Martin Heidegger

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Martin Heidegger (1960)

Martin Heidegger (born September 26, 1889 in Meßkirch ; † May 26, 1976 in Freiburg im Breisgau ) was a German philosopher . He stood in the tradition of phenomenology, primarily Edmund Husserl , the philosophy of life in particular Wilhelm Diltheys and Søren Kierkegaard 's interpretation of existence , which he wanted to overcome in a new ontology . The most important goals of Heidegger were the criticism of occidental philosophy and the intellectual foundation for a new understanding of the world.

In 1926 he wrote his first major work, Being and Time , which established the philosophical direction of fundamental ontology (published in 1927).

From mid-1930 onwards, Heidegger began to interpret the history of Western philosophy as a whole. To this end, he examined the works of important philosophers from a phenomenological, hermeneutic and ontological point of view and tried to expose their “thoughtless” assumptions and prejudices . According to Heidegger, all previous philosophical drafts represented a one-sided view of the world - a one-sidedness that he saw as a feature of every metaphysics .

From Heidegger's point of view, this metaphysical conception of the world culminated in modern technology . With this term, he did not associate, as is usual, a neutral means of achieving ends. Rather, he tried to show that technology was also accompanied by a changed view of the world. According to Heidegger, technology brings the earth into focus primarily from the point of view of making it usable. Because of its global distribution and the associated relentless “exploitation” of natural resources, Heidegger saw technology as an unavoidable danger.

Memorial plaque for the honorary citizen of the city at the Heidegger house in Meßkirch

He juxtaposed technology with art and from the end of the 1930s he worked on a. a. alternatives to a purely technical world reference based on Hölderlin's poems . In late texts from 1950 onwards, he increasingly devoted himself to questions of language . Their historically grown wealth of relationships should avoid metaphysical one-sidedness. Heidegger tried not to think of people as the center of the world, but rather in the overall context of a world that he called " Geviert ". Instead of ruling over the earth, man must in it as mortal host live and protect .

A broad reception made Heidegger one of the most influential philosophers of the 20th century. Nevertheless, the content of his work is controversial. Primarily, his National Socialist commitment is the subject of controversial debates to this day. Heidegger was a member of the NSDAP from 1933 to 1945 and in 1934 one of the founding members of the Committee on Legal Philosophy of the National Socialist Academy for German Law , headed by Hans Frank . Through the publication of the Black Booklet 2014/2015 as part of his complete works, u. a. previously unknown anti-Semitic statements made public.

life and work

Childhood, adolescence and studies

The house where Martin (and probably Fritz) Heidegger was born in Meßkirch

Martin Heidegger was born on September 26, 1889 as the first child of the married couple Friedrich and Johanna Heidegger (née Kempf from Göggingen ) in Meßkirch ( Baden ). His sister Maria was born in 1892, his brother Friedrich (Fritz) in 1894 . His father was a master cooper and provided at the local Catholic Church the office of sacristan . The family lived in simple but well-ordered circumstances. The deeply religious parents tried to get their children as good an education as possible, despite their tight financial resources, and also had their sons called into the altar service at an early age . Higher education beyond the parish school seemed unattainable until the local pastor, Camillo Brandhuber, became aware of Martin's talent in 1903 and enabled him to receive a scholarship for the Konradihaus in Konstanz , an archiepiscopal study home for the training of future clergy, and to attend the grammar school .

From 1906 Heidegger lived at the episcopal seminary in Freiburg and graduated from high school. After graduating from high school , he entered the Jesuit order as a novice in Feldkirch ( Vorarlberg ) in September 1909 , but left the monastery after a month due to heart problems. Instead he became a seminary student and began studying theology and philosophy at the University of Freiburg . Heidegger published first articles and comments. On February 16, 1911, the family doctor of the Collegium Borromaeum, Heinrich Gassert , diagnosed the theology student Martin Heidegger with nervous heart problems of an asthmatic nature, which prompted Gassert to suggest to the Konviktdirektor that Heidegger should be discharged after his homeland to allow a few weeks "complete rest to have". Heidegger was then given leave of absence for the entire summer semester of 1911, and he was advised to forego studying theology entirely. Heidegger followed this advice, gave up studying theology entirely in 1911 and added mathematics , history and natural sciences to philosophy . Since neo-Kantianism and a rejection of pre-Kantian ontology which was shaped by it predominated at philosophical seminars , Heidegger's early educational path was rather atypical due to its connection to Catholicism .

Two texts shaped Heidegger during this time: Franz Brentano's book On the manifold meanings of beings according to Aristotle and On Being. Outline of the ontology of the Freiburg dogmatist Carl Braig , whose lectures he attended. This created a fruitful tension between the scholastic tradition. Heidegger later judged that without his theological origin he would not have been put on his way of thinking.

In autumn 2014 it was announced that the German Literature Archive Marbach had acquired 572 previously unpublished letters and 36 postcards from correspondence with his brother Fritz. In the summer of that year the literature archive received 70 letters from Heidegger and his wife to his parents from 1907 to 1927. Heidegger had already given a large part of his estate to the archive himself.

Family & relationships

In 1917 Heidegger married Elfride Petri (1893–1992). She was a Protestant ; Engelbert Krebs married the two of them in the university chapel of the Freiburg Minster on March 21, 1917 according to the Catholic rite, and four days later they married in Wiesbaden as a Protestant.

In January 1919 the first son Jörg († 2019) was born, in August 1920 Hermann († 2020): His biological father was the doctor Friedrich Caesar, a childhood friend of Elfride, about which Martin Heidegger was informed, but this was not until 2005 the publication of Martin Heidegger's letters to his wife came to light. The two apparently lived a so-called open marriage .

Heidegger had an affair with the educator Elisabeth Blochmann , with whom he exchanged letters about her dismissal due to her Jewish origin after the " seizure of power " by the National Socialists in 1933. She was a friend and former classmate of Elfride Heidegger.

From February 1925, Heidegger had a love affair with his eighteen-year-old, also Jewish student Hannah Arendt . Letters from him to her and her notes on this relationship were found in her estate, while letters from her to him have not survived. From his early correspondence with the student it emerges what conception he had of a university-educated woman: “Male questions learn awe from simple devotion; One-sided occupation learn worldwide from the original wholeness of womanly being. ”On April 24th of the same year he wrote:“ Tornness and despair can never produce anything like your serving love in my work. ”The relationship was unbalanced: Since Heidegger neither his position nor wanted to endanger his marriage, he determined the time and place of their meetings; the contacts had to take place in secret. The love affair only became known after both deaths. In the winter semester of 1925/26, Arendt went to Heidelberg on Heidegger's advice to study with Karl Jaspers . There were still individual meetings until Heidegger ended the relationship in 1928. The relationship was of lifelong importance for Heidegger, even if there were long periods of no contact, especially from 1933 to 1950. However, he did not refer to Hannah Arendt's publications in any of his works and is also included in private correspondence never said a word about the work she had sent him.

Brother Fritz

The best expert on Martin Heidegger's writings and trains of thought was his brother Fritz , who was five years his junior . He transcribed all the texts published during his brother's lifetime from his hard-to-read manuscripts into appropriate typescripts .

Early creative period

View of Meßkirch (2012): In the center of the picture the church of St. Martin, where Heidegger's father was sacristan . Today a museum in the Meßkircher Castle provides information about life, friends and family and Heidegger's homeland.

In 1913, Heidegger earned his doctorate in philosophy with Artur Schneider with the work The Doctrine of Judgment in Psychologism . He was very active in the Freiburg Cartel Association of Catholic German Student Associations until he was called up for military service and regularly took part in the weekly meetings. In 1915 he gave a lecture there on the concept of truth in modern philosophy.

As early as 1915, he completed his habilitation under Heinrich Finke and Heinrich Rickert as a second reviewer with the work The Categories and Meaning Theory of Duns Scotus and the lecture The Concept of Time in History . In his habilitation thesis, Heidegger referred on the one hand to Duns Scotus' theory of categories and on the other hand to the script Grammatica Speculativa - later attributed to Thomas von Erfurt and not to Scotus - a treatise on types of linguistic expressions and ontological categories corresponding to them. Here Heidegger's early interest in the relationship between being and language is evident. Here Heidegger tries to make medieval philosophy fruitful for the present with the conceptual and methodological means of modern thought, above all phenomenology.

The First World War interrupted his academic career. Heidegger was called up in 1915 and assigned to the post and weather observation services. He was not suitable for combat missions; the withdrawal took place in 1918.

In 1916, Edmund Husserl became the leading phenomenologist at the University of Freiburg. He succeeded Rickert. Heidegger became his closest confidante as an assistant (successor to Edith Stein ) and private lecturer from 1919 . Husserl granted him insights into his research, and Heidegger, looking back, highlighted the benefits that this close relationship had for him. From 1920 the friendly correspondence with the philosopher Karl Jaspers began . In order to be able to receive an extraordinary professorship in Marburg, Heidegger drew up a sketch of an Aristotle book for Paul Natorp in 1922 , the so-called Natorp report, which anticipated many thoughts from being and time . Heidegger described his philosophy, which was just emerging here, as expressly atheistic , but at the same time declared in a footnote: A philosophy that sees itself as a factual interpretation of life must also know that this means a "lifting of hands against God".

During the Weimar Republic , Heidegger broke with the "system of Catholicism" and devoted himself exclusively to philosophy.

View from Heidegger's hut over the Todtnauer Land

Heidegger was shaped by its deep roots in rural life in southern Germany. From Freiburg he discovered the southern Black Forest for himself. In the landscape between Feldberg and Belchen he saw intact nature, a healthy climate and idyllic villages. In Todtnauberg , Elfride Heidegger bought a piece of land from her last savings and had a hut built by the master carpenter and farmer Pius Schweitzer according to his own plans, which was available on August 9, 1922 and only received an electricity connection in 1931. Heidegger wrote many of his works there. He couldn't make friends with the hectic cities in his whole life.

“All of my work [...] is carried and guided by the world of these mountains and farmers. [...] as soon as I get back up, the whole world of earlier questions intrudes in the first hours of being a hut, in the shape in which I left them. I am simply put into the natural vibration of work and am basically not in control of its hidden law. "

During an extraordinary professorship at the University of Marburg from 1923 to 1927, he became friends with the theologian Rudolf Bultmann . Heidegger was already considered an outstanding teacher among students. Karl Löwith , Gerhard Krüger and Wilhelm Szilasi were among his students . The young Hannah Arendt also attended lectures from him, as did her later first husband Günther Anders and their mutual friend Hans Jonas . In a radio broadcast in 1969, she recalled the fascination that emanated from his teaching activity at the time: “Heidegger's fame is older than the publication of Sein und Zeit [...] college transcripts [went] from hand to hand [... and] the name traveled all over Germany like the rumor of the secret king. [...] The rumor that lured [the students] to Freiburg to the private lecturer and a little later to Marburg said that there is someone who has really achieved the cause that Husserl had proclaimed. "

In 1927 his major work, Sein und Zeit, was published . The book was published as an independent volume in Edmund Husserl's Yearbook for Philosophy and Phenomenological Research series. The early lectures accessible through the complete edition make the genesis of Being and Time very easy to understand. It turns out that the fundamental ideas essential for being and time emerged in Heidegger's work early on . In 1928 he succeeded Husserl's chair in Freiburg. He gave his inaugural lecture on the topic: What is metaphysics? In addition, his lectures and the Davos disputation with Ernst Cassirer on Immanuel Kant on the occasion of the II. International University Courses in 1929 made Heidegger well known.

National Socialism

This section deals with the historical events during the time of National Socialism . For Heidegger's relationship to National Socialism, see the article → Martin Heidegger and National Socialism .

Albert Ludwig University of Freiburg , where Heidegger was rector from 1933 to 1934.

After coming to power in 1933, Heidegger enthusiastically participated in what he saw as the National Socialist revolution. On April 21, 1933 he became rector of the Freiburg University . He was proposed for the office by his predecessor Wilhelm von Möllendorff , who had become untenable as a Social Democrat and had resigned the day before - presumably under pressure from the Nazi regime. Heidegger, who had already elected the NSDAP in 1932, joined it on May 1, 1933 and remained a member until the end of the war.

In his rector's speech on May 27, 1933 , entitled The Self-Assertion of the German University , the word came from the “greatness and magnificence of this awakening”. The speech had National Socialist connotations and has caused a lot of negative attention to this day: In it Heidegger called for a fundamental renewal of the university. With philosophy as the center, it should regain its wholeness, similar to that in antiquity. The relationship between professors and students should correspond to that of “leaders” and “followers”. He also emphasized the need for ties to the so-called “ national community ” and the important role of the university in the training of cultural leaders of the people.

During his rectorate, Heidegger took part in the propaganda and conformity policy of the "movement" and gave a speech on the burning of books , which he forbade, however, according to his own statements, to be held in Freiburg. During his rectorate in 1933, Heidegger actively campaigned for the whereabouts of Jewish colleagues such as the chemist Georg von Hevesy and the classical philologist Eduard Fraenkel, as well as for the Jewish teachers and professors at the University of Freiburg Jonas Cohn, Wolfgang Michael and Heidegger's assistants Dr. Werner Bock. According to his own statement, however, he prohibited the " Jews' poster " from being displayed at the university . But he did nothing to curb the increasing anti-Semitic resentment at the university. He denounced two colleagues, Eduard Baumgarten , with whom he had a technical dispute in 1931, and Hermann Staudinger . In 1933 Heidegger organized a science camp in Todtnauberg for lecturers and assistants who were supposed to be brought closer to the "National Socialist upheaval in higher education". On November 11, 1933, he signed the German professors' confession of Adolf Hitler in Leipzig and gave a keynote speech at the event. He also signed the election call for German scientists behind Adolf Hitler on August 19, 1934.

View of the hut and the slope with the stream

On April 27, 1934, Heidegger resigned from the office of Rector, as his university policy did not find enough support either at the university or by the party. The reason was not (as he later presented himself) that he did not want to support the National Socialist university policy, rather it did not go far enough for him: Heidegger was planning a central teaching academy in Berlin. All future German university lecturers should receive philosophical training in this academy. The National Socialist Marburg psychologist Erich Jaensch wrote a report in which he described Martin Heidegger as "one of the greatest muddled minds and most unusual loners" that we have in university life ". Heidegger's ambitious plans failed, and he withdrew from National Socialist university politics. A lecture, which was planned under the title The State and Science and to which leading party members had come with certain expectations, was canceled without further ado. Heidegger to the auditorium : "I read logic ." In addition, Heidegger reported that after his resignation from the rectorate he had been monitored by the party and that some of his writings were no longer available in stores or were only sold under the counter without a title page.

In May 1934, Heidegger was, together with Carl August Emge and Alfred Rosenberg, a founding member of the Committee for Legal Philosophy at the National Socialist Academy for German Law , headed by Hans Frank , and belonged to the committee until at least 1936.

From 1935 to 1942 Heidegger was a member of the Scientific Committee of the Nietzsche Archives . However, he resigned in 1942 without giving any reasons. His criticism of the historical-critical edition , which he should have overseen there, he later clearly presented in his two-volume Nietzsche book.

In November 1944 he was called up to work on the entrenchments as part of the Volkssturm , but released again in December due to the intervention of the university. After bombing raids on Messkirch, Heidegger brought his manuscripts to Bietingen. The Philosophical Faculty of Freiburg University was temporarily relocated to Wildenstein Castle , where Heidegger saw the end of the war.

As part of the denazification process, the Philosophical Faculty of the University of Freiburg had prepared a report in September 1945, which advocated Heidegger's retirement with limited teaching authorization. The member of the clean-up commission, Adolf Lampe , protested against this, as did Walter Eucken and Franz Böhm , and so the case was reopened on December 1, 1945. Heidegger then asked for an expert report from Karl Jaspers , which he wrote in letter form on December 22, 1945. However, Jaspers considered Heidegger to be intolerable due to his involvement in National Socialism as part of the teaching body and suggested “suspension from teaching for a few years”. On January 19, 1946, the Senate decided on this basis and on the basis of the new commission report by Chairman Constantin von Dietze to withdraw the license to teach . On October 5, 1946, the French military government also made it clear that Heidegger was not allowed to teach or take part in any university events.

The teaching ban ended on September 26, 1951 with Heidegger's retirement. The reception of Heidegger's works is still heavily burdened by his Nazi past, his later silence on it and various anti-Semitic statements in the black books .

Late years

In 1946 Heidegger suffered a physical and mental breakdown and was treated by Victor Freiherr von Gebsattel . After he recovered, Jean Beaufret contacted him with a letter. In it he asked Heidegger how, after the events of World War II, the word humanism could still be given meaning. Heidegger replied with the letter about "humanism" , which met with a great response: Heidegger was back on the philosophical stage. Ernst Jünger , whose book Der Arbeiter Heidegger had strongly influenced him (he adopted the term “total mobilization” in the articles ), came to visit Todtnauberg in 1949.

With his retirement, Heidegger regained his professorial rights. He immediately announced a lecture and read again for the first time in the winter semester at Freiburg University. His lectures were very popular and, like his writings, received a wide response. He also gave lectures on a smaller scale, for example in 1950 at the Bavarian Academy of Sciences on "Das Ding" and in 1951 at the Darmstadt Talks of the German Werkbund on the subject of "Building - Living - Thinking". In 1953 Heidegger posed the “question about technology” to the Bavarian Academy of Fine Arts , and in 1955 he gave the lecture “Serenity” at the Conradin Kreutzer celebration in Meßkirch .

In 1947 Heidegger was contacted by the Zurich psychotherapist Medard Boss , from which a lifelong friendship grew. He held the "Zollikoner seminars" at the home of Medard Boss 1959-1969, of which the basis of the Swiss psychiatrist one of Heidegger's analysis of existence ajar Daseinanalysis developed.

In 1955 René Char met the German philosopher in Paris. René Char invited Heidegger to travel to Provence several times . So it came to the seminars in Le Thor in 1966, 1968, 1969 and in Zähringen in 1973, an exchange of poets and thinkers.

On his 70th birthday on September 26, 1959, he was granted honorary citizenship in his hometown of Messkirch. On May 10, 1960, Heidegger received the Johann-Peter-Hebel-Prize in Hausen im Wiesental . Since 1958 he was a full member of the Heidelberg Academy of Sciences .

Martin Heidegger 1969. Handwritten dedication to Meinolf Wewel
The grave of Elfride (née Petri) and Martin Heidegger in Meßkirch

Heidegger's thinking developed worldwide. Mention should be made in this context of the numerous translations of Being and Time , including into Japanese. Heidegger also had a lasting effect on the Far Eastern philosophers. Hannah Arendt supported the publication of his work in the USA. On the 500th anniversary of the Albert Ludwig University of Freiburg in 1957, he gave the keynote lecture “The Sentence of Identity”. In addition to an interview for the news magazine Der Spiegel in 1966, he also gave occasional television interviews, such as Richard Wisser in 1969 .

