Martin Heidegger


German Existentialist Philosopher

Author Quotes

To think Being itself explicitly requires disregarding Being to the extent that it is only grounded and interpreted in terms of beings and for beings as their ground, as in all metaphysics.

What shows itself in this making present is time. Then how are we to define the time manifest in the horizon of the use of the clock that is circumspect and takes time for itself in taking care This time is what is counted, showing itself in following, making present, and counting the moving pointer in such a way that making present temporalizes itself in ecstatic unity with retaining and awaiting horizonally open according to the earlier and later.

To think is to confine yourself to a single thought that one day stands still like a star in the world's sky.

What was Aristotle?s life?? Well, the answer lay in a single sentence: ?He was born, he thought, he died.? And all the rest is pure anecdote.

Today we decide about metaphysics and about even more elevated things at philosophy conferences. For everything that is to be done these days we must first have a meeting, and here is how it works: people come together, constantly come together, and they all wait for one another to turn up so that the others will tell them how it is, and if it doesn?t get said, never mind, everyone has had their say. It may very well be that all the talkers who are having their say have understood little of the matter in question, but still we believe that if we accumulate all that misunderstanding something like understanding will leap forth at the end of the day. Thus there are people today who travel from one meeting to the next and who are sustained by the confidence that something is really happening, that they?ve actually done something; whereas, at bottom, they?ve merely ducked out of work, seeking in chatter a place to build a nest for their helplessness?a helplessness, it is true, that they will never understand.

What we ?first? hear is never noises or complexes of sounds, but the creaking wagon, the motor-cycle. We hear the column on the march, the north wind, the woodpecker tapping, the fire crackling? It requires a very artificial and complicated frame of mind to ?hear? a ?pure noise?. The fact that motor-cycles and wagons are what we proximally hear is the phenomenal evidence that in every case Dasein, as Being-in-the-world, already dwells alongside what is ready-to-hand within-the-world; it certainly does not dwell proximally alongside ?sensations?; nor would it first have to give shape to the swirl of sensations to provide a springboard from which the subject leaps off and finally arrives at a ?world?. Dasein, as essentially understanding, is proximally alongside what is understood.

Truth is that which makes a people certain, clear, and strong.

Whatever can be noted historically can be found within history.

Understanding of being is itself a determination of being of Dasein.

When modern physics exerts itself to establish the world?s formula, what occurs thereby is this: the being of entities has resolved itself into the method of the totally calculable.

Unless we find ways to wrest control of our own lives from society,

When the farthest corner of the globe has been conquered technologically and can be exploited economically; when any incident you like, in any place you like, at any time you like, becomes accessible as fast as you like; when you can simultaneously experience an assassination attempt against a king in France and a symphony concert in Tokyo; when time is nothing but speed, instantaneity, and simultaneity, and time as history has vanished from all Being of all peoples; when a boxer counts as the great man of a people; when the tallies of millions at mass meetings are a triumph; then, yes then, there still looms like a specter over all this uproar the question: what for? ? where to? ? and what then?

We do not ?have? a body; rather, we ?are? bodily.

When tradition thus becomes master, it does so in such a way that what it transmits is made so inaccessible, proximally and for the most part, that it rather becomes concealed. Tradition takes what has come down to us and delivers it over to self-evidence; it blocks our access to those primordial sources from which the categories and concepts handed down to us have been in part quite genuinely drawn. Indeed it makes us forget that they have had such an origin, and makes us suppose that the necessity of going back to these sources is something which we need not even understand.

We name time when we say: everything has its time. This means: everything which actually is, every being comes and goes at the right time and remains for a time during the time allotted to it. Every thing has its time.

When you find people prattle with do not know and talk about everything and nothing, know they have lost the relationship truth topic that riveted him speak, and they rushed into a spiral of gossip without a decision, then you cannot be on any human depth in anything, and slammed the door of knowledge and real wonder real, and sealed with the seal of this understanding the corrupt pursuit of all sexy, and eagerness on the all-new, no curiosity, which seeks to what all the words without settling anywhere

We ourselves are the entities to be analyzed

Whenever an ontology takes for its theme entities whose character of Being is other than that of Dasein, it has its own foundation and motivation in Dasein's own ontical structure, in which a pre-ontological understanding of Being is comprised as a definite characteristic? Therefore fundamental ontology, from which alone all other ontologies can take their rise, must be sought in the existential analytic of Dasein.

We shall call the very being to which Daseincan relate in one way or another, and somehow always does relate, existence [Existenz]. And because the essential definition of this being cannot be accomplished by ascribing to it a ?what? that specifies its material content, because its essence lies rather in the fact that it in each instance has to be its being as its own, the term Da-sein, as a pure expression of being, has been chosen to designate this being.

Who is to determine what the perfect is? It could only be those who are themselves perfect and who therefore know what it means. Here yawns the abyss of that circularity in which the whole of human Dasein moves. What health is, only the healthy can say. Yet healthfulness is measured according to the essential starting point of health. What truth is, only one who is truthful can discern; but the one who is truthful is determined according to the essential starting point of truth.

We still by no means think decisively enough about the essence of action.

Why are there beings at all instead of nothing? That is the question. Presumably it is not arbitrary question, Why are there beings at all instead of nothing- this is obviously the first of all questions. Of course it is not the first question in the chronological sense [...] And yet, we are each touched once, maybe even every now and then, by the concealed power of this question, without properly grasping what is happening to us. In great despair, for example, when all weight tends to dwindle away from things and the sense of things grows dark, the question looms.

To be a poet in a destitute time means: to attend, singing, to the trace of the fugitive gods. This is why the poet in the time of the world's night utters the holy.

We think of beauty as being most worthy of reverence. But what is most worthy of reverence lights up only where the magnificent strength to revere is alive. To revere is not a thing for the petty and lowly, the incapacitated and underdeveloped. It is a matter of tremendous passion; only what flows from such passion is in the grand style.

Why are there beings at all, and why not rather nothing? That is the question.

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German Existentialist Philosopher