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Martin Heidegger

Martin Heidegger

Overview
Martin Heidegger was a German
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

 philosopher
Philosophy
Philosophy is the study of general and fundamental problems, such as those connected with existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language. Philosophy is distinguished from other ways of addressing such problems by its critical, generally systematic approach and its reliance on rational...

 known for his existential and phenomenological explorations of the "question of Being
Being
Being , is an English word used for conceptualizing subjective and objective aspects of reality, including those fundamental to the self —related to and somewhat interchangeable with terms like "existence" and "living".In its objective usage —as in "a being," or "[a] human being" —it...

."

His central belief was that philosophy, and society as a whole, was preoccupied with what it is that exists. His belief was that we find ourselves "always already" fallen into a world that already existed. But he insisted that we had forgotten the basic question of what it is to exist, of what being itself is.
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Quotations

Transcendence constitutes selfhood.

Essence of Ground (1929)

Warum ist überhaupt Seiendes und nicht vielmehr Nichts? Das ist die Frage.

Why is there Being at all, and not much rather Nothing? That is the question.

What is peddled about nowadays as philosophy, especially that of National Socialism|N.S., but has nothing to do with the inner truth and greatness of that movement [namely the encounter between global technology and modern humanity] is nothing but fishing in that troubled sea of values and totalities.

Introduction to Metaphysics (1953) — a publication of lectures of 1935.

The human body is essentially something other than an animal organism.

Letter on Humanism (1947)

The human being is not the lord of beings, but the shepherd of Being.

Letter on Humanism (1947)

Language is the house of the truth of Being.

Letter on Humanism (1947)

Agriculture is now a motorized food industry, the same thing in its essence as the production of corpses in the gas chambers and the extermination camps, the same thing as blockades and the reduction of countries to famine, the same thing as the manufacture of hydrogen bombs.

Four Lectures on Technology (1949)

Das Bedenklichste in unserer bedenklichen Zeit ist, dass wir noch nicht denken.

The most thought-provoking thing in our thought-provoking time is that we are still not thinking.

Everywhere we remain unfree and chained to technology, whether we passionately affirm or deny it. But we are delivered over to it in the worst possible way when we regard it as something neutral; for this conception of it, to which today we particularly like to do homage, makes us utterly blind to the essence of technology.

The Question Concerning Technology|The Question Concerning Technology (1954)
Encyclopedia
Martin Heidegger was a German
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

 philosopher
Philosophy
Philosophy is the study of general and fundamental problems, such as those connected with existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language. Philosophy is distinguished from other ways of addressing such problems by its critical, generally systematic approach and its reliance on rational...

 known for his existential and phenomenological explorations of the "question of Being
Being
Being , is an English word used for conceptualizing subjective and objective aspects of reality, including those fundamental to the self —related to and somewhat interchangeable with terms like "existence" and "living".In its objective usage —as in "a being," or "[a] human being" —it...

."

His central belief was that philosophy, and society as a whole, was preoccupied with what it is that exists. His belief was that we find ourselves "always already" fallen into a world that already existed. But he insisted that we had forgotten the basic question of what it is to exist, of what being itself is. This question defines our central nature. He argued that we are practical agents, caring and concerned about our projects in the world, and allowing it to reveal, or 'unconceal' itself to us. He came to believe that our proactive interference and manipulation of reality is often harmful and hides our true being as essentially limited participants, not masters, of the world which we discover.

Heidegger wrote about these issues in his best-known book, Being and Time
Being and Time
Being and Time is a book by the German philosopher Martin Heidegger. Although written quickly, and despite the fact that Heidegger never completed the project outlined in the introduction, it remains his most important work and has profoundly influenced 20th-century philosophy, particularly...

(1927), which is considered to be one of the most important philosophical works of the 20th century. Heidegger's views have implications beyond philosophy, in literature, psychology, theology and artificial intelligence
Artificial intelligence
Artificial intelligence is the intelligence of machines and the branch of computer science that aims to create it. AI textbooks define the field as "the study and design of intelligent agents" where an intelligent agent is a system that perceives its environment and takes actions that maximize its...

.

He remains controversial due to his membership in the Nazi Party and statements in support of Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler was an Austrian-born German politician and the leader of the National Socialist German Workers Party , commonly referred to as the Nazi Party). He was Chancellor of Germany from 1933 to 1945, and head of state from 1934 to 1945...

, for which he never apologized or expressed regret.

Overview


Heidegger claimed that Western philosophy
Western philosophy
Western philosophy is the philosophical thought and work of the Western or Occidental world, as distinct from Eastern or Oriental philosophies and the varieties of indigenous philosophies....

 since Plato
Plato
Plato , was a Classical Greek philosopher, mathematician, student of Socrates, writer of philosophical dialogues, and founder of the Academy in Athens, the first institution of higher learning in the Western world. Along with his mentor, Socrates, and his student, Aristotle, Plato helped to lay the...

, has misunderstood what it means for something "to be", tending to approach this question in terms of a being, rather than asking about Being itself. In other words, Heidegger believed all investigations of being have historically focused on particular entities and their properties, or have treated Being itself as an entity, or substance
Substance theory
Substance theory, or substance attribute theory, is an ontological theory about objecthood, positing that a substance is distinct from its properties. A thing-in-itself is a property-bearer that must be distinguished from the properties it bears....

, with properties. A more authentic analysis of being would, for Heidegger, investigate "that on the basis of which beings are already understood," or that which underlies all particular entities and allows them to show up as entities in the first place (see world disclosure
World disclosure
World disclosure is a phenomenon described by the German philosopher Martin Heidegger in his landmark book Being and Time. It has also been discussed by philosophers such as John Dewey, Jürgen Habermas and Charles Taylor...

). But since philosophers and scientists have overlooked the more basic, pre-theoretical ways of being from which their theories derive, and since they have incorrectly applied those theories universally, they have confused our understanding of being and human existence. To avoid these deep-rooted misconceptions, Heidegger believed philosophical inquiry must be conducted in a new way, through a process of retracing the steps of the history of philosophy.

Heidegger argued that this misunderstanding, beginning with Plato, has left its traces in every stage of Western thought. All that we understand, from the way we speak to our notions of "common sense
Common sense
Common sense is defined by Merriam-Webster as, "sound and prudent judgment based on a simple perception of the situation or facts." Thus, "common sense" equates to the knowledge and experience which most people already have, or which the person using the term believes that they do or should have...

", is susceptible to error, to fundamental mistakes about the nature of being. These mistakes filter into the terms through which being is articulated in the history of philosophy—such as reality, logic, God, consciousness, and presence. In his later philosophy, Heidegger argues that this profoundly affects the way in which human beings relate to modern technology.

The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy states that his writing is 'notoriously difficult', possibly because his thinking was 'original' and clearly on obscure and innovative topics. Heidegger accepted this charge, stating 'Making itself intelligible is suicide for philosophy', and suggesting that intelligibility is what he is critically trying to examine.

Heidegger's work has strongly influenced philosophy, aesthetics of literature, and the humanities. Within philosophy it played a crucial role in the development of existentialism
Existentialism
Existentialism is a term applied to a school of 19th- and 20th-century philosophers who, despite profound doctrinal differences, shared the belief that philosophical thinking begins with the human subject—not merely the thinking subject, but the acting, feeling, living human individual...

, hermeneutics, deconstructionism, postmodernism
Postmodernism
Postmodernism is a philosophical movement evolved in reaction to modernism, the tendency in contemporary culture to accept only objective truth and to be inherently suspicious towards a global cultural narrative or meta-narrative. Postmodernist thought is an intentional departure from the...

, and continental philosophy
Continental philosophy
Continental philosophy, in contemporary usage, refers to a set of traditions of 19th and 20th century philosophy from mainland Europe. This sense of the term originated among English-speaking philosophers in the second half of the 20th century, who used it to refer to a range of thinkers and...

 in general. Well-known philosophers such as Karl Jaspers
Karl Jaspers
Karl Theodor Jaspers was a German psychiatrist and philosopher who had a strong influence on modern theology, psychiatry and philosophy. After being trained in and practicing psychiatry, Jaspers turned to philosophical inquiry and attempted to discover an innovative philosophical system...

, Leo Strauss
Leo Strauss
Leo Strauss was a political philosopher and classicist who specialized in classical political philosophy. He was born in Germany to Jewish parents and later emigrated to the United States...

, Ahmad Fardid
Ahmad Fardid
Ahmad Fardid was a prominent Iranian philosopher and an inspiring and dedicated professor of Tehran University. He is considered to be among the ideologues of the Islamic government of Iran which came to power in 1979...

, Hans-Georg Gadamer
Hans-Georg Gadamer
Hans-Georg Gadamer was a German philosopher of the continental tradition, best known for his 1960 magnum opus, Truth and Method .-Life:...

, Jean-Paul Sartre
Jean-Paul Sartre
Jean-Paul Charles Aymard Sartre was a French existentialist philosopher, playwright, novelist, screenwriter, political activist, biographer, and literary critic. He was one of the leading figures in 20th century French philosophy, particularly Marxism, and was one of the key figures in literary...

, Emmanuel Lévinas
Emmanuel Lévinas
Emmanuel Levinas was a Lithuanian-born French Jewish philosopher and Talmudic commentator.-Life:Emanuelis Levinas received a traditional Jewish education in Lithuania...

, Hannah Arendt
Hannah Arendt
Hannah Arendt was a German American political theorist. She has often been described as a philosopher, although she refused that label on the grounds that philosophy is concerned with "man in the singular." She described herself instead as a political theorist because her work centers on the fact...

, Maurice Merleau-Ponty
Maurice Merleau-Ponty
Maurice Merleau-Ponty was a French phenomenological philosopher, strongly influenced by Karl Marx, Edmund Husserl and Martin Heidegger in addition to being closely associated with Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir...

, Michel Foucault
Michel Foucault
Michel Foucault , born Paul-Michel Foucault , was a French philosopher, social theorist and historian of ideas...

, Richard Rorty
Richard Rorty
Richard McKay Rorty was an American philosopher. He had a long and diverse academic career, including positions as Stuart Professor of Philosophy at Princeton, Kenan Professor of Humanities at the University of Virginia, and Professor of Comparative Literature at Stanford University...

, William E. Connolly
William E. Connolly
William E. Connolly is a political theorist known for his work on democracy and pluralism. He is the Krieger-Eisenhower Professor of Political Science at Johns Hopkins University. His 1974 work The Terms of Political Discourse won the 1999 Benjamin Lippincott Award.-Biography:Connolly was raised in...

, and Jacques Derrida
Jacques Derrida
Jacques Derrida was a French philosopher, born in French Algeria. He developed the critical theory known as deconstruction and his work has been labeled as post-structuralism and associated with postmodern philosophy...

 have all analyzed Heidegger's work.

Heidegger supported National Socialism and was a member of the Nazi Party from May 1933 until May 1945. His defenders, notably Hannah Arendt, see this support as arguably a personal " 'error' " (a word which Arendt placed in quotation marks when referring to Heidegger's Nazi-era politics). Defenders think this error was largely irrelevant to Heidegger's philosophy. Critics, such as his former students Emmanuel Levinas
Emmanuel Lévinas
Emmanuel Levinas was a Lithuanian-born French Jewish philosopher and Talmudic commentator.-Life:Emanuelis Levinas received a traditional Jewish education in Lithuania...

 and Karl Löwith
Karl Löwith
Karl Löwith , was a German philosopher, a student of Heidegger.Löwith was born in Munich. Though he was himself Protestant, his family was of Jewish descent and he therefore had to emigrate Germany in 1934 because of the National Socialist regime. He went to Italy and in 1936 he went to Japan...

, claim that Heidegger's support for National Socialism revealed flaws inherent in his thought.

Early years



Heidegger was born in rural Meßkirch
Meßkirch
Meßkirch is a town in the district of Sigmaringen in Baden-Württemberg in Germany.Meßkirch was the residence of the counts of Zimmern, widely known through Count Froben Christoph's Zimmern Chronicle ....

, Germany. Raised a Roman Catholic, he was the son of the sexton
Sexton (office)
A sexton is a church, congregation or synagogue officer charged with the maintenance of its buildings and/or the surrounding graveyard. In smaller places of worship, this office is often combined with that of verger...

 of the village church, Friedrich Heidegger, and his wife Johanna, née Kempf. In their faith, his parents adhered to the First Vatican Council
First Vatican Council
The First Vatican Council was convoked by Pope Pius IX on 29 June 1868, after a period of planning and preparation that began on 6 December 1864. This twentieth ecumenical council of the Roman Catholic Church, held three centuries after the Council of Trent, opened on 8 December 1869 and adjourned...

 of 1870, which was observed mainly by the poorer class of Meßkirch. The religious controversy between the wealthy Altkatholiken and the working class led to the temporary use of a converted barn for the Roman Catholics. At the festive reunion of the congregation in 1895, the Old Catholic sexton handed the key to six-year-old Martin.

Heidegger's family could not afford to send him to university, so he entered a Jesuit seminary, though he was turned away within weeks because of the health requirement, and what he described as a psychosomatic heart condition. Heidegger later left Catholicism, describing it as incompatible with his philosophy. After studying theology at the University of Freiburg from 1909 to 1911, he switched to philosophy, in part again because of his heart condition. Heidegger completed his doctoral thesis on psychologism
Psychologism
Psychologism is a generic type of position in philosophy according to which psychology plays a central role in grounding or explaining some other, non-psychological type of fact or law...

 in 1914 influenced by Neo-Thomism and Neo-Kantianism
Neo-Kantianism
Neo-Kantianism refers broadly to a revived type of philosophy along the lines of that laid down by Immanuel Kant in the 18th century, or more specifically by Schopenhauer's criticism of the Kantian philosophy in his work The World as Will and Representation , as well as by other post-Kantian...

