Martin Heidegger


1. 1879-1976; Germany; professor and eventual Dean of Marburg University; sympathized with National Socialism, joined the Nazi Party in 1933, and was eventually forbidden to teach from 1946-49 under denazification committee

2. Being and Time 1927 "What is Metaphysics" 1929; "Hölderlin and the Essence of Poetry" 1936; "The Origin of the Work of Art" 1950

A. "Being" is the key concern of philosophy

1. History of Philosophy has eclipsed Being with its jargon; it's been eclipsed; must bring it back by asking the right questions to uncover it; what it is discovered by how we ask for it

2. Being is not an entity or object; cannot ask about a transcendent Being because we have to know something of it even to ask about it

a. but it is also not fictional

b. not just subjective

3. Being is the reality which ask of itself to disclose itself, which is experienced in Dasein, in "being there"

a. Dasein is ontic, a real experience which opens up ontology

b. its distinctive mark--openness to itself

c. by being open to the world, it "ek-sists" out of what is nothing, which means

Dasein is known only in anxiety of the threat of nothingness to life

4. Philosophy is a form of "alert existence," which begins when we have the courage to let nothingness encounter us; the opposite of giving comfort and assurance

B. The categories for understanding Dasein come from Dasein itself--its existentials

1. "Being-in-the-world"--how one dwells in the world rather than just locate in it

2. "Ready-to-hand"--the function or telos of things

3. "For-the-sake-of-which"--the world which is presupposed because there are "ready-to-hands"

4. "Being-with"--communal life

C. The Modes of Disclosure of Dasein

1. Attunement--we are thrown into the world which stands against us; we are both at home and alien to the world; must be attuned to this state

2. Understanding--a competence with respect to the potentialities of our being; everything even ourselves have to be interpreted; all specific acts of understanding of the world presupposes an understanding of the world; philosophy tries to articulate this pre-understanding

3. Discourse--Dasein is openness which exists in an articulated world

D. The Falling Away from Dasein

1. Idle talk--obstructs and eclipses Dasein which is known only through disclosure

2. Curiosity--in the sense of voyeurism

3. Ambiguity--in the sense of not willing to affirm Dasein

a. inauthentic existence--self-concealment to the contingency and transiency of life

4. Care--makes Dasein possible by being concerned about others; without it, no Being

5. Truth--a not-forgetting of Being which unconceals Being and give total freedom

E. Authentic Existence

1. Conscience, guilt, and resoluteness help give occasion for Dasein to break through one's life and for one to give it to others

2. Total self-transparency

3. Ethics--the great moments of Dasein; its intensification

a. the categorical imperative--don't make anyone including yourself into equipment,

a service of technology

b. intensity; radical individualism

4. Art--opennness to the world which makes everything different from the usual and boring

a. makes visiblethe impenetrable of the "earth", our elusive home whose essence is

self-closing; our world is the destiny of people which occurs in the earth;

the world and earth struggle against each other

b. technology is inhuman because it tries to conquer the earth, whereas art discloses


c. art is like an allegory, a bringing together, in this sense is a form of truth, the

unconcealment of Being;

d. hence the origin of art is truth, a shinning of the earth

e. Beauty--truth occuring as unconcealment; the happening of truth

f. all art is essentially poetic and poetry is the privileged art form because language

brings what is as something that is into the Open for the first time