Monday, August 08, 2011

Kisiel, Theodore. Review of Daniel Dahlstrom, ed. INTERPRETING HEIDEGGER. NDPR (July 2011).

Dahlstrom, Daniel O., ed.  Interpreting Heidegger: Critical Essays Cambridge: CUP, 2011.

Editor Dan Dahlstrom is quick to place this entire collection of "critical essays" under the Dilthey-Heideggerian preconception of the pan-hermeneutic character of human life: Das Leben selbst legt sich aus: "Life itself lays itself out, interprets itself, articulates itself." Aristotle's definition of humans as talking animals readily slips into our being "interpreting animals" irrevocably caught up in an interpretive process with "every move we make," thereby "elaborating, exposing, and shaping our self-understanding and, in the process, our relationships to ourselves, our world, and other things within the world." Moreover, having been thrown into this interpretive process of life willy-nilly, "our interpretations are not ours alone, but the often mindless yet time-tested iteration of a tradition of interpretations written into our most common practices and beliefs" (p. 1). The need for more thoughtful interpretations of this tradition of interpretations readily develops into some of the larger tasks assumed in the Heideggerian opus, like the need to interpret the entire history of Western thinking from its Greek beginnings to the present in order to come to terms with the "hermeneutic situation" of the revolutionary age in which we now find ourselves.

The essays are grouped into three divisions: I. Interpreting Heidegger's Philosophy; II. Interpreting Heidegger's Interpretations; III. Interpreting Heidegger's Critics. . . .

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