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Phenomenology (from Greek:
phainómenon "that which appears"; and lógos
"study") is a philosophical movement. It was
founded in the early years of the twentieth century by Edmund Husserl, expanded together with a
circle of his followers at the universities of Göttingen and Munich in Germany,
spread across to France, the United
States, and elsewhere, often in contexts far removed from Husserl's
Phenomenology, in Husserl's conception,
is primarily concerned with
the systematic reflection on and analysis of the structures of consciousness,
the phenomena which appear in
acts of consciousness. Such reflection was to take place from a highly
modified "first person"
viewpoint, studying phenomena not as they appear to "my" consciousness,
but to any consciousness whatsoever. Husserl believed that
phenomenology could thus provide a firm basis for all human knowledge,
scientific knowledge, and could establish philosophy as a
Husserl's conception of phenomenology has
been criticised and
developed not only by himself, but also by his student Martin Heidegger, by existentialists, such
as Max Scheler, Nicolai Hartmann, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Jean-Paul Sartre, and by other
philosophers, such as Paul Ricoeur, Emmanuel Levinas, and Alfred Schütz.
The idea of
In its most basic form, phenomenology
attempts to create conditions
for the objective study of topics usually
regarded as subjective: consciousness and the
content of conscious experiences such as judgments, perceptions, and emotions.
Although phenomenology seeks to be scientific, it does not attempt to
study consciousness from the perspective of clinical psychology or
neurology. Instead, it seeks through systematic reflection to determine
the essential properties and structures of consciousness and conscious
Husserl derived many important concepts
central to phenomenology
from the works and lectures of his teachers, the philosophers and
psychologists Franz Brentano and Carl
An important element of phenomenology that Husserl borrowed from
Brentano was intentionality (often described as
"aboutness"), the notion that consciousness is always consciousness of
something. The object of consciousness is called the intentional
object, and this object is constituted for consciousness in many
different ways, through for instance perception,
retention and protention, signification,
etc. Throughout these different intentionalities, though they have
different structures and different ways of being "about" the object, an
object is still constituted as the same identical object; consciousness
is directed at the same intentional object in direct perception as it
is in the immediately following retention of this object and the
eventual remembering of it.
Though many of the phenomenological
methods involve various
reductions, phenomenology is essentially anti-reductionistic;
are mere tools to better understand and describe the
workings of consciousness, not to reduce any phenomenon to these
descriptions. In other words, when a reference is made to a thing's essence
or when one details the constitution of an identical coherent thing by
describing what one "really" sees as being only these sides and
aspects, these surfaces, it does not mean that the thing is only and
exclusively what is described here: The ultimate goal of these
reductions is to understand how these different aspects are
constituted into the actual thing as experienced by the person
experiencing it. Phenomenology is a direct reaction to the psychologism
and physicalism of Husserl's time.
Although previously employed by Hegel,
it was Husserl’s adoption of this term (circa 1900) that propelled it
into becoming the designation of a philosophical school. As a
philosophical perspective, phenomenology is its method, though the
specific meaning of the term varies according to how it is conceived by
a given philosopher. As envisioned by Husserl, phenomenology is a
method of philosophical inquiry that rejects the rationalist bias that
has dominated Western thought since Plato in favor of a method of
reflective attentiveness that discloses the individual’s “lived
experience.” Loosely rooted in an epistemological device, with Sceptic
roots, called epoché, Husserl’s method entails the suspension of
judgment while relying on the intuitive grasp of knowledge, free of
presuppositions and intellectualizing. Sometimes depicted as the
“science of experience,” the phenomenological method is rooted in
intentionality, Husserl’s theory of consciousness (developed from
Brentano). Intentionality represents an alternative to the
representational theory of consciousness which holds that reality
cannot be grasped directly because it is available only through
perceptions of reality which are representations of it in the mind.
Husserl countered that consciousness is not “in” the mind but rather
conscious of something other than itself (the intentional object),
whether the object is a substance or a figment of imagination
(i.e. the real processes associated with and underlying the figment).
Hence the phenomenological method relies on the description of
phenomena as they are given to consciousness, in their immediacy.
According to Maurice Natanson (1973,
p. 63), “The
the phenomenological method is both continuous and discontinuous with
philosophy’s general effort to subject experience to fundamental,
critical scrutiny: to take nothing for granted and to show the warranty
for what we claim to know.”
In practice, it entails an unusual combination of discipline and
detachment to suspend, or bracket, theoretical explanations and
second-hand information while determining one's “naive” experience of
the matter. The phenomenological method serves to momentarily erase the
world of speculation by returning the subject to his or her primordial
experience of the matter, whether the object of inquiry is a feeling,
an idea, or a perception. According to Husserl the suspension of belief
in what we ordinarily take for granted or infer by conjecture
diminishes the power of what we customarily embrace as objective
reality. According to Safranski
(1998, 72), “[Husserl and his followers’] great ambition was to
disregard anything that had until then been thought or said about
consciousness or the world [while] on the lookout for a new way of
letting the things [they investigated] approach them, without covering
them up with what they already knew.”
Heidegger modified Husserl’s conception
of phenomenology because of
(what he perceived as) his subjectivist tendencies. Whereas Husserl
conceived humans as having been constituted by states of consciousness,
Heidegger countered that consciousness is peripheral to the primacy of
one’s existence (i.e., the mode of being of Dasein)
which cannot be reduced to one’s consciousness of it. From this angle,
one’s state of mind is an “effect” rather than a determinant of
existence, including those aspects of existence that one is not
conscious of. By shifting the center of gravity from consciousness
(psychology) to existence (ontology), Heidegger altered the subsequent
direction of phenomenology, making it at once both personal and
mysterious. One of the consequences of Heidegger’s modification of
Husserl’s conception of phenomenology was its increased relevance to
psychoanalysis. Whereas Husserl gave priority to a depiction of
consciousness that was fundamentally alien to the psychoanalytic
conception of the unconscious, Heidegger offered a way to conceptualize
experience that could accommodate those aspects of one’s existence that
lie on the periphery of sentient awareness.
Intentionality refers to the notion that
consciousness is always
something. The word itself should not be confused with the "ordinary"
use of the word intentional, but should rather be taken as playing on
the etymological roots of the word. Originally, intention referred to a
"stretching out" ("in tension," lat. intendere), and in this
context it refers to consciousness "stretching out" towards its
object. Intentionality is often summed up as "aboutness."
Whether this something that
consciousness is about is in
direct perception or in fantasy is inconsequential to the concept of
intentionality itself; whatever consciousness is directed at, that
is what consciousness is consciousness of. This means that the object
of consciousness doesn't have to be a physical object
apprehended in perception:
it can just as well be a fantasy or a memory. Consequently, these
"structures" of consciousness, i.e., perception, memory, fantasy, etc.,
are called intentionalities.
The cardinal principle of phenomenology,
the term intentionality
originated with the Scholastics
in the medieval period and was resurrected by Brentano who in turn
influenced Husserl’s conception of phenomenology, who refined the term
and made it the cornerstone of his theory of consciousness. The meaning
of the term is complex and depends entirely on how it is conceived by a
given philosopher. The term should not be confused with “intention” or
the psychoanalytic conception of unconscious “motive” or “gain.”
in phenomenology refers to those cases where the intentional object is
directly present to the intentionality at play; if the intention is
"filled" by the direct apprehension of the object, you have an intuited
object. Having a cup of coffee in front of you, for instance, seeing
it, feeling it, or even imagining it - these are all filled intentions,
and the object is then intuited. The same goes for the
apprehension of mathematical formulae or a number. If you do not have
the object as referred to directly, the object is not intuited, but
still intended, but then emptily. Examples of empty intentions
can be signitive intentions - intentions that only imply or refer
to their objects.
In everyday language, we use the word evidence
to signify a special sort of relation between a state of affairs and a
proposition: State A is evidence for the proposition "A is true." In
phenomenology, however, the concept of evidence is meant to signify the
"subjective achievement of truth." 
This is not an attempt to reduce the objective sort of evidence to
subjective "opinion," but rather an attempt to describe the structure
of having something present in intuition with the addition of having it
present as intelligible: "Evidence is the successful
presentation of an intelligible object, the successful presentation of
something whose truth becomes manifest in the evidencing itself." 
Noesis and Noema
In Husserl's phenomenology, this pair of
terms, derived from the
(mind), designate respectively the real content and the ideal content
of an intentional act (an act of consciousness). The Noesis
is the part of the act which gives it a particular sense or character
(as in judging or perceiving something, loving or hating it, accepting
or rejecting it, and so on). This is real in the sense that it is
actually part of what takes place in the consciousness (or psyche) of
the subject of the act. The Noesis
is always correlated with a Noema;
for Husserl the full Noema is a complex ideal structure comprising at
least a noematic sense and a noematic core. The correct interpretation
of what Husserl meant by the Noema has
long been controversial, but the noematic sense is generally understood
as the ideal meaning of the act and
noematic core as the act's referent or object as it is meant in
One element of controversy is whether this noematic object is the same
as the actual object of the act (assuming it exists) or is some kind of
In phenomenology, empathy
refers to the experience of another human body as another subjectivity:
In one sense, you see another body, but what you immediately perceive
or experience is another subject. In Husserl's original account, this
was done by a sort of apperception
built on the experiences of your own lived-body. The lived-body is your
own body as experienced by yourself, as
yourself. Your own body manifests itself to you mainly as your
possibilities of acting in the world. It is what lets you reach out and
grab something, for instance, but it also, and more importantly, allows
for the possibility of changing your point of view. This helps you
differentiate one thing from another by the experience of moving around
it, seeing new aspects of it (often referred to as making the absent
present and the present absent), and still retaining the notion that
this is the same thing that you saw other aspects of just a moment ago
(it is identical). Your body is also experienced as a duality, both as
object (you can touch your own hand) and as your own subjectivity (you
are being touched).
The experience of your own body as your
own subjectivity is then
applied to the experience of another's body, which, through
apperception, is constituted as another subjectivity. You can thus
recognise the Other's intentions, emotions, etc. This experience of
empathy is important in the phenomenological account of intersubjectivity.
In phenomenology, intersubjectivity is what constitutes objectivity
(i.e., what you experience as objective is experienced as being
intersubjectively available - available to all other subjects. This
does not imply that objectivity is reduced to subjectivity nor does it
imply a relativist position, cf. for instance intersubjective verifiability).
In the experience of intersubjectivity,
one also experiences oneself
as being a subject among other subjects, and one experiences oneself as
existing objectively for these Others;
one experiences oneself as the noema of Others' noeses, or as a subject
in another's empathic experience. As such, one experiences oneself as
objectively existing subjectivity. Intersubjectivity is also a part in
the constitution of one's lifeworld, especially as "homeworld."
(German: Lebenswelt) is the
"world" each one of us lives
in. One could call it the "background" or "horizon" of all experience,
and it is that on which each object stands out as itself (as different)
and with the meaning it can only hold for us. The lifeworld is both
personal and intersubjective (it is then called a
"homeworld," and it is shared by "homecomrades"), and, as such, it does
not enclose each one of us in a solus
In the first edition of the Logical
under the influence of Brentano, Husserl describes his position as
"descriptive psychology." Husserl analyzes the intentional structures
of mental acts and how they are directed at both real and ideal
objects. The first volume of the Logical Investigations, the Prolegomena
Pure Logic, begins with a devastating critique of psychologism,
the attempt to subsume the a priori
validity of the laws of logic under psychology. Husserl establishes a
separate field for research in logic, philosophy, and phenomenology,
independently from the empirical sciences.
after the Ideen (1913)
Some years after the publication of the Logical
Husserl made some key elaborations which led him to the distinction
between the act of consciousness (noesis) and the phenomena at
which it is directed (the noemata).
- "noetic" refers to the intentional act of consciousness
(believing, willing, etc.)
- "noematic" refers to the object or content (noema) which appears
the noetic acts (the believed, wanted, hated, and loved ...).
What we observe is not the object as it
is in itself, but how and
inasmuch it is given in the intentional acts. Knowledge of essences
would only be possible by "bracketing" all assumptions about the
existence of an external world and the inessential (subjective) aspects
of how the object is concretely given to us. This procedure Husserl
Husserl in a later period concentrated
more on the ideal, essential
structures of consciousness. As he wanted to exclude any hypothesis on
the existence of external objects, he introduced the method of
phenomenological reduction to eliminate them. What was left over was
the pure transcendental ego, as opposed to the concrete empirical ego.
Now (transcendental) phenomenology is the study of the essential
structures that are left in pure consciousness: this amounts in
practice to the study of the noemata and the relations among them. The
philosopher Theodor Adorno
criticised Husserl's concept of phenomenological epistemology in his
metacritique Against Epistemology, which is anti-foundationalist in its stance.
Transcendental phenomenologists include Oskar
Becker, Aron Gurwitsch, and Alfred Schutz.
After Husserl's publication of the Ideen
in 1913, many
phenomenologists took a critical stance towards his new theories.
Especially the members of the Munich group
distanced themselves from his new transcendental phenomenology and
preferred the earlier realist phenomenology of the first edition of the
Realist phenomenologists include Adolf
Reinach, Alexander Pfänder, Johannes
Daubert, Max Scheler, Roman Ingarden, Nicolai Hartmann, Dietrich von Hildebrand.
Existential phenomenology differs from
by its rejection of the transcendental ego.
Merleau-Ponty objects to the ego's transcendence of the world, which
for Husserl leaves the world spread out and completely transparent
before the conscious. Heidegger thinks of a conscious being as always
already in the world. Transcendence is maintained in existential
phenomenology to the extent that the method of phenomenology must take
a presuppositionless starting point - transcending claims about the
world arising from, for example, natural or scientific attitudes or
theories of the ontological nature of the world.
While Husserl thought of philosophy as a scientific
discipline that had to be founded on a phenomenology understood as epistemology,
Heidegger held a radically different view.
Heidegger himself states their differences this way:
- For Husserl, the phenomenological reduction is the method of
leading phenomenological vision from the natural attitude of the human
being whose life is involved in the world of things and persons back to
life of consciousness and its noetic-noematic experiences, in which
objects are constituted as correlates of consciousness. For us,
phenomenological reduction means leading phenomenological vision back
from the apprehension of a being, whatever may be the character of that
apprehension, to the understanding of the Being of this being
(projecting upon the way it is unconcealed).
According to Heidegger, philosophy was
not at all a scientific
discipline, but more fundamental than science itself. According to him
science is only one way of knowing the world with no special access to
truth. Furthermore, the scientific mindset itself is built on a much
more "primordial" foundation of practical, everyday knowledge. Husserl
was skeptical of this approach, which he regarded as quasi-mystical,
and it contributed to the divergence in their thinking.
Instead of taking phenomenology as prima
philosophia or a
foundational discipline, Heidegger took it as a metaphysical ontology: "being
the proper and sole theme of philosophy... this means that
philosophy is not a science of beings but of being.".
Yet to confuse phenomenology and ontology is an obvious error.
Phenomena are not the foundation or Ground of Being. Neither are they
appearances, for as Heidegger argues in Being and Time, an appearance is "that
which shows itself in something else," while a phenomenon is "that
which shows itself in itself."
While for Husserl, in the epochè, being
appeared only as a
of consciousness, for Heidegger being is the starting point. While for
Husserl we would have to abstract from all concrete determinations of
our empirical ego, to be able to turn to the field of pure
consciousness, Heidegger claims that "the possibilities and destinies
of philosophy are bound up with man's existence, and thus with
temporality and with historicality."
However, ontological being and
existential being are different
categories, so Heidegger's conflation of these categories is, according
to Husserl's view, the root of Heidegger's error. Husserl charged
Heidegger with raising the question of ontology but failing to answer
it, instead switching the topic to the Dasein, the only being for whom
Being is an issue. That is neither ontology nor phenomenology,
according to Husserl, but merely abstract anthropology. To clarify,
perhaps, by abstract anthropology, as a non-existentialist searching
for essences, Husserl rejected the existentialism implicit in
Heidegger's distinction between being (sein) as things in reality and
Being (Da-sein) as the encounter with being, as when being becomes
present to us, that is, is unconcealed.
Existential phenomenologists include: Martin Heidegger (1889 – 1976), Hannah
Arendt (1906 – 1975), Emmanuel Levinas (1906 – 1995), Gabriel Marcel (1889 – 1973), Jean-Paul Sartre (1905 – 1980), Paul Ricoeur (1913 - 2005) and Maurice Merleau-Ponty (1908 – 1961).
Some researchers in phenomenology
(particularly in reference to Heidegger's legacy) see possibilities of
establishing dialogues with traditions of thought outside of the
so-called Western philosophy, particularly with
respect to East-Asian thinking, and despite
perceived differences between "Eastern" and "Western".
Furthermore, it has been claimed that a number of elements within
phenomenology (mainly Heidegger's thought) have some resonance with
Eastern philosophical ideas, particularly with Zen Buddhism and Taoism.
According to Tomonubu Imamichi, the concept of Dasein
was inspired — although Heidegger remains silent on this — by Okakura Kakuzo's
concept of das-in-dem-Welt-sein (being in the world) expressed
in The Book of Tea to describe Zhuangzi's
which Imamichi's teacher had offered to Heidegger in 1919,
after having studied with him the year before.
There are also recent signs of the
reception of phenomenology (and
Heidegger's thought in particular) within scholarly circles focused on
studying the impetus of metaphysics
in the history of ideas in Islam and Early Islamic philosophy;
perhaps under the indirect influence of the tradition of the French
Orientalist and philosopher Henri Corbin.
In addition, the work of Jim Ruddy in the
field of comparative
philosophy, combined the concept of Transcendental Ego in Husserl's
phenomenology with the concept of the primacy of self-consciousness in
the work of Sankaracharya. In the course of this work, Ruddy uncovered
a wholly new eidetic pheomenological science which he called
"convergent phenomenology." This new phenomenology takes over where
Husserl left off, and deals with the constitution of relation-like,
rather than merely thing-like, or "intentional" objectivity.
the use of the term
Phenomenology has at least three main
meanings in philosophical history:
one in the writings of G.W.F. Hegel, another in the writings of Edmund Husserl in 1920, and a third,
deriving from Husserl's work, in the writings of his former research
assistant Martin Heidegger in 1927.
- For G.W.F. Hegel,
phenomenology is an approach to philosophy
that begins with an exploration of phenomena
(what presents itself to us in conscious experience) as a means to
finally grasp the absolute, logical, ontological and metaphysical
Spirit that is behind phenomena. This has been called a "dialectical
- For Edmund Husserl, phenomenology is "the
reflective study of the essence of consciousness as experienced from the
first-person point of view."
Phenomenology takes the intuitive experience of phenomena
(what presents itself to us in phenomenological reflexion) as its
starting point and tries to extract from it the essential features of
experiences and the essence of what we experience. When generalized to
the essential features of any possible experience, this has been called
"transcendental phenomenology". Husserl's view was based on aspects of the
work of Franz Brentano and was developed further by
philosophers such as Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Max
Scheler, Edith Stein, Dietrich von Hildebrand and Emmanuel Levinas.
- Martin Heidegger believed that Husserl's
approach overlooked basic structural features of both the subject and
object of experience (what he called their "being"), and expanded
phenomenological enquiry to encompass our understanding and experience
of Being itself, thus making phenomenology the method (in the first
phase of his career at least) of the study of being, ontology.
The difference in approach between Husserl and Heidegger influenced the
development of existential phenomenology and existentialism in France,
as is seen in the work of Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir. Munich phenomenologists (Johannes
Daubert, Adolf Reinach, Alexander Pfänder in Germany
and Alfred Schütz in Austria), and Paul Ricoeur have all been influenced.
Readings of Husserl and Heidegger have also been crucial elements of
the philosophies of Jacques Derrida and Bernard Stiegler.
Although the term "phenomenology" was
used occasionally in the history of philosophy before Husserl,
modern use ties it more explicitly to his particular method. Following
is a list of thinkers in rough chronological order who used the term
"phenomenology" in a variety of ways, with brief comments on their
- Friedrich Christoph Oetinger
(1702 - 1782) German pietist, for the study of the "divine system
- David Hume (1711 – 1776) Scottish philosopher, called variably a skeptic or a common sense advocate. While this
connection is somewhat tenuous, Hume, in A Treatise of Human Nature,
does seem to take a phenomenological or psychological approach by
describing the process of reasoning causality in psychological terms.
