Books about Heidegger

The Apocalypse of Being The Esoteric Gnosis of Martin Heidegger. Mario Enrique Sacchi, translated by Gabriel Xavier Martinez, South Bend, Indiana, St. Augustine's Press, 2002.

Heidegger says that being cannot be thought in religion, and it can be thought in metaphysics. So where can being be thought?

In history itself, because Heidegger did not conceive Sein as the very act of things that are, so that its manifestation is not reached through the knowledge of being, that which Sein entifies, but through its happening (Ereignis), which is always a temporary event, since events only happen in time, the measure of motion exercised by material things of the universe. This confirms that, if the act of being were an Ereignis, and if every event is measured by time, the act of being itself would have to be exhausted temporarily or to succumb to the finiteness of this world -- in-der-Welt-sein. That is why it is necessary to admit that Heideggerian thought about Sein is permeated with a colossal immanentism.

P. 79

immanentism: belief that God is everywhere and in everything

Arendt and Heidegger The Fate of the Political. Dana R. Villa, Princeton, Princeton Univeristy Press, 1996.

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Being and God in Aristotle and Heidegger The Role of Method in Thinking the Infinite. Catriona Hanley, Lanham, Maryland, Rowman and Littlefield, 2000.

An excerpt on transcendence.

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Being Jewish/Reading Heidegger An Ontological Encounter. Allen Scult, New York, Fordham University Press, 2004.

Western culture came about from Greek and Jewish origins. The Greek beginning, philosphers' invention of reason, is broadly emphasized in Heidegger's works and in the secondary literature. This book, which examines his works' affinities with the Talmud and its Rabbinic reading, handsomely redresses the balance.

Best for readers already familiar with Heidegger, this book gathers together many aspects of Heidegger thinking on hermeneutics and rhetoric for an engaging ontological inquiry. One of the problems it addresses is personified by Hermes, the messenger of the gods: how to preserve the sanctity of the gods' message while transmitting it. Or, how to authentically interpret the message, without interference from the world and language, the rhetoric, in which it is communicated.

The book is partly guided by Heidegger's 1924 lecture course on Aristotle's Rhetoric, the last of a series of courses on Aristotle that began in SS 1922.

Rhetoric, as conceptualized by Aristotle in his definition, provides and makes accessible to philosophy, the systematic "how" of out everyday being-in-the-world (In-der-Welt-seins), which at the same time is a being-with-one-another (Miteinandersein) through speech.

P. 114

At the time Heidegger's thinking was emerging from his beginnings in Christian theology, which provided the factical ground for his thinking. He reflected on sacred texts and sacred expriences.

Like the revelation at Sinai, life-as-it-is befalls us, is given to us, as a "properizing event Ereignis." It "appropriates" us as we allow ourselves to be appropriated by it.

P. 54

The short quote is from the Kriegsnotsemester lecture course, via Kisiel's Genesis.

When the author explores how revelation in the Pentateuch (with mediation from Beckett's Trilogy) overcomes the limits of narrative, Ereignis appears again as Heidegger's description of the revelatory possibilities of naming, as:

[T]he possibility of being appropriated by something more powerful than one's own capacity to invent.

P. 83

Heidegger hopes that through careful speaking and careful listening, the message can be successfully appropriated by the listener. The author indicates that this is similar to a rabbi's problem. A rabbi must authentically transmit the words of the Torah itself. A rabbi reads the words and waits for the words to speak through him. Using Heidegger's exegesis of Parmenides 6, from What Is Called Thinking?, the author argues that through Heidegger's way of speaking the call of being may be heard.

The question is not whether [Heidegger] is a true or false prophet, but whether his speaking successfully forges a link between our own thinking and the most closely watched words of those who thought in grander times.

P. 106

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Between Word and Image Heidegger, Klee, and Gadamer on Gesture and Genesis. Dennis J. Schmidt, Bloomington, Indiana University Press, 2013.

In 1956 Martin Heidegger spent a day at an exhibition of Klee's in Basel, deeply impressed. He considered writing an updated companion to the "The Origin of the Work of Art", but never got around to it. Dennis Schmidt takes Heidegger's notes on Klee, and interprets the new significance of art for Heidegger in his later years.


Beyond Subjectivism Heidegger on Language and the Human Being. Abraham Mansbach, Westport, Connecticut, Greenwood Press, 2002.

This book is a good study of Heidegger for someone who already understands the outline of his works. It's theme is Heidegger's critique of subjectivism in Western philosphy. It begins with Heidegger's response to subjectivism with dasein in Being and Time, and then follows the theme through Heidegger's later works on art, language, and technology.

An excerpt on using Ereignis to overcome the language of traditional metaphysics.

Reviews: Robert Bernasconi

Broken Hegemonies. Reiner Schürmann, translated by Reginald Lilly, Bloomington, Indiana University Press, 2003.

Excerpts: hegemonic fantasms in history.

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Daimon Life, Heidegger and Life-Philosophy. David Farrell Krell, Bloomington, Indiana University Press, 1992.

Reviews: Michael Eldred
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Delimitations Phenomenology and the End of Metaphysics. John Sallis, Bloomington, Indiana University Press, 1995.


Demythologizing Heidegger. John D. Caputo, Bloomington, Indiana University Press, 1993.

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Dialogue with Heidegger Greek Philosophy. Jean Beaufret, translated by Mark Sinclair, Bloomington, Indiana University Press, 2006.

This book is the first of Beaufret's four volume collection of essays on philosophy Dialogue. It contains eight essays on Greek philosophy from Heidegger's perspective. The second volume is on modern philsophy, and the final two engage Heidegger's thought directly. This volume also includes a letter to Heidegger in 1969.

The essays cover the origins of philosophy with the pre-Platonic philosophers, Heraclitus and the Eleatics, and Aristotle on Plato, energeia, tragedy in Poetics, and the "subject" in book Z of Metaphysics. In this latter essay, Beaufret indicates how Aristotle's questioning of the many senses of being continued, after two thousand years, to guide Heidegger's thinking. So much so that it even lead to him changing direction after Being and Time.

An excerpt on the Dass and Was.

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Earth and Gods. Vincent Vycinas, The Hague, Martinus Nijhoff, 1969.

The title page says: "Photomechanical reprint 1969". The preface is dated 1959.

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Echoes: After Heidegger. John Sallis, Bloomington, Indiana University Press, 1990.

There is a short excerpt on the whatness of Ereignis here.

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Eclipse of the Self : The Development of Heidegger's Concept of Authenticity. Michael E. Zimmerman, Athen, Ohio University Press, 2nd edition, 1986.

Ereignis explained.


Encounters & Dialogues with Martin Heidegger, 1929-1976. Heinrich Wiegand Petzet, translated by Parvis Emad and Kenneth Maly, Chicago, University of Chicago Press, 1993.

An anecdote of Heidegger watching soccer on TV.

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Engaging Heidegger. Richard Capobianco, University of Toronto Press, 2010.
Foreword by William J. Richardson.

Eight exemplary essays about what matters to Heidegger.

In what way was Heidegger's project about being? Thomas Sheehan claims that Heidegger's project is not about being. Richard Capobianco examines Heidegger's last seminars, where Heidegger responded to questions about what he was mainly concerned with: the question of being.

Ereignis, how important is it, really? Is it just another synonym for Beyng? Das Seyn = Das Ereignis? What did Heidegger write about Ereignis in the his 1936-1944 private manuscripts, and say in the 1957-62 lectures?

Homelessness, an increasingly important issue, from Being and Time, through Antigone in Introduction to Metaphysics, to Antigone in the Ister lectures and Gelassenheit.

Heidegger's turn, from the existential dread of Being and Time to the awesomeness presented to the poets and pre-Socratics.

The Lichtung, is it about the light, or the clearing? What's the German etymology?

What is the importance of luminescence in Heidegger interpretations of Plato's cave allegory? In Heidegger lecture's in the allegory in winter semester 1931-32? And in the later Heidegger, when the clearing mainly spatial? When was the Kehre in his thinking on the light metaphor?

How has "Building Dwelling Thinking" influenced architects?

Antigone from Introduction to Metaphysics compared to Antigone from Lacan, seminar 7, The Ethics of Psychoanalysis.

Reviews: Bret W. Davis Andrew Ryder Lawrence Hatab William Koch Graeme Nicholson Richard Velkley
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The Finitude of Being. Joan Stambaugh, Albany, State University of New York Press, 1992.