, and in 1916 finished his venia legendi with a thesis on Duns Scotus
Duns Scotus
Blessed John Duns Scotus, O.F.M. was one of the more important theologians and philosophers of the High Middle Ages. He was nicknamed Doctor Subtilis for his penetrating and subtle manner of thought....

 influenced by Heinrich Rickert
Heinrich Rickert
Heinrich John Rickert was a German philosopher, one of the leading Neo-Kantians.-Life:He was born in Danzig, Prussia and died in Heidelberg, Germany.-Thought:...

 and Edmund Husserl
Edmund Husserl
Edmund Gustav Albrecht Husserl was a philosopher and mathematician and the founder of the 20th century philosophical school of phenomenology. He broke with the positivist orientation of the science and philosophy of his day, yet he elaborated critiques of historicism and of psychologism in logic...

. In the two years following, he worked first as an unsalaried Privatdozent
Privatdozent
Privatdozent or Private lecturer is a title conferred in some European university systems, especially in German-speaking countries, for someone who pursues an academic career and holds all formal qualifications to become a tenured university professor...

, then served as a soldier during the final year of World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

, working behind a desk and never leaving Germany. After the war, he served as a salaried senior assistant to Edmund Husserl at the University of Freiburg
University of Freiburg
The University of Freiburg , sometimes referred to in English as the Albert Ludwig University of Freiburg, is a public research university located in Freiburg im Breisgau, Baden-Württemberg, Germany.The university was founded in 1457 by the Habsburg dynasty as the...

 from 1919 until 1923.

Marburg


In 1923, Heidegger was elected to an extraordinary Professorship in Philosophy at the University of Marburg. His colleagues there included Rudolf Bultmann
Rudolf Bultmann
Rudolf Karl Bultmann was a German theologian of Lutheran background, who was for three decades professor of New Testament studies at the University of Marburg...

, Nicolai Hartmann
Nicolai Hartmann
-Biography:Hartmann was born of German descent in Riga, which was then the capital of the Russian province of Livonia, and which is now in Latvia. He studied Medicine at the University of Tartu , then Philosophy in St. Petersburg and at the University of Marburg in Germany, where he took his Ph.D....

, and Paul Natorp
Paul Natorp
Paul Gerhard Natorp was a German philosopher and educationalist, considered one of the co-founders of the Marburg school of neo-Kantianism. He was known as an authority on Plato....

. Heidegger's students at Marburg included Hans-Georg Gadamer
Hans-Georg Gadamer
Hans-Georg Gadamer was a German philosopher of the continental tradition, best known for his 1960 magnum opus, Truth and Method .-Life:...

, Hannah Arendt
Hannah Arendt
Hannah Arendt was a German American political theorist. She has often been described as a philosopher, although she refused that label on the grounds that philosophy is concerned with "man in the singular." She described herself instead as a political theorist because her work centers on the fact...

, Karl Löwith
Karl Löwith
Karl Löwith , was a German philosopher, a student of Heidegger.Löwith was born in Munich. Though he was himself Protestant, his family was of Jewish descent and he therefore had to emigrate Germany in 1934 because of the National Socialist regime. He went to Italy and in 1936 he went to Japan...

, Gerhard Krüger, Leo Strauss
Leo Strauss
Leo Strauss was a political philosopher and classicist who specialized in classical political philosophy. He was born in Germany to Jewish parents and later emigrated to the United States...

, Jacob Klein
Jacob Klein (philosopher)
Jacob Klein was a German-American philosopher and interpreter of Plato.-Biography:Klein was born in Liepāja, Latvia. He studied at Berlin and Marburg, where he received his Ph.D. in 1922. A student of Nicolai Hartmann, Martin Heidegger, and Edmund Husserl, he later taught at St. John's College in...

, Gunther (Stern) Anders
Günther Anders
Günther Anders was a Jewish philosopher and journalist who developed a philosophical anthropology for the age of technology, focusing on such themes as the effects of mass media on our emotional and ethical existence, the nuclear threat, the Shoah and the question of being a philosopher.- Biography...

, and Hans Jonas
Hans Jonas
Hans Jonas was a German-born philosopher who was, from 1955 to 1976, Alvin Johnson Professor of Philosophy at the New School for Social Research in New York City.Jonas's writings were very influential in different spheres...

. Through a confrontation with Aristotle
Aristotle
Aristotle was a Greek philosopher and polymath, a student of Plato and teacher of Alexander the Great. His writings cover many subjects, including physics, metaphysics, poetry, theater, music, logic, rhetoric, linguistics, politics, government, ethics, biology, and zoology...

 he began to develop in his lectures the main theme of his philosophy: the question of the sense of being. He extended the concept of subject to the dimension of history
History
History is the discovery, collection, organization, and presentation of information about past events. History can also mean the period of time after writing was invented. Scholars who write about history are called historians...

 and concrete existence
Existence
In common usage, existence is the world we are aware of through our senses, and that persists independently without them. In academic philosophy the word has a more specialized meaning, being contrasted with essence, which specifies different forms of existence as well as different identity...

, which he found prefigured in such Christian thinkers as Saint Paul
Paul of Tarsus
Paul the Apostle , also known as Saul of Tarsus, is described in the Christian New Testament as one of the most influential early Christian missionaries, with the writings ascribed to him by the church forming a considerable portion of the New Testament...

, Augustine of Hippo
Augustine of Hippo
Augustine of Hippo , also known as Augustine, St. Augustine, St. Austin, St. Augoustinos, Blessed Augustine, or St. Augustine the Blessed, was Bishop of Hippo Regius . He was a Latin-speaking philosopher and theologian who lived in the Roman Africa Province...

, Luther
Martin Luther
Martin Luther was a German priest, professor of theology and iconic figure of the Protestant Reformation. He strongly disputed the claim that freedom from God's punishment for sin could be purchased with money. He confronted indulgence salesman Johann Tetzel with his Ninety-Five Theses in 1517...

, and Kierkegaard. He also read the works of Dilthey
Dilthey
Dilthey is a surname:*Karl Dilthey, German classical scholar and archaeologist.*Wilhelm Dilthey, Karl's older brother and German historian, psychologist, sociologist, student of hermeneutics, and philosopher....

, Husserl, and Max Scheler
Max Scheler
Max Scheler was a German philosopher known for his work in phenomenology, ethics, and philosophical anthropology...

.

Freiburg


In 1927, Heidegger published his main work Sein und Zeit (Being and Time). When Husserl retired as Professor of Philosophy in 1928, Heidegger accepted Freiburg's election to be his successor, in spite of a counter-offer by Marburg. Heidegger remained at Freiburg im Breisgau for the rest of his life, declining a number of later offers, including one from Humboldt University of Berlin
Humboldt University of Berlin
The Humboldt University of Berlin is Berlin's oldest university, founded in 1810 as the University of Berlin by the liberal Prussian educational reformer and linguist Wilhelm von Humboldt, whose university model has strongly influenced other European and Western universities...

. His students at Freiburg included Charles Malik, Herbert Marcuse
Herbert Marcuse
Herbert Marcuse was a German Jewish philosopher, sociologist and political theorist, associated with the Frankfurt School of critical theory...

, and Ernst Nolte
Ernst Nolte
Ernst Nolte is a German historian and philosopher. Nolte’s major interest is the comparative studies of Fascism and Communism. He is Professor Emeritus of Modern History at the Free University of Berlin, where he taught from 1973 to 1991. He was previously a Professor at the University of Marburg...

. Emmanuel Levinas
Emmanuel Lévinas
Emmanuel Levinas was a Lithuanian-born French Jewish philosopher and Talmudic commentator.-Life:Emanuelis Levinas received a traditional Jewish education in Lithuania...

 attended his lecture courses during his stay in Freiburg in 1928.

Heidegger was elected rector of the University on April 21, 1933, and joined the National Socialist German Workers' (Nazi) Party on May 1. In his inaugural address as rector on May 27, and in political speeches and articles from the same year, he expressed his support for the Nazi cause and its leader, Adolf Hitler. He resigned the rectorate in April 1934, but remained a member of the Nazi party until 1945.

Post-war


In late 1946, as France engaged in épuration légale
Épuration légale
The Épuration légale was the wave of official trials that followed the Liberation of France and the fall of the Vichy Regime...

, the French military authorities determined that Heidegger should be forbidden from teaching or participating in any university activities because of his association with the Nazi Party. The denazification
Denazification
Denazification was an Allied initiative to rid German and Austrian society, culture, press, economy, judiciary, and politics of any remnants of the National Socialist ideology. It was carried out specifically by removing those involved from positions of influence and by disbanding or rendering...

 procedures against Heidegger continued until March 1949, when he was finally pronounced a "Mitläufer" (literally, mit=with, Läufer=runner, i.e. "one who runs along with", but the equivalent meaning in English is closer to "bandwagon effect" or "herd instinct", standing for the notion that people often do and believe things merely because many other people do and believe the same things) of National Socialism, and no punitive measures against him were proposed. This opened the way for his readmission to teaching at Freiburg University in the winter semester of 1950–51. He was granted emeritus status and then taught regularly from 1951 until 1958, and by invitation until 1967.

Personal life


Heidegger married Elfride Petri on March 21, 1917, in a Catholic ceremony officiated by his friend Engelbert Krebs, and a week later in a Protestant ceremony in the presence of her parents. Their first son Jörg was born in 1919. According to published correspondence between the spouses, Hermann (born 1920) is the son of Elfride and Friedel Caesar.

Martin Heidegger had extramarital affairs with Hannah Arendt
Hannah Arendt
Hannah Arendt was a German American political theorist. She has often been described as a philosopher, although she refused that label on the grounds that philosophy is concerned with "man in the singular." She described herself instead as a political theorist because her work centers on the fact...

 and Elisabeth Blochmann
Elisabeth Blochmann
Elisabeth Blochmann was an eminent scholar of education, as well as of philosophy, and a pioneer in and researcher of women's education in Germany.-Life:...

, both students of his. Arendt was Jewish, and Blochmann had one Jewish parent, making them subject to severe persecution by the Nazi authorities. He helped Blochmann emigrate from Germany prior to World War II, and resumed contact with both of them after the war.

Heidegger spent much time at his vacation home at Todtnauberg
Todtnauberg
Todtnauberg is a German village in Black Forest belonging to the municipality of Todtnau, in Baden-Württemberg. It is named after the homonym mount and is famous because it was the place where the German philosopher Martin Heidegger had a chalet.-Geography:The village is located at amsl, in...

, on the edge of the Black Forest
Black Forest
The Black Forest is a wooded mountain range in Baden-Württemberg, southwestern Germany. It is bordered by the Rhine valley to the west and south. The highest peak is the Feldberg with an elevation of 1,493 metres ....

. He considered the seclusion provided by the forest to be the best environment in which to engage in philosophical thought.


Heidegger died on May 26, 1976, and was buried in the Meßkirch cemetery.

Being, time, and Dasein


Heidegger's philosophy is founded on the attempt to conjoin what he considers two fundamental insights:
  • The first is his observation that, in the course of over 2,000 years of history, philosophy has attended to all the beings that can be found in the world (including the "world" itself), but has forgotten to ask what "being" itself is. This is Heidegger's "question of being," and it is Heidegger's fundamental concern throughout his work. One crucial source of this insight was Heidegger's reading of Franz Brentano's
    Franz Brentano
    Franz Clemens Honoratus Hermann Brentano was an influential German philosopher and psychologist whose influence was felt by other such luminaries as Sigmund Freud, Edmund Husserl, Kazimierz Twardowski and Alexius Meinong, who followed and adapted his views.-Life:Brentano was born at Marienberg am...

     treatise on Aristotle's manifold uses of the word "being," a work which provoked Heidegger to ask what kind of unity underlies this multiplicity of uses. Heidegger opens his magnum opus, Being and Time, with a citation from Plato's
    Plato
    Plato , was a Classical Greek philosopher, mathematician, student of Socrates, writer of philosophical dialogues, and founder of the Academy in Athens, the first institution of higher learning in the Western world. Along with his mentor, Socrates, and his student, Aristotle, Plato helped to lay the...

     Sophist
    Sophist (dialogue)
    The Sophist is a Platonic dialogue from the philosopher's late period, most likely written in 360 BCE. Having criticized his Theory of Forms in the Parmenides, Plato presents a new conception of the forms in the Sophist, more mundane and down-to-earth than its predecessor...

      indicating that Western philosophy has neglected "being" because it was considered obvious, rather than as worthy of question. Heidegger's intuition about the question of being is thus a historical argument, which in his later work becomes his concern with the "history of being," that is, the history of the forgetting of being, which according to Heidegger requires that philosophy retrace its footsteps through a productive "destruction
    Heideggerian terminology
    Martin Heidegger, the 20th-century German philosopher, introduced to the world a large body of work which intended a profound change of direction for philosophy...

    " of the history of philosophy.
  • The second intuition animating Heidegger's philosophy derives from the influence of Edmund Husserl
    Edmund Husserl
    Edmund Gustav Albrecht Husserl was a philosopher and mathematician and the founder of the 20th century philosophical school of phenomenology. He broke with the positivist orientation of the science and philosophy of his day, yet he elaborated critiques of historicism and of psychologism in logic...

    , a philosopher largely uninterested in questions of philosophical history. Rather, Husserl argued that all that philosophy could and should be is a description of experience (hence the phenomenological slogan, "to the things themselves"). But for Heidegger, this meant understanding that experience is always already situated in a world
    World disclosure
    World disclosure is a phenomenon described by the German philosopher Martin Heidegger in his landmark book Being and Time. It has also been discussed by philosophers such as John Dewey, Jürgen Habermas and Charles Taylor...

     and in ways of being. Thus Husserl's understanding that all consciousness is "intentional
    Intentionality
    The term intentionality was introduced by Jeremy Bentham as a principle of utility in his doctrine of consciousness for the purpose of distinguishing acts that are intentional and acts that are not...

