Talk:Being and Time

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For those working on the drafting process: Talk:Being_and_Time/draft_critique


Searching "Sein und Zeit" doesn't give you this article, but an episode of The X-Files named after Heidegger's work.

I believe the introduction to this article should explain what exactly the work is about in summary[edit]

It's very difficult to distill from the article the actual point of the work, or its argument, etc. Even reading the article in its entirety produces a convoluted understanding I believe, but still, a summary would be good. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:26, 27 October 2008 (UTC)

You are asking for the impossible. The work is meant to defy summarization because it expands on its concepts as much as possible in order to fill a book. It does not condense its concepts. It is written in the grand Hegelian style of concept–play and its point is merely to secure the author's employment in a German university.Lestrade (talk) 17:48, 19 April 2009 (UTC)Lestrade


I think this section is definitely improving as its been subjected to heavy editing. In regards to the crop reference in the second paragraph (as an example of Heidegger's modes of being), I suggest that we instead consider using the example he himself used in Being and Time - that of the doorknob. I believe this is to be found in Section 16, pages 102-107 (H.72-77) in Maquarrie and Robinson's translation, first edition. Basically, when we interact with a doorknob, we are not considering its metaphysically properties or characteristics, we simply turn it. In short, we simply use it as we see fit, such that anything could be a doorknob really. Likewise, we only consider what a doorknob is when it fails as a doorknob. In failure, we move past readiness-to-hand, and consider its presence-at-hand. and on and on... I admit I usually fall heavy handed on the technical details of this stuff (see my edits in Heideggerian terminology), but I think this one would be really helpful to all readers. Comments, suggestions? Sam 04:02, 6 September 2006 (UTC)

That will work. The reason I asked for citation of the examples given is because I have read them before, but do not remember them from Being and Time. They may have come from a secondary source, or another text of Heidegger's work. Amerindianarts 04:54, 6 September 2006 (UTC)

Hi, I'm not sure how a "door knob" would be an example of "being-with". Though it is a good one for explaining how our projects "swallow up" the world, we barely notice a door knob most of the time, it fades into the background. The walking around the field is an example from "Being and Time". --Lucaas

Do you know what section it might be in? Sam 14:49, 6 September 2006 (UTC)

Which, the knob or the field? The field is at H.118. Where is the knob is.Lucas

The field is a better example. The professor I had for lecture seminars on B&T used it, I just couldn't remember its source and felt it should be cited. This entire article would be much better with inline citation [WP:CITE]. Amerindianarts 15:44, 6 September 2006 (UTC)
Not sure how to do inline citation, normally it is just [1]

That is an option, or the Harvard style. Since the article is on Being and Time it doesn't need to be specified, and a reference such as (H. 263) at the end of a sentence (or Paragraph if it applys to everything in the paragraph) would work. Explanation of Harvard style is at WP:CITE, I think. Amerindianarts 17:50, 6 September 2006 (UTC)

Thank you, I looked it up. However, I think inline makes the text flow badly since you need brackets and numbers etc. in the middle of paragraphs. I prefer footnotes, or an electronic equivalent, which are especially handy on the web. You can always use "Ibid" for references to the same book as the lsat reference eg, "Ibid. H263"


Whatever happened to op. cit.? Ibid has always been reserved for consecutive notation. Notation can change over time as editors add entries.Amerindianarts 02:52, 7 September 2006 (UTC)

the language "In addition to present-at-hand and ready-to-hand there is a third mode for Dasein..." is incorrect. Heidegger states that presence-at-hand and Dasein are not at all the same thing, hence presence-at-hand can not be a "mode" of Dasein. from pp. 67-68 of the 1972 Macquarrie & Robinson translation: "Being-present-at-hand [is] a kind of Being which is essentially inappropriate to entities of Dasein's character. [...] [T]hose characteristics which can be exhibited in [Dasein] are not 'properties' present-at-hand of some entity which 'looks' so and so and is itself present-at-hand. [...] Thus Dasein is never to be taken ontologically as an instance or special case of some genus of entities as things that are present-at-hand." --Dlkj83jdk3883ll 04:17, 21 November 2006 (UTC)

Specific language, recent tag[edit]

This placement of the tag is inane. Most of these terms link to other articles which can explain their use in more detail, and because of the detail can explain in terms that represent a more NPOV. I imagine it was placed by someone who doesn't understand much about philosophical concepts and the detail required in order to explain them without excess generality and POV. Either that, or they are just too lazy to follow the links. Amerindianarts 00:17, 22 October 2006 (UTC)

I'm glad someone had sense enough to remove the tag. The German terms should stay. Not only are they easier for German readers, but they are essential to English readers trying to discern conceptual distinctions. Amerindianarts 00:20, 22 October 2006 (UTC)


Why is the table of contents on the right sidebar?

Probably to eliminate white space.Amerindianarts 08:32, 31 October 2006 (UTC)
Nope. That wasn't it. I decreased the image size and moved the TOC left.Amerindianarts 08:37, 31 October 2006 (UTC)

And why isn't there a spoiler warning?!? You guys just gave the whole book away! Madler talk/contribs 05:13, 19 January 2007 (UTC)

Sense of Being[edit]

We seem to have two different version of this initial section. One gives Being as an interpretive endeavor, as pre-this and that. The other is simpler leaves out issue of interpretative and tries to explain Ontology more clearly.

(a) Interpretative=[edit]

Heidegger describes Being and Time as fundamental ontology. Ontology, for Heidegger, is not an inventory of the sorts of things that exist (as the term is used by most philosophers other than Heidegger). Heidegger claims that traditional ontology takes for granted what being is, assuming that we all know what it means, or that it cannot be defined, or that all beings are medium-sized dry goods such as chairs, tables, and pieces of wax. He claims that such assumptions have led most of Western philosophy to neglect the question of being.

Instead Heidegger wants to understand being as distinguished from any specific thing that is.[2] "'Being' is not something like an entity".[3] Being, Heidegger proposes, is "what determines entities as entities, that in terms of which entities are already understood".[4] Heidegger is seeking to identify the criteria or conditions by which anything can be at all.

If we grasp being, we will clarify the meaning or sense of being, where by "sense" Heidegger means that "in terms of which something becomes intelligible as something".[5] According to Heidegger, this sense of being is a pre-theoretical competence, as theories, expressed in propositions, necessarily make assumptions about what sorts of entities exist (e.g., that there are individual things that instantiate functions). Thus in Heidegger's view, ontology would be an explanation of the understanding preceding any logic, theory, or observation. As this understanding is pre-discursive, it does not ordinarily consist of beliefs or any other propositional content. Therefore, understanding the sense of being is an interpretive procedure. "The methodological sense of phenomenological description is interpretation".[6]

Peculiar jargon in first section of article[edit]

"pre-theoretical competance".

"propositions make assumptions", this is a one-sentence attempt to summarise a long chapter on apophantic in B&T and can only fail. Assumptions are unavoidable whether it is a proposition or not according to Heidegger.

"instantiate functions"

"preceding logic", see section on Logos in B&T.


"propositional content"

-- Lucas (Talk) 20:51, 2 February 2007 (UTC)

(b) Ontology[edit]

Heidegger describes Being and Time as fundamental ontology (the study of "Being", of what it is to "be" or exist). Heidegger is concerned with "Being" in general, that is, not "Being" as it applies to any particular entity. To put it in ordinary language, he is concerned with questions like, "Why is there something rather than nothing?" He claims that Western philosophy has for a long time neglected such questions. Ontology, for Heidegger, is not an inventory of the sorts of things that exist (as the term is used by most philosophers before Heidegger). Heidegger claims that traditional ontology takes for granted what being is, assuming that we all know what it means, or that it cannot be defined, or that all beings are medium-sized dry goods such as those we see in traditional philosophers' well known discussions involving chairs, tables, and pieces of wax.

