Time (German: Sein und Zeit) is a 1927 book by the German
philosopher Martin Heidegger, in which the author seeks to analyse the
concept of Being. Heidegger maintains that this has fundamental
importance for philosophy and that, since the time of the Ancient
Greeks, philosophy has avoided the question, turning instead to the
analysis of particular beings. Heidegger attempts to revive ontology
through a reawakening of the question of the meaning of being. He
approaches this through a fundamental ontology that is a preliminary
analysis of the being of the being to whom the question of being is
important, i.e., Dasein, or the human being in the abstract.
Heidegger wrote that
Time was made possible by his study of
Edmund Husserl's Logical Investigations (1900–1901), and it is
dedicated to Husserl "in friendship and admiration". Although
Heidegger did not complete the project outlined in the introduction,
Time remains his most important work. It was immediately
recognized as an original and groundbreaking philosophical work, and
later became a focus of debates and controversy, and a profound
influence on 20th-century philosophy, particularly existentialism,
hermeneutics, deconstruction, and the enactivist approach to
Time has been described as the most influential
version of existential philosophy, and Heidegger's achievements in the
work have been compared to those of
Immanuel Kant in the Critique of
Pure Reason (1781) and
Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel
Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel in The
Phenomenology of Spirit (1807) and
Science of Logic
Science of Logic (1812–1816). The
work influenced philosophical treatises such as Jean-Paul Sartre's
Being and Nothingness (1943).
3 Phenomenology in Heidegger and Husserl
5 Destruction of metaphysics
6 Related work
7 Influence and reception
9 External links
According to Heidegger's statement in
Being and Time, the work was
made possible by his study of Husserl's Logical Investigations
Time was originally intended to consist of
two major parts, each part consisting of three divisions. Heidegger
was forced to prepare the book for publication when he had completed
only the first two divisions of part one. The remaining divisions
Time (particularly the divisions on time and
being, Immanuel Kant, and Aristotle) were never published, although in
many respects they were addressed in one form or another in
Heidegger's other works. In terms of structure,
as it was when it first appeared in print; it consists of the lengthy
two-part introduction, followed by Division One, the "Preparatory
Fundamental Analysis of Dasein," and Division Two, "
Heidegger describes his project in the following way: "our aim in the
following treatise is to work out the question of the sense of being
and to do so concretely." Heidegger claims that traditional
ontology has prejudicially overlooked this question, dismissing it as
overly general, undefinable, or obvious.
Instead Heidegger proposes to understand being itself, as
distinguished from any specific entities (beings). "'Being' is not
something like a being." Being, Heidegger claims, is "what
determines beings as beings, that in terms of which beings are already
understood." Heidegger is seeking to identify the criteria or
conditions by which any specific entity can show up at all (see world
If we grasp Being, we will clarify the meaning of being, or "sense" of
being (Sinn des Seins), where by "sense" Heidegger means that "in
terms of which something becomes intelligible as something."
Presented in relation to the quality of knowledge, according to
Heidegger, this sense of being precedes any notions of how or in what
manner any particular being or beings exist, and is thus
pre-scientific. Thus, in Heidegger's view, the question of the
meaning of being would be an explanation of the understanding
preceding any other way of knowing, such as the use of logic, theory,
specific regional ontology. At the same time, there is no access
to being other than via beings themselves—hence pursuing the
question of being inevitably means questioning a being with regard to
its being. Heidegger argues that a true understanding of being
(Seinsverständnis) can only proceed by referring to particular
beings, and that the best method of pursuing being must inevitably, he
says, involve a kind of hermeneutic circle, that is (as he explains in
his critique of prior work in the field of hermeneutics), it must rely
upon repetitive yet progressive acts of interpretation. "The
methodological sense of phenomenological description is
Thus the question Heidegger asks in the introduction to
Being and Time
is: what is the being that will give access to the question of the
meaning of Being? Heidegger's answer is that it can only be that being
for whom the question of
Being is important, the being for whom Being
matters. As this answer already indicates, the being for whom
Being is a question is not a what, but a who. Heidegger calls this
Dasein (an ordinary German word literally meaning "being-there,"
i.e., existence), and the method pursued in
Time consists in
the attempt to delimit the characteristics of Dasein, in order thereby
to approach the meaning of
Being itself through an interpretation of
the temporality of Dasein.