    " (in the sense that it is always intended toward something, and is always "about" something) is transformed in Heidegger's philosophy, becoming the thought that all experience is grounded in "care." This is the basis of Heidegger's "existential analytic", as he develops it in Being and Time. Heidegger argues that to describe experience properly entails finding the being for whom such a description might matter. Heidegger thus conducts his description of experience with reference to "Dasein
    Dasein
    Dasein is a German word famously used by Martin Heidegger in his magnum opus Being and Time, which generally translates to being in its ontological and philosophical sense Dasein is a German word famously used by Martin Heidegger in his magnum opus Being and Time, which generally translates to...

    ," the being for whom being is a question. In Being and Time, Heidegger criticized the abstract and metaphysical character of traditional ways of grasping human existence as rational animal, person, man, soul, spirit, or subject. Dasein, then, is not intended as a way of conducting a philosophical anthropology
    Philosophical anthropology
    Philosophical anthropology is a discipline dealing with questions of metaphysics and phenomenology of the human person, and interpersonal relationships. It is the attempt to unify disparate ways of understanding behaviour of humans as both creatures of their social environments and creators of...

    , but is rather understood by Heidegger to be the condition of possibility for anything like a philosophical anthropology. Dasein, according to Heidegger, is care. In the course of his existential analytic, Heidegger argues that Dasein, who finds itself thrown into the world amidst things and with others, is thrown into its possibilities, including the possibility and inevitability of one's own mortality. The need for Dasein to assume these possibilities, that is, the need to be responsible for one's own existence, is the basis of Heidegger's notions of authenticity and resoluteness—that is, of those specific possibilities for Dasein which depend on escaping the "vulgar" temporality of calculation and of public life.


The marriage of these two observations depends on the fact that each of them is essentially concerned with time. That Dasein is thrown into an already existing world and thus into its mortal possibilities does not only mean that Dasein is an essentially temporal being; it also implies that the description of Dasein can only be carried out in terms inherited from the Western tradition itself. For Heidegger, unlike for Husserl, philosophical terminology could not be divorced from the history of the use of that terminology, and thus genuine philosophy could not avoid confronting questions of language and meaning. The existential analytic of Being and Time was thus always only a first step in Heidegger's philosophy, to be followed by the "dismantling" (Destruktion) of the history of philosophy, that is, a transformation of its language and meaning, that would have made of the existential analytic only a kind of "limit case" (in the sense in which special relativity is a limit case of general relativity).

That Heidegger did not write this second part of Being and Time, and that the existential analytic was left behind in the course of Heidegger's subsequent writings on the history of being, might be interpreted as a failure to conjugate his account of individual experience with his account of the vicissitudes of the collective human adventure that he understands the Western philosophical tradition to be. And this would in turn raise the question of whether this failure is due to a flaw in Heidegger's account of temporality, that is, of whether Heidegger was correct to oppose vulgar and authentic time.

Being and Time



Being and Time (German title: Sein und Zeit), published in 1927, is Heidegger's first academic book. He had been under pressure to publish in order to qualify for Husserl's chair at University of Freiburg
University of Freiburg
The University of Freiburg , sometimes referred to in English as the Albert Ludwig University of Freiburg, is a public research university located in Freiburg im Breisgau, Baden-Württemberg, Germany.The university was founded in 1457 by the Habsburg dynasty as the...

 and the success of this work ensured his appointment to the post.

It investigates the question of being
Being
Being , is an English word used for conceptualizing subjective and objective aspects of reality, including those fundamental to the self —related to and somewhat interchangeable with terms like "existence" and "living".In its objective usage —as in "a being," or "[a] human being" —it...

 by asking about the being for whom being is a question. Heidegger names this being Dasein (see above), and the book pursues its investigation through themes such as mortality, care, anxiety, temporality, and historicity. It was Heidegger's original intention to write a second half of the book, consisting of a "Destruktion" of the history of philosophy—that is, the transformation of philosophy by re-tracing its history—but he never completed this project.

Being and Time influenced many thinkers, including such existentialist thinkers as Jean-Paul Sartre (although Heidegger distanced himself from existentialism
Existentialism
Existentialism is a term applied to a school of 19th- and 20th-century philosophers who, despite profound doctrinal differences, shared the belief that philosophical thinking begins with the human subject—not merely the thinking subject, but the acting, feeling, living human individual...

—see below).

Later works: a 'Turn'?



Heidegger's later works, after the Second World War, seem to many commentators (e.g. William J. Richardson) to at least reflect a shift of focus, if not indeed a major change in his philosophical outlook. One way this has been understood is as a shift from "doing" to "dwelling". However, others feel that this is to overstate the difference. For example, in 2011 Mark Wrathall argued that Heidegger pursued and refined the central notion of unconcealment throughout his life as a philosopher. Its importance and continuity in his thinking, Wrathall states, shows that he did not have a 'turn'. A reviewer of Wrathall's book stated: "An ontology of unconcealment ... means a description and analysis of the broad contexts in which entities show up as meaningful to us, as well as the conditions under which such contexts, or worlds, emerge and fade."

Heidegger focuses less on the way in which the structures of being are revealed in everyday behavior, and more on the way in which behavior itself depends on a prior "openness to being." The essence of being human is the maintenance of this openness. Heidegger contrasts this openness to the "will to power" of the modern human subject, which is one way of forgetting this originary openness.

Heidegger understands the commencement of the history of Western philosophy as a brief period of authentic openness to being, during the time of the pre-Socratics
Pre-Socratic philosophy
Pre-Socratic philosophy is Greek philosophy before Socrates . In Classical antiquity, the Presocratic philosophers were called physiologoi...

, especially Anaximander
Anaximander
Anaximander was a pre-Socratic Greek philosopher who lived in Miletus, a city of Ionia; Milet in modern Turkey. He belonged to the Milesian school and learned the teachings of his master Thales...

, Heraclitus
Heraclitus
Heraclitus of Ephesus was a pre-Socratic Greek philosopher, a native of the Greek city Ephesus, Ionia, on the coast of Asia Minor. He was of distinguished parentage. Little is known about his early life and education, but he regarded himself as self-taught and a pioneer of wisdom...

, and Parmenides
Parmenides
Parmenides of Elea was an ancient Greek philosopher born in Elea, a Greek city on the southern coast of Italy. He was the founder of the Eleatic school of philosophy. The single known work of Parmenides is a poem, On Nature, which has survived only in fragmentary form. In this poem, Parmenides...

. This was followed, according to Heidegger, by a long period increasingly dominated by the forgetting of this initial openness, a period which commences with Plato
Plato
Plato , was a Classical Greek philosopher, mathematician, student of Socrates, writer of philosophical dialogues, and founder of the Academy in Athens, the first institution of higher learning in the Western world. Along with his mentor, Socrates, and his student, Aristotle, Plato helped to lay the...

, and which occurs in different ways throughout Western history.

Two recurring themes of Heidegger's later writings are poetry and technology. Heidegger sees poetry and technology as two contrasting ways of "revealing." Poetry reveals being in the way in which, if it is genuine poetry, it commences something new. Technology, on the other hand, when it gets going, inaugurates the world of the dichotomous subject and object, which modern philosophy commencing with Descartes also reveals. But with modern technology a new stage of revealing is reached, in which the subject-object distinction is overcome even in the "material" world of technology. The essence of modern technology is the conversion of the whole universe of beings into an undifferentiated "standing reserve" (Bestand) of energy available for any use to which humans choose to put it. Heidegger described the essence of modern technology as Gestell
Gestell
Gestell is a German word used by twentieth century German philosopher Martin Heidegger to describe what lies behind or beneath modern technology.-Heidegger's notion of Gestell:...

, or "enframing." Heidegger does not unequivocally condemn technology: while he acknowledges that modern technology contains grave dangers, Heidegger nevertheless also argues that it may constitute a chance for human beings to enter a new epoch in their relation to being. Despite this, some commentators have insisted that an agrarian nostalgia permeates his later work.

In a 1950 lecture he formulated the famous saying Language speaks
Language speaks
Language speaks , is a famous saying by Martin Heidegger. Heidegger first formulated it in his 1950 lecture Language , and frequently repeated it in later works....

, later published in the 1959 essays collection Unterwegs zur Sprache, and collected in the 1971 English book Poetry, Language, Thought.

Heidegger's later works include Vom Wesen der Wahrheit ("On the Essence of Truth", 1930), Der Ursprung des Kunstwerkes ("The Origin of the Work of Art
The Origin of the Work of Art
The Origin of the Work of Art is the title of an article by German philosopher Martin Heidegger. Heidegger drafted the text between 1935 and 1937, reworking it for publication in 1950 and again in 1960...

", 1935), Einführung in die Metaphysik ("Introduction to Metaphysics
Introduction to Metaphysics
An Introduction to Metaphysics is a 1903 essay by Henri Bergson that explores the concept of reality. For Bergson, reality occurs not in a series of discrete states but as a process similar to that described by process philosophy or the Greek philosopher Heraclitus...

", 1935), Bauen Wohnen Denken ("Building Dwelling Thinking", 1951), and Die Frage nach der Technik ("The Question Concerning Technology
The Question Concerning Technology
For Martin Heidegger broadly, the question of being formed the essence of his philosophical inquiry. In The Question Concerning Technology , Heidegger sustains this inquiry, but turns to the particular phenomenon of technology, seeking to derive the essence of technology and humanity’s role of...

", 1954) and Was heisst Denken? ("What Is Called Thinking?" 1954). Also Beiträge zur Philosophie (Vom Ereignis) (Contributions to Philosophy (From Enowning)
Contributions to Philosophy (From Enowning)
Contributions to Philosophy is the title of the English translation of German philosopher Martin Heidegger's Beitrage Zur Philosophie ...

), composed in the years 1936–38 but not published until 1989, on the centennial of Heidegger's birth.

St. Augustine of Hippo


Recent scholarship has shown that Heidegger was substantially influenced by St. Augustine of Hippo
Augustine of Hippo
Augustine of Hippo , also known as Augustine, St. Augustine, St. Austin, St. Augoustinos, Blessed Augustine, or St. Augustine the Blessed, was Bishop of Hippo Regius . He was a Latin-speaking philosopher and theologian who lived in the Roman Africa Province...

 and that Martin Heidegger's Being and Time would not have been possible without the influence of Augustine's thought. Augustine's Confessions
Confessions (St. Augustine)
Confessions is the name of an autobiographical work, consisting of 13 books, by St. Augustine of Hippo, written between AD 397 and AD 398. Modern English translations of it are sometimes published under the title The Confessions of St...

 was particularly influential in shaping Heidegger's thought.

Aristotle and the Greeks


Heidegger was influenced at an early age by Aristotle, mediated through Catholic theology
Theology
Theology is the systematic and rational study of religion and its influences and of the nature of religious truths, or the learned profession acquired by completing specialized training in religious studies, usually at a university or school of divinity or seminary.-Definition:Augustine of Hippo...

, medieval philosophy
Medieval philosophy
Medieval philosophy is the philosophy in the era now known as medieval or the Middle Ages, the period roughly extending from the fall of the Western Roman Empire in the fifth century AD to the Renaissance in the sixteenth century...

, and Franz Brentano
Franz Brentano
Franz Clemens Honoratus Hermann Brentano was an influential German philosopher and psychologist whose influence was felt by other such luminaries as Sigmund Freud, Edmund Husserl, Kazimierz Twardowski and Alexius Meinong, who followed and adapted his views.-Life:Brentano was born at Marienberg am...

. Aristotle's ethical, logical, and metaphysical works were crucial to the development of his thought in the crucial period of the 1920s. Although he later worked less on Aristotle, Heidegger recommended postponing reading Nietzsche, and to "first study Aristotle for ten to fifteen years." In reading Aristotle, Heidegger increasingly contested the traditional Latin translation and scholastic interpretation of his thought. Particularly important (not least for its influence upon others, both in their interpretation of Aristotle and in rehabilitating a neo-Aristotelian "practical philosophy") was his radical reinterpretation of Book Six of Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics
Nicomachean Ethics
The Nicomachean Ethics is the name normally given to Aristotle's best known work on ethics. The English version of the title derives from Greek Ἠθικὰ Νικομάχεια, transliterated Ethika Nikomacheia, which is sometimes also given in the genitive form as Ἠθικῶν Νικομαχείων, Ethikōn Nikomacheiōn...

and several books of the Metaphysics
Metaphysics (Aristotle)
Metaphysics is one of the principal works of Aristotle and the first major work of the branch of philosophy with the same name. The principal subject is "being qua being", or being understood as being. It examines what can be asserted about anything that exists just because of its existence and...

. Both informed the argument of Being and Time.

The idea of asking about being
Being
Being , is an English word used for conceptualizing subjective and objective aspects of reality, including those fundamental to the self —related to and somewhat interchangeable with terms like "existence" and "living".In its objective usage —as in "a being," or "[a] human being" —it...

 may be traced back via Aristotle to Parmenides
Parmenides
Parmenides of Elea was an ancient Greek philosopher born in Elea, a Greek city on the southern coast of Italy. He was the founder of the Eleatic school of philosophy. The single known work of Parmenides is a poem, On Nature, which has survived only in fragmentary form. In this poem, Parmenides...

. Heidegger claimed to have revived the question of being, the question having been largely forgotten by the metaphysical
Metaphysics
Metaphysics is a branch of philosophy concerned with explaining the fundamental nature of being and the world, although the term is not easily defined. Traditionally, metaphysics attempts to answer two basic questions in the broadest possible terms:...

 tradition extending from Plato to Descartes, a forgetfulness extending to the Age of Enlightenment
Age of Enlightenment
The Age of Enlightenment was an elite cultural movement of intellectuals in 18th century Europe that sought to mobilize the power of reason in order to reform society and advance knowledge. It promoted intellectual interchange and opposed intolerance and abuses in church and state...

 and then to modern science and technology. In pursuit of the retrieval of this question, Heidegger spent considerable time reflecting on ancient Greek thought
Greek philosophy
Ancient Greek philosophy arose in the 6th century BCE and continued through the Hellenistic period, at which point Ancient Greece was incorporated in the Roman Empire...