Excerpts: the transcendens.

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The Fourfold. Andrew J. Mitchell, Evanston, Illinois, Northwestern University Press, 2015.


Freedom to Fail Heidegger's Anarchy. Peter Trawny, translated by Ian Alexander Moore and Christopher Turner, Polity, 2015.

Reviews: Martin Woessner
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Generation Existential Heidegger's Philosophy in France, 1927-1961. Ethan Kleinberg, Ithaca, New York, Cornell University Press, 2007.

Excerpts: The Heideggers meet the Lacans and Levinas's il y a.

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The Glance of the Eye Heidegger, Aristotle, and the Ends of Theory. William McNeill, Albany, State University of New York Press, 1999.

An excerpt on technological thinking.

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Groundless Grounds A Study of Wittgenstein and Heidegger. Lee Braver, Cambridge, MIT Press, 2012.

In his earlier book Lee Braver explained the common histories and the differences between analytical and continental philosophy, with an impressive understanding of both. This time he does something similar with Wittgenstein and Heidegger. While each philosopher might be used to represent their respective side in the split in Anglo-American academic philosophy, this book is more about the thinkers' works themselves, than about different schools. If you read Heidegger and the later Wittgenstein, you will want to read this book.

The book highlights several ideas and compares how the two philosophers' different understandings, starting with the idea of philosophy itself. Where helpful Lee describes Wittgenstein's understanding in the context he developed in, Frege and Russell's work on logic, with what Wittgenstein wrote in the Tractatus, and the understanding he developed later. Lee contrasts Wittgenstein with Heidegger across Heidegger's published works, from the very earliest to his last symposia. When read side by side, with Lee's guidance, the two philosophers illuminate each other. Lee also refers to the major interpreters of the thinkers, when it is pertinent. The book includes one hundred pages of helpful notes and citations. The different subjects examined are connected together by emphasizing the two thinkers rebellions against the philosophical tradition, and their focus on the consequences of human finitude for philosophy.

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Hannah Arendt Martin Heidegger. Elzbieta Ettinger, New Haven, Yale University Press, 1995.

NYTimes review.
New Criterion review by Berel Lang
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Hegel, Heidegger, and the Ground of History. Michael Allen Gillespie, University of Chicago Press, 1984.

Reviews: Claremont Review of Books.

Heidegger Among the Sculptors Body, Space, and the Art of Dwelling. Andrew J. Mitchell, Stanford University Press, 2010.

This book examines Heidegger's relationship with three sculptors through papers he wrote in association with each, and a fourth paper on the limits in bas-relief depictions of Athena; "The Origin of Art and the Definition of Thinking", a lecture delivered in Athens, 1967. Through these papers, we get an exploration on the later Heidegger's thinking on the body and space. The papers themselves are not included in this volume, but it is illustrated with 32 black and white photographs.

Heidegger contributed "The Abandonment of Being and Errancy", on modernity's compulsion to fill in the emptiness, and make the indistinct distinct, to the catalog for Ernst Barlach exhibition in Darmstadt, in 1951.

"Remarks on Art - Sculpture - Space", a speech at a gallery opening for Bernhard Heiliger, St. Gallen, in 1964. Sculpting as the edge between the concealed and unconcealed, thickening and stretching space. Sculpting the head is not exposing the person's interior, but reflecting the world on the face. Heiliger's bust of Heidegger adorns the front cover.

"Art and Space", a collaboration with Eduardo Chillida who produced lithocollages to accompany Heidegger's text, 1968. Spacing, as making room, as granting and preserving, and as the opening for collaboration. The essay is available in the Heidegger Reader

Reviews: François Raffoul Eduardo Mendieta.

Heidegger and a Metaphysics of Feeling. Sharin N. Elkholy, London, Continuum, 2008.

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Heidegger and Aristotle: The Question of Being. Ted Sadler, London, Athlone Press, 1996.

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Heidegger and Aristotle: The Twofoldness of Being. Walter A. Brogan, Albany, State University of New York Press, 2005.

A very well written study of some of the major themes in Heidegger's reading of Aristotle. A single book could not cover all the angles, but this one explains many of the major issues, starting from the 1922 preface for Heidegger's unpublished book on Aristotle, to the essay on Physics B1 in Wegmarken, back to lectures in the 1920s, and lectures on Metaphysics Theta 1-3 in 1931. It is all tied together by the many aspects of the twofoldness of being.

An excerpt on how Aristotle understood Parmenides.

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Heidegger and Christianity. John Macquarrie, New York, Continuum, 1994.

This book comes from a series of lectures given by John Macquarrie, one of a team of two who translated Being & Time (1962) into English. The lectures are an overview of Heidegger's thinking, with the temporal and the historical as a theme.

Reviews: Thomas K. Carr

Heidegger and Criticism. William V. Spanos, Minneapolis, University of Minnesota Press, 1993.

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Heidegger and Ethics. Joanna Hodge, London, Routledge, 1995.

Here's an excerpt on Heidegger's question "Who is humanity?", at the 1936 Rome lecture.

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Heidegger and Homecoming The Leitmotif in the Later Writings. Robert Mugerauer, University of Toronto Press, 2008.

This is a six hundred page close reading of the later Heidegger, using homecoming as a theme. Homecoming is at the very center of the fourfold, where staying appropriates.

It turns out, then, according to Heidegger, that mortals and divinities, earth and sky, dwell, belong, and are gathered into the thing's giving gift, and since that gift stays and appropriates the four into unconcealment, they are finally gathered, belong, and are at home in appropriation. In Heidegger's coming to appropriation - that is, in its being given - there is a homecoming.

P. 340

The homecoming is arriving home to originary thinking, thinking without logical-calculative metaphysics.

In Heidegger's story of homecoming, appropriation and the expropriation which belongs to it grant and gather home all that belongs together: the appropriating is a gathering together of what belongs together even when held apart. In nearing appropriating we arrive home - where we belong in our essence as mortals, mot alone, but essentially appropriated into the fourfold or world - this also means we belong in language and to appropriation. Thus, Heidegger tells the story of our arrival home in a way that is powerfully his own, and he arrives home in thinking and saying the appropriating of world. In a double way, then, thinking and saying come into their own here, as originary.

P. 360

The text does a useful service in tracing the evolution of the expressions Heidegger used for Ereignis, in their various incarnations (Beyng, the open, the between, the event of appropriation), in the texts from Contributions, through the essays and lectures, to the final seminars. One of the most impressive pieces of recent scholarship on Heidegger.


Heidegger on the Divine The Thinker, The Poet and God. James L. Perotti, Ohio University Press, 1974.


Heidegger and the Essence of Man. Michel Haar, translated by William McNeill, Albany, State University of New York Press, 1993. Forward by Hubert L. Dreyfus.

This is an overview of Heidegger's works by a professor at the Sorbonne. It looks for the central tensions in Heidegger's thinking and the questions they elicit.

After quoting from The Way to Language, Dreyfus's ends his forward with the question concerning Ereignis.

Ereignis is what makes possible human practices everywhere and thereby makes possible the historical, should it come to pass. Whether Heidegger's account Ereignis succeeds in enabling us to understand this most basic essence of man, or whether Ereignis is just a new name for that interlacing that poses insurmountable difficulties to thought, Haar's book whose purpose is to question Heidegger, not to praise or condemn him, fittingly leaves open.

There is a short excerpt on the thought of Ereignis here.

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Heidegger And The Place Of Ethics: Being-with In The Crossing Of Heidegger's Thought. Michael Lewis, London, Continuum, 2005.

This is the first of three volumes calling for a new understanding of Heidegger and politics. Specifically a politics of a Lacanian via Slavoj Zizek flavor. That said, this volume may appeal to a broader audience because it is mainly a study of several aspects of Heidegger thinking, and one that examines recently published works in an original way. Many of the author's translations of Heidegger's German differ from the English books, and in many cases they appear closer to the original when I compare them.

The central theme of the book is "being-with", and what it can tell us about ethics in Heidegger's way of thinking. The early chapters study being-with from its first appearance as being-with-others in Division I of Being and Time and its relation to Sein. Next being-with and Ereignis, based mainly on material from the Contributions. And finally being-with in Gestell and Politics.

An excerpt on the essence of Ereignis.

Reviews: Leslie MacAvoy
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Heidegger and the Poets. Véronique M. Fóti, New Jersey, Humanities Press, 1992.


