Talk:Martin Heidegger

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Former good article nominee Martin Heidegger was a Philosophy and religion good articles nominee, but did not meet the good article criteria at the time. There are suggestions below for improving the article. Once these issues have been addressed, the article can be renominated. Editors may also seek a reassessment of the decision if they believe there was a mistake.
August 10, 2006 Good article nominee Not listed
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Not a single picture of him?[edit]

Brush drawing of German philosopher Martin Heidegger, made by Herbert Wetterauer.
Picasso's portrait of Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler.

Why is there not a single picture of Heidegger in the entire Article? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:21, 7 June 2011 (UTC)

This is probably because there are no free images of him. I found an image on German Wikipedia, but it is a drawing, not a photo. I think it is better than nothing, so I'm posting here. I would prefer to wait a moment before adding the picture to the article. What do others think? --Vejvančický (talk | contribs) 12:42, 27 August 2011 (UTC)

When compared with the skilled art of previous times, the "modern art" of the 20th century certainly appears crude and comical.Lestrade (talk) 15:38, 28 August 2011 (UTC)Lestrade

You don't like modern art, Lestrade? In my opinion the drawing is quite a harmless and merciful, especially when comparing i. e. with Picasso's portrait of Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler. I consider this as a good chance to make one of our articles more lively. Moreover, Mr. Wetterauer is surely not a dauber :)--Vejvančický (talk | contribs) 16:08, 28 August 2011 (UTC)
We're an encyclopedia, not an art gallery. What we really need is a neutral photo, not an artist's redition. --Nuujinn (talk) 16:26, 28 August 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for your opinion, Nuujinn. Heidegger is a featured article on German Wikipedia, and the drawing is pasted directly in the lead section :) Personally, I would accept this portrait also at en:wiki (I like modern art), but your argument is surely valid. --Vejvančický (talk | contribs) 16:31, 28 August 2011 (UTC)

Nuujinn's comment is symptomatic of the state of contemporary art. It is also related to the fact that photography and cinema are the dominant visual arts today.Lestrade (talk) 20:44, 30 August 2011 (UTC)Lestrade

Meh. Perhaps I should reread "The Work of Art in an Age of Mechanical Reproduction" again, but we're an encyclopedia, not a gallery of art. It's difficult enough to find a neutral photo, artistic renditions are problematic at best. --Nuujinn (talk) 00:59, 31 August 2011 (UTC)

Since Heidegger belongs to the long list of philosophers who prefer to restrict themselves solely to the analysis of verbal concepts, it is fitting that his discursive purity is not sullied by an intuitive image.Lestrade (talk) 20:37, 31 August 2011 (UTC)Lestrade

S'ok by me. If you want to add an image of a broken hammer, that might work. --Nuujinn (talk) 23:14, 31 August 2011 (UTC)

You want to have a visual emblem as an image in a biographical article? Heidegger's use of the broken hammer example was an unfortunate choice of explanatory devices. But, then, he probably wanted to be poetic. He was verbal, not pictorial, and does not deserve an image.Lestrade (talk) 23:26, 1 September 2011 (UTC)Lestrade

It does not exist a photography, showing Heidegger, with a free copyright, that’s the problem. The drawing by Herbert Wetterauer is used in 56 Wikipedia-Articles world-wide. (Look here) Hirt des Seyns (talk) 09:01, 5 October 2011 (UTC)

Western Nihilism ?[edit]

It's scandalous that a Martin Heidegger biography, features only negligible reference to such major concern of his philosophy.

E.g. From Professor Michael Allen Gillespie's book: 'Hegel, Heidegger, and the ground of History' (1984) P.151:

'Nihilism, which is the revelation of Being as the how of beings, is thus in Heidegger's view the greatest event in the history of the West...'

[Now added by me 25/12/2012.] — Preceding unsigned comment added by Beingsshepherd (talkcontribs) 03:43, 25 December 2012 (UTC)

Beingsshepherd (talk) 03:49, 24 December 2012 (UTC)Beingsshepherd

Nazism Coverage[edit]

I understand that Jewish authors want to hit Heidegger. But this wish turned this article into a court record. Is this article trying to inform readers about Heidegger and his contributions to philosophy or trying to judge and defame him?

  • Is Wikipedia a court?
  • Are wikipedia articles weapon?
  • Is a Nazi-hunter keeping his diary on Wikipedia?

