This important new book offers an introduction to Heidegger’s phenomenology of perception, interpreting and explaining five key words, ‘Sein’, ‘Dasein’, ‘Ereignis’, ‘Lichtung’, and ‘Geschick’. David Kleinberg-Levin argues that, besides preparing the ground for a major critique of metaphysics and the Western world, Heidegger’s phenomenology of perception lays the groundwork for understanding perception—in particular, seeing and hearing, as capacities the historical character of which is capable of overcoming and significantly ameliorating the most menacing, most devastating features of the Western world that Heidegger subjected to critique. He proposes that the development of these capacities is not only a question of learning certain skills, but also a question of learning new character and that Heidegger’s critique of the Western world suggests ways in which we might learn and develop new, more sensitive, poetic and mindful ways of relating to the perceived world.
Part I. Another Humanism?
Part II. Chapter 1. Sein: What Is Being?
Part II. Chapter 2. Dasein: From Menschsein to Da-sein
Part II. Chapter 3. Ereignis: Da-sein in Appropriation, Gentlest of All Laws
Part II. Chapter IV. Lichtung: Living in the Clearing of Worlds
Part II. Chapter V. Geschick: Toward Another Inception?
Part III. After the History of Being: Prelude and Promise
David Kleinberg-Levin is Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at Northwestern University. He is the author of ten books, most recently Beckett’s Words: The Promise of Happiness in a Time of Mourning (Bloomsbury, 2015), Redeeming Words: Language and the Promise of Happiness in the Stories of Döblin and Sebald (SUNY Press, 2013) and Redeeming Words and the Promise of Happiness: A Critical Theory Approach to Wallace Stevens and Vladimir Nabokov (Lexington Books, 2012).
In this two-volume project on Heidegger’s phenomenology of perception, David Kleinberg-Levin seeks to establish the ontological relevance of perception, in particular in its primary modes of seeing and hearing. This first volume reveals the phenomenological grounds of five key words in Heidegger’s thinking: Sein, Da-sein, Ereignis, Lichtung and Geschick. Through insightful and elegant analyses, always attentive to our embodied experience, Kleinberg-Levin allows the reader to gain access to the very heart of Heidegger’s thought. This brilliant and erudite work will prove invaluable to an ontological analysis of perception and to Heidegger studies.
This volume renders unflinchingly the very deepest thoughts of Heidegger, overcoming the elusive style in which they were first expressed, and re-stating them in vital English prose, very close to life. With great expertise, Kleinberg-Levin interweaves Heidegger’s posthumous notes with his earlier publications. We see how Heidegger points to a possible life on this planet after the experience of modern nihilism.
Heidegger’s Phenomenology of Perception is a bold and meticulous rereading of Heidegger’s middle and later thought, a rereading that, without neglecting its vexed alliance with National Socialism, focusses on what we might still learn from it today—namely as a call to responsibly receive and respond to the various manners in which the being of beings appears to our perception.