Martin Heidegger


Existential Phenomenology


Being & Time: Table of Contents
BT Terminology: R. Munday
BT Terminology: W. Blattner
Heidegger on Technology: Critical Terms
"Letter on Humanism" - Commentary
Heidegger and hermeneutics
Heidegger and history
Notes on Heidegger's Nietzche Lectures
Heidegger's Greek
Heidegger (German)
Heidegger and History
Iain Thomson, “Ontotheology? Understanding Heidegger?s Destruktion of Metaphysics”
Basic Problems of Phenomenology and Hermeneutics
"Reading and Writing After Heidegger: Glimpses of Being is Dasein's Development" (PDF)
Deconstruction in Heidegger and Derrida


“We still have scholars today who busy themselves with philosophy and who consider freedom-from-every-standpoint not to be a standpoint, as though such freedom did not depend upon those very standpoints. These curious attempts to flee from one’s own shadow we may leave to themselves, since discussion of them yields no tangible results. Yet we must heed one thing: this standpoint of freedom-from-standpoints is of the opinion that it has overcome the one-sidedness and bias of prior philosophy, which always was, and is, defined by its standpoints. However, the standpoint of standpointlessness represents no overcoming. In truth it is the extreme consequence, affirmation, and final stage of that opinion concerning philosophy which locates all philosophy extrinsically in standpoints that are ultimately right in front of us, standpoints whose one-sidedness we can try to bring into equilibrium. We do not alleviate the ostensible damage and danger which we fear in the fact that philosopohy is located in a particular place—such location being the essential and indispenable legacy of every philosopohy—by denying and repudiating the fact; we alleviate the danger only by thinking through and grasping the indigenous character of philosophy in terms of its original essence and its necessity, that is to say, by posing anew the question concerning the essence of truth and the essence of human Dasein, and by elaborating a radically new response to that question.” (The Eternal Recurrence of the Same, 118.)

Dasein is not an attribute or property of a human entity: “[I]t follows that Being-in is not a ‘property’ which Dasein sometimes has and sometimes does not have, and without which it could just be just as well as it could be with it. It is not the case that man ‘is’ and then has, by way of an extra, a relationship-of-Being towards the ‘world’—a world with which he provides himself occasionally.” (BT 84)

Dasein is a precondition for Being: “Of course only as long as Dasein is (that is, only as long as an understanding of Being is ontically possible), ‘is there’ Being. When Dasein does not exist, ‘independence’ ‘is’ not either, nor ‘is’ the ‘in-itself’. In such a case this sort of thing can be neither understood nor not understood. In such a case even entities within-the-world can neither be discovered not lie hidden. In such a case it cannot be said that entities are, not can it be said that they are not. But now, as long as there is an understanding of Being and therefore an understanding of presence-at-hand, it can indeed be said that in this case entities will still continue to be.” (BT 255)