The parts about Nazism should be seriously reduced if not removed-- (talk) 10:12, 3 February 2012 (UTC)

updated -- (talk) 06:42, 4 February 2012 (UTC)
Easily answered. The article attempts to reflect the current state of Heidegger scholarship and the quantity of such scholarship dedicated to the role of Nazism in Heidegger's life and thought has grown enormously in the last few years. Now you can think that's good or bad, but the article properly reflects it.KD Tries Again (talk) 18:51, 10 February 2012 (UTC)KD Tries Again
I think undue weight is given to Nazism in this article. There's little discussion of many important aspects of Heidegger's legacy, and while his relationship with Nazism is interesting, I don't think this article covers it neutrally. The "Blonde Beast" lecture in particular shows that by the 1940s, Heidegger was deeply disillusioned with Nazism. The statements in the lead about him "expressing regret" IMO, although correct, do not belong there. While Heiddeger did not publicly express regret, there's a lot of evidence in his writings that he felt it. Just my 2c. --He to Hecuba (talk) 18:58, 10 February 2012 (UTC)
Agreed. He "never apologized or expressed regret" only matters if he was explicitly asked to do so, and explicitly refused. Despite the obvious evils of Nazism and Heidegger's questionable if brief support for the movement, we might as well add that he never denied beating his wife. -- (talk) 11:10, 29 February 2012 (UTC)
Your unstated premise is that being a Nazi is uncontroversial. — goethean 17:11, 29 February 2012 (UTC)
The only reason anyone cares about whether Martin Heidegger was or was not a Nazi is because of his philosophy. No one cares whether random-nobody-German was a Nazi, because random-nobody-German didn't make an important contribution to culture. The philosophy itself has to be the focus of the article. (talk) 03:13, 8 March 2012 (UTC)
The record is by no means so straightforward. Heidegger did not place himself in circumstances where he was likely to be publicly challenged on his political record. He chose Der Speigel, a conservative publication, as the vehicle for an interview to be published only after his death; the questions gave ample opportunity for him to clarify his thoughts about Hitler - but he didn't (it's online, read it). Then there's his confrontation with Paul Celan, his decision to keep a statement about the "inner truth and greatness" of Nazism in a 1953 text (with a belatedly added qualification in parentheses), and the suppression of passages in the Complete Works (Heidegger's Roots by Charles Bambach is a key text). As I said earlier, the task here is to represent the scholarly literature, not to rebalance it according to one or other editor's opinion. Anyone who has a feel for the scholarly literature will be aware that Heidegger's Nazism is now a central issue in the reception of his philosophy. We are way past the stage when it was possible to suggest Victor Farias was exaggerating the issue in his (awful) book. (By the way, I'm not Jewish, and neither, as far as I can see, are many of the scholars treating this subject.)KD Tries Again (talk) 18:46, 9 March 2012 (UTC)KD Tries Again
Whatever makes you think that the Der Spiegel is a conservative publication???? --KMJagger (talk) 22:43, 10 March 2012 (UTC)
Yeah, how is "Der Spiegel" conservative? I feel like some people don't want an article on Heidegger's philosophy so much as an article about why no one should care about his philosophy because he was a "Nazi". However, again, the only reason a person needs to tell people not to read a person's philosophy is if that philosophy is already noteworthy. (talk) 04:35, 12 March 2012 (UTC)
I withdraw my description of Spiegel, but it's a trivial point. Instead of speculating on editor's motives, how about addressing the literature. Is there a reputable encyclopedia article or book-length work published on Heidegger in the last ten years which doesn't make his politics an important focus? Take a look at SEP. Take a look at IEP. Go on Google Books and take a look at any studies of Heidegger from the last decade. Also, note: " The philosophy itself has to be the focus of the article." The section on Nazism is about 1400 words of a 13,000 word article. Ten percent on Heidegger's Nazism is minimalist, I'd say.KD Tries Again (talk) 14:39, 12 March 2012 (UTC)KD Tries Again
Yes, it has indeed become a cottage industry in academia. But, I say again. No one would care about whether Heidegger were a Nazi were it not for his contributions to philosophy. The Nazi question merits a paragraph at best here. Heidegger's philosophy should be the focus of the article. The article is for people who don't know anything about Heidegger, not for academics who already know about Heidegger to promulgate their views about his politics. (talk) 00:32, 13 March 2012 (UTC)
Also, having looked closer at the article, I've noted there is already a "Heidegger and Nazism" article. All this article needs to do is provide the most rudimentary summary of that article's contents and direct the reader there. There is no reason to reproduce in bulk content in a related article when a simple link will suffice. (talk) 20:16, 13 March 2012 (UTC)
It's about ten per cent of the article which is indeed mainly about his philosophy. Reducing it further would put Wikipedia out of step with other tertiary sources and with current scholarship. Wikipedia's task is to reflect scholarship, not pass judgment on it - i.e. "cottage industry."KD Tries Again (talk) 15:03, 14 March 2012 (UTC)KD Tries Again
Academia is nothing if not faddish. (talk) 05:42, 15 March 2012 (UTC)

