Book Review: Introduction to Philosophy — Thinking and Poetizing, Heidegger
In the winter semester of 1944, Martin Heidegger began what would be his final lecture course at the University of Freiburg — indeed, his last official lectures as a professor. Translated here, Einleitung in die Philosophie — Denken und Dichten (Introduction to Philosophy — Thinking and Poetizing) asks after the inner relationship of philosophy and poetry, thinking and poetizing. Pursuing this question does not ‘introduce’ (einleiten) us to philosophy; by our essence, we are already ‘in’ philosophy. But we are not at home in our philosophizing essence, and so we need a guide (Anleitung) in this “unknown region” (p. 3). Our guides in this course are Nietzsche, the poetizing thinker of homelessness, and Hölderlin, the thoughtful poet of homecoming. An encounter with Nietzsche’s poetizing thinking and with Hölderlin’s thinking poetizing will guide us towards a dwelling in our essence. Heidegger had spent much of the previous decade in confrontation with both Nietzsche and Hölderlin; here, he finally promises to think them together. Unfortunately, this promise is not fulfilled.