This is also the inspiration for the Kantian distinction between phenomenal
- Johann Heinrich Lambert
(1728–1777) (mathematician, physician
and philosopher) known for the theory of
appearances underlying empirical knowledge.
- Immanuel Kant (1724–1804), in the Critique of Pure Reason,
distinguished between objects as phenomena,
are objects as shaped and grasped by human sensibility and
understanding, and objects as things-in-themselves or noumena, which do not appear to us in space
and time and about which we can make no legitimate judgments.
- G.W.F. Hegel
(1770–1831) challenged Kant's doctrine of the unknowable
thing-in-itself, and declared that by knowing phenomena more fully we
can gradually arrive at a consciousness of the absolute and spiritual
truth of Divinity. Hegel's Phenomenology of
Spirit, published in 1807, prompted many opposing views,
including the existential work of Søren Kierkegaard, Martin Heidegger, and Jean-Paul Sartre, as well as the
materialist work of Marx and his many followers.
- Franz Brentano (1838-1917) seems to have
used the term in some of his lectures at Vienna,
where Edmund Husserl studied with him and came
under his influence.
- Carl Stumpf (1848-1936), student of Brentano
and mentor to Husserl, used "phenomenology" to refer to an ontology of
- Edmund Husserl (1859–1938) established
phenomenology at first as a kind of "descriptive psychology" and later
as a transcendental and eidetic science of
consciousness. He is considered to be the founder of contemporary
- Max Scheler (1874-1928) developed further the
phenomenological method of Edmund Husserl and extended it to include
also a reduction of the scientific method. He influenced the
thinking of Pope John Paul II, Dietrich von Hildebrand, and Edith
- Martin Heidegger (1889–1976) criticized
Husserl's theory of phenomenology and attempted to develop a theory of ontology
that led him to his original theory of Dasein,
the non-dualistic human being.
- Alfred Schütz
(1899-1959) developed a phenomenology of the social world on the basis
of everyday experience which has influenced major sociologists such as Harold Garfinkel, Peter Berger, and Thomas Luckmann.
- Graham Harman
(1968 - ) Although working from within phenomenology, Harman finds the
broad history of phenomenology to be deficient in that it constantly
subordinates the independent life of objects to our (human) access to
them. His radical break with the traditional use of terms such as intentionality as well as a fresh approach
to metaphysics, stems from his greatest
influences by such as the great phenomenologists Alphonso Lingis, Husserl, Ortega y Gasset, Zubiri, and Heidegger. Harman's thought is perhaps the
first to combine phenomenology with speculative philosophers such as Whitehead,
Leibniz, and the sort of radical thinking
typified by Speculative Realism.
Later usage is mostly based on or
(critically) related to Husserl's
introduction and use of the term. This branch of philosophy differs
from others in that it tends to be more "descriptive" than "prescriptive".
important phenomenologists and phenomenology-derived theorists
- The IAP LIBRARY offers very fine sources for
- The London Philosophy Study Guide
offers many suggestions on what to read, depending on the student's
familiarity with the subject: Phenomenology
- Dermot Moran, Introduction to Phenomenology (Oxford:
Routledge, 2000) - Charting phenomenology from Brentano, through
Husserl and Heidegger, to Gadamer, Arendt, Levinas, Sartre,
Merleau-Ponty and Derrida.
- Robert Sokolowski, "Introduction to Phenomenology (Cambridge:
Cambridge University Press 2000) - An excellent non-historical
introduction to phenomenology.
- Herbert Spiegelberg,
"The Phenomenological Movement: A Historical Introduction," 3rd ed.
(The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1983). The most comprehensive source on
the development of the phenomenological movement.
- David Stewart and Algis Mickunas, "Exploring Phenomenology: A
to the Field and its Literature" (Athens: Ohio University Press 1990)
- Michael Hammond, Jane Howarth, and Russell Kent, "Understanding
Phenomenology" (Oxford: Blackwell 1995)
- Christopher Macann, Four
Phenomenological Philosophers: Husserl, Heidegger, Sartre, Merleau-Ponty
(New York: Routledge: 1993)
- Jan Patočka, "Qu'est-ce que la
phénoménologie?" In: Qu'est-ce que la
ed. and trans. E. Abrams (Grenoble: J. Millon 1988), pp. 263–302.
answer to the question, What is phenomenology?, from a student of both
Husserl and Heidegger and one of the most important phenomenologists of
the latter half of the twentieth century.
- William A. Luijpen and Henry J. Koren, "A First Introduction to
Existential Phenomenology" (Pittsburgh: Duquesne University Press 1969)
- Richard M. Zaner, "The Way of Phenomenology" (Indianapolis:
- Hans Köchler, Die
Subjekt-Objekt-Dialektik in der transzendentalen Phänomenologie.
Das Seinsproblem zwischen Idealismus und Realismus. (Meisenheim a.
G.: Anton Hain, 1974) (German)
- Hans Köchler, Phenomenological
Realism: Selected Essays (Frankfurt a. M./Bern: Peter Lang, 1986)
- Mark Jarzombek, The Psychologizing of
Modernity (Cambridge University Press, 2000).
- Seidner, Stanley S. (1989). "Köhler's Dilemna", In Issues
of Language Assessment. vol 3. Ed., Stanley S.Seidner. Springfield,
Il.: State Board of Education. pp. 5–6.
- Pierre Thévenaz, "What is Phenomenology?" (Chicago:
Quadrangle Books 1962)
- ed. James M. Edie, "An Invitation to Phenomenology" (Chicago:
Quadrangle Books 1965) - A collection of seminal phenomenological
- ed. R. O. Elveton, "The Phenomenology of Husserl: Selected
Readings" (Seattle: Noesis Press 2000) - Key essays about Husserl's
- ed. Laura Doyle, Bodies of Resistance: New Phenomenologies of
Politics, Agency, and Culture. Evanston, Illinois: Northwestern
University Press, 2001.
- eds. Richard Zaner and Don Ihde, "Phenomenology and
(New York: Putnam 1973) - Contains many key essays in existential
- Robert Magliola, Phenomenology and
(Purdue University Press, 1977; 1978) systematically describes, in Part
One, the influence of Husserl, Heidegger, and the French
Existentialists on the Geneva School and other forms of what becomes
known as "phenomenological literary criticism"; and in Part Two
describes phenomenological literary theory in Roman Ingarden and Mikel
- Albert Borgmann and his work in philosophy
- eds. Natalie Depraz, Francisco Varela, Pierre Vermersch, On
Aware: A Pragmatics of Experiencing
(Amsterdam: John Benjamins 2003) - searches for the sources and the
means for a disciplined practical approach to exploring human
Ihde, "Experimental Phenomenology: An Introduction" (Albany, NY:
- Sara Ahmed, "Queer Phenomenology: Orientations, Objects Others"
(Durham: Duke University Press 2006)
Jackson, Existential Anthropology
- Sartre, Jean-Paul. Being and
- Shaun Gallagher and Dan
Zahavi,The Phenomenological Mind. London: Routledge, 2007.
- Steinbock, A. J. (1995). Home and Beyond, Generative
After Husserl. Northwestern University Studies in Phenomenology and
Existential Philosophy. 
(1999), Husserl's Position in the School of Brentano, Dordrecht
/ Boston / London: Kluwer
Natanson, M. (1973) Edmund Husserl: Philosopher of infinite tasks.
Evanston: Northwestern University Press.
Safranski, R. (1998) Martin Heidegger: Between good and evil.
Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Robert Sokolowski, Introduction to Phenomenology,
Cambridge University Press (2000). Pp. 159-160. This use of the word
evidence may seem strange in English, but is more common in German,
which is the language Husserl wrote in.
Sokolowski, Introduction, pp. 160-161.
I.e. if A loves B, loving is a real part of A's conscious activity - Noesis
- but gets its sense from the general concept of loving, which has an
abstract or ideal meaning, as "loving" has a meaning in the English
language independently of what an individual means by the word when
they use it.
For a full account of the controversy and a review of positions taken,
see David Woodruff Smith, Husserl, Routledge, 2007, pp304-311.
On the Logical Investigations, see Zahavi, Dan; Stjernfelt, Frederik,
eds. (2002), One Hundred Years of Phenomenology (Husserl's Logical
Investigations Revisited), Dordrecht / Boston / London: Kluwer ; and Mohanty, Jitendra Nath, ed.
(1977), Readings on Edmund Husserl’s Logical Investigations,
Den Haag: Nijhoff
- ^ a
Heidegger, Martin (1975), "Introduction", The Basic
Problems of Phenomenology, Indiana University Press, http://www.marxists.org/reference/subject/philosophy/works/ge/heidegge.htm
I have attempted to respond to the request for clarification of
Heidegger's distinction between being and Being. My info source was http://www.uni.edu/boedeker/NNhHeidegger2.doc.
was not copied and pasted but rephrased for copyright reasons.
See for instance references to Heidegger's "A Dialogue on Language
between a Japanese and an Inquirer," in On the Way to Language
(New York: Harper & Row, 1971). Heidegger himself had contacts with
some leading Japanese intellectuals, including members of the Kyoto
School, notably Hajime
Tanabe, Kuki Shūzō and Kiyoshi
An account given by Paul Hsao (in Heidegger and Asian Thought)
records a remark by Chang Chung-Yuan claiming that "Heidegger is the
only Western Philosopher who not only intellectually understands but
has intuitively grasped Taoist thought"
Tomonubu Imamichi, In Search of
Wisdom. One Philosopher's Journey, Tokyo, International House of
Japan, 2004 (quoted by Anne Fagot-Largeau during her lesson at the Collège de France on December 7,
See for instance: Nader El-Bizri, The Phenomenological Quest
between Avicenna and Heidegger (Binghamton, N.Y.:
Global Publications SUNY, 2000) ISBN 1586840053
A book-series under the title: Islamic Philosophy and Occidental
Phenomenology in Dialogue  has been recently established by Springer (Kluwer Academic
Publishers, Dordrecht) in association with the World Phenomenology
Institute . This initiative
has been initiated by the Polish phenomenologist Anna-Teresa Tymieniecka, editor of
See the thesis, "Convergent Phenomenology," presented to the University
of Madras, June, 1979.
Smith, David Woodruff
(2007), Husserl, London-New York: Routledge
Partially based on Schuhmann,
(2004), ""Phänomenologie": Eine Begriffsgeschichtilche
Reflexion", in Leijenhorst, Cees; Steenbakkers, Piet, Karl
Schuhmann. Selected Papers on Phenomenology, Dordrecht / Boston /
London: Kluwer, pp. 1–33
Ernst Benz, Christian Kabbalah: Neglected Child of Theology
Ernest Campbell Mossner. The Life of David Hume. Oxford University
Lambert, Johann Heinrich (1772). Anmerkungen und Zusätze zur
der Land- und Himmelscharten. Von J. H. Lambert (1772.) Hrsg. von A.
Wangerin. Mit 21 Textfiguren. (xml). W. Engelmann, reprint 1894.
From Wikipedia, the free
||Edmund Gustav Albrecht Husserl
||April 8, 1859 (Prostějov,
||April 28, 1938 (aged 79) (Freiburg, Germany)
Eidetic Reduction, Retention and protention, Phenomenology
Edmund Gustav Albrecht Husserl (German
pronunciation: [ˈhʊsɛʁl]; April 8, 1859, Prostějov,
Austrian Empire – April 26, 1938, Freiburg, Germany) was a philosopher
who is deemed the founder of phenomenology. He broke with
orientation of the science and philosophy of his day, believing that
experience is the source of all knowledge, while at the same time he
elaborated critiques of psychologism
Born into a Moravian
Jewish family, he was baptized as a Lutheran in 1887.
Husserl studied mathematics under Karl Weierstrass, completing a Ph.D.
under Leo Königsberger, and studied
philosophy under Franz Brentano and Carl
Stumpf. Husserl taught philosophy, as a Privatdozent at Halle from 1887, then as professor, first at Göttingen
from 1901, then at Freiburg
Breisgau from 1916 until his 1928 retirement.
Husserl's teaching and writing
influenced, among others, Martin Heidegger, Jean-Paul Sartre, Emmanuel Levinas, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Alfred Schütz, Paul Ricœur, Jacques Derrida, and Dietrich von Hildebrand.
Education and early
Husserl was born in 1859 into a Jewish family
in Prostějov, a town that was then in the Austrian Empire, after 1918 a part of Czechoslovakia, and since 1993 a part of
the Czech Republic.
He initially studied mathematics
at the universities of Leipzig (1876) and Berlin (1878), under Karl
Weierstrass and Leopold Kronecker. In 1881 he went to Vienna
to study under the supervision of Leo Königsberger (a former
Weierstrass), obtaining the Ph.D. in 1883 with the work Beiträge
zur Variationsrechnung ("Contributions to the Calculus of
In 1884, he began to attend Franz
Brentano's lectures on psychology
and philosophy at the University of Vienna. Husserl was so
impressed by Brentano that he decided to dedicate his life to
philosophy. In 1886 Husserl went to the University of Halle
to obtain his Habilitation with Carl
Stumpf, a former student of Brentano. Under his supervision he
wrote Über den Begriff der Zahl (On the concept of Number;
1887) which would serve later as the base for his first major work, Philosophie der
In these first works he tries to combine
mathematics, psychology and
philosophy with a main goal to provide a sound foundation for
mathematics. He analyzes the psychological process needed to obtain the
concept of number and then tries to build up a systematical theory on
this analysis. To achieve this he uses several methods and concepts
taken from his teachers. From Weierstrass he derives the idea that we
generate the concept of number by counting a certain collection of
objects. From Brentano and Stumpf he takes over the distinction between
proper and improper presenting. In an example Husserl
explains this in the following way: if you are standing in front of a
house, you have a proper, direct presentation of that house, but if you
are looking for it and ask for directions, then these directions (e.g.
the house on the corner of this and that street) are an indirect,
improper presentation. In other words, you can have a proper
presentation of an object if it is actually present, and an improper
(or symbolic as he also calls it) if you only can indicate that object
through signs, symbols, etc. Husserl's 1901 Logical Investigations
is considered the starting point for the formal theory of wholes and
their parts known as mereology.
Another important element that Husserl
took over from Brentano is intentionality, the notion that the main
characteristic of consciousness
is that it is always intentional. While often simplistically summarised
as "aboutness" or the relationship between mental acts and the external
world, Brentano defined it as the main characteristic of mental
phenomena, by which they could be distinguished from physical
phenomena. Every mental phenomenon, every psychological act, has a
content, is directed at an object (the intentional object).
desire, etc. has an object that it is about: the
believed, the wanted. Brentano used the expression "intentional
inexistence" to indicate the status of the objects of thought in the
mind. The property of being intentional, of having an intentional
object, was the key feature to distinguish mental phenomena and
physical phenomena, because physical phenomena lack intentionality
elaboration of phenomenology
Some years after the publication of his
main work, the Logische
first edition, 1900-1901), Husserl made some key conceptual
elaborations which led him to assert that in order to study the
structure of consciousness, one would have to distinguish between the
act of consciousness and the phenomena at which it is directed (the
objects as intended). Knowledge of essences
would only be possible by "bracketing" all assumptions
about the existence of an external world. This procedure he called epoché.
new concepts prompted the publication of the Ideen (Ideas)
in 1913, in which they were at first incorporated, and a plan for a
second edition of the Logische Untersuchungen.
From the Ideen onward, Husserl
concentrated on the ideal,
essential structures of consciousness. The metaphysical problem of
establishing the material reality of what we perceive was of little
interest to Husserl in spite of his being a transcendental idealist.
Husserl proposed that the world of objects and ways in which we direct
ourselves toward and perceive those objects is normally conceived of in
what he called the "natural standpoint", which is characterized by a
belief that objects materially exist and exhibit properties that we see
as emanating from them. Husserl proposed a radical new phenomenological
way of looking at objects by examining how we, in our many ways of
being intentionally directed toward them, actually "constitute" them
(to be distinguished from materially creating objects or objects merely
being figments of the imagination); in the Phenomenological standpoint,
the object ceases to be something simply "external" and ceases to be
seen as providing indicators about what it is, and becomes a grouping
of perceptual and functional aspects that imply one another under the
idea of a particular object or "type". The notion of objects as real is
not expelled by phenomenology, but "bracketed" as a way in which we
regard objects instead of a feature that inheres in an object's essence
founded in the relation between the object and the perceiver. In order
to better understand the world of appearances and objects,
phenomenology attempts to identify the invariant features of how
objects are perceived and pushes attributions of reality into their
role as an attribution about the things we perceive (or an assumption
underlying how we perceive objects).
In a later period, Husserl began to
wrestle with the complicated
issues of intersubjectivity, specifically, how
communication about an object can be assumed to refer to the same ideal
entity (Cartesian Meditations,
Meditation V). Husserl tries new methods of bringing his readers to
understand the importance of phenomenology to scientific
inquiry (and specifically to psychology)
what it means to "bracket" the natural attitude. The Crisis of
the European Sciences
is Husserl's unfinished work that deals most directly with these
issues. In it, Husserl for the first time attempts a historical
overview of the development of Western philosophy and science,
the challenges presented by their increasingly
(one-sidedly) empirical and naturalistic orientation. Husserl
declares that mental and spiritual reality possess their own reality
independent of any physical basis,
and that a science of the mind ('Geisteswissenschaft') must be
established on as scientific a foundation as the natural sciences have managed:
- "It is my conviction that intentional phenomenology has for the
first time made spirit as spirit the field of systematic scientific
experience, thus effecting a total transformation of the task of
The Nazi era
Professor Husserl was denied the use of
the library at Freiburg as a
result of the anti-Jewish legislation the Nazis passed in April 1933.
It is rumoured that his former pupil and Nazi Party member, Martin
Heidegger, informed Husserl that he was discharged, but Heidegger later
denied this, labelling it as slander.
philosophy Husserl considered to be the result of a
faulty departure from, and grave misunderstanding of, Husserl's own
teachings and methods) removed the dedication to Husserl from his most
widely known work, Being and Time,
when it was reissued in 1941. This was not due to diminishing relations
between the two philosophers, however, but rather as a result of a
suggested censorship by Heidegger's publisher who feared that the book
may be banned by the Nazi regime.
can still be found in a footnote on page 38, thanking
Husserl for his guidance and generosity. The philosophical relation
between Husserl and Heidegger is discussed at length by Bernard Stiegler in the film The Ister.
After his death, Husserl's manuscripts,
amounting to approximately
40,000 pages of "Gabelsberger" stenography and his complete research library,
were smuggled to Belgium by Herman Van Breda in 1939 and deposited at
to form the Husserl-Archives of the Higher Institute of Philosophy.
of the material in his research manuscripts has been published in
the Husserliana critical edition series.
Philosophy of Edmund Husserl
Object in Husserl
From Logical Investigations
(1900/1901) to Experience
(published in 1939), Husserl expressed clearly the difference between
meaning and object. He identified several different kinds of names. For
example, there are names that have the role of properties that uniquely
identify an object. Each of these names express a meaning and designate
the same object. Examples of this are "the victor in Jena" and "the
loser in Waterloo", or "the equilateral triangle" and "the equiangular
triangle"; in both cases, both names express different meanings, but
designate the same object. There are names which have no meaning, but
have the role of designating an object: "Aristotle", "Socrates", and so
on. Finally, there are names which designate a variety of objects.
These are called "universal names"; their meaning is a "concept" and
refers to a series of objects (the extension of the concept). The way
we know sensible objects is called "sensible intuition".
Husserl also identifies a series of
"formal words" which are
necessary to form sentences and have no sensible correlates. Examples
of formal words are "a", "the", "more than", "over", "under", "two",
"group", and so on. Every sentence must contain formal words to
designate what Husserl calls "formal categories". There are two kinds
of categories: meaning categories and formal-ontological categories.
Meaning categories relate judgments; they include forms of conjunction,
disjunction, forms of plural, among others. Formal-ontological
categories relate objects and include notions such as set, cardinal
number, ordinal number, part and whole, relation, and so on. The way we
know these categories is through a faculty of understanding called
Through sensible intuition our
consciousness constitutes what
Husserl calls a "situation of affairs" (Sachlage).
