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ХАЙДЕГГЕР Мартин ♂ 1889-1976 Германия, философ HEIDEGGER Martin ♂ 1889-1976 Germany, philosopher

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 Heidegger, Martin (b. Sept. 26, 1889, Messkirch, Schwarzwald, Ger.--d. May 26, 1976, Messkirch, W.Ger.), German philosopher, counted among the main exponents of 20th-century Existentialism. He was an original thinker, a critic of technological society, a leading ontologist of his time, and an influence on a younger generation of continental European cultural personalities. Background and youth. The son of a Catholic sexton, Heidegger showed an early interest in religion and, upon finishing high school, joined the Jesuits as a novice. At the University of Freiburg he studied Catholic theology and medieval Christian philosophy. In fact, his interest in philosophy had already begun when, at secondary school, he started an intensive study of the late 19th-century Catholic philosopher Franz Brentano, author of a "descriptive" psychology, as presented in Brentano's Von der mannigfachen Bedeutung des Seienden nach Aristoteles (1862; "On the Manifold Meaning of Being According to Aristotle"). For the rest of his life Heidegger was to contemplate the possibility that there is a basic sense of the verb "to be" that lies behind its variety of usages. From his early study of Brentano also stems his enthusiasm for the Greeks, especially the pre-Socratics, whose thought marks the dawning of the penetrating reflection that transpired before the cleavage of thinking into poetry, philosophy, and science. (see also Index: ontology) The philosophy of Heidegger is obviously dependent upon the philosophers prior to Socrates, upon Plato and Aristotle, and upon the Gnostics. He was particularly influenced, however--positively or negatively--by several 19th- and early 20th-century philosophers: by the Danish theological thinker Soren Kierkegaard and the Dionysian vitalist Friedrich Nietzsche, founders of Existentialism; by the historical vitalist Wilhelm Dilthey, noted for directing the attention of philosophers to the human and historical sciences; and by the founder of Phenomenology, Edmund Husserl. While still in his 20s, Heidegger studied at Freiburg with Heinrich Rickert, later of the southwest school of axiological Kantianism, and with Husserl, who was then already famous. Husserl's Phenomenology, and especially his struggle against the intrusion of psychology into essential studies of man--which he felt should, instead, be conducted on the philosophical level--determined the background of the young Heidegger's doctoral dissertation (1914). Consequently, what Heidegger later said and wrote about anxiety, thinking, forgetfulness, curiosity, distress, care, or awe was not meant as psychology; and what he said about man, publicness, and other-directedness was not intended to be sociology, anthropology, or political science. His utterances were meant to disclose ways of Being. His magnum opus: "Being and Time." Heidegger started teaching at the University of Freiburg during the winter semester of 1915 and earned his habilitation through a study of the 13th-century British Franciscan philosopher Duns Scotus. In this position, as a colleague of Husserl, Heidegger was expected to carry the Phenomenological movement further along in the spirit of his former master. As a religiously inclined young man, however, he went his own way instead and in 1927 astonished the German philosophical world with Sein und Zeit (Being and Time, 1962)--a work that, though almost unreadable, was immediately felt to be of prime importance, whatever its relation to Husserl might be. In spite of, or perhaps partly because of, its intriguingly difficult style, this book was acclaimed as a deep and important work not only in German-speaking countries but also in Latin countries, where Phenomenology was already well known. It strongly influenced Jean-Paul Sartre in France and other Existentialists, and, despite Heidegger's protestations, he was classed, on the strength of this book, as the leading atheistic Existentialist. Its reception in the English-speaking world, however, was rather chilly, and its influence was negligible for several decades. In Being and Time, Heidegger's declared purpose is to bring to light what it means for a man to be, or, more accurately, how it is to be. This leads to a more fundamental question: what it means to ask "What is the meaning of Being?" These questions lie behind the obviousness of everyday life and, therefore, also behind the empirical questions of natural science. They are usually overlooked because