BBC HomeExplore the BBC
This page has been archived and is no longer updated. Find out more about page archiving.



BBC Homepage
BBC Radio
BBC Radio 4 - 92 to 94 FM and 198 Long WaveListen to Digital Radio, Digital TV and OnlineListen on Digital Radio, Digital TV and Online

PROGRAMME FINDER:
Programmes
Podcasts
Schedule
Presenters
PROGRAMME GENRES:
News
Drama
Comedy
Science
Religion|Ethics
History
Factual
Messageboards
Radio 4 Tickets
Radio 4 Help

Contact Us


History
IN OUR TIME'S GREATEST PHILOSOPHER VOTE
MISSED A PROGRAMME?
Go to the Listen Again page
GREATEST PHILOSOPHER

 
Martin Heidegger (1889 –1976)
advocated by Stephen Mulhall

 Listen to Stephen Mulhall say why you should vote for Martin Heidegger

'Why are there beings at all, instead of nothing?'

Martin Heidegger. German philosopher Martin Heidegger addressed the central question of human existence full on, by examining how human self-awareness depends on concepts of time and death.

is preoccupation with ontology - the form of metaphysical enquiry concerned with the study of existence itself - dominated his work. The central idea of his complex Sein und Zeit (Being and Time) (1927) could be summed up in the phrase 'being is'.

Man had to ask himself 'what is it to be?' and only by doing this, and standing back from absorption into objects and other distractions, could he actually exist.

For Heidegger, the constant fear of death and the anxieties of life helped man to ask this central question – the mystery of life was intimately linked to the individual's confrontation and consideration of the temporary nature of their own existence.

Heidegger also felt that art, like language, was important evidence of existence, something which was a real existence rather than a mere recreation of reality.

He opposed technology, which he believed caused alienation, and advocated a return to an agrarian economy in which the individual had a greater role.

For many Heidegger’s reputation is tainted by his association with Nazism in 1930’s Germany; he actively supported Adolf Hitler during the dictator's first years in power and after World War II he was banned by the Allies from teaching and publishing for five years.

Despite this, his work has been widely influential, especially on the thought of twentieth century philosophical giants such as Sartre, Lacan and Derrida.

Read about Martin Heidegger on Wikipedia

Read about Martin Heidegger on the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy

Please note: the BBC accepts no responsibility for the content of external websites.

 Listen to Stephen Mulhall say why you should vote for Martin Heidegger

Stephen Mulhall

Stephen Mulhall is Fellow and Tutor in Philosophy at New College, Oxford. His subject areas include the Philosophy of Kant, the History of Philosophy, Ethics and the Philosophy of Religion. He is the author of numerous books including Faith and Reason (1994), Heidegger and Being and Time (1996) and Inheritance and Originality: Wittgenstein, Heidegger, Kierkegaard (2001). He also writes for The Philosophical Quarterly and the Journal of Political Philosophy as well as the Times Literary Supplement and the London Review of Books.

 
Listen Live
Audio Help
IN OUR TIME HOMEPAGE
Back to homepage
RESOURCE HOME
Vote cross image
Go to resource homepage
TIMELINE
Not sure who to choose? Read our Philosopher Timeline.
TOP 20 NOMINATIONS
Find out more about the philosophers who were short listed in the 2005 vote.
QUIZ
Play our philosophy quotes quiz
PHILOSOPHER VOTE RESULT
Philosopher image
Find out who won the vote and who made it into the top ten.
DON'T MISS
In Our Time
Thursday 9.00-9.45am, rpt 9.30-10.00pm. Melvyn Bragg explores the history of ideas. Listen again online or download the latest programme as an mp3 file.
RELATED PROGRAMMES
The Reith lectures

News & Current Affairs | Arts & Drama | Comedy & Quizzes | Science | Religion & Ethics | History | Factual

Back to top

About the BBC | Help | Terms of Use | Privacy & Cookies Policy