It is a passive constitution where objects themselves are presented to
us. To this situation of affairs, through categorial intuition, we are
able to constitute a "state of affairs" (Sachverhalt). One
situation of affairs through objective acts of consciousness (acts of
constituting categorially) can serve as the basis for constituting
multiple states of affairs. For example, suppose a and b
are two sensible objects in a certain situation of affairs. We can use
it as basis to say, "a<b" and "b>a",
two judgments which designate different states of affairs. For Husserl
a sentence has a proposition or judgment as its meaning, and refers to
a state of affairs which has a situation of affairs as a reference base.
Logic and Mathematics
Husserl believed that truth-in-itself
has as ontological
correlate being-in-itself, just as meaning categories have
formal-ontological categories as correlates. Logic is a
formal theory of judgment, that studies the formal a
relations among judgments using meaning categories. Mathematics, on the
other hand, is formal ontology; it studies all the possible forms of
being (of objects). Hence for both logic and mathematics, the different
formal categories are the objects of study, not the sensible objects
themselves. The problem with the psychological approach to mathematics
and logic is that it fails to account for the fact that this approach
is about formal categories, and not simply about abstractions from
sensibility alone. The reason why we do not deal with sensible objects
in mathematics is because of another faculty of understanding called
"categorial abstraction." Through this faculty we are able to get rid
of sensible components of judgments, and just focus on formal
Thanks to "eidetic intuition" (or
"essential intuition"), we are
able to grasp the possibility, impossibility, necessity and contingency
among concepts and among formal categories. Categorial intuition, along
with categorial abstraction and eidetic intuition, are the basis for
logical and mathematical knowledge.
Husserl criticized the logicians of his
day for not focusing on the
relation between subjective processes that give us objective knowledge
of pure logic. All subjective activities of consciousness need an ideal
correlate, and objective logic (constituted noematically)
it is constituted by consciousness needs a noetic correlate (the
subjective activities of consciousness).
Husserl stated that logic has three
strata, each further away from
consciousness and psychology than those that precede it.
- The first stratum is what Husserl called a "morphology of
meanings" concerning a priori
ways to relate judgments to make them meaningful. In this stratum we
elaborate a "pure grammar" or a logical syntax, and he would call its
rules "laws to prevent non-sense", which would be similar to what logic
calls today "formation rules". Mathematics, as logic's
ontological correlate, also has a similar stratum, a "morphology of
- The second stratum would be called by Husserl "logic of
consequence" or the "logic of non-contradiction" which explores all
possible forms of true judgments. He includes here syllogistic classic
logic, propositional logic and that of predicates. This is a semantic
stratum, and the rules of this stratum would be the "laws to avoid
counter-sense" or "laws to prevent contradiction". They are very
similar to today's logic "transformation rules".
Mathematics also has a similar stratum which is based among others on
pure theory of pluralities, and a pure theory of numbers. They provide
a science of the conditions of possibility of any theory whatsoever.
Husserl also talked about what he called "logic of truth" which
consists of the formal laws of possible truth and its modalities, and
precedes the third logical third stratum.
- The third stratum is metalogical,
he called a "theory of all possible forms of theories." It
explores all possible theories in an a priori
fashion, rather than the possibility of theory in general. We could
establish theories of possible relations between pure forms of
theories, investigate these logical relations and the deductions from
such general connection. The logician is free to see the extension of
this deductive, theoretical sphere of pure logic.
The ontological correlate to the third
stratum is the "theory of manifolds"
In formal ontology, it is a free investigation where a mathematician
can assign several meanings to several symbols, and all their possible
valid deductions in a general and indeterminate manner. It is, properly
speaking, the most universal mathematics of all. Through the posit of
certain indeterminate objects (formal-ontological categories) as well
as any combination of mathematical axioms, mathematicians can explore
the apodeictic connections between them, as long as consistency is
According to Husserl, this view of logic
and mathematics accounted
for the objectivity of a series of mathematical developments of his
time, such as n-dimensional manifolds
(both Euclidean and non-Euclidean), Hermann Grassmann's theory of extensions, William Rowan Hamilton's Hamiltonians, Sophus
Lie's theory of transformation groups,
the Critique of Psychologism
of Arithmetic and Frege
Some analytic philosophers suggest that
Husserl, after obtaining his
PhD in mathematics, began analyzing the foundations of mathematics from
a psychological point of view, as a disciple of Brentano.
his professorial doctoral dissertation, On the Concept of Number
(1886) and in his Philosophy of Arithmetic (1891), Husserl
sought, by employing Brentano's descriptive psychology, to define the natural numbers in a way that advanced the
methods and techniques of Weierstrass, Dedekind, Georg Cantor, Frege, and other contemporary mathematicians.
Later, in the first volume of his Logical Investigations, the Prolegomena
Husserl, while attacking the psychologistic point of view in logic and
mathematics, also appears to reject much of his early work, although
the forms of psychologism analysed and refuted in the Prolegomena
did not apply directly to his Philosophy of Arithmetic. While
some scholars point to Frege's
negative review of the Philosophy of Arithmetic, this did not
turn Husserl towards Platonism, because he had already discovered the
work of Bernhard Bolzano
around 1890/91 and explicitly mentioned Bolzano, Leibniz and Lotze as inspirations for his newer
The Frege industry routinely informs us that the review quite
transformed poor Husserl's philosophy; but elementary attention to
chronology and sources (Hill 1991a, pt. 1) shows that this claim refers
far more to the False than to the True.
Likewise, the opinion that Husserl's
notions of noema
object are due to Frege's notions of sense and reference
is to commit an anachronism, because Husserl's review of Schröder,
Frege's landmark 1892 article, clearly distinguishes
sense from reference. Likewise, in his criticism of Frege in the Philosophy
Husserl remarks on the distinction between the content and the
extension of a concept. Moreover, the distinction between the
subjective mental act, namely the content of a concept, and the
(external) object, was developed independently by Brentano and his school, and may have
surfaced as early as Brentano's 1870's lectures on logic.
Scholars such as J. N. Mohanty,
Ortiz Hill, and Guillermo
Rosado Haddock, among others, have argued that Husserl's
so-called change from psychologism
came about independently of Frege's review.
For example, the review falsely accuses Husserl of subjectivizing
everything, so that no objectivity is possible, and falsely attributes
to him a notion of abstraction whereby objects disappear until we
are left with numbers as mere ghosts. Contrary to what Frege states, in
Husserl's Philosophy of Arithmetic
we already find two different kinds of representations: subjective and
objective. Moreover, objectivity is clearly defined in that work.
Frege's attack seems to be directed at certain foundational doctrines
then current in Weierstrass's Berlin School, of which Husserl and
Cantor cannot be said to be orthodox representatives.
Furthermore, various sources indicate
that Husserl changed his mind
about psychologism as early as 1890, a year before
he published the Philosophy of Arithmetic. Husserl stated that
by the time he published that book, he had already changed his
mind—that he had doubts about psychologism
from the very outset. He attributed this change of mind to his reading
of Leibniz, Bolzano, Lotze, and David
Husserl makes no mention of Frege as a decisive factor in this change.
In his Logical Investigations,
Husserl mentions Frege only twice, once in a footnote to point out that
he had retracted three pages of his criticism of Frege's The
Foundations of Arithmetic, and again to question Frege's use of the
word Bedeutung to designate "reference" rather than "meaning"
In a letter dated May 24, 1891, Frege
thanked Husserl for sending
him a copy of the Philosophy of Arithmetic and Husserl's review
of Ernst Schröder's Vorlesungen
über die Algebra der Logik.
In the same letter, Frege used the review of Schröder's book to
Husserl's notion of the sense of reference of concept words. Hence
Frege recognized, as early as 1891, that Husserl distinguished between
sense and reference. Consequently, Frege and Husserl independently
elaborated a theory of sense and reference before 1891.
Commentators argue that Husserl's notion
nothing to do with Frege's notion of sense, because noemata are
necessarily fused with noeses which are the conscious activities of
consciousness. Noemata have three different levels:
- The substratum, which is never presented to the consciousness,
and is the support of all the properties of the object;
- The noematic senses, which are the different ways the
objects are presented to us;
- The modalities of being
(possible, doubtful, existent, non-existent, absurd, and so on).
Consequently, in intentional activities,
even non-existent objects
can be constituted, and form part of the whole noema.
Frege, however, did not conceive of objects as forming parts of senses:
If a proper name denotes a non-existent object, it does not have a
reference, hence concepts with no objects have no truth value in
arguments. Moreover, Husserl did not maintain that predicates of
sentences designate concepts. According to Frege the reference of a
sentence is a truth value; for Husserl it is a "state of affairs."
Frege's notion of "sense" is unrelated to Husserl's noema,
while the latter's notions of "meaning" and "object" differ from those
In fine, Husserl's conception of logic
and mathematics differs from
that of Frege, who held that arithmetic
could be derived from logic. For Husserl this is not the case:
mathematics (with the exception of geometry)
correlate of logic, and while both fields are related, neither one
is strictly reducible to the other.
Reacting against authors such as J.St.
Mill, Sigwart and his own
former teacher Brentano, Husserl criticised their psychologism in
mathematics and logic, i.e. their conception of these abstract and
a-priori sciences as having an essentially empirical foundation and a
prescriptive or descriptive nature. According to psychologism,
not be an autonomous discipline, but a branch of
psychology, either proposing a prescriptive and practical "art" of
correct judgement (as Brentano and some of his more orthodox students
or a description of the factual processes of human thought. Husserl
pointed out that the failure of anti-psychologists to defeat
psychologism was a result of being unable to distinguish between the
foundational, theoretical side of logic, and the applied, practical
side. Pure logic does not deal at all with "thoughts" or "judgings" as
mental episodes but about a
priori laws and conditions for any theory and any judgments
whatsoever, conceived as propositions in themselves.
- Here ‘Judgement’ has the same meaning as ‘proposition’,
understood, not as a grammatical, but as an ideal unity of meaning.
This is the case with all the distinctions of acts or forms of
judgement, which provide the foundations for the laws of pure logic.
Categorial, hypothetical, disjunctive, existential judgements, and
however else we may call them, in pure logic are not names for classes
of judgements, but for ideal forms of propositions.
Since "truth-in-itself" has
"being-in-itself" as ontological
correlate, and since psychologists reduce truth (and hence logic) to
empirical psychology, the inevitable consequence is scepticism.
Psychologists have also not been successful in showing how from
induction or psychological processes we can justify the absolute
certainty of logical principles, such as the principles of identity and
non-contradiction. It is therefore futile to base certain logical laws
and principles on uncertain processes of the mind.
This confusion made by psychologism (and
related disciplines such as
biologism and anthropologism) can be due to three specific prejudices:
1. The first prejudice is the supposition
that logic is somehow
normative in nature. Husserl argues that logic is theoretical, i.e.,
that logic itself proposes a priori laws which are themselves
the basis of the normative side of logic. Since mathematics is related
to logic, he cites an example from mathematics: If we have a formula
like (a+b)(a-b)=a²-b² it does not tell us how to think
It just expresses a truth. A proposition that says: "The product of the
sum and the difference of a and b should give us the difference
of the squares of a and b" does express a normative proposition, but
this normative statement is based on the theoretical statement
2. For psychologists, the acts of
judging, reasoning, deriving, and
so on, are all psychological processes. Therefore, it is the role of
psychology to provide the foundation of these processes. Husserl states
that this effort made by psychologists is a "μετάβασις εἰς ἄλλο γένος"
(a transgression to another field). It is a μετάβασις because
psychology cannot possibly provide any foundations for a priori
laws which themselves are the basis for all the ways we should think
correctly. Psychologists have the problem of confusing intentional
activities with the object of these activities. It is important to
distinguish between the act of judging and the judgment itself, the act
of counting and the number itself, and so on. Counting five objects is
undeniably a psychological process, but the number 5 is not.
3. Judgments can be true or not true.
Psychologists argue that
judgments are true because they become "evidently" true to us. This
evidence, a psychological process that "guarantees" truth, is indeed a
psychological process. Husserl responds by saying that truth itself as
well as logical laws always remain valid regardless of psychological
"evidence" that they are true. No psychological process can explain the
a priori objectivity of these logical truths.
From this criticism to psychologism, the
psychological acts and their intentional objects, and the difference
between the normative side of logic and the theoretical side, derives
from a platonist conception of logic. This means that we should regard
logical and mathematical laws as being independent of the human mind,
and also as an autonomy of meanings. It is essentially the difference
between the real (everything subject to time) and the ideal or irreal
(everything that is atemporal), such as logical truths, mathematical
entities, mathematical truths and meanings in general.
Husserl is perhaps best known for the
influence he had on the early
work of his student Martin Heidegger, whom Husserl chose as
his successor at Freiburg. Heidegger's magnum opus Being and Time
was originally dedicated to Husserl. Husserl and Heidegger worked very
closely at Freiburg, but, contrary to popular belief, Heidegger was
never one of Husserl's assistants, at least not in an official capacity.
received his postdoctoral qualification in 1950, with a dissertation on
'Ontological distance', an inquiry into the crisis of Husserl's
Hermann Weyl's interest in intuitionistic logic and impredicativity
appears to have resulted from his reading of Husserl. He was introduced
to Husserl's work through his wife, Helene Joseph, herself a student of
Husserl at Göttingen.
Rudolf Carnap was also influenced by
Husserl, not only concerning
Husserl's notion of essential insight that Carnap used in his Der
Raum, but also his notion of "formation rules" and "transformation
rules" is founded on Husserl's philosophy of logic.
Ludwig Landgrebe became assistant to
Husserl in 1923. From 1939 he collaborated with Eugen
Fink at the Husserl-Archives
in Leuven, authorized by Husserl. In 1954 he became leader of the
Husserl-Archives. Landgrebe is known as one of Husserl's closest
associates, but also for his independent views relating to history,
religion and politics as seen from the viewpoints of existentialist
philosophy and metaphysics.
met Husserl in Halle and found in his phenomenology a methodological
breakthrough for his own philosophical endeavors. Even though Scheler
later criticised Husserl's idealistic logical approach and proposed
instead a "phenomenology of love", he states that he remained "deeply
indebted" to Husserl throughout his work. Husserl also had some
influence on Pope John-Paul II, which
appears strongly in a work by the latter, The Acting Person, or
Person and Act.
It was originally published in Polish in 1969 under his pre-papal name
Karol Wojtyla (in collaboration with the polish phenomenologist:
Anna-Teresa Tymieniecka) and combined
phenomenological work with Thomistic Ethics.
Maurice Merleau-Ponty's Phenomenology of Perception is
influenced by Edmund Husserl's work on perception and temporality,
including Husserl's theory of retention and protention.
Merleau-Ponty was the first student to study at the Husserl-archives in
Wilfrid Sellars, an influential figure in
the so-called "Pittsburgh school" (Robert Brandom, John
McDowell) had been a student of Marvin
Farber, a pupil of Husserl, and was influenced by phenomenology
led me through my first
careful reading of the Critique of Pure Reason
and introduced me to Husserl. His combination of utter respect for the
structure of Husserl's thought with the equally firm conviction that
this structure could be given a naturalistic interpretation was
undoubtedly a key influence on my own subsequent philosophical strategy.
Husserl's formal analysis of language
also inspired Stanisław Leśniewski and Kazimierz Ajdukiewicz in the
development of categorial grammar.
Gödel expressed very strong
appreciation for Husserl's work, especially with regard to "bracketing"
Jean-Paul Sartre was also largely
influenced by Husserl, although he
didn't agree with every aspect of his analyses.
Wilson made Husserl's idea of
intentionality the driving force behind his "New Existentialism."
The influence of the Husserlian
phenomenological tradition in the
21st century is extending beyond the confines of the European and North
American legacies. It has already started to impact (indirectly)
scholarship in Eastern and Oriental thought, including research on the
impetus of philosophical thinking in the history of ideas in Islam.
Parts: A Study in Ontology, Oxford University Press
This assumption led Husserl to an idealistic position (which he
originally had tried to overcome or avoid). On Husserl's
phenomenological idealism see Hans Köchler, Die
Subjekt-Objekt-Dialektik in der transzendentalen Phänomenologie.
Das Seinsproblem zwischen Idealismus und Realismus. (Monographien
philosophischen Forschung, Vol. 112.) Meisenheim a. G.: Anton
Crisis of European Humanity, Pt. II, 1935
- ^ a
"Nur noch ein Gott kann uns retten". Der Spiegel, 31 May 1967.
Consider Jitendra Nath Mohanty, 1995, "The
Development of Husserl's Thought" in Barry
Smith & David Woodruff Smith, eds., The Cambridge Companion
to Husserl. Cambridge Univ. Press. For further commentaries on the
review, see Willard, Dallas, 1984. Logic and the Objectivity of
Knowledge. Athens OH: Ohio University Press, p. 63; J. Philip
Miller, 1982. "Numbers in Presence and Absence, Phaenomenologica 90
(Den Haag: Nijhoff): p. 19 ff.; and Jitendra Nath Mohanty, 1984,
"Husserl, Frege and the Overcoming of Psychologism", in Cho, Kay Kyung,
ed., Philosophy and Science in Phenomenological Perspective,
Phaenomenologica 95 (Dordrecht/Boston/Lancaster: Nijhoff), p. 145.
Husserl-Chronik, p. 25-26
See the quotes in Carlo Ierna, “Husserl’s Critique of Double
Judgments”, in: Filip Mattens, editor, Meaning and Language:
Phenomenological Perspectives, Phaenomenologica 187
(Dordrecht/Boston/London: Springer, 2008, pp. 50 f.
Edmund Husserl, Logical Investigations, volume 1, edited by
Dermot Moran, trans. by J.N. Findlay (New York: Routledge, 2001), p.
Wojtyla, Karol (2002), The Acting
Person: A Contribution to Phenomenological Anthropology, Springer, ISBN 90-277-0985-8
Sellars, Wilfrid (1975), "Autobiographical Reflections", in Hector-Neri Castañeda, Action,
Knowledge, and Reality: Critical Studies in Honor of Wilfrid Sellars, Indianapolis: The
Bobbs-Merrill Company, http://www.ditext.com/sellars/ar.html
Cf. Smith, Barry (1989), "On the Origins of Analytic
Philosophy" (PDF), Grazer Philosophische Studien 34:
See for instance: Nader El-Bizri, The Phenomenological Quest
Between Avicenna and Heidegger (Binghamton, N.Y.: Global
Publications SUNY at Binghamton, 2000); and also refer to: Nader
El-Bizri, "Avicenna's De Anima between Aristotle
and Husserl", in The Passions of the Soul in
the Metamorphosis of Becoming, ed. Anna-Teresa Tymieniecka
(Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers, 2003), pp. 67-89
Refer also to the book-series published by SPRINGER on phenomenology and Islamic philosophy: 
- 1887. Über den Begriff der Zahl. Psychologische Analysen.
- 1891. Philosophie der Arithmetik. Psychologische und logische
Untersuchungen (Philosophy of
- 1900. Logische Untersuchungen. Erster Teil: Prolegomena zur
reinen Logik (Logical Investigations, Vol 1)
- 1901. Logische Untersuchungen. Zweiter Teil: Untersuchungen
zur Phänomenologie und Theorie der Erkenntnis (Logical
Investigations, Vol 2)
- 1911. Philosophie als strenge Wissenschaft (included in Phenomenology
the Crisis of Philosophy: Philosophy as Rigorous Science and
Philosophy and the Crisis of European Man)
- 1913. Ideen zu einer reinen Phänomenologie und
phänomenologischen Philosophie. Erstes Buch: Allgemeine
die reine Phänomenologie (Ideas: General Introduction to
- 1923-24. Erste Philosophie. Zweiter Teil: Theorie der
phänomenologischen Reduktion (First Philosophy, Vol 2: Phenomenological
- 1925. Erste Philosophie. Erster Teil: Kritische
Ideengeschichte (First Philosophy Vol 1: Critical
History of Ideas)
- 1928. Vorlesungen zur Phänomenologie des inneren
- 1929. Formale und transzendentale Logik. Versuch einer Kritik
der logischen Vernunft (Formal and Transcendental Logic)
- 1931. Méditations cartésiennes (Cartesian Meditations)
- 1936. Die Krisis der europäischen Wissenschaften und die
transzendentale Phänomenologie: Eine Einleitung in die
phänomenologische Philosophie (The Crisis of European
Sciences and Transcendental Phenomenology: An Introduction to
- 1939. Erfahrung und Urteil. Untersuchungen zur Genealogie der
Logik. (Experience and Judgment)
- 1952. Ideen II: Phänomenologische Untersuchungen zur
- 1952. Ideen III: Die Phänomenologie und die Fundamente
- “Universal Teleology”. Telos 4 (Fall 1969).