they are too near to be grasped in everyday life. One might say that the whole prophetic mission of Heidegger amounts to making each man ask that question with maximum involvement. Whether he will ever arrive at any definite answer or not is, in the present crisis of mankind, of secondary importance. This crisis, according to Heidegger, stems from a deep fall (Verfall) that Western thought has undergone, owing to a one-sided technical development, a development that results in alienation (Entfremdung), or, as expressed in terms more central to Heidegger's thought, in a "highly inauthentic way of being." Fallenness, or inauthenticity, belongs to the inescapable way of human existence; i.e., it is an existential, an essential, potentiality (Moglichkeit), but epochs and individuals may be coloured by it in different degrees. This somewhat stern outlook was mitigated, however, in Heidegger's later writings, in which he suggests that there are possibilities of redemption by "thinking of Being" and, thus, again coming closer to Being--a process in which, he believes, continental European rather than Eastern or other Western countries are to lead the way. (see also Index: authentic existence) The wealth of ideas contained in Being and Time is best discussed, however, in conjunction with those developed in another, short work, Was ist Metaphysik? (1929; What Is Metaphysics?, 1949). At the time of publishing Being and Time, Heidegger had been a professor ordinarius at Marburg for several years (since 1923). He resigned that post and, in 1928, returned to Freiburg, this time as Husserl's successor. What Is Metaphysics? was Heidegger's inaugural lecture; it elaborates one of his favourite themes, das Nichts ("nothing"); i.e., the no-thing. As Heidegger learned from Husserl, it is the phenomenological and not the scientific method that unveils man's ways of Being. Thus, in pursuing this method, Heidegger comes into conflict with the dichotomy of the subject-object relation, which has traditionally implied that man, as knower, is something (some-thing) within an environment that is against him. This relation, however, must be transcended. The deepest knowing, on the contrary, is a matter of phainesthai (Greek: "to show itself" or "to be in the light"), the word from which phenomenology, as a method, is derived. Something is just "there" in the light. Thus, the distinction between subject and object is not immediate but comes only later through conceptualization, as in the sciences. As an aid in the effort to get back to "Thinking of Being" and its redemptive effects, Heidegger employs linguistic or hermeneutical techniques. He develops his own German, his own Greek, and his own kind of etymologies. He coins, for example, about 100 new complex words ending with "-being." In reading his works one must, thus, translate many of its key terms back into Greek words and then consider his free, often special (but never uninteresting), interpretations and etymologies. (see also Index: language) Man stands out (ex-sists, not merely ex-ists) from things, says Heidegger in Being and Time, never being completely absorbed by them, but nevertheless being nothing (no-thing) apart from them. Man dwells in a world that he has been, and continues to be, thrown into until death. Being thrown into things, being-there (Da-sein), he falls away (Verfall) and is on the point of being submerged into things. He is continually a pro-ject (Ent-wurf); but periodically, or even normally, he may be submerged in things to such a degree that he is temporarily absorbed (Aufgehen in). He is then nobody in particular; and a structure that Heidegger calls das Man ("the they") is revealed, which recalls certain Anglo-American sociological criticisms of modern industrial society that stress man's "other-directedness," his tendency to measure himself in terms of his peers. But Heidegger's phenomenological metaphors avoid social science terms as much as possible in favour of ontological one. Characteristic of das Man are idle talk (Gerede) and curiosity (Neugier). In Gerede, talker and listener do not stand in any genuine personal relation or in any intimate relation to what is talked about; hence, it leads to shallowness. Curiosity is a form of distraction, a need for the "new," a need for something "different," without real interest or capability of wonder. (see also Index: Dasein) But there is a mood, anxiety or dread (Angst), that functions to disclose (dis-close) authentic being, freedom (Frei-sein), as a potentiality. It manifests the freedom of man to choose himself and take hold of himself. The relevance of time, of the finiteness of