Instead Heidegger wants to understand being as distinguished from any specific thing that is.[7] "'Being' is not something like an entity".[8] Being, Heidegger proposes, is "what determines entities as entities, that in terms of which entities are already understood".[9] Heidegger is seeking to identify the criteria or conditions by which anything can be at all.

If we grasp being, we will clarify the meaning or sense of being, where by "sense" Heidegger means that "in terms of which something becomes intelligible as something".[10] For Heidegger, ontology concerns the study of Being in general, and so it distances itself from any area that has any particular Being as its subject, such as: the study of life (Biology), of human beings (Anthropology), of the mind (Psychology), of numbers (Mathematics).


I think trying to cover, as (a) does, interpretation and Being and ontology in one short section is too much. The idea of interpretative (what german word is this meant to match?) is too involved to get across as part of ontology. Also the following section says that interpretative phenomenology is a major break with Husserl. There are no citations and there seems to be a peculiar use of language in explaining it as "interpretive", as pre-x and pre-y. We need a citation to talk this way about it, better just stick to Heidegger's language, there is also a terminology page on Heidegger's language which it should match and we can redirect to. I think also the explanation of onotology is better in (b).-- Lucas (Talk) 20:59, 1 February 2007 (UTC)

Preaching to the converted[edit]

I have an overall problem with the way this article appears. What it lacks is any pedagogical aspect. It reads mainly for people who already know B&T. I'm not suggesting that it be aimed at a 12 year old but I think one must keep in mind two kinds of people, a) people already familiar with philosophy who have not read B&T and b) those just becoming familiar with philosophy. At the moment, as I said, it seems to be aimed at c) those who've already read B&T.

 I zealously agree with this paragraph, and I suggest editors of this page adopt criteria for judging edits:
   the product of the clarity provided to the three kinds of readers.
 Can we acknowledge the absurdity of an encyclopedia written for readers who are already intimate with the covered subjects?
 aphor (talk) 18:50, 3 November 2014 (UTC)

With this goal in mind, and I believe it is probably the most important goal for this page since the comprehension of B&T even challenges philosophers.

There was a reference to a page on terminology in the intro. It gives quick reference to many of B&T's neologism or compounded words, and is good to note in the beginning.

Also in the first section, "sense of being" (now renamed), it should seek to avoid peculiar jargon (pre-discursive, pre-theoretical, non-propositional) I say peculiar for terms that do not appear in B&T or are not on the terminology page (so that someone unfamiliar might be able to find out what they mean). If you wish to talk of Heidegger's use of the word "primordial" then relate it to the text where he distinguishes it from primitive and ethnology. Similarly with pre-scientific it should not be baldly stated it needs to be explained (it is used in the context of talking about the various academic subjects (not just science), eg, history, Nature, space, life, Dasein, language; and how there various subject matters must have been chosen pre-scientifically)

In addition, in explaining ontology this section had tried to show, how ontology in B&T is distanced from other kinds of study (anthropology, psychology etc.). Mention of such sciences also helps certain readers by using familiar words.

Talking about the as-structure or interpretive phenomenology at this early stage needs far more explanation for someone not familiar with these things. It is too complicated and discussion of it only occurs in B&T after quiet alot has already been covered (worldhood, care, projection, ready-to-hand, the Greek concepts of logos and phenomenon, etc. etc.) and "interpretation" is discussed in relation to "understanding" (which had already been explained) and how the circularity of interpretation is admitted ("it is never pre-suppositionless") as a problem (vital for any analytic philosopher reading this section), and the fore- structure, etc. A better section here might be called "the question of being", that explains why Heidegger thinks it is an important question, how previous philossophers on it, and, perhaps, why Dasein is where to start. -- Lucas (Talk) 04:08, 2 February 2007 (UTC)

I agree that a simpler explanation of Heidegger is desirable. Indeed, I tried that on the main Heidegger entry a couple months ago. But the ensuing edit disputes (with User:Lucas) which followed made it a waste of time to continue. Instead, I came here, and tried a similar approach, though adding more direct citations than I would prefer, in an attempt to preclude edit conflicts. However, the process has now repeated itself, as my expository comments were extensively rewritten or jettisoned (in favor of irrelevant or dubious content—for specifics, see my edit summaries), and now even the heavily footnoted text, along with the contributions of User:Mtevfrog, have been repeatedly reverted with the above criticism of "peculiar jargon". So: if we avoid jargon, it won't be verifiably Heidegger, and User:Lucas will revert it as unverifiable or original research (much as he has attempted to do with the Heidegger entry). But if we verify it, it will be "peculiar jargon" preaching to the converted, and User:Lucas will revert it. In both cases, interestingly, the reversion will be to a version where User:Lucas' contributions dominate, despite their generally absent or poor references, his documented history of poor editing and incorrigibility in the face of counter-evidence. This is, or is very close to, a WP:OWN issue, especially since the text Lucas is reverting is extensively verified. 271828182 13:41, 2 February 2007 (UTC)
The above comment I consider 95% irrelevant, and wholly one-sided. The only reply you make to the numerous substantive points I made above is that, you think that I will call something peculiar jargon incorrectly. Ok, there is Heideggerean "jargon", I was not complaining about that, but jargon peculiar to the article (I've made this more explicit by adding a subection to the above copy of the section from the article). I have no problem with Heideggerean jargon but with using it carelessly and not providing enough background to enable someone to understand it, it is demanding on readers and must be done carefully. Please note the other issues I mentinoed in the above especially issue of the reader the article aims for (for example one might avoid any mention of "ontology" or "fundamental, basic and underlying ontology" from the first section yet give a good intro to the book. -- Lucas (Talk) 20:22, 2 February 2007 (UTC)

Argumentative mention of Continental[edit]

Argument or discussion is often an important aspect of philosophy. In mentioning continental philosophy it immediately informs the reader that B&T may have been received differently across the channel in England and over in the US. This is a considerably important aspect of B&T in how it shaped the philosophy globally and not just in Germany and France. This is not a article for local people. -- Lucas (Talk)

Tendentious editing[edit]

I notice there have been problems with disruptive editing on this page. There is a simple solution to this. If there is a consensus among editors that a certain version should be the 'stable' one, then any persistent reverts away from that edit (specifically 3 in a 24 hour period) will make the reverter liable to a block, or similar action.

I propose the current version (19:07 2 Feb 2007) be the stable version for now. this refers.

If you support, or disagree, say so and sign with the four tildes. Best. Dbuckner 19:04, 2 February 2007 (UTC)

  • Support Dbuckner 19:04, 2 February 2007 (UTC)
  • Support: I hand't even got to this article, having been sidetracked from the main Heidegger article through several other philosophy page wars. I can't yet comment on the content, but Dbuckner's proposal on how to deal with any issues is a no-brainer. KD Tries Again 19:56, 2 February 2007 (UTC)KD
  • Support (qualified): the improvements to the entry (to the opening and to the section "Introduction and Summary") are substantial, but the remaining sections are all poorly written, lacking scholarship, and disorganised. Mtevfrog 20:29, 2 February 2007 (UTC)
    • Can you suggest some improvements via tentative edits? Just not too fast. Dbuckner 20:58, 2 February 2007 (UTC)
      • If the outcome could be something other than mere edit wars and endless talk page chatter, it might be worth undertaking the task. But the prevailing winds are fairly offputting. Mtevfrog 04:49, 3 February 2007 (UTC)
  • Support: the new editors on this page have already complexified some of the content, making it impenetrable for most wiki-readers; And would put many off reading the book itself. Let us hope most of the article remains immune from these "flash edits." -- Lucas (Talk) 21:03, 2 February 2007 (UTC)
  • Support, with the same reservation as Mtevfrog. The current "introduction and summary" would ideally be the beginning of a complete rewrite. 271828182 22:37, 2 February 2007 (UTC)
  • Support: I find the proposed version more useful to me, at least, and can see that the situation is difficult. JJL 00:18, 3 February 2007 (UTC)

Poor and unauthorised translations[edit]

There is a preference for the Macquarrie and Robinson translation of B&T and not a translation by an anonymous wiki user. At the moment the first section gives us a poor translation from the German source. See WK:OR.