New York: Telos Press.
- Cartesian Meditations, 1960
. Cairns, D., trans. Dordrecht: Kluwer. Online.
- The Crisis of European Sciences and Transcendental Philosophy,
[1936/54], Carr, D., trans. Evanston: Northwestern University
- Experience and Judgement, 1973 , Churchill, J. S.,
and Ameriks, K., translators. London: Routledge.
- Formal and Transcendental Logic, 1969 , Cairns, D.,
trans. The Hague: Nijhoff.
- Ideas Pertaining to a Pure Phenomenology and to a
Phenomenological Philosophy—First Book: General Introduction to a Pure
Phenomenology, 1982 . Kersten, F., trans. The Hague: Nijhoff.
- Ideas Pertaining to a Pure Phenomenology and to a
Phenomenological Philosophy - Second Book: Studies in the Phenomenology
of Constitution, 1989. R. Rojcewicz and A. Schuwer, translators.
- Ideas Pertaining to a Pure Phenomenology and to a
Phenomenological Philosophy - Third Book: Phenomenology and the
Foundations of the Sciences, 1980, Klein, T. E., and Pohl, W. E.,
translators. Dordrecht: Kluwer.
- Logical Investigations, 1973 , Findlay, J. N.,
trans. London: Routledge.
- On the Phenomenology of the Consciousness of Internal Time
(1893-1917), 1990 . Brough, J.B., trans. Dordrecht: Kluwer.
- "Philosophy as Rigorous Science", translated in Lauer, Q., ed.,
1965  Phenomenology and the Crisis of Philosophy. New
- Philosophy of
Arithmetic, Willard, Dallas, trans., 2003 . Dordrecht:
- Willard, Dallas, trans., 1994. Early Writings in the
Philosophy of Logic and Mathematics. Dordrecht: Kluwer.
- Welton, D., ed., 1999. The Essential Husserl.
Bloomington: Indiana University Press.
- Derrida, Jacques, 1954 (French), 2003
(English). The Problem of Genesis in Husserl's Philosophy.
Chicago & London: University of Chicago Press.
- --------, 1962 (French), 1976 (English). Introduction to
Husserl's The Origin of Geometry. Includes Derrida's translation of
Appendix III of Husserl's 1936 The Crisis of European Sciences and
- --------, 1967 (French), 1973 (English). Speech and Phenomena
(La Voix et le Phénomène), and other Essays on Husserl's
Theory of Signs. ISBN 0-8101-0397-4
- Everdell, William R. (1998). The
First Moderns. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. ISBN 0-226-22480-5.
Kit, 1995, "Part-Whole" in Smith, B., and Smith, D. W., eds., The
Companion to Husserl. Cambridge: Cambridge University
- Follesdal, Dagfinn,
1972, "An Introduction to Phenomenology for Analytic Philosophers" in
Olson, R. E., and Paul, A. M., eds., Contemporary Philosophy in
Scandinavia. John Hopkins Univ. Press: 417-30.
- Hill, C. O., 1991. Word and Object in Husserl, Frege, and
Russell: The Roots of Twentieth-Century Philosophy. Ohio Univ.
- -------- and Rosado Haddock, G. E., 2000. Husserl or Frege?
Meaning, Objectivity, and Mathematics. Open Court.
- Levinas, Emmanuel,
1963 (French), 1973 (English). The Theory of Intuition in Husserl's
Phenomenology. Evanston: Northwestern University Press.
- Köchler, Hans, 1983, "The Relativity of
the Soul and the Absolute State of the Pure Ego", Analecta
Husserliana 16: 95-107.
- --------, 1986. Phenomenological Realism. Selected Essays.
a. M./Bern: Peter Lang.
- Kulikov, Sergei, 2005 (Russian). "E.Husserl's criticism of
foundations of physical-mathematical natural science: its relativistic
effects," Philosophy of Science 4 (27): 3-13.
- Mohanty, J. N., 1974, "Husserl and Frege: A New Look at Their
Relationship", Research in Phenomenology 4: 51-62.
- --------, 1982. Edmund Husserl's Theory of Meaning. The
Hague: Martinus Nijhoff.
- --------, 1982. Husserl and Frege. Bloomington: Indiana
- Natanson, Maurice, 1973. Edmund Husserl: Philosopher of
Infinite Tasks. Evanston: Northwestern University Press. ISBN 0-8101-0425-3
- Ricoeur, Paul, 1967. Husserl:
Analysis of His Phenomenology. Evanston: Northwestern University
- Rollinger, R. D., 1999, Husserl's Position in the School of
Brentano in Phaenomenologica 150. Kluwer. ISBN 0-7923-5684-5
- --------, 2008. Austrian Phenomenology: Brentano, Husserl,
Meinong, and Others on Mind and Language. Frankfurt am Main:
Ontos-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-86838-005-7
- Schuhmann, K., 1977. Husserl – Chronik (Denk- und Lebensweg
Edmund Husserls). Number I in Husserliana Dokumente.
Martinus Nijhoff. ISBN 90-247-1972-0
- Simons, Peter, 1987. Parts: A Study in Ontology. Oxford:
Oxford University Press.
- Sokolowski, Robert. Introduction to Phenomenology. New York:
Cambridge University Press, 1999. ISBN 978-0521667920
- Smith, B. & Smith, D. W., eds., 1995. The Cambridge
Companion to Husserl. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-43616-8
- Smith, David Woodruff, 2007. Husserl London: Routledge.
- Stiegler, Bernard, 2009. Technics and
Time, 2: Disorientation. Stanford: Stanford University Press.
- Tieszen, Richard, 1995. "Mathematics" in B. Smith & D. W.
Smith, eds., The Cambridge Companion to Husserl. Cambridge:
Cambridge University Press.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Martin Heidegger (26 September 1889 – 26 May 1976) (German
pronunciation: [ˈmaɐ̯tiːn ˈhaɪ̯dɛɡɐ]) was
an influential German philosopher.
best known book, Being and Time,
is considered to be one of the most important philosophical works of
the 20th century. Heidegger remains controversial due to his
association with Nazism.
Heidegger claimed that Western philosophy has, since Plato,
misunderstood what it means for something "to be", tending to approach
this question in terms of a
being, rather than asking about being itself. In other words, Heidegger
believed all investigations of being have historically focused on
particular entities and their properties, or have treated being itself
as an entity, or substance,
with properties. A more authentic analysis of being would, for
Heidegger, investigate "that on the basis of which beings are already
understood", or that which underlies all particular entities and allows
them to show up as entities in the first place.
But since philosophers and scientists have overlooked the more basic,
pre-theoretical ways of being from which their theories derive, and
since they have incorrectly applied those theories universally, they
have confused our understanding of being and human existence. To avoid
these deep-rooted misconceptions, Heidegger believed philosophical
inquiry must be conducted in a new way, through a process of retracing
the steps of the history of philosophy.
Heidegger argued that this misunderstanding, commencing from Plato,
has left its traces in every stage of Western thought. All that we
understand, from the way we speak to our notions of "common
is susceptible to error, to fundamental mistakes about the nature of
being. These mistakes filter into the terms through which being is
articulated in the history of philosophy—reality, logic, God,
consciousness, presence, et cetera. In his later philosophy, Heidegger
argues that this profoundly affects the way in which human beings
relate to modern technology.
Heidegger's work has strongly influenced philosophy, theology and
the humanities. Within philosophy it played a crucial role in the
development of existentialism, hermeneutics,
continental philosophy in general.
Well-known philosophers such as Karl
Jaspers, Leo Strauss, Ahmad
Fardid, Hans-Georg Gadamer, Jean-Paul Sartre, Emmanuel Lévinas,
Hannah Arendt, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Michel Foucault, Richard
Rorty, and Jacques Derrida have all analyzed
Heidegger infamously supported National
Socialism and was a member of the Nazi
Party from May 1933 until May 1945.
notably Hannah Arendt, see this support as arguably a
personal " 'error' " (a word which Arendt placed in quotation marks
when referring to Heidegger's Nazi-era politics.)
Defenders think this error was largely irrelevant to Heidegger's
philosophy. Critics, such as his former students Emmanuel Lévinas
and Karl Löwith,
that Heidegger's support for National Socialism was immoral and
revealed flaws inherent in his thought.
The Mesnerhaus in Meßkirch
, where Heidegger grew up.
Heidegger was born in rural Meßkirch,
Raised a Roman Catholic, he was
the son of the sexton of the village church, Friedrich
Heidegger, and his wife Johanna, née Kempf. In their faith, his
parents adhered to the First Vatican Council of 1870, which
was observed mainly by the poorer class of Meßkirch. The
religious controversy between the wealthy Altkatholiken
and the working class led to the temporary use of a converted barn for
the Roman Catholics. At the festive reunion of the congregation in
1895, the Old Catholic sexton handed the key to six year old Martin.
His family could not afford to send him to university, so he entered a
Jesuit seminary, though he was turned away within weeks because of the
health requirement, and what he described as a psychosomatic heart
After studying theology at the University of
from 1909 to 1911, he switched to philosophy, in part again because of
his heart condition. Heidegger completed his doctoral thesis on psychologism
in 1914, and in 1916 finished his venia legendi with a thesis on Duns
In the two years following, he worked first as an unsalaried Privatdozent,
served as a soldier during the final year of World
I, working behind a desk and never leaving Germany. After the
war, he served as a salaried senior assistant to Edmund Husserl at the University of Freiburg until 1923.
In 1923, Heidegger was elected to an extraordinary Professorship in Philosophy at the
University of Marburg. His
colleagues there included Rudolf Bultmann, Ernst Friedländer, Nicolai Hartmann, and Paul
Natorp. Heidegger's students at Marburg included Hans-Georg Gadamer, Hannah
Arendt, Karl Löwith, Gerhard Krüger,
Strauss Paley, Leo Strauss, Jacob Klein, Gunther (Stern) Anders, and Hans
When Husserl retired in 1928, Heidegger accepted Freiburg's election
to be his successor, in spite of a counter-offer by Marburg. Heidegger
remained at Freiburg for the rest of his life, declining a number of
later offers including one from Berlin, the most prestigious
German university of the day. Among his students at Freiburg were Charles
Malik, Herbert Marcuse and Ernst
Nolte. Emmanuel Levinas attended his lecture
courses during his stay in Freiburg in 1928.
with National Socialism
On April 21, 1933, Heidegger became Rector of the University of Freiburg, joining the
party on May 1, 1933.
publicly endorsed Nazism.
In a November 1933 article in the Freiburg student newspaper, Heidegger
- The German people must choose its future, and this future is
bound to the Führer.
A more detailed account of the personal and philosophical relations
between Heidegger and National Socialism is given below.
After leaving the Nazi Party in May 1945, Heidegger did not again
participate in any other political organizations. However, he never
repudiated his prior statements praising Hitler and National Socialism. Citing his Nazi
ties during the years 1933 to 1945, the French
Occupation Authority ruled that Heidegger had been a "Mitläufer"
(fellow traveller, tagalong) with the Nazis and banned him from
teaching in Germany. Authorities later rescinded this decision in 1951,
and Heidegger became Professor emeritus
with all privileges. He then taught regularly from 1951 until 1958, and
by invitation until 1967.
Heidegger's stone-and-tile chalet clustered among others at Todtnauberg.
Heidegger married Elfriede Petri on March 21, 1917, in a Catholic
ceremony officiated by his friend Engelbert Krebs, and a week later in
a Protestant ceremony in the presence of her parents. Their first son
Jörg was born in 1919. According to the recently published
correspondence between the spouses,
(born 1920) is the son of Elfriede and Friedel Caesar. Martin
Heidegger had extramarital affairs with Hannah
Arendt and Elisabeth Blochmann, both students of
his. Arendt was Jewish
and Blochmann had one Jewish parent, making them subject to severe
persecution by the Nazi authorities. He helped Blochmann emigrate from
Germany prior to World War II and resumed contact with both of them
after the war.
Heidegger spent much time at his vacation home at Todtnauberg,
the edge of the Black Forest. He considered the seclusion
provided by the forest to be the best environment in which to engage in
Heidegger died on May 26, 1976 and was buried in the Meßkirch
Heidegger's grave in Meßkirch
Being, time, and Dasein
Heidegger's philosophy is founded on the attempt to conjoin what he
considers two fundamental insights:
- The first of these is Heidegger's observation that, in the course
of over two thousand years of history, philosophy has attended to all
the beings that can be found in the world (including the "world"
itself), but has forgotten to ask what "being" itself is. This is
Heidegger's "question of being", and it is Heidegger's fundamental
concern throughout his work from the beginning of his career until its
end. One crucial source of this insight was Heidegger's reading of Franz Brentano's treatise on Aristotle's
manifold uses of the word "being", a work which provoked Heidegger to
ask what kind of unity underlies this multiplicity of uses. Heidegger
opens his magnum opus, Being and Time, with a citation from Plato's Sophist 
indicating that Western philosophy has neglected "being" because it was
considered obvious, rather than as worthy of question. Heidegger's
intuition about the question of being is thus a historical argument,
which in his later work becomes his concern with the "history of
being", that is, the history of the forgetting of being, which
according to Heidegger requires that philosophy retrace its footsteps
through a productive "destruction" of the history of
- The second intuition animating Heidegger's philosophy derives
from the influence of Edmund Husserl,
a philosopher largely uninterested in questions of philosophical
history. Rather, Husserl argued that all that philosophy could and
should be is a description of experience (hence the phenomenological
slogan, "to the things themselves"). But for Heidegger, this meant
understanding that experience is always already situated in a world and in
ways of being. Thus Husserl's understanding that all consciousness is "intentional" (in the sense that it is
always intended toward
something, and is always "about" something) is transformed in
Heidegger's philosophy, becoming the thought that all experience is
grounded in "care." This is the basis of Heidegger's "existential
analytic", as he develops it in Being and Time. Heidegger
argues that to be able to describe experience properly means finding
the being for whom such a description might matter. Heidegger thus
conducts his description of experience with reference to "Dasein",
being for whom being is a question.
In Being and Time,
Heidegger criticized the abstract and metaphysical character of
traditional ways of grasping human existence as rational animal,
person, man, soul, spirit, or subject. Dasein, then, is not
intended as a way of conducting a "philosophical anthropology",
but is rather understood by Heidegger to be the condition of
possibility for anything like a "philosophical anthropology."
Dasein, according to Heidegger, is care. In the
course of his existential analytic, Heidegger argues that Dasein,
itself thrown into the world amidst things and with others,
is thrown into its possibilities, including the possibility and
inevitability of one's own mortality. The need for Dasein to
assume these possibilities, that is, the need to be responsible for
one's own existence, is the basis of Heidegger's notions of
authenticity and resoluteness—that is, of those specific possibilities
for Dasein which depend on escaping the "vulgar" temporality of
calculation and of public life.
The marriage of these two observations depends on the fact that each
of them is essentially concerned with time. That Dasein is
thrown into an already existing world and thus into its mortal
possibilities does not only mean that Dasein is an essentially
temporal being; it also implies that the description of Dasein
can only be carried out in terms inherited from the Western tradition
itself. For Heidegger, unlike for Husserl, philosophical terminology
could not be divorced from the history of the use of that terminology,
and thus genuine philosophy could not avoid confronting questions of
language and meaning. The existential analytic of Being and Time
was thus always only a first step in Heidegger's philosophy, to be
followed by the "dismantling" (Destruktion)
of the history of philosophy, that is, a transformation of its language
and meaning, that would have made of the existential analytic only a
kind of "limit case" (in the sense in which special relativity is a
limit case of general relativity).
That Heidegger did not write this second part of Being and Time,
the existential analytic was left behind in the course of
Heidegger's subsequent writings on the history of being, might be
interpreted as a failure to conjugate his account of individual
experience with his account of the vicissitudes of the collective
human adventure that he understands the Western philosophical tradition
to be. And this would in turn raise the question of whether this
failure is due to a flaw in Heidegger's account of temporality, that
is, of whether Heidegger was correct to oppose vulgar and authentic
Being and Time
View from Heidegger's vacation chalet in Todtnauberg. Heidegger wrote
most of Being and Time
Main article: Being and Time
Being and Time (German title: Sein und Zeit),
published in 1927, is Heidegger's first academic book. He had been
under pressure to publish in order to qualify for Husserl's chair at Freiburg University
and the success of this work ensured his appointment to the post.
It investigates the question of being by
asking about the being for whom being is a question. Heidegger names
this being Dasein
(see above), and the book pursues its investigation through themes such
as mortality, anxiety, temporality, and historicity. It was Heidegger's
original intention to write a second half of the book, consisting of a "Destruktion"
history of philosophy — that is, the transformation of
philosophy by re-tracing its history — but he never completed this
Being and Time influenced many thinkers, including
existentialist thinkers like Jean-Paul Sartre (although Heidegger
distanced himself from existentialism—see below).
Some scholars have argued that Heidegger's thought after Being
and Time exhibits a "turn" in his thinking (die Kehre).
Heidegger denied this in a letter—published by William J. Richardson in Heidegger:
Phenomenology to Thought
(1963)—which stated that, if there had been a turn at all, it was
simply a matter of going deeper into the same matters. In his later
work, Heidegger largely abandons the account of Dasein as a
pragmatic, engaged, worldly agent, and instead discusses other elements
necessary to an understanding of being, notably language, the earth (as
the almost ineffable foundation of world) and the presence of the gods.
Nevertheless, Dasein (or "mortals", as he later prefers to say)
remains a crucial part of the coming-about or event (Ereignis)
"Am Feldweg" in Meßkirch. Heidegger often went for a walk on the
path in this field. See the text "Der Feldweg" GA
Heidegger's later works, following the so-called "turn" and after
the Second World War, seem to many commentators to at least reflect a
shift of focus, if not indeed a major change in his philosophical
outlook. One way this has been understood is as a shift from "doing" to
"dwelling", although others feel that this is to overstate the
difference. Heidegger focuses less on the way in which the structures
of being are revealed in everyday behavior, and more on the way in
which behavior itself depends on a prior "openness to being." The
essence of being human is the maintenance of this openness. Heidegger
contrasts this openness to the "will to power" of the modern human
subject, which is one way of forgetting this originary openness.
Heidegger understands the commencement of the history of Western
philosophy as a brief period of authentic openness to being, during the
time of the pre-Socratics, especially Parmenides,
was followed, according to Heidegger, by a long period
increasingly dominated by the forgetting of this initial openness, a
period which commences with Plato, but
a forgetting or abandonment which occurs in different ways throughout
Two recurring themes of Heidegger's later writings are poetry and
technology. Heidegger sees poetry and technology as two contrasting
ways of "revealing." Poetry reveals being in the way in which, if it is
genuine poetry, it commences something new. Technology, on the other
hand, when it gets going, inaugurates the world of the dichotomous
subject and object, which modern philosophy commencing with Descartes
also reveals. But with modern technology a new stage of
revealing is reached, in which the subject-object distinction is
overcome even in the "material" world of technology. The essence of
modern technology is the conversion of the whole universe of beings
into an undifferentiated "standing reserve" (Bestand) of energy
available for any use to which humans choose to put it. Heidegger
described the essence of modern technology as Gestell,
Heidegger does not unequivocally condemn technology:
while he acknowledges that modern technology contains grave dangers,
Heidegger nevertheless also argues that it may constitute a chance for
human beings to enter a new epoch in their relation to being. Despite
this, some commentators have concluded that an agrarian nostalgia
permeates his later work.