human existence, is then experienced as a freedom to meet his own death (das Freisein fur den Tod), a preparedness for and continuous relatedness to his own death (Sein zum Tode). In anxiety, all entities (Seiendes) sink away into a "nothing and nowhere," man hovers in himself as ex-sisting, being nowhere at home (Un-heimlichkeit, Un-zu-hause). He faces no-thing-ness (das Nichts); and all average, obvious everydayness disappears--and this is good, since he now faces the potentiality of authentic being. (see also Index: nothingness) Thus, the "sober" (nuchtern) anxiety and the implied confrontation with death are for Heidegger primarily of methodological importance: fundamentals are revealed. Among the structures revealed are potentialities for being joyfully active (". . . knowing joy [die wissende Heiterkeit] is a door to the eternal"). Anxiety opens man up to Being. This does not imply that Being partakes in the dark aspect of dread, however; Being is associated with "light" and with "the joyful" (das Heitere). Being "calls the tune"; "to think Being" is to arrive at one's (true) home. Though Heideggerian students are often baffled by just what Being and thinking stand for, it is clear that Heidegger opposes a cult of mankind and wishes to call attention to something greater. Later life. In the early 1930s there occurred an event in the thought of Heidegger that scholars call his Kehre ("turning around"), which is said by some specialists to involve a turning away from the problem of Being and Time. This was denied by Heidegger himself, who insisted that he had been asking the same basic question since his youth, but in his later years he clearly became more reluctant to offer any answer. He did not even indicate a way in which to reach an answer to the basic problem of Being and Time. At about the time of the Kehre, there also occurred Heidegger's short but eloquent pro-Nazi participation in the cultural politics of the Third Reich, which became a matter of considerable controversy. Even before Adolf Hitler assumed power in November 1933, German universities were exposed to heavy pressures. They were supposed to support the "national revolution" and eliminate Jewish scholars and doctrines (such as relativity). The anti-Nazi scientist who had been the rector at Freiburg resigned in protest, and the teaching staff unanimously elected Heidegger as his successor. (see also Index: National Socialism) Heidegger's inauguration speech ("The German University's Self-Affirmation") was widely declared to be an affirmation of Nazism. To be sure, he divided student tasks into work service, military service, and scientific service; but this fell within the area of the authoritarian educational policy of Plato, and the speech ended not with a "Heil, Hitler!" but with a quotation from Plato's Republic: "All great things stand in peril." The speech turned against scientific specialization; it urged the asking of the question "What is it to be?"; and it warned against losing oneself in "things" (Seiendes; opposite das Sein). On other occasions, however, Heidegger gave solidly pro-Hitler speeches. "The Fuhrer himself," he said, "and he alone is the German reality, present and future, and its law." In short, Heidegger succumbed to Hitlerism but not to Nazi cultural policy or philosophy. Under some pressure, Heidegger joined the Nazi Party and did not try to leave it. His relations to the party, however, and to the whole Nazi environment rapidly deteriorated. He resigned as rector as early as the beginning of 1934. After World War II, Heidegger characterized Hitlerism as the historical explosion of a structural sickness in mankind as a whole and expressed concern that it would take time to get rid of the poison. In November 1944 Heidegger terminated his university lectures, and in 1945 the occupying powers forbade him to take up official lecturing again. He was "investigated"; but his support of Hitler in 1933-34 was not found to be of the serious, "active" kind, and he did not lose his professional rights. His status remained a matter of controversy, however, until he reached the age of retirement in 1959. Nevertheless, he gave influential regular lectures in the years 1951-58, and his attitude in 1933-34 did not affect his strong position within the international Phenomenological movement. Assessment. Perhaps the specific pretension of Heidegger's phenomenological method rests on a grandiose illusion, and perhaps the search for thinking Being is merely a disguised quest for a kind of belief in God; perhaps his abstruse terminology is only a mask covering and mystifying a more traditional approach. Such