The existing translation by user "27" is:

The aim of the following treatise is to concretely work through the question of the sense of being

This is translated by Macquarrie and Robinson into English in a much clearer way:

our aim in the following treatise is to work out the question of the meaning of Being and to do so concretely.

-- Lucas (Talk) 23:52, 2 February 2007 (UTC)

"There is a preference" = "User:Lucas prefers"
If my translation is "poor", I would hope that an editor would point out how I have misrendered the German. For reference, compare the original (which User:Lucas persists in deleting, for no apparent reason):
Die konkrete Ausarbeitung der Frage nach dem Sinn von “Sein” ist die Absicht der folgenden Abhandlung.
While we are talking about very minor differences, I think my rendering is both more faithful and a wee bit clearer, both of which are commonly considered virtues in translation. Also, I did not know that translations are considered original research. Is that so? So until these charges are substantiated, I will return to the previous, consensus-supported version. 271828182 04:39, 3 February 2007 (UTC)

It is not only my preference it is an academic standard to give the Macquarrie & Robinson translation, you make me laugh when you think you've improved on them. Anyhow, stick to philosophy and leave translation to those who are qualified for it. The wiki OR policy says you should rely on academic sources, your source is in German, mine in the English standard academic translation. -- Lucas (Talk) 05:17, 3 February 2007 (UTC)

You have yet to show any errors in my translation, so I don't see the basis for scoffing at my qualifications as a translator. Likewise, your charge that my translation is "poor" is still mere assertion. Are you fluent in German, yes or no? If you aren't, then I kindly suggest you spare Wikipedia your ignorant posturing. You are really wasting everybody's time and taxing patience with your captious editing. 271828182 05:30, 3 February 2007 (UTC)
I do not have to show anything about your pet translation. This is not the place for your own translations. To what standard do you appeal? The academic standard for English renditions of Heidegger is Macquarrie and Robinson! Not ananymous user 298 on wiki one January. And no this is not just a minor issue you have populated the article with all manner of peculiar jargon and completely hidden the opening chapter of B&T in the fools errand of trying to summarise the entire book in three paragraphs! And your desperate reverts to ensure this strange jargon remains has been carried out callously without any reference to the talk pages. The only reason you've gotten away with it so far is because another flash-editor (ie, thoughtless) is happy to accomodate.
You do not waste my time, but you do waste your own, by barging in on this page all of a sudden and trying tendentious re-writes in your own had you only ensure that another like you will pass here sometime and with the same bluster comepletley re-write what you have written.
I suggest you try going back to the Heidegger article where you came from, there you will find I have not edited that page in a long time. But dont think I won't be keeping an eye on it for this jargon.-- Lucas (Talk) 06:57, 3 February 2007 (UTC)

For what it's worth I don't think there is a material difference between the two translations. 27's translation is a bit more literal, and some argue that literal translations, while generally awkward-looking and sometimes clumsy, are philosophically better. I have translated stuff on Wiki before, but only when no English available. I think it's best, from policy point of view to stick to referenced sources. Nothing to stop you putting a footnote ("literally, this means ..."). Lucas, you haven't answered 27's question about whether you are fluent in German. It seems churlish to criticise a translation that is more faithful to the German, even if a little more clumsy-sounding in English? 27 is perfectly right: it is more faithful. And can I also ask why you persist in deleting the German footnote? That seems wholly unreasonable. Dbuckner 07:57, 3 February 2007 (UTC)

PS having read the translation in context I must say I prefer 27's version. Reason: it ends with the idea that is the point of the sentence, whereas the other ends with the awkward 'and do so concretely', which was clearly tacked on by Macquarrie & Robinson in an effort to avoid Teutonic-sounding noun phrases. Dbuckner 08:07, 3 February 2007 (UTC)
I remind Lucas that he started this edit conflict and Talk discussion with the claim that the translation is "poor". Still no support for that claim, just an attempt to shift the burden of proof. As for Lucas's appeal to "academic standard", well, it's common academic practice to do your own translating, especially when the text is as difficult as Heidegger's. At this point I am tempted to follow the example of my old teacher Mohanty and just leave all the quotes in the original German. 271828182 08:32, 3 February 2007 (UTC)
Agree. Jitendra Mohanty, right? Dr Google suggests he deserves an entry here. Dbuckner 09:41, 3 February 2007 (UTC)
Mohanty - very good on the commonalities between Husserl and Frege. But I digress. I agree that a published tranlation should be used (which is no detrimental comment on what anyone has posted here): just makes things easier for users. But Macquarrie & Robinson is arguably supersded by Joan Stambaugh, a translator who worked with Heidegger on other translations and set out to rectify faults in Macq/ Anyone know if Stambaugh is accepted by authoritative sources as better? I've never looked to see. KD Tries Again 15:52, 5 February 2007 (UTC)KD
Well, you are claiming a certain privilege here with Mohanty as you teacher. And he may well be right, he is a very good philosopher. I prefer, however, a thoughtful, collaborative translation, as some individual philosophers can get lost in the ideas and forget (or simply not know) the word's real-life and historic connotations and also the idiomatic and local uses. Here is what wiki policy says about translation:
Where sources are directly quoted, published translations are generally preferred over editors performing their own translations directly.
I don't think the Stambaugh translation has caught on yet, maybe just for price etc. reasons, but it does have the advantage of 70 years of retrospect on the M&R tranlsation.
-- Lucas (Talk) 01:36, 6 February 2007 (UTC)

Response to KD Tries Again: I don't think it is a matter of Stambaugh "superseding" M&R. Heidegger scholars will inevitably be working with the German anyway, so in a way it is not a crucial matter for them. There's no doubt that Stambaugh strived to be more literal, and thus to stick closer to the original, but of course its possible to argue the pros and cons of such an ambition. But that is not so relevant here. What is relevant is, as I have said, that there is an agreed consensus by all translators today about the conventions to follow for the translation of basic terms, and these are the conventions which Stambaugh follows. This does not mean there cannot be arguments the other way. A convention is not an agreement that a translation is "perfect," but rather an agreement to maintain consistency between texts to increase the ability to compare texts. Such an agreement emerges over time, with effort, and for a reason. It might change again over time, but that really doesn't affect the decisions made here, unless one believes that Wikipedia should be "leading the way" in changing such scholarly conventions. I don't. That said, I do think it is reasonable to introduce translations different from those published, if in the context in which they are used they promote comprehension, or if they are more literal than the published translations, or to make clear something which cannot be made clear using published translations. However, that does not diminish the argument that conventions should be followed, and in this case it is clear what those conventions are, and it is also clear that to flout them is to make of Wikipedia a willful exception for no good reason. That is why I strived to say, the editors of Wikipedia should all simply state, "Yes, this is the convention to be followed," so that this consistency can be maintained in the face of future disagreements (or until such time as there is a new scholarly consensus about a new convention). The fact that this utterly technical question does not seem to be able to be settled (I originally introduced it as a "first step" before substantive editing could begin) makes apparent how fruitless further work is likely to be, given the incorrigibility of the incorrigible. Mtevfrog 02:10, 6 February 2007 (UTC)