Significant for him were the two trips to Greece in 1962 and 1967, the impressions of which he captured in the stays , the trips to Italy in 1952 and 1963 with Medard Boss as well as his repeated holidays in Lenzerheide with him. In 1967 Heidegger met the poet Paul Celan , whom he valued in Freiburg , who was there for a reading. The explosiveness of the meeting resulted from the biography of Celan, whose parents had been murdered as Jews by the National Socialists and who therefore apparently expected an explanation from Heidegger for his behavior in the period after 1933, which he did not receive. Nevertheless, both drove together to Todtnauberg, where Celan signed the guest book. Later he sent the poem Todtnauberg to Heidegger , in which he expressed "a hope, today ..." "... on a thinker / coming / word / in the heart".

Heidegger had prepared the publication of his complete edition himself, the first volume of which appeared in 1975. Heidegger died on May 26, 1976 in Freiburg. In accordance with his wishes, he was buried on May 28, 1976 in Messkirch, his birthplace. At his funeral, his son Hermann Heidegger read poems by Holderlin that his father had chosen. The funeral oration was given by one of his philosophical descendants, Bernhard Welte .

Heidegger was convinced that the "understanding appropriation" of a thoughtful work had to be carried out on its content - the person of the thinker thus faded into the background. Therefore, autobiographical data are extremely sparse and much can only be inferred through letters or reports from contemporaries. The little importance Heidegger ascribed to the biography of a thinker can be seen in the words with which he once opened a lecture on Aristotle: “Aristotle was born, worked and died. So let's turn to his thinking. "

Thinking as a way

Questions, not answers

In the text “Martin Heidegger is eighty years old” in 1969, Hannah Arendt took a stand in favor of Heidegger's philosophy. Politically, like Plato, he was one of those philosophers who trusted tyrants or leaders . She summed up his life's work: “Because it is not Heidegger's philosophy - of which one can rightly ask whether it even exists - but Heidegger's thinking that has so decisively shaped the spiritual physiognomy of the century. This thinking has a piercing quality peculiar to itself, which, if one wanted to grasp and prove it linguistically , lies in the transitive use of the verb 'think'. Heidegger never thinks 'about' anything; he thinks something. "

Heidegger: The dirt road. The metaphor of the path runs through Heidegger's oeuvre.

Arendt's quote makes it clear what Heidegger was about in philosophy: Thinking itself is already being carried out, it is practice, and it is less about providing answers to questions than about keeping the questioning itself awake. Heidegger therefore rejected both historical and systematic “philosophy learning”. Rather, the task of philosophy is to keep these questions open; philosophy does not offer certainty and security, but “the original motive of philosophy [arises] from the uneasiness of one's own existence”.

The central position of questions in Heidegger's work is due to the fact that he interpreted the history of philosophy primarily as a history of the concealment of fundamental questions. In doing so, philosophy has not only  forgotten the basic questions - the question of being - but also the fact that it has forgotten. The aim of asking is not to get an answer, but rather to uncover what would be further forgotten without it. For Heidegger, asking questions became an essential feature of thinking: "Asking is the piety of thinking."

Access to the work and linguistic barriers

Nevertheless, in spite of this openness to questions, access to Heidegger's work remains extremely difficult. This is not least due to Heidegger's peculiar, creative language - a diction that is particularly easy to parody due to its inimitable quality . After a lecture in 1950, a “ Spiegel ” journalist wrote ironically that Heidegger had “the annoying habit of speaking German”.

Heidegger's language is - especially in Being and Time  - shaped by neologisms , and he also invented verbs such as not , lichten , and beings . Constructions such as “ nothing does not do ” (in: What is metaphysics? ), Owed to Heidegger's attempts to think things as themselves: It is nothing itself that does not do anything. No metaphysical concept should be used to explain it. With such violent semantic duplication, Heidegger wanted to overcome the theoretically distant gaze of philosophy and jump to the ground on which we - even if we do not see it - have always been standing in our concrete lives.

In his late work, Heidegger turned away from neologisms, but instead loaded words from everyday language semantically until they were incomprehensible, so that their meaning can only be understood in the overall context of his treatises. Heidegger was sharply attacked because of his use of language: Theodor W. Adorno's polemical work Jargon of Authenticity is the most prominent . Heidegger did not use this jargon for his own sake, but wanted to break away from the philosophical tradition that language and content were inseparable.

For the reader, this means that he must first acquire Heidegger's vocabulary, indeed become an inhabitant of this discourse , if he then wants to deal with Heidegger's thinking from within. This is exactly what Dolf Sternberger criticized: One can only answer Heidegger's terminology using Heidegger's terms. In order to understand Heidegger's thinking, there is a middle ground: taking his language seriously and at the same time avoiding just repeating a jargon. Heidegger himself has therefore repeatedly pointed out how important it is not to “understand his statements as what is in the newspaper.” Instead, his terms are intended to open up a new area by referring to what is already there, but Always point out what has been overlooked: What they formally indicate , everyone should ultimately be able to find in their own direct experience. "The meaning of these terms does not mean or say directly what it refers to, it only gives an indication, an indication that the understanding of this context is called upon to transform himself into existence."

Ways, not works

What is striking about Heidegger's writings is the rather small number of large and complete treatises. Instead, there are mainly small texts and lectures - a form that seemed more suitable to him to convey his thinking, especially since it stands in the way of an interpretation of this thinking as a philosophical system.

The fact that Heidegger's thinking and philosophizing move and thereby cover a path is shown by the titles of works such as Wegmarks , Holzwege and Unterwegs zum Sprach . Thinking becomes a way and a movement, which is why Otto Pöggeler also speaks of Heidegger's way of thinking . Heidegger's thinking is not so much to be understood as a canon of opinions, but offers different approaches to the “essential questions”. In the notes he left behind for a preface to the complete edition of his writings that was no longer finished, Heidegger noted: “The complete edition is intended to show in different ways: a journey in the path of the changing question of the ambiguous question of being. The complete edition is intended to guide you to take up the question, to ask and, above all, to ask more questioningly. "

Early phenomenology: hermeneutics of facticity

After a rather conventional dissertation and habilitation, Heidegger's confidence in the school philosophy of the time was shaken , especially by thinkers such as Kierkegaard , Nietzsche and Dilthey . They opposed metaphysics and its search for a timeless truth against history with its coincidences and the changeability of moral values ​​and reference systems. Heidegger turned his back on purely theoretical concepts of philosophy. He was increasingly interested in how concrete life can be described phenomenologically , as life that is given in its historically evolved factuality, but which did not necessarily have to be. With this approach, called the phenomenological hermeneutics of facticity , Heidegger tries to show life contexts and experiences , not to explain them . The aim of this phenomenological approach is not to make one's own life an object and thus understand it as a thing, but to push it through to the fulfillment of life . Heidegger explains this as an example in 1920/21 in the lecture “Introduction to the Phenomenology of Religion” using the words of the Apostle Paul: “The Lord's day comes like a thief in the night.” For Heidegger, Heidegger expressed an attitude towards life in the apostle's early Christian life that does not attempt to make the unavailable future available through determinations or calculations. It is the constant openness to the suddenly occurring event, the directly lived life, that Heidegger opposes a theoretical consideration of life.

After the First World War, Heidegger, as Husserl's assistant, worked particularly intensively on his phenomenological method. Husserl granted him insights into as yet unpublished writings and hoped to have found a pupil and crown prince in Heidegger. Heidegger, however, pursued his own interests, and Husserl also remarked that Heidegger “was already unique when he was studying my writings.” It was above all Dilthey's assumption of the historical development and contingency of every relationship to the world and to oneself that prompted Heidegger to do so led to reject Husserl's concept of absolutely valid beings of consciousness: “Life is historical; no dismemberment into essential elements, but context. ”Based on this view of life as a fulfillment, Heidegger rejected Husserl's phenomenological reduction to a transcendental ego that was merely apperceptive to the world . These early considerations, together with suggestions from Kierkegaard's existential philosophy, culminated in Heidegger's first major work, Being and Time .

"Being And Time"

The question of being

The theme of the work, published in 1927, is the question of the meaning of being . This question had already preoccupied Plato . Heidegger quoted him at the beginning of the investigation: “Because you have obviously long been familiar with what you actually mean when you use the expression 'being', but we once believed we understood it, but now we are embarrassed . "Even after two thousand years, so Heidegger, this question is still unanswered:" Do we have an answer today to the question of what we actually mean by the word "being"? Not at all. And so it is important to ask the question of the meaning of being again. "

Heidegger asked about being . If at the same time he searched for its meaning, then he presupposes that the world is not a formless mass, but that there are meaningful references in it . So being is structured and has a certain uniformity in its diversity. For example, there is a meaningful relationship between hammer and nail - but how can this be understood? “From where, that is: from which given horizon do we understand things like being?” Heidegger's answer to this was: “The horizon from which things like being can be understood at all is time .” The meaning of time for being became According to Heidegger, it has not been considered in any previous philosophy.

View of Heidegger's Hut above Rütte, Todtnauberg. Here he wrote the majority of Being and Time.

Critique of the traditional doctrine of being

According to Heidegger, the occidental doctrine of being has given various answers in its tradition as to what it means by “being”. However, she never posed the question of being in such a way that she inquired about its meaning, that is, examined the relationships inscribed in being. Heidegger criticized the previous understanding that being has always been characterized as something that is individually, something that is present, i.e. in the temporal mode of the present . Regarded as something that is merely presently present , what is present is stripped of all temporal and meaningful references to the world: the determination that something is cannot be understood as what something is.

When determining being as, for example, substance or matter , being is only presented in relation to the present: what is present is present, but without any reference to the past or future. In the course of the investigation, Heidegger tried to show that, in contrast, time is an essential condition for an understanding of being, since it - to put it simply - represents a horizon of understanding within the framework of which things in the world can only develop meaningful relationships between one another. The hammer, for example, is used to drive nails into boards in order to build a house that offers protection from coming storms. So it can only be in the overall context of a world with temporal relations understand what the hammer out of an existing piece of wood and iron is .

The way out of the philosophical tradition to determine what something is, ontological reductionism , also represented a failure for Heidegger when he tried to trace everything back to a primal principle or to a single being. This approach, criticized by Heidegger, enables onto-theology , for example , to accept a highest being within a linear order of being and to equate this with God.

Ontological difference

A fundamental ontological investigation should correct this mistake in previous philosophical thinking, not focusing on the importance of time for the understanding of being . Heidegger wanted to place the ontology on a new foundation in Being and Time . The starting point for his criticism of traditional positions in ontology was what he called the ontological difference between being and being.

In Being and Time , Heidegger roughly referred to being the horizon of understanding on the basis of which an inner-worldly being encounters. Every understanding relationship to inner-worldly beings must move in such a contextual horizon in which what is first becomes apparent. So when we encounter something, we only ever understand it through its meaning in a world. This relationship is what defines its being. Every single being is therefore always already transcended, i.e. H. surpassed and placed as an individual in relation to the whole, from where it first receives its significance . The being of a being is therefore that which is given in the “stepping over”: “ Being is the transcendens par excellence. [...] Every opening up of being as the transcendens is transcendental knowledge. "

If one starts from the ontological difference, then each individual being is no longer understood merely as something that is present at present. Rather, it is topped with respect to a whole: In view of something in the future and in its origin from the past its being is essentially time- determined.

Language difficulties

Being as such a temporal horizon of understanding is therefore the always athematic prerequisite that individual beings can encounter. Just as the giving and the giver are not contained in the given, but remain unthematically, being itself never becomes explicit.

However, being is always the being of a being, which is why there is a difference between being and being, but both can never appear separately from one another. Being thus shows itself to be the closest, because in dealing with the world it always precedes and goes along with it. As an understanding of the horizon , however, it cannot actually be addressed - because a horizon can never be reached. If, in spite of everything, being is raised linguistically to the topic, it is at the same time missed. Since most of the terms in everyday language and philosophy refer solely to things in the world , Heidegger found himself faced with a linguistic hurdle in Being and Time . This can be seen in the noun “being”, which represents being as being within the world. In order not to have to tie in with metaphysically loaded concepts, Heidegger created many neologisms in Sein und Zeit .

Hermeneutic Phenomenology

Heidegger therefore starts from the assumption that being can neither be determined as an existing thing nor as a mass without structure or connection. The world in which we live, but rather provides a network of relationships of meaningful references are. Now the investigation for Heidegger was not simply a paradigm fix if they really a phenomenological should be, because the phenomenology trying circumstances have not deductively to declare . Since he has always lived in a world, man cannot go back beyond this given horizon of understanding, he can only try to understand it and highlight individual moments. Heidegger therefore chose a hermeneutic approach.

The hermeneutic circle in being and time

In order to be able to understand the meaningful references in the world, according to Heidegger, a hermeneutic circle must be run through, which brings a better understanding to light with each run. The movement of this circle runs in such a way that the individual can only be understood in relation to the whole, and the whole can only be seen in the individual. If the process of understanding is only possible by going through a circle, it is still questionable where this circle should begin. Heidegger's answer to this: the starting point is the person himself, because it is obviously he who asks the question about the meaning of being.

Heidegger calls the being of the human being Dasein , the investigation of this Dasein fundamental ontology . The question about the meaning of being can only be answered by Dasein , because Dasein alone has a prior understanding, as is a necessary prerequisite for any hermeneutical investigation. Heidegger calls this pre- understanding of being the understanding of being . It happens to all people when they understand the different ways of being of things: We don't try to talk to mountains, we treat animals differently than we do with inanimate nature, we don't try to touch the sun, etc. All these self-evident behaviors are based on interpretations about how and what things are . Since Dasein has this fundamental characteristic, that is to say, the human being has always been let into a pre-reflective horizon of understanding, Heidegger consequently directs his questioning to Dasein.

Due to this fundamentally hermeneutic orientation, he no longer assumes a cognitive subject who (as in Kant, for example ) mainly perceives bodies in space and time. Rather, Dasein is an understanding that has always been integrated into a world. Heidegger did not choose a special existence as the point of entry into the circle, but existence in its everyday life . His aim was to bring the philosophy of transcendental speculation back to the bottom of the common world of experience. The soil itself, as "down-to-earth" and "bottomlessness", together with terms such as "rootedness" and the "uprooted" existence of the "man", was given a meaning that is epistemologically difficult to grasp, which makes it long Debate about it was triggered.

According to Heidegger, two steps of the hermeneutic circle are required for this: In the first, it is to be examined how the meaning relationships in the world represent for existence. The world is therefore described phenomenologically. Heidegger did this using the context of tools such as the hammer mentioned above. In the second step, an “existential analysis of existence ” takes place , i.e. the investigation of the structures that make up existence such as language, sensitivity, understanding and the finiteness of existence. If the relationship between Dasein and world is properly understood in this way, it must at the same time be grasped ontologically if being is to be determined .

Fundamental ontology

On the way to a new ontology

In order to advance the overcoming of the modern ontology based on the subject-object schema , Heidegger introduced the concept of being- in-the-world . It should show the basic togetherness of existence and the world . The world does not mean something like the sum of all that is, but a meaningful totality, a totality of meaning in which things relate meaningfully to one another. Went the transcendental philosophy of Kant from a self-sufficient, resting in itself subject whose connection will be manufactured with the outside world had so existence is in Heidegger one hand always existed world, on the other hand is the world in general only for existence. The concept of being-in-the-world encompasses both aspects. For Heidegger, the world is not a thing, but a web of relationships over time. He calls this happening of the world the worldliness of the world. It can only be understood in connection with existence. So what the hammer is as a hammer can only be understood in relation to the existence that needs it. So being is inscribed with a meaning and “meaning is that in which the intelligibility of something is.” The meaning of being and existence are mutually dependent: “Only as long as existence is , that is, the ontic possibility of understanding being, 'there is' being . ”Heidegger represented neither a metaphysical realism (“ things exist as they are, even without us ”) nor an idealism (“ the spirit creates things as they are ”).

In Being and Time , Heidegger elaborates structural connections between human existence and the human relationship to the world (existentials). The complex conceptual contexts have given the work a reputation for being incomprehensible. The figure shows the connection between the main terms graphically. ( PDF version )

The analysis of Dasein should provide the foundation for a new ontology beyond realism and idealism. In Being and Time, Heidegger highlights various structures that determine Dasein in its existence , i.e. in its life . He called these existentials : Understanding , sensitivity , speech are fundamental ways in which existence relates to itself and the world. The existentials are moments of a structural whole that Heidegger defined as care . The being of existence thus proves itself to be care: man is care. However, Heidegger wants to keep this definition of human existence as worry free from secondary meanings such as “concern” and “misery”.

If the existence of Dasein turns out to be a worry, then the world can be understood from here: the hammer and other tools are used to build houses. The various tools are by order-to connected, that ultimately in order-will ends of existence, this be makes things because it is himself and his fellow man makes . The scientific understanding of the world and the understanding of nature ultimately arise from existence as a concern for Heidegger.

Temporality and Existence

Since Dasein as a concern is obviously always determined from a past and is directed towards the future, the second part of Being and Time is followed by a new interpretation of the existentials under the aspect of time. For Heidegger, time does not initially turn out to be an objective, physical process, but rather the temporality inscribed in existence that is closely related to care. The close relationship between time and worry can be seen, for example, in everyday expressions of time such as “until then it's a walk”. According to Heidegger, care-related time is ontologically primary. It is only out of everyday dealing with time that Dasein develops an objective (scientific) time with which it can calculate and plan and which can be determined by clocks. However, all planning and arithmetic remain tied to concern.

Turning away from "being and time"

For various reasons, Sein und Zeit remained a fragment of which only the first half is available. Although Heidegger was able to overcome many problems of the traditional ontology with the new ontological thinking, which was based on the relationship between Dasein and Being, his approach only led to relatively limited possibilities for philosophical understanding. This is mainly due to the care structure and the temporality inscribed in existence . There was thus the danger that all aspects of human life should only be interpreted from these points of view. Heidegger himself warned against overestimating temporality, but this was not convincing.

Heidegger had also linked his concept of truth to Dasein in Being and Time : The world has always been opened up to Dasein in practical use of it . With this formulation he wanted to assign an ontological dimension to his understanding of truth: the world clears only for Dasein , only for it is the world, and from here it is also determined what beings are. It becomes clear how strongly the care structure centers the world and things in terms of time and content around the for-for and for-sake , i.e. around the practical needs of existence. From this point of view, historical upheavals in the understanding of self and the world and the passivity of man in the course of history are difficult to understand. In addition, there was the difficulty of distinguishing oneself from the language of metaphysics, as Heidegger wrote in retrospect in 1946 in his letter about "humanism" .