Select Bibliography

  • Gesamtausgabe (Klostermann, 1975- .
  • Kant und das Problem der Metaphysik. 1929. Trans. Kant and the Problem of Metaphysics.
  • “Was ist Metaphysik?”, inaugural lecture to the Freiburg University faculties, July 24, 1929 (GA28); Trans. David F. Krell,“ What Is Metaphysics?” In Basic Writings. Ed. David F. Krell (New York, Harper & Row, 1977, 1993); also in Pathmarks; earlier translation in Existence and Being. by Werner Brock (Washington, D.C., Regnery Gateway Company, 1949).
    Kant und das Problem der Metaphysik. 1929 (GA3); Trans. Richard Taft, Kant and the Problem of Metaphysics (Bloomington, Indiana University Press, 1997).
  • Der Anfang der abendländischen Philosophie (Anaximander und Parmenides). 1932 (GA35).
  • Einführung in die Metaphysik. 1935 (GA40); Trans. James Manheim, An Introduction to Metaphysics (New Haven, Conn., Yale University Press, 1984).
  • Sein und Zeit 1927 (GA2), published in Jahrbuch für Philosophie und phänomenologische Forschung, Vol. 8, April; First translated in English by John Macquarrie and Edward Robinson, Being and Time (New York, Harper & Row, 1962) [=BT]; trans. Joan Stambaugh (Albany, State University of New York Press, 1996). Today it is considered by many to be the most important philosophical work of the 20th century.
  • Der Wille zur Macht als Kunst (1936-37).
  • Die ewige Wiederkehr des Gleichen (1937). Trans. The Eternal Recurrence of the Same and the Will to Power. Trans. by David Farrell Krell. San Francisco: HarperCollins Publishers, 1984.
  • Nietzsches Lehre vom Willen zur Macht als Erkenntnis 1939 (GA47); Trans. “The Will to Power as Knowledge” In Nietzsche III: The Will to Power as Knowledge and Metaphysics. Ed. David F. Krell, Trans by Joan Stambaugh (New York, Harper & Row, 1987).
  • Der europäische Nihilismus (1940); Trans. European Nihilism.
  • Nietzsches Metaphysik (1940); Trans. Nietzsche's Metaphysics.
  • Entwürfe zur Geschichte des Seins als Metaphysik (1941) Trans. Sketches for a History of Being as Metaphysics.
  • Die Erinnerung an die Metaphysik (1941); Trans. Recollections in Metaphysics.
  • Nietzsches Wort 'Gott ist tot’ (1943); Trans. The Word of Nietzsche: 'God Is Dead’ .
  • Die seinsgeschichtliche Bestimmung des Nihilismus (1944-46); Trans. Nihilism as Determined by the History of Being.
  • Die Frage nach der Technik (1949); Trans. The Question Concerning Technology.
  • Die Sprache (1950); Trans.Language.
  • Das Ding (1951); Trans. The Thing.
  • Logos (Heraklit, Fragment 50) (1951); Trans. Logos (Heraclitus, Fragment B 50).
  • Moira (Parmenides, Fragment 8) (1951-52); Trans. Moira (Parmenides VIII, 34-41).
  • Alétheia (Heraklit, Fragment 6) (1951); Trans. Aletheia (Heraclitus, Fragment B 16)
  • Was heisst Denken? (1952); Trans. What Is Called Thinking?
  • Wer ist Nietzsches Zarathustra (1953); Trans. Who Is Nietzsche's Zarathustra?
  • Die Sprache im Gedicht. Eine Erörterung von Georg Trakls Gedicht (1953); Trans.Language in the Poem
  • Aus einem Gesprach von der Sprache.
    Zwischen einem Japaner und einem Fragenden (1953-54); Trans. A Dialogue on Language
  • Das Wesen der Sprache (1957); Trans. The Nature of Language.
  • Das Wort (1958); Trans. Word.
  • Der Weg zur Sprache (1959); Trans. The Way to Language.
  • Zur Sache des Denkens (1962-64); Trans. On Time and Being.


The GA number following a title refers to that title's volume number in the collected works, the Gesamtausgabe. Some titles there are linked to references of their english translations.


1889 Born, Baden, September 26.

1906 Transfers to Bertholds gymnasium in Freiburg and boards at the archiepiscopal seminary of St. Georg.

1907 Receives a copy of Franz Brentano's "On the Manifold Meaning of Being according to Aristotle" (1862) .

1909 Receives baccalaureate, July 13. Entered novitate of the Society of Jesus at Tisis near Feldkirch in Austria, September 30. Leaves at end of two week candidature, October 13; possibly turned down for health reasons. Began studying for the priesthood at the Albert-Ludwig University in Freiburg, winter semester. Borrows Husserl's Logical Investigations from library. Begins reading Dilthey.

1910 Abandons theological seminary on advice of his superiors. Changes studies to mathematics and philosophy.

1913 Doctoral examination under Schneider with Heinrich Rickert (1863-1936) co-examining, July 26. Dissertation: Die Lehre vom Urteil im Psychologismus. Ein kritischpositiver Beitrag zur Logik; "The Doctrine of Judgement in Psychologism".

1914 Volunteers for Infantry Reserve Battalion 113. Serves August 2-10; released for health reasons. Then drafted in same battalion. Serves October 9-20; then again released for health reasons.

1915 Habilitation. Dissertation: "The Doctrine of Categories and Signification in Duns Scotus". Philosophical Faculty at Freiburg approves, and the Grand Duchy of Baden grants, July 31, a license to teach philosophy; he's a Privatdozent. Drafted again August 18. September trained in Berlin with Reserve Battalion 142. Again released for health reasons. Recuperates in hospital for a few weeks. October 16 sent back to Freiburg to work as a military censor at the post office. Assists Father Engelbert Krebs (1881-1950) lecturing theology students in philosophy. Course Die Grundlinien der antiken und scholastischen Philosophie, and Über Kant, Prolegomena seminar, winter semester. Attending the first course is Elfride Petri (1893-1992), a student of political economy. Works with Edith Stein editing Husserl's papers for publication.

1916 Meets Edmond Husserl (1859-1938) in the spring. Husserl sends postcard to Heidegger asking to see his Habilitationsschrift, May 27. Edith Stein becomes Husserl's personal assistant, October. It is not known if Heidegger actually taught the courses announced in 1915-1916.