Comment deleted. Mtevfrog 18:19, 7 February 2007 (UTC)

Of course, 34 years, but that just means that the M&R only had 36 years retrospect, which I never denied. What I mean by "retrospect" is, for example, the possibility of a more "post-modern" use in, for example, the lower-case 'b' in "being", in contrast to some previous conventions on translating German, eg, in Hegel's Idea, Reason, Absolute, etc.. The problem with your idea here is that you keep talking about a convention, but where is there a source to say that it is a convention? Thing is, we only have two translations of B&T and the article is not primarily concerned with secondary literature on B&T nor with Heidegger's other work. And since the "convention" you refer to may be just a current fashion, we can only rely on the de facto 45-year convention from M&.R. Just to demonstrate how much M&R is the convention: how come no one in all this long discussion has given us Stambaugh's translation of the phrase that "27" translated? -- Lucas (Talk) 04:08, 6 February 2007 (UTC)

-Welcome to newby editors[edit]

I'd like to welcome the new editors (271828182, Mtevfrog, and Dbuckner) to this page. And hope you help to improve the article. Please read also some of the comments already made above on the talk page and in the archive.

While you are working on it remember to keep an eye on the talk page, dont just write in isolation. I think we all agree that we do want all kinds of wiki readers, to be able to understand something, even if only a little, of B&T, but more than that for them to go and read it for themselves. -- Lucas (Talk) 00:04, 3 February 2007 (UTC)


As a first step, it is necessary to agree to a convention for translating the most important and recurrent terms in Heidegger's work. Obviously it is always possible to advance reasons for translating key words one way rather than another. This is precisely why a convention is necessary, an agreement that, nothing being perfect, at least it is possible to be consistent.

With that in mind, I would propose the following conventions: Sein should be translated as "being"; das Seiende should be translated as "a being" or "beings." Clearly there is a sense in which this is not completely literal, and it is also possible it can lead to some confusion for the reader. Thus some early translators of Heidegger used "entity" rather than "a being." The alternative conventions (capitalising Being; preferring "entity" to "a being") are the choice only of early translators of Heidegger. A consensus has emerged between publishers and translators of Heidegger to generally leave being uncapitalised and to prefer "a being" to "entity."

Here for instance is William McNeill, writing in the introduction to the Heidegger collection, Pathmarks (translation published 1997, many of the chapters being re-translations from earlier publications):

An effort has been made to standardize translations as far as possible throughout the text. Thus, in twelve of the fourteen essays, the German Sein is rendered as "being," and das Seiende as "a being" or "beings," depending on context (occasionally as "an entity" or "entities" to avoid confusion). In the remaining two essays, "On the Essence of Truth" and "Introduction to 'What is Metaphysics?'," Sein has been rendered as "Being" (capitalized) at the translators' request. [Pathmarks, p. x.]

Again, this quotation presents the virtues of all options, but a decision has (by and large) been taken to favor "being" over "Being" and "a being" or "beings" over "entity" or "entities." This decision is replicated throughout Heidegger translations of the last couple of decades, and I believe it is the convention to be followed.

(Note: specifically in relation to Being and Time, the Macquarrie & Robinson translation uses "a being" rather than "entity" but capitalises "Being," whereas the more recent Stambaugh translation leaves "being" uncapitalised: this reflects the fact that the convention favoring "being" over "Being" is more recent than the convention favoring "a being" over "entity". The Macquarrie and Robinson translation is in this respect old-fashioned, which is one reason for the decision to undertake the new translation. Stambaugh wrote the following in her introduction [p. xiv]: "Capitalizing 'being,' although it has the dubious merit of treating 'being' as something unique, risks implying that it is some kind of Super Thing or transcendent being. But Heidegger's use of the word 'being' in no sense refers the word to something like a being, especially not a transcendent Being. Heidegger does not want to substantivize this word, yet capitalizing the word in English does tend to imply just that.")

If this is something that can be agreed upon, perhaps the next step is possible. If it is something that produces protracted arguments, this does not bode well (and I note, by the way, that the argument I am presenting in one respect disfavours that put by my erstwhile ally in the dispute over reversion). Mtevfrog 06:41, 3 February 2007 (UTC)

Yes I agree this is a complicated translation issue. And it is an interesting discussion that you make. But I find little in what is said that gives any reasons for preferring one over the other, it just states that it chooses on. Your intimation that a "newer" translation is a better translation, holds no weight. The first page of the M&R translation gives its reasons thus:
Heidegger translates Plato's present participle óv by this present participle (seiend) of the verb 'sein' ('to be'). We accordingly translate 'seiend' here and in a number of later passages by the present participle 'being'; where such a translation is inconvenient we shall resort to other constructions, usually adding the German in brackets. The participle 'seiend' must be distinguished from the infinitive 'sein', which we shall translate by the infinitive 'to be' or the gerund 'being'. It must also be distinguished from the important substantive 'Sein' (always capitalized), which we shall translate as 'Being' (capitalized), and from the equally important substantive 'Seiendes', which is directly derived from 'seiend', and which we shall usually translate as 'entities' or 'entities'
Another note on H.3 talks of Seiendes meaning literally 'that which is' Much can be said, they suggest, to use the nouns being or beings to translate this but it is often less confusing to use entitie(s). He notes also that entity in English philosophy has been used to mean anything no matter what its ontological status (in Heidegger it has the status of "that which is")
-- Lucas (Talk) 07:19, 3 February 2007 (UTC)

I thought about this issue while writing my contributions to the article. I understand the current consensus among translators about Seiende, but think that effacing a distinction clearly chosen by Heidegger inevitably results in a loss of intent. I flirted with "be-ing", since it preserves the derivation, but by the dog that looked ugly. So—reluctantly and without enthusiasm—I stuck with "entity", which has the virtue of sounding odd, like the German. I am open to the change, perhaps including the distinction in brackets where needed.
I am strongly in agreement that Sein should not be capitalized. One of Heidegger's central criticisms of the tradition is that it misconceives being as a Being, particularly as the Supreme Being, which is exactly what the English capitalization evokes. 271828182 09:02, 3 February 2007 (UTC)
Yes I don't mean to suggest there is no occasion where "entity" will be preferable. But I do think that if a consensus has been achieved (an achievement which took time, and effort) among translators of Heidegger about what convention to follow for the translation of these critical Heideggerian terms, the sensible thing for an encyclopedia to do is follow that convention. It is after all, and as you have put into practice, always possible to include the German, which means that a convention can be just that—a convention. So does this amount to agreement to follow these two conventions (Sein = being; das Seiende = a being, or beings) unless there are solid reasons not to do so? And can the entry now be adjusted in line with these conventions? Mtevfrog 10:43, 3 February 2007 (UTC)
I agree, though I'd note that one major motive for my choice of "entity" was in translating "Sein ist nicht so etwas wie Seiendes", a sentence that loses the distinction under the proposed change. Throwing in the original terms in brackets would make the sentence unduly awkward, also. 271828182 08:19, 4 February 2007 (UTC)
That's a totally justifiable translation. M&R indeed translate the clause as "'Being' cannot have the character of an entity" (this is a pretty non-literal translation for other reasons, e.g., "character"), whereas Stambaugh renders it as "that 'being' is not something like a being." I think the negative in the beginning of the sentence complicates the translation of etwas, so that, to my mind, one alternative might be "being is in no way something like a being," or even "being is not anything like a being." But more generally, I don't agree that the distinction is lost—it is, after all, Heidegger's whole point that the reader learn to distinguish the question of being from questions about beings. I think the more recent convention accepts that this is a distinction readers are able to grasp. So even though I think your translation is justifiable, I don't think its the best, and I still think: if there is an accepted convention for translation (which there is—M&R is 45 years old; still a good translation, but not a reflection of current practice), it should be followed. And, again, I raise this issue partly because it is a preliminary consideration, but also as a test of whether the atmosphere is conducive to improving the article—this should be a question about which it is possible simply to decide and move on. Mtevfrog 08:43, 4 February 2007 (UTC)
As already indicated, I agree with Mtevfrog's suggestions. I was merely pointing out some of the difficulties that will arise (which, I suppose, are no more vexing than the difficulties already present due to using "entity"). The varying translations of this (relatively simple) sentence do illustrate some of the dangers of relying on "authorized" translations. (I had forgotten that M&R add "character" there!) I am fine with "being is in no way something like a being", maybe with a bracketed [specific] before the last word.271828182 16:09, 4 February 2007 (UTC)
I agree with this too, though mainly for consensus forming since I've no problem with using capitalized Being, for me this just indicates that it is noun or name and does not draw on the capitalization of God, since God's capitalizing was noted not for the name God, but for the capitalizing of any pronouns, as in His, He, etc. and we do not capitalize pronouns of Being. If only the real problems of Heidegger's over-emphasis on Being were solved by making a word lower case, philosophy would be an easy task. It is a testament to M&R that it remains the preferred translation for academic philosophy, even though the Stambaugh version had 70 years of retrospectivity to draw on. -- Lucas (Talk) 04:09, 5 February 2007 (UTC)