Heidegger and the Problem of Knowledge. Charles B. Guignon, Indianapolis, Hackett, 1983.


Heidegger and the Project of Fundamental Ontology. Jacques Taminiaux, translated by Michael Gendre, Albany, State University of New York Press, 1991.

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Heidegger and the Question of Renaissance Humanism Four Studies. Ernest Grassi, Binghampton, New York, Medieval & Renaissance Texts & Studies, 1983.


Heidegger and the Question of Time. Françoise Dastur, translated by François Raffoul and David Pettigrew, New Jersey, Humanities Press, 1998.

Considering the importance of time in Heidegger's work, it has been surprisingly under represented in the literature. This book examines time in his work from the lectures leading up to Being and Time to the On Time and Being lecture in 1962. It is valuable work for examining temporality thematically throughout his works, and for the clarity it brings to the subject.

It has this to say about Ereignis:

Heidegger does not consider Ereignis, which names the relation of what is in question in "Being and time" and in "time and Being" (TB, 4), to be a terminological decision peculiar to him but, instead, the highest gift of the German idiom, comparable to the Greek aletheia (HPT, xxii) or, as well, to the Chinese Tao (ID, 36). According to him, language is not left to arbitrary human invention but is itself the most proper mode of Ereignis; it is its melody that deploys itself through our corresponding and thanking saying (OWL, 135). This is why Ereignis, which in modern German means "event", must be understood on the basis of its etymological sense, which pertains first not to eignen and to eigen, to propriety and appropriation, but to Auge, to the eye and to seeing: it means to eye. Ereignen as eräugen thus signifies bringing to ownness by making visible. Ereignis, by making visible the unfolding of the Being of man as Da-sein in the clearing, brings the mortals to their own by making them appropriate (vereignen) to Being, which, for its part, is appropriated (zugeeignet), that is to say, given over to the Being of man (OWL, 128-129).

HPT: William J. Richardson's Heidegger: Through Phenomenology to Thought
ID: Identity and Difference
OWL: On The Way to Language
TB: On Time and Being


Heidegger and the Subject. François Raffoul, translated by David Pettigrew and Gregory Recco, New Jersey, Humanities Press, 1998.

'With a new perspective on Heidegger's work, François Raffoul addresses on of the most crucial and difficult issues in contemporary thought: the fate of the subject in the postmodern era. Against traditional interpretations, which claim either that Heidegger has rendered all accounts of subjectivity -- and consequently of ethics -- impossible, or on the contrary, that Heidegger merely renews the modern metaphysics of subjectivity, Raffoul demonstrates how Heidegger's destruction/deconstruction of the subject opens the space for a radically nonsubjectivistic formulation of human being.
'Raffoul reconstitutes and analyzes Heidegger's debate with the great thinkers of subjectivity (Descartes, Kant, Husserl), in order to show that Heidegger's "destructive" reading of the modern metaphysics of subjectivity is in fact a positive reappropriation of the ontological foundations of the subject. Raffoul's recasting of Heidegger's work on human subjectivity should prove indispensable in future debates on the fate of the subject in the postmodern era.'

In part this book is concerned with "mineness" (Jemeinigkeit). In the conclusion the author ties mineness to Ereignis.

Far from characterizing a property of the I (even if this were to occur in a distinctive way), and so confirming the modern metaphysics of the subject, mineness is thought from that dimension in which human beings are appropriated to their own Being. All the clever distinctions, oppositions, reversals and other turns between various periods of Heidegger's thought are insufficient representations of what is at issue here. There are no two "thoughts", one subjectivist, the other "de-humanized," but one single (though polymorphous) thought which seeks to say the co-appropriation (Er-eignis) of Being and man.

P. 257


Heidegger and the Thinking of Place Explorations in the Topology of Being. Jeff Malpas, Cambridge, MIT Press, 2012.

Topology is the study of place, τοπος, and specifically in this book, the "place within which Heidegger's thinking emerges". Place is understood as the proper focus of philosophy, place bounds where thinking occurs, and place is the origin of thinking. As explained in this book, Heidegger's focus on place changed from B&T to the later works, and topology is involved in many of Heidegger's key concerns, including the Event.

In one chapter the author responds to some of the comments of earlier his book Heidegger's Topology, including those in the reviews by Miguel de Beistegui and Edward Relph. Another chapter explains the topology of intersection of the Heidegger's thinking on the grounds of ontology and Kantian transcendental idealism. Kant is taken up again with spatiality are in subjective and objective spaces; examined alongside the equipmentality of B&T, and the lectures on worldhood and animial life. I was surprised, to find that poetry was referred to more than sculpture, when discussing space and world formation. Where is the place of Heidegger's engagement with sculptors in all this?

The last chapters take a broader view of the subject, raising the question of whether philosophy should be considered as immersed in geographical places as it is in historical times, along with with consideration of the uncanniness of and nostalgia for places. The meaning of place in Heidegger is also contrasted with the thinking of other philosophers such as Davidson, Benjamin and Gadamer.

The book has original insights into Heidegger that are not found elsewhere, while at the same time surveying several areas of recent Heidegger studies, and has seventy pages of notes for further drilling down. It should appeal to those interested in Heidegger and place, and to those that have a basic understanding of Heidegger and are ready to be introduced to what's being discussed today.

Reviews: François Raffoul
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Heidegger and the Tradition. Werner Marx, translated by Theodore Kisiel and Murray Kisiel, Evanston, Illinois, Northwestern University Press, 1971.

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Heidegger and the Will On the Way to Gelassenheit. Bret W. Davis, Evanston, Illinois, Northwestern University Press, 2007.

"The will" has been a theme in much German philosophy, but it is not one typically associated with Heidegger. Heidegger does discuss Nietzsche's "will to power" in detail in the Nietzsche courses of the late 1930's, and he posited a possible technological future driven by the "will to will" in his latter essays, but the will's relevance to fundamental ontology is not immediately obvious. In an early Nietzsche lecture (P. 55) Heidegger traces the will back to the Greeks, specifically to ὄρεξις in Aristotle's περι φυσεως; a word Liddell & Scott translate as "appetitive". Occurences of the will everywhere in the Heidegger corpus are explored in this book's early chapters. In particular Entschlossenheit in Being and Time, where it is usually understood as willful resolve.

The thorough examination of the will in Heidegger leads to a discussion of the privative "non-willing" (Nicht-Wollen), a particular kind of renunciation of the will, and from there to Gelassenheit, a word of critical importance to the later Heidegger, and one that has not been well explained in the literature. This book goes a long way toward remedying that deficiency, making this a crucial book to anyone studying that aspect of Heidegger's way of thinking. Gelassenheit is usually translated as releasement or letting-be. A key function of this book, is to steer readers from misinterpreting Gelassenheit as passivism, quietism, or indifference. Those may be considered to be synonyms for "not-willing", the simple negation of "willing". This book is about teasing out the subtleties of "non-willing".

This passage from the book binds the justifications for speaking of "the will" and "non-willing".

Because the comportment of willing lends itself to hypostatization as "a faculty" or indeed as "the ground of beings," it is appropriate to speak in the nominative of "the will." Heidegger is not always clear on (or concerned with) the distinction between "willing" and "the will," and indeed he claims at one point that the word for this relation is lacking. Nevertheless, he does suggest there that while "the word 'will' ['Wille']" indicates that which grounds the essence of the soul according to the metaphysical tradition, the word "willing" (Wollen) would indicate 'the carrying out of this will" (GA 77:78). The deeper matter at stake is thus the will; for "we are always in the scope of the will, even when we are unwilling" (P. 57). Genuine non-willing would involve a radical negation, not just of "willing," but of the hypostatized "will" itself; "Nicht-Wollen [ultimately] bespeaks then," Heidegger writes, "Nicht-Wille" (GA 77:79).

And yet I prefer to use the quasi-verbal term "non-willing," rather than "non-will"; for the comportment of non-willing would neither be a faculty of the subject nor a substantial metaphysical ground, but rather a way of fundamentally comporting oneself, of being (verbal) fundamentally a-tuned, of being-in-the-world in a manner other than willing. Refusing to reify "non-willing" into a noun, we acknowledge the fact that to think the possibility of non-willing we must call into question the very grammer in which we think. Thus, for Heidegger the question of how to think in the manner of a "thinking [which] would be something other than willing" (P. 59) is inseparable from the question of how to think the fundamental attunement of non-willing. Ultimately, to think non-willing would require thinking non-willingly (see GA 77:67).

