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Introduction to Metaphysics

3.98 of 5 stars 3.98  ·  rating details  ·  2,601 ratings  ·  41 reviews
Contains a series of lectures delivered by Heidegger in 1935 at the University of Freiburg. In this work Heidegger presents the broadest and most intelligible account of the problem of being, as he sees this problem. First, he discusses the relevance of it by pointing out how this problem lies at the root not only of the most basic metaphysical questions but also of our hu ...more
Paperback, 294 pages
Published August 11th 2000 by Yale University Press (first published 1953)
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If you've never read Heidegger, this probably isn't too bad of a place to start out. He actually reveals a great deal more about his motives and methods in the first part of this than in a lot of his other writings. Both his circular style of questioning (and Heidegger is all about questioning, not arguing, not declaring, but really asking sincerely about what things are.) and his emphasis on close, intensely focused etymological readings are well laid out here and not as difficult to get at as ...more
Steven Peterson
Martin Heidegger is a difficult philosopher to read. His own biography, serving as at least a passive supporter of Nazi Germany, makes him somewhat suspect. His opaque and challenging writing style can easily turn one off. However, whether or not one agrees with his ideas, this work is important to confront. He raises arguments that confront many of our beliefs about the way that things are. The struggle to understand--and critique--his views is well worthwhile.

According to Heidegger, the word
David Haines
This book is a very difficult book to read. Some books, twice as long, can be read and analyzed properly within a week. This book takes a long time. Each sentence is so full of meaning that it is impossible to read this book quickly! Heidegger begins by asking what he views as the fundamental question of Metaphysics, "Why is there something rather than nothing?". The rest of the book is his attempt to answer this question. The subject itself is difficult, so the reader needs to give Heidegger th ...more
Dec 30, 2013 Andrew added it
Shelves: philosophy
I didn't have much to do at work. I looked down at Heidegger's Introduction to Metaphysics. He writes in angry little knots you have to untie, much like his idols Parmenides and Heraclitus. I read on, and envisioned Heidegger as the spider crawling up my back, as unsettling me in my chair.

Nothing is part of being. But real nothing is something you cannot say.

The answer is really another question.

And the question is probably the wrong question.

Those ideas sound fairly familiar to any reader of ph
Stunning, brilliant exploration into the nature of Being and a total etymological explosion of Greek ontology. This lectures that comprise this book are Heidegger at his most accessible, intelligble and controversial. His method of inquiry and the fundamental concepts of Being that would lead his later work are laid bare in these examinations. For that, I'm sorry not to have been exposed to this book prior to wandering the wilderness of Being and Time.
We wish to review a book on Goodreads. But we do not yet know what Goodreads truly means. We might say it is a social network for book readers. Certainly. But this statement does not touch upon what veils itself be-neath, be-hind and be-yond our subject matter. To arrive at our destination and let it show itself truly to our Dasein, we must first learn to inquire in a more originary manner about Goodreads. We must learn to think Goodreads, and therefore reviews, as the Greeks first thought it, a ...more
I thought this was a tough read, which I think is what everyone says about it. Things start to cohere toward the end, so if you're going to read it it's worth making it through the final chapter. The gist of it is that Heidegger sees most (all?) the key problems of philosophy as arising from a bastardization of Greek philosophy, which attempted a more 'grounded' metaphysics. An example is what he sees as the transformation and misuse of 'logos' which originally referred to the 'gathering' of the ...more
This would be a really hard read if you've never read MH before. But if you have, this long lecture (musta been 3-4 hours- goddamn!) is nothing but pure pleasure. There are few troubling things- a few blantantly pro-nazi comments, for example - that won't win over any of the unconverted. It all comes down to what you think of Heidegger's framework of being- whether you think it too new-agey, damn brilliant and life-affirming (me), or just can't get over the fact that he was a Nazi (which I total ...more
i read the golden oldie translation first (ralph manheim's [incidentally, i am utterly in awe of manheim, who also translated gunter grass' dog years and many other important works from several languages into english]) and then compared it to this nota bene edition.

