Speaking Being
Werner Erhard, Martin Heidegger, and a New Possibility of Being Human

Bruce Hyde, PhD and Drew Kopp, PhD; Wiley (2019)

David Eagleman, PhD, Neuroscientist at Stanford University, NY Times bestselling author:

“Millions have experienced the ideas of Werner Erhard, one of the most incisive and insightful thinkers of our generation. This book gives two additional and rare opportunities: to read the text of a Forum led by Erhard, and in parallel, to walk with a guide to the synergies between Erhard and the thinking of Martin Heidegger.”

The acclaimed new book, Speaking Being: Werner Erhard, Martin Heidegger, and a New Possibility of Being Human, provides an unprecedented study of the ideas and methodology developed by Werner Erhard. Already acknowledged by dozens of academics for its power, brilliance, and unique contribution, the book includes a transcript of an actual Forum led by Erhard in San Francisco in 1989. The book uses this text to create a comparative analysis that demonstrates how Erhard’s work and the philosophical ideas of Martin Heidegger–considered one of the greatest philosophers of the 20th Century–each illuminate the other.

 

What People Say:

 

James R. Doty, M.D.Clinical Professor of Neurosurgery at Stanford University:
"The profound impact that Werner Erhard has had, and continues to have, on culture and society is a manifestation of an incredible insight that Erhard has been making available to the public for decades: the experience of being. This book presents that experience for the first time--both through a transcript of an actual course led by Erhard, along with a study of his methodology for delivering that experience. On display are spectacular moments where Erhard exercises what he has sometimes described as ruthless compassion, and like all forms of compassion, at work is a fundamental motivating desire to alleviate the suffering of others."

 

Jeronima (Jeri) Echeverria, Professor of History and Provost Emerita, California State University at Fresno:
In Speaking Being the reader discovers two original thinkers – Werner Erhard and Martin Heidegger – two intellects who independently reached similar linguistic, ontological, and phenomenological philosophies that illuminate each other.  Authors Hyde and Kopp accomplish this formidable task by masterfully presenting Erhard and Heidegger side by side in a readable, lively, and illuminating text.  There is nothing quite like it!"

 

Jonathan D. Moreno, University of Pennsylvania Professor of Ethics:
This book is powerful, imaginative, frustrating, amusing, threatening, and enlightening——all at the same time. It also has the power to transform your life.”

 

Michael J. Hyde, University Distinguished Professor of Communication Ethics, Wake Forest University:
Theory and Practice: Ways of seeing what one claims to be the truth of some intended object of consciousness and ways of applying this truth to one’s everyday existence in order to cultivate wisdom, goodness, self-realization, and justice. The dialogical teachings of Werner Erhard speak to the importance of this relationship and its ontological significance. Professors Hyde and Kopp, scholars of rhetoric and communication who had observed and participated in programs designed by Erhard, provide comprehensive and detailed conversations--what they term “ontological rhetoric”--that took place in Erhard’s 1989 Forum, and they demonstrate how Erhard and Heidegger can be read together for the benefit of both. This book is a major achievement in the scholarship of Erhard and Heidegger studies. A much needed moment of enlightenment.

 

David Storey, Associate Professor, Boston College, author of Naturalizing Heidegger:
While some readers of Speaking Being may be familiar with The Landmark Forum, most don’t know its connections to the philosophical tradition. Hyde and Kopp have woven together concise explanations of Heidegger’s notoriously difficult thinking with an actual transcript of Erhard’s Forum—by turns moving, funny, and shocking. This juxtaposition draws the reader into the experience and powerfully illuminates the teachings of these two thinkers.

Cynthia Haynes, Professor, Rhetoric and Composition, Clemson University:
Speaking Being
is not a book. It is a multimodal tour de force of ontological rhetoric that hails its reader into an event and in so doing performs as an event, rather than what is commonly rendered as a book between two covers. Its status as an event is performed on every page wherein the “showing” of Being is enacted via its remarkable design. Kaleidoscopically, Bruce Hyde and Drew Kopp have drawn their readers into a dazzling display, where the participants in dialogue with Werner Erhard in a specific Forum in 1989 are put into dialogue with Martin Heidegger. The result is arguably one of the most astounding academic interventions into both Erhard’s methodology and Heideggerian thought. Citing David Farrell Krell, Hyde and Kopp remind us that “‘to be on a woodpath’ means to be in a cul-de-sac, a path that leads nowhere and has no exit.” Speaking Being puts its readers in a dizzying cul-de-sac within which they may never leave, but rather transform into one of the glittering particles of this rhetorical kaleidoscope.  


 


 

 

“I regard Speaking Being as an enormously important contribution to understanding Heidegger and Erhard. The latter has received far too little serious academic attention, and this book begins to make up for that lack. Moreover, the book’s analysis of Heidegger’s thought is among the best that I have ever read. I commend this book to all readers without reservation.”

 

Michael E. Zimmerman, Professor Emeritus, University of Colorado, Boulder

 

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WERNER ERHARD