irreverent evaluations would scarcely be unsympathetic to Heidegger, if joined with the intent to verify or falsify it by genuinely following his own path through his writings. After all, he asks, or rather, provokes, us to question, not to listen to answers. It is, therefore, misleading to present Heidegger's philosophy as a set of clearly understandable results. His metaphors must remain, rather than be translated into a usual philosophical terminology that he rejected. ( A.D.N.) Major Works MAJOR WORKS. "Das Realitatsproblem in der modernen Philosophie," Philosophisches Jahrbuch der Gorresgesellschaft, 25 (1912); Die Lehre vom Urteil im Psychologismus: Ein kritisch-positiver Beitrag zur Logik (1914); Die Kategorien- und Bedeutungslehre des Duns Scotus (1916); "Der Zeitbegriff in der Geschichtswissenschaft," Zeitschrift fur Philosophie und philosophische Kritik, 161 (1916); Sein und Zeit: Erste Halfte, first as a contribution to the Jahrbuch fur Philosophie und phanomenologische Forschung, 8 (1927), then as a separate book (1927; 11th ed., 1967; Being and Time, 1962); Kant und das Problem der Metaphysik (1929; Eng. trans. by James Churchill, Kant and the Problem of Metaphysics, 1962); Vom Wesen des Grundes (1929; The Essence of Reasons, 1969); Was ist Metaphysik? (1929; 10th ed., 1969; "What Is Metaphysics?" in the selective volume Existence and Being, ed. by W. Brock, 1949); Die Selbstbehauptung der deutschen Universitat (1933); Holderlin und das Wesen der Dichtung (lecture of 1936, printed 1937; Eng. trans. in Existence and Being); Platons Lehre von der Wahrheit, first as a contribution to Geistige Uberlieferung (1942), then in book form (1947), Eng. trans. in William Barrett and H.D. Aiken (eds.), Philosophy in the Twentieth Century, vol. 2 (1962); Vom Wesen der Wahrheit (1943, from lectures given 1930-32; 4th ed., 1961; Eng. trans. in Existence and Being); Erlauterungen zu Holderlins Dichtung (1944; 3rd ed., 1963); Brief uber den "Humanismus," first with Platons Lehre . . . (1947), then separately (1949), Eng. trans. in Philosophy in the Twentieth Century; Holzwege (1950; 4th ed., 1963); Einfuhrung in die Metaphysik (1953; 3rd ed., 1967; An Introduction to Metaphysics, 1959); Der Feldweg (1953; 4th ed., 1969); Votrage und Aufsatze (1954; 3rd ed., 1967); Was heisst Denken? (1954; What Is Called Thinking?, 1968); Aus der Erfahrung des Denkens (1954); Was ist das--die Philosophie? (1956; What Is Philosophy?, 1958); Zur Seinsfrage (1956; The Question of Being, 1958); Der Satz vom Grund (1957); Identitat und Differenz (1957; Essays in Metaphysics: Identity and Difference; 1960); Unterwegs zur Sprache (1959; On the Way to Language, 1971); Der Ursprung des Kunstwerkes, (1960; Eng. trans. in A. Hofstadter and R. Kuhns [eds.], Philosophies of Art and Beauty, 1964); Nietzsche, 2 vol. (1961); Die Frage nach dem Ding: Zu Kants Lehre von den transzendentalen Grundsatzen (1962; What Is a Thing?, 1967); Kants These uber das Sein (1962). BIBLIOGRAPHY. H. Albert, Traktat uber kritische Vernunft (1968), a critique of Heidegger's conception of cognition as revelation; A. De Waelhens, La Philosophie de Martin Heidegger, 7th ed. (1971); H. Feick, Index zu Heideggers Sein und Zeit (1961), a useful collection of definitions and a survey of occurrences of key terms; M. Grene, "Heidegger, Martin," in P. Edwards (ed.), Encyclopedia of Philosophy, vol. 3 (1967), an attempt to furnish an understandable translation and a concentrated survey of Heideggerian conceptions; H. Lubbe, "Bibliographie der Heidegger-Litteratur 1917-1955," Zeitschrift fur Philosophische Forschung, vol. 11 (1957), excellent; G. Lukacs, "Heidegger redivivus," in Sinn und Form, 1:37-62 (1949), an influential philosophical and Marxist evaluation of the work and influence of Heidegger; J. Macquarrie, An Existentialist Theology: A Comparison of Heidegger and Bultmann (1955); A. Naess, "Heidegger," in Four Modern Philosophers: Carnap, Wittgenstein, Heidegger, Sartre (1968); O. Poggeler, Der Denkweg Martin Heideggers (1963), and Philosophie und Politik bei Heidegger (1972); George Steiner, Heidegger (1978; U.S. title, Martin Heidegger, 1979). Later studies include Paul A. Bove, Destructive Poetics: Heidegger and Modern American Poetry (1980); Steven L. Bindeman, Heidegger and Wittgenstein, The Politics of Silence (1981); Henry G. Wolz, Plato and Heidegger: In Search of Selfhood (1981); David R. Mason, Time and Providence (1982). Related Internet Links: Lectures on Heidegger's Being and Time Obsession Transcends 'The Banality of Evil' Ereignis Heidegger and Music Links Heidegger and Technology Links
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