Peter Gordon

Dec 21, 2022

On Martin Heidegger's "Being and Time"

A Discussion with Peter Gordon

New Books Network 2022

Martin Heidegger did not like small thoughts. He was fascinated by the most expansive questions humans can ask themselves. Questions like: Why are we here at all? Why do things exist as they do? What does it mean to be in the world? Heidegger came to believe that many of the modern answers to these questions were based on old, unexamined assumptions. Instead of accepting those assumptions, Heidegger wanted to return to the great philosophical texts of the past and see if he could recover and reveal deep truths that had been obscured or forgotten. The result of this intellectual treasure-hunting is his most well known work, Being and Time, published in 1927. Despite its dark context, Being and Time remains essential reading for engaging with the vexing challenges presented by modernity. Peter Gordon is the Amabel B. James Professor of History, Faculty Affiliate in the Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures, and Faculty Affiliate in the Department of Philosophy at Harvard University. He is a critical theorist and an historian of modern European philosophy and social thought, specializing in Frankfurt School critical theory, phenomenology, existentialism, and Western Marxism. See more information on our website,

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