, in particular on Plato, Parmenides
Parmenides
Parmenides of Elea was an ancient Greek philosopher born in Elea, a Greek city on the southern coast of Italy. He was the founder of the Eleatic school of philosophy. The single known work of Parmenides is a poem, On Nature, which has survived only in fragmentary form. In this poem, Parmenides...

, Heraclitus
Heraclitus
Heraclitus of Ephesus was a pre-Socratic Greek philosopher, a native of the Greek city Ephesus, Ionia, on the coast of Asia Minor. He was of distinguished parentage. Little is known about his early life and education, but he regarded himself as self-taught and a pioneer of wisdom...

, and Anaximander, as well as on the tragic playwright Sophocles
Sophocles
Sophocles is one of three ancient Greek tragedians whose plays have survived. His first plays were written later than those of Aeschylus, and earlier than or contemporary with those of Euripides...

.

Dilthey


Heidegger's very early project of developing a "hermeneutics of factical
Facticity
Facticity has a multiplicity of meanings from "factuality" and "contingency" to the intractable conditions of human existence.The term is first used by Fichte and has a variety of meanings...

 life" and his hermeneutical transformation of phenomenology was influenced in part by his reading of the works of Wilhelm Dilthey
Wilhelm Dilthey
Wilhelm Dilthey was a German historian, psychologist, sociologist and hermeneutic philosopher, who held Hegel's Chair in Philosophy at the University of Berlin. As a polymathic philosopher, working in a modern research university, Dilthey's research interests revolved around questions of...

.

Of the influence of Dilthey, Hans-Georg Gadamer
Hans-Georg Gadamer
Hans-Georg Gadamer was a German philosopher of the continental tradition, best known for his 1960 magnum opus, Truth and Method .-Life:...

 writes the following: "As far as Dilthey is concerned, we all know today what I have known for a long time: namely that it is a mistake to conclude on the basis of the citation in Being and Time that Dilthey was especially influential in the development of Heidegger's thinking in the mid-1920s. This dating of the influence is much too late." He adds that by the fall of 1923 it was plain that Heidegger felt "the clear superiority of Count Yorck
Paul Yorck von Wartenburg
Hans Ludwig David Paul Graf York von Wartenburg was a German lawyer, writer and philosopher.York developed a hermeneutical philosophy of history in exchange with his friend Wilhelm Dilthey...

 over the famous scholar, Dilthey." Gadamer nevertheless makes clear that Dilthey's influence was important in helping the youthful Heidegger "in distancing himself from the systematic ideal of Neo-Kantianism, as Heidegger acknowledges in Being and Time." Based on Heidegger's earliest lecture courses, in which Heidegger already engages Dilthey's thought prior to the period Gadamer mentions as "too late", scholars as diverse as Theodore Kisiel
Theodore Kisiel
Theodore Kisiel, Distinguished Research Professor Emeritus of philosophy at Northern Illinois University, is a well-known translator of and commentator on the works of Martin Heidegger. Kisiel is known for his research on the development of Heidegger's early thought...

 and David Farrell Krell
David Farrell Krell
David Farrell Krell is a professor of philosophy at DePaul University. He received his Ph.D. in philosophy at Duquesne University, where he wrote his dissertation on Heidegger and Nietzsche. He has taught at many universities in Germany, France, and England...

 have argued for the importance of Diltheyan concepts and strategies in the formation of Heidegger's thought.

Even though Gadamer's interpretation of Heidegger has been questioned, there is little doubt that Heidegger seized upon Dilthey's concept of hermeneutics. Heidegger's novel ideas about ontology required a gestalt formation, not merely a series of logical arguments, in order to demonstrate his fundamentally new paradigm of thinking, and the hermeneutic circle offered a new and powerful tool for the articulation and realization of these ideas.

Husserl


There is disagreement over the degree of influence that Husserl had on Heidegger's philosophical development, just as there is disagreement about the degree to which Heidegger's philosophy is grounded in phenomenology. These disagreements centre around how much of Husserlian phenomenology is contested by Heidegger, and how much this phenomenology in fact informs Heidegger's own understanding.

On the relation between the two figures, Gadamer wrote: "When asked about phenomenology, Husserl was quite right to answer as he used to in the period directly after World War I: 'Phenomenology, that is me and Heidegger'." Nevertheless, Gadamer noted that Heidegger was no patient collaborator with Husserl, and that Heidegger's "rash ascent to the top, the incomparable fascination he aroused, and his stormy temperament surely must have made Husserl, the patient one, as suspicious of Heidegger as he always had been of Max Scheler's
Max Scheler
Max Scheler was a German philosopher known for his work in phenomenology, ethics, and philosophical anthropology...

 volcanic fire."

Robert J. Dostal understood the importance of Husserl to be profound:
Heidegger himself, who is supposed to have broken with Husserl, bases his hermeneutics on an account of time that not only parallels Husserl's account in many ways but seems to have been arrived at through the same phenomenological method as was used by Husserl.... The differences between Husserl and Heidegger are significant, but if we do not see how much it is the case that Husserlian phenomenology provides the framework for Heidegger's approach, we will not be able to appreciate the exact nature of Heidegger's project in Being and Time or why he let it unfinished.


Daniel O. Dahlstrom saw Heidegger's presentation of his work as a departure from Husserl as unfairly misrepresenting Husserl's own work. Dahlstrom concluded his consideration of the relation between Heidegger and Husserl as follows:

Heidegger's silence about the stark similarities between his account of temporality and Husserl's investigation of internal time-consciousness contributes to a misrepresentation of Husserl's account of intentionality. Contrary to the criticisms Heidegger advances in his lectures, intentionality (and, by implication, the meaning of 'to be') in the final analysis is not construed by Husserl as sheer presence (be it the presence of a fact or object, act or event). Yet for all its "dangerous closeness" to what Heidegger understands by temporality, Husserl's account of internal time-consciousness does differ fundamentally. In Husserl's account the structure of protentions is accorded neither the finitude nor the primacy that Heidegger claims are central to the original future of ecstatic-horizonal temporality.

Kierkegaard


Heideggerians regarded Søren Kierkegaard
Søren Kierkegaard
Søren Aabye Kierkegaard was a Danish Christian philosopher, theologian and religious author. He was a critic of idealist intellectuals and philosophers of his time, such as Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph Schelling and Karl Wilhelm Friedrich Schlegel...

 as, by far, the greatest philosophical contributor to Heidegger's own existentialist concepts. Heidegger's concepts of anxiety (Angst
Angst
Angst is an English, German, Danish, Norwegian and Dutch word for fear or anxiety . It is used in English to describe an intense feeling of apprehension, anxiety or inner turmoil...

) and mortality draw on Kierkegaard and are indebted to the way in which the latter lays out the importance of our subjective relation to truth, our existence in the face of death, the temporality of existence, and the importance of passionate affirmation of one's individual being-in-the-world.

Hölderlin and Nietzsche



Friedrich Hölderlin
Friedrich Hölderlin
Johann Christian Friedrich Hölderlin was a major German lyric poet, commonly associated with the artistic movement known as Romanticism. Hölderlin was also an important thinker in the development of German Idealism, particularly his early association with and philosophical influence on his...

 and Friedrich Nietzsche
Friedrich Nietzsche
Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche was a 19th-century German philosopher, poet, composer and classical philologist...

 were both important influences on Heidegger, and many of his lecture courses were devoted to one or the other, especially in the 1930s and 1940s. The lectures on Nietzsche focused on fragments posthumously published under the title The Will to Power, rather than on Nietzsche's published works. Heidegger read The Will to Power as the culminating expression of Western metaphysics, and the lectures are a kind of dialogue between the two thinkers.

This is also the case for the lecture courses devoted to the poetry of Friedrich Hölderlin, which became an increasingly central focus of Heidegger's work and thought. Heidegger grants to Hölderlin a singular place within the history of being and the history of Germany, as a herald whose thought is yet to be "heard" in Germany or the West. Many of Heidegger's works from the 1930s onwards include meditations on lines from Hölderlin's poetry, and several of the lecture courses are devoted to the reading of a single poem (see, for example, Hölderlin's Hymn "The Ister").

Heidegger and Eastern thought


Some writers on Heidegger's work see possibilities within it for dialogue with traditions of thought outside of Western philosophy, particularly East Asian thinking. Despite perceived differences between Eastern and Western philosophy, some of Heidegger's later work, particularly "A Dialogue on Language between a Japanese and an Inquirer", does show an interest in initiating such a dialogue. Heidegger himself had contact with a number of leading Japanese intellectuals, including members of the Kyoto School
Kyoto School
The Kyoto School is the name given to the Japanese "philosophical movement centered at Kyoto University that assimilated western philosophy and religious ideas and used them to reformulate religious and moral insights unique to the East Asian cultural tradition." However, it is also used to...

, notably Hajime Tanabe
Hajime Tanabe
was a Japanese philosopher of the Kyoto School. In 1947 he became a member of The Japan Academy, in 1950 he received the Order of Cultural Merit, and in 1957 an honorary doctorate from University of Freiburg....

 and Kuki Shūzō
Kuki Shuzo
was a prominent Japanese academic, philosopher and university professor.-Early life:Shūzō was the fourth child of Baron Kuki Ryūichi a high bureaucrat in the Meiji Ministry for Culture and Education...

. It has also been claimed that a number of elements within Heidegger's thought bear a close parallel to Eastern philosophical ideas, particularly Zen Buddhism and Taoism
Taoism
Taoism refers to a philosophical or religious tradition in which the basic concept is to establish harmony with the Tao , which is the mechanism of everything that exists...

. Paul Hsao records Chang Chung-Yuan saying that "Heidegger is the only Western Philosopher who not only intellectually understands but has intuitively grasped Taoist thought." Some authors see great influence of Japanese scholars in Heidegger's work, although this influence is not acknowledged by the author.

Islam


Some scholars interested in the relationships between Western philosophy and the history of ideas in Islam
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

 and Arabic philosophical medieval sources may have been influenced by Heidegger's work. It is claimed the works of counter-enlightenment philosophers such as Heidegger, along with Friedrich Nietzsche
Friedrich Nietzsche
Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche was a 19th-century German philosopher, poet, composer and classical philologist...

 and Joseph de Maistre
Joseph de Maistre
Joseph-Marie, comte de Maistre was a French-speaking Savoyard philosopher, writer, lawyer, and diplomat. He defended hierarchical societies and a monarchical State in the period immediately following the French Revolution...

, influenced Iran's Shia Islamists, notably Ali Shariati
Ali Shariati
Ali Shariati was an Iranian revolutionary and sociologist, who focused on the sociology of religion. He is held as one of the most influential Iranian intellectuals of the 20th century and has been called the 'ideologue of the Iranian Revolution'.-Biography:Ali....

, in constructing the ideological foundations of the Iranian Revolution
Iranian Revolution
The Iranian Revolution refers to events involving the overthrow of Iran's monarchy under Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi and its replacement with an Islamic republic under Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the leader of the...

 and modern political Islam.

The rectorate



Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler was an Austrian-born German politician and the leader of the National Socialist German Workers Party , commonly referred to as the Nazi Party). He was Chancellor of Germany from 1933 to 1945, and head of state from 1934 to 1945...

 was sworn in as Chancellor of Germany on January 30, 1933. Heidegger was elected rector of the University of Freiburg
University of Freiburg
The University of Freiburg , sometimes referred to in English as the Albert Ludwig University of Freiburg, is a public research university located in Freiburg im Breisgau, Baden-Württemberg, Germany.The university was founded in 1457 by the Habsburg dynasty as the...

 on April 21, 1933, and assumed the position the following day. On May 1 he joined the Nazi Party.

Heidegger delivered his inaugural address, the Rektoratsrede, on "Die Selbstbehauptung der Deutschen Universität" ("The Self-assertion of the German University") on May 27. Heidegger claimed that: "The German people must choose its future, and this future is bound to the Führer
Führer
Führer , alternatively spelled Fuehrer in both English and German when the umlaut is not available, is a German title meaning leader or guide now most associated with Adolf Hitler, who modelled it on Benito Mussolini's title il Duce, as well as with Georg von Schönerer, whose followers also...

."

His tenure as rector was fraught with difficulties from the outset. Some National Socialist education officials viewed him as a rival, while others saw his efforts as comical. Some of Heidegger's fellow National Socialists also ridiculed his philosophical writings as gibberish. He finally offered his resignation on April 23, 1934, and it was accepted on April 27. Heidegger remained a member of both the academic faculty and of the Nazi Party until the end of the war.

Philosophical historian Hans Sluga
Hans Sluga
Hans D. Sluga is a German academic, who is a professor of philosophy at the University of California, Berkeley. He teaches and writes on, among other things, Gottlob Frege, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Martin Heidegger, Michel Foucault, and German philosophy in the Nazi period.He studied at the...

 wrote:

Though as rector he prevented students from displaying an anti-Semitic poster at the entrance to the university and from holding a book burning, he kept in close contact with the Nazi student leaders and clearly signaled to them his sympathy with their activism.


In 1945 Heidegger wrote of his term as rector, giving the writing to his son Hermann; it was published in 1983:

The rectorate was an attempt to see something in the movement that had come to power, beyond all its failings and crudeness, that was much more far-reaching and that could perhaps one day bring a concentration on the Germans' Western historical essence. It will in no way be denied that at the time I believed in such possibilities and for that reason renounced the actual vocation of thinking in favor of being effective in an official capacity. In no way will what was caused by my own inadequacy in office be played down. But these points of view do not capture what is essential and what moved me to accept the rectorate.

Treatment of Husserl


Beginning in 1917, German-Jewish philosopher Edmund Husserl championed Heidegger's work, and helped him secure the retiring Husserl's chair in Philosophy at the University of Freiburg.

