Monday, August 27, 2007

Martin Heidegger (1889-1976)

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Martin Heidegger (1889 - 1976), German philosopher. Studied at University of Freiburg under Edmund Husserl. Professor at Freiburg in 1928. Heidegger was one of the central figures of the existentialist movement. His main work is Being and Time (orig. Sein und Zeit, 1927), a dense and challenging work where he uses ontology and phenomenology to explore the meaning of being. It remains one of the most discussed works in 21st century philosophy. Heidegger was controversial both in his work and his life. The latter mainly because of his connections to the Nazi party, and because he had an affair with the Jewish writer and journalist Hannah Arendt when she was a young student in 1924.

The affair ended when he joined the Nazi party in 1933. After the war, the friendship between the two resumed, despite Heidegger being held in widespread contempt for his political sympathies. More information on the subject of Heidegger's political history can be found in Victor Farias book, Heidegger and Nazism. See also: The Case of Martin Heidegger, Philosopher and Nazi. For more on this aspect of Heidegger's wartime collaborations with the NAZI Party see the biography on Edmund Husserl, a teacher of Heidegger. The account there describes how Heidegger removed the dedication of his greatest work Being and Time to Husserl after implimentation of the "racial cleansing laws" issued by the Nazi party, and carried out at the university by Martin Heidegger. [This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License and uses material adapted in whole or in part from the Wikipedia article on Martin Heidegger.]

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