Logic: The Question of Truth

Logic: The Question of Truth

Logic: The Question of Truth

Logic: The Question of Truth


Martin Heidegger's 1925-26 lectures on truth and time provided much of the basis for his momentous work, Being and Time. Not published until 1976 as volume 21 of the Complete Works, three months before Heidegger's death, this work is central to Heidegger's overall project of reinterpreting Western thought in terms of time and truth. The text shows the degree to which Aristotle underlies Heidegger's hermeneutical theory of meaning. It also contains Heidegger's first published critique of Husserl and takes major steps toward establishing the temporal bases of logic and truth. Thomas Sheehan's elegant and insightful translation offers English-speaking readers access to this fundamental text for the first time.


Martin Heidegger delivered the fifty-three lectures titled “Logic: The Question of Truth,” four days a week from Thursday, 5 November 1925, to Friday, 26 February 1926, at Philipps-Universität in Marburg. It was during the span of this lecture-course that the dean of the philosophy faculty walked into Heidegger’s office and told him, “You must publish something now. Do you have an appropriate manuscript?”

Within a few months he would. As soon as the course ended, Heidegger went off to his cottage in Todtnauberg and started writing out Being and Time by hand. By the end of March he had finished much of Division One of the text, and by 20 April he and Husserl were reading page-proofs of those sections. In short, the lecture-course translated here is the last that Heidegger taught before rushing Being and Time to press. This lecture-course and Heidegger’s 1927 text share many points in common, above all a strong focus on the questions of truth and of time.

Professor Walter Biemel’s afterword to the present volume sketches a general outline of the course, and identifies the manuscripts and typescripts he used as the basis of his German edition. In this foreword, I will simply discuss some matters related to this translation of the course.

Professor Biemel based his German edition of the “Logic” course on three texts: Heidegger’s handwritten lecture notes, Fritz Heidegger’s typescript of those notes, and the word-for-word shorthand transcript that Simon Moser made during Heidegger’s lectures and then typed up and submitted to Heidegger for corrections and additions.

Of these three textual records, Biemel relied most heavily on the handwritten notes that Heidegger drew up before the lectures. But this entails, for example, that all but two of the quite helpful daily summaries that Heidegger made of his previous lectures and delivered at the beginning of the following lecture—more than 68,000 words in all, equal to a small book—are omitted from GA 21 since they are not . . .

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