An Examination of Martin Heidegger and His Philosophy

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Elizabeth White Tracee Howell Philosophy 151 May 10, 2007 Final Paper An Examination of Martin Heidegger and His Philosophy This essay is, as the title states, an examination of Martin Heidegger's life and works. It is by no means an agreement to any of his thoughts on race, Nazism, or any of his personal philosophy involving how people relate to each other. For, though one may agree wholeheartedly with the philosophy and thought of a historical figure, one may also recognize that said person was a complete and total bastard. Though he may have been this, Martin Heidegger was also one of the most influential philosophers of the modern era, being put on the same level as Kierkegaard and Nietzsche (Soccio 501). The branch of philosophy that Heidegger specialized in and was most noted for was Existentialism. This branch of philosophy focuses most prevalently upon “Fundamental questions of meaning and choice as they affect existing individuals; existential themes include choice, freedom, identity, alienation, inauthenticity, despair and awareness of our own mortality” (Soccio 404). The fact that Heidegger focused into this area of thought may be directly linked to where he came from, which was the Black Forest of Messkirch, South Germany. This part of Germany was known for its beauty, mostly untouched by humans, which may have inspired the philosopher to think about the existence of man in this beautiful natural world. Heidegger was indeed very in love with nature, as a result of living with his mother on their family owns farm in this region (Soccio 504). As a boy he spent much of his time exploring and coming to know his small portion of the Black Forest intimately and would spend the rest of his life, minus a short stint teaching at Marburg University, in and around this region, even building himself a small cabin in the forest (Soccio 504). .

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