The reasons mentioned finally prompted Heidegger to turn away from the fundamental ontological approach. So "the path through being and time was an inevitable and yet a wrong path - a path that suddenly ends". This was followed by a rethink for Heidegger, which he called a turn .

Dealing with Kant

The announced second part of Being and Time was to begin with Kant's concept of time, and after the publication of the first part, Heidegger immediately turned to dealing with Kant. First it took place through the lectures of the winter semester 1927/28 in Marburg, which Heidegger called the phenomenological interpretation of Kant's Critique of Pure Reason . In this reading of Kant's main work, interpreted and explained with his own terminology, Heidegger ended up aiming at the question of subject and time. On the other hand, in the Kant lectures in Riga and on the occasion of the Second Davos University Days in spring 1929, as well as in the disputation held there with Ernst Cassirer, the topic of finitude came to the fore, which was also discussed in Heidegger's so-called “Kant book”, Kant and the problem of metaphysics remained central. At the same time, the themes of subject and finitude cannot be limited to one of the works mentioned in Kant, since the transitions between them are fluid. Heidegger's discussion of Kant during that period is concluded with the lecture The Question About the Thing from 1934/35.

The phenomenological interpretation of the Critique of Pure Reason

In the preface to the Critique of Pure Reason , Kant distinguishes the first and objective from the second and subjective part of the transcendental deduction and, according to Heidegger, "simply fails to recognize the inner connection between the objective side of the deduction and the subjective - even more: he fails to recognize, that precisely the radical implementation of the subjective side of the task of deduction also takes care of the objective task. ”Heidegger adds the corresponding requirement to this interpretation in the Marburg lectures and states:“ Kant does not go this radical path here ”. This heralds a pattern of interpretation to which he comes back in the Kant book , where it says: “The transcendental deduction is in itself necessarily objective-subjective at the same time. Because it is the revelation of the transcendence, which forms the essential turn to an objectivity for a finite subjectivity in the first place. ”But since Kant avoided“ the vastness of a complete theory ”of the analysis of the“ three subjective cognitive forces ”, for him“ the Guiding the subjectivity of the subject in the constitution and the characteristics offered by the traditional anthropology and psychology. "Heidegger, on the other hand, sees in the Kantian transcendental imagination first" the central function (...) in the enabling of experience ", and finally also the" uniform root (...) for intuition and thinking ", which forms the" universal time horizon. "

The unique mention of time as a form that the mind sets for itself, inserted in the second edition of the Critique of Pure Reason (B 68), then takes on a central role for Heidegger as "pure self-affection" and "a priori self-approach" of time in the interpretation of the self: "The original temporality is what the original act of the self and its self- action are based on , and it is the same temporality that enables self-identification of the self at any time." Heidegger's objection arises that Kant uses this identification "only from the present "understand," in the sense that the ego can identify itself as the same in every now. "So it remains only with a basically" timeless, punctiform ego ", which through an" ontological interpretation of the wholeness of existence " , through the " anticipation " and the " ability to be " must be overcome.

Although Heidegger admits in the Marburg lectures that "Kant neither sees the original, uniform character of the productive imagination with regard to receptivity and spontaneity", "nor takes the further radical step of recognizing this productive imagination as the original ecstatic temporality", he interprets it in a philologically quite dubious way as the “ecstatic basic constitution of the subject, of existence itself”, which “releases pure time from itself, thus containing it in itself as far as possible”. The Kantian transcendental imagination is thus the " original temporality and therefore the radical faculty of ontological knowledge". With the reduction to the self-affection of time and the imagination determined by it as the one “root” of knowledge, Heidegger's interpretation moves away from the Kantian dualism and rather approaches the solipsism that followed Fichte on Kant.

The Kant book and finiteness

In Being and Time , in the Marburg Kant lectures and also in the Kant book , Heidegger named the Critique of Pure Reason as a reference for his thinking in the sense of "confirming the correctness of the path I was looking for". Nonetheless, he had stated in Kant “the lack of a thematic ontology of Dasein”, that is, that of a “prior ontological analysis of the subjectivity of the subject”. Kant and the problem of metaphysics , in which the three lectures from Riga and Davos were summarized and expanded by a fourth chapter, should remedy this and through a "destruction of the guide" of the "problem of temporality (...) the schematism chapter and from there interpret the Kantian doctrine of time ”. It seemed to Heidegger to be necessary to bring the “question of finitude to light with the intention of laying the foundation of metaphysics”, because: “The finitude and the peculiarity of the question about it only fundamentally decide on the inner form of a transcendental one 'Analytics' of the subjectivity of the subject. "

To the finitude of existence

Since the Davos lectures , human finiteness has moved to the fore as a topic in general in Heidegger's thinking: “Finiteness was never mentioned in the introduction to Being and Time, and it remained discreetly in the lectures before Being and Time Background before it becomes the all-determining topic at the end of the twenties. ”In the second of the three Davos lectures held in spring 1929 on Kant's Critique of Pure Reason and the task of laying the foundation for metaphysics , in which Heidegger“ explains the train of thought of the first three sections of the "The essence of finite knowledge in general and the basic characters of finiteness" were decisive for "understanding the implementation of the foundation" of metaphysics. Formulated in his own words, Heidegger asks: "What is the inner structure of existence itself, is it finite or infinite?"

He does not see the question of being first, but rather that of the "inner possibility of understanding being", i.e. also of "the possibility of the concept of being", as a prerequisite for deciding the other question, which is also not related to the ancient philosophy of being had been clarified, namely, "whether and in what way the problem of being has an inner relation to finitude in man". Even in a thoroughly Kantian line of thought, Heidegger presupposes that existence means “dependence on beings”, but that this itself is “as a kind of being in itself finitude and as this only possible on the basis of the understanding of being. Such things as being only exist and must exist where finitude has existed. (...) The finitude of existence in him is more original than man. "

Finiteness as a problem base of the KrV

As Heidegger himself admits, the foundation of human finiteness as the “problem base” of Kant's main work is “not an explicit topic” - literally the term “finitude” is not mentioned in the KrV - and thus this emphasis belongs to the “overinterpretation of Kant ", In which" the criticism of pure reason is interpreted in the perspective of the question of 'being and time', but in truth a question alien to Kant, albeit a conditional one. "For Heidegger, finitude is" primarily not that of knowledge , but that is only an essential consequence of thrownness. ”Rather,“ ontology is an index of finitude. God doesn't have them. And that man has the exhibitio is the sharpest argument of his finitude. Because ontology only needs a finite essence. ”With regard to the possibility of knowledge and the question of truth, Heidegger already interprets in the Davos disputation with Cassirer the later presented in the essence of human freedom ,“ in this finitude existing (...) meeting of the conflicting "To:" Due to the finiteness of man's being-in-the-truth, there is at the same time being-in-the-untruth. The untruth belongs to the innermost core of the structure of existence. (...) But I would say that this intersubjectivity of truth, this breaking out of the truth about the individual himself as being-in-the-truth, already means to be at the mercy of being itself, to be put in the possibility of it to design yourself. "

The emphasis on finitude as a way of being of existence raised the critical question of how the “transition to the mundus intelligibilis ” is possible in the Davos disputation , in the realm of mathematical truths as well as that of the ought. Cassirer asked whether Heidegger “wanted to renounce all of this objectivity, this form of absoluteness that Kant represented in the ethical, theoretical and critical of judgment”: “Does he want to withdraw entirely to finite essence, or if so not, where is the breakthrough to this sphere for him? ”Heidegger's answer of a“ finiteness of ethics ”and a finite freedom in which man is placed before nothing and philosophy has the task of giving him“ in all his freedom nothing to make his existence evident ", is seen in retrospect as a" sign of the weakness in which Heidegger finds himself after being and time because he is not able to carry out his fundamental ontological project. "

Heidegger closes the Kant book with around twenty mostly rhetorical questions in which the subject areas of subjectivity, finitude and the transcendental essence of truth are named. So he asks whether the transcendental dialectic of the KrV is not concentrated “in the problem of finitude” and whether the “transcendental untruth is not positively justified in terms of its original unity with the transcendental truth from the innermost essence of finitude in existence” and adds: “ What is the transcendental essence of truth anyway? ”In the Kant book , Heidegger fails to provide answers, but with the questions he outlines the draft of his studies for the following years.

The rethinking in the 1930s: The turn

The change in the understanding of truth

Between 1930 and 1938, Martin Heidegger's path of thought saw a rethink that he himself described as a turn . He turned away from his fundamental ontological thinking, and a history of Being approach. After the turning point, he was no longer concerned with the meaning of being or its transcendental horizon of interpretation (time), but instead referred the talk of being as such to how being by itself both reveals itself and hides itself . Heidegger was concerned with a new, non-objective relationship between man and being, which he describes in the “Letter of Humanism” with the expression “Shepherd of Being”. This also made him a forerunner of new ecological thinking.

Of the essence of truth ...

Being and time was determined by existential truth : Dasein has always somehow discovered the reference context of the inner-worldly in the pre-reflective relation to the world that arises in the practical handling of things ; it also has a pre-thinking understanding of itself and the inevitability of having to make decisions, that is, to have to lead one's life. Heidegger called this association of truth and existence, which is necessary for existence, to the truth of existence . With the turn he shifted this focus. For an understanding of the relationship between the world and the self, in his view, not only the structure of our existence is important, but also how the world, being, shows itself to us . It therefore also needs to be open to the open, unconcealed. Heidegger carried out this expansion of his concept of truth in 1930 in the lecture “On the essence of truth”. It is true that he still  understood truth - as in Being and Time - as unconcealment ; However, for Heidegger it became clear that man cannot create this unconcealment on his own.

... to the truth of the essence

Being reveals itself to man not only in relation to his existence, but in manifold forms. Truth can happen through art, for example, as Heidegger described in his 1935 lecture The Origin of the Artwork . If a work of art expresses what was previously atrophy or hidden and raises it into awareness, then truth shows itself as a process: truth happens . In order to grasp this linguistically, Heidegger had to say: Truth is west ; for since what is only reveals itself in the process of truth as revelation , one cannot say “truth is.” The essence of truth is therefore its essence as a process. If, after the turn, truth is no longer rigidly bound to the already existing disclosure of the world and self through Dasein, this means a twofold: Truth becomes processual, and it can include provisions that are not understood in terms of pragmatically existing Dasein to let. This shift in the center of gravity is expressed in the reverse: the essence of truth becomes the truth of essence . Heidegger called his own rethinking a turn :

“By giving up the word meaning of being in favor of the truth of being, the thinking that has emerged from being and time will in future emphasize the openness of being itself more than the openness of existence [...] That means the 'turn' in which thinking finds itself turning more and more decisively to being than being. "

A-letheia: concealing and revealing being

So that being now shows itself in its unconcealedness , man is still required as a “clearing”: what is shows itself to him in different light (e.g. “everything is spirit / matter”, “the world” is created by God ”etc.). Heidegger's concept of truth is essentially ontological . For him it is about how people can actually see what is . All other determinations of truth, for example as telling truth (right / wrong), can only be linked to the fact that being has previously revealed itself to man in a certain way .

Heidegger's talk of uncovering and hiding, however, should not be confused with perspectival conceptions of truth. For on the one hand, unconcealment does not refer to individual beings which, due to the perspective, could only be seen from a certain side. On the other hand, Heidegger does not want to link the truth to sensual modes of knowledge such as that of seeing. Rather, truth is an overarching context of meaning, and so the talk of the unconcealedness of being means a whole , i.e. a world as a totality of meaning that opens up to people.

If Heidegger thought of the process of revealing being in terms of being itself, then for him it was always associated with concealment . This means that whenever being shows itself to be certain (e.g. "everything is matter"), it conceals another aspect at the same time. What is hidden, however, is not a concrete other determination of being (“everything is spirit”), but what is hidden is the fact that being has been revealed. Man therefore usually adheres to only the entborgenen being, however, forgets how this determination of being only even happen is. He merely corresponds to what has already been revealed and takes from it the measure of his actions and worries.

Even before being and time , Heidegger called this lack of the question of the “meaning of being” and the mere stopping at what is being, the oblivion of being . Because of the fundamental togetherness of concealment and revelation, this forgetting of being after turning no longer proves to be a failure on the part of man, but belongs to the destiny of being itself. Heidegger therefore also spoke of the abandonment of being . But now the human being is dependent on sticking to the being that has been revealed to him, because he can only orient himself to what is . With this dependence of man on being, a first determination of the essence of man is indicated. Stopping at what is, however, usually prevents people from experiencing a more primal access to their own being than that which belongs to revealing.

Despite this shift in emphasis between being and time and Heidegger's thinking after the turn, it is an exaggerated, distorted picture to speak of a heroic activism of existence in the early Heidegger and, in contrast, in the late Heidegger of a person condemned to passivity in relation to being. Such a comparison is based on only two aspects that were forcibly removed from the complete work, which Heidegger does not find in isolation.

Twisting metaphysics

Decline in the bottom of metaphysics

In Being and Time , Heidegger wanted to trace the ontology back to its foundation . In doing so, he remained largely in the field of classical metaphysics, seeing his efforts as a reform and continuation of ontology. After the turn, Heidegger gave up the plans to find a new basis for the ontology. Instead, he turned to What Is Metaphysics? the question of the basis of metaphysics : How does it come that metaphysics tries to determine being only from the point of view of being and towards being. in that it constitutes an ultimate or highest reason for the determination of all that is? With this question, Heidegger did not attempt to define beings himself again (this is the procedure of metaphysics), but rather examined metaphysics as metaphysics and the conditions of its procedure: How did the various interpretations of being come about through metaphysics? This question, which thematizes the conditions of metaphysics itself, was by definition closed to metaphysics , which itself only deals with beings and their being.

Deep thinking

Heidegger's goal was still to overcome metaphysics. First of all, it is necessary to reject metaphysical foundations . The investigation must not itself again bring paradigmatic presuppositions to its subject. A non-metaphysical thinking has to get along without final reasons. It has to bring itself into the abyss . Heidegger therefore called his thinking from then on as profound . From the abyss he now criticized his early philosophy: “Everywhere in being and time up to the threshold of the treatise Vom Wesen des Grunds is spoken and represented metaphysically and yet thought differently . But this thinking does not bring itself into the open of one's own abyss. ”Only from this abyss, from a position that knows no final reason, could Heidegger bring the history of metaphysics into view and interpret it.

Overcoming the subject-object schema

For Heidegger, the predominant philosophical current of modern philosophy was the philosophy of the subject, which began with Descartes . He rejected this subject-object schema for an unbiased interpretation of the history of philosophy. If metaphysics looks at the world and being as a whole and gives a definition of it (e.g. “everything is spirit”: idealism or “everything is matter”: materialism ), then the core of its approach is that it is what is before itself brings to determine it. Heidegger therefore spoke of representational thinking . The peculiarity of this imaginative thinking, however, is that it presents beings as an object for a subject and thus updates the subject-object split . In this way, however, metaphysics enthrones man as the measure of all things. The being has from now on the subject of human representations to be: Just what was put firmly-so-sure and asked, is also. For Descartes there is only that which can be mathematically described by humans.

The Kantian transcendental philosophy also placed the human being as the subject in the middle of all that existed, which Kant called the Copernican turn: it is not the subject that is based on the world, but the world is judged according to its ability to grasp. In the Critique of Pure Reason , Kant tried to give knowledge a secure ground through the categories of knowledge given to the pure understanding . For Kant, the aim was not to overcome metaphysics, but to create a secure foundation for subsequent speculations. Heidegger thus interpreted Kant as a metaphysician, that is the aim of his Kant book, where it says right at the beginning: "The following investigation has the task of interpreting Kant's Critique of Pure Reason as a foundation of metaphysics [...]". For Heidegger, Kant showed a metaphysical need for an ultimate justification: the subject ( reason ) should at the same time serve as the ground for all knowledge. It establishes what is known. The essence of metaphysics is that it presents being as an object for a subject and at the same time justifies it through the subject.

According to Heidegger, however, a paradox arises here . For if metaphysics only recognizes as justified what shows itself to the subject, but the subject cannot justify itself, then it is impossible for it to assure itself of its own ground. Even in reflexive self-assurance, in self-reflection, the subject only ever grasps itself as an object and thus fails precisely as a subject . The apparent impossibility of the double “oneself”, of having oneself in front of oneself, could only be overridden by a violent self-determination.

Twisting of metaphysics as part of the history of being

Since being has experienced various determinations through man in metaphysics, Heidegger comes to the conclusion that being itself has a history. Heidegger calls this history of being. The turn as a twist of metaphysics describes two things:

  • On the one hand, the turn marks the turning away from metaphysics towards the investigation of the history of metaphysics, the history of being.
  • At the same time, this turning away is itself an event in the history of being, that is, a new part of the history of being. Not because it continues the history of metaphysics, but because in an overall retrospective it brings it into view and seeks to conclude and overcome it. The overcoming of metaphysics remains related to that which has to be overcome. Heidegger therefore spoke of a twist .

In conversation with the great thinkers, not through hostile hostility, metaphysics should be brought to its limits: “That is why thinking, in order to correspond to the twisting of metaphysics, must first clarify the essence of metaphysics. To such an attempt, the twisting of metaphysics appears at first to be an overcoming that only brings the exclusively metaphysical representation behind it. […] But in the twisting the permanent truth of the apparently rejected metaphysics returns as its now appropriated essence. ”Looking back, Heidegger reflected on the first beginnings of Western philosophizing . In their twisting he looked for a different beginning .

First and different beginning

Heidegger tried to identify different epochs in the history of metaphysics. Referring to the philosophy of the early Greeks, he spoke of the first beginning that established metaphysics. He saw his own thinking and the post-metaphysical age he was striving for as a different beginning .

Failures of the first beginning

The first initial of the ancient Greeks divided for Heidegger in two events, the pre-Socratic thought and of Plato and Aristotle outgoing metaphysics. As Heidegger expressed himself in the term Aletheia (A-letheia as un-concealment), the early Greeks had an undisguised experience of being: they were still able to see this as unconcealment. For her, being as such was not yet at the center of interest, but rather the revelation for unconcealment . With Plato and Aristotle, however, according to Heidegger, a fall from this undisguised reference to truth occurred. Metaphysics began to predominate. Plato sought support in the ideas , Aristotle in the categories , whereby both were only interested in the determination of beings and, following the metaphysical need, tried to secure and fix it through ultimate reasons.

Decline to the pre-Socratics

With the other beginning, Heidegger wanted to go back behind Plato and Aristotle. The openness and early experiences of the pre-Socratics should be taken up again and made usable for future thinking. Heidegger did not understand the other beginning as a new beginning - since it was based on a constructive appropriation of the philosophical tradition and its failings - nor was the decline to the pre-Socratics determined by a romantic-restorative tendency.