On April 6, 1933, the Reichskommissar
Reichskommissar
Reichskommissar , in German history, was an official gubernatorial title used for various public offices during the period of the German Empire and the Nazi Third Reich....

 of Baden
Baden
Baden is a historical state on the east bank of the Rhine in the southwest of Germany, now the western part of the Baden-Württemberg of Germany....

 Province, Robert Wagner, suspended all Jewish government employees, including present and retired faculty at the University of Freiburg. Heidegger's predecessor as Rector formally notified Husserl of his "enforced leave of absence" on April 14, 1933.

Heidegger became Rector of the University of Freiburg on April 22, 1933. The following week the national Reich law of April 28, 1933, replaced Reichskommissar Wagner's decree. The Reich law required the firing of Jewish professors from German universities, including those, such as Husserl, who had converted to Christianity. The termination of the retired professor Husserl's academic privileges thus did not involve any specific action on Heidegger's part.

Heidegger had by then broken off contact with Husserl, other than through intermediaries. Heidegger later claimed that his relationship with Husserl had already become strained after Husserl publicly "settled accounts" with Heidegger and Max Scheler
Max Scheler
Max Scheler was a German philosopher known for his work in phenomenology, ethics, and philosophical anthropology...

 in the early 1930s.

Heidegger did not attend his former mentor's cremation in 1938. In 1941, under pressure from publisher Max Niemeyer, Heidegger agreed to remove the dedication to Husserl from Being and Time (restored in post-war editions).

Heidegger's behavior towards Husserl has evoked controversy. Hannah Arendt initially suggested that Heidegger's behavior precipitated Husserl's death. She called Heidegger a "potential murderer." However, she later recanted her accusation.

Post-rectorate period


After the failure of Heidegger's rectorship, he withdrew from most political activity, without canceling his membership in the NSDAP (Nazi Party). Nevertheless, references to National Socialism continued to appear in his work.

The most controversial such reference occurred during a 1935 lecture which was published in 1953 as part of the book Introduction to Metaphysics
Introduction to Metaphysics (Heidegger)
Introduction to Metaphysics is a book by Martin Heidegger and is the published version of a lecture course he gave in the Summer of 1935 at the University of Freiburg. The book is famous both for its powerful reinterpretation of Greek thought and infamous for its acknowledgement of the Nazi Party...

. In the published version, Heidegger refers to the "inner truth and greatness" of the National Socialist movement (die innere Wahrheit und Größe dieser Bewegung), but he then adds a qualifying statement in parentheses: "namely, the confrontation of planetary technology and modern humanity" (nämlich die Begegnung der planetarisch bestimmten Technik und des neuzeitlichen Menschen). However, it subsequently transpired that this qualification had not been made during the original lecture, although Heidegger claimed that it had been. This has led scholars to argue that Heidegger still supported the Nazi party in 1935 but that he did not want to admit this after the war, and so he attempted to silently correct his earlier statement.

In private notes written in 1939, Heidegger took a strongly critical view of Hitler's ideology, however in public lectures he seems to have continued to make ambiguous comments which, if they expressed criticism of the regime, did so only in the context of praising its ideals. For instance, in a 1942 lecture, published posthumously, Heidegger said of recent German classics scholarship: "In the majority of 'research results', the Greeks appear as pure National Socialists. This overenthusiasm on the part of academics seems not even to notice that with such "results" it does National Socialism and its historical uniqueness no service at all, not that it needs this anyhow.

An important witness to Heidegger's continued allegiance to National Socialism during the post-rectorship period is his former student Karl Löwith
Karl Löwith
Karl Löwith , was a German philosopher, a student of Heidegger.Löwith was born in Munich. Though he was himself Protestant, his family was of Jewish descent and he therefore had to emigrate Germany in 1934 because of the National Socialist regime. He went to Italy and in 1936 he went to Japan...

, who met Heidegger in 1936 while Heidegger was visiting Rome. In an account set down in 1940 (though not intended for publication), Löwith recalled that Heidegger wore a swastika pin to their meeting, though Heidegger knew that Löwith was Jewish. Löwith also recalled that Heidegger "left no doubt about his faith in Hitler", and stated that his support for National Socialism was in agreement with the essence of his philosophy.

Post-war period


After the end of World War II, Heidegger was summoned to appear at a denazification
Denazification
Denazification was an Allied initiative to rid German and Austrian society, culture, press, economy, judiciary, and politics of any remnants of the National Socialist ideology. It was carried out specifically by removing those involved from positions of influence and by disbanding or rendering...

 hearing. Heidegger's former lover Hannah Arendt spoke on his behalf at this hearing, while Jaspers
Karl Jaspers
Karl Theodor Jaspers was a German psychiatrist and philosopher who had a strong influence on modern theology, psychiatry and philosophy. After being trained in and practicing psychiatry, Jaspers turned to philosophical inquiry and attempted to discover an innovative philosophical system...

 spoke against him. The result of the hearings was that Heidegger was forbidden to teach between 1945 and 1951. One consequence of this teaching ban was that Heidegger began to engage far more in the French philosophical scene.

In his postwar thinking, Heidegger distanced himself from Nazism, but his critical comments about Nazism seem "scandalous" to some since they tend to equate the Nazi war atrocities with other inhumane practices related to rationalisation
Rationalization (sociology)
Rationalization is a term used in sociology to refer to a process in which an increasing number of social actions become based on considerations of teleological efficiency or calculation rather than on motivations derived from morality, emotion, custom, or tradition...

 and industrialisation
Industrialisation
Industrialization is the process of social and economic change that transforms a human group from an agrarian society into an industrial one...

, including the treatment of animals by factory farming
Factory farming
Factory farming is a term referring to the process of raising livestock in confinement at high stocking density, where a farm operates as a factory — a practice typical in industrial farming by agribusinesses. The main products of this industry are meat, milk and eggs for human consumption...

. For instance in a lecture delivered at Bremen in 1949, Heidegger said: "Agriculture is now a motorized food industry, the same thing in its essence as the production of corpses in the gas chambers and the extermination camps, the same thing as blockades and the reduction of countries to famine, the same thing as the manufacture of hydrogen bombs."

In 1967 Heidegger met with the Jewish poet Paul Celan
Paul Celan
Paul Celan was a poet and translator...

, a concentration camp survivor. Celan visited Heidegger at his country retreat and wrote an enigmatic poem about the meeting, which some interpret as Celan's wish for Heidegger to apologize for his behavior during the Nazi era.

The Der Spiegel interview


On September 23, 1966, Heidegger was interviewed by Rudolf Augstein and Georg Wolff for Der Spiegel
Der Spiegel
Der Spiegel is a German weekly news magazine published in Hamburg. It is one of Europe's largest publications of its kind, with a weekly circulation of more than one million.-Overview:...

magazine, in which he agreed to discuss his political past provided that the interview be published posthumously (it was published on May 31, 1976). In the interview, Heidegger defended his entanglement with National Socialism in two ways: first, he argued that there was no alternative, saying that he was trying to save the university (and science in general) from being politicized and thus had to compromise with the Nazi administration. Second, he admitted that he saw an "awakening" ("Aufbruch") which might help to find a "new national and social approach", but said that he changed his mind about this in 1934, largely prompted by the violence of the Night of the Long Knives
Night of the Long Knives
The Night of the Long Knives , sometimes called "Operation Hummingbird " or in Germany the "Röhm-Putsch," was a purge that took place in Nazi Germany between June 30 and July 2, 1934, when the Nazi regime carried out a series of political murders...

.

In his interview Heidegger defended as double-speak his 1935 lecture describing the "inner truth and greatness of this movement." He affirmed that Nazi informants who observed his lectures would understand that by "movement" he meant National Socialism. However, Heidegger asserted that his dedicated students would know this statement was no eulogy for the NSDAP. Rather, he meant it as he expressed it in the parenthetical clarification later added to Introduction to Metaphysics (1953), namely, "the confrontation of planetary technology and modern humanity."

The Löwith account from 1936 has been cited to contradict the account given in the Der Spiegel interview in two ways: that there he did not make any decisive break with National Socialism in 1934, and that Heidegger was willing to entertain more profound relations between his philosophy and political involvement. The Der Spiegel interviewers did not bring up Heidegger's 1949 quotation comparing the industrialization of agriculture to the extermination camps. In fact, the interviewers were not in possession of much of the evidence now known for Heidegger's Nazi sympathies.

Influence and reception in France


Heidegger was one of the most influential philosophers of the 20th century, and his ideas have penetrated into many areas, but in France there is a very long and particular history of reading and interpreting his work.

Existentialism and pre-war influence


Heidegger's influence on French philosophy began in the 1930s, when Being and Time, "What is Metaphysics?" and other Heideggerian texts were read by Jean-Paul Sartre and other existentialists, as well as by thinkers such as Emmanuel Levinas
Emmanuel Lévinas
Emmanuel Levinas was a Lithuanian-born French Jewish philosopher and Talmudic commentator.-Life:Emanuelis Levinas received a traditional Jewish education in Lithuania...

, Alexandre Kojève
Alexandre Kojève
Alexandre Kojève was a Russian-born French philosopher and statesman whose philosophical seminars had an immense influence on twentieth-century French philosophy, particularly via his integration of Hegelian concepts into continental philosophy...

  and Georges Bataille
Georges Bataille
Georges Bataille was a French writer. His multifaceted work is linked to the domains of literature, anthropology, philosophy, economy, sociology and history of art...

. Because Heidegger's discussion of ontology (the study of being) is rooted in an analysis of the mode of existence of individual human beings (Da-sein, or there-being), his work has often been associated with existentialism. The influence of Heidegger on Sartre's Being and Nothingness is marked, but Heidegger felt that Sartre had misread his work, as he argued in later texts such as the "Letter on 'Humanism'." In that text, intended for a French audience, Heidegger explained this misreading in the following terms:

Sartre's key proposition about the priority of existentia over essentia [that is, Sartre's statement that "existence precedes essence"] does, however, justify using the name "existentialism" as an appropriate title for a philosophy of this sort. But the basic tenet of "existentialism" has nothing at all in common with the statement from Being and Time [that "the 'essence' of Dasein lies in its existence"]—apart from the fact that in Being and Time no statement about the relation of essentia and existentia can yet be expressed, since there it is still a question of preparing something precursory.


"Letter on 'Humanism'" is often seen as a direct response to Sartre's 1945 lecture "Existentialism is a Humanism."  Aside from merely disputing readings of his own work, however, in "Letter on 'Humanism,'" Heidegger asserts that "Every humanism is either grounded in a metaphysics or is itself made to be the ground of one." Heidegger's largest issue with Sartre's existential humanism is that, while it does make a humanistic 'move' in privileging existence over essence, "the reversal of a metaphysical statement remains a metaphysical statement." From this point onward in his thought, Heidegger attempted to think beyond metaphysics to a place where the articulation of the fundamental questions of ontology were fundamentally possible: only from this point can we restore (that is, re-give [redonner]) any possible meaning to the word "humanism".

Post-war forays into France



After the war, Heidegger was banned from university teaching for a period on account of his activities as Rector of Freiburg University. He developed a number of contacts in France, where his work continued to be taught, and a number of French students visited him at Todtnauberg
Todtnauberg
Todtnauberg is a German village in Black Forest belonging to the municipality of Todtnau, in Baden-Württemberg. It is named after the homonym mount and is famous because it was the place where the German philosopher Martin Heidegger had a chalet.-Geography:The village is located at amsl, in...

 (see, for example, Jean-François Lyotard's
Jean-François Lyotard
Jean-François Lyotard was a French philosopher and literary theorist. He is well known for his articulation of postmodernism after the late 1970s and the analysis of the impact of postmodernity on the human condition...

 brief account in Heidegger and "the jews", which discusses a Franco-German conference held in Freiburg in 1947, one step toward bringing together French and German students). Heidegger subsequently made several visits to France, and made efforts to keep abreast of developments in French philosophy by way of correspondence with Jean Beaufret
Jean Beaufret
Jean Beaufret was a French philosopher and Germanist tremendously influential in the reception of Martin Heidegger's work in France....

, an early French translator of Heidegger, and with Lucien Braun.

Derrida and deconstruction


Deconstruction
Deconstruction
Deconstruction is a term introduced by French philosopher Jacques Derrida in his 1967 book Of Grammatology. Although he carefully avoided defining the term directly, he sought to apply Martin Heidegger's concept of Destruktion or Abbau, to textual reading...

 came to Heidegger's attention in 1967 by way of Lucien Braun's recommendation of Jacques Derrida's
Jacques Derrida
Jacques Derrida was a French philosopher, born in French Algeria. He developed the critical theory known as deconstruction and his work has been labeled as post-structuralism and associated with postmodern philosophy...

 work (Hans-Georg Gadamer
Hans-Georg Gadamer
Hans-Georg Gadamer was a German philosopher of the continental tradition, best known for his 1960 magnum opus, Truth and Method .-Life:...

 was present at an initial discussion and indicated to Heidegger that Derrida's work came to his attention by way of an assistant). Heidegger expressed interest in meeting Derrida personally after the latter sent him some of his work. There was discussion of a meeting in 1972, but this failed to take place. Heidegger's interest in Derrida is said by Braun to have been considerable (as is evident in two letters, of September 29, 1967 and May 16, 1972, from Heidegger to Braun). Braun also brought to Heidegger's attention the work of Michel Foucault
Michel Foucault
Michel Foucault , born Paul-Michel Foucault , was a French philosopher, social theorist and historian of ideas...

. Foucault's relation to Heidegger is a matter of considerable difficulty; Foucault acknowledged Heidegger as a philosopher whom he read but never wrote about. (For more on this see Penser à Strasbourg, Jacques Derrida, et al., which includes reproductions of both letters and an account by Braun, "À mi-chemin entre Heidegger et Derrida").

