The Question Concerning the Thing presents a full English translation of a lecture course first delivered by Heidegger at Freiburg University during the Winter Semester of 1935-36 (originally published in German as volume 41 of the Gesamtausgabe).
The text presents with particular clarity Heidegger’s distinctive approach to issues of general philosophical interest. Heidegger shows how a litany of classical metaphysical problems flow from the basic question ‘what is a thing?’, revealing the historicity of these problems and, thus, the ways in which they implicate further issues of cultural significance. He examines issues regarding the history and philosophy of science, philosophy of language, and logic that are still debated today. Moreover, the lecture course as a whole is framed by questions regarding the nature of philosophy itself. Along the way, Heidegger provides sensitive and often provocative discussions of historically significant figures, in particular Kant.
Translators’ Introduction / German-English Lexicon / The Question Concerning the Thing
This superb translation by two experts in Heidegger studies will be a most welcome addition for students of Heidegger’s development, as it marks his burgeoning interest in what a thing is, his continued reflections on modern scientific thought, and his final sustained foray into Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason.
The magician from Messkirch at the height of his early pedagogical powers, spellbindingly deconstructing the history of Western metaphysics and reconstructing Kant’s first Critique, the most important philosophical work since Plato’s Republic. Long quietly influential on both Heidegger and Kant scholarship, Heidegger’s fascinating work is finally available in a clear and compelling English translation that does justice to the original, thanks to the meticulous efforts of Reid and Crowe.
This lecture course marks a crucial step in Heidegger’s thinking of things. Focusing on modern metaphysics, Heidegger powerfully details the shift from Aristotelian to Newtonian physics, close reads Kant on the nature of the thing, and concludes with a provocative interpretation of transcendentalism that informs Heidegger’s own thinking. The new translation is crisp and fresh, bringing Heidegger’s profound thoughts to a new audience.
Martin Heidegger (1889-1976) was a German philosopher and one of the most important European thinkers of the twentieth century.
James D. Reid is Associate Professor of Philosophy at the Metropolitan State University of Denver.
Benjamin D. Crowe is Lecturer in Philosophy at Boston University.