1917 Married to Elfride Petri by Father Krebs, March 21. Talk on Friedrich Schleiermacher, August 2. Taught courses on Hegel summer semester, and Plato winter semester.

1918 Drafted again January 1. Private Heidegger of the territorial reserve reported to barracks, January 17. Discharged, November 16. Arrives home in December.

1919 Son Jörg born, January 1. Wrote to Engelbert Krebs, breaking with "the dogmatic system of Catholicism", January 9. Die Idee der Philosophie und das Weltanschauungsproblem (GA56/57), Kriegsnotsemester (War Emergency Semester), February 7 to April 11. April 8th meets Karl Jaspers (1883-1969) in Freiburg. Becomes Edmond Husserl's unsalaried lecturer and assistant at Freiburg.

1922 Became associate at the University of Marburg. Meets Gadamer. Meets Rudolf Bultmann.

1926 Heidegger presents Sein und Zeit (GA2) manuscript to Husserl at his 67th birthday party in Todtnauberg, April 8. Heidegger lectures in Switzerland. Grundbegriffe der antiken Philosophie (GA22), summer semester. Vom Wesen der Wahrheit, lecture to Academic Union at Marburg,

1927 Sein und Zeit published in Jahrbuch für Philosophie und phänomenologische Forschung, vol. 8, April. Die Grundprobleme der Phänomenologie (GA24).

1928 Appointed professor of philosophy at Freiburg. Einleitung in die Philosophie (GA27).

1929 Speech to Edmund Husserl on his 70th birthday, Freiburg, April 8. Edith Stein visits Husserl and Heidegger, April. Vom Wesen des Grundes, contribution to Edmund Husserl Festschrift, which he edited. Kant und das Problem der Metaphysik (GA3) published. Was ist Metaphysik?, inaugural lecture to the Freiburg University faculties, July 24, in the University Auditorium. Der Deutsche Idealismus (Fichte, Hegel, Schelling) und die philosophische Problemlage der Gegenwart (GA28), summer semester. Die Grundbegriffe der Metaphysik Welt-Endlichkeit-Einsamkeit (GA29/G30), winter semester. Count Kuki Shuzo introduces Heidegger's work to Jean-Paul Sartre, his French tutor in Paris. Heidegger denounces Jewish influence on Germany in grant application, October 2.

1930 Tea at Husserl's home, June 22. Gives talk, Vom Wesen der Wahrheit, at Baden celebration, July 11-14. Vom Wesen der menschlichen Freiheit. Einleitung in die Philosophie (GA31), summer semester.

1933 At fiftieth anniversary of Husserl doctorate at Husserl's home, January 23. Ernst Krieck invites Heidegger to join the KADH (Kuturpolitische Arbeitsgemeinschaft Deutscher Hochschullehrer), March. Heidegger describes attending KADH meeting in Frankfurt in letter to Blochmann, March 30. Elected April 21, becomes rector of the University of Freiburg, April 22. Writes to Krieck, April 22. Edmund Husserl forced to retire for racial reasons, April. Writes to Husserl, April 29. Joins National Socialist Party, May 3. Sends telegram to Hitler asking him to postpone meeting with Association of German Universities, May 20. Writes to ministry of education supporting anti-semitism, July 12.

1937 Nietzsches metaphysische Grundstellung im abendländischen Denken: Die ewige Wiederkehr des Gleichen (GA44).

1938 Die Begründung des neuzeitlichen Weltbildes durch die Metaphysik, "The Establishing by Metaphysics of the Modern World Picture", lecture, June 9. Nietzsches II. Unzeitgemässe Betrachtung (GA46), winter semester. Zeit des Weltbildes written. Completes Beiträge zur Philosophie (Vom Ereignis) (GA65).

1939 Nietzsches Lehre vom Willen zur Macht als Erkenntnis (GA47), summer semester. Wie wenn am Feiertage written. Vom Wesen und Begriff der "Physis", Aristoteles Physik B 1 written. Seminar on Herder's On the Origin of Language, summer semester. Hölderlins Hymne 'Wie wenn am Feiertage', lecture repeated several times.

1940 Nietzsche: Der europäische Nihilismus (GA48), second trimester. Platons Lehre von der Wahrheit, lecture written.

1941 Schelling (GA49), first trimester. Grundbegriffe (GA51), summer semester. Hölderlins Hymne <<Andenken>> (GA52), winter semester.

1942 Hölderlins Hymne <<Der Ister>> (GA53), summer semester. Parmenides (GA54), winter semester. Vom Wesen der Wahrheiti.

