Being and Time

Narrated by: Martyn Swain, Taylor Carman
Length: 23 hrs and 18 mins
Categories: Nonfiction, Philosophy
5 out of 5 stars (18 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

In his lucid introduction to this recording, Professor Taylor Carman declares unequivocally that Being and Time by Martin Heidegger (1889-1976) is ‘one of the great masterpieces of 20th century philosophy.’ And that is despite the fact that it is unquestionably a challenging listen. But by placing it in its historical context - the key work on existentialism between Søren Kierkegaard (1813-1855) and Jean-Paul Sartre (1905-1980) - it becomes much easier to approach. 

As Professor Carman explains, ‘Being and Time addresses a seemingly simple question: What does it mean to be?’ As far as we know, human beings are the only existing things ‘with an understanding of what it is for something to exist’ and, furthermore, are aware of their own existence. Heidegger chose the German word Dasein - existence: literally ‘being there’ - instead of more common expressions such as man, human being, soul, consciousness, etc. And he embarks upon his investigation, considering ‘being there in-the-world, in time (past, present, future); discussing ‘authentic’ and ‘inauthentic’ living and dying; and the acceptance of impermanence. ‘Dasein’s existence is pervaded by a primordial kind of anxiety (Angst)’, Carman remarks, but points out that the concept of care is central to Heidegger’s view: ‘to be a human being is to care about something’. 

Being and Time was published in 1927 during the Weimar period in Germany, a time of political, social and economic turmoil. Heidegger himself did not escape the pressures, and his nationalism and undeniable anti-Semitism in the following decades cast a shadow over the man, but not the work. Being and Time is not coloured by expressions of his later views (unlike other writings) and remains an outstanding document. 

This recording opens with Professor Carman reading his introduction. Being and Time is read by Martyn Swain. 

Translation: John Macquarrie and Edward Robinson. 

The contents - showing the plan of the work - and the full text of the introduction are available on a PDF for download with this recording.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio. 

©1967 Wiley Blackwell (P)2020 Ukemi Productions Ltd

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Surprised it works as audio

It actually makes more sense when you listen to it.

The highest-rated philosophy book on Goodreads.

People who are more into the arts or sciences who want to dip their toes into some fun relevant philosophical stuff: this book is a fun and rewarding "big idea" to wrap your head around. He’s like an ancient philosopher who has one big idea and he’s just cashing it out again and again. His approach is supposed to be simple and practical (not abstract, Heidegger is rejecting abstraction in favor of something more worldly, familiar and everyday).

Here's an opinion to help you understand what this book is about: 'being' in this book refers to the meaningful presence of things in the world of human concerns. As an entry point, this book is about how stuff in the world shows up for us as meaningful things.

Dasein is just a fancy way of pointing out: people are always in some kind of situation where we're conforming or rejecting social-historical norms and physical conditions that we find ourselves surrounded by. We're absorbed in activities in the world (like hammering a nail) in a way that's embodied and familiar. Heidegger's approach is a rejection of purely cognitive or exclusively psychological approaches to describing humans. Heidegger's starting point for talking about humans is a way around falling into explanatory traps like mind-body dualism and subject-object dualism. We're not brains that are computing the world like a machine. We're care. We give a sh*t.

If you need help: the classic Hubert Dreyfus lectures on Archive dot org follow along with this translation. The documentary movie "Being-in-the-World" attempts to cover the basics of this book. And the podcast "Partially Examined Life" and "Entitled Opinions" have multiple episodes that introduce and discuss Heidegger's philosophy. "Heidegger: Very Short Introduction" and "At the Existentialist Cafe" are good secondary sources (that are also on Audible). I don't like George Steiner's book.

For accessible contemporary "applied" versions of the ideas explored in this book (also on Audible): "Phenomenology of Dance" (Sheets-Johnstone) and "Out of Our Heads" (Alva Noe) and "The World Beyond Your Head" (Crawford) and "Sensemaking" (Madsbjerg) and "Surfing with Sartre" (James) and "Hyperobjects" (Morton). "Death" by Todd May is not on Audible, but the first chapter of that book works as an intro to Division II of Being and Time, and was influential on the TV show The Good Place. "This Life" by Martin Hagglund is on Audible and the opening is informed by Heidegger's discussion of death in Division II.

Just know: some sentences do not make sense and are not worth your time. Keep moving and it will start to fall into place. Heidegger's own introduction is bizarre if you're new to the book. Skip it. I would listen to Taylor Carman's introduction and then skip to Part I of Division I (i.e. track 12 on Audible). And the famous hammer analogy begins in section 15 (i.e. track 19 on Audible).

Understanding this book helps you unlock other writers: Arendt, de Beauvoir, Foucault, Bourdieu, Merleau-Ponty, Charles Taylor, Edward Said, Judith Butler (all have books on Audible). Most of European social theory during the second part of the twentieth century. Anglo-American social theory classics like Goffman's "The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life" and Berger's "The Social Construction of Reality" (both on Audible). I honestly didn’t understand Nietzsche until I read this book.

Heidegger was an unapologetic Nazi. Nothing redeemable about his character as a human. Pillage his writings for anything you find useful and throw out the rest. There's no way to defend this guy. That's the only reason why I'm not giving this 5 stars.

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Audacious Ukemi

In terms of scale of ambition, quality of content, and quality of execution, Ukemi has long surpassed Naxos to say nothing of the rest.

14 people found this helpful

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Great

I have not yet "read" this audio. But just the fact that this book now is available as audio is 5 big stars.

7 people found this helpful

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Excellent

Great performance and pace. I would love to hear more like this from Heidegger if possible. Thanks Ukemi.

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Hurrah! Much rejoicing!!

So happy to have this on audio! I am sure this will prove one of if not the most treasured piece of my audible library. Would've preferred to have the Stambaugh translation read but meh- I am not complaining. This older translation is a venerable classic. And the narration is spot on so far, Just wow- thank you for being the best nonfiction audiobook publisher on the market Ukemi!! You are greatly appreciated!

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Amazing performance!!

Haven't finished the book, but just have to say that Martyn Swain does an amazing job reading this. Heidegger is inherently difficult to understand, because his concepts are deep and require a lot of thought. But I find that Heidegger's way of expressing himself often adds to the burden. Swain reads in a way that makes the structure of each sentence clear, leaving the reader free to think about Heidegger's meaning rather than his sentence structure.

Before hearing this performance of B&T, I could not imagine how it would be possible to listen to such a dense text in a recording. But I'm finding that, to my amazement, that it's actually easier to follow the recording than the printed text. Mr Swain's reading brings out the structure of Heidegger's ideas with beautiful clarity. Add to that, that Mr Swain pronounces German and Greek fluently, and I think he deserves some kind of a medal. Bravo!