Heidegger's important later works include Vom Wesen der Wahrheit
("On the Essence of Truth", 1930), Der Ursprung des Kunstwerkes
("The Origin of the Work of Art",
Einführung in die Metaphysik ("An Introduction to
Metaphysics", 1935), Bauen Wohnen Denken ("Building Dwelling
Thinking", 1951), and Die Frage nach der Technik ("The Question Concerning
Technology", 1954) and Was heisst Denken? ("What Is Called
Thinking?" 1954). Also important is Beiträge zur Philosophie
(Vom Ereignis) (Contributions
to Philosophy [From Enowning]), composed in the years 1936–38
but not published until 1989, on the centennial of Heidegger's birth.
Aristotle and the Greeks
Heidegger was influenced at an early age by Aristotle,
through Catholic theology,
Medieval philosophy, and Franz Brentano.
Aristotle's ethical, logical, and metaphysical works were crucial to
the development of his thought in the crucial period of the 1920s.
Although he later worked less on Aristotle, Heidegger recommended
postponing reading Nietzsche, and to "first study Aristotle for ten to
In reading Aristotle, Heidegger increasingly contested the traditional
Latin translation and scholastic interpretation of his thought.
Particularly important (not least for its influence upon others, both
in their interpretation of Aristotle and in rehabilitating a
neo-Aristotelian "practical philosophy")
his radical reinterpretation of Book Six of Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics and several
books of the Metaphysics. Both informed the
argument of Being and Time.
The idea of asking about being may
be traced back via Aristotle to Parmenides.
claimed to have revived the question of being, the question
having been largely forgotten by the metaphysical
tradition extending from Plato to Descartes, a forgetfulness extending to the Age of Enlightenment
and then to modern science and technology. In pursuit of the retrieval
of this question, Heidegger spent considerable time reflecting on ancient Greek thought,
particular on Plato, Parmenides,
as well as on the tragic
Heidegger's very early project of developing a "hermeneutics of factical
life" and his hermeneutical transformation of phenomenology was
influenced in part by his reading of the works of Wilhelm Dilthey.
Heidegger's portrayal of history, historicity, and generation need to
be interpreted in this context and, in particular, the correspondence
and Paul Yorck von Wartenburg.
Of the influence of Dilthey, Hans-Georg Gadamer
writes the following: "As far as Dilthey is concerned, we all know
today what I have known for a long time: namely that it is a mistake to
conclude on the basis of the citation in Being and Time that
Dilthey was especially influential in the development of Heidegger's
thinking in the mid-1920s. This dating of the influence is much too
late." He adds that by the fall of 1923 it was plain that Heidegger
felt "the clear superiority of Count Yorck over the famous scholar,
Dilthey." Gadamer nevertheless makes clear that Dilthey's influence was
important in helping the youthful Heidegger "in distancing himself from
the systematic ideal of Neo-Kantianism, as Heidegger acknowledges in Being
Based on Heidegger's earliest lecture courses, in which Heidegger
already engages Dilthey's thought prior to the period Gadamer mentions
as "too late", recent scholars as diverse as Theodore Kisiel and David Farrell Krell have argued for
the importance of Diltheyan concepts and strategies in the formation of
Even though Gadamer's interpretation of Heidegger has been
questioned, there is little doubt that Heidegger seized upon Dilthey's
concept of hermeneutics. Heidegger's novel ideas about ontology
required a gestalt formation, not merely a series of logical
arguments, in order to demonstrate his fundamentally new paradigm of
thinking, and the hermeneutic circle offered a new and powerful tool
for the articulation and realization of these ideas.
There is disagreement over the degree of influence that Husserl had
on Heidegger's philosophical development, just as there is disagreement
about the degree to which Heidegger's philosophy is grounded in
phenomenology. These disagreements centre around how much of Husserlian
phenomenology is contested by Heidegger, and how much this
phenomenology in fact informs Heidegger's own understanding.
On the relation between the two figures, Gadamer wrote the
following: "When asked about phenomenology, Husserl was quite right to
answer as he used to in the period directly after World War I:
'Phenomenology, that is me and Heidegger'." Nevertheless, Gadamer noted
that Heidegger was no patient collaborator with Husserl, and that
Heidegger's "rash ascent to the top, the incomparable fascination he
aroused, and his stormy temperament surely must have made Husserl, the
patient one, as suspicious of Heidegger as he always had been of Max
Scheler's volcanic fire."
Robert J. Dostal understands the importance of Husserl to be
- Heidegger himself, who is supposed to have broken with Husserl,
bases his hermeneutics on an account of time that not only parallels
Husserl's account in many ways but seems to have been arrived at
through the same phenomenological method as was used by Husserl. [...]
The differences between Husserl and Heidegger are significant, but if
we do not see how much it is the case that Husserlian phenomenology
provides the framework for Heidegger's approach, we will not be able to
appreciate the exact nature of Heidegger's project in Being and Time
or why he let it unfinished.
Daniel O. Dahlstrom sees Heidegger's presentation of his work as a
departure from Husserl as unfairly misrepresenting Husserl's own work.
Dahlstrom concludes his consideration of the relation between Heidegger
and Husserl as follows:
- Heidegger's silence about the stark similarities between his
account of temporality and Husserl's investigation of internal
time-consciousness contributes to a misrepresentation of
Husserl's account of intentionality. Contrary to the criticisms
Heidegger advances in his lectures, intentionality (and, by
implication, the meaning of 'to be') in the final analysis is not
construed by Husserl as sheer presence (be it the presence of a fact or
object, act or event). Yet for all its "dangerous closeness" to what
Heidegger understands by temporality, Husserl's account of internal
time-consciousness does differ fundamentally. In Husserl's account the
structure of protentions is accorded neither the finitude nor the
primacy that Heidegger claims are central to the original future of
Contemporary Heideggerians regard Søren Kierkegaard as, by far, the
greatest philosophical contributor to Heidegger's own existentialist
concepts of anxiety (Angst)
and mortality draw on Kierkegaard and are indebted to the way in which
the latter lays out the importance of our subjective relation to truth,
our existence in the face of death, the temporality of existence, and
the importance of passionate affirmation of one's individual
being-in-the-world. Nonetheless, it is important to notice the
difference between the Danish philosopher, whose thought was both
individualistic and Christian, and Heidegger, who conceived of human
existence as thoroughly social and sharply distinguished philosophy
itself from all personal, scientific, and religious commitments.
Hölderlin and Nietzsche
Friedrich Hölderlin and Friedrich Nietzsche
were both important influences on Heidegger, and many of his lecture
courses were devoted to one or other of these figures, especially in
the 1930s and 1940s. The lectures on Nietzsche focused on fragments
posthumously published under the title The Will to Power,
than on Nietzsche's published works. Heidegger read The Will
to Power as the culminating expression of Western metaphysics, and
the lectures are a kind of dialogue between the two thinkers.
This is also the case for the lecture courses devoted to the poetry
of Friedrich Hölderlin, which became an increasingly central focus
Heidegger's work and thought. Heidegger grants to Hölderlin a
place within the history of being and the history of Germany, as a
herald whose thought is yet to be "heard" in Germany or the West. Many
of Heidegger's works from the 1930s onwards include meditations on
lines from Hölderlin's poetry, and several of the lecture courses
devoted to the reading of a single poem (see, for example, Hölderlin's Hymn "The Ister").
Some writers on Heidegger's work see possibilities within it for
dialogue with traditions of thought outside of Western philosophy,
particularly East Asian thinking. Despite perceived differences between
Eastern and Western philosophy, some of Heidegger's later work,
particularly "A Dialogue on Language between a Japanese and an
Inquirer", does show an interest in initiating such a dialogue.
Heidegger himself had contact with a number of leading Japanese
intellectuals, including members of the Kyoto
School, notably Hajime
Tanabe, Kuki Shūzō and Kyoshi Miki.
Furthermore, it has also been claimed that a number of elements
within Heidegger's thought bear a close parallel to Eastern
philosophical ideas, particularly with Zen Buddhism and Taoism.
An account given by Paul Hsao (in Heidegger and Asian Thought)
records a remark by Chang Chung-Yuan claiming that "Heidegger is the
only Western Philosopher who not only intellectually understands but
has intuitively grasped Taoist thought."
According to Tomonubu Imamichi, the concept of Dasein
was inspired—although Heidegger remains silent on this—by Okakura Kakuzo's
concept of das-in-der-Welt-sein (being in the world) expressed
in The Book of Tea to describe Zhuangzi's
philosophy, which Imamichi's teacher had offered to Heidegger in 1919,
after having studied with him the year before.
Some scholars interested in the relationships between Western
philosophy and the history of ideas in Islam and
Arabic philosophical medieval sources may have been influenced by
Heidegger and Nazism
The University of Freiburg, where Heidegger was Rector from April 21,
1933 to April 23, 1934
Adolf Hitler was named Chancellor
Germany on January 30, 1933. Heidegger was elected Rector of the University of Freiburg on April 21,
1933, assuming the position the following day, and on May 1 he joined
the Nazi Party. Heidegger delivered his inaugural
address, the Rektoratsrede, on May 27. It
was entitled "The Self-Assertion of the German University", and became
notorious for its praise of Nazism.
His tenure as Rector was, however, fraught with difficulties from
the outset. Some Nazi education officials viewed him as a rival, while
others saw his efforts as comical. Some of Heidegger's fellow Nazis
also ridiculed his philosophical writings as gibberish. He finally
offered his resignation on April 23, 1934, and it was accepted on April
27. Heidegger remained a member of both the academic faculty and of the
Nazi party until the end of the war.
Philosophical historian Hans
places Heidegger's embrace of National Socialism during this period
within the context of a similar and often even more enthusiastic
acceptance of Nazism from many other German philosophers. He
characterises Heidegger's stance while Rector in the following way:
- Though as rector he prevented students from displaying an
anti-Semitic poster at the entrance to the university and from holding
a book burning, he kept in close contact with the Nazi student leaders
and clearly signaled to them his sympathy with their activism.
In 1945 Heidegger wrote a defence of his term as rector, which he
gave to his son Hermann, and which was published in 1983. In it
Heidegger referred to his 1933–34 involvement in the following terms:
- The rectorate was an attempt to see something in the movement
had come to power, beyond all its failings and crudeness, that was much
more far-reaching and that could perhaps one day bring a concentration
on the Germans' Western historical essence. It will in no way be denied
that at the time I believed in such possibilities and for that reason
renounced the actual vocation of thinking in favor of being effective
in an official capacity. In no way will what was caused by my own
inadequacy in office be played down. But these points of view do not
capture what is essential and what moved me to accept the rectorate.
Treatment of Husserl
Beginning in 1917 Edmund Husserl championed Heidegger's work and
helped him secure the retiring Husserl's chair in Philosophy at the
University of Freiburg.
On April 6, 1933, the Reichskommissar of Baden province, Robert
Wagner, suspended all Jewish government employees, including present
and retired faculty at the University of Freiburg. Heidegger's
predecessor as rector formally notified Edmund Husserl of his "enforced
leave of absence" on April 14, 1933.
Heidegger became rector of the University of Freiburg on April 22,
1933. The following week the national Reich law of April 28, 1933
replaced Reichskommissar Wagner's decree. The Reich law required the
firing of Jewish professors from German universities, including those,
such as Husserl, who had previously converted to Christianity. The
termination of the retired professor Husserl's academic privileges thus
involved no specific action on Heidegger's part.
Heidegger had by then broken off contact with Husserl other than
through intermediaries. Heidegger later claimed that the relationship
with Husserl had already become strained after Husserl publicly
"settled accounts" with Heidegger and Max
Scheler in the early 1930s.
Heidegger did not attend his former mentor's cremation in 1938. In
1941, under pressure from publisher Max Niemeyer, Heidegger agreed to
remove the dedication to Husserl from Being and Time (restored
in post-war editions).
Heidegger's behavior towards Husserl has evoked controversy. Hannah
Arendt had initially suggested that Heidegger's behavior precipitated
Husserl's death. She called him a "potential murderer." However, she
later recanted this accusation.
National Socialist period
After the spectacular failure of Heidegger's rectorship, he withdrew
from most political activity, without canceling his membership in the
NSDAP. Nevertheless, references to National Socialism continued to
appear in his work, usually in ambiguous ways.
In the course of his 1935 lectures, Heidegger referred to the "inner
truth and greatness of this movement" (die innere Wahrheit und
Größe dieser Bewegung), that is, of National
Socialism. This phrase remained when the lectures were published in
1953 under the title, An Introduction to Metaphysics;
however, Heidegger added a parenthetical qualification, without
mentioning this change at the time of publication: "(namely, the
confrontation of planetary technology and modern humanity) (nämlich
die Begegnung der planetarisch bestimmten Technik und des neuzeitlichen
In the lectures of 1942, published posthumously as Hölderlin's Hymn "The Ister",
makes the following remark:
- Today—if one still reads such books at all—one can scarcely read
treatise or book on the Greeks without everywhere being assured that
here, with the Greeks, "everything" is "politically" determined. In the
majority of "research results", the Greeks appear as the pure National
Socialists. This overenthusiasm on the part of academics seems not even
to notice that with such "results" it does National Socialism and its
historical uniqueness no service at all, not that it needs this anyhow.
met Heidegger in 1936 while the latter was visiting Rome to lecture on
Hölderlin. In an account set down in 1940 and not intended for
publication, Löwith recounted an exchange with Heidegger over
editorials published in the Neue Zürcher Zeitung:
- [I] told him that I did not agree either with the way in which Karl
Barth was attacking him or in the way [Emil] Staiger
was defending him, because my opinion was that his taking the side of
National Socialism was in agreement with the essence of his philosophy.
Heidegger told me unreservedly that I was right and developed his idea
by saying that his idea of historicity [Geschichtlichkeit] was
the foundation for his political involvement.
Löwith went on to say:
- In response to my remark that I could understand many things
his attitude, with one exception, which was that he would permit
himself to be seated at the same table with a figure such as Julius Streicher
(at the German Academy of Law), he was silent at first. At last he
uttered this well-known rationalisation (which Karl Barth saw so
clearly), which amounted to saying that "it all would have been much
worse if some men of knowledge had not been involved." And with a
bitter resentment towards people of culture, he concluded his
statement: "If these gentlemen had not considered themselves too
refined to become involved, things would have been different, but I had
to stay in there alone." To my reply that one did not have to be very
refined to refuse to work with a Streicher, he answered that it was
useless to discuss Streicher; the Stürmer was nothing more
than "pornography." Why didn't Hitler get rid of this sinister
individual? He didn't understand it.
For commentators such as Habermas who credit Löwith's account,
are a number of generally shared implications: one is that Heidegger
did not turn away from National Socialism per se but became
deeply disaffected with the official philosophy and ideology of the
party, as embodied by Alfred Bäumler or Alfred Rosenberg, whose biologistic
racist doctrines he never accepted.
Heidegger's affair with Hannah Arendt occurred some time before
Heidegger's involvement in National Socialism, but her friendship with
Heidegger did not end when she moved to Heidelberg
to continue her studies under Karl
Jaspers. Arendt later spoke on his behalf at his denazification
hearings. Jaspers spoke against him at the same hearings, suggesting he
would have a detrimental influence on German students because of his
powerful teaching presence. Arendt cautiously resumed their friendship
after the war, despite or even because of the widespread contempt for
Heidegger and his political sympathies. The denazification hearings
resulted in Heidegger being forbidden to teach between 1945 and 1951.
One consequence of his disfavour in Germany was that Heidegger began to
engage far more in the French philosophical scene.
In a lecture on technology delivered at Bremen in 1949, Heidegger
made the following controversial remark:
- Agriculture is now a motorized food industry, the same thing in
essence as the production of corpses in the gas chambers and the
extermination camps, the same thing as blockades and the reduction of
countries to famine, the same thing as the manufacture of hydrogen
This quotation has been the subject of widespread criticism and
interpretation. Philippe Lacoue-Labarthe, for
example, described it as "scandalously inadequate."
In 1967 Heidegger had an encounter with the poet Paul
a Jew who had survived concentration camps operated by the Nazis'
Romanian allies. While admiring aspects of Heidegger's writings, Celan
had long been aware of Heidegger's involvement with National Socialism.
On July 24 Celan gave a reading at the University of Freiburg,
attended by Heidegger. Heidegger there presented Celan with a copy of What
Called Thinking?, and invited him to visit him at his hut at Todtnauberg,
which Celan accepted. On July 25 Celan visited Heidegger
at his retreat, signing the guestbook and spending some time walking
and talking with Heidegger. The details of their conversation are not
known, but the meeting was the subject of a subsequent poem by Celan,
entitled "Todtnauberg" (dated August 1, 1967).
The enigmatic poem and the encounter have been discussed by numerous
writers on Heidegger and Celan, notably Lacoue-Labarthe. A common
interpretation of the poem is that it concerns, in part, Celan's wish
for Heidegger to apologize for Heidegger's behavior during the Nazi era.
The Der Spiegel
On September 23, 1966, Heidegger gave an interview to Der
magazine, in which he agreed to discuss his political past provided
that the interview be published posthumously (it was published on May
31, 1976). In the interview, Heidegger defended his entanglement with
National Socialism in two ways: first, he argued that there was no
alternative, saying that he was trying to save the university (and
science in general) from being politicized and thus had to compromise
with the Nazi administration. Second, he admitted that he saw an
"awakening" ("Aufbruch") which might help to find a "new
national and social approach" but stated that he changed his mind about
this in 1934, largely prompted by the violence of the Night of the Long Knives.
Thus, in his Der Spiegel interview Heidegger defended as
double-speak his 1935 lecture describing the "inner truth and greatness
of this movement." He affirmed that Nazi informants who observed his
lectures would understand that by "movement" he meant National
Socialism. However, Heidegger asserted that his dedicated students
would know this statement was no elegy for the NSDAP. Rather, he meant
it as he expressed it in the parenthetical clarification later added to
An Introduction to Metaphysics (1953), namely, "the
confrontation of planetary technology and modern humanity."
The Löwith account from 1936 has been cited to contradict the
account given in the Spiegel
interview in two ways: that there was no decisive break with National
Socialism in 1934 and that Heidegger was willing to entertain more
profound relations between his philosophy and political involvement.
The Der Spiegel interviewers did not bring up Heidegger's 1949
quotation comparing the industrialization of agriculture to the
extermination camps. In fact, the Der Spiegel interviewers were
not in possession of much of the evidence now known for Heidegger's
and reception in France
Heidegger was one of the most influential philosophers of the 20th
century, and his ideas have penetrated into many areas, but in France
there is a very long and particular history of reading and interpreting
and pre-war influence
Heidegger's influence on French philosophy began in the 1930s, when Being
Time, "What is Metaphysics?" and other Heideggerian texts were
read by Jean-Paul Sartre and other
existentialists, as well as by thinkers such as Emmanuel
Lévinas, Alexandre Kojève and Georges Bataille.
Because Heidegger's discussion of ontology (the study of being) is
rooted in an analysis of the mode of existence of individual human
beings (Dasein, or being-there), his work has often been
associated with existentialism. The influence of Heidegger on Sartre's Being and Nothingness
is marked, but Heidegger felt that Sartre had misread his work, as he
argued in later texts such as the "Letter on 'Humanism'." In that text,
intended for a French audience, Heidegger explained this misreading in
the following terms:
- Sartre's key proposition about the priority of existentia
[that is, Sartre's statement that "existence precedes essence"] does,
however, justify using the name "existentialism" as an appropriate
title for a philosophy of this sort. But the basic tenet of
"existentialism" has nothing at all in common with the statement from Being
Time [that "the 'essence' of Dasein lies in its
existence"]—apart from the fact that in Being and Time no
statement about the relation of essentia and existentia
can yet be expressed, since there it is still a question of preparing
"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 "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.
After the war, Heidegger was banned from university teaching for a
period on account of his activities as Rector of Freiburg University.
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).
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
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. 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
Jacques Derrida, et al., which includes reproductions of both letters
and an account by Braun, "À mi-chemin entre Heidegger et
Jacques Derrida made emphatic efforts 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
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.
Because of Derrida's vehement attempts to "rescue" Heidegger from his
existentialist interpreters (and also from Heidegger's "orthodox"
followers), Derrida has at times been represented as a "French
Heidegger", to the extent that he, his colleagues, and his former
students are made to go proxy for Heidegger's worst (political)
mistakes, despite ample evidence that the reception of Heidegger's work
by later practitioners of deconstruction is anything but doctrinaire.