Dasein is not "man," but is nothing other
than "man"—it is this distinction that enables Heidegger to claim
Time is something other than philosophical
Heidegger's account of
Dasein passes through a dissection of the
Angst and mortality, and then through an analysis of
the structure of "care" as such. From there he raises the problem of
"authenticity," that is, the potentiality or otherwise for mortal
Dasein to exist fully enough that it might actually understand being.
Heidegger is clear throughout the book that nothing makes certain that
Dasein is capable of this understanding.
Finally, this question of the authenticity of individual
be separated from the "historicality" of Dasein. On the one hand,
Dasein, as mortal, is "stretched along" between birth and death, and
thrown into its world, that is, thrown into its possibilities,
Dasein is charged with the task of assuming. On
the other hand, Dasein's access to this world and these possibilities
is always via a history and a tradition—this is the question of
"world historicality," and among its consequences is Heidegger's
argument that Dasein's potential for authenticity lies in the
possibility of choosing a "hero."
Thus, more generally, the outcome of the progression of Heidegger's
argument is the thought that the being of
Dasein is time.
Nevertheless, Heidegger concludes his work with a set of enigmatic
questions foreshadowing the necessity of a destruction (that is, a
transformation) of the history of philosophy in relation to
temporality—these were the questions to be taken up in the never
completed continuation of his project:
The existential and ontological constitution of the totality of Dasein
is grounded in temporality. Accordingly, a primordial mode of
temporalizing of ecstatic temporality itself must make the ecstatic
project of being in general possible. How is this mode of
temporalizing of temporality to be interpreted? Is there a way leading
from primordial time to the meaning of being? Does time itself reveal
itself as the horizon of being?
Phenomenology in Heidegger and Husserl
Although Heidegger describes his method in
phenomenological, the question of its relation to the phenomenology of
Husserl is complex. The fact that Heidegger believes that ontology
includes an irreducible hermeneutic (interpretative) aspect, for
example, might be thought to run counter to Husserl's claim that
phenomenological description is capable of a form of scientific
positivity. On the other hand, however, several aspects of the
approach and method of
Time seem to relate more directly to
The central Husserlian concept of the directedness of all
thought—intentionality—for example, while scarcely mentioned in
Being and Time, has been identified by some with Heidegger's central
notion of Sorge (Cura, care or concern). However, for Heidegger,
theoretical knowledge represents only one kind of intentional
behaviour, and he asserts that it is grounded in more fundamental
modes of behaviour and forms of practical engagement with the
surrounding world. Whereas a theoretical understanding of things
grasps them according to "presence," for example, this may conceal
that our first experience of a being may be in terms of its being
"ready-to-hand." Thus, for instance, when someone reaches for a tool
such as a hammer, their understanding of what a hammer is is not
determined by a theoretical understanding of its presence, but by the
fact that it is something we need at the moment we wish to do
hammering. Only a later understanding might come to contemplate a
hammer as an object.
The total understanding of being results from an explication of the
implicit knowledge of being that inheres in Dasein. Philosophy thus
becomes a form of interpretation, but since there is no external
reference point outside being from which to begin this interpretation,
the question becomes to know in which way to proceed with this
interpretation. This is the problem of the "hermeneutic circle," and
the necessity for the interpretation of the meaning of being to
proceed in stages: this is why Heidegger's technique in
Being and Time
is sometimes referred to as hermeneutical phenomenology.
