Bio & media: Published book reviews

My Heidegger Books: extracts from academic reviews:

The merit of Michael Watts work – what I find particularly appealing about it – is his ability to grasp the abstruse and abstract nature of someone’s thought, and render it in clear, concise, and concrete terms. He is a master at this! As a student in the sixties and seventies, the secondary sources on Heidegger that I consulted were mostly William Richardson, S.J., Thomas Langan, William Barrett, Alphonse De Waelhens, Henri Birault, Otto Poggeler, and few others. Had you been available at the time, these sources would have been monumentally superfluous. (Roy Martinez, Professor and Chair of the Department of Philosophy and Religion at Spelman College, Atlanta, USA and former editor of “The Very Idea of Radical Hermeneutics”)

To write clearly and accessibly, and yet present a philosopher’s ideas without trivialising or distorting them requires considerable intellectual discipline. This challenge is, arguably, all the more severe in the case of philosophers such as Heidegger and Wittgenstein ... Michael Watts has understood his responsibilities to the ‘newcomer’ very well. (Extract from The Philosophers’ Magazine [Summer 2002], review by Jonathan Derbyshire, Culture Editor of New Statesman and Managing Editor of Prospect)

Michael Watts gives an exceptionally clear and readable account of Being and Time, while also performing the difficult feat of weaving this into an account of Heidegger’s later writings. He provides valuable guidance for the beginner through the complexities of Heidegger’s thought and much of interest for those who are already ‘on the way’. (Michael Inwood, Trinity College, Oxford)

..Watts does in general manage to achieve a very high overall level of clarity and accessibility; he plainly knows the primary texts well…there are passages and chapters -- I think here particularly of the chapter on temporality, and the discussion of 'ereignis' and 'enteignis' -- that achieve a really unusual degree of clarity and illumination in the brief compass allowed. Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2011.10.04 by Stephen Mulhall, New College, Oxford

Kierkegaard: Extracts from academic reviews:

Best single source on Kierkegaard I’ve seen. Excellent short biography of his life and family. Fantastic explanation of how to approach Kierkegaard’s ideas... I did spend a lot of time on the Danish philosopher’s work as a graduate student (particularly Fear and Trembling) and I do wish that I had had this at the time. (Austin Cline, Agnosticism/Atheism Expert; former Regional Director for the Council for Secular Humanism. Master of Arts from Princeton University)

A reader’s delight... his presentation of Kierkegaard’s thought is crystalline, concise, and compelling... Michael Watts has succeeded in presenting the nuanced and multilayered thought of Kierkegaard in a very readable manner. (Roy Martinez, the late professor and chair of the Department of Philosophy and Religion at Spelman College and former editor of The Very idea of Radical Hermeneutics)