On the other hand, the predominant aspect is the prospective aspect, which enables people to return to their being by knowing how to understand past history and contrasting the metaphysical interpretations of being with a new way of thinking. In order to make the difference between thinking at the beginning and thinking differently at the beginning clear, Heidegger introduced the distinction between the central question and the basic question . The central question describes the question of beings as beings and the being of beings , which had led to various answers in metaphysics and ontology since Plato and Aristotle, while Heidegger claimed that his formulation of the basic question was aimed at being as such . His aim was not to define “ being ”, but to investigate how such determinations had come about in the history of philosophy.

The jump

This new way of thinking - with all reference to it - cannot simply be compiled or derived from the old one, because it precisely refrains from all determinations of being. In order to illustrate this radically different character, Heidegger spoke of the leap into a different way of thinking. Heidegger set out to prepare for this leap in the articles on philosophy (From the event ) . This work, written 1936–1938 and not published during Heidegger's lifetime, is considered to be his second major work. The "contributions" are among Heidegger's private writings and are worded extremely cryptically , which is why Heidegger recommended that you familiarize yourself with the lectures of the 1930s.

The leap is the transition from the first to the other beginning and thus a penetration into thinking about the history of being . In the context of "contributions" are the writings reflections (1938-1939, GA 66) The history of being (1938-1940, GA 69) About the beginning (1941, GA 70) The event (1941-1942, GA 71) and The Bridges of the Beginning (1944, GA 72).

Another metaphor for the transition from traditional metaphysics to thinking based on the history of being is Heidegger's talk of the end of metaphysics or the end of philosophy and the beginning of thinking , as expressed in Heidegger's lecture "The end of philosophy and the task of thinking" ( GA 14) takes place. According to Heidegger, in order to enable this way of thinking, the history of metaphysics must first be concretely traced and interpreted using the works of its main thinkers. Only in this way does the history of being become tangible.

History of philosophy as history of being

Heidegger understood the history of being to be the historical relationship between man and being. History is not the causally related context of events, but its determining moment is the truth of being . However, this expression does not denote a truth about being. This would mean that there is only one truth, and Heidegger rejected this idea. Rather, Heidegger used this phrase to describe his newly acquired ontological concept of truth. The term “truth of being” refers to the way in which being, as concealing and revealing , shows itself to man. According to Heidegger, this is a historical process of concealment and uncovering that humans cannot dispose of.

A world is happening

Event thinking and history of being

So if being shows itself in different ways in the course of history , then, according to Heidegger, there must be intersections between two such epochs . What happens at these intersection and transition points, he called an event . If the course of the different ages is to be traced, in which metaphysics gave different determinations of being, then no metaphysical, ontological or psychological principle may be imposed on this interpretation itself . According to cryptic thinking, he argues, there is no absolute and ultimate reason that could explain and insure the transitions. All that can therefore be said about such historical upheavals in the worldview is that they occur .

The history of being does not mean the history of being (because this has no history), but the history of revelations and concealments, through which a world as a whole of meaning occurs at an epoch and from where it is then determined what is essential and what is immaterial, what is and what is not . History as the history of being is not a process that is regulated by a central power: only the "that" - that is the history of being - can be said.

In this context, Heidegger also speaks of Being , as the way to being the person sends to . Heidegger's talk of the event , of the fate of being and of being deprived of being, has often brought him the charge of fatalism through its interpretation as inevitable fate . However, for Heidegger, the fate of being is not an ontic (occurring in the world) fate that rules over people, but rather a being and world fate, according to which the average behavior of people will run in certain paths. Correspondingly, this only expresses "that man does not make history as an autonomous subject , but that he [...] is always" made "by history himself in the sense that he is involved in a traditional event about the he cannot simply dispose, but that dispenses him in a certain way. "

Heidegger certainly does not assume that everything that happens to people in detail is due to this fate. For him, the fate of being and the event are not ontic (i.e. inner-worldly) powers that commanded people. Since being is not a being, it cannot be understood genealogically or causally . Heidegger coined the term event in order to indicate the transition between epochs in the history of being without resorting to ideological terms such as idealism or materialism . If one, he explains this thought, were to try, for example, to use these world views to think the historical relationship between man and truth, then there would be a permanent and indissoluble back-reference between the two: the question of how a new idealistic horizon of understanding is possible would arise refer to the changed material conditions. For a change in material conditions, however, a better understanding of natural processes is a prerequisite, etc.

Philosophy brings being to language

For the interpretation of the history of being, philosophy plays a decisive role in Heidegger's eyes, because it is the place where the throwing off of being comes to the fore , as it is grasped by it in thought. The great philosophers put the worldview of their age into words and philosophical systems. According to Heidegger, however, this should not be misunderstood as if philosophy, with its theoretical-metaphysical drafts, produced history: “ Plato did not show the real in the light of ideas since Plato . The thinker has only corresponded to what was assigned to him. ”Since, according to his view, what is - being - is most clearly expressed in the philosophical drafts , Heidegger used the traditional philosophical writings to trace the history of being. The works of the great thinkers also mark the different epochs of the history of being.

Epochs of the history of being

Heidegger identified different epochs in the history of being. He cites the etymology of the (Greek) word epochê : “to hold on to”. Being adheres to itself in its encouragement to people, which means that on the one hand truth occurs, but at the same time it also hides the fact of this revealing.

Pre-Socratics, Plato and Aristotle

For Heidegger, the history of being was predominantly a history of decay, which, after an early encouragement of being among the Greeks , is characterized by increasing abandonment of being and finding its highest increase in planetary technology and nihilism . While the early Greeks, the pre-Socratics , specifically thought of truth as unconcealment (ἀλἠθεια) and thus recognized the procedural aspect of truth as revelation , Heidegger said that metaphysics had appeared with Plato . After the sophists had shaken the conception of truth, the latter tried to counter them with something absolutely certain through his doctrine of ideas . By making beings dependent on the idea in their recognizability, the area of ​​the appearing (and thus perishable) opposed the imperishable and therefore the only true being, the ideas. The idea itself gives rise to being, and the immutability of the idea enables statements of absolute validity. But this was the first time that truth, according to Heidegger, was thought to be independent of humans. The place of truth had thus shifted. Truth became the approximation of the imagination to an "imagined", through which its actual presupposition , i.e. unconcealment, is forgotten.

From this point on, according to Heidegger, it became possible to adapt to what was presented through methodical orientation. This view is reflected in the great importance attached to the Logos . Man becomes a rational animal, a rational animal . His tool is the logos, with which he has what is imagined. The logos releases logic from itself as a discipline of its own, which now claims exclusive validity in the field of thought. According to Heidegger, it can be used, according to Heidegger, to deduce everything else that is , that is , being, with scientific rigor from what is supposed to be, that is, with Plato the ideas, with Aristotle the form . According to Plato and Aristotle, schools were formed in which philosophy was dogmatized .

Christian Middle Ages

The Christian Middle Ages remained within the framework of this metaphysical thinking. The misrepresentation became even greater, as previously the Romans would no longer have understood the original experience of the thinkers through their translation of the Greek terms ( a-letheia , idea , energeia , etc.) into Latin . In the course of this thinking, being shifted into the causes , and consequently in the Christian Middle Ages a first cause was set as the creator god. In this way being became created being ( ens creatum ). According to Heidegger, what is created also seems rationally determined by God. This paved the way for rationalism , according to which man can understand and rule beings through his reason .

Modern times

When at the beginning of the modern age the relation to being was gradually broken by God, only the modern Cartesian subject remained, who grasped beings as an object and gave it its own measure. The latent will in subjectivity to grasp and control everything that it is not itself becomes particularly clear in Nietzsche's will to power . In order to dominate, the will applies the highest principles to which everything has to be subordinated: moral values . The will is a value-setting will and asserts itself by imposing its self-created world interpretation on others. Heidegger's interpretation of Nietzsche is, however, inconsistent. In the rector's speech (1933) and still in the first volume of the Nietzsche interpretation, Heidegger stands behind Nietzsche's philosophy of will, while in the second volume he claims that it is precisely the will that prevents openness and makes new thinking impossible.

History of being and technology

More and more people had moved into the center of all that existed and became the central authority of philosophical interpretations. At the same time, the modern metaphysics of the will emerged, which culminated in Nietzsche. Heidegger saw these tendencies not only in the history of philosophy, but also in the events of his time, especially in the form of the ever-expanding technology . When asked "What is technology?", What is its essence? he answers: The essence of technology itself has nothing technical about it. Rather, the technology must be thought of from its origin. According to Heidegger, it has its historical origins in the occidental history of being.

For Heidegger technology was related to metaphysical thinking. In this he differed significantly from common forms of technology criticism of his time. It is true that his criticism of technology shows many parallels to other interpretations which address alienation, subjective domination, increase in power and technical rationality. However, it distinguishes itself by its history of Being interpretation fundamentally different from those from because it does not constitute the autonomous power of political, social and economic forces as the main problem, but the cause investigated revealing of Being itself. Heidegger's critique of technology thus has a history of Being core to the practical handling Technology in detail.

Technical criticism

science and technology

World view of the exact natural sciences

Heidegger was of the opinion that science could explain how what is available, things, work  - but not what things are : Physics can explain why the iron of the hammer is suitable for working on hard objects, but not what a hammer is . The meaning of the hammer is only revealed in a context of meaning, behind whose meaningful totality thinking cannot go back.

Heidegger's view of science emphasizes one of its aspects: It is a specific way of discovering beings. Properties of the scientific approach are arithmetic , objectifying , imagining and ensuring . These shape their way of seeing and questioning natural processes. Items are calculated. Heidegger stressed both parts of the word: What subject is standing, is compared to a subject to object, only "what such object is, is , is regarded as being". Only what man can bring to himself in this form is considered to be. The second part of the term counter stood emphasizes the solid and secure place as a method of science. This shows, Heidegger explains, a need, not unlike metaphysics, to find a reason for everything that exists in the subject-object relation. In this way, the human being in turn becomes “the measure and center of beings”. However, this centrality of the people increasingly turn the modern, with Descartes onset of subjectivity . Only what is shown in this way of opening up the world is recognized. The way in which science deals with its object is based on a certain ontology. This ontology essentially consists of a subject that perceives objects presented as present and processes them thoughtfully.

Relationship between science and technology

Heidegger claims the same thing for technology as he does for natural science. By its way of looking at beings, this stripped beings of their meaningful references within the world. However, it never completely succeeds in this stripping of beings; the things it discovers do not become singular objects without any relation. Since the world is always a meaningful totality, technology never breaks off all references to its objects. Instead, it forces this back onto the human being as a subject through objectification. With this, the world loses its wealth of meaning and reference and that which is degenerates into a mere raw material for the human subject. At first, however, the human being does not become aware of this changed world view; the prerequisites for his own thinking remain closed to him. On the one hand, more and more technology is becoming possible, on the other hand, the central role in which humans believe themselves to be in world events also leads to an increase in the will to technical controllability and availability:

“Man is on the move to throw himself on the whole of the earth and its atmosphere, to usurp the hidden rule of nature in the form of forces and to subject the course of history to the planning and ordering of an earth government. The same insurgents person is unable to simply say what is , what it is that a thing is . The whole being is the object of a single will to conquer. "

The essence of science and technology

For Heidegger, natural science and technology are essentially both a metaphysical conception of the world. Like metaphysics, natural science and technology understand beings as merely existing. While metaphysics is actually considered to be a figure that determines classical and ancient thinking, which is falling into crisis in modern times, Heidegger associated it with a criticism of technology whose essence is historically based.

Technology and natural sciences as phenomena of the modern age are thus thought of by Heidegger with the tradition of ancient metaphysics. Heidegger regards both natural science and technology as essentially metaphysical, although this is more clearly evident in the technical conception of the world: “[T] he historical determination, modern technology, is historically earlier with regard to the essence prevailing in it . "

The current interpretation sees something completely new in the modern age and in the technical age, which is to be understood as a break with what was once. Heidegger's experimentation with language is due to his criticism of metaphysics. He was looking for a language that was as little burdened by it as possible. This leads him to language as the foundation of being and that natural disposition that makes man himself man. It is not the human being who speaks, but “speaking the language” and only through this does the human being become a speaking being. In contrast, Heidegger shifted the origin of technology back to the metaphysical forms of thought of antiquity, especially in the period between the pre-Socratics and the emerging metaphysics of Plato and Aristotle .

Overlaying other ways of understanding the world

The essence of Heidegger's criticism is that the technical understanding of the world overlays other modes of understanding. According to a common interpretation, metaphysics concerns the permanent theoretical principles, whereas technology determines the practical relation to the changing human environment. Heidegger, however, places both in a relationship of mutual influence: on the one hand, thinking determines what is implemented in practice (application of the natural sciences), on the other hand, the practical relevance also determines the perception that humans have of the world. Even more than a mere influencing, each of the two sides is constitutive for the other: without a definition of thought there is no practice and without practice no interpretation of the world.

Due to the success of technical achievements and the dominance of technical means, the accompanying worldview is spreading over the entire planet and superimposing all forms of understanding the world that exist alongside it. This means that the technical conception of the world is becoming more and more firmly established in the world, says Heidegger, and thus becomes a framework .

Technology as a frame

The concept of the rack

Heidegger describes the technical and objectifying thinking as the imaginary thinking in the sense that this thinking brings the being before itself as an object and at the same time conceives it in the temporal mode of the present as existing for it . Sun is so man by nature technique before him as a mere resource. He does this using technical means, the entirety of which Heidegger calls the frame .

Positions and inventory

Technology brings things to life that do not show themselves . She thus has an essential part in the process of world discovery. However, there is another side to how technology discovers the world. Because, according to Heidegger, on the other hand, the technical discovery of the world provides the interpretation of what to do with what has been discovered, at the same time: what has been discovered becomes an object of manipulation or degenerates into a mere resource. Heidegger says that technology places things on their usability. Hence the talk of technology as a frame.

“The hydropower plant is not built into the river Rhine, like the old wooden bridge that has been connecting bank with bank for centuries. Rather, the electricity is built into the power plant. It is what it is now as electricity, namely water pressure supplier, from the essence of the power plant. "

For Heidegger, technology is a challenge. B. “suggests to nature [to] supply energy that can be extracted and stored as such.” With regard to the Rhine, this means for Heidegger that the Rhine is adjusted to its water pressure. Even if the Rhine is still used as a recreational area in spite of everything, its recreational qualities make it a tourist vacation destination.

Relation to other world views

Heidegger shows the profound difference in the world reference of the technical world reference to others in his lecture “The question of technology” (1953). Here he contrasts the technically demanding reference to the world on the one hand with the poetic (as it is expressed, for example, in Hölderlin's hymn The Rhine ), on the other hand, in his view, traditional peasant activities, which do not place the field on the supply of food, but on the seeds Leave growth forces to nature. Through his will to create and present things, a person ignores his own meaning of things. If everything is only viewed from the point of view of usefulness and usability, then nature will degenerate into a stock that only needs to be developed and processed.

Autonomy of technology

Heidegger refused to consider the essence of technology in the relationship between end and means. He does not see technology as an extended human tool, but draws attention to the fact that it has its own laws. Heidegger sees the problem not only in the fact that modern technology - unlike traditional tools - uses an energy source for its work process that is independent of human labor and thus also has a sequence of movements that is independent of it, but above all the dominant character that comes from modern technology worry him. This creates new views and necessities out of itself, and a corresponding awareness of victory: for example, when the production of factories, in which factories are in turn, is perceived as fascinating. According to Heidegger, all of this carries the risk that “use will become utilization” and that technology will only aim at its own aimlessness.

The person in the frame

Technical action does not take place beyond human activity, but it takes place “not only in humans and not decisively through them.” By making the technical process independent, humans literally get under the wheels themselves, they are degraded to the orderer of the inventory . In the extreme case, this leads to the fact that the person himself becomes a stock, as which he is then only interested to the extent that he can be made available to secure aimless possibilities. Similar to the criticism of the concept of human capital , Heidegger recalled the talk of human material . Therefore, it is not the person who sets things up , but the technology itself: It is the frame.

Thus, on the one hand, man becomes the master of the earth, on the other hand, through the reversal of the purpose-means relationship, he is deprived of power and becomes a mere moment in the all-encompassing technical process. Every corner of the planet is integrated into the technical controllability, and people everywhere only meet themselves because, through the technical way of discovering the world, they set themselves as a measure. If he no longer allows beings to show themselves in this way, this process is accompanied by a loss of truth, Heidegger concludes. Man is no longer in his original relationship to being than that addressed by revelation. The loss of truth also means a loss of self.

In a ZDF conversation with Richard Wisser in 1969, Heidegger made it clear that it was not a hostility towards technology that had brought him to his thoughts, but that he sees the risk of human self-loss in uncritical use of technology: "First of all, it must be said, that I am not against technology. I have never spoken against technology, not even about the so-called demonic nature of technology, instead I try: to understand the essence of technology. "Heidegger continued to express his concern about developments in biotechnology :" [...] that's how I think what is developing today as biophysics: that in the foreseeable future we will be able to make people like this, d. H. to be constructed purely according to its organic nature in such a way as one needs it. "

Heidegger also warned against the destruction of the natural environment. The devastation of the earth by the global technical means of power is a double loss: Not only the biological foundations of life are exposed to destruction, but also the native, i.e. historical, nature degenerates into a resource for the global logistics of the frame. Loss of nature is also loss of home.

Possibilities of a changed relationship to technology

Whether a person succeeds in achieving a new and reflected relationship to technology is - according to the historical thinking - not a question of subjective decision, but depends on the skill of revealing itself. For Heidegger, however, the danger posed by technology also enables the understanding of being to change from technical thinking to thinking about being. He quotes Hölderlin : “But where there is danger, it grows / what is saving too.” For Heidegger, the “where” in Hölderlin's words indicates the place of salvation, which coincides with the origin of the danger. The salvation must grow out of the one that in turn brings about the devastation : “My conviction is that a reversal can only be prepared from the same place in the world where the modern technical world originated, that it cannot be prepared by adopting Zen Buddhism or other Eastern world experiences can happen. To rethink the European tradition and its new appropriation is needed. ”According to Heidegger, on the one hand, a fruitful way was to compare technology in general with art and thus to make differences in the worldview visible Poetry to gain new possibilities of relating to the world.

Return to art and poetry

From about 1929/30 onwards, Heidegger increasingly turned to language and poetry , as well as to art as a force that established history. In these forms of reference to the world, he discovered alternatives to the metaphysical and computational-technical access to the world, which expanded with modern civilization. In Heidegger's view, art is a means of dealing with technology, because “because the essence of technology is not technical, the […] discussion with it must take place in an area that is related to the essence of technology and on the other hand is fundamentally different from him. One such area is art. "

Art and technology are related because of their relation to truth events: Both are forms of discovery, in both beings come into unconcealment. But while art opens up an area in which historical man can establish a new relationship to himself and the world, the technical understanding of the world always reproduces the same lordly relationship to the world.

