Heidegger: Through Phenomenology to Thought

Heidegger: Through Phenomenology to Thought

Heidegger: Through Phenomenology to Thought

Heidegger: Through Phenomenology to Thought


"This book, one of the most frequently cited works on Martin Heidegger in any language, belongs on any short list of classic studies of Continental philosophy. William J. Richardson explores the famous turn (Kehre) in Heidegger's thought after Being in Time and demonstrates how this transformation was radical without amounting to a simple contradiction of his earlier views. In a full account of the evolution of Heidegger's work as a whole, Richardson provides a detailed, systematic, and illuminating account of both divergences and fundamental continuities in Heidegger's philosophy, especially in light of recently published works. He demonstrates that the "thinking" of Being for the later Heidegger has exactly the same configuration as the radical phenomenology of the early Heidegger, once he has passed through the "turning" of his way." Including as a preface the letter that Heidegger wrote to Richardson and a new writer's preface and epilogue, the new edition of this valuable guide will be an essential resource for students and scholars for many years to come.


Dear Father Richardson:

It is with some hesitation that I attempt to answer the two principal questions you posed in your letter of March i, 1962. The first touches on the initial impetus that determined the way my thought would go. The other looks for information about the much discussed "reversal" "in my development".

I hesitate with my answers, for they are necessarily no more than indications "of much more to be said". The lesson of long experience leads me to surmise that such indications will not be taken as directions for the road of independent reflection on the matter pointed out which each must travel for himself. "Instead they"will gain notice as though they were an opinion I had expressed, and will be propagated as such. Every effort to bring what has been thought closer to prevailing modes of (re) presentation must assimilate what-is-to-be-thought to those (re) presentations and thereby inevitably deform the matter.

This preamble is not the lament of a man misunderstood; it is rather the recognition of an almost insurmountable difficulty in making oneself understood.

The first question in your letter reads: "How are we properly to understand your first experience of the Being-question in

"Translator's note. With regard to the translation of Denken, see below, p. 16,
note 43."

"Translator's note. For the translation of VorsteUung by "(re)presentation,"
see below, p. 108, note 5."

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