Derrida, Lacoue-Labarthe, and Jean-François Lyotard,
among others, all engaged in debate and disagreement about the relation
between Heidegger's philosophy and his 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
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 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:
for example, declared that "[Farias'] 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."
More recently, Heidegger's thought has considerably 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).
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,
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.
Heidegger's influence upon 20th century continental philosophy is
unquestioned and has produced a variety of critical responses.
The content of Being and Time, according to Husserl, claimed
to deal with ontology, but from Husserl's perspective only did so in
the first few pages of the book. Having nothing further to contribute
to an ontology independent of human existence, Heidegger changed the
topic to Dasein. Whereas Heidegger argued that the question of
human existence is central to the pursuit of the question of being,
Husserl criticized this as reducing phenomenology to "philosophical
anthropology" and offering an abstract and incorrect portrait of the
The Neo-Kantian Ernst Cassirer and Heidegger engaged in an
influential debate located in Davos
in 1929, concerning the significance of Kantian notions of freedom and
rationality. Whereas Cassirer defended the role of rationality in Kant,
Heidegger argued for the priority of the imagination. Dilthey's student
Misch wrote the first extended critical appropriation of Heidegger
in Lebensphilosophie und Phänomenologie. Eine
Auseinandersetzung der Diltheyschen Richtung mit Heidegger und Husserl,
1930 (3. ed. Stuttgart 1964).
and critical theory
Hegel influenced Marxist thinkers, especially György Lukács and the Frankfurt School, associated the style
and content of Heidegger's thought with German irrationalism and
criticized its political implications.
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 conservativism." Theodor Adorno wrote an
extended critique of the ideological character of Heidegger's early and
later use of language in the Jargon of Authenticity.
Contemporary social theorists associated with the Frankfurt School have
remained largely critical of Heidegger's works and influence. In
particular, Jürgen Habermas admonishes the
influence of Heidegger on recent French philosophy in his polemic
against "postmodernism" in The Philosophical Discourse of Modernity
(1985). However, recent work by philosopher and critical theorist
Nikolas Kompridis tries to show that Heidegger's insights into world disclosure
are badly misunderstood and mishandled by Habermas, and are of vital
importance for critical theory, offering an important way of renewing that tradition.
Analytic and Anglo-American philosophy
Criticism of Heidegger's philosophy has also come from analytic philosophy, beginning with logical positivism. Accusing Heidegger
of offering an "illusory" ontology, Rudolf
Carnap criticized him, in "The Elimination of Metaphysics Through
Logical Analysis of Language" (1932), of committing the fallacy of reification
and of wrongly dismissing the logical treatment of language, which,
according to Carnap, can only lead to writing "nonsensical
A strong critic of Heidegger's philosophy was the British logical
positivist A. J. Ayer.
In Ayer's view, he proposed vast, overarching theories regarding
existence, which are completely unverifiable through empirical
demonstration and logical analysis. For Ayer, this sort of philosophy
was a poisonous strain in modern thought and he considered Heidegger to
be the worst example of such philosophy which Ayer believed to be
Bertrand Russell commented, expressing
the sentiments of many mid-20th-century English-speaking philosophers,
- Highly eccentric in its terminology, his philosophy is extremely
obscure. One cannot help suspecting that language is here running riot.
An interesting point in his speculations is the insistence that
nothingness is something positive. As with much else in Existentialism,
this is a psychological observation made to pass for logic.
Roger Scruton stated that:
- His major work Being and Time is formidably difficult—unless it
utter nonsense, in which case it is laughably easy. I am not sure how
to judge it, and have read no commentator who even begins to make sense
The analytic tradition values clarity of expression. Heidegger,
however, has on occasion appeared to take an opposing view, stating for
example that "those in the crossing must in the end know what is
mistaken by all urging for intelligibility: that every thinking of
being, all philosophy, can never be confirmed by 'facts,' i.e.,
by beings. Making itself intelligible is suicide for philosophy. Those
who idolize 'facts' never notice that their idols only shine in a
borrowed light. They are also meant not to notice this; for thereupon
they would have to be at a loss and therefore useless. But idolizers
and idols are used wherever gods are in flight and so announce their
Apart from the charge of obscurantism,
philosophers considered the actual content of
Heidegger's work to be either faulty and meaningless, vapid or
Not all analytic philosophers, however, have been as hostile. Gilbert
Ryle wrote a critical yet positive review of Being and Time
and Ludwig Wittgenstein made a remark
recorded by Friedrich Waismann: "To be sure, I can imagine what
Heidegger means by being and anxiety"
which has been construed by some commentators
as sympathetic to Heidegger's philosophical approach. These positive
and negative analytic evaluations have been collected in Michael Murray
(ed.), Heidegger and Modern Philosophy: Critical Essays (Yale
University Press, 1978). Heidegger's reputation within English-language
philosophy has slightly improved in philosophical terms in some part
through the efforts of Hubert Dreyfus, Richard
and a recent generation of analytically-oriented phenomenology
scholars. Pragmatist Rorty claimed that Heidegger's approach to
philosophy in the first half of his career has much in common with that
of the latter-day Ludwig Wittgenstein, a significant figure in analytic
philosophy. Nevertheless, Rorty asserted that what Heidegger had
constructed in his writings was a myth of being rather than an account
Even though Heidegger is considered by most observers to be the most
influential philosopher of the 20th century in continental philosophy,
aspects of his work have been criticised by those who nevertheless
acknowledge this influence, such as Hans-Georg Gadamer and Jacques Derrida.
Some questions raised about Heidegger's philosophy include the priority
of ontology, the status of animals, the nature of the religious,
Heidegger's supposed neglect of ethics (Emmanuel Lévinas),
the body (Maurice Merleau-Ponty), or sexual
difference (Luce Irigaray).
Emmanuel Lévinas was deeply influenced by Heidegger yet
of his fiercest critics, contrasting the infinity of the good beyond
being with the immanence and totality of ontology. Lévinas also
condemned Heidegger's involvement with Nazism, stating "One can forgive
many Germans, but there are some Germans it is difficult to forgive. It
is difficult to forgive Heidegger."
Heidegger's collected works are published by Vittorio Klostermann. The Gesamtausgabe
was begun during Heidegger's lifetime. He defined the order of
publication and controversially dictated that the principle of editing
should be "ways not works." Publication has not yet been completed.
The contents are listed here: Heidegger Gesamtausgabe.
A complete list of English translations of Heidegger's work is
||Sein und Zeit, Gesamtausgabe Volume 2
||Being and Time, trans. by John Macquarrie
and Edward Robinson (London: SCM Press, 1962); re-translated by Joan
Stambaugh (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1996)
||Kant und das Problem der Metaphysik, Gesamtausgabe
||Kant and the Problem of Metaphysics, trans. by Richard
Taft (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1990)
||Einführung in die Metaphysik (1935, published
1953), Gesamtausgabe Volume 40
||An Introduction to Metaphysics, trans. by Gregory
Fried and Richard Polt (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2000)
||Beiträge zur Philosophie (Vom Ereignis)
(1936–1938, published 1989), Gesamtausgabe Volume 65
Philosophy (From Enowning), trans. by Parvis Emad and Kenneth
Maly (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1999)
||Hölderlins Hymne »Der Ister«
(1942, published 1984), Gesamtausgabe Volume 53
||Hölderlin's Hymn "The Ister",
by William McNeill and Julia
Davis (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1996)
||"Die Frage nach der Technik", in Gesamtausgabe Volume 7
||"The Question Concerning
Technology" , in Heidegger,
Martin, Basic Writings: Second Edition, Revised and Expanded,
ed. David Farrell Krell (New York: Harper Collins, 1993)
||Holzwege, Gesamtausgabe Volume 5. This collection
includes "Der Ursprung der Kunstwerkes" (1935–1936)
||Off the Beaten Track. This collection includes "The Origin of the Work of Art"
||Der Satz vom Grund, Gesamtausgabe Volume 10
||The Principle of Reason, trans. Reginald Lilly
(Bloomington, Indiana University Press, 1991)
||Identität und Differenz, Gesamtausgabe Volume 11
||Identity and Difference, trans. by Joan Stambaugh (New
York: Harper & Row, 1969)
||Gelassenheit, in Gesamtausgabe Volume 16
||Discourse On Thinking
||Unterwegs zur Sprache, Gesamtausgabe Volume 12
||On the Way To Language, published without the essay "Die
Sprache" ("Language") by arrangement with Heidegger
On Being and Time
- William Blattner, Heidegger's Temporal Idealism
- Taylor Carman, Heidegger's Analytic: Interpretation,
Discourse, and Authenticity in "Being and Time"
- Hubert Dreyfus, Being-in-the-World: A
Commentary on Heidegger's Being and Time, Division I
- Graham Harman, Tool-Being: Heidegger and
the Metaphysics of Objects
- Michael Gelven, A Commentary on
Heidegger's Being and Time, Revised Edition
- E.F. Kaelin, "Heidegger's Being & Time: A Reading for Readers"
- Magda King, A Guide to Heidegger's Being and Time
- Theodore Kisiel, The Genesis of
Heidegger's Being and Time
- Stephen Mulhall, Heidegger and Being
- James Luchte, Heidegger's Early Philosophy: The Phenomenology
of Ecstatic Temporality
Politics and Nazism
- Pierre Bourdieu, The Political
Ontology of Martin Heidegger
- Miguel de Beistegui, Heidegger and the Political: Dystopias
- Jacques Derrida, Of Spirit: Heidegger
and the Question
- Emmanuel Faye,
Heidegger, l'introduction du nazisme dans la philosophie :
autour des séminaires inédits de 1933-1935, Paris,
Albin Michel, 2005. ISBN 2-226-14252-5
- Dominique Janicaud, The
of That Thought
- Philippe Lacoue-Labarthe,
"Transcendence Ends in Politics", in Typography: Mimesis,
- Philippe Lacoue-Labarthe, Heidegger, Art, and Politics: The
Fiction of the Political
- Karl Löwith, Martin Heidegger and
- Karl Löwith Heidegger's Existentialism
- Jean-François Lyotard, Heidegger
and "the jews"
- Günther Neske & Emil Kettering (eds.), Martin
Heidegger and National Socialism: Questions and Answers
- Political Texts – Rectoral Addresses
- Tom Rockmore and Joseph Margolis (ed.), The Heidegger
- Daniel Ross,
Heidegger and the Question of
- Hans Sluga, Heidegger's Crisis: Philosophy
and Politics in Nazi Germany
- Iain Thomson, Heidegger on Ontotheology: Technology and the
Politics of Education
- Dana Villa, Arendt and Heidegger: the Fate of the Political
- Richard Wolin (ed.), The Heidegger
Controversy ISBN 0-262-23166-2.
- Robert Bernasconi, Heidegger in
Question: The Art of Existing
- Walter A. Brogan, Heidegger and Aristotle: The Twofoldness of
- Gabriel Cercel / Cristian Ciocan (eds), The Early
Heidegger (Studia Phaenomenologica
I, 3-4), Bucharest: Humanitas, 2001, 506 p., including letters by
Heidegger and Pöggeler, and articles by Walter Biemel,
Friedrich-Wilhelm von Herrmann, Theodore Kisiel, Marion Heinz, Alfred
- Steven Galt Crowell, Husserl, Heidegger, and the Space of
Meaning: Paths toward Transcendental Phenomenology
- Jacques Derrida, "Ousia and Gramme: Note on a Note
from Being and Time", in Margins of Philosophy
- Paul Edwards, Heidegger's
- Christopher Fynsk, Heidegger:
Thought and Historicity
- Graham Harman, Heidegger Explained
- Philippe Lacoue-Labarthe, Poetry as Experience
- Philippe Lacoue-Labarthe, Heidegger and the Politics of Poetry
- William McNeill, The
Glance of the Eye: Heidegger, Aristotle, and the Ends of Theory
- William McNeill, The Time of Life: Heidegger and Ethos
- Jean-Luc Nancy, "The Decision of
Existence", in The Birth to Presence
- Herman Philipse, Heidegger's
Philosophy of Being: A Critical Interpretation
- Richard Polt, Heidegger: An Introduction
- François Raffoul, Heidegger
and the Subject
- François Raffoul & David Pettigrew (ed), Heidegger
and Practical Philosophy
- John Sallis, Echoes: After Heidegger
- John Sallis (ed), Reading Heidegger: Commemorations,
including articles by Robert Bernasconi, Jacques Derrida, Rodolphe Gasché, and John Sallis,
- Reiner Schürmann, Heidegger on
Being and Acting: From Principles to Anarchy
- Tony See, Community without Identity: The Ontology and
Politics of Heidegger
- Adam Sharr, Heidegger's Hut
- Bernard Stiegler, Technics and Time, 1: The Fault of Epimetheus
- Andrzej Warminski, Readings in Interpretation:
Hölderlin, Hegel, Heidegger
Reception in France
on Japanese philosophy
- Mayeda, Graham. 2006. Time, space and ethics in the
philosophy of Watsuji Tetsurō, Kuki Shūzō, and Martin Heidegger
(New York: Routledge, 2006). ISBN 0415976731 (alk. paper).
Martin Heidegger, Being and Time, pp. 25–26.
Source: Hannah Arendt / Martin Heidegger by Elzbieta Ettinger, Yale
University Press, New Haven, 1995, page 10
Hannah Arendt, Martin Heidegger At 80, New York Review of
Books, 17/6, (Oct. 21, 1971), 50-54; repr. in Heidegger and Modern
Philosophy ed. M. Murray (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1978),
"Martin Heidegger, Emmanuel
Levinas\, and the Politics of Dwelling" by David J. Gauthier, Ph.D
dissertation, Louisiana State University, 2004, page 156
- ^ a
Karl Löwith, Mein Leben in Deutschland vor und nach 1933: ein
(Stuttgart: Metzler, 1986), p. 57, translated by Paula Wissing as cited
by Maurice Blanchot in "Thinking the Apocalypse: a Letter from Maurice
Blanchot to Catherine David", in Critical Inquiry 15:2, pp.
"Emmanuel Faye,[in his “Heidegger: The Introduction of Nazism Into
Philosophy,”] argues fascist and racist ideas are so woven into the
fabric of Heidegger’s theo-ries that they no longer deserve to be
called philosophy. . . . Richard Wolin, the author of several books on
Heidegger and a close reader of the Faye book, said he is not convinced
Heidegger’s thought is as thoroughly tainted by Nazism as Mr. Faye
argues. Nonetheless he recognizes how far Heidegger’s ideas have
spilled into the larger culture." An Ethical Question: Does a Nazi
Deserve a Place Among Philosophers? by Patricia Cohen. New York
Times. Published: November 8, 2009. 
Hermann Philipse, Heidegger's Philosophy of Being p. 173, Notes
to Chapter One, Martin Heidegger, Supplements, trans. John Van
Buren p. 183.
Note, however, that it was discovered later that one of the two main
sources used by Heidegger was not by Scotus, but by Thomas of Erfurt.
Thus Heidegger's 1916 doctoral thesis, Die Kategorien- und
Bedeutungslehre des Duns Scotus, should have been entitled, Die
Kategorienlehre des Duns Scotus und die Bedeutungslehre des Thomas von
Erfurt. Source: Stanford Encyclopedia of
Source: //Heidegger and Nazism// by Victor Farias, Temple University
Press, Philadelphia, page 84
Source: "German Men and Women!", Freiburger Studentenzeitung,, November
10, 1933, as quoted in //Introducing Heidegger// by Jeff Collins et
al., Icon Books, Thriplow, Cambridge, page 96
Heidegger, Gertrud (September 2005), Mein liebes Seelchen!
Briefe von Martin Heidegger an seine Frau Elfride: 1915-1970,
Munich: DVA, ISBN 978-3421058492
Martin Heidegger / Elisabeth Blochmann. Briefwechsel 1918–1969.
W. Storck, ed. Marbach am Neckar: Deutsches Literatur-Archiv,
1989, 2nd edn. 1990.
Being There, a Spring 2007
article on Heidegger's vacation home for Cabinet magazine.
For a recent study on Heidegger's reading of the Sophist and
his less central interest in Plato's Timaeus and its conception
of space qua khôra: see: Nader El-Bizri, "On
Kai khôra: Situating Heidegger between the Sophist
and the Timaeus", Studia Phaenomenologica, Vol. IV,
Issue 1-2 (2004), pp. 73-98
In everyday German, "Dasein" means "existence." It is composed
of "Da" (here/there) and "Sein" (being). Dasein
is transformed in Heidegger's usage from its everyday meaning to refer,
rather, to that being that is there in its world, that is, the
being for whom being matters. In later publications Heidegger writes
the term in hyphenated form as Da-sein, thus emphasizing the
distance from the word's ordinary usage.
Jacques Derrida describes this in the following terms: "We can see then
that Dasein, though not man, is nevertheless nothing other
than man." Jacques Derrida, "The Ends of Man", Margins of Philosophy
(Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1982), p. 127.
Cf. Bernard Stiegler, "Technics of Decision:
An Interview", Angelaki 8 (2003), pp. 154–67, and cf. the
discussion of Stiegler's reading of Heidegger in the sub-section
"Bernard Stiegler" below.
Heidegger, What is Called Thinking? (New York: Harper &
Row, 1968), p. 73.
Kelvin Knight, Aristotelian Philosophy: Ethics and Politics from
Aristotle to MacIntyre (Cambridge: Polity Press, 2007).
Hans-Georg Gadamer, "Martin Heidegger's One Path", in Theodore Kisiel
& John van Buren (eds.), Reading Heidegger from the Start:
Essays in His Earliest Thought (Albany: SUNY Press, 1994), pp. 22–4.
In The Genesis of Heidegger's Being and Time
(Berkeley: University of California Press, 1993), Theodor Kisiel
designates the first version of the project that culminates in Being
Time, "the Dilthey draft" (p. 313). David Farrell Krell
comments in Daimon Life: Heidegger and Life-Philosophy
(Bloomington & Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 1992) that
"Heidegger's project sprouts (in part, but in good part) from
the soil of Dilthey's philosophy of factical-historical life" (p. 35).
Hans-Georg Gadamer, "Martin Heidegger—75 Years", Heidegger's Ways
(Albany: SUNY Press, 1994), p. 18.
Robert J. Dostal, "Time and Phenomenology in Husserl and Heidegger", in
Charles Guignon (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Heidegger
(Cambridge & New York: Cambridge University Press, 1993), p. 142.
Daniel O. Dahlstrom, "Heidegger's Critique of Husserl", in Theodore
Kisiel & John van Buren (eds.), Reading Heidegger from the
Start: Essays in His Earliest Thought (Albany: SUNY Press, 1994),
Dreyfus, Hubert. Being-in-the-world: A Commentary on Heidegger's
Being and Time, Division I. (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1991), Sec.
Heidegger, "A Dialogue on Language between a Japanese and an Inquirer",
in On the Way to Language (New York: Harper & Row, 1971).
Tomonubu Imamichi, In Search of Wisdom. One Philosopher's Journey,
International House of Japan, 2004 (quoted by Anne Fagot-Largeau
during her lesson at the Collège de France on December 7,
See for instance: Nader El-Bizri, The Phenomenological Quest
between Avicenna and Heidegger (Binghamton, N.Y.:
Global Publications SUNY, 2000)
Hans Sluga, Heidegger's Crisis: Philosophy and Politics in Nazi
Germany (Cambridge, Massachusetts, & London: Harvard University
Press, 1993), p. 149.
Heidegger, "The Rectorate 1933/34: Facts and Thoughts", in Günther
Neske & Emil Kettering (eds.), Martin Heidegger and National
Socialism: Questions and Answers (New York: Paragon House, 1990),
Seyla Benhabib, The Reluctant
Modernism Of Hannah Arendt (Rowman and Littlefield, 2003, p.
Seyla Benhabib, The Personal
is not the Political (October/November 1999 issue of Boston
Martin Heidegger, "Der Spiegel Interview", in Günther Neske &
Emil Kettering (eds.), Martin Heidegger and National Socialism:
Questions and Answers (New York: Paragon House, 1990), p. 48.
Rüdiger Safranski, Martin Heidegger: Between Good and Evil
(Cambridge, Mass., & London: Harvard University Press, 1998), pp.
Elzbieta Ettinger,Hannah Arendt – Martin Heidegger, (New Haven,
Conn., & London: Yale University Press, 1995), p. 37.
