Martin Heidegger

Martin Heidegger

Martin Heidegger

Martin Heidegger

Excerpt

Jede wesentliche Gestalt des Geistes steht in der Zweideutigkeit.

Every essential configuration of the mind is ambiguous.

Heidegger

Most people who know of Heidegger know of him as one of a group of writers -- Kierkegaard, Jaspers, Marcel, Sartre and others -- who expound in their different ways a philosophy called 'existentialism': a philosophy concerned not with high-flown metaphysics and cosmological speculation but with personal inwardness, with personal integrity, with 'myself' in my struggle to be 'myself'. In the form given currency by Sartre this seemed to many the most striking new departure of post-war thinking on the Continent; and Heidegger, as one of the more mystifying masters of the doctrine, was included in its popularity. The name of the movement, and a few slogans associated with it, were for a time perhaps too much in vogue: it is healthier for philosophy to be protest than fashion. Yet the fashion in this case was not capricious; there was good reason for it in the contemporary mood and in the heritage that produced it. And the last word of existentialism did indeed lie with Heidegger. The innovations of Sartre are for the most part inessential and to some extent inconsistent with it. If we leave out of consideration the religious . . .

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