i could write forever on this book, but i will limit myself to a few comments: first, i am so taken with heidegger's linguistic discussions that i feel as though i'm reading two texts at once whenever i examine chapter 2. second, i'v
Easy to read if you're familiar with Heidegger. Third chapter makes up for the first two, where he on the one hand puts his question plainly and uninterestingly, and on the other dodges all kinds of question with sloppy reasoning that can only be called excuses. He often sounds like the true selector: this fits the German spirit, this doesn't. The only end-result could be the truly nazist, but, surprise surprise, it turns out to be quite interesting. When he's allowed to pose his question and wh ...more
Paul Cockeram
Before Martin Heidegger, the question of Being was studied the way science and rationalism study anything else: like dissecting a frog in Biology class. Whatever humans were, we were the product of sensory inputs, or phenomena, that could be quantified and analyzed where possible. Whatever parts of experience we could not measure, we ignored. Heidegger decided it was time to retrieve this forgotten question of Being, which became his lifelong project. He succeeded in putting the study of Being b ...more
Billie Pritchett
Martin Heidegger's Introduction to Metaphysics is a book that begins with the old question, "Why is there something rather than nothing?" Or as Heidegger would prefer to put it, "Why are there beings rather than nothing?" To the extent that there's an answer to this question, Heidegger writes that we can't answer the question but must always be concerned with this question as human beings. There's a kind of rough sketch in the book about how people have thought about their relationship to other ...more
Mar 15, 2010 Alexander added it
Shelves: philosophy
This is a formidable text. (I can imagine some poor soul wandering into Borders hoping to find a clear and concise introductory text on metaphysics, only to purchase this and subsequently swear off philosophy forever.) Nonetheless, it's well worth getting through, since it contains one of Heidegger's most thorough engagements with the Greeks (Heraclitus, Parmenides, and Sophocles figure prominently) and some tantalizing glimpses into his views on contemporary politics.
Alex Kartelias
One of my new favorite philosophers. In the beginning he was tough, but because they're lectures, he summarizes his points and repeats them often. Never have I thought this deeply about Being and Non-being and if you are looking to read his, "Being and Time", this is a good place to get warmed up.

I defintetly agree with him that philosophy from Aristotle onwards- abeit some exceptions- as being too mechanical and one-sided when it came to rationalism versus empiricism or monism versus pluralism.
What is the nature of existence? And how do we even begin to talk about what it means to "be"? These questions are some of the deepest and fundamental to philosophical thought. Changed my life.
"Professor Heidegger, what is Metaphysics?"

"Good question."

Notoriously rigorous philosophy wherein it's all about the question.

Ahmed Azimov
قرأت رسالته في الماهية فقط لانني سأستعين بها في قراءة لاحقه
Michael Ledezma
This book should be read right after Being and Time, or at least after Basic Problems. It offers a seamless transition into the Kehre, which is actually threefold, and not as is commonly held, a difference between Heidegger I and II. This book puts the reader right in the thick of Being's relation to aletheia as unconcealment, and does a hell of a job at thoroughly explaining the 4 main oppositions to Being that were originally, and originarilly posited by the Greeks at the inception of Western ...more
John Doe
I read about these people who built a monument in protest of national socialism, in a public space. It was in Hamburg, I think. Tricky thing was, monuments are usually large, enduring, etc. Fascists love building large, enduring things in public spaces. So, how do you build in rebellion to these things?