P. 15

Non-willing is also tied several aspects of Ereignis; for example, in this excerpt. I found the discussion of letting-be (Seinlassen) particularly helpful because of its critical role in allowing what is present into the open. Besides the appropriative Ereignis, Ereignis is also considered as a historical event, and how to wait for it:

Waiting is ultimately identified, as is "thinking," with releasement to the open-region (P. 74); "thinking changes in Gelassenheit from...a representing to waiting upon the open-region" (ibid.). Waiting, properly undertaken, is already Gelassenheit. It is not only the attentive anticipation of the other beginning, but is already, as the responsive attunement to the open-region, the released non-willing comportment proper to man. Thus, in the end, it is not only the case that we can "do nothing but wait for the essence of man" (P. 79). Properly undertaken, such a waiting is nothing other than that "Gelassenheit through which we belong to the open-region" while the latter "still conceals its own essence" (ibid.); and indeed, since a self-concealing would remain an essential aspect of the event of being as a granting-in-withdrawal (as Ereignis/Enteignis), waiting in "openness for the mystery" would always remain an essential aspect of man's proper comportment to being.

P. 222

All in all, the level of scholarship here is excellent, and bound to provoke further thinking of its themes.

Reviews: Frank Schalow
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A Heidegger Dictionary. Michael Inwood, Oxford, Blackwell, 1999.

A dictionary of Heidegger terms in English. Given the disparate translations of the German terms by the many translators over the years, you will have to hunt around to find the English word used to describe a particular term.

Part of the entry that describes Ereignis is here.

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Heidegger, Art and Postmodernity. Iain D. Thomson, Cambridge University Press, 2011.

This volume collects Dr. Thomson's essays since Heidegger On Ontotheology, all of them revised since their original publication. You can find the original versions of many of them on Iain Thomson's home page. In the book they are connected by its overshadowing theme, overcoming the nihilism in the modern way of being.

[O]ne of the primary phenomenological lessons that Heidegger drew from art, as we will see, is that when things are approached with openness and respect, they push back against us, making subtle but undeniable claims on us, and we need to learn to acknowledge and respond creatively to these claims if we do not want to deny the source of genuine meaning in the world. For, only meanings that are at least partly independent of us and so not entirely within our control — not simply up to us to bestow and rescind at will — can provide us with the kind of touch stones around which we can build meaningful lives and loves. Heidegger sometimes calls such an enduringly meaningful encounter an "event of enowning" (Ereignis). In such momentous events, we find ourselves coming into our own (as world—disclosers) precisely by creatively enabling things to come into their own[...]. In all such cases, a poetic openness to what pushes back against our pre—existing plans and designs helps disclose a texture of inherent meanings, affordances, significations, and solicitations, a texture Heidegger teaches us to discover “all around us” (CPC 147/GA77 227) - not only in nature, our workshops, classrooms, and homes but even in our lives as a whole. For, we truly learn to “make something” out of our lives not when we try to impose an artificial shape on them but, rather, when we learn to discern and develop creatively that which “pushes back” in all the ways mentioned here, and many more.

The essays are:

Reviews: Lee Braver
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Heidegger, Dilthey, and the Crisis of Historicism. Charles R. Bambach, Ithaca, New York, Cornell University Press, 1995.


Heidegger From Metaphysics to Thought. Dominique Janicaud and Jean-François Mattei, translated by Michael Gendre, Albany, State University of New York Press, 1995.

Here's an excerpt that asks "What is Ereignis?".


Heidegger In Question The Art of Existing. Robert Bernasconi, New Jersey, Humanities Press, 1993.

To the author Ereignis comes from the silence in language.

Although there is a sense in which the essence of language is always brought to language whenever there is speaking, we are appropriated to it in our ownmost essence only when we hear the stillness speaking in language or correspond to it in our saying--as when we remain silent and renounce the attempt to name the essence of language metaphysically. The renunciation arises as a matter of destiny, specifically that of our time as the time of der Fehl des Gemeinsamen, the lack of something common--a universal--which binds together and to which we may refer language. Through this lack we enter into dwelling in Ereignis. What looked li[k]e a task we set ourselves--to bring language to language as language--becomes the way-making (Be-wegung) which is Ereignis itself. The transformation of the formula about bringing language to language as language is the passage from Being to Ereignis.

P. 202-203

Heidegger On Being and Acting From Principles To Anarchy. Reiner Schürmann, translated by Christine-Marie Gros, Bloomington, Indiana University Press, 1990.

This book is a study of Heidegger's way of thinking and how it applies to the dichotomy between theory and practice. In the section titled Unconcealment/Event Reiner Schürmann quotes first from The Question Concerning Technology and then follows up with On Time and Being to describe Ereignis.

As if to point out the threshold upon which the Ereignis, event of appropriation, starts coming into play, Heidegger adds: "The lightning stroke is the event in which the constellation of the turning [comes about] in the very essence of being, and that in the epoch of enframing (des Gestells)." The categorical transition from 'unconcealment' to 'event of appropriation' is datable: it occurs with contemporary technology.

What is called 'the event' of appropriation here would thus be setting in with technological enframing. Technology is "the liminal appearance of the event of appropriation," the limen of a possible era determined solely by surface fluctuations. "Between the epochal formations of being and its transformation into the event of appropriation stands enframing." The most pertinent description the phenomenology of reversals can give of this turning is that it is "the entry into dwelling in the event of appropriation." These threshold metaphors must not hide the fact that the event of appropriation has been operative 'always already', although it emerges from the rubble of principles only with technology. Also, if principle constructs could foul its recognition, this indicates that the event of appropriation is simultaneously an event of expropriation. The very possibility of 'denial' and 'neglect' must be traced to this ultimate, although radically finite, condition of the self-structuring designated by the categories of world and of favor. Expropriation, Enteignis, accounts for the tendency towards negativity in a given economy--all and any negativity in all and any econony. It accounts for concealment (lethe) in unconcealment, which in turn accounts for withholding (epechein) in the epochs. It is the undertow of all surface fluctuations. "The event of appropriation is in itself an event of expropriation; this word takes up, in a manner commensurate with the event, the early Greek lethe, in the sense of concealment."

P. 217-218

There's a bit more here.

liminal: the border of conscious awareness at which something can or cannot be experienced
limen: threshold


Heidegger on Being Uncanny. Katherine Withy, Cambridge, Harvard University Press, 2015.

Heidegger said that in anxiety one feels uncanny about the world. What did he mean? Kate Withy begins the book by summarizing accounts of the uncanny from Freud to the "uncanny valley" in animation, and then turns to Being and Time and expands on Heidegger's analysis of Angst to show that the uncanniness one senses is a part of the inter-play between Dasein's openness and finitude.

The bulk of the book is a study of Heidegger's interpretations of the choral ode in Sophocles' Antigone, principally in Introduction to Metaphysics and Hölderlin's Hymn "The Ister", where he translates δεινόν as uncanny. His interpretations have been a focus of much scholarship, but this is the most thorough study to date and the most satisfying explanation of what Heidegger intended.

The final chapter collects all the explorations of the uncanny by fitting them into Aristotle's four causes, and demonstrating that being uncanny is something that we do when we make sense of the world and ourselves. We are open to possibilities, while limited by our finitude. The uncanny is our awareness of our incomplete understanding of ourselves, in the reciprocal inter-play of presence and absence we find ourselves in.

Reviews: Raoni Padui
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Heidegger On Ontotheology Technology and the Politics of Education. Iain Thomson, Cambridge University Press, 2005.

There are two aspects to this book, one shows that ontotheology is an important aspect of Heidegger's way of thinking that has often been glossed over by other scholars to their disadvantage, and then, having formulated the importance of ontotheology in understanding Heidegger, ontotheology is used to help elucidate Heidegger's criticism of technology, his relationship to the Nazi regime, and his views on education.