Destruction of metaphysics
As part of his ontological project, Heidegger undertakes a
reinterpretation of previous Western philosophy. He wants to explain
why and how theoretical knowledge came to seem like the most
fundamental relation to being. This explanation takes the form of a
destructuring (Destruktion) of the philosophical tradition, an
interpretative strategy that reveals the fundamental experience of
being at the base of previous philosophies that had become entrenched
and hidden within the theoretical attitude of the metaphysics of
presence. This use of the word
Destruktion is meant to signify not a
negative operation but rather a positive transformation or recovery.
Time Heidegger briefly undertakes a destructuring of the
philosophy of René Descartes, but the second volume, which was
intended to be a
Destruktion of Western philosophy in all its stages,
was never written. In later works Heidegger uses this approach to
interpret the philosophies of Aristotle, Kant, Hegel, and Plato, among
Time is the major achievement of Heidegger's early career,
but he produced other important works from this period:
The publication in 1992 of the early lecture course, Platon: Sophistes
(Plato's Sophist, 1924), made clear the way in which Heidegger's
reading of Aristotle's
Nicomachean Ethics was crucial to the
formulation of the thought expressed in
Being and Time.
The lecture course, Prolegomena zur Geschichte des Zeitbegriffs
(History of the Concept of Time: Prolegomena, 1925), was something
like an early version of
Being and Time.
The lecture courses immediately following the publication of
Time, such as Die Grundprobleme der Phänomenologie (The Basic
Problems of Phenomenology, 1927), and Kant und das Problem der
Metaphysik (Kant and the Problem of Metaphysics, 1929), elaborated
some elements of the destruction of metaphysics which Heidegger
intended to pursue in the unwritten second part of
Being and Time.
Although Heidegger did not complete the project outlined in
Time, later works explicitly addressed the themes and concepts of
Being and Time. Most important among the works which do so are the
Heidegger's inaugural lecture upon his return to Freiburg, "Was ist
Metaphysik?" ("What Is Metaphysics?," 1929), was an important and
influential clarification of what Heidegger meant by being, non-being,
Einführung in die Metaphysik (An Introduction to Metaphysics), a
lecture course delivered in 1935, is identified by Heidegger, in his
preface to the seventh German edition of
Being and Time, as relevant
to the concerns which the second half of the book would have
Beiträge zur Philosophie (Vom Ereignis) (Contributions to Philosophy
[From Enowning], composed 1936–38, published 1989), a sustained
attempt at reckoning with the legacy of
Being and Time.
Zeit und Sein ("
Time and Being"), a lecture delivered at the
University of Freiburg
University of Freiburg on January 31, 1962. This was Heidegger's most
direct confrontation with
Being and Time. It was followed by a seminar
on the lecture, which took place at
Todtnauberg on September 11–13,
1962, a summary of which was written by Alfred Guzzoni.[n 1] Both the
lecture and the summary of the seminar are included in Zur Sache des
Denkens (1969; translated as On
Being [New York: Harper &
Influence and reception
Upon its publication,
Time was recognized as a
groundbreaking philosophical work, with reviewers crediting Heidegger
with "brilliance" and "genius". The book, which has been described
as the "most influential version of existential philosophy",
quickly became "the focus of debates and controversy". Heidegger
claimed in the 1930s that commentators had attempted to show
similarities between his views and those of Hegel in order to
undermine the idea that
Time was an original work. In
response, Heidegger maintained that his thesis that the essence of
being is time is the opposite of Hegel's view that being is the
essence of time.