According to Heidegger, art, poetry, thinking and the founding of a state are acts in which truth happens while a new conception of the world is realized, "[d] on the other hand, science is not an original occurrence of truth, but rather the expansion of an already open area of ​​truth". For example, physics design their subject area as the change of matter and energy in space and time. All knowledge that arises from this in physical science remains in this realm that has been opened as true. In art, on the other hand, new ways of feeling and of understanding the world take place, which cannot be derived from a previous world-view.

The truth and the art

The question of art must be asked anew

Traditional answers to what art is or has to be can be found in aesthetics as art theory. In order to explain their subject, terms such as “symbol”, “allegory”, “metaphor” and “simile” were coined. The art theoretician assumes a separation between the material and the spiritual that goes back to Plato: the work of art is the material carrier of a spiritual meaning that points beyond itself. According to Heidegger, the separation of material and spiritual metaphysically divides being into two realms of being, which is why he called traditional aesthetics “metaphysical art theory” . In accordance with his plan to twist metaphysics, Heidegger sought to "overcome aesthetics" . Heidegger presented a first, provisional draft of this program in a lecture given in 1935 entitled The Origin of the Artwork .

Not beauty, but truth

The focus of Heidegger's interest in the “riddle” of art is not the ancient ideal of the aesthetics of classicism , beauty , but the relationship between art and truth. At Heidegger, art no longer serves the pleasure of a beholder, but through it an execution of truth takes place. Unlike the technical access to the world, which is characterized by a pragmatic and benefit-oriented approach, the work of art cannot be grasped by these categories. Since the work of art was not made for a specific purpose, it occupies a special position in the world : it cannot be 'used'. It is precisely through this refusal, however, that the world is revealed to him as a whole of meaning in which the objects of daily use have their place. This lighting up of the world as a whole can, according to Heidegger, raise awareness of the human relationship to the world and thus enable a different relationship to it.

There are two interpretations of the work on the origin of the work of art: One interprets it in such a way that Heidegger only explains the foundation of a world through the work of art in retrospect, the other emphasizes that for Heidegger in art also donation itself is Act becomes recognizable. For the continuation of his path of thought it was primarily important that Heidegger himself captured the founding power of art, at least philosophically.

According to Heidegger, great works of art, such as Homer's poetry , can establish the culture of an entire people. Herein lies the history-establishing power of art: "[T] he work sets up a world". According to Heidegger, art is a “becoming and happening of truth” because a world is created or illuminated with the work of art. However, he doubted whether it was still possible to produce “great art” with binding claims for an entire culture. Heidegger, Friedrich Hölderlin's poetry, found the way to do this , the memory of which must gradually be awakened in detail.

Holderlin as a skill

Heidegger interpreted
Hölderlin's poetry as a skill .

According to Heidegger, Nietzsche was the thinker who drove metaphysics to the extreme and thus confronts thinking with the decision whether it can agree to it or must look for new ways outside of metaphysics. Science and technology are not alternatives to metaphysics either, but also carry them out practically. His search for something “completely different” led Heidegger to Hölderlin from around 1934, whose poetry he interpreted as a skill . Hölderlin describes the present as a crisis and, referring back to Western history, asks about a new future.

Forsaken being as fate

Heidegger's recapitulation of the history of philosophy and its interpretation as the history of being sees the beginning of philosophy as a failure. It is true that being revealed itself in different ways from early Greek thought, but in such a way that this revelation from then on provided the measure for human thought and action. What was essential was a conception of being as presence, objectivity, as an object for a subject, which ultimately led to the technical challenge of the world. According to Heidegger while the fact was forgotten that the existence in this way has unconcealed. This oblivion or abandonment of being determines, as the basic trait of thinking, Western history, its fate or its fate, as it were: “However, oblivion as apparently separate from it does not only affect the essence of being. It belongs to the matter of being itself, rules as the fate of its being. "

According to Hölderlin, although people have acquired a great deal of scientific knowledge (he calls them “those who know a lot”), they have forgotten how to experience human life in its fullness, diversity and originality. This loss is the loss of the divine. Heidegger emphasizes that the divine is not something otherworldly with Hölderlin , but rather expresses itself in a changed relationship between people and in how people deal with nature. It is a conception of life, at the center of which is the jubilation over being in the world.

Thinking God with Hölderlin - as a founding reason

Heidegger did not think of the divine scholastically in the form of a creator god who created the earth. With this God would again be the "cause of being" and being degraded to the ens creatum (created). Such a traditional conception implies a principle of causality between God and the created and thus reproduces a thinking that aims at ultimate justifications. In contrast, Heidegger did not want to think of God as a source of origin and explanation, but rather freed from all genealogical and causal thought constraints. For Heidegger, the divine corresponded to a kind of principle of order that collects things and keeps them in an orderly variety. It brings a new relationship to interpersonal relationships and thus offers a reason for human interaction.

Here Heidegger used a concept that he had previously rejected: the concept of reason. Heidegger's speech about the “founding reason” indicates that this is not a metaphysical justifying reason, but one that God must grant. The metaphor of God as a lute player (in The Theorem of Reason ) shows that the basic reason can be thought without the metaphysical explanations mentioned above. He quoted the saying of Angelus Silesius : “A heart that is basically still to God as he wants, / Is gladly touched by him: it is a lute game.” God is the player and the heart is his lute. Without him the heart would be without music. But for this - “a heart that is fundamentally still to God” - the heart must be correctly tuned so that it responds to God, resonates . Holderlin prepares this transition as the poet who “silences” the divine, as Heidegger says. Hölderlin's poems should not be understood as fixed statements about God, but should above all open up a space in which one can encounter a new form of the divine.

Holderlin as a poet of transition

According to Heidegger, Hölderlin was the first to bring up abandonment as a historical phenomenon . The poet understands his age as the most deeply marked by abandonment, as the “night of the gods”. The abandonment of being shows itself as the absence of the gods. Hölderlin had first exposed himself to the shocking knowledge of the night of the gods and obtained the truth “on behalf of and therefore truly his people”.

With the decision about whether there can be a god again, Holderlin is faced with the decision whether the West will master its own fate. Hölderlin was the first to realize that history of Being is . He said he had the historical role of having "made the decision about the proximity and distance of the past and future gods" after turning away from metaphysics. Heidegger sees his poetry as a “worthy foundation of being”. To mark this new relation to being, Heidegger now wrote “Seyn”. Being as being is expressly understood as historical and no longer as the imperishable being of a being.

Relationship between density and thought

Holderlin saw the poet's task “in a poor time” in preparing for the expected arrival of the future God in the form of Dionysus - Christ . Heidegger wanted to make Hölderlin's poetic work accessible through philosophical reflection : “The historical determination of philosophy culminates in the recognition of the need to make Holderlin's word heard.” He saw himself as the first thinker who could “hear” Hölderlin's poetry. It was Heidegger's concern to bring "us" to Hölderlin, since his poetry "concerns us [...] fatefully."

In order to emphasize this, Heidegger decouples Hölderlin from any literary , political, philosophical and aesthetic consideration in order to come to a standstill only in the truth revealed by his chants : for him, it is not a matter of conveying interpretative schemes to Hölderlin from the outside, but rather the approach and encouragement range of the divine to have come up for discussion as expressions in Hölderlin's poetry. Heidegger was unsure whether he could succeed in this and to what extent it was still possible: “Will we recognize it again? For us, Hölderlin's poetry is a fate. It waits for mortals to conform to it. What does Hölderlin's poetry say? Her word is: the holy. This word speaks of the flight of the gods. "

Course of the Hölderlin interpretation

In 1934/35 Heidegger devoted himself to Holderlin's hymns The Rhine and Germania . In the articles written in 1936–1938, Heidegger gave Hölderlin an important role when it came to the possibility of a different beginning . In the winter semester of 1941/42, he discussed the hymn Keepsake (GA 52). He interprets the poem as a reminder of the past, of the Greek festival of the gods, and points to a different beginning that begins from this thinking. In his lecture in 1942 to Hölderlin's Hymn "The Ister" (GA 53) Heidegger put precisely so apart, like that other beginning was to draw up a passage through the unhomely , Greek, he is the homely , the Germans in particular and in general to the occidental. In other words, what is one's own should be worked out in the foreign, because only through the distance to one's own can this be recognized and constructively appropriated. Only in this way can the subterranean fate of being that determined one's own history be brought into view.

In the 1946 lecture “Why poets?” Heidegger again pointed out the danger posed by technical domination of the world. Hölderlin's phrase "Where there is danger, grows / The saving thing too" ( Patmos ) initiated Heidegger's thinking: it is the danger itself that urges reflection . For Heidegger, reflecting means giving an account of your own motives for acting. Initially, however, only a few can do this: the poets and the thinkers belonging to them.

In 1970, in Das Wohnen des Menschen (GA 13) , Heidegger confronted poetic living with the leaky presumptuousness and excess of the technical age in which God was missing. “Homecoming” and “living” became two defining terms in Heidegger's late work. In spite of the closeness of these words to poetic and literary expression, for Heidegger they were nevertheless strict descriptions of a changed relationship between man and being, a relationship that is expressed through “closeness to being”.

Proximity: the relationship between humans and being

The essence of man

According to Heidegger's conviction, the pressing questions in the “world age of nihilism” can only be solved if not only the perception that humans have of the world changes, but also that which humans have of themselves.

Early determinations of the essence of man

In order to gain clarity about the human self-conception inscribed in the age, Heidegger recapitulates historical modes of human self-understanding. In the early days of philosophy, among the pre-Socratics , man was still “determined to be the guardian of the unconcealment of beings”. This was accompanied by an original astonishment and the knowledge that unconcealment does not come about by itself, but that man has to preserve it. Man accomplishes this preservation of beings by bringing work towards beings: in the works of those who create, write, think and statesmen, beings are granted an appearance. In the early days of thinking, the self-image of occidental people is still evident through a conscious and unhidden relationship to being.

Metaphysical dissimulations and humanism

With the advent of metaphysics, however, man is no longer understood as the guardian of being, but as animal rational . The human being becomes the thinking animal, whose most predominant form of thought Descartes determines as a mathematical description of the world. With this firm and one-sided image of man, however, metaphysics loses sight of the question of how the essence of man belongs to truth. Such a metaphysical determination is ultimately accepted as timely and eternally valid and any change in being is thereby excluded from thinking. In this way, however, metaphysics closes itself off “the simple essence that man only exists in his essence by being addressed by being”, that is , it keeps itself open to the claim of being.

Ultimately, according to Heidegger, metaphysics is still clad in the moral dress of humanism , which also represents a fixed image of man that can be concretely determined and is based on individual moments detached from the world context. In this context, Heidegger's letter on "humanism" , which he wrote to Jean Beaufret in 1946 , is important. Humanism, like Aristotle before, describes man as a rational animal , which stands in the middle of beings and grasps them in a thoughtful way. In the end, he only encourages people in their stately behavior. It moves it to the center of the world and thus gives it an excellent position in relation to all other beings. Thus “man, cast out from the truth of being, revolves around himself as an animal rational ”.

The result is nihilism, in which man soars himself to be lord of beings and which finds his expression in the frame. Heidegger does not simply criticize man's egoism , because for the egoist there is definitely a space of reference and validity that is independent of him, but which he forcibly overrides. The modern man who regards himself as animal rational or subject , however, sees no other validity except in relation to beings to himself. While for Heidegger the egoist can get back to accepting the other by overcoming himself, the modern subject can do not create a new world of your own accord - any attempt to do so has to act like an arbitrary construct and is doomed to failure. Rather, the human being is dependent on being that opens up a world to him , a world with an empty center, without a center.

The shepherd of being

A new relationship to the world must, Heidegger argues, arise from a way of thinking about the history of being, which raises awareness that man and being are dependent on one another. The essence of the human being is determined by the closeness to being, which Heidegger sought to express through the formulation of human beings as “shepherd of being”. The fact that we are talking about the Shepherd and not the Lord of Being indicates that, according to Heidegger, the truth of being is unavailable to man ; he can only focus attentively on being, in the sense of an openness to the event.

On this basis, Heidegger describes his intellectual efforts: They should enable people to contemplate their being: “In view of the [...] homelessness of human beings, the future destiny of human beings is shown in the way of thinking about the history of being, that they find and find the truth of being sets out to find this. ”With descriptions such as“ Einkehr ”,“ auf den Weg ”and“ Heimkehr ”, Heidegger wanted to make it clear that a new way of thinking could not consist of fixed truths found in his philosophy, but as a way must first be completed.


Only home, emphasizes Heidegger, makes the eeriness possible, and so it is important “only to get [to] specifically where we are already”. The contemplation of man in his being should overcome the alienation and homelessness that was founded in the age of nihilism , as Heidegger said with Nietzsche and Holderlin. It succeeds when the person in mindfulness of being corresponds to the arrival of the event of another beginning. On the one hand, being needs the mindfulness of people, it needs them as “accommodation”, on the other hand, people need being so that they can find their being. Heidegger discovered the idea of ​​this “togetherness” in Parmenides , who spoke of the identity of thinking and being.

Self-Interpretation of the Early Writings

The accompanying the modern subject centeredness Aufschwingung overcoming of man to the "Lord of Being," must, according to Heidegger, man is again aware of his finitude and his being. In this context, the existentials worked out in being and time return, i.e. the essential moments of human existence, such as worry , being to death , determination , fear , etc. However, Heidegger shifts its focus: this is how he understands the "concern for one's own inner being. Being world "new as" concern for the revelation of being ".

In a reinterpreted self-interpretation, Heidegger presents this as if he had already thought the existentials that way at the time when “Being and Time” was being written, or, as it were, unconsciously meant it.

“On the field path” in Meßkirch, Heidegger also showed that man and being belong together: “The vastness of all things that have grown around the field path donates the world. [...] But the encouragement of the dirt road only speaks as long as there are people who, born in its air, can hear it. [...] He gives the inexhaustible power of the simple. The popularity makes you feel at home in a long history. ”The bench on which Heidegger often reads stands under the large oak tree on the field path. Today it is popular with tourists, including those from the USA and Australia.

The need

In being and time , Heidegger sees the clearing of being in Dasein alone , whereby "truth (discovery) [...] always had to be wrested from being", an appropriation that was "always a robbery, as it were ". In his later philosophy he assumed that man and being need each other . However, this custom is not one that expresses itself as appropriating or consuming. Rather, when it comes to needs , people cling to the circumstances . For Heidegger, the human being is not the subject of need in this context. He makes this clear with a verse by Holderlin from his hymn Der Ister :

But the rock needs stitches
and furrows the earth,
it would be inhospitable without a while.

Heidegger interprets Hölderlin: “» It needs «but here says: There is an essential belonging between rock and engravings, between furrows and earth within the realm of being that opens up when the earth is inhabited. The dwelling of mortals has its own place. "

Man cannot dispose of this inner connection between earth and man. The And that founded the village for living mortal, but rather was an ancient order. “People live by clinging to this relationship. Man cannot seize the And, ”summarizes Byung-Chul Han Heidegger's train of thought. According to Heidegger, humans cannot technically create the inner connection or otherwise bring about it themselves. That man hugs him can only happen . In the “mindfulness of being” man can correspond to the event as what is addressed and used by being.


In a lecture given in 1955 under the title Serenity , Heidegger presented approaches for a critical but not defensive approach to technology. With the term serenity , he describes the simultaneous yes and no to technology, through which people can keep themselves free from an overwhelming strain on themselves by technology: “We let technical objects into our daily world and at the same time leave them outside. That means: based on themselves as things that are not absolute, but themselves remain dependent on higher things. ”This goes hand in hand with“ openness to the secret ”, for the technical upheaval in human living conditions that cannot be prevented or foreseen in the course of the past and coming centuries as something completely new historically.


Heidegger's constellation of the world as a square is seen as an alternative to the homelessness and abandonment of being of modern man, which he stated. Modern man puts himself at the center of everything that exists and, through his planning and calculating subjectivity, opens up everything that surrounds him only with regard to usability as raw material or energy source. In doing so, he robs himself of his world, as a meaningful totality, which also contains such relationships whose chain of reference does not lead to the sake of man. Ultimately, this denies people living and makes them homeless.

Four world regions

The square is, as it were, the spatial counterpart to the temporal event . It spans a space through four dimensions, consisting of heaven and earth , mortals and divine . According to Heidegger, mortals are those people whose actions are not determined by the will to power, but rather “capable of death as death”. With the divine , Heidegger also referred to the way of thinking God worked out for Holderlin , but kept open whether it is the one or whether it is a multitude of gods that he thought of as a region of the quarter. Heidegger called living what defines the space of the quarter in terms of its spatiality . Living is space in time. Mortals dwell because of their finitude. With this, Heidegger defined the relationship of being of people as a "mortality relationship": "But living is the basic trait of being, according to which mortals are."

The world as a square shows possibilities to think of a world without a center. So each of the four world regions gets its meaning only in relation to the other three. Heidegger postulated a dynamic rule of meaning: “the mirror game that happens”. The relationship between the four “parts of the world” is not to be understood as a mere representation of one in the other, but as an inseparable intimacy . In 1950, Heidegger tried to make clear in his lecture on “Das Ding” that the world regions were not joined together afterwards .

The thing

According to Heidegger, the intimacy of the world regions is created by the thing which gathers the world by referring to the four world regions of the square. In his essay "Das Ding" he illustrated what the thing collects using the example of a jug. Heidegger approached his language strongly to that of poetry:

“Pouring out of the jug is giving. [...] The jug-like appearance of the jug is present in the gift [...] The gift of the pouring can be a drink. There is water, there is wine to drink. The source resides in the water of the gift. The rock dwells in the spring, in it the dark slumber of the earth, which receives the rain and dew of the sky. The marriage of heaven and earth resides in the water of the spring. She dwells in the wine given by the fruit of the vine, in which the nourishing of the earth and the sun of the sky are trusted to one another. […] The gift of the pouring is drink for mortals. He quenches her thirst. He refreshes her leisure. He cheers their company. But the gift of the jug is sometimes given for consecration. If the pouring is for consecration, then it does not quench a thirst. He stills the celebration of the festival to a high degree. [...] The pouring is the drink given to the immortal gods. […] The simplicity of the four dwells in the casting process. The gift of the pour is gift in that it abides earth and heaven, the divines and the mortals. [...] Lingering occurs. It brings the four into the light of their own. "

Unlike in Being and Time , the thing here is not determined by its chain of references to other things - the for-for and the finality of the for-sake of existence. Instead, Heidegger now selects the remuneration of the essence and sojourn : "In the water, the source bored . The Marriage of Heaven and Earth" The relationship of heaven and earth and their mutual penetration occurs through the rain and spring water and is cared for at this. Here, water is not H 2 O, which is located at one point in physical space-time. Heidegger claims to leave things where they are : in the world. “Pouring out of the jug is giving. [...] The jug-like appearance of the jug is present in the gift [...] The gift of the pouring can be a drink. There is water, there is wine to drink. ”The water is drink. But only because it is poured from the jug is it a gift. The gift is a gift because it comes out of the jug as a casting, it has its essence from the jug-like. The jug is correspondingly a jug because it keeps the drink in the void that lies between the walls of the vessel. Both, Trunk and Krug, are what they are only in relation to one another, but not as an individual. According to Heidegger, references are before the individual things are and are not first constituted by them.


