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Being and Truth

Martin Heidegger. Translated by Gregory Fried and Richard Polt

Publication Year: 2010

In these lectures, delivered in 1933-1934 while he was Rector of the University of Freiburg and an active supporter of the National Socialist regime, Martin Heidegger addresses the history of metaphysics and the notion of truth from Heraclitus to Hegel. First published in German in 2001, these two lecture courses offer a sustained encounter with Heidegger's thinking during a period when he attempted to give expression to his highest ambitions for a philosophy engaged with politics and the world. While the lectures are strongly nationalistic and celebrate the revolutionary spirit of the time, they also attack theories of racial supremacy in an attempt to stake out a distinctively Heideggerian understanding of what it means to be a people. This careful translation offers valuable insight into Heidegger's views on language, truth, animality, and life, as well as his political thought and activity.

Published by: Indiana University Press

Series: Studies in Continental Thought

Title Page, Copyright Page

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Translators' Foreword

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pp. xv-xviii

Translators owe a double debt. To their sources, they owe fidelity. To their readers, they owe an explanation. Translators are intermediaries, and their work succeeds only if it can be trusted not to misdirect what they have been entrusted to convey. That responsibility is particularly pressing with a text such as Martin Heidegger's Being and Truth. ...


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Introduction: The Fundamental Question of Philosophy and the Fundamental Happening of Our History

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pp. 3-12

The German people is now passing through a moment of historical greatness; the youth of the academy knows this greatness. What is happening, then? The German people as a whole is coming to itself, that is, it is finding its leadership. In this leadership, the people that has come to itself is creating its state. The people that is forming itself ...

Main Part. The fundamental Question and Metaphysics: Preparation for a Confrontation with Hegel

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pp. 13-14

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Chapter One. The Development, Transformation, and Christianization of Traditional Metaphysics

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pp. 15-22

The historical path into the essence of philosophy - there is no other, for the very reason that philosophy itself is the fundamental happening of the history of our Dasein. To be sure, the historical path is complex, but always because of an essential necessity in its outset, development, and goal. The goal is to overcome the accidental character of a particular preference ...

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Chapter Two. The System of Modern Metaphysics and the First of Its Primary Determining Grounds: The Mathematical

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pp. 23-40

With this we have provided an initially satisfactory clarification of how the concept "metaphysics" was fleshed out in a decisive period of Western philosophy. The only thing we lack is the insight into the truly determining forces and driving powers of metaphysics, into what wants to assert itself there as a claim and urgent need for human beings. ...

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Chapter Three. Determination by Christianity and the Concept of Mathematical-Methodological Grounding in the Metaphysical Systems of Modernity

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pp. 41-54

Metaphysics is the knowledge of beings as a whole. God - according to the tradition the highest being, summum ens - rules and determines all beings. But in another sense, Being is also comprehensive, that which belongs to every being as such, ens in communi. "God," taken in the light of the most universal concept of Being, is only one being among others, ...

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Chapter Four. Hegel: The Completion of Metaphysics as Theo-logic

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pp. 55-61

We have now fulfilled the task that we initially set ourselves - the exhibition of the two determining powers of Western, and in particular modern, metaphysics: (1) the worldview of Christian faith, (2) the mathematical in a sense that is broad in principle and that we have explained earlier, the mathematical as the propositional derivation of ...

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pp. 62-64

What con-frontation1 is not and what it is. Not a formal refutation, demonstration of mere incorrect points, but scission - and that only on the basis of decision. Decision only as engagement in Dasein; the decision for. Engagement as steadfastly letting fate hold sway. Wisdom—knowing—knowing that we do not know—questioning. The innermost and ...

ON THE ESSENCE OF TRUTH: Winter Semester 1933-1934

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Introduction: The Question of Essence as Insidious and Unavoidable

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pp. 67-98

We are asking about the essence of truth. To begin with, this means that we want to find out what truth "in general" is, what such a thing "really consists in." So this questioning about the essence of truth is obviously a "profound" and "important" undertaking. Or does it only seem to be? Let us consider what it means to think about something like the essence ...

Part One. Truth and Freedom: An Interpretation of the Allegory of the Cave in Plato's Republic

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pp. 99-100

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Chapter One. The Four Stages of the Happening of Truth

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pp. 101-142

Our answer to the question of the essence of truth had to pass through a decision. We cannot, as it were, think up the essence of truth in an indifferent rumination. Instead, what is at issue is the confrontation in history with the tradition of two fundamental conceptions of the essence of truth, both of which emerged among the Greeks: truth as ...

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Chapter Two. The Idea of the Good and Unconcealment

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pp. 143-164

In the previous session, we attempted to get clear about the fourth stage. What does it involve? What is its position within the whole? We discovered that the fourth stage is no mere appendix, nor a recapitulation: instead, the person under discussion here is fundamentally different from the other inhabitants of the cave. He has been transformed and he now ...

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Chapter Three. The Question of the Essence of Untruth

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pp. 165-174

We want to present a brief summary of the thoughts in our foregoing lectures. By clarifying the highest idea of the good, we want to grasp something about the essence of truth, to grasp which characteristics pertain to the essence of truth as a whole. ...

Part Two. An Interpretation of Plato's Theaetetus with Regard to the Question of the Essence of Untruth

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pp. 175-176

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Chapter One. Preliminary Considerations on the Greek Concept of Knowledge

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pp. 177-183

In order to clarify the essence of untruth in the sense of falsehood, we will follow similes that Plato employs, as he does in all essential areas of questioning—two similes from the Theaetetus. We do this to evaluate how the concept of untruth has been passed over and how this has led to a situation in which the whole question about the essence of untruth ...

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Chapter Two. Theaetetus's Answers to the Question of the Essence of Knowledge and their Rejection

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pp. 184-191

This answer will be rejected later on, but initially we will ask why precisely this answer is given and why this answer is given as the first. We may make the assumption that in the dialogues the interlocutors do not babble randomly back and forth. Rather, the sequence of ...

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Chapter Three. The Question of the Possibility of Vevðnç ðòea

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pp. 192-201

A further division of meaning is made possible on the basis of this ambiguity. A view can be a positive force; it can hit the mark. But the appearance can also miss the mark. A view can give a thing as it is, but it can also offer a mere appearance in the sense of semblance. It can be a mere view, a mere belief. ...

Appendix I. Notes and drafts for the lecture course of Summer Semester 1933–1934

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pp. 202-213

Appendix II. Notes and drafts for the lecture course of Winter Semester 1933–1934

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pp. 214-224

Editor's Afterword

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pp. 225-230

German-English Glossary

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pp. 231-236

E-ISBN-13: 9780253004659
E-ISBN-10: 0253004659
Print-ISBN-13: 9780253355119

Page Count: 256
Illustrations: 5 b&w illus.
Publication Year: 2010

Series Title: Studies in Continental Thought