Martin Heidegger: Being and Time

Martin Heidegger: Being and Time

June 27, 2021 Off By Felso

Martin Heidegger is one of the philosophers who had the greatest influence on 20th century thought.

“What is the Meaning of Being?” throughout his life. He searched for an answer to the question, and focused his thoughts on this question, and examined the history of philosophy. “What is the Meaning of Being?” His ability to give a systematic answer to the question depends on his vast knowledge of the history of philosophy. The lectures and seminars he gave on Antiquity for years shaped his attitude towards existence.

His long-term study of being in the history of philosophy and his etymological studies on the concept of being led him to pre-Socratic natural philosophers. Heidegger argued that natural philosophers grasp existence a priori and directly. But with Plato, the a priori and direct understanding of being was covered up and hidden under its cover as a result of the influence of metaphysics. According to Heidegger, Plato was also the initiator of Western metaphysics. Philosophy is now the universe of explaining the existence of metaphysics.

This metaphysical understanding of existence, which continued with Aristotle, gained a religious meaning in the Middle Ages and turned into the field of Divine Being. Claiming that Modern Western Philosophy, which started with Descartes, deals with existence with an epistemology-based metaphysical understanding, Heidegger made his biggest objection to the Cartesian tradition.

Heidegger’s aim was to reinterpret (destroy) the epistemology-based dualist understanding of being, which was attached to the Cartesian tradition, and to develop an ontology-based theory of being instead. By realizing this aim in his work called Being and Time, he influenced the theories of existence of our age.

In order to understand Martin Heidegger and to determine his position in our age, it is necessary to understand the philosophical developments before him. Especially philosophy that started with Descartes and later developments should be interpreted within the context of existence. What makes Descartes the founder and father of modern philosophy? What was in Descartes’ philosophy so that the flow and perspective of philosophy changed? Why do we start modern philosophy with Descartes and not with Bacon, Galileo, Copernicus or Kepler? What makes Descartes Descartes? The answer is simply “cogito”. Because all philosophers after Descartes started to philosophize by using different forms of cogito on the basis of philosophy. These are Spinoza, Leibniz, Locke, Hume, Berkeley, Kant, Fichte, Schelling, Hegel, Dilthey and Husserl. According to Heidegger, Nietzsche was the last Western metaphysician to boldly discuss and reject this tradition for the first time.

The effort to take the cogito as a basis and explain it with an epistemological ontology also brought the sciences to the fore. Because the certainty that exists unwaveringly and openly in the cogito was reflected in the sciences as the precision of mathematical elements. The accuracy, precision, immutability and universality of mathematics found themselves in mathematical expressions in the laws of the sciences. The cogito-centered understanding of philosophy and science, which started with the Cartesian tradition, continued from the 17th century to the beginning of the 20th century.

The Cogito, the One in Spinoza, the monad in Leibniz, the empty plate in the empiricists Locke and Hume, the soul in Berkeley, the transcendental subject in Kant, the I in Fichte and Schelling, and finally the Absolute Spirit in Hegel. it happened. All modern philosophers have grasped the cogito as different forms of the subject and have tried to explain it. According to Heidegger, all modern philosophy is actually nothing but cogito philosophy and epistemological philosophy.


The term ‘being’ includes several contrasts. It first contradicts knowledge and science. Many philosophers of Heidegger’s time and earlier, especially those who claim to have followed Kant, asked, “What can we know?” and “What are the foundations of the sciences?” They were mainly concerned with epistemology or epistemology, asking questions such as Heidegger was against epistemology. The theory of knowledge was constantly sharpening its knife, but it could not get started. Knowledge, especially the systematic knowledge of science, includes a connection between the field of knowing on the one hand and the object or objects about which it is desired to be known, on the other.

But all these philosophies forgot one thing. It was time forgotten. In all forms of the cogito, time was either ignored or put inside or outside the cogito. In no way was time and cogito conceived together. It was a shortcoming, it was Dasein’s self-concealment, concealment, and misinterpretation of itself. So the “meaning of Being” had to be questioned again. According to Heidegger, for the first time Kant treated the cogito with time. But Kant, as a result of his extreme loyalty to the Cartesian tradition, failed to see that time was the “meaning of Being”. Post-Kantian philosophies continued to discuss and explain various forms of the cogito. Fichte, Schelling and Hegel, the representatives of the German romantics from the 19th century philosophical movements, conceptualized their cogito-centered theories thoroughly and sought the abstract “meaning of Being” in absolute spirit. They explained time with the concept of history, which emerged in the opening of the absolute spirit. Another philosophical movement of the 19th century