This is what they did. They dug a hole in the ground. Then they mounted a high tower above the hole. Each year, they lowered the tower deeper and deeper into the hole, until it disappeared fully
Jacob Stubbs
So, let me be honest here. I did not finish this. I have about 50 pages left. I had a hard time understanding the "Heideggerianese". Roger Scruton reads that Heidegger was more about some highly personal, metaphysical, spiritual journey rather than philosophy. I would have to agree. That being said, Heidegger holds some fascinating views on "being", linguistics, and such. His thoughts on science and man are also very interesting. It's easy to see the Nietzschean influences (C.F. "On Truth and Li ...more
Luca Lee
If you are up to reading some of Heidegger's best lectures and his view on metaphysics, then, this book is just right for you. I did enjoy the book, but the book, as always, was slightly boring regarding the fact that it was a translation of his lectures.
I think too much was lost in translation, either that or Heidegger is just spinning his wheels...
Alex Obrigewitsch
Need to re-read. A good segue into Heidegger's later thought.
This book is one of Heidegger's best. It grounds Being and Time's use of Greek and has a lot of new insights in to his thinking. Heidegger has a turn in his philosophy but I must say after reading this and "Poetry, Language, Thought" I think his philosophy is still consistent and late Heidegger supports early Heidegger. If I had to recommend an order to read his books I would say start with late Heidegger and read 'Poetry, Language, Thought' first and 'Introduction to Metaphysics' second.
i felt like i had to temporarily unlearn a lot of linguistic concepts to understand his argument, which wasn't all too difficult given his fairly thorough writing style. it's as though he's afraid his audience will become lost in his words much like we've lost our etymological roots. i'll read it again. no perfect five though. -1 because his personality seeps through into the text, and that personality is thoroughly unlikeable.
Diana G
It is a tough book, indeed, I cannot say it is not. I emphasized with Heidegger when saying that we should return to the ancient greek perception of art. Art has to be something that enlightens, seeks the essence of the being. Art has to overcome its obsession with being aestethic and beautiful. Art has to be truthful, it has to shine from within, as an essence merely rather than as a form.
Sólo leí el primer capítulo. Me encantó esto:

"Phusis means the emerging sway, and the enduring over which it thoroughly holds sway. This emerging, abiding sway includes both “becoming” as well as “Being” in the narrower sense of fixed continuity. Phusis is the event of standing forth, arising from the concealed and thus enabling the concealed to take its stand for the first time."
the newer (Fried/Polt) translation is better, on the whole, but this one is still worth reading; the many points of difference between the two editions are often illuminating.

Heidegger asserts the primacy of poetry as the natural language of philosophical discourse. see how i took him at his word, and gave this work my own transl[iter]ation, here:
Heidegger asserts the primacy of poetry as the natural language of philosophical discourse. see how i took him at his word, and gave this work my own transl[iter]ation, here:
joshua caleb
I should probably re-read this. It gave me many ideas as I paged through it, but the strain of following the line of his arguments wiped them from my brain.

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  • Cartesian Meditations: An Introduction to Phenomenology
  • Truth and Method
  • Untimely Meditations
  • Theological-Political Treatise
  • Philosophical Fragments (Writings, Vol 7)
  • On Certainty
  • Prolegomena to Any Future Metaphysics
  • Martin Heidegger: Between Good and Evil
  • Being-In-The-World: A Commentary on Heidegger's Being in Time, Division I.
  • Minima Moralia
  • Margins of Philosophy
  • Time and Free Will
  • Elements of the Philosophy of Right
  • Phenomenology of Perception
  • Difference and Repetition
  • The Parallax View
Martin Heidegger (1889–1976) was a German philosopher whose work is perhaps most readily associated with phenomenology and existentialism, although his thinking should be identified as part of such philosophical movements only with extreme care and qualification. His ideas have exerted a seminal influence on the development of contemporary European philosophy. They have also had an impact far beyo ...more
More about Martin Heidegger...
Being and Time Basic Writings: Ten Key Essays, plus the Introduction to Being and Time Poetry, Language, Thought The Question Concerning Technology and Other Essays What Is Called Thinking?

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“Why are there beings at all, instead of Nothing?” 76 likes
“When the farthest corner of the globe has been conquered
technologically and can be exploited economically; when any incident you like, in any place you like, at any time you like, becomes
accessible as fast as you like; when you can simultaneously "experience" an assassination attempt against a king in France and a symphony concert in Tokyo; when time is nothing but speed, instantaneity, and simultaneity, and time as history has vanished from all
Being of all peoples; when a boxer counts as the great man of a
people; when the tallies of millions at mass meetings are a triumph;
then, yes then, there still looms like a specter over all this uproar the
question: what for? — where to? — and what then?”
More quotes…