I think we need to tabulate who translated what as what in order to see all the varieties here. Remember, however, that we are dealing here with one book, and the ultimate source for that is the pages of that book itself. No doubt changes in translation will continue to occur with it so you might be joining a moving target. So what are the issues:

M&R, the original MacQuarrie & Robinson convention (long standing academic standard) and against which McNeill and Stambaugh argue.

(A) Sein, a noun (when capitalized in the German)

M&R: translated as Being (capitalized).
William McNeill: translated as being (lower case)

Stambaugh: translated as being (lower case)

(B) sein, infinitive (lower case)

M&R: translated as "to be" or being, language permitting.

(C) Seiende(s), noun

M&R: translated usually as noun, entity(ies), in English this often sounds less awkward, sometime translated as "a being(s)".

(D) seiend (lower case), participle

M&R: translated as participle, being.

The uses in the article have been stable for some time. See first section of article it refrains from the capitalized version. I don't see what the fuss about capitalizing, it is used in Heidegger's language in B&T as a name after all and is not yet some kind of un-nameable. We capitalize names and titles all the time in English. Failing to capitalize might lose the distinction between Seing and sein. But since the article has always used lower case and there seems to be a consensus for it, that is fine. -- Lucas (Talk) 22:19, 3 February 2007 (UTC)

I've reverted a rather odd edit made by Lucas where he cites to an English translation, against a German quotation. Lucas, my patience is wearing thin. If you persist in these tendentious reverts, I escalate this. Do you understand? Dbuckner 09:18, 4 February 2007 (UTC)

User Dbuckner, escalate all you want; I am reverting your changes. You obviously do not have the least notion what you are talking about and once again you demonstrate this in plain view, and in the midst of a discussion to which you have nothing to contribute. Your intrusion is typical and unwanted. I should not even have to rebut your point, in any case, you are wrong to think an anonymous user's translation of German is better than the standard academic translation. If you continue to make such intrusions, let me make one thing clear, I will look further into your case! -- Lucas (Talk) 09:56, 4 February 2007 (UTC)

Lucas, you do realise, I hope, that it is standard practice in German to capitalize all nouns. It was, therefore, a tendentious decision by Macq/R to single out "Being" for capitalization in their translation. Their work remained the academic standard for many years, not because it was liked, but because it had no competition and was not easily replaced. I am accustomed to the capitalization, but think the alternative is well supported here. KD Tries Again 19:27, 5 February 2007 (UTC)KD
Yes I already know this about German texts. But English still has some relation to German and to capitalization. Though such use of capitalization has been declining in English, we still use it in certain cases to hint that the word might be or is a name. Since not capitalizing is risky too, it declares it not to be a name. As to whether Sein is a name or a noun or a verb's participle, well, even after 500 pages there is no answer, and so default position, follow the original and/or make it easier to read. -- Lucas (Talk) 01:22, 6 February 2007 (UTC)
As to whether Sein is a name or a noun or a verb's participle - Sein is not a participle. The participle is seiend. (Who suggests that Sein is a participle??) Omc (talk) 21:26, 19 February 2012 (UTC)

"Seiend"/"Seiendes" is not singular/plural[edit]

From footnote 4: translators usually render "Sein" as "being", the gerund of "to be", and "Seiend" (singlular) and "Seiendes" (plural) as the verb-derived noun "a being" and "beings,"

This is not accurate. "seiend" is not a verb-derived noun. It's a present participle, corresponding to "being" when used as a present participle. The noun form derived from "seiend" has different forms depending on syntax: "ein Seiendes", "das Seiende" (both singular); "Seiende" or "die Seienden" (both plural). Omc (talk) 19:58, 19 February 2012 (UTC)

Prevailing winds[edit]

"The prevailing winds are fairly offputting" says Mtevfrog. The problem is I'm not an expert on Heidegger, and it is always difficult for a non-expert to make a judgment. However, I know a troll when I see one, and I'm on a troll hunt. My judgment is that Mtevfrog and the editor who persists in calling himself an 8-digit number have done good work elsewhere, their contributions seem logical and sound, and well-written, and well-researched. But there is one person here, whose contributions are not always so welcome. Is that the general consensus? The problem is that Wikipedia proceeds by consensus, not by expert credentials, so other methods have to be used. The method is, draft edits, to whole paragraphs if need be, then make the change in a single edit. Then get consensus (the good editors can rely on my support, and I can draft reinforcements if necessary), and the edit stays. Dbuckner 12:12, 3 February 2007 (UTC)

Proposed sections to be deleted[edit]

I propose deleting the sections "Rejection of Descartes," "The philosophy of presence," "Being-with," "The scandal of philosophy," and "Time, temporality." Not that these are not topics about which one might want to write, but that in their current state they are not fit for revision. Hence if they are themes to be discussed in the entry, they need to be written again from the ground up. Mtevfrog 18:12, 4 February 2007 (UTC)

