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Being and Time: A Translation of Sein Und Zeit [Paperback]

Martin Heidegger , Joan Stambaugh , Joan Stanbaugh
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)

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Paperback, October 1996 --  

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Martin Heidegger paved the road trod on by the existentialists with the 1927 publication of Being and Time. His encyclopedic knowledge of philosophy from ancient to modern times led him to rethink the most basic concepts underlying our thinking about ourselves. Emphasizing the "sense of being" (dasein) over other interpretations of conscious existence, he argued that specific and concrete ideas form the bases of our perceptions, and that thinking about abstractions leads to confusion at best. Thus, for example, "time" is only meaningful as it is experienced: the time it takes to drive to work, eat lunch, or read a book is real to us; the concept of "time" is not.

Unfortunately, his writing is difficult to follow, even for the dedicated student. Heidegger is best read in German: his neologisms and other wordplay strain the talents of even the best translators. Still, his thoughts about authentic being and his turning the philosophical ground inspired many of the greatest thinkers of the mid 20th century, from Sartre to Derrida. Unfortunately, political and other considerations forced Heidegger to leave Being and Time unfinished; we can only wonder what might have been otherwise. --Rob Lightner

From Library Journal

One of the landmarks of 20th-century philosophy, Heidegger's 1927 treatise is thought to have been the inspiration for such subjects as psychoanalysis, existentialism, ethics, hermeneutics, and more. This new translation by one of Heidegger's students offers the text in a more precise and understandable English than earlier editions.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you GET Heidegger, it will change your life. Jan. 10 2002
By David
To me, Heidegger is the peak of Western philosophy, is writing is very meaningful and enjoyable to me. If you get IT, this book (and his later writings) can change you life. However this is difficult reading, but so very rewarding. However, Being and Time is not the place to begin reading Heidegger. There are several very excellent introductions: Steiner's Martin Heidegger,and Macquarrie's Heidegger and Christianity both are very excellent. When you read Being and Time (which is so much better than Being and Nothingness, I can't begin to tell you) you will need a commentary, there are several, but I would recommend Being-in-the-world by Dreyfus. I approached Heidegger as a Buddhist, so his main concept, dealing with the recognization of Being, was very familar to me. I found Heidegger to be wonderfully enriching in my own insight into the most essential question of philosophy. Then I studied German for 2 years in order to read Heidegger in his Original langauage (and also to read Rilke's poetry in it's original). The German source is very precise (a trait of the German language, which lends itself to precision and new combinations to create new expressions). The terms are necessary to get us to see the meaning that would not be visible with out new expressions. For me this works, and put into words (as nearly as anyone has) some of the great "mystical" insights. If you are reading only in English, you must have a commentary and both translations, start with the Joan Stambaugh, it is easier reading; but you will need the older Macquarrie & Robinson translation for comparision. Some concepts are better explained in one, some in the other. Also recommended Basic Writings : From Being and Time (1927 to the Task of Thinking) and WHAT ARE POETS FOR? and Heidegger's writing on Kant and Holderin. If you enjoy philosophy, this has my highest recommendation. This is philosophy that will awaken you in this moment.

