Heidegger, Martin. Contributions to Philosophy (of the Event)

By Groth, Miles | The Review of Metaphysics, December 2012 | Go to article overview

Heidegger, Martin. Contributions to Philosophy (of the Event)


Groth, Miles, The Review of Metaphysics


HEIDEGGER, Martin. Contributions to Philosophy (Of the Event). Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2012. xvi + 433 pp. Cloth, $50.00--The present work is the second English translation of Beitrage zur Philosophie (Vom Ereignis), first published in 1989 by Friedrich-Wilhelm von Herrmann (editor) and Hermann Heidegger to mark the hundredth anniversary of the birth of the author. Referring to it as Martin Heidegger's "second magnum opus" reflects its characterization by von Herrmann as "ein weiteres Hauptwerk [another major work]," even though the author's caveat was explicitly in mind that it not be construed as an opus (work). Heidegger's motto for his Gesamtausgabe (Complete Edition), to which von Herrmann often refers in his discussions elsewhere, is "Wege--nicht Werke [Ways--not works]." A rearrangement of the eight parts of the manuscript as it was left by Heidegger was carried out by the editor on the basis of a handwritten note by the author made to the typed version of his manuscript in the spring of 1939, a year after the crucial part of the manuscript (Part II, "Seyn [Beyng]"--now Part VIII) was completed, the other seven parts having been composed in 1936-37.

I think we must admit that these are reflections, loosely organized under several headings, on what has come to be known as philosophy from Plato to the early Heidegger himself. Yet these reflections are not meant to be construed as philosophy. Indeed, for Heidegger, philosophy (as metaphysics) had ended with Nietzsche. Contributions is a record of thoughts written down from time to time (and likely filed together and arranged at some point) during a period when the author was busy giving courses and doing much else besides. They are thoughts about contributions, his own and others', to "philosophy," in which Heidegger here understands himself to have been still enmeshed to some extent during the time he wrote Being and Time, even though an essential "transition" from philosophy to Denken (thought) was already underway in that book, a project that was famously abandoned as Heidegger abandoned philosophy.

There is time here only for a remark about the translation, namely, the non-translation of Da-sein. …

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