I support this proposal; while sections discussing his critique of Descartes and temporality are surely helpful, I think Being-with is a bit narrow and when re-written might better serve the reader if it dealt with the broader concept of Being-in-the-world and 'encountering'. I might also add that in undertaking a significant and difficult task with multiple strong-willed editors, it would perhaps be in everyone's interest to be patient and try to give adequate time between edits, comments, and drafts, so that everyone can read and digest the information. - Sam 00:29, 5 February 2007 (UTC)
I agree with Sam, the kind of "flash-edting" that has been taking place here only makes an article "appear" neater, or something, on the page, but it often removes much of the meat. The problem is that though much of wiki-philosophy has un-referenced material there is still something to be gleaned from it. I also think there is a big danger here of alienating the average reader if the numerous examples are not included. Nor do we want too many articles in this area "flash-edited" by the same people, diversity is good. -- Lucas (Talk) 02:46, 5 February 2007 (UTC)
Unfortunately, Lucas, I think that the community would respond to your ideas and suggestions better if you followed up yours words with actions, and if you stuck to the topic at hand. I do not know what you mean exactly when you say "flash-editing," but I do know that what I have trouble with are multiple, long and content-loaded posts/edits made within short periods of time - and you are just as guilty of this as are others. We all have lives apart from Wikipidia, and it is difficult to spare time to read all of the material, craft a response, and come to consensus when there seems to be so little time allowed for doing so. - Sam 03:13, 5 February 2007 (UTC)
Not sure what you mean in asking me to "follow up" on my words, though I'm relatively new to wiki and any advice is welcome. In any case what I mean by "flash-editing" of an article is this. Over the years many editors contribute to these articles. Sometimes long discussions occur in changing the articles. Then, all of a sudden, certain editors appear and start to radically change the article (deleting large sections, re-ordering text, etc.), they do it over a few days, with multiple edits and almost no discussion. Thus it is often thoughtless and with no more citations than was there before. And it often only gives a semblance of an improvement because the text is made to look neater. Now this way of editing ensures that their own changes will, in turn, be subjected to the same flash-editing in future, so it turns into a sysphusian task. The time factor is the very one I am concerned with, if one is busy and comes back to a page to find it has been flash-edited that is a problem. -- Lucas (Talk) 03:42, 5 February 2007 (UTC)
I think that I've been clear enough, and thank you for your explanation of "flash-editing" - but that it not what I am concerned about. My point above is about volume and content, and that others have time to read the material, understand it in context, and respond. - Sam 03:31, 7 February 2007 (UTC)

I agree, these sections are largely unreferenced (or have an asssumed reference to the book). I propose however, not to delete them until we get them re-written or new sections that cover the same ground are written. to take one example from the section "philosophy of presence":

His view inverts the traditional priority of theory over practice. For him the theoretical view is artificial and comes from just looking at something without any involvement, such an experience is 'levelled off'. For Heidegger this attitude is given the moniker, "present-at-hand" and it is parasitic upon our more fundamental mode of interaction, called "ready-to-hand". Parasitic in the sense that in our history we must first have an attitude or mood toward the world before we can adopt a scientific or neutral attitude toward it. Such a re-evaluation of science allows him to say, for example, that the friend caught sight of across the road is in fact closer than the street upon which one walks, that the voice on a phone is closer than the handpiece, that the glasses pushed back on your head, can be, when not found, considered as remote and far away.

Now the problem is that this passage seems largely to be correct, if not referenced. The issue of theory and practice are crucial for understanding Heidegger. The examples given here also are valuable and should not be deleted. But rather than get into the minutia of this passage, let us see how this theme, which is an important one for Heidegger is proposed to be covered.

I also propose deleting or moving the first section of "Introduction and Summary" I think it does not serve as a good intro, it is too advanced, dense and jargon-laden (who talks "pre-logical or pre-dicsursive"?) for your average wiki-reader. A long elaboration is needed before getting into the promordiality of ready-to-hand. And unlike the above quoted passage it is not pedagogical and is very abstract and without examples. It would be better later on on the article. Something along the lines of an explanation of this "philosophy of presence" or an explanation of the differences between present-at-hand and ready-to-hand might server the intro better. The topic of Being needs a section on its own and one that does not refer to the more difficult aspects such as the issue of "understanding and interpretation", or the as-structure or the fore-structure. The current intro tries to cover all these complex issues in two short paragraphs! -- Lucas (Talk) 19:38, 4 February 2007 (UTC)


I respectfully but firmly disagree with the proposals of Lucaas in relation to this entry. Mtevfrog 21:58, 4 February 2007 (UTC)

This is not a plebiscite but a talk page, a blank opinion agreeing or disagreeing is of no interest to us. -- Lucas (Talk) 02:31, 5 February 2007 (UTC)
Just letting you all know that the "work" of a poor editor has made contributing to this entry too unappealing to continue. Good luck to those with greater patience. Mtevfrog 03:00, 5 February 2007 (UTC)

Comment deleted. Mtevfrog 18:22, 7 February 2007 (UTC)

I wish there was a spell checker on this website. There are two 'c's in acclimatize. Heideggerean, this seems ok to me, how do you spell it? "Sufficient to the task" is ok too. Yes he found this out during "the course of writing B&T".

In any case please see my reply to matters other than spelling and syntax, in the following section, called Do we need to highlight Heidegger's neologistic language early in the article?

Do we need to highlight Heidegger's neologistic language early in the article?[edit]

Well you obviously saw my comment to Sam on flash-editing and Sisyphus.
I do feel however, that, far from being absurd, something does need to be said straight up in the intro about Heidegger's use of language. This is so that, reading the subsequent jargon language in parts of the article, will not be so off-putting. A "heads-up" is a good idea. Up to a few days ago there was a link to the Heideggerean terminology page in the intro which is very helpful for people not familiar with Heidegger. Unless you suggest that the page is for people who already know B&T, this issue of language indeed requires highlighting. Though I understand that other editors may be enurred to this language and fail to appreciate its importance for newby readers, and especially for certain Anglophone readers who consider B&T's language as obscurantist.-- Lucas (Talk) 06:58, 5 February 2007 (UTC)

Discussion of how to Approach an article on B&T[edit]

This is just to open discussion on these issues, it does not yet propose any particular changes.

What should be the various sections from the book?

We need to agree here also on what needs to be covered in an article on B&T. The intro is at the moment largely undisputed. However, the first section on "Being" and many further sections seem to be unclear. So should we attempt to give a full "summary" of the book? Which chapters in B&T should be covered which skipped, and why? Should our summaries be confined to certain spans of pages of B&T or should we attempt over-arching summaries of 100s of pages?

Difficulty of summarising it?

Now it is widely known that B&T is a difficult book, even some philosophers consider it obfuscating, with too many neo-logism etc. So given that the book is over 500 pages of quite intricately argued positions how can one summarise it? Or should we avoid summary? Maybe instead we should try and give "samples" from it and not try to assert some overall definitive meaning or result from it. Remember also, that the book itself argues against the forgetfulness of this kind of mis-use of assertions, of apophantic talk,etc.


There are only a couple of pages here in the article in comparison to the 500 pages of the book, so even to summarise the first 10 pages of B&T could be enough for an entire article.

The later re-interpretation of B&T?

There is an argument, though I do not make it, that the idea of Being is not the main "outcome" of B&T and, with that in mind it is possible to start the intro with some more historical or textual information, eg, about how Heidegger got to write the book, the initial reviews of it, a photo of the first (Engish) edition might also be nice. etc.

--Lucas (Talk) 20:46, 4 February 2007 (UTC)

A few corrections[edit]

I have started to look over the existing article for things which simply need correcting - for example, Sein und Zeit was not his "first" work. To be frank, the article is actually not bad in terms of overall accuracy, but I accept that a non-expert may find it hard to follow. KD Tries Again 15:45, 5 February 2007 (UTC)KD Came back and corrected "Heideggerean" which may seem "okay" but is actually just plain wrong.

Comment on Lucaas[edit]

Deleted. Mtevfrog 18:20, 7 February 2007 (UTC)

Comment on Mtevfrog[edit]

It is bad enough to hold an opinion about someone that is incorrect, but to falsely ascribe what my views are and on matters about which I have never spoken, as you continually do in the above paragraph ("on Lucas"), demonstrates only the desperation with which you try to defend views you have discussed above on this talk page, because, at bottom perhaps, you know they are indefensible.
I also find it distracting that you keep trying to spread, and enter into this kind of idle gossip that is unrelated to the article (or the discussions above) and, at the same time, try to pretend it is for the "sake of openness!". -- Lucas (Talk) 04:33, 6 February 2007 (UTC)

Rewrite needed[edit]

I keep going over the existing text, but every time I find a statement which needs to be corrected, the problem is that the following statements assume it to be true. This means that much of the article does need to be written afresh rather than improved. For example, Husserlian intentionality does not refer to the directedness of "thought" simply, but to perception and judgment. Correct this however, and it no longer meaningfully introduces the statements about Heidegger's views on "theoretical" knowledge.