Jacques Derrida made emphatic efforts to displace the understanding of Heidegger's work that had been prevalent in France from the period of the ban against Heidegger teaching in German universities, which amounted to an almost wholesale rejection of the influence of Jean-Paul Sartre
Jean-Paul Sartre
Jean-Paul Charles Aymard Sartre was a French existentialist philosopher, playwright, novelist, screenwriter, political activist, biographer, and literary critic. He was one of the leading figures in 20th century French philosophy, particularly Marxism, and was one of the key figures in literary...

 and existentialist terms. In Derrida's view, deconstruction is a tradition inherited via Heidegger (the French term "déconstruction" is a term coined to translate Heidegger's use of the words "Destruktion"—literally "destruction"—and "Abbau"—more literally "de-building"). According to Derrida, Sartre's interpretation of Dasein and other key Heideggerian concerns is overly psychologistic, anthropocentric, and misses the historicality central to Dasein in Being and Time. Because of Derrida's vehement attempts to "rescue" Heidegger from his existentialist interpreters (and also from Heidegger's "orthodox" followers), Derrida has at times been represented as a "French Heidegger", to the extent that he, his colleagues, and his former students are made to go proxy for Heidegger's worst (political) mistakes, despite ample evidence that the reception of Heidegger's work by later practitioners of deconstruction is anything but doctrinaire.

The Farías debate


Derrida, Lacoue-Labarthe, and Jean-François Lyotard
Jean-François Lyotard
Jean-François Lyotard was a French philosopher and literary theorist. He is well known for his articulation of postmodernism after the late 1970s and the analysis of the impact of postmodernity on the human condition...

, among others, all engaged in debate and disagreement about the relation between Heidegger's philosophy and his Nazi politics. These debates included the question of whether it was possible to do without Heidegger's philosophy, a position which Derrida in particular rejected. Forums where these debates took place include the proceedings of the first conference dedicated to Derrida's work, published as "Les Fins de l'homme à partir du travail de Jacques Derrida: colloque de Cerisy, 23 juillet-2 août 1980", Derrida's "Feu la cendre/cio' che resta del fuoco", and the studies on Paul Celan
Paul Celan
Paul Celan was a poet and translator...

 by Lacoue-Labarthe and Derrida which shortly preceded the detailed studies of Heidegger's politics published in and after 1987.

When in 1987 Víctor Farías
Victor Farias
Victor Farías is a native Chilean historian and author. A one-time student of Martin Heidegger, he is perhaps best known for his controversial book Heidegger and Nazism , which concluded that Heidegger's philosophy is inherently fascist. His writings are informed by his philosophical education in...

 published his book Heidegger et le nazisme, this debate was taken up by many others, some of whom were inclined to disparage so-called "deconstructionists" for their association with Heidegger's philosophy. Derrida and others not only continued to defend the importance of reading Heidegger, but attacked Farías on the grounds of poor scholarship and for what they saw as the sensationalism of his approach. Not all scholars agreed with this negative assessment: Richard Rorty
Richard Rorty
Richard McKay Rorty was an American philosopher. He had a long and diverse academic career, including positions as Stuart Professor of Philosophy at Princeton, Kenan Professor of Humanities at the University of Virginia, and Professor of Comparative Literature at Stanford University...

, for example, declared that "[Farias'] book includes more concrete information relevant to Heidegger's relations with the Nazis than anything else available, and it is an excellent antidote to the evasive apologetics that are still being published."

Bernard Stiegler


More recently, Heidegger's thought has considerably influenced the work of the French philosopher Bernard Stiegler
Bernard Stiegler
Bernard Stiegler is a French philosopher at Goldsmiths, University of London and at the Université de Technologie de Compiègne. In addition, he is Director of the , founder in 2005 of the political and cultural group, , and founder in 2010 of the philosophy school,...

. This is evident even from the title of Stiegler's multi-volume magnum opus, La technique et le temps (volume one translated into English as Technics and Time, 1: The Fault of Epimetheus). Stiegler offers an original reading of Heidegger, arguing that there can be no access to "originary temporality" other than via material, that is, technical, supports, and that Heidegger recognised this in the form of his account of world historicality, yet in the end suppressed that fact. Stiegler understands the existential analytic of Being and Time as an account of psychic individuation
Individuation
Individuation is a concept which appears in numerous fields and may be encountered in work by Arthur Schopenhauer, Carl Jung, Gilbert Simondon, Bernard Stiegler, Gilles Deleuze, Henri Bergson, David Bohm, and Manuel De Landa...

, and his later "history of being" as an account of collective individuation. He understands many of the problems of Heidegger's philosophy and politics as the consequence of Heidegger's inability to integrate the two.

Criticism


Heidegger's influence upon 20th century continental philosophy
Continental philosophy
Continental philosophy, in contemporary usage, refers to a set of traditions of 19th and 20th century philosophy from mainland Europe. This sense of the term originated among English-speaking philosophers in the second half of the 20th century, who used it to refer to a range of thinkers and...

 is unquestioned and has produced a variety of critical responses.

Early criticisms


The content of Being and Time, according to Husserl, claimed to deal with ontology, but from Husserl's perspective only did so in the first few pages of the book. Having nothing further to contribute to an ontology independent of human existence, Heidegger changed the topic to Dasein. Whereas Heidegger argued that the question of human existence is central to the pursuit of the question of being, Husserl criticized this as reducing phenomenology to "philosophical anthropology" and offering an abstract and incorrect portrait of the human being.

The Neo-Kantian Ernst Cassirer
Ernst Cassirer
Ernst Cassirer was a German philosopher. He was one of the major figures in the development of philosophical idealism in the first half of the 20th century...

 and Heidegger engaged in an influential debate located in Davos
Davos
Davos is a municipality in the district of Prättigau/Davos in the canton of Graubünden, Switzerland. It has a permanent population of 11,248 . Davos is located on the Landwasser River, in the Swiss Alps, between the Plessur and Albula Range...

 in 1929, concerning the significance of Kantian notions of freedom and rationality. Whereas Cassirer defended the role of rationality in Kant, Heidegger argued for the priority of the imagination. Dilthey's student Georg Misch
Georg Misch
Georg Misch was a German philosopher.-Life and work:He worked as a professor in Marburg and Göttingen before retiring under pressure from the National Socialist government in 1935. He went into exile to the UK, living there from 1939 until 1946...

 wrote the first extended critical appropriation of Heidegger in Lebensphilosophie und Phänomenologie. Eine Auseinandersetzung der Diltheyschen Richtung mit Heidegger und Husserl, Leipzig 1930 (3. ed. Stuttgart 1964).

Left-Hegelianism and critical theory


Hegel
Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel
Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel was a German philosopher, one of the creators of German Idealism. His historicist and idealist account of reality as a whole revolutionized European philosophy and was an important precursor to Continental philosophy and Marxism.Hegel developed a comprehensive...

-influenced Marxist thinkers, especially György Lukács and the Frankfurt School
Frankfurt School
The Frankfurt School refers to a school of neo-Marxist interdisciplinary social theory, particularly associated with the Institute for Social Research at the University of Frankfurt am Main...

, associated the style and content of Heidegger's thought with German irrationalism and criticized its political implications.

Initially members of the Frankfurt School were positively disposed to Heidegger, becoming more critical at the beginning of the 1930s. Heidegger's student Herbert Marcuse became associated with the Frankfurt School. Initially striving for a synthesis between Hegelian-Marxism and Heidegger's phenomenology, Marcuse later rejected Heidegger's thought for its "false concreteness" and "revolutionary conservativism." Theodor Adorno wrote an extended critique of the ideological character of Heidegger's early and later use of language in the Jargon of Authenticity. Contemporary social theorists associated with the Frankfurt School have remained largely critical of Heidegger's works and influence. In particular, Jürgen Habermas
Jürgen Habermas
Jürgen Habermas is a German sociologist and philosopher in the tradition of critical theory and pragmatism. He is perhaps best known for his theory on the concepts of 'communicative rationality' and the 'public sphere'...

 admonishes the influence of Heidegger on recent French philosophy in his polemic against "postmodernism" in The Philosophical Discourse of Modernity (1985). However, recent work by philosopher and critical theorist Nikolas Kompridis
Nikolas Kompridis
Nikolas Kompridis is a professor at the Centre for Citizenship and Public Policy at the University of Western Sydney. His scholarly work addresses a wide range of subjects in contemporary social and political philosophy, as well as in aesthetics and philosophy of culture...

 tries to show that Heidegger's insights into world disclosure
World disclosure
World disclosure is a phenomenon described by the German philosopher Martin Heidegger in his landmark book Being and Time. It has also been discussed by philosophers such as John Dewey, Jürgen Habermas and Charles Taylor...

 are badly misunderstood and mishandled by Habermas, and are of vital importance for critical theory, offering an important way of renewing that tradition
Reflective disclosure
Reflective disclosure is a term coined by philosopher Nikolas Kompridis. In his book Critique and Disclosure: Critical Theory between Past and Future, Kompridis describes a set of heterogeneous social practices he believes can be a source of significant ethical, political, and cultural transformation...

.

Reception by Analytic and Anglo-American philosophy


Criticism of Heidegger's philosophy has also come from analytic philosophy
Analytic philosophy
Analytic philosophy is a generic term for a style of philosophy that came to dominate English-speaking countries in the 20th century...

, beginning with logical positivism
Logical positivism
Logical positivism is a philosophy that combines empiricism—the idea that observational evidence is indispensable for knowledge—with a version of rationalism incorporating mathematical and logico-linguistic constructs and deductions of epistemology.It may be considered as a type of analytic...

. In "The Elimination of Metaphysics Through Logical Analysis of Language" (1932), Rudolf Carnap
Rudolf Carnap
Rudolf Carnap was an influential German-born philosopher who was active in Europe before 1935 and in the United States thereafter. He was a major member of the Vienna Circle and an advocate of logical positivism....

 accused Heidegger of offering an "illusory" ontology, criticizing him for committing the fallacy of reification
Reification (fallacy)
Reification is a fallacy of ambiguity, when an abstraction is treated as if it were a concrete, real event, or physical entity. In other words, it is the error of treating as a "real thing" something which is not a real thing, but merely an idea...

 and for wrongly dismissing the logical treatment of language which, according to Carnap, can only lead to writing "nonsensical pseudo-propositions."

A strong critic of Heidegger's philosophy was the British logical positivist A. J. Ayer. In Ayer's view, Heidegger proposed vast, overarching theories regarding existence, which are completely unverifiable through empirical demonstration and logical analysis. For Ayer, this sort of philosophy was a poisonous strain in modern thought. He considered Heidegger to be the worst example of such philosophy, which Ayer believed to be entirely useless.

Bertrand Russell
Bertrand Russell
Bertrand Arthur William Russell, 3rd Earl Russell, OM, FRS was a British philosopher, logician, mathematician, historian, and social critic. At various points in his life he considered himself a liberal, a socialist, and a pacifist, but he also admitted that he had never been any of these things...

 commented, expressing the sentiments of many mid-20th-century analytic philosophers, that:
Highly eccentric in its terminology, his philosophy is extremely obscure. One cannot help suspecting that language is here running riot. An interesting point in his speculations is the insistence that nothingness is something positive. As with much else in Existentialism, this is a psychological observation made to pass for logic.


Roger Scruton
Roger Scruton
Roger Vernon Scruton is a conservative English philosopher and writer. He is the author of over 30 books, including Art and Imagination , Sexual Desire , The Aesthetics of Music , and A Political Philosophy: Arguments For Conservatism...

 stated that: "His major work Being and Time is formidably difficult—unless it is utter nonsense, in which case it is laughably easy. I am not sure how to judge it, and have read no commentator who even begins to make sense of it".

The analytic tradition values clarity of expression. Heidegger, however, has on occasion appeared to take an opposing view, stating for example that "those in the crossing must in the end know what is mistaken by all urging for intelligibility: that every thinking of being, all philosophy, can never be confirmed by 'facts,' i.e., by beings. Making itself intelligible is suicide for philosophy. Those who idolize 'facts' never notice that their idols only shine in a borrowed light. They are also meant not to notice this; for thereupon they would have to be at a loss and therefore useless. But idolizers and idols are used wherever gods are in flight and so announce their nearness." Apart from the charge of obscurantism
Obscurantism
Obscurantism is the practice of deliberately preventing the facts or the full details of some matter from becoming known. There are two, common, historical and intellectual, denotations: 1) restricting knowledge—opposition to the spread of knowledge, a policy of withholding knowledge from the...

, other analytic philosophers considered the actual content of Heidegger's work to be either faulty and meaningless, vapid or uninteresting.

Not all analytic philosophers, however, have been as hostile. Gilbert Ryle
Gilbert Ryle
Gilbert Ryle , was a British philosopher, a representative of the generation of British ordinary language philosophers that shared Wittgenstein's approach to philosophical problems, and is principally known for his critique of Cartesian dualism, for which he coined the phrase "the ghost in the...

 wrote a critical yet positive review of Being and Time. Ludwig Wittgenstein
Ludwig Wittgenstein
Ludwig Josef Johann Wittgenstein was an Austrian philosopher who worked primarily in logic, the philosophy of mathematics, the philosophy of mind, and the philosophy of language. He was professor in philosophy at the University of Cambridge from 1939 until 1947...

 made a remark recorded by Friedrich Waismann: "To be sure, I can imagine what Heidegger means by being and anxiety" which has been construed by some commentators as sympathetic to Heidegger's philosophical approach. These positive and negative analytic evaluations have been collected in Michael Murray (ed.), Heidegger and Modern Philosophy: Critical Essays (Yale University Press, 1978). Heidegger's reputation within English-language philosophy has slightly improved in philosophical terms in some part through the efforts of Hubert Dreyfus
Hubert Dreyfus
Hubert Lederer Dreyfus is an American philosopher. He is a professor of philosophy at the University of California, Berkeley....

, Richard Rorty
Richard Rorty
Richard McKay Rorty was an American philosopher. He had a long and diverse academic career, including positions as Stuart Professor of Philosophy at Princeton, Kenan Professor of Humanities at the University of Virginia, and Professor of Comparative Literature at Stanford University...