Rainer Marten, letter to Jürgen Habermas, January 28, 1988, cited
by Habermas in "Work and Weltanschauung: the Heidegger
Controversy from a German Perspective", Critical Inquiry 15
(1989), pp. 452–54.
Heidegger, Hölderlin's Hymn "The Ister"
(Bloomington & Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 1996), pp.
ibid, p. 477
Cited in Philippe Lacoue-Labarthe, Heidegger, Art and Politics: The
Fiction of the Political (Oxford: Blackwell, 1990), p. 34.
Lacoue-Labarthe, Heidegger, Art and Politics, p. 34.
For critical readings of the interview (published in 1966 as "Only a
God Can Save Us", Der Spiegel), see the "Special Feature on
Heidegger and Nazism" in Critical Inquiry 15:2 (Winter 1989),
particularly the contributions by Jürgen Habermas and Blanchot. The issue includes partial
translations of Derrida's Of Spirit and Lacoue-Labarthe's Of
Spirit and Heidegger, Art, and Politics: the Fiction of the
On the history of the French translation of Heidegger's "What is
Metaphysics?", and on its importance to the French intellectual scene,
cf. Denis Hollier, "Plenty of Nothing", in Hollier (ed.), A New
History of French Literature (Cambridge, Massachusetts, Harvard
University Press, 1989), pp. 894–900.
Heidegger, "Letter on 'Humanism'", Pathmarks (Cambridge &
New York: Cambridge University Press, 1998), pp. 250–1.
Richard Rorty, review of Heidegger
Nazism in the New Republic, quoted on the Temple University
Press promotional page for Heidegger and Nazism
Bernard Stiegler, Technics and Time, 1: The Fault of Epimetheus
(Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1998), part 2.
See Edmund Husserl, Psychological and transcendental phenomenology
and the confrontation with Heidegger (1927-1931) (Dordrecht:
Nikolas Kompridis, Critique and Disclosure: Critical Theory between
Past and Future MIT Press, 2006.
Kompridis, "Disclosing Possibility: The Past and Future of Critical
Theory", International Journal of Philosophical Studies, Volume 13,
Issue 3 September 2005 , pages 325 - 351.
Bertrand Russell, Wisdom of the West (New York: Crescent Books,
1989), p. 303.
Jeff Collins, Introducing Heidegger (Thriplow, Cambridge: Icon
Books, 1998), p. 7.
Martin Heidegger, Contributions to Philosophy (From Enowning)
(Bloomington & Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 1999), p.
Wittgenstein and the Vienna Circle: Conversations Recorded by
Friedrich Waismann, Basil Blackwell, Oxford, 1979, p.68
Jeff Collins, Introducing Heidegger (Thriplow, Cambridge: Icon
Books, 1998), p. 170.
Emmanuel Levinas, Nine Talmudic Readings (Indiana University
Press, 1990), p. xxv, translated by Annette Aronowicz
Works by Heidegger
Works on Heidegger
- "Martin Heidegger" [Internet
Encyclopedia of Philosophy] – informative article, summarizing
Heidegger's philosophy, including his theories on Angst, and
criticisms from other philosophers such as Husserl.
- Books introducing Heidegger.
- Dutton, Denis (1988). "Kaufmann, Heidegger, and Nazism". Philosophy
and Literature (12): 325–326. http://www.denisdutton.com/heidegger.htm. Retrieved 2006-07-12. – a positive review of Walter Kaufmann's and George Steiner's negative treatments of
- Hearing Heidegger and Saussure
by Elmer G. Wiens.
- "Viewing Power in Heidegger and
Levinas" by Mitchell Cowen Verter.
- "Serious response to Emmanuel
Faye on Heidegger and nazism". (French)
- "Nazi foundations of Heidegger's
Work" by Emmanuel Faye, with a discussion. (French)
- "For the opening of Heidegger's
Archives" by Emmanuel Faye. (French)
- Réponses de Gérard
Guest (1) (au dossier publié dans "Magazine Littéraire"). (French)
- Réponses de Gérard
Guest (2) (au dossier publié dans "Le Point"). (French)
Universitätsbibliothek Freiburg im Breisgau (Multilingual).
- Being and Power: Heidegger and
Foucault by Hubert Dreyfus.
Recent Papers by Hubert Dreyfus.
- Heidegger on Truth as
- Heidegger and the History of
Metaphysics as Ontotheology
- What Heidegger Means by
Being-in-the-World, a paper by Roy Hornsby
- François Fédier:
Avant-Propos: Heidegger à plus forte raison, Fayard, Paris, 2007. (French)
- François Fédier:
Mécanique de la diffamation. (French)
- Heidegger contre le nazisme (blog
- A Normal Nazi Thomas Sheehan on
- Heidegger and Nazism: An Exchange
- Heil Heidegger! A critical
re-evaluation of Heidegger in The Chronicle Review - Chronicle of
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
"Sartre" redirects here. For the main-belt
asteroid, see 11384 Sartre
Jean-Paul Charles Aymard Sartre (French
pronunciation: [saʁtʁ], English: /ˈsɑrt/; 21 June 1905 –
15 April 1980) was a French existentialist philosopher, playwright,
biographer, and literary critic. He was one of the
leading figures in 20th
century French philosophy and Existentialism, and his work continues to
influence further fields such as sociology
and literary studies.
Sartre was also noted for his lifelong relationship with the author and
social theorist, Simone de Beauvoir.
Early life and thought
Jean-Paul Sartre was born and raised in Paris to
Jean-Baptiste Sartre, an officer of the French
Navy, and Anne-Marie Schweitzer. His mother was of Alsatian
origin, and the first cousin of Nobel
Prize laureate Albert Schweitzer. (Her father, Charles
Schweitzer, 1844-1935, was the older brother of Albert Schweitzer's
father, Louis Théophile, 1846-1925).
When Sartre was 15 months old, his father died of a fever. Anne-Marie
raised him with help from her father, Charles Schweitzer, a high school
professor of German, who taught Sartre mathematics and introduced him
literature at a very early age.
As a teenager in the 1920s, Sartre became attracted to philosophy
upon reading Henri Bergson's Essay on the Immediate
Data of Consciousness.
He studied and earned a doctorate
in philosophy in Paris at the elite École Normale Supérieure,
an institution of higher education that was the alma
mater for several prominent French thinkers and intellectuals.
Sartre was influenced by many aspects of Western philosophy, absorbing ideas
from Kant, Hegel, Husserl and Heidegger, among others. In 1929 at the
École Normale, he met Simone de Beauvoir, who studied at the Sorbonne
and later went on to become a noted philosopher, writer, and feminist.
two became inseparable and lifelong companions, initiating a
though they were not monogamous.
Sartre served as a conscript in the French
Army from 1929 to 1931 and he later argued in 1959 that each French
person was responsible for the collective crimes during the Algerian War
Together, Sartre and de Beauvoir challenged the cultural
assumptions and expectations of their upbringings, which they
considered bourgeois, in both lifestyle
and thought. The conflict between oppressive, spiritually destructive conformity (mauvaise
foi, literally, "bad faith") and an "authentic" way of "being"
became the dominant theme of Sartre's early work, a theme embodied in
his principal philosophical work L'Être et le Néant
(Being and Nothingness) (1943).
Sartre's introduction to his philosophy is his work Existentialism
a Humanism (1946), originally presented as a lecture.
Sartre and World War
French journalists visit General George C. Marshall at his office in
the Pentagon building,(1945)
In 1939 Sartre was drafted into the French army, where he served as
He was captured by German troops in 1940 in Padoux,
and he spent nine months as a prisoner of war — in Nancy and
finally in Stalag
he wrote his first theatrical piece, Barionà, fils du
tonnerre, a drama concerning Christmas.
was during this period of confinement that Sartre read Heidegger's Sein und Zeit, later to become a major
influence on his own essay on phenomenological ontology.
poor health (he claimed that his poor eyesight affected his
balance) Sartre was released in April 1941. Given civilian status, he
recovered his position as a teacher at Lycée Pasteur
near Paris, settled at the Hotel Mistral near Montparnasse at Paris,
and was given a new position at Lycée Condorcet, replacing a Jewish
teacher who had been forbidden to teach by Vichy law.
After coming back to Paris in May 1941, he participated in the
founding of the underground group Socialisme
Liberté with other writers Simone de Beauvoir, Merleau-Ponty, Jean-Toussaint
Desanti and his wife Dominique
Desanti, Jean Kanapa,
and École Normale students. In August, Sartre and Beauvoir went
to the French Riviera seeking the support of André
Gide and André Malraux.
However, both Gide and Malraux were undecided, and this may have been
the cause of Sartre's disappointment and discouragement. Socialisme
et liberté soon dissolved and Sartre decided to write,
instead of being involved in active resistance. He then wrote Being and Nothingness, The
Flies, and No Exit, none of which was censored by the
Germans, and also contributed to both legal and illegal literary
After August 1944 and the Liberation of Paris, he wrote Anti-Semite and Jew. In the book
he tries to explain the etiology of hate by analyzing antisemitic hate. Sartre was a very active
contributor to Combat, a newspaper created during
the clandestine period by Albert
a philosopher and author who held similar beliefs. Sartre and Beauvoir
remained friends with Camus until he turned away from communism, a
schism that eventually divided them in 1951, after the publication of
Camus' The Rebel. Later, while Sartre was
labeled by some authors as a resistant, the French philosopher and
resistant Vladimir Jankelevitch
criticized Sartre's lack of political commitment during the German
occupation, and interpreted his further struggles for liberty as an
attempt to redeem himself. According to Camus, Sartre was a writer who
resisted, not a resistor who wrote.
When the war ended Sartre established Les Temps Modernes
(Modern Times), a monthly literary and political review,
and started writing full-time as well as continuing his political
activism. He would draw on his war experiences for his great trilogy of
novels, Les Chemins de la Liberté (The Roads to Freedom) (1945–1949).
The first period of Sartre's career, defined in large part by Being
Nothingness (1943), gave way to a second period as a
politically engaged activist and intellectual. His 1948 work Les Mains Sales (Dirty
in particular explored the problem of being both an intellectual at the
same time as becoming "engaged" politically. He embraced communism,
denied the purgings
of Stalin, had an affair with a KGB-agent
and defended existentialism, though never officially
joining the Communist Party, and took a
prominent role in the struggle against French rule in
Algeria. He became perhaps the most eminent supporter of the FLN in the Algerian
War and was one of the signatory of the Manifeste des 121.
he had an Algerian mistress, Arlette
Elkaïm, who became his adopted daughter in 1965. He opposed
the Vietnam War and, along with Bertrand Russell and others, organized a tribunal
intended to expose U.S. war crimes, which became known as the Russell Tribunal in 1967.
As a fellow-traveller,
Sartre spent much of the rest of his life attempting to reconcile his
existentialist ideas about free
with communist principles, which taught that socio-economic forces
beyond our immediate, individual control play a critical role in
shaping our lives. His major defining work of this period, the Critique
la raison dialectique (Critique of Dialectical Reason)
in 1960 (a second volume appeared posthumously). In Critique,
set out to give Marxism a more vigorous intellectual defense
than it had received up until then; he ended by concluding that Marx's
notion of "class"
as an objective entity was fallacious. Sartre's emphasis on the
humanist values in the early works of Marx led to a dispute with the
leading Communist intellectual in France in the 1960s, Louis Althusser, who claimed that the
ideas of the young Marx were decisively superseded by the
"scientific" system of the later Marx.
Sartre went to Cuba in the '60s to meet Fidel
Castro and spoke with Ernesto "Che" Guevara.
death, Sartre would declare him to be "not only an
intellectual but also the most complete human being of our age"
and the "era's most perfect man."
Sartre would also compliment Che Guevara by professing that "he lived
his words, spoke his own actions and his story and the story of the
world ran parallel."
Following the Munich massacre in which eleven Israeli
Olympians were killed by the Palestinian organization Black September in Munich
1972, Sartre said terrorism
"is a terrible weapon but the oppressed poor have no others." Sartre
also found it "perfectly scandalous that the Munich attack should be
judged by the French press and a section of public opinion as an
However, Sartre was generally supportive of Israel and Zionism.
During a collective hunger strike in 1974, Sartre visited Red Army Faction leader Andreas Baader in Stammheim Prison and criticized the harsh
conditions of imprisonment.
Late life and death
In 1964, Sartre renounced literature in a witty and sardonic account
of the first ten years of his life, Les mots (Words).
The book is an ironic counterballast to Marcel
Proust, whose reputation had unexpectedly eclipsed that of André
Gide (who had provided the model of littérature
for Sartre's generation). Literature, Sartre concluded, functioned
ultimately as a bourgeois substitute for real commitment in the world.
In October 1964, Sartre was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature but he
declined it. He was the first Nobel Laureate to voluntarily decline the
and he had previously refused the Légion d'honneur,
in 1945. The prize was announced on 22 October 1964; on 14 October,
Sartre had written a letter to the Nobel Institute, asking to be
removed from the list of nominees, and that he would not accept the
prize if awarded, but the letter went unread;
on 23 October, Le Figaro
published a statement by Sartre explaining his refusal. He said he did
not wish to be "transformed" by such an award, and did not want to take
sides in an East vs. West cultural struggle by accepting an award from
a prominent Western cultural institution.
However, Lars Gyllensten,
long time member of the Nobel prize committee has controversially
claimed in his autobiography that Sartre later tried to access the
prize money, but was subsequently turned down.
Allegedly, the French philosopher in 1975 wrote a letter to the Nobel
Prize committee saying that he had changed his mind about the prize, at
least when it came to the money. At which point the prize committee is
said to have declined the request, stating that the funds had been
reinvested in the Nobel institute. However, there has never been any
evidence presented or confirmation given to prove any such story.
Though his name was then a household word (as was "existentialism"
during the tumultuous 1960s), Sartre remained a simple man with few
possessions, actively committed to causes until the end of his life,
such as the student revolution strikes in Paris
during the summer of 1968 during which he was arrested for civil disobedience. President Charles de Gaulle intervened and
pardoned him, commenting that "you don't arrest Voltaire."
In 1975, when asked how he would like to be remembered, Sartre
replied: "I would like [people] to remember Nausea, [my plays] No
Exit and The Devil and the Good Lord, and then my two
philosophical works, more particularly the second one, Critique of Dialectical Reason.
my essay on Genet, Saint Genet...If
these are remembered, that would be quite an achievement, and I don't
ask for more. As a man, if a certain Jean-Paul Sartre is remembered, I
would like people to remember the milieu or historical situation in
which I lived,...how I lived in it, in terms of all the aspirations
which I tried to gather up within myself." Sartre's physical condition
deteriorated, partially because of the merciless pace of work (and
using drugs for this reason, e.g., amphetamine)
put himself through during the writing of the Critique and a
massive analytical biography of Gustave Flaubert (The Family Idiot),
of which remained unfinished.
He died 15 April 1980 in Paris from an oedema of the lung.
Sartre lies buried in Cimetière
in Paris. His funeral was well attended, with estimates of the number
of mourners along the two hour march ranging from 15,000 to over 50,000.
The basis of Sartre's existentialism can be found in The Transcendence of the Ego.
begin with, the thing-in-itself
is infinite and overflowing. Sartre refers to any direct consciousness
of the thing-in-itself as a "pre-reflective consciousness." Any attempt
to describe, understand, historicize etc. the thing-in-itself, Sartre
calls "reflective consciousness." There is no way for the reflective
consciousness to subsume the pre-reflective, and so reflection is fated
to a form of anxiety, i.e. the human condition. The reflective
consciousness in all its forms, (scientific, artistic or otherwise) can
only limit the thing-in-itself by virtue of its attempt to understand
or describe it. It follows, therefore, that any attempt at
self-knowledge (self-consciousness - a reflective consciousness of an
overflowing infinite) is a construct that fails no matter how often it
is attempted. Consciousness is consciousness of itself insofar as it is
consciousness of a transcendent object.
The same holds true about knowledge of the "Other."
The "Other" (meaning simply beings or objects that are not the self) is
a construct of reflective consciousness. A volitional entity must be
careful to understand this more as a form of warning than as an
ontological statement. However, there is an implication of solipsism
here that Sartre considers fundamental to any coherent description of
the human condition.
Sartre overcomes this solipsism by a kind of ritual. Self consciousness
needs "the Other"
(display) its own existence. It has a "masochistic desire" to
be limited, i.e. limited by the reflective consciousness of another
subject. This is expressed metaphorically in the famous line of
dialogue from No Exit, "Hell is other people."
Sartre stated that "In order to make myself recognized by the Other,
I must risk my own life. To risk one's life, in fact, is to reveal
oneself as not-bound to the objective form or to any determined
existence--as not-bound to life", meaning the value of the Other's
recognition of me depends on the value of my recognition of the Other
In this sense to the extent that the Other apprehends me as bound to a
body and immersed in life, I am myself only an Other as Ego. 
The main idea of Jean-Paul Sartre is that we are, as humans,
"condemned to be free."
This theory relies upon his belief that there is no creator, and is
formed using the example of the paper
Sartre says that if one considered a paper knife, one would assume that
the creator would have had a plan for it: an essence. Sartre said that
human beings have no essence before their existence because there is no
Creator. Thus: "existence precedes essence".
This forms the basis for his assertion that since one cannot explain
their own actions and behaviour by referencing any specific human
nature, they are necessarily fully responsible for those actions. "We
are left alone, without excuse".
Sartre maintained that the concept of authenticity and individuality
have to be earned but not learned. We need to experience death
consciousness so as to wake up ourselves as to what is really
important; the authentic in our lives which is life experience, not
Nausée and existentialism
As a junior lecturer at the Lycée du Havre
in 1938, Sartre wrote the novel La Nausée (Nausea) which
serves in some ways as a manifesto
of existentialism and remains one of his most
famous books. Taking a page from the German phenomenological
movement, he believed that our ideas are the product of experiences of
real-life situations, and that novels and plays can well describe such
fundamental experiences, having equal value to discursive essays for
the elaboration of philosophical theories such as existentialism. With
such purpose, this novel concerns a dejected researcher (Roquentin) in
a town similar to Le Havre who becomes starkly conscious of the fact
that inanimate objects and situations remain absolutely indifferent to
his existence. As such, they show themselves to be resistant to
whatever significance human consciousness might perceive in them.
This indifference of "things in themselves" (closely linked with the
later notion of "being-in-itself" in his Being and Nothingness)
has the effect of highlighting all the more the freedom Roquentin has
to perceive and act in the world; everywhere he looks, he finds
situations imbued with meanings which bear the stamp of his existence.
Hence the "nausea" referred to in the title of the book; all that he
encounters in his everyday life is suffused with a pervasive, even
horrible, taste — specifically, his freedom. The book takes the term
from Friedrich Nietzsche's Thus Spoke Zarathustra,
where it is used in the context of the often nauseating quality of
existence. No matter how much Roquentin longs for something else or
something different, he cannot get away from this harrowing evidence of
his engagement with the world. The novel also acts as a terrifying
realization of some of Kant's fundamental ideas; Sartre uses the idea
of the autonomy of the will (that morality
is derived from our ability to choose in reality; the ability to choose
being derived from human freedom; embodied in the famous saying
"Condemned to be free") as a way to show the world's indifference to
the individual. The freedom that Kant exposed is here a strong burden,
for the freedom to act towards objects is ultimately useless, and the
practical application of Kant's ideas proves to be bitterly rejected.
Sartre and literature
Sartre's views were counterposed to those of Albert
Camus in the popular imagination. In 1948, the Roman Catholic Church
placed his complete works on the Index of prohibited books.
Most of his plays are richly symbolic and serve as a means of conveying
his philosophy. The best-known, Huis-clos (No Exit),
the famous line "L'enfer, c'est les autres", usually
translated as "Hell is other people".
