Non-Fiction Books:

Heidegger's Hidden Sources

East-Asian Influences on his Work



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Heidegger's Hidden Sources by Reinhard May
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The enormous influence of Martin Heidegger's thought in Japan and China is well documented, but many comparative studies of Heidegger's own thought have proceeded on the assumption of little influence from East Asian sources. Reinhard May's remarkable study shows that Heidegger drew some of the major themes of his philosophy - on occasion almost word for word - from German translations of Chinese Daoist and Zen Buddhist classics. He argues that Heidegger also involved himself in influential conversation with Chinese and Japanese scholars over the years. May concentrates on a series of close textual comparisons of passages from Heidegger's major writings with excerpts from translations of Daoist classics and a collection of Zen translations with which Heidegger was known to be familiar. May discovers striking similarities in vocabulary and phrase structure that he argues are too numerous to be coincidental. There is also a detailed discussion of Heidegger's 'Dialogue on Language between a Japanese and an Inquirer', and for the first time in English, a translation of the account given by the scholar with whom Heidegger had the 'dialogue'. The complimentary essay by Graham Parkes sketches a hitherto overlooked aspect of Heidegger's intellectual development by examining several key figures in Heidegger's Japanese 'connection'. Amongst these are Kuki Shuzo, who subsequently introduced Heidegger's ideas to Jean-Paul Sartre. May's work provides a challenging and controversial interpretation of Heidegger's thought, and existing more Eurocentric studies of Heidegger's work will now demand to be seen in a new light.
Release date NZ
November 7th, 1996
Country of Publication
United Kingdom
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