Ontotheology, a word apparently invented by Kant in his Critique of Pure Reason, is one of those words that Heidegger has ascribed with his own particular meaning. Ontotheology attempts to answer two questions: "What are beings as such in general?" and "What is the highest being, and what is its nature?" However, the distinction between the structure and the source of beings goes back to the Greeks. It was formally expressed by Aristotle, and we can find traces of it back to the origins of philosophy. The first chapter describes how the two facets have been named by thinkers through history up to Nietzsche. Heidegger's insight into the combination of both is summed up nicely:

When metaphysics conceives of the being of entities ontologically, in terms of an entity in whose being all other entites share, and theologically, in terms of an all-founding entity from which (or whom) all entities issue, what is thereby "taken for granted" is that being (understood as the being of entities) plays the role of a "ground of entities," that is, a foundational role. Indeed, metaphysics reinforces its foundational claim about what and how entities are--its "truth concerning the totality of entities as such"--by coming at the problem from both ends of the conceptual scale simultaneously: Metaphysics effects both a bottom-up "ground-giving or establishing" (in which its understanding of the being of entities, reached by generalizing from its conception of the most basic entity, grounds the intelligible order from inside out) and a top-down, theological "founding or justification" (in which its understanding of the being of entities, derived from its conception of the highest entity, secures the intelligible order from the outside in). All successful, epoch-grounding metaphysical systems combine these two different forms of foundationalism, thereby securing our understanding of the being of entities (and so grounding the intelligible order) from both the inside out and the outside in, microscopically and telescopically, floor to ceiling--or, as Heidegger puts it, ontologically and theologically, that is, ontotheologically.

P. 18-19

Having established Heidegger's understanding of ontotheology, the following chapters examine several important aspects of Heidegger thinking through his understanding of ontotheology. The chapter on technology concentrates on the claim that Heidegger is a technological essentialist--in what ways might that be the case, and what are the implications. The next chapter revisits his time as Rector of Freiburg University and his involvement in politics. The final chapter examines the future direction of university education envisioned by Heidegger and what aspects of that are relevant today. As part of setting the context for the importance of ontology for education, Heidegger's thinking on the relationship of philosophy to science are clearly brought together from several of his texts. That is something the author does well in this the book, gathering the ideas about several subjects that are found throughout Heidegger's texts into succint accounts.

Reviews: Daniel Dahlstrom

Heidegger's Atheism. Laurence Paul Hemming, Notre Dame, Indiana, University of Notre Dame Press, 2002.

Reviews: Jean Grondin
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Heidegger's Confusions. Paul Edwards, London, Prometheus Books, 2004.

Reviews: Brent Vizeau

Heidegger's Hidden Sources East Asian influences on his work. Reinhard May, translated by Graham Parker, London, Routledge, 1996.

The author believes that Heidegger's thoughts on Ereignis, found on pages 127-128 of On the Way to Language, were influenced by the last four line of Laozi 25:

Man follows the earth. Earth follows the universe. The universe follows the Tao. The Tao follows only itself.

Especially when the last line is rendered as "Meaning conforms to itself."

Graham Parkes provides his own translation of the passage from "On the Way to Language."

The productive propriation [Eignen] that arouses Saying as show in its showing may be called 'appropriating' [Ereignen]. This produces [er-gibt] the Open of the clearing, in which what is present persists and from which what is absent withdraws and can maintain its persistence in withdrawal. What appropriating produces through Saying [Way/dao] is never the effect of a cause, not the consequence of a ground. Productive propriation, appropriating, is more granting than any effecting, making, and grounding. The appropriating is Appropriation [das Ereignis] itself -- and nothing besides. Appropriation, seen in the showing of Saying [dao], can be understood neither as an occurrence nor as a happening but only experienced in the showing of Saying as that which grants. There is nothing else to which Appropriation leads back, from which it could be explained. Appropriating is not a product (result) of something else, but the Product [die (sic.) Ergebnis], from whose generous giving something like an 'It gives' can grant, and which even 'Being' needs in order to come into its own as presencing.

Appropriation gathers the design of Saying [dao] and develops it into the structure [Gefüge] of manifold showing. Appropriation is the most inconspicuous of the inconspicuous, the simplest of the simple, the nearest of the near, and the farthest of the far, in which we mortals spend out whole lives.

What holds sway in Saying [dao], Appropriation, can be named only by saying: It -- Appropriation [Ereignis] -- propriates [eignet].

Reinhard May remarks about this passage:

Drawing from the doctrine of dao, especially as exemplified in the relevant chapters of the Laozi, Appropriation is naturally for Heidegger 'not a law in the sense of a norm that hovers somewhere above us'. The passage just quoted speaks clearly enough in its detailed papaphrasing the language of the Dao de jing, and especially of the last line of Chapter 25.

There turns out to be a series of unmistakable resonances with doctrines of dao in the course of the two essays on language, the documentation and interpretation of which will be reserved for a later, more detailed exegesis.

P. 40-41

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Heidegger's Hut. Adam Sharr, Cambridge, MIT Press, 2006.


Heidegger's Language and Thinking. Robert Mugerauer, London, Humanities Press International, 1988.


Heidegger's Later Philosophy. Julian Young, Cambridge University Press, 2002.

Reviews: Daniel Dahlstrohm
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Heidegger's Phenomenology of Religion. Benjamin D. Crowe, Bloomington, Indiana University Press, 2008.

This is an examination of how Heidegger applied phenomenology to religion. There are familiar elements from his use phenomenology, like formal indication and importance of historical context. After a comprehensive introduction the first chapter looks into the use of cultural criticism [here's a short excerpt on meaninglessness], specifically oriented to modernity, and how it applies in the study of religion. The two subsequent chapters are divided into the early Heidegger's study of religion, specifically his lectures on Paul and Augustine, and predecessors that influenced him, and his later concerns, using the "Letter on Humanism" as a guide.


Heidegger's Philosophy of Being: A Critical Interpretation. Herman Philipse, Princeton, Princeton University Press, 1998.

This scrupulously researched and rigorously argued book is the first to interpret and evaluate the central topic of Martin Heidegger's philosophy--his celebrated "Question of Being"--in the context of the full range of Heidegger's thought. With this comprehensive approach, Herman Philipse distinguishes in unprecedented ways the center from the periphery, the essential from the incidental in Heidegger's philosophy. Among other achievements, this allows him to shed new light on the controversial relationship between Heidegger's life and thought--in particular the connections between his philosophy and his involvement with Nazism.

Philipse begins by explaining which problems an interpretation of Heidegger's question of being should solve, and he specifies which type of interpretation is the best basis for an evaluation of Heidegger's thought. He then identifies various strands or leitmotifs in Heidegger's idea of being, and shows how these strands hang together in the philosopher's work. In doing so, Philipse offers new insights into Heidegger's views on such subjects as human existence, authenticity, logic, and language, and into his readings of such philosophers as Aristotle, Kant, Hegel, and Nietzsche. Philipse then integrates into his interpretation of Heidegger's overall theory the latest scholarship about the philosopher's engagement with Nazism. Finally, Philipse examines the fundamental structures of Heidegger's philosophy and assesses whether Heidegger's views are true, probable, or possess some other epistemic or existential value.

Review: Stephan Käufer
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Heidegger's Philosophy of Science. Trish Glazebrook, New York, Fordham University Press, 2000.

Review: Stephan Käufer
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Heidegger's Pragmatism Understanding, Being, and the Critique of Metaphysics. Mark Okrent, Ithaca, New York, Cornell University Press, 1988.


Heidegger's Topology Being, Place, World. Jeff Malpas, Cambridge, MIT Press, 2006.

Jeff Malpas's book joins other recent analyses of Heidegger's way of thinking that are both well articulated, and gather significant themes into valuable considerations. It should put an end to the common criticism that the secondary literature consists mainly of racapitulations of Heideggerean jargon. The ideas in it are thought provoking and expressed eloquently. And it's a must read for anyone interested on the role of place in Heidegger's thought.

The theme of this book is that of place and its role in Heidegger's thinking. Place is a term that Heidegger himself used for the ultimate destination of his way of thinking. And it is one that has not received proper consideration before this study. The book begins by looking at the question of situatedness in early Heidegger, and then moves on to a detailed analysis of place in Being and Time, with many references to Dreyfus's study. The role of our bodies in our understanding of space and orientation is examined, as is dasein's embeddedness in the world. Questions about place and its meaning, its role in different works, are revisited through out the book, so that our understanding of its importance in Heidegger's philosophy grows steadily. In addition to Being and Time, the pertinent parts of the "Letter on Humanism", "The Origin of the Work of Art", and "The Thing", are covered in detail, as are several courses. And because the theme is place, "Building Dwelling Thinking" also gets close attention. However, every aspect of topology is not exhausted. I was surprised to find that Heidegger's use of horizon only gets a cursory mention.

