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Martin Heidegger (/ˈhdɛɡər, ˈhdɪɡər/;[12][13] German: [ˈmaʁtiːn ˈhaɪdɛɡɐ];[14][12] 26 September 1889 – 26 May 1976) was a German philosopher, and a seminal thinker in the Continental tradition of philosophy. He is best known for contributions to phenomenology, hermeneutics, and existentialism.

In Being and Time (1927), Heidegger addresses the meaning of "being" by considering the question, "what is common to all entities that makes them entities?" Heidegger approaches this question through an analysis of Dasein, his term for the specific type of being that humans possess, and which he associates closely with his concept of "being-in-the-world" (In-der-Welt-sein).[15]:193 This conception of the human is in contrast with that of Rationalist thinkers like René Descartes, who had understood human existence most basically as thinking, as in Cogito ergo sum ("I think therefore I am").

Heidegger's later work includes criticism of the view, common in the Western tradition, that all of nature is a "standing reserve" on call, as if it were a part of industrial inventory.[16][17]

Heidegger was a member and supporter of the Nazi Party.[18][19] There is controversy as to the relationship between his philosophy and his Nazism.[20][21]

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

After the war, Heidegger was banned from university teaching for a period on account of his support of Nazism while serving as Rector of Freiburg University.[158] He developed a number of contacts in France, where his work continued to be taught, and a number of French students visited him at Todtnauberg (see, for example, Jean-François Lyotard's brief account in Heidegger and "the Jews", which discusses a Franco-German conference held in Freiburg in 1947, one step toward bringing together French and German students).[citation needed] Heidegger subsequently made several visits to France, and made efforts to keep abreast of developments in French philosophy by way of correspondence with Jean Beaufret, an early French translator of Heidegger, and with Lucien Braun.

Derrida and deconstruction

Deconstruction came to Heidegger's attention in 1967 by way of Lucien Braun's recommendation of Jacques Derrida's work (Hans-Georg Gadamer was present at an initial discussion and indicated to Heidegger that Derrida's work came to his attention by way of an assistant). Heidegger expressed interest in meeting Derrida personally after the latter sent him some of his work. There was discussion of a meeting in 1972, but this failed to take place.[159] Heidegger's interest in Derrida is said by Braun to have been considerable (as is evident in two letters, of September 29, 1967 and May 16, 1972, from Heidegger to Braun). Braun also brought to Heidegger's attention the work of Michel Foucault. Foucault's relation to Heidegger is a matter of considerable difficulty; Foucault acknowledged Heidegger as a philosopher whom he read but never wrote about. (For more on this see Penser à Strasbourg, Jacques Derrida, et al., which includes reproductions of both letters and an account by Braun, "À mi-chemin entre Heidegger et Derrida").

Derrida attempted to displace the understanding of Heidegger's work that had been prevalent in France from the period of the ban against Heidegger teaching in German universities, which amounted to an almost wholesale rejection of the influence of Jean-Paul Sartre and existentialist terms. In Der

Derrida attempted to displace the understanding of Heidegger's work that had been prevalent in France from the period of the ban against Heidegger teaching in German universities, which amounted to an almost wholesale rejection of the influence of Jean-Paul Sartre and existentialist terms. In Derrida's view, deconstruction is a tradition inherited via Heidegger (the French term "déconstruction" is a term coined to translate Heidegger's use of the words "Destruktion"—literally "destruction"—and "Abbau"—more literally "de-building"). According to Derrida, Sartre's interpretation of Dasein and other key Heideggerian concerns is overly psychologistic, anthropocentric, and misses the historicality central to Dasein in Being and Time.

Jacques Derrida, Philippe Lacoue-Labarthe, and Jean-François Lyotard, among others, all engaged in debate and disagreement about the relation between Heidegger's philosophy and his Nazi politics. These debates included the question of whether it was possible to do without Heidegger's philosophy, a position which Derrida in particular rejected. Forums where these debates took place include the proceedings of the first conference dedicated to Derrida's work, published as "Les Fins de l'homme à partir du travail de Jacques Derrida: colloque de Cerisy, 23 juillet-2 août 1980", Derrida's "Feu la cendre/cio' che resta del fuoco", and the studies on Paul Celan by Lacoue-Labarthe and Derrida which shortly preceded the detailed studies of Heidegger's politics published in and after 1987.

When in 1987 Víctor Farías published his book Heidegger et le nazisme, this debate was taken up by many others, some of whom were inclined to disparage so-called "deconstructionists" for their association with Heidegger's philosophy. Derrida and others not only continued to defe

When in 1987 Víctor Farías published his book Heidegger et le nazisme, this debate was taken up by many others, some of whom were inclined to disparage so-called "deconstructionists" for their association with Heidegger's philosophy. Derrida and others not only continued to defend the importance of reading Heidegger, but attacked Farías on the grounds of poor scholarship and for what they saw as the sensationalism of his approach. Not all scholars agreed with this negative assessment: Richard Rorty, for example, declared that "[Farías'] book includes more concrete information relevant to Heidegger's relations with the Nazis than anything else available, and it is an excellent antidote to the evasive apologetics that are still being published."[160]

More recently, Heidegger's thought has influenced the work of the French philosopher Bernard Stiegler. This is evident even from the title of Stiegler's multi-volume magnum opus, La technique et le temps (volume one translated into English as Technics and Time, 1: The Fault of Epimetheus).[161] Stiegler offers an original reading of Heidegger, arguing that there can be no access to "originary temporality" other than via material, that is, technical, supports, and that Heidegger recognised this in the form of his account of world historicality, yet in the end suppressed that fact. Stiegler understands the existential analytic of Being and Time as an account of psychic individuation, and his later "history of being" as an account of collective individuation. He understands many of the problems of Heidegger's philosophy and politics as the consequence of Heidegger's inability to integrate the two.

Giorgio Agamben

Heidegger has been very influential on the work of the Italian philosopher Giorgio Agamben. Agamben attended seminars in France led by Heidegger in the late 1960s.[162]

Criticism

[163]

In 1929 the Neo-Kantian Ernst Cassirer and Heidegger engaged in an influential debate, during the Second Davos Hochschulkurs in Davos, concerning the significance of Kantian notions of freedom and rationality (see Cassirer–Heidegger deba

In 1929 the Neo-Kantian Ernst Cassirer and Heidegger engaged in an influential debate, during the Second Davos Hochschulkurs in Davos, concerning the significance of Kantian notions of freedom and rationality (see Cassirer–Heidegger debate). Whereas Cassirer defended the role of rationality in Kant, Heidegger argued for the priority of the imagination.[164]

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

Hegel-influenced Marxist thinkers, especially György Lukács and the Frankfurt School, associated the style and content of Heidegger's thought with German irrationalism and criticised its political implications.[165]

Initially members of the Frankfurt School were positively disposed to Heidegger, becoming more critical at the beginning of the 1930s. Heidegger's student Herbert Marcuse became associated with the Frankfurt School. Initially striving for a synthesis between Hegelian Marxism and Heidegger's phenomenology, Marcuse later rejected Heidegger's thought for its "false concreteness" and "revolutionary conservatism."