Summary and Info
There are a couple of absolutely baffling reviews here. One suggests that someone other than Michael Inwood should have been asked to write it, preferrably "someone more familiar with Heidegger." This suggestion would surely baffle any Heidegger scholar, since Michael Inwood is regarded as a leading authority on Heidegger. If Michael Inwood is regarded as a major Heidegger scholar by the world's other leading Heidegger scholars, I presume that no reasonable person would question his familiarity with Heidegger's work.
The fact is that this book is enormously erudite and Michael Inwood both has a profound understanding of Heidegger's work and an unusual ability to express that understanding clearly. I'm not quite sure what the two reviewers who gave this outstanding work low ratings were looking for (I have other volumes in Blackwell's series of philosophical dictionaries as well), but this certainly didn't disappoint me in any way. It is very similar in format to the other volumes so that shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone. The articles may be a tad longer, but in large part that is because, unlike Rousseau or Descartes, Heidegger uses words in highly unusual ways. He employs a very large number of neologisms and even familiar words are employed with unique or highly developed meanings. In flipping through the pages, I could not find a single entry that I felt was too long. Just as I could not find a single one that didn't reflect either a lack of familiarity with Heidegger's work or a difficulty in explicating it.
In short, this is a must-own study guide to any and every serious student of Heidegger.
The book does, however, had a rather serious flaw. It is perhaps the worst-printed book that I have ever seen. The other five-star reviewers alludes to this. Dozens and dozens of characters are simply missing. The article on "Being: An Introduction" is printed " eing: An Introduction." The one on "Life and Biology" becomes "Life and iology." The article on "Subject and Object" is rendered "Su ject and O ject." The headers at the top of the page for the entire "B" section is missing the initial "B" as are many of the "M" headers. Luckily, the text in the articles is pretty complete. But occasionally you will stumble over what section you are reading. You can puzzle it out, but given the cost of the book and the usual reliability of Blackwell as a publisher, the printing errors (I call them printing errors rather than misprints because the latter are usually the result of proofreading errors, while the mistakes in this book are the fault of the printers) are rather baffling. I've taken to writing in pencil the correct letters, but I've never had to do this in a book before. Still, while this is irritating -- indeed, sometimes highly irritating -- it does not diminish the value of this book. It belongs on the shortest of short bookshelves of important books on Heidegger.