignored ethical, political, and theological criticisms of ontology, embodying a common flaw in logical thinking that is to accept fundamental issues (in Heidegger's case, ethical-political and theological issues) as conclusively proven when they are not. An scholarly text suitable for college library collections and intermediate to advanced philosophy students, Heidegger: A (Very) Critical Introduction is especially recommended for its willingness to challenge complex concepts even as it familiarizes the reader with their intricacies.
 
From the back cover  Sep 22, 2008
"In this elegantly written text Sean McGrath provides a clear reading of Heidegger and an incisive critique of his ontology, ethics, politics, and theology. McGrath anchors his critique in two positions that Heidegger claimed to have surpassed--classical metaphysics and Christian humanism. While it may not convince mainstream Heideggerians, this work opens a discussion that merits serious attention from postmetaphysical and postmodern thinkers." - Thomas Sheehan, Stanford University

"This informed and informative book is an admirably compact and clear introduction to the essentials of Heidegger's thought. It will be very helpful for the beginner, and for the more advanced reader it offers an honorable critical interpretation. McGrath exhibits a sharp sense for the often-recessed religious preoccupations of Heidegger: out of sight is not quite out of mind, which sometimes leads to convoluted results in Heidegger's expressed thought. For the theological reader this book offers an exemplary critical engagement, attuned to Heidegger's religious equivocality and what remains hidden in the Heideggerian unsaid." - William Desmond, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven

"Heidegger's entire life was an adventure in philosophy, from phenomenology to thought, focused on a distinction between ontological be and ontic being that he was never able to explain, but that he was also never able to let go of in his long explorations into what he called the metaphysical tradition. In this remarkably lucid introduction to a philosopher notorious not only for radicalizing and obfuscating philosophical questioning but also for bringing it back to this most radical question of being or not-being, McGrath uses both biographical and existential information and the writing of Heidegger himself, especially in its earlier stages, to illuminate where this preeminent philosopher of the twentieth century was coming from in his questioning and where he was trying to go. The life of Heidegger sheds light on his philosophy, just as his philosophy sheds light on his life, with all its existential ambiguities, which were as conservative as they were radical against the inauthentic and the technological in modern mass society. In the end we learn how or why Heidegger was unable to resolve these ambiguities in his own philosophy, especially in axiology and in theology, which were never entirely absent from his thinking, and why also McGrath will not, as Heideggerians do, settle for such nihilistic ambiguities, due to the finitizing of being in Heidegger, that affect the broader question of being as well as the question of life for the human being or for the ever-present Dasein." - Oliva Blanchette, Boston College
 

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