1943 Heraklit (GA55). Vom Wesen der Wahrheit published. Nietzsches Wort 'Gott ist tot', lecture. Postscript added to new addition of Was ist Metaphysik?

1944 Logik. Heraklits Lehre vom Logos (GA55). In December flees to Messkirch following bombing of Freiburg, November 27. Freiburg philosophical faculty moves to Schloss (Castle) Wildenstein in upper Danube valley, 10 km. from Messkirch, December.

1945 Allies bomb Messkirch, February 22. French occupy valley, April 21. Lectures on Hölderlin in Hausen, June 24. Returns to Freiburg. Denazification hearings start July 23. Barred from teaching by French Military Government as preliminary step in investigations, October 5. Jaspers writes report on Heidegger's involvement with Nazis. Freiburg Faculty of Philosophy first debates Heidegger's case, December 1; presents Heidegger with 23 questions. Jaspers writes to de-Nazification committee criticizing Heidegger, December 22.

1946 Nervous breakdown. Taken by Beringer, dean of the medical school, to Gebsattel, Badenweiler, for three weeks. Then returns to Todnauberg. Meets Stefan Schimanski of the Manchester Guardian, June. Informed of French Military Government's decision to bar him from teaching, March 11. Heidegger applies for Emeritus status, declaring he will refrain from teaching. Senate grants Heidegger Emeritus status, without permission to teach, and orders him to keep a low profile. Regional government and denazification comissions rule that the university refuse Heidegger Emeritus status and pension him off. Ernesto Castelli visits Todtnauberg, June 9. Spruch des Anaximander written. Wozu Dichter, lecture given to commemorate 20th anniversary of Rilke's death (December 29, 1926). Works on translating Lao-Tzu into German. University strips Heidegger of professorship, December 28.

1947 Brief über den Humanismus published. Medard Boss writes to Heidegger for first time. Herbert Marcuse writes to Heidegger asking him to recant Nazi past, August 28. University stops paying Heidegger at end of year.

1949 Die Gefahr and Das Gestell lecture in Bremen, January 12. Gadamer edits Festschrift for Heidegger's sixtieth birthday. Wilhelm Szilasi, publishes another Festschrift, Martin Heidegger's influence on the sciences, Bern. French military government issues final report on Heidegger, July. Prohibition against teaching lifted, Spetember. University senate votes to make Heidegger emeritus professor. Introduction added to new addition of Was ist Metaphysik?, and postscript revised.

1950 Einblick in Das, Was Ist (GA79) lectures repeated in March at Bühlerhöhe. "Who is Zarathustra" and "The principle of sufficient reason", lectures to Bremen Club, March 25/26.

1951 Die Sprache, lecture at Stuttgart, February 14. Logos, lecture to Bremen Club, May 4. Was heisst Denken?, part I (GA8), winter semester.

1952 Was heisst Denken?, part II (GA8), summer semester. Reads the final lecture after semester ends, at a "Colloquium on Dialectic" in Muggenbrunn, September 15. Moira written. Jean-Paul Sartre visits Freiburg, December.

1953 Meets Walter Kaufmann.

1955 Visited Paris and Normandy with Jean Beaufret in August. Qu'est-ce que la Philosophie?, Was ist das-die Philosophie?, presented in Cérisy-la-Salle, August. Also visits Paris and Georges Braque in Varengeville.. Der Satz vom Grund, part I, winter semester. Wrote Über "Die Linie" (later published as Zur Seinsfrage) for Ernst Jünger Festschrift.

1957 Der Satz vom Grund (GA10), Hebel—der Hausfreund, and Identität und Differenz published. Die Onto-Theo-logische Verfassung der Metaphysik lecture in Todtnauberg, 24 February. Der Satz der Identität lecture during celebration of the 500th year of the founding of the University of Freiburg, June 27. Address at Heidelberg Academy. Das Wesen der Sprache, lecture at University of Freiburg, December 14 and 18.

1958 Das Wesen der Sprache, lecture at University of Freiburg, February 7. Visited France, in March. Lecture on "Hegel and the Greeks" in Aix-en-Provence, March 20. Dichten und Denken. Zu Stefan Georges Gedicht 'Das Wort', lecture in the Burgtheater of Vienna, May 11. Hegel und die Griechen lecture at the Heidelberg Academy of Sciences, July 26. Das Wort, lectures. Grundsätze des Denkens written.

1959 Unterwegs zur Sprache (GA12).

1976 Died in Freiburg, May 26. Buried in Messkirch,

May 28. Der Spiegel interview published, May 31.