According to Heidegger, the thing has the property of assembling the regions of the world, whereby the world is opened up as a totality of relationships of the square. To discuss this, Heidegger resorted to the etymology of the word thing from “ Thing ”, the Germanic term for assembly, an assembly that concerns people, in Heidegger's language: “Das Ding dingt”, d. i.e., it gathers a world. In this way, things allow people to linger and “live gently” in the world they have opened up.

Man, according to Heidegger, is not in the center of the world that he not been determined, but is self- be-dingt . The world is not "in itself" and so "for" someone, but the occurrence of the openness of beings in man. Accordingly, Heidegger rejects any philosophy of worldview.

Such a world occurs historically. It has no center from which a timeless order could be established. Thinking that corresponds to this world - sometimes called "event thinking" - proceeds neither deductively nor reasonably , rather it happens like "when the early morning light grows quietly over the mountains ..."

Heidegger has not only made philosophical considerations, but also emphasized how important attitudes such as feelings and moods are for a change in thinking . Another beginning must be accompanied by a certain mood ( behavior ). In their openness, moods are not directed towards individual things, but towards the whole of the world. Thus the heart is sometimes seen as the center of Heidegger's thinking. In its openness to the event "it strikes against the whole".

Language as the house of being

For Heidegger it became increasingly clear in the course of his thinking that the truth event is a language event. If truth happens in the form of art, science or technology, then this is always also a linguistic event. Therefore, the thinker must be clear about what language actually is.

The language speaks

Heidegger rejected a conception of language as a mere instrument of communication. From his point of view, this was the basis of the technical age, whose computational thinking “communicates” information only to organize the control of beings. Computational thinking also places people in the middle of all that is in relation to language. According to Heidegger, if a person thinks “the language is in his possession”, he is missing its essence: “The language speaks, not the person. Humans only speak when they skilfully correspond to the language. ”With this, Heidegger wanted to express that humans are participants in a language that they themselves did not produce on their own. It is involved in a process of tradition and can only to what has been handed, language, behavior .

Heidegger's consideration, however, is not a cultural-philosophical one : with the tautological formulation “language speaks” he wants to prevent the phenomenon of language from being traced back to something other than language itself. According to his “down-to-earth” thinking, he wants to escape a justification of the language by something else. For example, what language is as language cannot be understood through tracing back to acoustic pronouncement, speaking. According to Heidegger, language is rather something that is difficult to grasp because of our closeness to it, and therefore what needs to be brought up is that which usually remains unthematically because it is so close. In the treatise "On the way to language" he attempted to get to the one "in whose area we have ever been."

Language and world

The philosopher wanted to describe what language is beyond the mere means of communication. Language has a world-opening function, which he discovered above all in poetry. Just as the thing opens up a world and thereby grants people living space, this also applies to language, especially to poetic language. In the non-calculating language of poetry, being as a whole is touched upon. Language is the place where being appears. Insofar as language is thought of as a place, being, as it were, 'dwells' in it. Heidegger called language "the house of being".

Central to Heidegger's conception of language is therefore not the assumption of a chain of propositional statements from which truth can be derived according to the rules of logic , but their relation to being. In language, therefore, a world comes according to the respective his historical experience of man to language . With this, Heidegger takes an opposing position to the philosophical tradition: “In philosophy, propositions can never be proven; and not because there are no highest propositions from which others could be derived, but because here not "propositions" are true at all and not simply what they say about. "

Heidegger explains the completely different form of language in poetry using a fragment by the pre-Socratic Heraklit : “'The Lord [ Apollon ], whose motto is Delphi, neither says nor hides, but waves .' The original saying neither makes it directly apparent nor simply conceals it, but this saying is both in one and as this one a wave, where the said points to the unsaid, the unsaid to what is said and what is to be said. "

The language grants a poetic dwelling

In that the poetic word brings up meaningful references in the world, it creates the world. In contrast to propositional statements, poetry leaves open spaces. In the unsaid there is room for the references to the world that have not been discussed. The world becomes rich in references only through the many secondary meanings which the poetic words have. There are semantic references, which is why the world is a linguistic phenomenon: You cannot live in a silent room; rather, things in the world are eloquent . The pure functionality of a technical world, on the other hand, would be poor in terms of reference.

Poetry does not make statements about individual things, but focuses on their relationship. As an example, Heidegger explains that present and jug can only be thought of through their relationship to one another, not for themselves. By now the seal the relationship that front is the particulars, brings to the language, it creates only the world as a relationship wholeness which precedes the individual things. Through the foundation of the world, poetry grants mortals abode and habitation. Heidegger took this meaning from an excerpt from a poem by Holderlin: “Full of merit, but poetic, lives / Man on this earth.” However, poetry remains dependent on language.

According to Heidegger, the human being never has at his disposal the language in its entirety, but relates to it. So the poet cannot make living possible by himself, but is dependent on what language gives him. Therefore, people have to overcome the idea of ​​language as a means of communication, because this understanding of language is solely a technical world reference. Only when he recognizes that language is not an individual part in a technical world, but the house of being, can a new world arise.

Effect and reception

Heidegger had a great influence on Japanese philosophy . Japanese philosophers such as Hajime Tanabe and Keiji Nishitani studied with him for several years. The commemorative publication “Japan and Heidegger” by the city of Meßkirch brings together important documents on this relationship.


Martin Heidegger is considered one of the most influential philosophers of the 20th century. His thoughts exert a great and lasting influence, directly and through some of his students, on modern philosophy outside of Germany as well as on the humanities .

Heidegger was seen by many as a charismatic personality who exuded a strong fascination for his students. Karl Löwith , Heidegger student, Nietzsche connoisseur and skeptic, characterized him as follows:

“A simple sacristan's son by origin , his job made him a pathetic representative of a class that he negated as such. Jesuit through upbringing, he became a Protestant out of indignation, scholastic dogmatist through training and existential pragmatist through experience, theologian through tradition and atheist as researcher, renegade of his tradition in the guise of its historian. Existential like Kierkegaard , with the systematic will of a Hegel , as dialectical in method as single-layered in content, apodictically asserting from the spirit of negation, silent about others and yet curious as few, radical in the last and inclined to compromise in everything penultimate - so ambivalent the man affected his students, who nevertheless remained captivated by him because he far surpassed all other university philosophers in terms of intensity of philosophical will. "

His direct students include Hans-Georg Gadamer , who continued the hermeneutic approach, Hannah Arendt , who u. a. In her political writings, through her revolutionary concept of free plural disputes in the political arena, he set apart from Heidegger, Hans Jonas , who, as an existential philosopher , took positions of responsibility ethics on ecology and medicine in his late work , and Ernst Tugendhat , who started out from a critical stance towards Heidegger's concept of truth on analytical philosophy found.

Heidegger gave the impetus for French existentialism through Jean-Paul Sartre . Herbert Marcuse combined the considerations from being and time with Marxism . Emmanuel Levinas developed his more human-oriented ethics, in a critical demarcation from Heidegger's strong orientation towards being. Michel Foucault's thoughtful biography was accompanied by an intensive reading of Heidegger; Jacques Derrida takes up the idea of ​​ontological difference and destruction in his concept of différance . Pierre Bourdieu took a critical look at Heidegger's political ontology. Heidegger also had a great influence on modern Japanese philosophy , so the Heidegger Complete Edition is also published in Japanese at the same time. With reference to Heidegger's late thinking, many attempts have been made to connect his approaches with Far Eastern thought traditions - but recent works call this connection into question. Heidegger also had an influence on the theology of Rudolf Bultmann , with whom he taught together at the University of Marburg in the 1920s.

"Circle of Reflection"

In 1953 Walter Schloß (1917–1994) founded the Heidegger Circle "Circle of Reflection" in Berlin, which dealt with Heidegger's writings and was also connected to Heidegger and his wife through correspondence and visits. Guests, members and leaders of the circle were u. a. later professors too. The circle was funded by the state, had up to 17 members and existed for about ten years.


General rejection

Heidegger's philosophical work was rejected by various quarters as a whole, such as the empirical-positivist oriented Vienna Circle , in Heidegger's philosophy saw a return to metaphysics. Linguistic analytical philosophers such as Rudolf Carnap rejected Heidegger's terminology early on as being empty of content. Carnap developed his criticism in 1932 in overcoming metaphysics through logical analysis of language . He generally declares metaphysical terms meaningless here, since what they designate can neither be proven logically nor empirically . Using Heidegger's concept of “nothing”, he tried to show that metaphysical concept formation is often based simply on logical confusions: This arises through an ontologization of the negative existential quantifier (“not”), which cannot be carried out in a logically correct language.

Carnap's strict criteria for meaningful use of language were not shared by later analytical philosophers (mainly due to the expanded work of Wittgenstein and Popper ), but the division between the continental and analytical-Anglo-Saxon philosophical tradition goes back to this and remained decisive for a long time. Only Richard Rorty tried again to build bridges between the two.

The attacks by the Frankfurt School , especially Theodor W. Adorno's Jargon of Authenticity (first edition 1964), which polarized continental intellectual life in the 1960s, were also extremely sharp. In the first part of the Negative Dialectic , Adorno conducts his central argument with Heidegger: “Historicity puts history still in the unhistorical [...]. On the other hand, the ontologization of history allows the unseen historical power to be ascribed power of being and thus to justify subordination to historical situations as if it were dictated by being itself. "

Hans Albert criticized Heidegger from the perspective of critical rationalism . In the succession of Hegel and Husserl, Heidegger prepared the ground for a new irrationalism that ", in contrast to scientific thinking, is close to poetry". Albert sees in Heidegger's philosophy an attempt to rehabilitate pre-scientific ways of thinking and to undermine the tradition of rational argumentation, whereby unclear, mystifying language creates the impression of intellectual depth that his work actually lacks completely. This creates an impression especially with "contemporaries [...] who romp around in philosophical fields, but in reality are looking for religious edification or need a religious substitute."

Criticism of Heidegger's National Socialism

A large part of the criticism of Heidegger and his work applies to the accusation of National Socialism and anti-Semitism, both in relation to his person and his philosophical thoughts. The relationship between his work and National Socialism has been discussed since a study by A. Schwan from 1965. Silvio Vietta, on the other hand, also worked out Heidegger's explicit criticism of National Socialism and its development into a large-scale world power policy such as technical globalization.

While only a few remarks with anti-Semitic connotations appeared in his writings before, since the publication of statements from the Black Notebooks in 2014, due to numerous anti-Semitic stereotypes, there has been broad consensus among the researchers that Heidegger was an anti-Semite, although a majority of biologists racism was excluded becomes. In the context of National Socialist convictions, apart from the various speeches in which he explicitly glorified Hitler , in particular National Socialist aspects of his work on Holderlin and Nietzsche are debated. The spectrum of opinions ranges from the point of view, also represented by Heidegger himself, that his National Socialist engagement was an erroneous phase without any impact on his work, to the interpretation of his entire philosophy as National Socialist ideology.

See also: → Doxography on the question of anti-Semitism in HeideggerDebate on Martin Heidegger and fake news

Criticism of "Being and Time"

Edmund Husserl saw the work as a departure from the aims of his phenomenology , even if Heidegger put it under the title Phenomenology and dedicated it to Husserl, although he had the work published in the 5th edition from 1941 without this dedication. Heidegger tended to sharply exaggerate the script. This earned him criticism from various quarters. In his analysis of the tenses, for example, it was criticized that he sacrificed the present to a life directed towards the future. It was also criticized that the independence that he proclaimed for a conscious life renounced itself so much from society and fellow human beings that it was ultimately a matter of solipsism .

Heidegger carried out his world analysis using tools for the practical contexts of meaning in life. However, this does not mean things other than tools; about what the ring means that we wear on our fingers. The connection of all things to the unwillingness of existence also narrows the view of the world.

The great importance that Heidegger attached to death also often meets with rejection in the reception. So it is not clear why problems of existence can only be elucidated in the face of death.

Hannah Arendt , who would actually have devoted her main philosophical work to Heidegger if his attitude towards National Socialism had not made this impossible, developed the counter-model of “birthliness” against Heidegger's concept of mortality, i. H. every new born person, every generation always has the chance to make a fresh start in order to create a freer, better world. In her article What is Existential Philosophy? First published in the US in 1946 . Arendt had only once publicly expressed himself critical of Heidegger's philosophy.

Maurice Merleau-Ponty criticized Heidegger's lack of inclusion of the physicality of existence . In contrast to Husserl and Heidegger, Merleau-Ponty shows a “third way” to describe the fundamental relationship between existence and the world. Unlike Heidegger, who regards the subject in its being as Dasein, he sees it in its corporeality, from which the original world experience results.

The religious philosopher Klaus Heinrich comments on Heidegger based on his concepts and comes to a radical criticism of his philosophy.

Andreas Graeser provides a fundamental criticism of Heidegger's theses and their justifications .

Criticism of the concept of truth

Ernst Tugendhat compared Husserl's concept of truth with that of Heidegger. With Husserl, truth opens up when being shows itself "as it is in itself". Through its “how”, this formula contains a comparison of the thing with itself. Heidegger, on the other hand, interprets truth as discovery . In contrast to Husserl, however, he largely drops the critical comparison of the matter with itself, which for Tugendhat means: “If truth means unconcealment, as Heidegger understands the word, then it depends on an understanding of the world opening up at all, not that we examine it critically. ”So Tugendhat sees no value in Heidegger's concept of truth, since it does not show a way how statements can be checked for their truth.

Criticism of the late work

While Heidegger's late work is often rejected or more or less ignored, Jacques Derrida in particular, in contrast to the thought processes in being and time , refers to it positively, because Heidegger thus overcome the philosophy of the subject.

Heidegger's attempt to think the “divine” and invoke Hölderlin as an inconsistent part of his philosophy did not meet with approval from those who thoroughly valued his way of thinking . Chul-Han speaks in this context of a “'theological' compulsion”.

In the writings after the turn , so u. a. Chul-Han, explanations of the origin of the word are often given as etymologically correct, but Heidegger sometimes carries them out in a daring and misrepresenting manner. Heidegger himself emphasized that these did not function as evidence, but rather should serve to open up new dimensions to the philosophical language.

The interpretations that Heidegger gave to some of the poems by Holderlin , Trakl , Rilkes and Stefan Georges have met with criticism from literary scholars. Heidegger read these poems from his own worldview and "reinterpreted" them in the categories of his thinking. However, Heidegger expressly did not intend to make contributions to literary studies with his interpretations. Rather, he claimed to make “comments”, also at the risk of missing the “truth of Holderlin's poetry”.

Even Heidegger's interpretations of the history of being, for example those of Plato or Nietzsche , cannot withstand a close examination of the history of philosophy. Various Heidegger interpreters point this out. In addition, Heidegger's discussion of Nietzsche was based on a compilation from Nietzsche's estate ( " The Will to Power " ), which Nietzsche had not published in this form. According to Pöggeler, Heidegger's deliberate narrowing of perspective and one-sidedness aimed at uncovering the basic patterns of Western thought and thus opening up new approaches to the stock of tradition. He was less concerned with a historically correct interpretation than with a constructive “dialogue” with the thinkers, with a “conversation” that was put under a certain question from the outset.

On the part of intercultural hermeneutics , it has been criticized that Heidegger's hermeneutically closed philosophy of language only helps with difficulty to initiate a dialogue between East and West. His work “ From a conversation about language. Between a Japanese and a Questioner ”(1953/54) is a fictitious conversation with a Japanese that shows a number of important obstacles to intercultural understanding.

Documents and sources


Annual edition 2005/2006 of the Martin Heidegger Society . It contains writings by and about Heidegger that have not yet been published.

The Martin Heidegger Complete Edition is published by Vittorio Klostermann . It is laid out in 102 volumes. A list of all of Heidegger's writings (7609 numbers) can be found in: Heidegger-Jahrbuch 1. Freiburg / Munich 2005, ISBN 3-495-45701-1 , pp. 429-578.

Important works

  • 1912–1916: Early Writings. Klostermann, Frankfurt am Main 1972, ISBN 3-465-00881-2 .
  • 1921/1922: Phenomenological interpretations of Aristotle. Introduction to phenomenological research. 2. through Edition. Klostermann, Frankfurt am Main 1994, ISBN 3-465-02650-0 .
  • 1927: The basic problems of phenomenology. Klostermann, Frankfurt am Main 2005, ISBN 3-465-03419-8 .
  • 1927: Being and time. 19th edition. Niemeyer, Tübingen 2006, ISBN 3-484-70153-6 .
  • 1929/1930: The basic concepts of metaphysics. World - finitude - loneliness. Klostermann, Frankfurt am Main 2004, ISBN 3-465-03310-8 .
  • 1929: Kant and the problem of metaphysics. 6th edition. Klostermann, Frankfurt am Main 1998, ISBN 3-465-02982-8 .
  • 1934–1935: Hegel, Philosophy of Law . Complete edition Volume 86. Klostermann, Frankfurt am Main 2011, ISBN 978-3-465-03682-1 .
  • 1936–1968: Explanations of Hölderlin's poetry. 6th adult Edition. Klostermann, Frankfurt am Main 1996, ISBN 3-465-02907-0 .
  • 1935–1946: Holzwege. 8th edition. Klostermann, Frankfurt am Main 2003, ISBN 3-465-03238-1 .
  • 1935/1936: The origin of the work of art. (= UB 8446). Reclam, Ditzingen 1986, ISBN 3-15-008446-6 .
  • 1936–1946: Nietzsche I and II. 8th edition. Klett-Cotta, Stuttgart 2008, ISBN 978-3-608-91086-5 .
  • 1936–1953: lectures and essays. 10th edition. Klett-Cotta, Stuttgart 2004, ISBN 3-608-91090-5 .
  • 1936–1938: Contributions to philosophy (From the event). 3. Edition. Klostermann, Frankfurt am Main 2003, ISBN 3-465-03281-0 .
  • 1938/1939: reflection. Klostermann, Frankfurt am Main 1997, ISBN 3-465-02955-0 .
  • 1951–1952: What does thinking mean? (= UB 8805). Reclam, Ditzingen 1992, ISBN 3-15-008805-4 .
  • 1953: The technology and the turn. Klett-Cotta, Stuttgart 2002, ISBN 3-608-91050-6 .
  • 1919–1961: milestones. Klostermann, Frankfurt am Main 2004, ISBN 3-465-03370-1 .
  • 1955–1956: The principle of reason. 9th edition. Klett-Cotta, Stuttgart 2006, ISBN 3-608-91076-X .
  • 1955–1957: Identity and Difference. 12th edition. Klett-Cotta, Stuttgart 2002, ISBN 3-608-91045-X .
  • 1950–1959: On the way to language. 14th edition. Klett-Cotta, Stuttgart 2007, ISBN 978-3-608-91085-8 .
  • 1959: serenity. 14th edition. Klett-Cotta, Stuttgart 2008, ISBN 978-3-608-91059-9 .
  • 1910–1976: From the experience of thinking. 2. through Edition. Klostermann, Frankfurt am Main 2002, ISBN 3-465-03201-2 .
  • 1910–1976: Speeches and other testimonies to a path in life. Klostermann, Frankfurt am Main 2000, ISBN 3-465-03040-0 (contains the “Spiegel” interview from 1976: Only one god can save us ) .