Rather than just commenting on how long and difficult the book is, we should identify the main points which need to be covered, deal with them very simply first of all - then, once it hangs together, elaborate as much as seems necessary.

The central thrust of the book, I think, could be conveyed by paragraphs on the following:

  • The question of being.
  • Why that has to be explored through the question of dasein.
  • What is dasein? The ready-to-hand/environmental world.
  • Contrast with the present-to-hand world of theory.
  • Dasein as being-in-the-world.
  • Dasein as care.
  • Truth: section 44.
  • The question of time.
  • Dasein's temporality/historicality.
  • Language.
  • Anxiety, the crowd, idle talk - all that stuff.

I may not have the order quite right, but I think that covers the highlights. I do think sections on the genesis of the book, and on the relationship with Husserlian phenomenology, are justified. Arguably they would be less distracting after a summary of the text. Thoughts? KD Tries Again 21:06, 6 February 2007 (UTC)KD

I agree that a new article rather than a repair-job is called for. Indeed, I started to do just that, but found it did not meet Lucas' approval. Now I am disinclined to bother.
My overall strategy was simpler and more boring than KD's (fine) proposal above.
  • Introduction: Fundamental Ontology & Phenomenology
  • Division I: Being-in-the-world, Care & Truth
  • Division II: Death, Authenticity & Time
  • The unpublished portions
I think the major difference between my concept and KD's is that I would place an equal emphasis on Division II (pace, e.g., Dreyfus), since it is clear that Heidegger regarded it as getting closer to the Sache selbst than the "preparatory" analyses of Division I.
I did not want to pursue a section-by-section exposition. However, since everything I wrote that wasn't a direct reference to SZ was edited to the winds, I had to resort to a plodding, obtrusively footnoted approach. ... Perhaps other editors may be more lucky or perseverant. 271828182 22:46, 6 February 2007 (UTC)
I do have a prejudice against Division II, which I didn't mean to inflict on anyone. Fair comment. KD Tries Again 16:36, 7 February 2007 (UTC)KD

Proposal for re-write process (in consideration of above discussion)[edit]

I think that there has been adequate discussion at this point for us to begin a thorough re-write and edit process, and I also believe that it would be wise to do so off of the article page. This will create a place where there will be no percieved need to revert a standing version, and temper the tendency for off-topic arguments to arise. I have created Talk:Being_and_Time/draft_critique for the community to hash out the new content to the point of consensus.

In addition, I believe that the thoughts put forward immediately above by 271828182 and KD are quite appropriate, and the discussion about translation use and terminology are moving along as well, although somewhat slower. I think that we should start with an intro first, and once that is finishing up, then move on to work on the layout for the rest of the article.

To these ends, then, I will draft a version of the introductory paragraph for the artlce, and post it inside {{Quotation}} with a very concise explanation in bullet form. I suggest that everyone do the same, say by thursday night or friday sometime, and then we can go about making comments, evaluations and new draft suggestions.

Let's keep moving with our progress, but at the same time remember that there is no pressing deadline to rush for, and no requirement that this be perfect, only an improvement. - Sam 03:31, 7 February 2007 (UTC)

I have no objection to this method, but I don't believe it is necessary to start from scratch, and sets in train a process that will be very long and difficult. I believe the introduction (Being, Dasein, Time) and section on "Phenomenology in Heidegger and Husserl" are good enough to retain and slowly improve. Or, if it is desirable to go into more detail about the contents of the book, that these sections be added progressively, each time removing the relevant part that currently exists. I repeat my suggestion above about which sections should be immediately deleted as worthless—that is, specifically "Rejection of Descartes," "The philosophy of presence," "Being-with," "The scandal of philosophy," and "Time, temporality." Mtevfrog 03:44, 7 February 2007 (UTC)
I am sure you're right about those sections, but experience suggests it will only lead to energy-sapping problems with Lucas. KD Tries Again 16:38, 7 February 2007 (UTC)KD
Here's the lowdown on this entry, brothers and sisters: it suffers from a Scylla and Charybdis. The Scylla is a disruptive editor, who imagines himself a lone wolf. The Charybdis is the herd, paralysed by fear of the wolf, who react by adopting a committee-room approach to each morsel of potential editing by initiating discussions that somehow always fail to make much headway. The herd cannot be blamed for this, because when you see a wolf, you react, and if you're frightened, you cower. But the solution can only be for the herd to agree to conditions that will neutralise the wolf and make it possible to reach the next piece of turf, whether it turns out to be the Promised Land or not. In this case, those conditions are: for all or nearly all to agree to a translation convention (preferably my suggestion not to capitalise being, and to use "beings" not "entity") and to agree that the worthless paragraphs (see above) can be flushed forthwith, and then to back up those decisions if they are undermined by wandering wolves. That's the medicine that will make it possible to throw away those crutches. Hallelujah! Mtevfrog 17:09, 7 February 2007 (UTC)
I don't think anyone, apart from one person, disagrees with this. I looked at the worthless paragraphs and agree they are worthless, from a stylistic point of view. However I can't judge from a philosophical standpoint. They appear to address issues that are important to the article. Do you think they are worthless because of the issues they raise, or because they address them in a rambling, ungrammatical and incoherent manner? Dbuckner 07:14, 8 February 2007 (UTC)

For those interested[edit]

I decided earlier today to remove 3 of my comments from this talk page, as I did not think they were of value to future visitors of this page and the record remains for anybody who wishes to locate it. I gave my reason in the edit summary. This removal was reverted 3 times (so far) in half an hour by one user, despite warnings not to edit my edits, and thus which also constitutes interference with another user's edits on a talk page. Guess who. Mtevfrog 18:01, 7 February 2007 (UTC)

Retrospectively removing or revising comments on a talk page leaving replies to those comments in the air, or misleading, is bad etiquette. That they were of no value is not contested, but if you wish to later say they were of no value and retract them then do it properly and just say "sorry my argument was incoherent" or " I made a mistake".

I notice again that even the paragraph above you have re-edited after another editor's comment was made about it. -- Lucas (Talk) 18:21, 7 February 2007 (UTC)

Its always a pleasure to receive instruction in etiquette, but it does make a difference from whom one receives the lesson. I can see no excuse for 3 times interfering with another user's edits on a talk page, in spite of requests not to do so. Mtevfrog 18:35, 7 February 2007 (UTC)

Messing up the Talk page[edit]

Mtevfrog removed half of the comments (his own) from much of the discussion above. The discussion now looks incoherent, with comments like "in response to this" meaningless. So I restored your half. You also leave us wondering that when you write comments in future you will later retract them. To retract a comment on wiki talk, all you have to do is say "I'm sorry I was wrong on that, please forget about what I was saying".-- Lucas (Talk) 18:10, 7 February 2007 (UTC)

Priceless. This is like Origen lecturing on sex. 271828182 21:11, 7 February 2007 (UTC)
I've reviewed Lucas' comments for the past week, and now I can myself identify this editor as a malicious troll. I have been able to identitify only two comments that were useful contributions. I believe there is now enough evidence to consider most of his additions to be vandalism, and should be treated as such. Several quality editors seem to be becoming exhausted and seem to feel intimidated (which is what Lucas wants) by his domination of this page and article. Time for intervention. Richiar 13:04, 8 February 2007 (UTC)