Karl Jaspers credited Heidegger with making
essential points about "being in the world" and also about "existence
and historicity". It has been suggested as a possible influence on
Herbert Marcuse's Hegel's
Ontology and the Theory of Historicity
(1932), though Marcuse later questioned the political implications of
Jean-Paul Sartre has been said to have responded
Time with "a sense of shock," and wrote
Nothingness (1943) under its influence; the critic George Steiner
describes Sartre's existentialism as "a version and variant of the
idiom and propositions" in
Being and Time. Because of Heidegger's
revival of the question of being,
Time also influenced other
philosophers of Sartre's generation, and it altered the course of
Maurice Merleau-Ponty argued in Phenomenology
of Perception (1945) that
Being and Time, "springs from an indication
given by Husserl and amounts to no more than an explicit account of
the 'natürlicher Weltbegriff' or the 'Lebenswelt' which Husserl,
towards the end of his life, identified as the central theme of
phenomenology". Heidegger influenced psychoanalysis through
Jacques Lacan, who quotes from
Time in a 1953 text.
The publication of the English translation of the work by John
Macquarrie and Edward Robinson in 1962, helped to shape the way in
which Heidegger's work was discussed in English. Gilles Deleuze's
Difference and Repetition
Difference and Repetition (1968) was influenced by Heidegger's Being
and Time, though Deleuze replaces Heidegger's key terms of being
and time with difference and repetition respectively. Frank
Herbert's science fiction novel
The Santaroga Barrier (1968) was
loosely based on the ideas of
Being and Time. The philosopher
Lucien Goldmann, writing in his posthumously published Lukacs and
Heidegger: Towards a New Philosophy (1973), argued that the concept of
reification as employed in
Time showed the strong influence
of György Lukács'
History and Class Consciousness
History and Class Consciousness (1923), though
Goldmann's suggestion has been disputed.
Alain Badiou's work
Being and Event (1988).
Roger Scruton writes
Time is "the most complex of the many works inspired,
directly or indirectly, by Kant's theory of time as 'the form of inner
sense'." He considers Heidegger's language "metaphorical" and almost
incomprehensible. Scruton suggests that this necessarily follows from
the nature of Heidegger's phenomenological method. He finds
Heidegger's "description of the world of phenomena" to be
"fascinating, but maddeningly abstract". He suggests that much of
Time is a "description of a private spiritual journey"
rather than genuine philosophy, and notes that Heidegger's assertions
are unsupported by argument.
Stephen Houlgate compares Heidegger's achievements in
Being and Time
to those of Kant in the
Critique of Pure Reason
Critique of Pure Reason (1781) and Hegel in
The Phenomenology of Spirit
The Phenomenology of Spirit (1807) and Science of Logic
Simon Critchley calls the work Heidegger's magnum
opus, and writes that it is impossible to understand developments in
continental philosophy after Heidegger without understanding it.
Dennis J. Schmidt praises the "range and subtlety" of
Being and Time,
and describes its importance by quoting a comment the writer Johann
Wolfgang von Goethe made in a different context, "from here and today
a new epoch of world history sets forth." Heidegger has become
common background for the political movement concerned with protection
of the environment, and his narrative of the history of Being
frequently appears when capitalism, consumerism and technology are
Michael E. Zimmerman writes that, "Because he
criticized technological modernity’s domineering attitude toward
nature, and because he envisioned a postmodern era in which people
would “let things be,” Heidegger has sometimes been read as an
intellectual forerunner of today’s “deep ecology” movement.
Time also influenced the enactivist approach to
^ "There is put to the thinking of
Being the task of thinking
such a way that oblivion essentially belongs to it."—Alfred Guzzoni,
1972, p. 29
^ Rouse (ed.), Joseph (2013). John Haugeland,
Dasein Disclosed: John
Haugeland's Heidegger. US: Harvard University Press.
ISBN 9780674072114. Retrieved 29 September 2016. CS1 maint:
Extra text: authors list (link)
^ Heidegger, Martin (2008).
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^ Sein und Zeit, pp. 39–40.
^ "Die konkrete Ausarbeitung der Frage nach dem Sinn von “Sein”
ist die Absicht der folgenden Abhandlung." Sein und Zeit, p. 1.
^ Sein und Zeit, pp. 2–4.