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Being and Time (1927) is the magnum opus of one of the greatest philosophers of the 20th century and arguably Western Philosophy. Spending 7 years writing this first of 67 books, Martin Heidegger turns Husserlian phenomenology (Husserl being Heidegger's main teacher) on its head and introduces to the Western tradition a whole new way of understanding ontology (the formal study of existentia). Being and Time is the first installment of a greater work that was to compromise two parts each with three divisions. Being and Time is only the first two divisions of Part One of that endeavor. For the continuation of Heidegger's overall project, readers must purchase "The Basic Problems of Phenomenology" and "Kant and the Problem of Metaphysics." These three books together compromise the existing (though still not complete) totality of Heidegger's undertaking. "The Basic Problems of Phenomenology" is particularly helpful because it outlines all three Divisions of Part Two of the project. If you read Being and Time, I recommend these other two as well, though they are by no means an easy read folks. To read either of those books one will require a background in the history of philosophy, especially in Aristotle, Descartes, and Kant.
As for Being and Time itself, this is not a beginner's book. If you were just attracted to the title and have no background in philosophy, I do not recommend this book--you will be lost and hate it. This is not to say you are not an intelligent person, the problem is the language and understanding of Heidegger's worldview. This is not to say he doesn't have good ideas, they just take much time to acquire, a lifetime really.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A new ground for philosophical inquiry? July 4 2000
Okay, reading these reviews, I am frustrated... but, of course that is to be expected. Heidegger, more than most philosophers, lends himself to a multiplicity of interpretations.
Rather than add my own semi-detailed interpretation of this work and its historical importance to this list [which would just further frustrate others, I am sure], I would just like to recommend to anyone approaching this book for the first time that they keep in mind the central inquiry that Heidegger is engaging in: the meaning of Being... and, as he explicitly states, this book is a preparation for further exploration, and not to be read as a completed "system" in itself. While the influence of Kierkegaard is obvious, relating this work to Dostoevsky (as another reviewer has) I think misses the point entirely. For all of the talk of "authenticity" and the "psychologizing" of this work that later commentators have engaged in, Heidegger is intersted in re-grounding all philosophical inquiry... not in explicating some mere existential-humanistic outlook. Whether he suceeds or not is, to say the least, debatable.
I would also recommend giving a _very_ close and thorough reading to his essay "What is Metaphysics" before approaching _Being and Time_.
A final note on this translation-- I had already wrestled with the previous translation from beginning to end before purchasing this one. This translation was more than worth the price of purchasing the book again. Stambaugh's translation is simply masterful.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great
It's a incredibly important work, well translated. However, its very difficult to read without help (I cannot more highly recommend Michael Gelven's commentary on Being and Time).
Published 20 months ago by Stefan J. Knibbe
1.0 out of 5 stars TORTURE for you
Not trying to overstate the case, but this is the worst book I've ever seen in my lifetime. You might think, as I did, that it might be interesting to read a seminal text and... Read more
Published 23 months ago by Bryan James
5.0 out of 5 stars No book shelf should be without it.
Really even to know what some other people are talking about you should read this. If you liked Doctor Who when it was philosophical, before the 90s. Read more
Published on Aug. 6 2012 by Golok Z Buday
5.0 out of 5 stars A marvellous read!!!
I looked forward to reading this book immensely, and I was not disappointed. I also highly recommend to read the following "CENSORED" books:
Published on March 20 2010 by Nathaniel "Nate" Berkley
4.0 out of 5 stars Catching your hand with your hand
In "Being and Time," Heidegger tackles the biggest and seemingly unanswerable question of them all: Why is there something rather than nothing? Read more
Published on May 19 2004 by C. Gardner
5.0 out of 5 stars Being and Time...
Frankly, I don't know where to begin. Should I give this One Star or Five Stars? But then it struck me: does it matter? No - it doesn't. Read more
Published on Feb. 4 2004 by S. Alhamdy
1.0 out of 5 stars A dangerious misconception of Being
Kudos to the translator for making the effort; certainly Heidegger isn't an everyday walk in the park. Read more
Published on April 23 2003 by John Samuelian
3.0 out of 5 stars Back to Macquerrie
In case you've not already ordered the new translation of Being and Time -- I'm more and more dissatisfied with the terminology the translator has adopted. Read more
Published on April 12 2003 by Rob
3.0 out of 5 stars vague
By giving this book three stars I am grudgingly admitting its historical importance. However, the potential reader should keep in mind that there are plenty of works out there that... Read more
Published on Feb. 13 2003 by Ross James Browne
5.0 out of 5 stars Heidegger at his best..not that that means many will beneft
Some declare Sein und Zeit and Heidegger's other work as opprobrious epithet, including the scholars of the 20's-40's, until suddenly philosophers began seeing things in his... Read more
Published on Dec 24 2002 by Stephen Smith
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