The "citation needed" mentions seem redundant in the section concerning the Der Spiegel interview; that interview is mentioned as the source in the very beginning of the section. -- (talk) 00:10, 25 March 2012 (UTC)

Correct. Fixed.KD Tries Again (talk) 15:08, 5 April 2012 (UTC)KD Tries Again
I came to this article not to read up on Heidegger's political philosophy (National Socialism) but to see how well-written the stuff is about Heideggerian phenomenology and ontology. They are well written. And very boring. The stuff about his political philosophy is much more interesting, one has to admit. Believe me, I like a good analysis and exposition of philosophy and love the subject. But lets face the fact that Heidegger's actual philosophy is pretty non-notable. There's nothing quotable or proverbial accept maybe a few-words-printed-like-this. (Think of Socrates' "unexamined life not worth living", Plato's Cave Allegory, Aristotle's Golden Mean, Descartes' Cogito Ergo Sum, Nietzsche's "that which does not kill me", Confucius' Golden Rule, etc... Okay, okay, in his What is Metaphysics? Heidegger says, "the nothing nothings"). I know Heidegger influenced such and such and such and such but the influence is so broad and contradictory (Sartre vs. Derrida, Levinas vs. Rorty) that its like saying that these folks were influenced by having-been-alive-during-the-20th-century. Aristotle was right when he said that humans are a political animal. If you ever want Wikipedia to make a profit or be interesting, or discuss something that has relevance to the world -add more stuff on Heidegger's political philosophy and keep the pretending that there is anything-at-all to his non-political philosophy to-a-bare-minimum. Teetotaler — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:37, 26 August 2012 (UTC)

Okay, someone asked for books about Heidegger that did not dwell on his Nazism, so...

The question becomes, what is this article here for? Is it meant to cover the reason that he's notable (his philosophy) or the reason that that notability has become controversial (his brief support for Nazism)? IMHO, there is no doubt that it must exist for both purposes. However, both topics should be covered with some sense of their relative importance. Heidegger's contributions to philosophy (anonymous's concerns, above that he failed to produce a "quotable" sound bite aside) are clearly the reason that he is notable and should certainly be the backbone of the article without a doubt.

Right now, the word "Nazi" (or some derivative) appears 52 times in the article. National Socialsism (or some derivative) appears 21 times. By way of comparison, the word, "being" appears 157 times. While this number is larger than the former, I think it's quite clear that having nearly half as many mentions of politics as the central tenant of his philosophy in the article makes it a bit overly focused on his political life relative to its importance... -Miskaton (talk) 18:12, 26 July 2013 (UTC)

move section[edit]

This article jumps right into his arguments without giving some sort of background or general idea of what the man wrote about. I think the following section should be moved somewhere else and replaced with something more general and broad. After all, it is supposed to be the beginning of the article, not getting down to the knitty gritty of his thought.

Heidegger argues that philosophy is preoccupied with what exists and has forgotten the question of the "ground" of being. We find ourselves "always already" fallen into a world that already existed; but he insists that we have forgotten the basic question of what being itself is. This question defines our central nature. He argues that we are practical agents, caring and concerned about our projects in the world, and allowing it to reveal, or "unconceal" itself to us. He also says that our manipulation of reality is often harmful and hides our true being as essentially limited participants, not masters, of the world which we discover. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:39, 10 May 2012 (UTC)

But this is pretty much in a nutshell what Heidegger thought. I challenge anyone to come up with something more general. Mfhiller (talk) 06:26, 22 May 2012 (UTC)mfhiller
I moved a part of the Overview to the Heidegger and Nazism page, section The Heidegger controversy, I didn't change the text.Filinthe (talk) 15:00, 29 May 2012 (UTC)


Concerning the relations between Heidegger and Nazism, I tried to make it more neutral.Filinthe (talk) 11:39, 30 May 2012 (UTC)

okakura kakuzo's the book of tea[edit]

Ive just read a paragraph in Gadamer's section that I was surprised not to see mentioned here, does anybody want to take charge of this?:

In 1968, Gadamer invited Tomonobu Imamichi for lectures at Heidelberg, but their relationship became very cool after Imamichi pointed out that Heidegger had taken his concept of Dasein out of Okakura Kakuzo's concept of das-in-der-Welt-sein (to be in the being of the world) expressed in The Book of Tea, which Imamichi's teacher had offered to Heidegger in 1919, after having followed lessons with him the year before.[11] Imamichi and Gadamer renewed contact four years later during an international congress.[11]

Tomonobu Imamichi, In Search of Wisdom. One Philosopher's Journey, Tokyo, International House of Japan, 2004 (quoted by Anne Fagot-Largeau in her [1] course at the Collège de France on 7 December 2006). -- (talk) 03:58, 10 June 2012 (UTC)

Why not you?Mfhiller (talk) 06:21, 28 June 2012 (UTC)mfhiller

"Philosophers and scientists" or "Philosophers of science"?[edit]

Hallo there everyone,

To whom it may concern in the "Overview" section of the Martin Heidegger article I have recently hyperlinked
"(...) philosophers and scientists (...)"
with the
"Philosophy of science" article
motivating my action with this comment in the edit summary:
"Hyperlinked "(...) philosophers and scientists (...)" with the "Philosophy of science" article. I thought about hyperlinking just "scientists" but I guess this "sounds" better. Plz feel free to undo. Thanks."
This change has been then undone by Omnipaedista (talk) which motivated his/her action writing in the edit summary:
"per WP:EGG".
Where "EGG" stands for "Eastern Egg"... so I thought of changing:
"(...) philosophers and scientists (...)"
"(...) philosophers of science (...)"
and hyperlink the two nouns with the
"(...) philosophy of science (...)" article.
But, again, this change has been reverted by another editor, Arthur Rubin (talk) which motivated his action with:
"Reverted 1 edit by Maurice Carbonaro ([[User talk:Maurice Carbonaro|talk): Changing "philosphers and scientists" to "philosphers of science" is a significant change.".
Well, well, well... I would like to invite both this "allegedly-easy-undoing" editors to generally participate more actively in publicly commenting changes: especially this last one. And, if possible, to open comment-sections in the article talk pages in the future when "undoing". That's because good faith edits performed by other wikipedians which are trying to contribute constructively .... edits that could have taken a great deal of reading, thought and consideration could easily make frustrated their authors when they notice their efforts being "bursted" in a few seconds. Arthur, I would like also to point out that also writing "philospher" (without an "o") instead of "philosophers" *IS* a "significant change". In the future please try to pay more attention in double checking the spelling of your edit summaries... especially when you are "undoing". Because in behaving this way you push editors like me to unwillingly transform talk pages in forums. Thanks.
  M aurice   Carbonaro  11:20, 20 December 2012 (UTC)

Why was the Pope reference deleted?[edit]

Pope Benedict XVI, claims he was particularly influenced by the works of Heidegger, in his youth, when studying at University .

Not significant enough or just put in the wrong segment? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Beingsshepherd (talkcontribs) 04:07, 5 January 2013 (UTC)

Lede and article should try and explain MH's key ideas[edit]

"Heidegger advocated a change in focus from ontologies based on ontic determinants to the fundamental ontological elucidation of being-in-the-world in general, allowing it to reveal, or "unconceal" itself as concealment.[11]"

I challenge anyone to say the language in current lede summerise Heidegger for someone not familiar with his ideas. It's baffling jargon ('ontic' indeed!) that may as well be gibberish for 99% of readers, and does not even try to explain anything about MH's ideas to the average reader. The lede gives an INTELLIGIBLE overview and summerises. Ideally it is intriguing. The current lede is none of these things. So the onus is on those who want to keep the lede from being totally rewritten to improve it. The main body of the article has much repetition for an article that is over the recommended length, yet it omits key things; it does not MENTION let alone explain Heidegger's division of what he calls time (the given the present and possibilities), the tool analysis (broken hammer) or mention that in the turn as put forward in the 1949 lecture in Bremen, which is admittedly difficult to interpret, being consisted of a structure of earth sky and gods.Overagainst (talk) 15:56, 11 May 2014 (UTC)

I agree, please do whatever you can to improve the article and the introduction.User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 22:15, 11 May 2014 (UTC)

Martin's name IPA[edit]

Unless I am mistaken, I believe his first name should be: /ˈmaɐ̯tɪn/ (it is not a "long E" or /iː/ ) but a short i as in "will" (english) or bist (D.): /ɪ/ Notice the stress is on the first syllable: It must be /ɪ/. sincerely yours, John — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2605:E000:2242:DE00:61D0:670C:19AA:70AD (talk) 05:11, 10 September 2014 (UTC)