Martin Heidegger on Being Human. An Introduction to Sein und Zeit, and: A Commentary on Heidegger's Being and Time (review)
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400 HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY Martin Heidegger on Being Human. An Introduction to Sein und Zeit. By Richard Schmitt. (New York: Random House, Studies in Philosophy, 1969. Pp. 274) A Commentary on Heidegger's Being and Time. By Michael Gelven. (New York and Evanston: Harper and Row, Torchbook Ed., 1970. xiv+234. $6.00) The interest in Heidegger's philosophy has been steadily growing in this country since Sein und Zeit has become available in an English translation, t Thanks to the efforts of Prof. Glen Gray and others the student who wants to investigate the "later" Heidegger has an impressive number of writings at his disposal. Being and Time remains one of Heidegger's major works (if not the major one) although his philosophical concern has shifted from Dasein to Being, and Speech. The overriding importance of Being and Time lies in the fact that it represents the seminal ground for Heidegger's subsequently published work. It is impossible, therefore, to separate Heidegger I from Heidegger lI without risking a misunderstanding of what Heidegger tried to achieve with Being and Time.2 Being and Time opened a new path of philosophical inquiry which Heidegger broadened and deepened in the course of his career but never abandoned. The student of Being and Time thus faces the task to follow Heidegger into virginal philosophical territory. By the same token, any introduction to or commentary on Being and Time presupposes the author's full awareness of Heidegger 's philosophical intentions. If one judges the two books under review according to this yardstick Prof. Gelven's Commentary is more successful than Prof. Schmitt's Introduction. Gelven's comments on Being and Time always give the impression that he has attuned himself to his subject, while where Schmitt is concerned this reviewer has strong reservations in this respect. Gelven is well prepared to go the arduous path of Being and Time from beginning to end commenting, criticising, elaborating chapter by chapter in a refreshingly lively manner. Schmitt's method is different inasmuch as he takes a topical approach to Being and Time which might well have served as an introduction if his selection of topics had not serious shortcomings besides certain misunderstandings of the text. To his own peril, Schmitt did not discuss sufficiently such an important issue as Dasein=being-in-the-world. The same holds true for the way he treats or rather does not treat Time and Historicity to which Heidegger devotes the last four chapters and some 135 pages. Prof. Schmitt's reputation as an expert on H.',sserl stands him in good stead when he compares Heidegger, especially from a linguistic and conceptual viewpoint, with Husserl. It is the more regrettable that Prof. Schmitt's interpretation of some major problems posed in Being and Time fails to focus comments or criticisms on the most important point of Heidegger's break with Husserl. It is generally agreed upon that Heidegger radicalizes Husserl's position in explaining the "transcendental self" on the ground of Dasein as being-in-the-world. 3 No interpreter of Being and Time can afford to lose sight of this step no matter what problem he discusses. In his chapter on Language Schmitt states: "It is not at all clear what sort of entity a gear context is" (p. 75). He attributes this to "a serious gap in the Heideggerian conceptual structure" (ibM.). However, Schmitt has overlooked the fact that Heidegger's analysis of things for use (gear) forms part of a chapter entitled The Worldhood of the World. Things for 1 In the following, Sein und Zeit will be quoted by its English title, Being and Time. Page references are to the German edition. z See Heidegger's preface to Heidego.er: Through Phenomenology to Thought by William Richardson. s..'. (The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff. 1963). a See, for example, What is Phenomenology? by Pierre Thdvenaz (Chicago: Quadrangle Books, 1962). BOOK REVIEWS 401 use, Heidegger points out, are not isolated entities, rather they are what they are only in relation to a whole situation. "With the whole, however, the world announces itself" (Being and Time, p. 75). Similarly, his omission of connecting Heidegger's view of speech with...


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