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being (Heidegger)

Subject Philosophy

People Heidegger, Martin

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405106795.2004.x


M etaphysics, contemporary E uropean philosophy Like Plato and Aristotle , Heidegger particularly emphasizes being as the subject-matter of philosophy. However, the meaning of being for him differs considerably from traditional conceptions. The Western metaphysical tradition has been centered on the question, “What is Being?”. For Heidegger, the question up to his time not only lacks an answer, but is also obscure and without direction. All traditional approaches to being, Heidegger says, are concerned not with Sein (Being itself), but Seinede (beings). Seinede is translated as “existents,” “entities,” “beings,” or “assents,” that is, as individual existents or as essential properties. Thus a concern with beings has led to a forgetfulness of Being. The distinction between Being and entities is prior to the traditional distinction between being as essence and being as existent. Thus we not only lack a proper answer to the meaning of Being, but the question of Being as well is not properly constructed. Traditional metaphysics or ontology since Plato and Aristotle has changed the study of being into the study of entities. Heidegger's distinction leads him to reinterpret the history of Western philosophy, in particular to destroy the history of ontology. His Being and Time seeks to provide a disclosure of Being through unlocking what the forgetfulness of Being hides from ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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