Place, in the sense used in this book, is not merely space or geometric volume. Heidegger discusses the development of the technical understanding of space in Being and Time, and in more detail in his lectures on science, where reads he closely reads Galileo and Newton's texts to illuminate the paradigm changes within. I found that Malpas's notion of the meaning of place, and its integral part in Heideggers central thread, is best summarized and articulated in the second paragraph excerpted from this book here.

Here are some excerpts on aletheia and physis and on the role of place.

Reviews: David Kolb, Edward Relph, Miguel de Beistegui
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Heidegger's Volk Between National Socialism and Poetry. James Phillips, Stanford, Stanford University Press, 2005.

Reviews: Hans Sluga, Andrew Padgett Robin Celikates
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Heidegger's Way of Being. Richard Capobianco, University of Toronto Press, 2014.

This work follows Engaging Heidegger in emphasizing the importance of Being for Heidegger. The guiding theme of this book is that Heidegger principle focus was the truth of Being (die Wahrheit des Seins), a response to the "new paradigm" that Heidegger understood being as meaning; reducing Sein to Sinn. The theme is examined in the light of Heidegger's reflections on Hölderlin's last poems, Aristotle on truth, the 1962 lecture Time and Being, physis in the Greek poet Theocritus and German poet Hebel, Ereignis, and in several of Heidegger's lecture courses. Two of the essays are on the two lecture courses on Heraclitus in 1943 and 1944 (GA 55), which remain untranslated. The fragments interpreted are 16, 123, 93, 50, and 112. Altogether, the book makes a strong case that Heidegger's Sache was and remained Being itself.

Reviews: S. Montgomery Ewegen
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Heidegger's Ways. Hans-Georg Gadamer, translated by John W. Stanley, Albany, State University of New York Press, 1994.

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Heidegger's Transcendental Aesthetic An Interpretaton of the Ereignis. Tristan Moyle, Aldershot, Ashgate Press, 2005.

In the early chapters the book examines Heidegger's thinking as an extension of Kant's transcendental aesthetic, drawing heavily from Kant and the Problem of Metaphysics and the lectures from that period, and focusing on the relation of being with time and spatiality. Then the concealing that complements revealing, and the revealing in the work of Art and language is considered, leading on what that means for thinking and works of genius. The final chapters examine truth, comparing Heidegger's conception to the positions of Nietzsche and Wittgenstein, and the historical changes that lead Heidegger to prepare for the new ontology, or hidden god.

This book was first announced with the tentative title The Idea of Human Sensibility in Early and Later Heidegger and that may be a more descriptive title because one doesn't get the sense that it is about interpreting Ereignis, while it does tell us much around the subject of a priori sensibility. Ereignis is examined with regards to spatial distance, and specifically Jean-Luc Marion's criticism in God without Being. Heidegger's comments on Ereignis and language start the discussion in the chapter on the 'Speaking' of Language, which lead to an examination of the rhythm of language--a subject overlooked in other studies. Finally Ereignis is considered the event of transformation in thinking, which leads to it giving us a gift of thanks.

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Heidegger: Thought and Historicity. Christopher Fynsk, Ithaca, New York, Cornell University Press, 1993.

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Heidegger: Through Phenomenology to Thought 4th Edition. William J. Richardson, New York, Fordham University Press, 2003.

This is a classic in the field, first published in 1963. It discusses most of the texts that had been published in German at that point, when the English translation of Being and Time was barely a year old. There are chapters on the most important texts of the 1920s and 1930s, on the relationship of Heidegger's way of thinking with the philosophers that influenced him, and on the essays published after the war, followed by substancial reference materials.

The book begins with a preface by Heidegger. Although Heidegger did not read the book, the preface is a letter he wrote responding to questions from the author. Specifically the author asked about the apparent difference in the texts before and after the war.

The thinking of the reversal is a change in my thought. But this change is not a consequence of altering the standpoint, much less of abandoning the fundamental issue, of Being and Time. The thinking of the reversal results from the fact that I stayed with the matter-for-thought [of] "Being and Time," sc. by inquiring into that perspective which already in Being and Time (p. 39) was designated as "Time and Being."


The reversal is in play within the matter itself. Neither did I invent it nor does it affect merely my thought. Up to now I know of no attempt to reflect on this matter and analyse it critically. Instead of the groundless, endless prattle about the "reversal," it would be more advisable and fruitful if people would simply engage themselves in the matter mentioned.


[The] lighting-up of self concealment (Time) brings forth the process of presenc-ing (Being).

It is [due] neither [to] the merit of my questioning nor [to some] arbitrary decision of my thought that this reciprocal bearing reposes in a [mutual] ap-propriation and is called e-vent.


That e-vent being Ereignis in the German text on the facing page.

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Historical Dictionary of Heidegger's Philosophy. Alfred Denker, Lanham, Maryland, Scarecrow Press, 2000.

This book is a great Heidegger reference book: forty page introduction to Heidegger's Life and path of thinking, two hundred pages of dictionary, followed by a bibliography of Heidegger's works, German-English and Greek-English glossaries, and bibliography of secondary literature categorized by subject areas.

The entry for Appropriation from the dictionary is here.


Husserl, Heidegger and Space of Meaning Paths toward Transcendental Phenomenology. Steven Galt Crowell, Evanston, Illinois, Northwestern University Press, 2001.

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The Incarnality of Being The Earth, Animals, and the Body in Heidegger's Thought. Frank Schalow, Albany, State University of New York Press, 2007.

This book is on Heidegger's discussion of embodiment, and the questions he avoided. Considered first is the body, its value in the economic world, and how its requirements guide people, especially in case of physical addiction. The second chapter is on body's sexual differences and their source erotic desire, and what they tell us about ontology. The intersection of Heidegger's thinking and the erotic is an underexplored area. So much so that in the moview Derrida, when the interviewer asks his subject what he would ask if he could ask Heidegger one question, he responds that he'd ask Heidegger about sex. Although this won't remain the defintive discussion of the subject, it does present various paths for further questions and exploration.

Also explored is the body's influence on ethical questions regarding human's relations with the earth and animals, and with other humans. The latter leads to revisting the influence of Heidegger's thinking on his politics. Through out the issues are examined in light of writings from Heidegger's entire career. A discussin of Heidegger's entanglement of freedom and the ontological difference is excerpted here.

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Intimations of Mortality: Time, Truth, and Finitude in Heidegger's Thinking of Being. David Farrell Krell, University Park, Pennsylvania State University Press, 1986.

In a chapter on Die Kehre and the twists and turns in Heidegger's thought, the author says the following about Ereignis:

By the mid-1930s Heidegger is employing the word Ereignis to name the granting of various epochs in Being's history and destiny. The "topic" of that history is the essential unfolding or occurence (wesen) of the clearing of Being. Although "truth" remains the focus, Heidegger now understands his task to be the overcoing of metaphysics, including the metaphysics of truth.

...[Then from 1950 to 1964...]

The very question of Being, and the word Sein itself, become increasingly problematic: the danger Heidegger sees is that Ereignis will inevitably be understood in metaphysical fashion as a transcendent ground for Being. He therefore tries to think unconcealment on its own terms in the apparently metaphorical language of the clearing, dwelling, sojourn, and so on, even though he is well aware that all meta-phor is meta-physical. Once again, however, it is important to recall that the clearing of Being is a theme that precedes Ereignis.

P. 104

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The Irony of Heidegger. Andrew Haas, London, Continuum, 2007.

This book proposes two approaches to the irony of Heidegger's works, either Heidegger took the seriousness in his works seriously, and one should treat such seriousness with irony, or Heidegger was himself ironic about their seriousness, and thus so should the reader be. Each of the six chapter examines a different work of Heidegger's in search of irony, with the seriousness their subjects call for, but also with a restrained sense of humor that is rare in these sorts of studies.

The first chapter tackles the introduction to Being and Time, beginning with the epigraph from Plato's Sophist, and its manifold interpretations. What is the relationship between sophistry and philosophy, what does that mean for the question of being, and what is Heidegger position? The second chapter asks after Heidegger's intentions in the Rektoratsrede, what changes was Heidegger calling for in the university, and how did they stand with or against the politics of that time. The third questions truth, art, and 'The Origin of the Work of Art'. The next chapter addresses the 'Letter on Humanism', with an excursus into Plato's allegory of the cave. Then the 'The Question Concerning Technology' and its dangers, with some parallels from modern physics alongside. The final chapter is on the posthumous Der Spiegel interview, wherein Heidegger responds that the proper response to the modern era is silence.