^ In other words, being is distinguished from beings such as physical
objects or even, as Heidegger explains in his discussion of the
"worldhood of the World," that entire collection of things that
constitutes the physical universe. To preserve Heidegger's
distinction, translators usually render Sein as "being," the gerund of
"to be," and Seiend (singular) and Seiendes (plural) as the
verb-derived noun "a being" and "beings," and occasionally, perhaps
preferably, as "an entity" and "entities"."
^ "'Sein' ist nicht so etwas wie Seiendes." Sein und Zeit, p. 4.
^ "...das Sein, das, was Seiendes als Seiendes bestimmt, das,
woraufhin Seiendes, mag es wie immer erörtert werden, je schon
verstanden ist,"Sein und Zeit, p. 6.
^ In English, using the word "existence" instead of "being" might seem
more natural and less confusing, but Heidegger, who stresses the
importance of the origins of words, uses his understanding of grammar
to assist in his investigation of "being," and he reserves the word
"existence" to describe that defining type of being that
^ "aus dem her etwas als etwas verständlich wird," Sein und Zeit, p.
^ Sein und Zeit, pp. 8–9.
^ a b Sein und Zeit, p. 12.
^ Sein und Zeit, p. 7.
^ "der methodische Sinn der Phänomenologischen Deskription ist
Auslegung," Sein und Zeit, p. 37.
^ Sein und Zeit, p. 437.
^ Jacobs, D. C., ed., The Presocratics after Heidegger (Albany: State
University of New York Press, 1999), p. 129.
^ Heidegger, Martin (2002). "
Time and Being". On
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Translated by Joan Stambaugh. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
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^ Næss, Arne D. E. "Martin Heidegger's Later philosophy".
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^ a b c Schmidt, Dennis J.; Heidegger, Martin (2010).
Being and Time.
Albany: State University of New York Press. pp. xv, xviii.
^ Wagner, Helmut R. (1983). Phenomenology of Consciousness and
Sociology of the Life-world: An Introductory Study. Edmonton: The
University of Alberta Press. p. 214.
^ Heidegger, Martin (1994). Hegel's Phenomenology of Spirit.
Bloomington: Indiana University Press. pp. 144–145.
^ Jaspers, Karl (1969). Philosophy. Volume 1. Chicago: The University
of Chicago Press. p. 103.
^ Benhabib, Seyla; Marcuse, Herbert (1987). Hegel's
Ontology and the
Theory of Historicity. Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press.
pp. xxxii, x, xl. ISBN 0-262-13221-4.
^ a b c Scruton, Roger (2016). Fools, Frauds and Firebrands: Thinkers
of the New Left. London: Bloomsbury. p. 240.
^ a b c d Scruton, Roger (2016). Fools, Frauds and Firebrands:
Thinkers of the New Left. London: Bloomsbury. p. 181.
^ Steiner, George (1991). Martin Heidegger. Chicago: The University of
Chicago Press. p. 5. ISBN 0-226-77232-2.
^ Merleau-Ponty, Maurice (1965). Phenomenology of Perception. London:
Routledge & Kegan Paul. p. vii.
^ Lacan, Jacques (2006) . Fink, Bruce, ed. "The Function and
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and Time. New York: HarperPerennial. p. iv.
^ Stambaugh, Joan; Heidegger, Martin (2010).
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^ Herbert, Brian (2003) Dreamer of Dune: The Biography of Frank
Herbert Tor, New York, pages 216-217, ISBN 0-7653-0646-8
^ Hemming, Laurence Paul (2013). Heidegger and Marx: A Productive
Dialogue Over the Language of Humanism. Evanston, Illinois:
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^ Scruton, Roger (2002). A Short History of Modern Philosophy. London:
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^ Houlgate, Stephen (1999). The Hegel Reader. Oxford: Blackwell
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^ Critchley, Simon. "
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today's "deep ecology" movement" (PDF). Heidegger and Deep Ecology.
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