Martin Heidegger

Martin Heidegger (mär´tēn hī´dĕger), 1889–1976, German philosopher. As a student at Freiburg, Heidegger was influenced by the neo-Kantianism of Heinrich Rickert and the phenomenology of Edmund Husserl. In 1923 he became professor at Marburg, where he wrote and published the only completed part of his major work, Sein und Zeit (1927; tr. Being and Time, 1962). On the basis of this work Heidegger was called (1928) to Freiburg to succeed Husserl in the chair of philosophy, which he occupied until his retirement in 1951. He actively supported Adolf Hitler during the dictator's first years in power, and after World War II was banned from teaching and publishing for five years.

Although generally considered a founder of existentialism, Heidegger vehemently rejected the association, just as he came to reject Husserl's phenomenology. Heidegger's fundamental concern, as announced in Sein und Zeit and developed in his subsequent works, is the problem of being. In Sein und Zeit, being is shown to be intimately linked with temporality; the relationship between them is investigated by means of an analysis of human existence. Strongly influenced by Sören Kierkegaard, Heidegger delineated various aspects of human existence, such as "care," "moods," and the individual's relationship to death, and related the authenticity of being, as well as the anguish of modern society, to the individual's confrontation with his own temporality. It was this work and its influence upon Jean-Paul Sartre that have led many critics to consider Heidegger an existentialist. In addition to its influence on Sartre, Heidegger's thought influenced both modern Protestant theology (through Paul Tillich and Rudolph Bultmann) and the work of Jacques Derrida and other advocates of deconstruction.

The ontological aspect of Heidegger's thought assumed greater prominence in his later writings, which included studies of poetry and of dehumanization in modern society. Heidegger considered himself the first thinker in the history of Western philosophy to have raised explicitly the question concerning the "sense of being," and he located the crisis of Western civilization in mass "forgetfulness of being." Among his other works are Kant and the Problem of Metaphysics (1929, tr. 1962), What Is Metaphysics? (1929, tr. 1949), An Introduction to Metaphysics (1953, tr. 1959), What Is Philosophy? (1956, tr. 1958), and The End of Philosophy (1956, tr. 1973).

See studies by T. Langan (1959), M. King (1964), J. M. Demske (1963, tr. 1970), L. M. Vail (1972), S. L. Binderman (1981), H. G. Wolz (1981), R. Wolin (1990; ed., 1993; and 2001), K. Lowith (tr. 1995), R. Safranski (1998), and P. E. Gordon (2010); E. Ettinger, Hannah Arendt, Martin Heidegger (1995) and D. Villa, Arendt and Heidegger: The Fate of the Political (1995).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2013, The Columbia University Press.

Selected full-text books and articles on this topic

Heidegger: A Very Short Introduction
Michael Inwood.
Oxford University Press, 2000
Being and Time
Martin Heidegger; John Macquarrie; Edward Robinson.
Harper, 1962
Routledge Philosophy Guidebook to Heidegger and Being and Time
Stephen Mulhall.
Routledge, 1996
Heidegger's Analytic: Interpretation, Discourse, and Authenticity in Being and Time
Taylor Carman.
Cambridge University Press, 2003
Routledge Philosophy Guidebook to the Later Heidegger
George Pattison.
Routledge, 2000
Heidegger''s Philosophy of Being: A Critical Interpretation
Herman Philipse; Joseph Hamburger.
Princeton University Press, 1998
Heidegger's Philosophy of Science
Trish Glazebrook.
Fordham University Press, 2000
Heidegger: Through Phenomenology to Thought
William J. Richardson.
Fordham University Press, 2003
Heidegger & the Political: Dystopias
Miguel De Beistegui.
Routledge, 1998
Heidegger, Holderlin, and the Subject of Poetic Language: Toward a New Poetics of Dasein
Jennifer Anna Gosetti-Ferencei.
Fordham University Press, 2004
Husserl, Heidegger, and the Space of Meaning: Paths toward Transcendetnal Phenomenology
Steven Galt Crowell.
Northwestern University Press, 2001
Heidegger and Marcuse: The Catastrophe and Redemption of History
Andrew Feenberg.
Routledge, 2004
Foucault and Heidegger: Critical Encounters
Alan Milchman; Alan Rosenberg.
University of Minnesota Press, 2003
Speaking against Number: Heidegger, Language and the Politics of Calculation
Stuart Elden.
Edinburgh University Press, 2006
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