The Fundamental Concepts of MetaphysicsWorld, Finitude, Solitude
Martin HeideggerTranslated by William McNeill and Nicholas Walker
A crucial work for understanding a major turning point in Heidegger's thought.
"... an important addition to the translations of Heidegger's lecture-courses." International Philosophical Quarterly
"The translators of these lectures have succeeded splendidly in giving readers an intimation of the tensely insistent tone of the original German. Heidegger's concern with a linguistic preconsciousness and with our entrancement before the enigma of existence remains intensely contemporary." Choice
"There is much that is new and valuable in this book, and McNeill and Walker's faithful translation makes it very accessible." Review of Metaphysics
"Whoever thought that Heidegger... has no surprises left in him had better read this volume. If its rhetoric is 'hard and heavy' its thought is even harder and essentially more daring than Heideggerians ever imagined Heidegger could be." David Farrell Krell
First published in German in 1983 as volume 29/30 of Heidegger's collected works, The Fundamental Concepts of Metaphysics includes an extended treatment of the history of metaphysics and an elaboration of a philosophy of life and nature. Heidegger's concepts of organism, animal behavior, and environment are uniquely developed and defined with intensity.
William McNeill is Associate Professor of Philosophy at DePaul University. He is co-translator (with Julia Davis) of Hölderlin's Hymn "The Ister" by Martin Heidegger.
Nicholas Walker is Research Fellow in philosophy and literature at Magdalene College, Cambridge.
Studies in Continental Thought John Sallis, general editor
In these lectures, which noted German philosopher Heidegger gave in 1929-30 at a turning point in his thought, the aim is to show how Western philosophy went wrong. Heidegger says "Being" was confused with "beings," and philosophers, especially medieval philosophers, made even God into something cozy. But passive acceptance of irrationality is precisely what needs to be understood if we are to grasp the horrors of our time: it is at the heart of the problem that made Heidegger, a sensitive, intelligent man who took up Nazism, an embarrassment to philosophy. And so these lectures are very important. Some of the text is straightforward, but much of it concerns what the translators (not unreasonably) render as "boredom," though it is really about how time intrudes in human affairs. The "boredom" discussion is hard to follow, but it may well be at the back of what Hannah Arendt called the "banality of evil." The translators, Chicago and Oxford academics, write clearly, though the Germanic heaviness of the prose will not endear it to English readers. Primarily for academic collections.-Leslie Armour, Univ. of Ottawa