Being True to Heidegger

In response to:

Caveat Lector: The New Heidegger from the December 4, 1980 issue

To the Editors:

As teachers of philosophy who have been reading and assigning Heidegger for some years, we were grateful for the publication [NYR, December 4] of Professor Thomas Sheehan’s informed and valuable criticism of the Heidegger Gesamtausgabe. We demur, however, at Professor Sheehan’s concluding paragraph concerning the Harper & Row series of translations of Heidegger. This series has been enormously valuable. Scholarship in the English-speaking world owes a great debt to the various translators, and to Harper & Row for its support of their efforts. All of us have, like Professor Sheehan, one quarrel or another with one or more of these translations. But such quarrels over details should not obscure the fact that Heidegger has been very well served. Without the selfless efforts of the late Professor Glenn Gray and his collaborators, this immensely important and difficult philosopher would simply not have been available to the English-speaking world.

Stanley Cavell, Harvard University; Hubert Dreyfus, University of California, Berkeley; Karsten Harries, Yale University; John Haugeland, University of Pittsburgh; David Hoy, Barnard College; Richard Rorty, Princeton University