  • Martin Heidegger letter issue. Edited by Alfred Thinker. Approx. 20 volumes of scientific, approx. 10 volumes of “private” and approx. 5 volumes of “institutional” correspondence. Alber, Freiburg 2010 ff.
  • Martin Heidegger, Kurt Bauch : Correspondence. 1932-1975. Martin Heidegger letter edition, Section II, Vol. 1. Edited and commented by Almuth Heidegger. Alber, Freiburg 2010, ISBN 978-3-495-48409-8 .
  • Martin Heidegger, Elisabeth Blochmann : Correspondence: 1918–1969. Edited by J. W. Storck. 2. through Edition. German Schiller Society, Marbach am Neckar 1990, ISBN 3-933679-07-9 .
  • Three letters from Martin Heidegger to Karl Löwith. In: D. Papenfuss, O. Pöggeler (Ed.): On the philosophical topicality of Heidegger. Volume 2: In Conversation with Time. Klostermann, Frankfurt am Main 1990, pp. 27-39.
  • Extract from the unpublished correspondence between Martin Heidegger and Otto Pöggeler . Edited by K. Busch and Chr. Jamme, translated into Romanian by G. Cercel, introduction by O. Pöggeler (Ger./rum.). In: Studia Phenomenologica. I (2001) 3-4, ISSN  1582-5647 , pp. 11-35.
  • Martin Heidegger, Heinrich Rickert : Letters 1912 to 1933 and other documents. Edited by A. Thinker. Klostermann, Frankfurt am Main 2001, ISBN 3-465-03148-2 .
  • Oskar Becker : Four letters to Martin Heidegger. Edited by Bernd Peter Aust. In: Jürgen Mittelstraß , Annemarie Gethmann-Siefert (Ed.): Philosophy and the sciences. On the work of Oskar Becker. Fink, Munich 2002, ISBN 3-7705-3659-2 , pp. 249-256.
  • Letters from and to Martin Heidegger and other documents. In: Heidegger yearbook. 1, 2004, ISBN 3-495-45701-1 , pp. 26-78.
  • Selected letters from Martin Heidegger to Hans-Georg Gadamer . Martin Heidegger Society, Messkirch 2006.
  • Alexandru Dragomir  - Martin Heidegger: Letters. 1947. In: Studia Phænomenologica. IV (2004) 3-4, ISBN 973-50-0979-X , pp. 113-118.
  • Hannah Arendt , Martin Heidegger: letters 1925 to 1975 and other testimonials. Edited by Ursula Ludz. Klostermann, Frankfurt am Main 2002, ISBN 3-465-03206-3 .
  • Martin Heidegger, Karl Jaspers : Correspondence 1920–1963 . Edited by Walter Biemel u. Hans Saner . Klostermann, Frankfurt am Main 1990, ISBN 3-465-02218-1 .
  • Rudolf Bultmann , Martin Heidegger: Correspondence 1925 to 1975 . Edited by Andreas Großmann u. Christof Landmesser. Klostermann, Frankfurt am Main 2009, ISBN 978-3-465-03602-9 .
  • Martin Heidegger: Letters to Sophie Dorothee Podewils. In: Sense and Form. Issue 1/2006, pp. 43-59.
  • Martin Heidegger and the beginnings of the “German quarterly journal for literary studies and intellectual history”. A documentation. 1922-1941. Edited by J. W. Storck and Th. Kisiel. Heidegger's correspondence with Erich Rothacker , Paul Kluckkohn and Karl Löwith . In: Dilthey yearbook for philosophy and history of the humanities. Volume 8, 1992-1993, ISBN 3-525-30362-9 , pp. 181-225.
  • Martin Heidegger: Letters to Max Müller and other documents. Edited by Holger Zaborowski and Anton Bösl. Karl Alber, Freiburg 2003, ISBN 3-495-48070-6 . ( Note in: Information Philosophy. )
  • Martin Heidegger, Bernhard Welte : Letters and Encounters. With a foreword by Bernhard Casper. Edited by Alfred Denker and Holger Zaborowski. Klett-Cotta, Stuttgart 2003, ISBN 3-608-91077-8 .
  • Gertrud Heidegger: “My dear little soul!” Martin Heidegger's letters to his wife Elfriede. 1915-1970 . DVA, Munich 2005, ISBN 3-421-05849-0
  • Walter Homolka , Arnulf Heidegger (ed.): Heidegger and anti-Semitism. Positions in conflict. With letters from Martin and Fritz Heidegger. Herder Verlag , Freiburg 2016, ISBN 978-3-451-37529-3
  • Martin Heidegger / Karl Löwith: Correspondence 1919–1973 . Heidegger letter edition, vol. II.2, ed. by Alfred Denker, Verlag Karl Alber, Freiburg 2017. ISBN 978-3-495-48628-3 .


  • In the annual edition of the Martin-Heidegger-Gesellschaft , unpublished works by and about Martin Heidegger appear.
  • Phenomenological interpretations of Aristotle (display of the hermeneutic situation). A treatise from 1922, written for the appointment to the Marburg chair. Edited by Hans-Ulrich Lessing. In: Dilthey yearbook for philosophy and history of the humanities. Volume 6, 1989, ISBN 3-525-30360-2 , pp. 235-274. The actual germ cell of being and time is in the display of the hermeneutic situation . to see.

Secondary literature

Philosophy bibliography : Martin Heidegger - Additional references on the topic

Introductory literature on Heidegger's thinking

  • Günter Figal : Martin Heidegger for an introduction. 6th edition. Junius, Hamburg 2011, ISBN 978-3-88506-381-0 .
  • Charles Guignon (Ed.): The Cambridge Companion to Heidegger. Cambridge University Press, 1993.
  • Byung-Chul Han : Martin Heidegger. Fink, Munich 1999, ISBN 3-8252-2069-9 (discussion that also illuminates critical aspects) .
  • Michael Inwood: Heidegger. Herder, Freiburg 1999, ISBN 3-451-04736-5 .
  • Michael Inwood: A Heidegger Dictionary. Blackwell, Oxford 1999, ISBN 0-631-19095-3 .
  • Hans Köchler : Skepticism and social criticism in Martin Heidegger's thinking. Hain, Meisenheim 1978.
  • Christopher Macann (Ed.): Critical Heidegger. Routledge, London 1996.
  • Roland Mugerauer: Plainly , 'Being and Time'. Heidegger's main work deciphered. Tectum, Marburg 2015, ISBN 978-3-8288-3506-1 .
  • Stephen Mulhall: Routledge Philosophy Guidebook to Heidegger and Being and Time. Routledge, London 1996.
  • Frederick A. Olafson: Heidegger and the Philosophy of Mind. Yale University Press, New Haven 1997.
  • George Pattison: Routledge Philosophy Guidebook to the Later Heidegger. Routledge, London 2000.
  • Thomas Rentsch : Martin Heidegger - Being and Death. A critical introduction. Piper, Munich 1989.
  • John Richardson : Existential Epistemology. A Heideggerian Critique of the Cartesian Project. Clarendon Press, Oxford 1986.
  • Thomas Rohkrämer: Martin Heidegger: a political biography , suffering; Boston; Singapore; Paderborn: Ferdinand Schöningh, [2020], ISBN 978-3-506-70426-9
  • Dieter Thomä (ed.): Heidegger manual. Life - work - effect. Metzler, Stuttgart 2003, ISBN 3-476-02268-4 .
  • Rainer Thurnher: Martin Heidegger. In: Heinrich Schmidinger, Wolfgang Röd, Rainer Thurnher: History of Philosophy. Volume XIII. Beck, Munich 2002 (overview of the entire work; focus: history of being) .
  • Peter Trawny : Martin Heidegger. Introduction. Campus, Frankfurt / New York 2003, ISBN 3-593-37359-9 .
  • Jorge Uscatescu Barron: The basic articulation of being. An investigation based on Martin Heidegger's fundamental ontology. (= Epistemata Würzburg scientific writings series philosophy. Volume 104). Königshausen & Neumann, 1992, ISBN 3-88479-656-9 .
  • Willem van Reijen : Martin Heidegger. Fink, Munich 2009, ISBN 978-3-7705-4715-9 .
  • Helmuth Vetter : Heidegger floor plan. A handbook on life and work. Meiner, Hamburg 2013, ISBN 978-3-7873-2276-3 .
  • Silvio Vietta : 'Something is racing around the globe ...' Martin Heidegger: Ambivalent existence and criticism of globalization . Munich 2015.
  • Julian Young: Heidegger's Later Philosophy. Cambridge University Press 2001.

Literature on the person and on specific aspects of work and reception


  • Heidegger Studies / Heidegger Studies / Etudes Heideggeriennes (HeiSt). Duncker & Humblot, Berlin (published annually, volume 26 was published in 2010).
  • Alfred Denker, Holger Zaborowski (Ed.): Heidegger Yearbook. Alber, Freiburg im Breisgau 2004 ff.,

Literary reception

  • Catherine Clement: Martin and Hannah . Novella. Prometheus Books, 2001, ISBN 1-57392-906-9 .

Audio documents

  • Build, live, think. Darmstadt talks of the German Werkbund 1951. In: Eduard Führ: Building and Living. Waxmann, Münster 2000, ISBN 3-89325-819-1 (with audio CD of the lecture).
  • From the matter of thinking. Lectures, speeches and an interview. The Hörverlag (5 CDs).
  • The set of identity. Velcro-Cotta (1 CD).
  • Martin Heidegger reads Hölderlin. Velcro-Cotta (1 CD).
  • Hölderlin's earth and heaven. Velcro Cotta (2 CDs).
  • Heidegger. Introduction by Otto Pöggeler, read by Frank Arnold. Argon, 2007 (1 CD).
  • Understand Heidegger. Lectures and A. von Hans-Georg Gadamer , Karl Löwith and Rüdiger Safranski , Terzio 2009 (5 CDs and 1 DVD).



Heidegger donated a large part of his estate to the Marbach Literature Archive during his lifetime.

In the years 1931–1975 Heidegger kept diary entries, “Thinking Diaries” with the intention of posthumous publication: Since March 2014 they have been published as “ Black Hefts ” in several volumes. In particular, the anti-Semitic statements contained therein revitalized the scientific debate and research on Heidegger's position on fascism , National Socialism and anti-Semitism ( see also Heidegger and National Socialism ; Heidegger's reception ).

In 2014, the grandson Arnulf Heidegger took over the administration of the estate from his father Hermann.

Web links

Commons : Martin Heidegger  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Work, person and research

Audio documents

The following recordings are part of the Speech of the Month series of the Freiburg University Library and the Catholic Academy of the Archdiocese of Freiburg:

Further audio documents:

Individual evidence

  1. Photo of the parents
  2. Jeffrey Andrew Barash : Heidegger and historicism: sense of history and historicity of sense. Königshausen & Neumann, Würzburg 1999, ISBN 3-8260-1575-4 , p. 80.
  3. ^ Hugo Ott, Martin Heidegger - On the way to a biography. Frankfurt / New York 1988, p. 68.
  4. See on the way to language. Complete edition (GA) Volume 12, p. 91.
  5. a b Frank correspondence. In: 15th November 2014.
  6. Photography with Elfride Heidegger: When Heidegger met Lacan
  7. ^ Mario Fischer: Religious experience in the phenomenology of the early Heidegger. Göttingen 2013, p. 62f.
  8. "The biological father is Dr. med. Friedel Caesar. “In his epilogue to My dear little soul! Letters from Martin Heidegger to his wife Elfride 1915–1970 (ed., Selected and commented by Gertrud Heidegger, Munich 2005, p. 382) writes Hermann Heidegger: "My mother immediately told her husband about this in the autumn of 1919."
  9. ^ Martin Heidegger # Personal and Family Life
  10. Silvio Vietta: Heidegger and the women. Literary role play and philosophy of love . In: Silvio Vietta (Ed.): 'Something is racing around the globe ...' Martin Heidegger: Ambivalent existence and criticism of globalization . Munich 2015, p. 45 ff .
  11. ^ Hannah Arendt, Martin Heidegger: Letters 1925–1975 and other testimonials. Frankfurt am Main 2002, letter dated February 21, 1925.
  12. Alois Prinz: Profession philosopher or love for the world. The life story of Hannah Arendt. Beltz & Gelberg, Weinheim and Basel 2012, chap. IV and V.
  13. Bettina Schulte: The way from theology to thinking. In: Badische Zeitung . 21st September 2013.
  14. Martin Heidegger, Günther Neumann (Hrsg.): Phenomenological interpretation of Aristotle. Stuttgart 2002, p. 28; also in Complete Edition 62, Appendix III.
  15. Michael Inwood: Heidegger. Freiburg 1999, p. 9.
  16. Michael Inwood: Heidegger. Freiburg 1999, p. 10.
  17. See the lecture Creative Landscape: Why do we stay in the province? in From the experience of thinking (GA 13).
  18. ^ Gerhard Oberschlick: Editorial note in: Günther Anders: The cherry battle. Dialogues with Hannah Arendt . Edited by Gerhard Oberschlick, Munich (Beck) 2011, p. 69; and Christian Dries: Günther Anders and Hannah Arendt - a relationship sketch . Ibid p. 73; and the same thing: the world as an extermination camp. A critical theory of modernity following Günther Anders, Hannah Arendt and Hans Jonas. Bielefeld (transcript) 2012, p. 11.
  19. Hannah Arendt: Martin Heidegger is eighty years old. In: Günther Neske, Emil Kettering (Ed.): Answer - Martin Heidegger in conversation. Tübingen 1988, pp. 232-234.
  20. Thomas Thiel: The realization of being in the state. In: Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung of August 4, 2010, page: Humanities.
  21. a b Silvio Vietta: Heidegger's criticism of National Socialism and of technology . S. 69 ff .
  22. See Eduard Baumgarten # Time of National Socialism . The full text of the opinion on Google Books ; Hugo Ott, Martin Heidegger. On the way to his biography , Frankfurt / M., 1992, pp. 201–213.
  23. ^ Ernst Klee : The dictionary of persons on the Third Reich. Who was what before and after 1945? Fischer, Frankfurt 2005, p. 237; Call for election for Hitler, November 1933, pp. 13-14.
  24. Quoted from Hans Dieter Zimmermann: Martin and Fritz Heidegger. Munich 2005, p. 65.
  25. Spiegel interview in speeches and testimonials. GA 16, pp. 665-666.
  26. See Victor Farias, Heidegger and National Socialism, Frankfurt / M., 1989, p. 277
  27. "Entrenchment work" is an outdated military expression for carrying out heavy earthworks with spades.
  28. "Il est interdit à M. Heidegger d'enseigner et de participer à toute activité de l'université."
  29. ^ Reinhard Grohnert: The denazification in Baden 1945-1949. Kohlhammer, Stuttgart 1991, p. 138 ff.
  30. ^ Medard Boss (Ed.): Martin Heidegger, Zollikoner Seminare. 3. Edition. Frankfurt am Main 2006.
  31. Published in GA 15.
  32. Manfred Geier: Martin Heidegger. Rowohlt Taschenbuch Verlag, 2005, ISBN 3-499-50665-3 .
  33. Once upon a time. In: Südkurier . May 27, 2010.
  34. ^ Members of the HAdW since it was founded in 1909. Martin Heidegger. Heidelberg Academy of Sciences, accessed July 2, 2016 .
  35. See Hartmut Buchner (ed.): Japan and Heidegger. Thorbecke publishing house, Sigmaringen 1989.
  36. Rudolf Augstein , Georg Wolff: SPIEGEL conversation with Martin Heidegger “The Philosopher and the Third Reich” . In: Der Spiegel . No. 23 , 1976, p. 193 ff . ( online - published as agreed only after Heidegger's death). Actual article in July 2012 not accessible due to server error; only house communication.
  37. ^ Paul Celan: Todtnauberg. In: Paul Celan: The Poems. Annotated complete edition in one volume. Edited and commented by Barbara Wiedemann. Suhrkamp, ​​Frankfurt am Main 2005, p. 282. Commentary on this, ibid., P. 806 f. For the meeting cf. about Wolfgang Emmerich : Paul Celan. Rowohlt, Reinbek bei Hamburg 1999, pp. 140-145.
  38. ^ Gregor Moser: The new grave of the Meßkirchen honorary citizen in the cemetery is solemnly consecrated. Bernhard Welte finds his final resting place. In: Südkurier. November 28, 2008.
  39. ↑ Based on a report by Hannah Arendt in: Hannah Arendt, Martin Heidegger, Ursula Ludz: Briefe 1925 to 1975 and other testimonials. Frankfurt am Main 2002, p. 184.
  40. Hannah Arendt, 1969 on Heidegger's 80th birthday. Hannah Arendt: Martin Heidegger is eighty years old. In: Günther Neske, Emil Kettering (Ed.): Answer - Martin Heidegger in conversation. Tübingen 1988.
  41. ^ Contributions to philosophy (From the event). GA 65, p. 86.
  42. Phenomenology of Intuition and Expression (Theory of Philosophical Concept Formation). GA 59, p. 170. emphasis added.
  43. ^ Lectures and essays , GA 7, p. 36.
  44. Relapse into the frame . In: Der Spiegel . No. 14 , 1950, pp. 35 ( online ).
  45. Cf. Theodor W. Adorno: Jargon of the authenticity. In: Collected Writings. Vol. 6, Frankfurt am Main 2003.
  46. ^ Cf. Dolf Sternberger: Schriften. Volume VIII Walk Between Masters. Frankfurt am Main 1987.
  47. GA 29/30, p. 433.
  48. GA 29/30, p. 430. See also Theodore Kisiel: Die formal display. The methodical secret weapon of the early Heidegger. In: Markus Happel (Ed.): Heidegger - reread. Wuerzburg 1997.
  49. So the title of Otto Pöggeler's introduction to Heidegger: Martin Heidegger's path of thought. Stuttgart 1994.
  50. Early Writings. GA 1, p. 437.
  51. Helmuth Vetter : Heidegger's approach to Nietzsche until 1930. ( Memento from February 6, 2013 in the Internet Archive ) (PDF; 149 kB) accessed on July 29, 2011.
  52. Otto Pöggeler: Martin Heidegger's path of thought. Stuttgart 1994, p. 27 ff.
  53. ^ That is the title Heidegger gives to the approach in the Natorp report . Cf. Martin Heidegger, Günther Neumann (Hrsg.): Phenomenological interpretation of Aristotle. Reclam, Stuttgart 2002, p. 29.
  54. 1 Thess 5.2  EU .
  55. Otto Pöggeler: Martin Heidegger's path of thought. Stuttgart 1994, p. 36 ff.
  56. Edmund Husserl, Karl Schuhmann (Ed.): Correspondence. Dordrecht / Boston / London 1993, III, p. 234.
  57. GA 56/57, p. 117.
  58. Plato (approx. 360 BC): Sophistes. 244a.
  59. Being and time. GA 2, p. 1.
  60. Cf. Otto Pöggeler: Martin Heidegger's path of thought. Stuttgart 1994, p. 48.
  61. Basic problems of phenomenology. GA 24, p. 21.
  62. Basic problems of phenomenology. GA 24, p. 22.
  63. Cf. Otto Pöggeler: Martin Heidegger's path of thought. Stuttgart 1994, p. 47.
  64. The term itself is not yet used in Being and Time , but Heidegger describes the thought processes associated with it.
  65. See Byung Chul-Han: Martin Heidegger. § 1 Being and being. Munich 1999.
  66. Being and time. GA 2, p. 38.
  67. See Byung Chul-Han: Martin Heidegger. Munich 1999, p. 12.
  68. Cf. Otto Pöggeler: Martin Heidegger's path of thought. Stuttgart 1994, p. 24.
  69. Cf. Otto Pöggeler: Martin Heidegger's path of thought. Stuttgart 1994, p. 49.
  70. These examples from Hubert Dreyfus in one of his lectures on Being and Time ( Memento from January 6, 2010 in the Internet Archive ).
  71. Cf. Otto Pöggeler: Martin Heidegger's path of thought. Stuttgart 1994, p. 54.
  72. cf. Dieter Thomä, The Time of the Self and the Time After: On the Critique of Martin Heidegger's Text History 1910–1976 ; Pp. 581-598; Thomas Sheehan, L'affaire Faye: Faut-il brûler Heidegger? A Reply to Fritsche, Pégny, and Rastier , Philosophy Today, Vol. 60, 2, 2016, passim ; Kaveh Nassirin , Heidegger's linguistic images of bottomlessness and uprooting and their antonyms 1922–1938 / 39: On stylistics, interpretation and translation , 2018, FORVM u. pdf
  73. Being and time. GA 2, p. 151.
  74. Being and time. GA 2, p. 183.
  75. See Being and Time. GA 2, p. 351 ff.
  76. Cf. Rainer Thurnher: Martin Heidegger. In: Heinrich Schmidinger, Wolfgang Röd, Rainer Thurnher: History of Philosophy. Volume XIII, Munich 2002, p. 236 f.
  77. Likewise: Thomas Rentsch: Being and Time. Fundamental ontology as a hermeneutics of finitude. In: Dieter Thomä: Heidegger manual. Stuttgart 2003, p. 77 f.
  78. ^ Letter on Humanism. GA 9, p. 327 f.
  79. Unpublished typescript The Way. The walk through SZ. 1945. Quoted from Theodore Kiesel: The failure of being and time. In: Thomas Rentsch (Ed.): Being and time. Berlin 2001, p. 276.
  80. Immanuel Kant, Critique of Pure Reason , A XVI f.
  81. Phenomenological interpretation of Kant's Critique of Pure Reason , GA 25, 331 Kant and the Problem of Metaphysics , GA 3, 166
  82. Immanuel Kant, Critique of Pure Reason , A 98
  83. ^ Kant and the problem of metaphysics , GA 3, 167
  84. Phenomenological interpretation of Kant's Critique of Pure Reason , GA 25, 335
  85. Phenomenological interpretation of Kant's Critique of Pure Reason , GA 25, 417
  86. Phenomenological interpretation of Kant's Critique of Pure Reason , GA 25, 150
  87. Phenomenological interpretation of Kant's Critique of Pure Reason , GA 25, 395
  88. Phenomenological interpretation of Kant's Critique of Pure Reason , GA 25, 395
  89. Phenomenological interpretation of Kant's Critique of Pure Reason , GA 25, 396
  90. Phenomenological interpretation of Kant's Critique of Pure Reason , GA 25, 398
  91. Phenomenological interpretation of Kant's Critique of Pure Reason , GA 25, 418
  92. cf. Andres Hildebrandt, The human being as a quality of freedom: Martin Heidegger's examination of the practical philosophy of Kant and Schelling , Freiburg i. B., 2013, p. 69: "As Stolzenberg correctly emphasizes, Heidegger's reading hits Fichte's philosophy more than that of Kant."
  93. Phenomenological interpretation of Kant's Critique of Pure Reason , GA 25, 431
  94. Being and Time , § 6, p. 23 f.
  95. ^ Kant and the problem of metaphysics , GA 3, 218 f.
  96. ^ Kant and the problem of metaphysics , GA 3, XVI
  97. Jean Grondin, The German Idealism and Heidegger's Sharpening the Problem of Metaphysics According to Being and Time , in: H. Seubert (Ed.), Heidegger's Dialogue with German Idealism , Cologne 2003, p. 49.
  98. F.-W- v. Herrmann, GA 3, 315
  99. Davos Lectures ad 2, GA 3, 272
  100. Davos Disputation , GA 3, 280
  101. ^ Kant and the problem of metaphysics , GA 3, p. 226
  102. ^ Kant and the problem of metaphysics , GA 3, 228 f.
  103. ^ Kant and the problem of metaphysics , GA 3, 32, note.
  104. ^ Kant and the problem of metaphysics , GA 3, XIV
  105. Davos Disputation , GA 3, 298
  106. Davos Disputation , GA 3, 280
  107. ↑ The essence of human freedom , GA 31, 135
  108. Davos Disputation , GA 3, 281 f.
  109. Davos Disputation , GA 3, 276
  110. Davos Disputation , GA 3, 278
  111. Davos Disputation , GA 3, 279
  112. Davos Disputation , GA 3, 291
  113. Markus Höfner, Sinn Symbol, Religion: Theory of the Sign and Phenomenology of Religion with Ernst Cassirer and Martin Heidegger , Tübingen, 2008, 187
  114. ^ Kant and the problem of metaphysics , GA 3, 245 f.
  115. ^ Silvio Vietta: Heidegger's Ecological Criticism . In: Gabriele Dürbeck et al. (Ed.): Ecological Thought in German Literature and Culture . Boulder 2017, p. 79 ff .
  116. Being and time. GA 2, p. 221.
  117. Cf. On the essence of truth. GA 9, p. 188.
  118. Cf. Otto Pöggeler: Martin Heidegger's path of thought. Stuttgart 1994, p. 98.
  119. Cf. On the essence of truth. GA 9, p. 198.
  120. ^ Seminar in Le Thor 1969. GA 15, p. 345.
  121. ↑ On the other hand, Heidegger identifies a biologically conceived perspectivism in Nietzsche's interpretation of cognition as a function of life. See Nietzsche I. S. 532 ff.
  122. Cf. Otto Pöggeler: Martin Heidegger's path of thought. Stuttgart 1994, p. 97 f.
  123. Cf. Dieter Thomä: Keyword: Kehre. In: Dieter Thomä (Ed.): Heidegger Handbook. Stuttgart 2003, p. 139.
  124. Cf. Otto Pöggeler: Martin Heidegger's path of thought. Stuttgart 1994, p. 94 f.
  125. reflection. GA 66, p. 322.
  126. a b See lectures and essays. GA 7, p. 72.
  127. See Oliver Jahrhaus: Martin Heidegger. An introduction. Stuttgart 2004, p. 169.
  128. Waymarks. GA 9, p. 410.
  129. See waymarks. GA 9, p. 369.
  130. ^ Contributions to philosophy. From the event. GA 65, p. 74 ff.
  131. See the editor's epilogue: Contributions to Philosophy (From the Event). GA 65, p. 511.
  132. See the explanations for the complete edition: Early writings. GA 1, p. 437 f.
  133. Cf. Rainer Thurnher: Martin Heidegger. In: Heinrich Schmidinger, Wolfgang Röd, Rainer Thurnher: History of Philosophy. Volume XIII, Munich 2002, p. 248.
  134. See Byung Chul-Han: Martin Heidegger. Munich, 1999, p. 131.
  135. ^ Rainer Thurnher: Martin Heidegger. In: Heinrich Schmidinger, Wolfgang Röd, Rainer Thurnher: History of Philosophy. Volume XIII, Munich 2002, p. 250.
  136. a b lectures and essays. GA 7, p. 18.
  137. Cf. Otto Pöggeler: Martin Heidegger's path of thought. Stuttgart 1994, p. 197.
  138. Cf. On the essence of truth. GA 9, p. 189 ff.
  139. Cf. Plato's doctrine of truth. GA 9, p. 203 ff.
  140. ^ Rainer Thurnher: Martin Heidegger. In: Heinrich Schmidinger, Wolfgang Röd, Rainer Thurnher: History of Philosophy. Volume XIII, Munich 2002, p. 252.
  141. ^ Rainer Thurnher: Martin Heidegger. In: Heinrich Schmidinger, Wolfgang Röd, Rainer Thurnher: History of Philosophy. Volume XIII, Munich 2002, p. 255.
  142. ^ Rainer Thurnher: Martin Heidegger. In: Heinrich Schmidinger, Wolfgang Röd, Rainer Thurnher: History of Philosophy. Volume XIII, Munich 2002, p. 259.
  143. See Heidegger's analysis of Nietzsche in the two volumes of the complete edition 6.1 and 6.2. An introductory summary of Heidegger's Nietzsche interpretation is also his text Nietzsche's word «God is dead» in: Holzwege. GA 5.
  144. Otto Pöggeler gives individual interpretations of Heidegger's thoughts on Nietzsche: Martin Heidegger's path of thought. Stuttgart 1994, p. 110 ff.
  145. a b Holzwege. GA 5, p. 87.
  146. Wooden paths. GA 5, p. 372.
  147. Lectures and essays. GA 7, p. 23.
  148. On the way to language . GA 12, p. 12 .
  149. The question of technology. GA 7, p. 16, 1953.
  150. GA 7, p. 15.
  151. See Hölderlin's hymn "Der Ister". GA  53, p. 54.
  152. GA 7, p. 87 f.
  153. GA 7, p. 24.
  154. ZDF conversation of September 25, 1969. In: GA 16, p. 706.
  155. See lectures and essays. GA 7, p. 71.
  156. GA 7, p. 25.
  157. Spiegel interview in speeches and testimonials. GA 16, p. 679.
  158. Lectures and essays. GA 7, p. 36.
  159. Wooden paths. GA 5, p. 49.
  160. Holderlin's hymn "Der Ister". GA 53, p. 21.
  161. ^ Contributions to philosophy. (From the event). GA 65, p. 530 f.
  162. Wooden paths. GA 5, p. 59.
  163. ^ Richard Rorty: Heidegger, Kundera, Dickens. In: Ders .: A culture without a center. Stuttgart 1993, p. 80 ff.
  164. Waymarks. GA 9, p. 409.
  165. Cf. Rüdiger Safranski : A master from Germany. Frankfurt am Main 1999, p. 321 f.
  166. See Holzwege. GA 5, p. 269 f.
  167. The principle of reason. GA 10, p. 118.
  168. See Byung Chul-Han: Martin Heidegger. Munich 1999, p. 126 ff.
  169. Explanations. GA 4, p. 47 f.
  170. Cf. Otto Pöggeler: Martin Heidegger's path of thought. Stuttgart 1994, p. 217 f.
  171. ^ Posts. GA 65, p. 463.
  172. Explanations. GA 4, p. 41.
  173. See Pöggeler: Martin Heidegger's path of thought. Stuttgart 1994, p. 143 f.
  174. ^ Contributions to philosophy. GA 65, p. 422.
  175. Explanations. GA 4, p. 182.
  176. Explanations. GA 4, p. 195.
  177. See Holzwege. GA 5, p. 266.
  178. Basic question of philosophy. GA 45, p. 189.
  179. ^ Letter on Humanism. GA 9, p. 322.
  180. a b Letter on Humanism. GA 9, p. 342.
  181. Cf. Otto Pöggeler: Martin Heidegger's path of thought. Stuttgart 1994, p. 173.
  182. ^ Letter on Humanism. GA 9, p. 341.
  183. On the way to language. GA 12, p. 10.
  184. The principle of identity. Lecture given in 1957.
  185. The dirt road. GA 13.
  186. Heideggers Bank not only attracts tourists. In: Südkurier . December 22, 2010.
  187. Being and time. GA 2, p. 222.
  188. What does thinking mean? GA 8, p. 117.
  189. ^ Byung Chul-Han: Martin Heidegger, Munich 1999, p. 117.
  190. Serenity. Pfullingen 1959, p. 23.
  191. Cf. Rainer Thurnher: Martin Heidegger. In: Heinrich Schmidinger, Wolfgang Röd, Rainer Thurnher: History of Philosophy. Volume XIII, Munich 2002, p. 272.
  192. Lectures and essays. GA 7, p. 152.
  193. Lectures and essays. GA 7, p. 155.
  194. Lectures and essays. GA 7, p. 127.
  195. Lectures and essays. GA 7, p. 173 ff.
  196. Lectures and essays. GA 7, p. 182.
  197. Lectures and essays. GA 7, p. 151.
  198. For example in: The Age of the World View. 1938, GA 5.
  199. From the experiences of thinking. Stuttgart 1945, p. 6.
  200. See: Articles.
  201. See Byung-Chul Han: Heidegger's Heart. Martin Heidegger's concept of mood. Munich 1996, chap. Heart pounding for the whole thing. P. 175 ff.
  202. Waymarks. GA 9, p. 75.
  203. The principle of reason. GA 10, p. 143.
  204. On the way to language. GA 12, p. 199.
  205. Wooden paths. GA 5, p. 310.
  206. ^ Contributions to philosophy (From the event). GA 65, p. 13.
  207. Holderlin's hymns "Germanien" and "Der Rhein". GA 39, p. 127.
  208. Hölderlin: In lovely blue….
  209. See the reports in: Jean Beaufret (Ed.): Remembering Martin Heidegger. Stuttgart 1977.
  210. ^ Karl Löwith: My life in Germany before and after 1933. A report. Hamburg 2007, p. 44 f.
  211. Pierre Bourdieu: The political ontology of Martin Heidegger. (Franz. 1988) Frankfurt am Main 2005.
  212. Cf. Carl Friedrich Kreß: Heidegger's environmental ethos. Philosophy as the ontology of contingency and nature as nothing and a possible contribution of thinking in Japan. Zurich 2013 (PDF)
  213. ^ Eberhard Martin Pausch: Truth between disclosure and responsibility: The reception and transformation of Martin Heidegger's conception of truth in Rudolf Bultmann's theology , Berlin / New York 1995.
  214. Ulfried Schaefer (ed.): Martin Heidegger and Walter Schloß. Your correspondence between 1950 and 1976 to the Berlin Heidegger Circle. A little biographical documentation. 1st edition. Gabriele Schäfer Verlag, Herne 2017, ISBN 978-3-944487-26-7 , p. 116 .
  215. Rudolf Carnap: Sham Problems in Philosophy and Other Metaphysics-Critical Writings. Hamburg 2004 (edited by Thomas Mormann), p. 94 f.
  216. Cf. the study of the history of philosophy by Michael Friedman: Carnap. Cassirer. Heidegger. Shared ways. Frankfurt am Main 2004.
  217. Jargon of authenticity. To the German ideology. (PDF; 499 kB).
  218. ^ Theodor W. Adorno: Negative Dialektik. Frankfurt am Main 1970, first edition 1966, p. 133.
  219. Hans Albert: Critique of the pure hermeneutics. The anti-realism and the problem of understanding. Tubingen 1994.
  220. Hans Albert: Critique of the pure hermeneutics. The anti-realism and the problem of understanding. Tübingen 1994, p. 11.
  221. Alexander Schwan, Political Philosophy in Heidegger's Thought , Opladen 1965, 1989.
  222. Silvio Vietta: 'Something is racing around the globe ...': Heidegger . S. 135 ff .
  223. Silvio Vietta: 'Something is racing around the globe ...': Heidegger . S. 148 ff .
  224. So the main thesis of the study by Günter Figal: Martin Heidegger. Phenomenology of freedom. Athenäum Verlag, Frankfurt am Main 1988, pp. 190-269.
  225. Arendt later forbade the reprint of the text.
  226. Steresis - a doctrine of missing and saying no.
  227. Andreas Graeser : Philosophy in Being and Time. Critical considerations on Heidegger. Academia, Sankt Augustin 1994.
  228. Ernst Tugendhat: The concept of truth in Husserl and Heidegger. Berlin 1967.
  229. Ernst Tugendhat: Heidegger's Idea of ​​Truth. In: Gunnar Skirbekk (Ed.): Truth theories. Suhrkamp Verlag, Frankfurt am Main 2006, p. 445.
  230. ^ Byung Chul-Han: Martin Heidegger. Munich 1999, p. 133.
  231. See e.g. B. Byung Chul-Han: Martin Heidegger. Munich 1999, p. 175 ff.
  232. Lectures and essays. P. 166 f.
  233. See for example GA 53 (p. 1 f), there the distinction between "Notes" and "Interpretations".
  234. Cf. Otto Pöggeler: Martin Heidegger's path of thought. Stuttgart 1994, p. 203.
  235. Cf. Arata Takeda : Dialogue or self-talk? Problems of intercultural understanding in Martin Heideggers. From a conversation about language (1953/1954). In: Yearbook of German as a Foreign Language. Vol. 36, 2010, p. 231.
  236. , October 25, 2016, Bettina Schulte: Follower of Seyns (October 25, 2016)
  238. , October 25, 2016, Bettina Schulte: Follower of Seyns (October 25, 2016)
predecessor Office successor
Wilhelm von Möllendorff Rector of the University of Freiburg
Eduard Kern
This article was added to the list of excellent articles on April 11, 2009 in this version .