Aside from the impact of Nausea, Sartre's major contribution
to literature was the The Roads to Freedom trilogy
which charts the progression of how World
II affected Sartre's ideas. In this way, Roads to Freedom
presents a less theoretical and more practical approach to existentialism.
as a public intellectual
While the broad focus of Sartre's life revolved around the notion of
human freedom, he began a sustained intellectual participation in more
public matters in 1945. Prior to this—before the Second World War—he
was content with the role of an apolitical liberal intellectual: "Now
teaching at a lycée in Laon [...] Sartre made his headquarters
café at the crossing of Montparnasse and Raspail boulevards. He
attended plays, read novels, and dined [with] women. He wrote. And he
was published" (Gerassi 1989: 134). Sartre and his lifelong companion, Simone de Beauvoir,
existed, in her words, where "the world about us was a mere backdrop
against which our private lives were played out" (de Beauvoir 1958:
Sartre portrayed his own pre-war situation in the character Mathieu,
chief protagonist in the The Age of Reason, which
was completed during Sartre's first year as a soldier in the Second
World War. By forging Mathieu as an absolute rationalist,
analyzing every situation, and functioning entirely on reason, he
removed any strands of authentic content from his character and as a
result, Mathieu could "recognize no allegiance except to [him]self"
(Sartre 1942: 13), though he realized that without "responsibility for
my own existence, it would seem utterly absurd to go on existing"
(Sartre 1942: 14). Mathieu's commitment was only to himself, never to
the outside world. Mathieu was restrained from action each time because
he had no reasons for acting. Sartre then, for these reasons, was not
compelled to participate in the Spanish Civil War,
and it took the invasion of his own country to motivate him into action
and to provide a crystallization of these ideas. It was the war that
gave him a purpose beyond himself, and the atrocities of the war can be
seen as the turning point in his public stance.
The war opened Sartre's eyes to a political reality he had not yet
understood until forced into continual engagement with it: "the world
itself destroyed Sartre's illusions about isolated self-determining
individuals and made clear his own personal stake in the events of the
time" (Aronson 1980: 108). Returning to Paris in 1941 he formed the
"Socialisme et Liberté" resistance group. In 1943, after a lack
of Communist support forced the disbandment of
the group, Sartre joined a writers' Resistance group,
he remained an active participant until the end of the war. He
continued to write ferociously, and it was due to this "crucial
experience of war and captivity that Sartre began to try to build up a
positive moral system and to express it through literature" (Thody
The symbolic initiation of this new phase in Sartre’s work is
packaged in the introduction he wrote for a new journal, Les Temps Modernes,
1945. Here he aligned the journal, and thus himself, with
the Left and called for writers to express their political commitment
(Aronson 1980: 107). Yet, this alignment was indefinite, directed more
to the concept of the Left than a specific party of the Left.
Sartre's philosophy lent itself to his being a public intellectual.
envisaged culture as a very fluid concept; neither pre-determined,
nor definitely finished; instead, in true existential
fashion, "culture was always conceived as a process of continual
invention and re-invention". This marks Sartre, the intellectual, as a pragmatist,
to move and shift stance along with events. He did not
dogmatically follow a cause other than the belief in human
preferring to retain a pacifist's objectivity. It is this over-arching
theme of freedom that means his work "subverts the bases for
distinctions among the disciplines" (Kirsner 2003: 13). Therefore, he
was able to hold knowledge across a vast array of subjects: "the
international world order, the political and economic organisation of
contemporary society, especially France, the institutional and legal
frameworks that regulate the lives of ordinary citizens, the
educational system, the media networks that control and disseminate
information. Sartre systematically refused to keep quiet about what he
saw as inequalities and injustices in the world" (Scriven 1999: xii).
Moreover, his views were divergent from the prevailing political
situation. The most clear example of this is in his post-war attitude
to the French Communist Party (PCF), who,
were infuriated by Sartre's philosophy and opposition, which appeared
to lure young French men and women away from the ideology of Marxism
and into Sartre’s own existentialism (Scriven 1999: 13). His troubled
and varied relationship with Communism—and Marxism
in particular—was a consequence of their doctrines that would have
prevented his notion of radical freedom. And to align himself too
rigidly with any political movement would have circumscribed the very
freedom he was searching for. This search is most evident in his
earlier writings and, especially after the Second World War,
in his public activities, which he had begun to regard as more
significant upon recognition of the futility of words in contrast to
action. (Kirsner 2003: 60).
In the aftermath of a war that had for the first time properly
engaged Sartre in political matters, he set forth a body of work which
"reflected on virtually every important theme of his early thought and
began to explore alternative solutions to the problems posed there"
(Aronson 1980: 121). The greatest difficulties that he and all public
intellectuals of the time faced were the increasing technological
aspects of the world that were outdating the printed word as a form of
expression. In Sartre's opinion, the "traditional bourgeois literary
forms remain innately superior", but there is "a recognition that the
new technological 'mass media'
forms must be embraced if Sartre's ethical and political achievements
as an authentic, committed intellectual are to be achieved: the
demystification of bourgeois
political practices and the Sartre's raising of the consciousness, both
political and cultural, of the working class" (Scriven 1993: 8). The
struggle for Sartre was against the monopolising moguls who were
beginning to take over the media and destroy the role of the
intellectual. His attempts to reach a public were mediated by these
powers, and it was often these powers he had to campaign against. He
was skilled enough, however, to circumvent some of these issues by his
interactive approach to the various forms of media, advertising his
radio interviews in a newspaper column for example, and vice versa.
(Scriven 1993: 22).
The role of a public intellectual can lead to the individual placing
himself in danger as he engages with disputed topics. In Sartre's case,
this was witnessed in June 1961, when a plastic bomb exploded in the
entrance of his apartment building. His public support of Algerian self-determination
at the time had led Sartre to become a target of the campaign of terror
that mounted as the colonists' position deteriorated. A similar
occurrence took place the next year and he had begun to receive
threatening letters from Oran. (Aronson 1980: 157).
- L'Imagination (Imagination:
Psychological Critique), 1936
- La Transcendence de l'égo (The Transcendence of the Ego),
- La Nausée (Nausea), 1938
- Le Mur (The Wall), 1939
- Esquisse d'une théorie des émotions (Sketch for a Theory of the
- L'Imaginaire (The Imaginary), 1940, lit. "The
- Les Mouches (The
Flies), 1943 - a modern version of the Oresteia
- L'Être et le néant (Being and Nothingness), 1943
- Réflexions sur la question juive (Anti-Semite and Jew; literally, Reflections
the Jewish Question), 1943
- Huis-clos (No Exit),
- Les Chemins de la liberté (The Roads to Freedom) trilogy,
- Morts sans sépulture (Deaths without burial;
aka The Victors; Men Without Shadows in English), 1946
- L'Existentialisme est un humanisme (Existentialism
a Humanism), 1946
- La Putain respectueuse (The Respectful Prostitute)
- Qu'est ce que la littérature? (What is literature?),
- Baudelaire, 1947
- Situations, 1947 –1965
- Les Mains sales (Dirty
- "Orphée Noir" (Black Orpheus), introduction to Anthologie
de la nouvelle poésie nègre et malgache. edited by Léopold Sédar Senghor,
- Le Diable et le bon dieu (The Devil and the Good Lord),
- Les Jeux sont faits (The Chips
are Down), 1952
- Saint Genet, Actor and Martyr, 1952
- Kean (adaptation of Alexandre Dumas, père's play)
1953, produced Paris 1954, revived London 2007 
- Nekrassov, 1955
- Existentialism and Human Emotions, 1957
- Search for a Method, 1957
- Les Séquestrés d'Altona (The
Condemned of Altona), 1959
- Critique de la raison dialectique (Critique of Dialectical Reason),
- "Preface" to Frantz Fanon's The Wretched of the Earth,
- Search for a Method (English
translation of preface to Critique, Vol. I), 1962
- Colonialism and Neocolonialism,
- Les Mots (The
Words), 1964, autobiographical
- L'Idiot de la famille (The Family
Idiot), 1971–1972 - on Gustave Flaubert
- Cahiers pour une morale (Notebooks
Ethics), 1983, 1947-48 notes on ethics
- Les Carnets de la drôle de guerre: Novembre 1939 - Mars
1940 (War Diaries:
Notebooks from a Phony War 1939-1940), 1984, notebooks from
Sartre's time in the Phony War of 1939-1940
- Aronson, Ronald (1980) Jean-Paul Sartre - Philosophy in the
World. London: NLB
- Gerassi, John (1989) Jean-Paul Sartre: Hated Conscience of
His Century. Volume 1: Protestant or Protester? Chicago: University
of Chicago Press
- Judaken, Jonathan (2006) "Jean-Paul Sartre and the Jewish
Anti-antisemitism and the Politics of the French Intellectual. Lincoln:
University of Nebraska Press
- Kirsner, Douglas (2003) The Schizoid World of Jean-Paul
Sartre and R.D. Lang. New York: Karnac
- Scriven, Michael (1993) Sartre and The Media. London:
MacMillan Press Ltd
- Scriven, Michael (1999) Jean-Paul Sartre: Politics and
Culture in Postwar France. London: MacMillan Press Ltd
- Thody, Philip (1964) Jean-Paul Sartre. London: Hamish
Brabazon, James (1975). Albert
Schweitzer: A Biography. Putnam. pp. 28.
Jean-Paul, Sartre; Arlette
Elkaïm-Sartre, Jonathan Webber (2004) . The Imaginary: A
Phenomenological Psychology of the Imagination. Routledge.
pp. viii. ISBN 0-4152-8755-3.
Schrift, Alan D. (2006). Twentieth-century
Philosophy: Key Themes and Thinkers. Blackwell Publishing.
pp. 174. ISBN 1-4051-3217-5.
Humphrey, Clark. "The People magazine approach to a
literary supercouple". The Seattle Times. http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/living/2002648627_teteatete28.html. Retrieved 2007-11-20.
Siegel, Liliane (1990). In the
shadow of Sartre. Collins (London). pp. 182. ISBN 000215336X.
Le Sueur, James D.; Pierre Bourdieu
(2005) . Uncivil War: Intellectuals and Identity Politics
During the Decolonization of Algeria. University of Nebraska Press.
pp. 178. ISBN 0-8032-8028-9.
McCloskey, Deirdre N. (2006). The
Bourgeois Virtues: Ethics for an Age of Commerce. University of
Chicago Press. pp. 297. ISBN 0-2265-5663-8.
Van den Hoven, Adrian; Andrew N. Leak
(2005). Sartre Today: A Centenary Celebration. Andrew N. Leak.
Berghahn Books. pp. viii. ISBN 1-8454-5166-X.
Boulé, Jean-Pierre (2005). Sartre,
Self-formation, and Masculinities. Berghahn Books. pp. 114. ISBN 1-5718-1742-5.
New studies agree that Beauvoir
is eclipsing Sartre as a philosopher and writer The Independent May 25, 2008.
Retrieved on January 4, 2009.
"Remembering Che Guevara", 9
October 2006, The International News, by Prof Khwaja Masud
Amazon Review of: The
Bolivian Diary: Authorized Edition
HeyChe.org - People about Che
Sartre: The Philosopher of the Twentieth Century, Bernard-Henri Lévy, p.343).
Said, Edward, "My Encounter with
Sartre," London Review of Books 1 June 2000.
The Slow Death of Andreas Baader
"Nobel Prize in Literature 1964 -
Press Release". nobelprize.org. http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/literature/laureates/1964/press.html. Retrieved 2009-02-11.
- ^ a
Histoire de lettres Jean-Paul
Sartre refuse le Prix Nobel en 1964, Elodie Bessé
Gyllensten, Lars (2000), Minnen, bara
minnen, Stockholm: Albert Bonniers förlag, p. 282, ISBN 9100571407
"Superstar of the Mind", by Tom Bishop in New York Times 7
"Sartre Cortege Plus Thousands End
In Crush At The Cemetery". Boston Globe. Agence
France-Presse (Globe Newspaper Company). April 20, 1980. http://www.boston.com/globe/search/stories/nobel/1980/1980ag.html. Retrieved 2009-05-09.
Singer, Daniel (June 5, 2000). "Sartre's Roads to Freedom". The
Nation. http://www.thenation.com/doc/20000605/singer/single. Retrieved 2009-05-09.
Sartre, 1936 Transcendence of the Ego, Williams and Kirkpatrick,
1957 pp. 98-106 translation from "La transcendence de l"ego...
Being and Nothingness, p. 237
Existentialism and Humanism
Existentialism and Humanism, page 27
Being and Nothingness, p. 246
Aronson, Ronald (2004). Camus & Sartre: The Story of a
Friendship and the Quarrel That Ended It. University of Chicago
Press. p. 30. ISBN 0226027961, 9780226027968.
- Annie Cohen-Solal, Sartre 1905-80,
- Simone de Beauvoir, Adieux: A Farewell to Sartre, New
York: Pantheon Books, 1984.
- Thomas Flynn, Sartre and Marxist Existentialism: The Test
Case of Collective Responsibility, Chicago: University of Chicago
- John Gerassi, Jean-Paul Sartre: Hated Conscience of His
Century, Volume 1: Protestant or Protester?, University of Chicago
Press, 1989. ISBN 0226287971.
- R. D. Laing and D. G. Cooper,
Reason and Violence: A Decade of Sartre's Philosophy, 1950-1960,
York: Pantheon, 1971.
- Suzanne Lilar, A propos de Sartre et de
l'amour, Paris: Grasset, 1967.
- Axel Madsen, Hearts and Minds: The Common Journey of Simone
de Beauvoir and Jean-Paul Sartre, William Morrow & Co, 1977.
- Heiner Wittmann, L'esthétique de Sartre. Artistes et
translated from the German by N. Weitemeier and J. Yacar,
L'Harmattan (Collection L'ouverture philosophique), Paris 2001.
- Jean-Paul Sartre and Benny Levy, Hope Now: The 1980 Interviews,
by Adrian van den Hoven, Chicago: University of Chicago
- P.V. Spade, Class Lecture Notes on Jean-Paul
Sartre's Being and Nothingness. 1996.
- H. Wittmann, Sartre und die Kunst. Die Porträtstudien
von Tintoretto bis Flaubert, Tübingen: Gunter Narr Verlag,
- H. Wittmann, Sartre and Camus in Aesthetics. The Challenge of
Freedom.Ed. by Dirk Hoeges. Dialoghi/Dialogues. Literatur und
Kultur Italiens und Frankreichs, vol. 13, Frankfurt/M: Peter Lang 2009 ISBN 978-3-631-58693-8
- Wilfrid Desan, The Tragic Finale: An
Essay on the philosophy of Jean-Paul Sartre (1954)
(1999). "The Road to Freedom". Human, All Too Human.
- UK Sartre Society
- Groupe d'études sartriennes, Paris
- Sartre’s Critique of Dialectical
Reason essay by Andy Blunden
- Jean-Paul Sartre (1905–1980):
Existentialism Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy
- Jean-Paul Sartre (Stanford
Encyclopedia of Philosophy)
- Sartre.org Articles, archives, and forum
- Texts on Sartre Sartre Rubric
on the website of the Sorbonne Marx Seminar
- "The Second Coming Of Sartre",
Lichfield, The Independent, 17 June 2005
- The World According to Sartre
essay by Roger Kimball
- Reclaiming Sartre A review of
Ian Birchall, Sartre Against Stalinism
- Biography and quotes of Sartre
- Living with Mother. Sartre and
the problem of maternity, Benedict O'Donohoe, International
- L’image de la femme dans le
théâtre de Jean-Paul Sartre - Jean-Paul Sartre:sexiste? by
- Pierre Michel, Jean-Paul
Sartre et Octave Mirbeau.
- Listen to Radio 4's In Our Time
programme on Sartre - RealAudio
- Sartre: philosophy, literature,
politics (articles), International Webjournal Sens Public
Links to related
||Sartre, Jean Paul
||21 June 1905(1905-06-21)
||15 April 1980
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| 20th-century French
| Alumni of the
École Normale Supérieure
| Continental philosophers
| Deaths from edema
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| French Communist Party
| French dramatists
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military personnel of World War II
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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Nick Bostrom (born Niklas Boström in 1973) is a Swedish philosopher
at the University of Oxford known for his
work on existential risk and the Anthropic principle. He holds a PhD
from the London School of Economics
(2000). He is currently the director of The Future of Humanity Institute
at Oxford University.
In addition to his writing for academic and popular press, Bostrom
makes frequent media appearances in which he talks about transhumanism-related
such as cloning,
artificial intelligence, superintelligence, mind uploading, cryonics,
nanotechnology, and the simulation argument.
In 1998, Bostrom co-founded (with David Pearce) the World
(which has since changed its name to Humanity+).
2004, he co-founded (with James Hughes) the Institute for
Ethics and Emerging Technologies.
Bostrom currently serves as the Chair of both organizations. In 2005 he
was appointed Director of the newly created Oxford Future of Humanity
Institute. Bostrom is the 2009 recipient of the Eugene R. Gannon Award for the Continued Pursuit
of Human Advancement.
Bostrom is favourable towards "human enhancement", or
"self-improvement and human perfectibility through the ethical
application of science",
well as a critic of bio-conservative views.
Bostrom has addressed the philosophical question of humanity's
He defines an existential risk as one in which an "adverse outcome
would either annihilate Earth-originating intelligent life or
permanently and drastically curtail its potential." In the 2008 volume
"Global Catastrophic Risks", editors Bostrom and Cirkovic offer a
detailed taxonomy of existential risk.
Bostrom has argued that the correct understanding of the anthropic principle is by means of his
Strong Self-Sampling Assumption: Each observer-moment should
reason as if it were randomly selected
from the class of all observer-moments in its reference class.
In this conception, each observer moment should be analysed as if it
were randomly sampled. Analysing an observer's experience into a
sequence of "observer-moments" helps avoid certain paradoxes. However
the main ambiguity is the selection of the appropriate "reference
class". For the Weak Anthropic Principle this might correspond to all
real or potential observer-moments in our universe. For the Strong
version, it might correspond to all observer-moments in the multiverse.
Bostrom's mathematical development shows that choosing either too broad
or too narrow a reference class leads to counter-intuitive results; but
he is not able to prescribe a perfect choice.
On the surface, Bostrom's simulation hypothesis is an example
of a skeptical hypothesis,
a proposal concerning the nature of reality put forward to question
beliefs, and as such, there is a long history to the underlying thesis
that reality is an illusion. This thesis can be dated back to Plato,
arguably underpins the Mind-Body Dualism of Descartes, and is closely related to phenomenalism,
stance briefly adopted by Bertrand Russell.
However, Bostrom has argued that this is not the case, and that there
are empirical reasons why the 'Simulation Hypothesis' might be valid.
He suggests that if it is possible to simulate entire inhabited planets
or even entire universes on a computer, and that such simulated people
can be fully conscious, then the sheer number of such simulations
likely to be produced by any sufficiently advanced civilization (taken
together with his Strong Self-Sampling Assumption) makes it extremely
likely that we are in fact currently living in such a simulation.
Bostrom contends that at least one of the following statements is
overwhelmingly likely to be true:
- Almost no civilization will reach a level of technological
maturity capable of producing simulated realities.
- Almost no civilization reaching aforementioned technological
will produce a simulated reality, for any of a number of reasons, such
as diversion of computational processing power for other tasks, ethical
considerations of holding entities captive in simulated realities, etc.
- Almost all entities with our general set of experiences are
living in a simulation.
- ^ a
ideas interview: Nick Bostrom; John Sutherland meets a transhumanist
who wrestles with the ethics of technologically enhanced human beings"
John Sutherland, The Guardian, 9 May 2006.
- ^ http://gannonaward.org/The_Gannon_Award/The_Gannon_Group.html
- ^ http://www.fhi.ox.ac.uk/archive/2009/eugene_r._gannon_award_for_the_continued_pursuit_of_human_advancement
Human Genetic Enhancements: A Transhumanist Perspective Journal of
Value Inquiry, Vol. 37, No. 4 (2003): pp. 493-506
Nick Bostrom (2005) "In Defence of Posthuman Dignity" Bioethics, Vol.
19, No. 3, pp. 202-214
Nick Bostrom (March 2002), "Existential Risks", Journal of Evolution
| Swedish philosophers
| 1973 births
| Living people
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The main article for this category is Polyamory
This category has only the following subcategory.
The following 42 pages are in this category, out of 42 total. This
list may not reflect recent changes (learn more).
: Free love
| Sexual fidelity
| Intimate relationships
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
This category has only the following subcategory.
category "Psychedelic drug advocates"
The following 75 pages are in this category, out of 75 total. This
list may not reflect recent changes (learn more).