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4.15 of 5 stars 4.15  ·  rating details  ·  62 ratings  ·  10 reviews
Richard Polt provides a lively and accessible introduction to one of the most influential and intellectually demanding philosophers of the modern era. Covering the entire range of Heidegger's thought, Polt skillfully communicates the essence of the philosopher, enabling readers, especially those new to his writings, to approach his works with confidence and insight. Polt p ...more
Paperback, 328 pages
Published January 7th 1999 by Cornell University Press (first published November 1st 1998)
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Justin Evans
There's plenty to dislike about Heidegger - the nazism, the self-mythologization, the rather too frequent dips into nonsense - but I most dislike the insufferable literary habits of his epigoni. Thankfully Mr Polt writes clearly if not beautifully.
Although he has a penchant for the hackneyed or tasteless which I've come to expect from Heideggerians (e.g., Heidegger's writing can be beautiful, Polt says, and gives as his example: "the clearing center itself encircles all that is, as does the not
Edward Moran
Excellent coverage of "being and time" and "later" heidegger backed up by extensive quotes. In the discussion of "on the origin of the work of art" discusses Nietzsche's "birth of tragedy" and it's influence on this work. "Earth" for heidegger basically means what jung means by "the unconscious" but heidegger would object to the rigid concepts of "conscious" and "unconscious" and doesn't acknowledge these concepts as they suggest dividing the world into "objective" and "subjective" that he also ...more
Arjun Ravichandran
Great introduction to this crucial thinker, and quite possibly the only good introduction to Heidegger for the uninitiated. The author does a great job of explaining Heidegger's relevance in the general philosophical tradition (i.e. his attack on Cartesian metaphysics) but at the same time, he also explores the deeply relevant and vital issues that made him the most important philosopher of the 20th century ; questions of authenticity, of man's relationship to time and death, of our relationship ...more
I’m no authority, but from a lay reader’s perspective, it does seem that Polt has done a nearly heroic job in crafting an instructive overview of this seminal and complex thinker. So, the Polt book itself I gave four stars.

As for Heidegger, well . . . . I went into this book intending to engage it actively, to use it as a tool for reaching some final personal judgment of Heidegger’s thought. Of course one encounters Heidegger often enough; I’d previously read a shorter overview of his work, a ve
The section-by-section guide to Being and Time (Chapters 3 and 4) was extremely helpful. I read Heidegger first and came to my own conclusions, but after consulting Polt and Blattner I was persuaded that my reading was often not quite right. Heidegger is so difficult to read (especially Being and Time) that's almost like reading in another language -- it is comforting to have a "translation" that is closer to one's own tongue, and that is the purpose Polt's book served for me. It was a sturdy cr ...more
Its not easy explaining Heidegger to the lay person. Polt wades into the deep waters and creates some visibility.
If you choose to study this philosopher, this is a key to unlock some of the material.
Leonard Houx
More than ten years ago, my old undergraduate Analytic philosophy professor, James Ballie, recommended this. Last month, I finally read it. The best aspect of the book is its presentation of Heidegger's strongest arguments within the context of the history of modern philosophy.

As an aside: in front of his class, my old professor also said "doesn't this guy look like a child molester?"
Erik C
I'm working through Being and Time, using this book and Herbert Dreyfus's lectures (mp3) as guides.

This introduction has been invaluable.
Succinct and substantive. The intro to read.
John Roberson
A fantastic introduction to Heidegger.
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Richard F. H. Polt is a professor of philosophy at Xavier University. He holds a B.A. in philosophy from the University of California at Berkeley and a Ph.D. from the Committee on Social Thought at the University of Chicago (1991). His main interests are the metaphysical and ethical problems of Greek and German philosophy. He has taught elective courses on a variety of topics, including Plato, Ari ...more
More about Richard Polt...
The Emergency of Being: On Heidegger's Contributions to Philosophy Heidegger's Being and Time: Critical Essays Wild About Harry A Companion to Heidegger's "Introduction to Metaphysics" Introduction to Metaphysics

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