, and a recent generation of analytically oriented phenomenology scholars. Pragmatist Rorty claimed that Heidegger's approach to philosophy in the first half of his career has much in common with that of the latter-day Ludwig Wittgenstein, a significant figure in analytic philosophy. Nevertheless, Rorty asserted that what Heidegger had constructed in his writings was a myth of being rather than an account of it.

Contemporary European reception


Even though Heidegger is considered by many observers to be the most influential philosopher of the 20th century in continental philosophy, aspects of his work have been criticised by those who nevertheless acknowledge this influence, such as Hans-Georg Gadamer
Hans-Georg Gadamer
Hans-Georg Gadamer was a German philosopher of the continental tradition, best known for his 1960 magnum opus, Truth and Method .-Life:...

 and Jacques Derrida
Jacques Derrida
Jacques Derrida was a French philosopher, born in French Algeria. He developed the critical theory known as deconstruction and his work has been labeled as post-structuralism and associated with postmodern philosophy...

. Some questions raised about Heidegger's philosophy include the priority of ontology, the status of animals, the nature of the religious, Heidegger's supposed neglect of ethics (Emmanuel Levinas
Emmanuel Lévinas
Emmanuel Levinas was a Lithuanian-born French Jewish philosopher and Talmudic commentator.-Life:Emanuelis Levinas received a traditional Jewish education in Lithuania...

), the body (Maurice Merleau-Ponty
Maurice Merleau-Ponty
Maurice Merleau-Ponty was a French phenomenological philosopher, strongly influenced by Karl Marx, Edmund Husserl and Martin Heidegger in addition to being closely associated with Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir...

), or sexual difference (Luce Irigaray
Luce Irigaray
Luce Irigaray is a Belgian feminist, philosopher, linguist, psychoanalyst, sociologist and cultural theorist. She is best known for her works Speculum of the Other Woman and This Sex Which Is Not One .-Biography:...

).

Emmanuel Levinas was deeply influenced by Heidegger yet became one of his fiercest critics, contrasting the infinity of the good beyond being with the immanence and totality of ontology. Levinas also condemned Heidegger's involvement with National Socialism, stating "One can forgive many Germans, but there are some Germans it is difficult to forgive. It is difficult to forgive Heidegger."

Cinema

  • The Ister (2004) is a film based on Heidegger's 1942 lecture course on Friedrich Hölderlin
    Friedrich Hölderlin
    Johann Christian Friedrich Hölderlin was a major German lyric poet, commonly associated with the artistic movement known as Romanticism. Hölderlin was also an important thinker in the development of German Idealism, particularly his early association with and philosophical influence on his...

    , and features Jean-Luc Nancy
    Jean-Luc Nancy
    Jean-Luc Nancy is a French philosopher.Nancy's first book, published in 1973, was Le titre de la lettre , a reading of the work of French psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan, written in collaboration with Philippe Lacoue-Labarthe...

    , Philippe Lacoue-Labarthe
    Philippe Lacoue-Labarthe
    Philippe Lacoue-Labarthe was a French philosopher. He was also a literary critic and translator....

    , Bernard Stiegler, and Hans-Jürgen Syberberg
    Hans-Jürgen Syberberg
    Hans-Jürgen Syberberg is a German film director, whose best known film is his lengthy feature, Hitler: A Film from Germany.- Early life :...

    .
  • The film director Terrence Malick
    Terrence Malick
    Terrence Frederick Malick is a U.S. film director, screenwriter, and producer. In a career spanning almost four decades, Malick has directed five feature films....

     translated Heidegger's 1929 essay "Vom Wesen des Grundes" into English. It was published under the title The Essence of Reasons (Evanston: Northwestern University Press, 1969, bilingual edition). It is also frequently said of Malick that his cinema has Heideggerian sensibilities. See for instance: Marc Furstenau and Leslie MacAvoy, “Terrence Malick's Heideggerian Cinema: War and the Question of Being in The Thin Red Line” In The cinema of Terrence Malick: Poetic visions of America, 2nd ed. Edited by Hanna Patterson (Londen: Wallflower Press 2007): 179-91. See also: Stanley Cavell, The World Viewed: Reflections on the Ontology of Film (Cambridge: Harvard University Press 1979): XV.
  • The 2006 experimental short Die Entnazifizierung des MH by James T. Hong
    James T. Hong
    James T. Hong is an Asian American filmmaker currently based in Europe, whose works tend to focus on philosophical topics and figures and controversial race and class issues...

     imagines Heidegger's denazification proceedings.
  • In the 1981 film My Dinner with Andre
    My Dinner with Andre
    My Dinner with Andre is a 1981 film starring Andre Gregory and Wallace Shawn, written by Gregory and Shawn, and directed by Louis Malle.-Plot:...

    , Heidegger's theory of "experiencing one's being to the fullest is like experiencing the decay of that being towards one's death, as a part of your experience" is quoted by the actor Wallace Shawn
    Wallace Shawn
    Wallace Michael Shawn , sometimes credited as Wally Shawn, is an American stand-up comedian, actor, writer, author, voice artist, and intellectual. His best-known film roles include Wally Shawn in My Dinner with Andre , Vizzini in The Princess Bride , and debate teacher Mr...

    , who plays himself.

Gesamtausgabe


Heidegger's collected works are published by Vittorio Klostermann. The Gesamtausgabe was begun during Heidegger's lifetime. He defined the order of publication and dictated that the principle of editing should be "ways not works." Publication has not yet been completed.

The contents are listed here: Heidegger Gesamtausgabe.

Selected works


A complete list of English translations of Heidegger's work is available here.
Year Original German English Translation
1927 Sein und Zeit, Gesamtausgabe Volume 2 Being and Time
Being and Time
Being and Time is a book by the German philosopher Martin Heidegger. Although written quickly, and despite the fact that Heidegger never completed the project outlined in the introduction, it remains his most important work and has profoundly influenced 20th-century philosophy, particularly...

, trans. by John Macquarrie
John Macquarrie
John Macquarrie FBA TD was a Scottish theologian and philosopher, the author of Principles of Christian Theology and Jesus Christ in Modern Thought...

 and Edward Robinson (London: SCM Press, 1962); re-translated by Joan Stambaugh (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1996)
1929 Kant und das Problem der Metaphysik, Gesamtausgabe Volume 3 Kant and the Problem of Metaphysics, trans. by Richard Taft (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1990)
1935 Einführung in die Metaphysik (1935, published 1953), Gesamtausgabe Volume 40 Introduction to Metaphysics
Introduction to Metaphysics (Heidegger)
Introduction to Metaphysics is a book by Martin Heidegger and is the published version of a lecture course he gave in the Summer of 1935 at the University of Freiburg. The book is famous both for its powerful reinterpretation of Greek thought and infamous for its acknowledgement of the Nazi Party...

, trans. by Gregory Fried and Richard Polt (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2000)
1936–8 Beiträge zur Philosophie (Vom Ereignis) (1936–1938, published 1989), Gesamtausgabe Volume 65 Contributions to Philosophy (From Enowning)
Contributions to Philosophy (From Enowning)
Contributions to Philosophy is the title of the English translation of German philosopher Martin Heidegger's Beitrage Zur Philosophie ...

, trans. by Parvis Emad and Kenneth Maly (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1999)
1942 Hölderlins Hymne »Der Ister« (1942, published 1984), Gesamtausgabe Volume 53 Hölderlin's Hymn "The Ister", trans. by William McNeill
William McNeill (philosopher)
- Career and work :McNeill was educated at the University of Essex, and he is now teaching Heidegger at DePaul University. He is a translator of the work of Martin Heidegger, about whom he has written two books. The Glance of the Eye closely examines the relation between Heidegger's thought and...

 and Julia Davis (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1996)
1949 "Die Frage nach der Technik", in Gesamtausgabe Volume 7 "The Question Concerning Technology
The Question Concerning Technology
For Martin Heidegger broadly, the question of being formed the essence of his philosophical inquiry. In The Question Concerning Technology , Heidegger sustains this inquiry, but turns to the particular phenomenon of technology, seeking to derive the essence of technology and humanity’s role of...

", in Heidegger, Martin, Basic Writings: Second Edition, Revised and Expanded, ed. David Farrell Krell (New York: Harper Collins, 1993)
1950 Holzwege, Gesamtausgabe Volume 5. This collection includes "Der Ursprung des Kunstwerkes" (1935–1936) Off the Beaten Track. This collection includes "The Origin of the Work of Art
The Origin of the Work of Art
The Origin of the Work of Art is the title of an article by German philosopher Martin Heidegger. Heidegger drafted the text between 1935 and 1937, reworking it for publication in 1950 and again in 1960...

"
1955–56 Der Satz vom Grund, Gesamtausgabe Volume 10 The Principle of Reason, trans. Reginald Lilly (Bloomington, Indiana University Press, 1991)
1955–57 Identität und Differenz, Gesamtausgabe Volume 11 Identity and Difference, trans. by Joan Stambaugh (New York: Harper & Row, 1969)
1959 Gelassenheit, in Gesamtausgabe Volume 16 Discourse On Thinking
1959 Unterwegs zur Sprache, Gesamtausgabe Volume 12 On the Way To Language, published without the essay "Die Sprache
Language speaks
Language speaks , is a famous saying by Martin Heidegger. Heidegger first formulated it in his 1950 lecture Language , and frequently repeated it in later works....

" ("Language") by arrangement with Heidegger

On Being and Time

  • William Blattner, Heidegger's Temporal Idealism
  • Taylor Carman, Heidegger's Analytic: Interpretation, Discourse, and Authenticity in "Being and Time"
  • Hubert Dreyfus
    Hubert Dreyfus
    Hubert Lederer Dreyfus is an American philosopher. He is a professor of philosophy at the University of California, Berkeley....

    , Being-in-the-World: A Commentary on Heidegger's Being and Time, Division I
  • Graham Harman
    Graham Harman
    Graham Harman is a professor at the American University in Cairo, Egypt. He is a contemporary philosopher of metaphysics, who attempts to reverse the linguistic turn of Western philosophy...

    , Tool-Being: Heidegger and the Metaphysics of Objects
  • Michael Gelven
    Michael Gelven
    Michael Gelven, distinguished research professor of Philosophy at Northern Illinois University, is an author and well-known writer of commentary on Heidegger's Being and Time...

    , A Commentary on Heidegger's Being and Time, Revised Edition
  • E.F. Kaelin, "Heidegger's Being & Time: A Reading for Readers"
  • Magda King, A Guide to Heidegger's Being and Time
  • Theodore Kisiel
    Theodore Kisiel
    Theodore Kisiel, Distinguished Research Professor Emeritus of philosophy at Northern Illinois University, is a well-known translator of and commentator on the works of Martin Heidegger. Kisiel is known for his research on the development of Heidegger's early thought...

    , The Genesis of Heidegger's Being and Time
  • Stephen Mulhall
    Stephen Mulhall
    Stephen Mulhall is a philosopher and Fellow of New College, Oxford. His main research areas are Ludwig Wittgenstein and post-Kantian philosophy.-Life:...

    , Heidegger and Being and Time
  • James Luchte, Heidegger's Early Philosophy: The Phenomenology of Ecstatic Temporality

Biographies

  • Victor Farias
    Victor Farias
    Victor Farías is a native Chilean historian and author. A one-time student of Martin Heidegger, he is perhaps best known for his controversial book Heidegger and Nazism , which concluded that Heidegger's philosophy is inherently fascist. His writings are informed by his philosophical education in...

    , Heidegger and Nazism, ed. by Joseph Margolis
    Joseph Margolis
    Joseph Zalman Margolis is an American philosopher. A radical historicist, he has published many books critical of the central assumptions of Western philosophy, and has elaborated a robust form of relativism....

     and Tom Rockmore
  • Hugo Ott, Martin Heidegger: A Political Life
  • Otto Poeggeler, Martin Heidegger's Path of Thinking, trans. by D. Magurshak and S. Barber, Humanities Press, 1987.
  • Rüdiger Safranski
    Rüdiger Safranski
    Rüdiger Safranski is a German philosopher and author.- Life :...

    , Martin Heidegger: Between Good and Evil
  • John van Buren, The Young Heidegger: Rumor of the Hidden King

Politics and National Socialism

  • Pierre Bourdieu
    Pierre Bourdieu
    Pierre Bourdieu was a French sociologist, anthropologist, and philosopher.Starting from the role of economic capital for social positioning, Bourdieu pioneered investigative frameworks and terminologies such as cultural, social, and symbolic capital, and the concepts of habitus, field or location,...

    , The Political Ontology of Martin Heidegger
  • Miguel de Beistegui, Heidegger and the Political: Dystopias
  • Jacques Derrida
    Jacques Derrida
    Jacques Derrida was a French philosopher, born in French Algeria. He developed the critical theory known as deconstruction and his work has been labeled as post-structuralism and associated with postmodern philosophy...

    , Of Spirit: Heidegger and the Question
  • Victor Farías
    Victor Farias
    Victor Farías is a native Chilean historian and author. A one-time student of Martin Heidegger, he is perhaps best known for his controversial book Heidegger and Nazism , which concluded that Heidegger's philosophy is inherently fascist. His writings are informed by his philosophical education in...

    , Heidegger and nazism, Philadelphia, Temple University Press, 1989.
  • Emmanuel Faye, Heidegger, l'introduction du nazisme dans la philosophie : autour des séminaires inédits de 1933–1935, Paris, Albin Michel, 2005. ISBN 2-226-14252-5 in French language
  • Annemarie Gethmann-Siefert
    Annemarie Gethmann-Siefert
    Annemarie Gethmann-Siefert is a professor of philosophy at the University of Hagen, Germany.-Biography:Gethmann-Siefert was born in 1945, studied philosophy, art history and theology in Münster, Bonn, Innsbruck and Bochum. She earned her PhD in philosophy 1973 from the Ruhr University Bochum...