Reviews: Richard Polt J. Jeremy Wisnewski

Language and &"The Feminine" in Nietzsche and Heidegger. Jean Graybeal, Bloomington, Indiana University Press, 1990.

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The Later Heidegger. George Pattison, London, Routledge, 2000.

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The Life of Understanding A Contemporary Hermeneutics. James Risser, Bloomington, Indiana University Press, 2012.

A book on hermeneutic convalescence as recovering from metaphysics after the end of metaphysics, and the uncanny in the Antigone Chorus as indicating that an exile is necessary to return home to, and understand, the familiar. Most of the discussion is around Gadamer.


The Madwoman's Reason The Concept of the Appropriate in Ethical Thought. Nancy J. Holland, University Park, Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania State university Press, 1998.


Making Sense of Heidegger A Paradigm Shift. Thomas Sheehan, Rowman & Littlefield, 2014.


Martin Heidegger and the Pre-Socratics. George Joseph Seidel, Lincoln, University of Nebraska Press, 1964.

Here's an excerpt on forgetting of being.

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Martin Heidegger's Path of Thinking. Otto Pöggeler, translated by Daniel Magurshak and Sigmund Barber, New Jersey, Humanities Press, 1989.


The Meaning of Heidegger: A Critical Study of an Existentialist Phenomenology. Thomas Langan, New York, Columbia University Press, 1959.

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Metaphysics and Oppression, Heidegger's Challenge to Western Philosophy. John McCumber, Bloomington, Indiana University Press, 1999.

John McCumber unfolds a history of Western metaphysics that is also a history of the legitimation of oppression. That is, until Heidegger's thought opened doors to challenge domination encoded in structures and institutions—such as slavery, colonialism, and marriage—that in the past have given order to the Western world. But Heidegger himself did not recognize the destabilizing implications of his philosophy. McCumber brings this challenge to light by contrasting Heidegger’s thought with the inscription of domination present in the very nature of Being as it is conceived by Aristotle, Aquinas, Descartes, Hobbes, and Locke. The result is a unique and creative explication of Western philosophy that confronts the difficult and important task of decoding Heidegger's political alignment and indicates possibilities for breaking Western traditions of domination, exploitation, and oppression.

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The Mystical Element in Heidegger's Thought. John D. Caputo, New York, Fordham University Press, 1990.

An excerpt on the rose without why.

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The New Heidegger. Miguel De Beistegui, London, Continuum, 2005.

This book collects six essays on different and familiar ways of Heidegger's. What is new about these essays is that the familiar ways are examined in light of the many new works of Heidegger's that have published recently as part of the Gesamtausgabe project. The subjects covered by the essays are life (as in the possibility of a philosophical life), truth (a survey of truth beyond correspondence from The Sophist lectures to Contributions to Philosophy, space and time (ontology from the meaning of being to the truth of being), technology (the techological and productivist basis of metaphysics, and the proper response, Gelassenheit), art and poetry (free of technology), and the politics of the Rektorat.

The essay on space-time has an explanation of Ereignis and the changes in thinking both from Being and Time to the Contributions. Towards the end, the essay summarizes the interconnectedness of the both pairs--space and time, and space-time and Ereignis.

There's more on time, space, and Ereignis here.

Reviews: Iain Thomson, Kevin Eldred
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The Nomads' Labyrinth. Larry Gomez, CreateSpace, 2013.

For thousand of years nomadic tribes followed reindeer herds around the artic circle, from the last ice age until they were assimilated by Christians and the Soviets. They inhabited a world before the Greek beginning and the introduction of the metaphysics which dominates modern man's understanding of the world. At the center of their world was the shamanic drum. This book investigates how they made sense of their world through the drum. Not like a traditional anthropological study that would describe a cartesian subject surrounded by objects, but by examining the ontology of the drum.

Understanding the ontology of the drum is done via Heidegger. The book explains the understanding of humans in their world that Heidegger described in Being and Time and other texts. It does so without getting lost in too many details - there's no Greek - and addressing the general reader, not specialists. By describing of the world that existed around the shaman's drum, how an ontological understanding differs from just acquiring knowledge about the nomads, this book also serves as a good introduction to many aspects of Heidegger's way of thinking; quite accessible to someone with a general understanding of the history of philosophy and curious about Heidegger. Readers who've never thought about shamans' drums before will still be interested in how ideas are developed, and will understand how to apply the same concepts to other investigations.

Besides Heidegger, the book also introduces pertinent insights from recent thinkers such a Deleuze, Foucault, Levinas, Derrida, Mircea Eliade, and contemporary anthropologists.

Reviews: Kirkus

On the Truth of Being, Reflections on Heidegger's Later Philosophy. Joseph J. Kockelmans, Bloomington, Indiana University Press, 1984.

The author tells us that Ereignis is how the man comes to understand Being.

Each self-manifestation of Being and beings has the character of an Ereignis, an appropriating event binds together Being and beings; it weaves Being, man, things, and world together into an articulated and textured whole. It is the appropriating event which in each case lets man come into what he most properely is; it is what first launches man into his essence. At the same time, it constitutes his destiny. Out of this destiny history grows, in the sense that history is shaped from the way Being presents itself and all beings to man in each case. The appropriating event, thus, in each case "determines" the way and form in which Being and beings arise for man or are closed off to him. Finally, the appropriating event also "determines" the free spaces, the possibilities of human life, and the historical forms of human Dasein on earth.

P. 62


The Other Heidegger. Fred Dallmayr, Ithaca, New York, Cornell University Press, 1993.


A Parting of the Ways Carnap, Cassirer, and Heideger. Michael Friedman, translated by John Baliff, Chicago, Open Court, 2000.


The Paths of Heidegger's Life and Thought. Otto Pöggeler, translated by John Baliff, New Jersey, Humanities Press, 1998.

The translator's comments on Ereignis and Pöggeler on the stages of Heidegger's thinking are here.


Philosophy, Revision, Critique Rereading Practices in Heidegger, Nietzsche, and Emerson. David Wittenberg, Stanford University Press, 2001.

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A Poetics of Homecoming Heidegger, Homelessness and the Homecoming Venture. Brendan O'Donoghue, Newcastle upon Tyne, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2011.

An investigation of where "homecoming" and "homelessness" fit into Heidegger's many works on being. The author first explains how the notion of home evolved from Greek beginnings, through Christianity, to German philosophy. Special attention is paid to Nietszsche, his understanding of nihilism, and Heidegger's attempts to overcome metephysical nihilism. The concept of unheimlich (not homely/uncanny) is examined in detail, including its importance to Freud, and its appearance in Being and Time. Important to the idea of home is location. Does Heidegger prioritize specific locations, or is he considering a universal sense of home? Accounts from much of the secondary literature are discussed and contrasted.

Ereignis is considered as the mangrove tree of inceptual thought. Mangrove trees' roots accumulate material, building their own islands; creating ground for the tree. Poetry too, can found thought of as a home for Dasein to come to, producing new possibilities not previously available.


Preparatory Thinking In Heidegger's Teaching. Miles Groth, New York, Philosophical Library, 1987.

There are two parts to this book. The first is on Heidegger's ideas on a preparational thinking that is not metaphysical. In it, the author also proposes some original translations for some of Heidegger's key terms. Read it and learn why dasein might be translated as "mortal"; Sorge as "sorrow"; In-der-Welt-sein as "Being-in-a-World", and about the different paths of thinking: Hozlwege and Feldweg. The second part is on the Cura fable of Hyginus, which Heidegger interprets in History of the Concept of Time and Being and Time. The book ranges widely through Heidegger's works and will appeal to those that have already read some Heidegger and are looking for new insights into his way of thinking.

Quoting a passage from The Word of Nietzsche: 'God Is Dead', the author notes that, in his copy of the text, Heidegger glossed that Being itself is Ereignis.

The author writes that preparatory thinking, by welcoming thought, participates in Ereignis.

Welcoming thought, taken both in the sense of greeting actively and in the sense of receiving with assurance that which is greeted, corresponds for the Dasein to the appropriating/withdrawing event of Being [das Ereignis] "in relation to" the Dasein, to Being's emergence for the Dasein's "receiving with assurance," and in its withdrawal, for which the Dasein is itself always on a course of drawing closer to what has emerged but withdraws as well (Being).

