For Work / Against Work
Debates on the centrality of work

Poetry, Language, Thought

by Heidegger, Martin (1971)


Poetry, Language, Thought collects Martin Heidegger's pivotal writings on art, its role in human life and culture, and its relationship to thinking and truth. Essential reading for students and anyone interested in the great philosophers, this book opens up appreciation of Heidegger beyond the study of philosophy to the reaches of poetry and our fundamental relationship to the world. Featuring "The Origin of the Work of Art," a milestone in Heidegger's canon, this enduring volume provides potent, accessible entry to one of the most brilliant thinkers of modern times.

Key Passage

[Extract from: The Origin of the Work of Art]-A piece of equipment, a pair  of shoes for instance, when finished, is also self-contained like the mere  thing, but it does not have the  character  of  having  taken shape by itself like the granite boulder. On the other hand, equipment displays  an  affinity  with  the  art  work insofar  as  it  is  something  produced  by the  human  hand. However, by  its  self-sufficient  presence the work  of  art  is  similar rather to the mere thing which has taken shape by itself and is self-contained. Nevertheless we do not count such works among mere  things. As a rule it is the  use-objects  around  us that are  the  nearest  and  authentic  things. Thus the piece  of equipment is half thing, because characterized by thingliness, and yet it is something more; at the same time it is half art work and yet something less, because lacking the self-sufficiency of the art work. Equipment has a peculiar  position intermediate between  thing  and  work,  assuming that such a calculated ordering of them is permissible. (p.28)


Poetry, Heidegger, Art, Aesthetics, Culture, Artwork, Artist, Poetry, Twentieth Century


The Origin of the Work of Art [1936], Poetry, Language, Thought, Heidegger Citations

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