     & Otto Pöggeler (eds.), Heidegger und die praktische Philosophie, Frankfurt a. M., Suhrkamp, 1989. in German language
  • Dominique Janicaud, The Shadow of That Thought
  • Philippe Lacoue-Labarthe
    Philippe Lacoue-Labarthe
    Philippe Lacoue-Labarthe was a French philosopher. He was also a literary critic and translator....

    , "Transcendence Ends in Politics", in Typography: Mimesis, Philosophy, Politics
  • Philippe Lacoue-Labarthe, Heidegger, Art, and Politics: The Fiction of the Political
  • George Leaman, Heidegger im Kontext: Gesamtüberblick zum NS-Engagement der Universitätsphilosophen, Argument Verlag, Hamburg, 1993. ISBN 3-88619-205-9
  • Karl Löwith
    Karl Löwith
    Karl Löwith , was a German philosopher, a student of Heidegger.Löwith was born in Munich. Though he was himself Protestant, his family was of Jewish descent and he therefore had to emigrate Germany in 1934 because of the National Socialist regime. He went to Italy and in 1936 he went to Japan...

    , Martin Heidegger and European Nihilism
  • Karl Löwith Heidegger's Existentialism
  • Jean-François Lyotard
    Jean-François Lyotard
    Jean-François Lyotard was a French philosopher and literary theorist. He is well known for his articulation of postmodernism after the late 1970s and the analysis of the impact of postmodernity on the human condition...

    , Heidegger and "the jews"
  • Günther Neske & Emil Kettering (eds.), Martin Heidegger and National Socialism: Questions and Answers
  • Political Texts – Rectoral Addresses
  • Tom Rockmore and Joseph Margolis
    Joseph Margolis
    Joseph Zalman Margolis is an American philosopher. A radical historicist, he has published many books critical of the central assumptions of Western philosophy, and has elaborated a robust form of relativism....

     (ed.), The Heidegger Case
  • Daniel Ross
    Daniel Ross (Australian philosopher and filmmaker)
    Daniel Ross is an Australian philosopher and filmmaker, best known as the author of and the co-director of the film The Ister...

    , Heidegger and the Question of the Political
  • Hans Sluga
    Hans Sluga
    Hans D. Sluga is a German academic, who is a professor of philosophy at the University of California, Berkeley. He teaches and writes on, among other things, Gottlob Frege, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Martin Heidegger, Michel Foucault, and German philosophy in the Nazi period.He studied at the...

    , Heidegger's Crisis: Philosophy and Politics in Nazi Germany
  • Iain Thomson, Heidegger on Ontotheology: Technology and the Politics of Education
  • Dana Villa, Arendt and Heidegger: the Fate of the Political
  • Richard Wolin
    Richard Wolin
    Richard Wolin is an intellectual historian.He is Distinguished Professor of History at the CUNY Graduate Center, where he has worked since 2000...

     (ed.), The Heidegger Controversy ISBN 0-262-23166-2.
  • Julian Young, Heidegger philosophy Nazism

Other secondary literature

  • Robert Bernasconi
    Robert Bernasconi
    Robert L. Bernasconi is the Lillian and Morrie Moss Professor of Philosophy at the University of Memphis. He is well known as a reader of Martin Heidegger and Emmanuel Levinas, and for his work on the concept of race...

    , Heidegger in Question: The Art of Existing
  • Lee Braver. A Thing of This World: a History of Continental Anti-Realism. Northwestern University Press: 2007.
  • Walter A. Brogan, Heidegger and Aristotle: The Twofoldness of Being
  • Richard Capobianco, Engaging Heidegger with a Foreword by William J. Richardson. University of Toronto Press, 2010.
  • Maxence Caron
    Maxence Caron
    Maxence Caron is a French writer, poet, philosopher and musicologist.- Biography :He is agrégé in Philosophy , docteur ès Lettres Maxence Caron (born in 1976) is a French writer, poet, philosopher and musicologist.- Biography :He is agrégé in Philosophy (in 1999), docteur ès Lettres Maxence Caron...

    , Heidegger – Pensée de l'être et origine de la subjectivité, 1760 pages, first and only book on Heidegger awarded by the Académie française
    Académie française
    L'Académie française , also called the French Academy, is the pre-eminent French learned body on matters pertaining to the French language. The Académie was officially established in 1635 by Cardinal Richelieu, the chief minister to King Louis XIII. Suppressed in 1793 during the French Revolution,...

    .
  • Gabriel Cercel / Cristian Ciocan (eds), The Early Heidegger (Studia Phaenomenologica I, 3–4), Bucharest: Humanitas, 2001, 506 p., including letters by Heidegger and Pöggeler, and articles by Walter Biemel, Friedrich-Wilhelm von Herrmann, Theodore Kisiel
    Theodore Kisiel
    Theodore Kisiel, Distinguished Research Professor Emeritus of philosophy at Northern Illinois University, is a well-known translator of and commentator on the works of Martin Heidegger. Kisiel is known for his research on the development of Heidegger's early thought...

    , Marion Heinz, Alfred Denker
  • Steven Galt Crowell, Husserl, Heidegger, and the Space of Meaning: Paths toward Transcendental Phenomenology
  • Jacques Derrida, "Ousia and Gramme: Note on a Note from Being and Time", in Margins of Philosophy
  • Paul Edwards
    Paul Edwards (philosopher)
    Paul Edwards, born Paul Eisenstein, was an Austrian American moral philosopher.-Life and career:Edwards was born in Vienna in 1923 to assimilated Jewish parents, the youngest of three brothers....

    , Heidegger's Confusions
  • Christopher Fynsk
    Christopher Fynsk
    Christopher Fynsk is Head of the School of Language and Literature at the University of Aberdeen, Director of the Centre for Modern Thought and Professor at European Graduate School in Saas-Fee, Switzerland. He is well known for his work relating the political and literary aspects of continental...

    , Heidegger: Thought and Historicity
  • Graham Harman
    Graham Harman
    Graham Harman is a professor at the American University in Cairo, Egypt. He is a contemporary philosopher of metaphysics, who attempts to reverse the linguistic turn of Western philosophy...

    , Heidegger Explained
  • Philippe Lacoue-Labarthe, Poetry as Experience
  • Philippe Lacoue-Labarthe, Heidegger and the Politics of Poetry
  • S. J. McGrath, Heidegger. A (Very) Critical Introduction
  • William McNeill
    William McNeill (philosopher)
    - Career and work :McNeill was educated at the University of Essex, and he is now teaching Heidegger at DePaul University. He is a translator of the work of Martin Heidegger, about whom he has written two books. The Glance of the Eye closely examines the relation between Heidegger's thought and...

    , The Glance of the Eye: Heidegger, Aristotle, and the Ends of Theory
  • William McNeill, The Time of Life: Heidegger and Ethos
  • Jean-Luc Nancy
    Jean-Luc Nancy
    Jean-Luc Nancy is a French philosopher.Nancy's first book, published in 1973, was Le titre de la lettre , a reading of the work of French psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan, written in collaboration with Philippe Lacoue-Labarthe...

    , "The Decision of Existence", in The Birth to Presence
  • Herman Philipse
    Herman Philipse
    Herman Philipse is a professor of philosophy at Utrecht University in the Netherlands. From 1986 until 2003, he taught at Leiden University, where he obtained his doctorate in 1983....

    , Heidegger's Philosophy of Being: A Critical Interpretation
  • Richard Polt
    Richard Polt
    Richard Polt is a professor of philosophy at Xavier University. He has written about and translated works by Martin Heidegger.-Works:Author:...

    , Heidegger: An Introduction
  • François Raffoul, Heidegger and the Subject
  • Patricia Altenbernd Johnson
    Patricia Altenbernd Johnson
    Patricia Altenbernd Johnson is a professor of philosophy at University of Dayton. She has written some books about some contemporary philosophers...

    , On Heidegger (Wadsworth Philosophers Series), Wadsworth Publishing, 1999
  • François Raffoul & David Pettigrew (ed), Heidegger and Practical Philosophy
  • William J. Richardson, Heidegger: Through Phenomenology to Thought.
  • John Sallis
    John Sallis
    John Sallis is an American philosopher. Since 2005, he has been the Professor of Philosophy at Boston College. He has previously taught at Pennsylvania State University , Vanderbilt University , Loyola University of Chicago , Duquesne University and the University of the South .He is the brother...

    , Echoes: After Heidegger
  • John Sallis (ed), Reading Heidegger: Commemorations, including articles by Robert Bernasconi, Jacques Derrida, Rodolphe Gasché
    Rodolphe Gasché
    Rodolphe Gasché holds the Eugenio Donato Chair of Comparative Literature at the University at Buffalo, State University of New York.- Career :Gasché obtained his doctorate from the Freie Universität Berlin, where he has also taught...

    , and John Sallis, among others.
  • Reiner Schürmann
    Reiner Schürmann
    Father Reiner Schürmann, O.P., Ph.D. was Professor of Philosophy at the New School for Social Research in New York....

    , Heidegger on Being and Acting: From Principles to Anarchy
  • Tony See
    Tony See
    Tony See is a philosopher, thinker and writer from Singapore.He graduated with a PhD from the European Graduate School , Saas-Fee, Switzerland...

    , Community without Identity: The Ontology and Politics of Heidegger
  • Adam Sharr, Heidegger's Hut
  • Bernard Stiegler
    Bernard Stiegler
    Bernard Stiegler is a French philosopher at Goldsmiths, University of London and at the Université de Technologie de Compiègne. In addition, he is Director of the , founder in 2005 of the political and cultural group, , and founder in 2010 of the philosophy school,...

    , Technics and Time, 1: The Fault of Epimetheus
  • Leo Strauss
    Leo Strauss
    Leo Strauss was a political philosopher and classicist who specialized in classical political philosophy. He was born in Germany to Jewish parents and later emigrated to the United States...

    , "An Introduction to Heideggerian Existentialism," in The Rebirth of Classical Political Rationalism (University of Chicago: 1989).
  • Andrzej Warminski, Readings in Interpretation: Hölderlin, Hegel, Heidegger
  • Julian Young, Heidegger's Philosophy of Art
  • Julian Young, Heidegger's Later Philosophy
  • Bastian Zimmermann, Die Offenbarung des Unverfügbaren und die Würde des Fragens. Ethische Dimensionen der Philosophie Martin Heideggers (London: 2010) ISBN 978-1-84790-037-1

Reception in France

  • Jean Beaufret
    Jean Beaufret
    Jean Beaufret was a French philosopher and Germanist tremendously influential in the reception of Martin Heidegger's work in France....

    , Dialogue avec Heidegger, 4 vols.
  • Dominique Janicaud, Heidegger en France, 2 vols.
  • Ethan Kleinberg
    Ethan Kleinberg
    Ethan Kleinberg is Associate Professor of History and Letters at Wesleyan University and Associate Editor of History and Theory. His research interests include European intellectual history with special interest in France and Germany, critical theory, educational structures, and the philosophy of...

    , Generation Existential: Heidegger's Philosophy in France, 1927–1961
  • David Pettigrew and François Raffoul (eds.), French Interpretations of Heidegger : An Exceptional Reception, Albany : SUNY Press, 2006.

Influence on Japanese philosophy

  • Mayeda, Graham. 2006. Time, space and ethics in the philosophy of Watsuji Tetsurō, Kuki Shūzō, and Martin Heidegger (New York: Routledge, 2006). ISBN 0-415-97673-1 (alk. paper).

Influence on Asian philosophy


See also

  • Aletheia
  • World disclosure
    World disclosure
    World disclosure is a phenomenon described by the German philosopher Martin Heidegger in his landmark book Being and Time. It has also been discussed by philosophers such as John Dewey, Jürgen Habermas and Charles Taylor...

  • Heideggerian terminology
    Heideggerian terminology
    Martin Heidegger, the 20th-century German philosopher, introduced to the world a large body of work which intended a profound change of direction for philosophy...

  • Hölderlin's Hymn "The Ister"
  • Ontotheology
    Ontotheology
    Ontotheology means the ontology of God and/or the theology of being. It refers to a tradition of philosophical theology first prominent among medieval scholastics, notably Duns Scotus...

  • Ontology
    Ontology
    Ontology is the philosophical study of the nature of being, existence or reality as such, as well as the basic categories of being and their relations...

  • Heidegger Gesamtausgabe
  • List of Nazi ideologues
  • Heidegger and Nazism
    Heidegger and Nazism
    The relation between the philosopher Martin Heidegger and the Nazi Party is a controversial subject.Martin Heidegger joined the Nazi Party on May 1, 1933, nearly three weeks after being appointed Rector of the University of Freiburg. Heidegger resigned the Rectorship about one year later, in April...

  • Existentialism
    Existentialism
    Existentialism is a term applied to a school of 19th- and 20th-century philosophers who, despite profound doctrinal differences, shared the belief that philosophical thinking begins with the human subject—not merely the thinking subject, but the acting, feeling, living human individual...

  • Nihilism
    Nihilism
    Nihilism is the philosophical doctrine suggesting the negation of one or more putatively meaningful aspects of life. Most commonly, nihilism is presented in the form of existential nihilism which argues that life is without objective meaning, purpose, or intrinsic value...

  • Hans Jonas
    Hans Jonas
    Hans Jonas was a German-born philosopher who was, from 1955 to 1976, Alvin Johnson Professor of Philosophy at the New School for Social Research in New York City.Jonas's writings were very influential in different spheres...

  • Rainer Maria Rilke
    Rainer Maria Rilke
    René Karl Wilhelm Johann Josef Maria Rilke , better known as Rainer Maria Rilke, was a Bohemian–Austrian poet. He is considered one of the most significant poets in the German language...

  • Ernst Cassirer
    Ernst Cassirer
    Ernst Cassirer was a German philosopher. He was one of the major figures in the development of philosophical idealism in the first half of the 20th century...


General information


Works by Heidegger