Heidegger makes an distinction between Zeit and Zeitlichkeit. The last one is the ontologically founded in Dasein, while Zeit is the time of the clock, so the "scientific time". Maybe someone can look up the english translation of Zeitlichkeit, so we can correct this in the article? -- Tischbeinahe (talk) φιλο 17:33, 26 December 2007 (UTC)

Just made a small revision (to what was no doubt an oversight).It seemed rather silly to imply that Derrida's deconstruction is in any way a 'method' considering Derrida himself was explicit that is not to be seen as such. Sorry for the doubling up of the word approach in the same sentence but is still an improvement on the use of 'method' that was simply an incorrect use of the term. Any further discussion on this is welcome. (Badjah (talk) 11:47, 15 June 2008 (UTC))

Dreadful Translations Section[edit]

A little over a third of this article is taken up by a worthless translations section (including a thoroughly useless timeline). Seriously, what English-speaker (the audience for an English-language article) really cares what year the text was first translated into Croatian? The one or two people that actually do care can do the research. This article should spend more time going over the contents of the book it purports to be about. Ekwos (talk) 07:25, 18 February 2011 (UTC)

I second this point StainlessSteelScorpion (talk) 19:30, 25 May 2014 (UTC)

Heidegger was forced to prepare the book for publication[edit]

Does anyone have any further information on this point? StainlessSteelScorpion (talk) 19:28, 25 May 2014 (UTC)

Dasein: Estar[edit]

If you know Spanish you will know that there is a difference between Ser and Estar. In English there is only ¨to be¨, for both, and in German ¨sein¨, for both. If you really know Spanish and the difference between Ser and Estar, there you have what Heiddeger meant by Dasein. It is just a linguistic issue. Pipo. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2602:306:3498:5EC0:C08F:47F8:6716:91D9 (talk) 18:52, 26 April 2015 (UTC)

Possible expansion of 'Influence' section to include critique, or new section?[edit]

Hi all. I'm very new to wikipedia and I did not know the proper etiquette and procedures. I was only seeking to expand this wonderful article on an important book to include another scholar Heidegger influenced, along with his critique. I wasn't trying to be disruptive, I promise!

I'd like to propose that the Influence section be expanded to include critique, or to create a separate section for such critique. Lacan was VERY influenced by the central question Heidegger entertained in Being and Time (viz, the question of the 'meaning of being' which is spoken of numerous times in this article), so much so that he was essentially Heideggerian in the first two decades of his career (ie, a hermeneutical phenomenologist - also discussed in this article as characterizing the Heidegger of Being and Time). But by 1964 this changed when he directly took up this question.

My point with my two sentence addition was simply to capture these facts. I think readers would be interested in knowing more detail about the influence of this book, as well as the controversy it stirred and is still stirring. So I began with Lacan. I was hoping others would later expand upon how the other scholars alluded to in this section took up and grappled with elements of Being and Time. It would help situate the book in wider context - a wider 'hermeneutical sphere,' if you will. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Tele76 (talkcontribs) 23:59, 5 September 2016 (UTC)

If you want to add something about Heidegger's influence on Lacan, please ensure that the material focuses specifically on Being and Time. Otherwise it is probably not suitable for this article. FreeKnowledgeCreator (talk) 00:03, 6 September 2016 (UTC)

How is addressing 'the question of the meaning of being,' which is literally and directly take up in the first paragraphs of Being and Time by Heidegger himself, NOT a specific focus? Moreover, if you follow the link from the citation, you see that Lacan directly deals with this question in a venn diagram. What am I missing here? Tele76 (talk) 00:10, 6 September 2016 (UTC)

If you want to make an addition about Heidegger, you should ensure that the addition mentions Being and Time by name and explains how Lacan was influenced by it. Otherwise, it is confusing to readers, who will not necessarily have the background to know that "the question of the meaning of being" is discussed in the first paragraphs of Being and Time. FreeKnowledgeCreator (talk) 00:27, 6 September 2016 (UTC)

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This article could be so much better, but it isn't.[edit]

This is coming from someone who has read this book multiple times, and I mean no disrespect to any of the people who have edited this page... but, this article is, for lack of a better word, crap. It gives very little information about what is contained in the book. Look, the word "ontic" is only mentioned in a reference at the very bottom of the page. Come on! This is a central part of the book. No mention of being-with-others. No mention of the "problematic" concept of destiny, no anxiety. To use my Southern slang, "No nothing". But, if you look up any of these concepts there is an article on them and they are awesome, detailed, and well written. Shouldn't this article contain at least a "bare bones" narrative of the text? Or at least link the very influential and important concepts that articles such as this: mentions?

I think this article should function as a hub for the other excellent articles written about this text. Anyone else feel this way? I don't often contribute to Wikipedia, and in the past I've done so anonymously, but because this is an important book to both me and philosophy in general I felt motivated to create an account and make this article better. I'll work on a draft in the near future... — Preceding unsigned comment added by Subcomfreak (talkcontribs) 05:57, 2 December 2016 (UTC)

Thank you for your proposal to improve the article. I agree it needs improvement. If you propose to entirely rewrite the article, however, it would be appropriate to ask other editors for their opinions of your draft before replacing the existing text with it. FreeKnowledgeCreator (talk) 06:11, 2 December 2016 (UTC)

I think there are some good things here. For example, the background portion is good. The part on Husserl is good and need (remember he paradoxically dedicates the book to him). The destruction of metaphysics section, while potentially accurate, needs to be cited better (perhaps look at the section on Descartes and the first few sections). And related works and influence are fine, even though I would personally swap the sections... I take umbrage with the summary section. I think we should look at the page I linked and summarized the book chronologically using those terms, and explaining them in brief, while keeping the original "narrative" of the text intact. The divisions currently made do not really represent how the book reads or the full content of this important work. Naturally, I will share any edit I make with all of you, I tentatively plan to work on this in the upcoming weeks. I believe it is important for the Wikipedia article on this text to be good, specifically because new students to this text, who need to understand it, may not readily be able to find the information on Wikipedia that they need because the logical page to find information on this text is elsewhere. Given the ubiquity of this platform I feel obligated to help edit this article, and I will be in contact with all of you in the near future. Subcomfreak (talk) 06:17, 9 December 2016 (UTC)

  1. ^ ...
  2. ^ In German, Heidegger is distinguishing Sein (the verb-derived abstract noun corresponding to 'being' in English) from Seiend, the German gerund of the verb sein ('to be'). In English, however, the gerund of 'to be' is also 'being'. To preserve Heidegger's distinction, translators often render 'Seiend' as 'entity'.
  3. ^ "'Sein' ist nicht so etwas wie Seiendes", Sein und Zeit, p. 4.
  4. ^ "...das Sein, das, was Seiendes als Seiendes bestimmt, das, woraufhin Seiendes, mag es wie immer erörtert werden, je schon verstanden ist", Sein und Zeit, p. 6.
  5. ^ "aus dem her etwas als etwas verständlich wird", Sein und Zeit, p. 151.
  6. ^ Sein und Zeit, p. 37.
  7. ^ In German, Heidegger is distinguishing Sein (the verb-derived abstract noun corresponding to 'being' in English) from Seiend, the German gerund of the verb sein ('to be'). In English, however, the gerund of 'to be' is also 'being'. To preserve Heidegger's distinction, translators often render 'Seiend' as 'entity'.
  8. ^ "'Sein' ist nicht so etwas wie Seiendes", Sein und Zeit, p. 4.
  9. ^ "...das Sein, das, was Seiendes als Seiendes bestimmt, das, woraufhin Seiendes, mag es wie immer erörtert werden, je schon verstanden ist", Sein und Zeit, p. 6.
  10. ^ "aus dem her etwas als etwas verständlich wird", Sein und Zeit, p. 151.