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Heidegger`s Being and Time - Essay Example

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Existentialism is a belief that states the meaning and ethics comes from one’s own experiences in the world, making meaning and ethics a very personal plight. It is also very subjective. It started to become popular in the 19th century with Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Sartre, de Beauvoir and Heidegger…
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Heidegger`s Being and Time
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Heidegger`s Being and Time

Being and Time is a book by Martin Heidegger. It was never finished but it still continues to be an influential book, in fact, it is Heidegger’s most influential book. It is so influential that it actually had a great impact on the field of 20th century philosophy, particularly existentialism. Heidegger points out the problem of “being” than reflecting on consciousness or pre-conceived notions of a particular object. His problem was that we are slaves of that pre conceived notions and his book Being and Time chronicles all of that.

Heidegger claims that Western philosophy has been misunderstood ever since Platonic times. Everyone assumes something as something “to be” rather than something for what it is. Thus, the matter of the object turns to being an object rather than being the supposed object itself. His main concern is that all objects have gotten to be slaves of history and their so-called properties that we forget about the other things the object can do. With that, we also become slaves to properties as well.

For Heidegger a correct investigation of things should focus on the things or elements that are the object themselves. Heidegger also says that the reason for philosophy being misunderstood is that the philosophers have overlooked the basic facts that pre-theoretical ways offer; instead they have applied those generalizations equally to all things that they are studying. That’s why the philosophy is flawed, according to Heidegger. Thus, he proposed a new way of appreciating objects. Although he understood that we appreciate things via our innate understanding of things, such as the “common sense” which is actually prone to error. This is because as humans, we are always readily affected by our beliefs in God, our logical thinking and practically the reality. This makes our relationship with objects, particularly technology and the way of out thinking affects it. Another point that Heidegger wants to emphasize is the phenomenological approach that Husserl started. This is existentialism on its basic roots. According to Husserl, philosophy could be and should be a description of one’s experience. For Heidegger, philosophy or the understanding of experience is already embedded in the world, therefore centuries of conditioning of how we should interpret the experience are already there, making the interpretation not as unique as one would think because it is already influenced by history and other stuff. Hence, Husserl’s understanding of reality is more “intentional”. For Heidegger, describing an experience should also consider who that description is for. Anything, with philosophy, is a possibility, and therefore one should be careful in analyzing stuff philosophically. Heidegger’s ideas, however new and noble and adventurous for his time, were not as accepted well because of his affiliations. He supported Nationalist Socialism and he was actually a member of the Nazi Party. All of his supporters claim that his philosophy was not affected by his Nazism or vice versa. They are saying that that affiliation is irrelevant (but others claim that being a member of the Nazi Party was a personal error on his part. The book Being and Time tries to talk about the question about the sense of being and philosophizing it in a manner that the people would understand his point. According to him, “Being is not something like a being” and the things that determine a being is based on the terms that they already understand. But for him, one should be basic abut all of these things and be fundamental about it, negating any previous ideas by using logic. This is Heidegger first academic book. It was published ... Read More
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