P. 44

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The Quadruple Object. Graham Harman, Winchester, UK, Zero Books, 2011.

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The Question of Being A Reversal of Heidegger. Stanley Rosen, New Haven, Yale University Press, 1993.


The Question of God in Heidegger's Phenomenology. George Kovacs, Evanston, Illinois, Northwestern University Press, 1990.

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Questioning Martin Heidegger On Western Metaphysics, Bhuddhist Ethics, and the Fate of the Sentient Earth. Eric D. Meyer, Lanham, Maryland, University Press of America, 2013.

This book approaches Heidegger's thinking on ontology ("What is 'it'? that is neither and both 'being' and 'non-being'") starting from his text "Overcoming Metaphysics", from the Vorträge und Aufsätze collection, 1954. I reaches back to the Greek first beginning and the sophists, engaging with Hegel, Sartre, Derrida and Lyotard. The Insight Into That Which Is lectures also get special attention, providing openings for discussions of technology (man's "skeletal frame or infrastructural apparatus (Das Gestell or Das Ge-Stell)"), a new starting point ("wholistic, multiplicitous, embodied subjectivity"), biosphere ethics, Heidegger's political engagement, and 21th century history.

Here are some excerpts on our technology and the Heart Sutra.


The Revelation of Nature. Paul Matthews, Aldershot, Ashgate Press, 2001.

Rosenzweig and Heidegger Between Judaism and German Philosophy. Peter Eli Gordon, Berkeley, University of California Press, 2003.

Reviews: Nitzan Lebovic
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Seditions Heidegger and the Limit of Modernity. Heribert Boeder, Translated and Edited by Marcus Brainard, Albany, State University of New York Press, 1997.

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A Short History of Existentialism. Jean Wahl, translated by Forrest Williams and Stanley Mason. New York, The Philosophical Library, 1949.

First published in Paris, this small book is notable for having the first coherent explanation of Heidegger in English. The final chapter is a roundtable discussion of existentialism with several philosopers. There's an excerpt with Levinas on the event of being here.

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Strange Wonder The Closure of Metaphysics and the Opening of Awe. Mary Jane Rubenstein, New York, Columbia University Press, 2008.

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Technics and Time, 1 The Fault of Epimetheus. Bernard Stiegler, translated by Richard Beardsworth and George Collins, Stanford University Press, 1998.

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That Is to Say: Heidegger's Poetics. Marc Froment-Meurice, translated by Jan Plug, Stanford University Press, 1998.

Here's a bit from the book on the eye of Ereignis.

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A Thing of This World A History of Continental Anti-Realism. Lee Braver, Evanston, Illinois, Northwestern University Press, 2007.

This history hopes to improve the dialog between the analytical and continental cultures in academic philosophy. It wants to do so by returning to Kant, the last common figure in both cultures, and the philosopher who joined the empiricists and rationalists, the rival cultures of his day. First, what realism and anti-realism mean in kant and in the analytical context is explained - anti-realism underlies many analytical philosophers' understanding of the mind. The following two chapters look into Hegel and Nietzsche's contributions to, or their limitations by, anti-realism. Then on to Heidegger, his new approach to being in Being and Time, his break from Kant's noumenal realm through phenomenology. That sets the stage for his later contributions, "the first genuinely non-Kantian rather than just post-Kantian philosophy", with their history of multiple understandings of being, and understanding of truth as unconcealment. The last two chapters follow Foucault, and Derrida's elaborations of the opening provided by Heidegger.

Here's an excerpt on the tripartite meanings of being.

Reviews: C. G. Prado
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Thinking in the Light of Time Heidegger's Encounter with Hegel. Karin de Boer, Albany, State University of New York Press, 2000.

In this book Ereignis is translated as "occurence of own-ing", but in this section it is addressed directly.

The "it" that gives time and being refers just as much to the occurrence of unconcealment as the word Ereignis. This last term, however, indicates more clearly that it pertains to a dynamic which encompasses more than merely the initial moment of the gift. The giving of being and time means--in formal terms--that the possibility is given of coming into one's own. This means that unconcealment can accomplish itself, that beings can appear as beings, that the essential can occur as itself and that human beings, history as such and the history of thinking can come toward their most proper possibilities. Thus, the word Ereignis pertains no longer to a (special) event that may or may not take place, but--although Heidegger does not say this explicitly--to the radically finite occurring of the essential as such that grounds every mode of coming toward oneself.

P. 192

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Thinking with Heidegger: Displacements. Miguel de Beistegui, Bloomington, Indiana University Press, 2003.

Six essays on anthropology, history, politics, science and aesthetics.

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The Thracian Maid and the Professional Thinker: Arendt and Heidegger. Jacques Taminiaux, translated by Michael Gendre, Albany, State University of New York Press, 1997.

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Time and Death Heidegger's Analysis of Finitude. Carol J. White, Aldershot, Ashgate Press, 2005.

How death fits into Heidegger's thinking has had many explanations. Many center around the descriptions of death and the finitude of Dasein in Being and Time. The author explains differing interpretations of what Heidegger's analysis means for how we might think about death, especially in light of Heidegger's comments on death in many of his later works. The author interprets the analysis as describing the finitude of a world collapsing and the anomolous behaviors that point to the next world's culture. The issues are well described and amply footnoted.

In the fifth chapter the author explains the term Ereignis and its roots at length, chosing to translate it with an always capitalized Appropriation.

Insight is in fact the 'happening' in which Dasein lets itself be taken up in the Appropriation of being. It is not so much that the Appropriation and the moment of insight are two different phenomena as that they are the same phenomenon viewed from the two different perspectives of an investigation of being and an investigation of Desein. Dasein comes into its own in the moment of insight, and being comes into its own in the Appropriation; but the two phenomena are at least mutually dependent, and we could not have one without the other.

P. 159

Appropriation is included in the author's interpretation of Heidegger's thinking as analysis of the history of being.

[W]e can summarize the essential points conveyed by Heidegger's notion of the Appropriation of Time and being in three propositions: (1) the contexts of Western culture all share a Temporal orientation toward the present and items of use; (2) they change historically; and (3) they do so in a process of ordered, Temporal development.

P. 163

Reviews: Iain Thomson
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The Time of Life Heidegger and Ethos. William McNeill, Albany, State University of New York Press, 2006.

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Translating Heidegger. Miles Groth, New York, Humanity Books, 2004.

The first part of the book is a history of the first translations, beginning with early reviewers of his German texts and their struggles with Heidegger's key words. The earliest translation of Heidegger's terms was in a review of Being and Time by Gilbert Ryle, the English analytical philosopher. This is a story of errors by translators who didn't understand Heidegger's philosophy, and their attempts to translate Sien, Dasein, Seiende, and Existenz for an English audience. This section ends with a chapter on the translations of Heidegger's essays in Existence and Being, the first book of Heidegger's texts published in English. Sadly, none of the translators understood Heidegger's philosophy well enough to explain it to an English speaking audience clearly. Although the story of English translations in this book ends in 1949, the problem of providing adequate translations for those that do not read German persists to the present day. Nevertheless, things have improved tremendously from the earliest translations.

The second part of the book is on Heidegger's view of translation, and a close study of Heidegger's translation of Parmenides Fragment VI. Before Heidegger, translators' ideal was to come up with a set of rules and a word dictionary for translations between languages. Heidegger instead argued that the key task in translation is to translate what the original writer had thought. The translator had to think the same thought as the writer and then write what would invoke the same thought in the new language. To achieve true translation, merely converting the words between languages was inadequate.

The book includes many footnotes and also includes over one hundred pages of bibliographic material-- probably the best bibliography of Heidegger's translation into English to date.


Tree Leaf Talk. James F. Weiner, Oxford, Berg, 2001.

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Truth and Genesis. Miguel De Beistegui, Bloomington, Indiana University Press, 2004.

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The Unthought Debt Heidegger and the Hebraic Heritage. Marlène Zarader, Stanford, Stanford University Press, 2006.

Reviews: Peter E. Gordon
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What Is A Human Being? A Heideggerian View. Frederick A. Olafson, Cambridge, U.K., Cambridge University Press, 1995.

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Words in Blood, Like Flowers Philosophy and Poetry, Music and Eros in Hölderlin, Nietzsche, and Heidegger. Babette E. Babich, Albany, State University of New York Press, 2006.


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Created 1995/5/26
Last updated 2015/9/14