Introduction to Metaphysics

Introduction to Metaphysics

Gregory Fried
Richard Polt
Copyright Date: 2000
Published by: Yale University Press
Pages: 294
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  • Book Info
    Introduction to Metaphysics
    Book Description:

    Heidegger'sIntroduction to Metaphysicsis one of the most important works written by this towering figure in twentieth-century philosophy. It includes a powerful reinterpretation of Greek thought, a sweeping vision of Western history, and a glimpse of the reasons behind Heidegger's support of the Nazi Party in the 1930s. Heidegger tries to reawaken the "question of Being" by challenging some of the most enduring prejudices embedded in Western philosophy and in our everyday practices and language. Furthermore, he relates this question to the insights of Greek tragedy into the human condition and to the political and cultural crises of modernity.This new translation makes this work more accessible to students than ever before. It combines smoothness with accuracy and provides conventional translations of Greek passages that Heidegger translated unconventionally. There are also extensive notes, a German-English glossary, and an introduction that discusses the history of the text, its basic themes, and its place in Heidegger's oeuvre.

    eISBN: 978-0-300-16143-4
    Subjects: Philosophy

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Translators’ Introduction
    (pp. vii-xix)
  4. Outline of Introduction to Metaphysics
    (pp. xx-xxviii)
  5. Prefatory Note (1953)
    (pp. xxix-xxx)
  6. CHAPTER ONE The Fundamental Question of Metaphysics
    (pp. 1-54)

    Why are there beings at all instead of nothing? That is the question. Presumably it is no arbitrary question. “Why are there beings at all instead of nothing?”—this is obviously the first of all questions. Of course, it is not the first question in the chronological sense. Individuals as well as peoples ask many questions in the course of their historical passage through time. They explore, investigate, and test many sorts of things before they run into the question “Why are there beings at all instead of nothing?” Many never run into this question at all, if running into...

  7. CHAPTER TWO On the Grammar and Etymology of the Word “Being”
    (pp. 55-78)

    If for us Being is just an empty word and an evanescent meaning, then we must at least try to grasp fully this last remnant of a connection. So we ask, to begin with:

    1. What sort of word is this anyway—“Being”—as regards its formal character as a word?

    2. What does linguistics tell us about the originary meaning of this word?

    To put this in scholarly terms, we are asking 1) about the grammar and 2) about the etymology of the word “Being:”¹

    The grammatical analysis of words is neither exclusively nor primarily concerned with their written or spoken...

  8. CHAPTER THREE The Question of the Essence of Being
    (pp. 79-97)

    We have undertaken a study of the expression “to be” in order to penetrate the fact under discussion, and so to put it in the place: where it belongs. We do not want to accept this fact blindly, as if it were the fact that there are dogs and cats. We want to establish a position regarding this fact itself. We want this, even at the risk that our “will” to do so may create the appearance of stubbornness and may seem to be an unworldly befuddlement that mistakes what is peripheral and unreal for something real, and gets obsessed...

  9. CHAPTER FOUR The Restriction of Being
    (pp. 98-222)

    Just as we find a completely ordinary mode of saying Being in the “is,” we also find entirely definite manners of speaking that have already become formulaic in the naming of the name “Being”: Being and becoming; Being and seeming; Being and thinking; Being and the ought.

    When we say “Being;” we are driven, almost as if under compulsion, to say: Beingand. . . The “and” does not simply mean that we incidentally attach and adjoin something additional but rather that we speak of something from which “Being” is distinguished: Beingand not. . . But at...

  10. German-English Glossary
    (pp. 223-245)
  11. Acknowledgments
    (pp. 246-246)
  12. Index
    (pp. 247-255)