Martin Heidegger Biography

(One of the Most Important and Influential Philosophers of the 20th Century)

Birthday: September 26, 1889 (Libra)

Born In: Messkirch, Germany

Martin Heidegger was a German philosopher, who is famous for his theories on existentialism and phenomenology. He was associated with existentialism, despite his efforts to stay away from it. His work had a crucial influence on the French existentialist Jean Paul Sartre. He gave the world a phenomenological critique of Kant and wrote widely on Nietzsche and Holderlin. His work did not just influence the literary world but made a substantial impact on fields such as philosophy, theology, art, architecture, artificial intelligence, cultural anthropology, design, literary theory, social theory, political theory, psychiatry, and psychotherapy. He wrote one of the most important works on philosophy of the 20th century, ‘Sein und Zeit (Being and Time)’. He published the book under pressure to meet the criteria for Husserl's chair at the University of Freiburg and the accomplishment of this work made his appointment to the post certain. He led a highly controversial life because of his association with the Nazi Party during World War II, an action he neither ever regretted nor apologized for in the public.
Quick Facts

German Celebrities Born In September

Died At Age: 86


Spouse/Ex-: Elfride Petri

father: Friedrich Heidegger

mother: Johanna Heidegger

siblings: Fritz, Marie

children: Hermann, Jörg

Philosophers German Men

Died on: May 26, 1976

place of death: Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany

Cause of Death: Infectious Disease

Notable Alumni: Collegium Borromaeum, University Of Freiburg

More Facts

education: University Of Freiburg, Collegium Borromaeum

  • 1

    What is Martin Heidegger known for?

    Martin Heidegger was a German philosopher known for his contributions to existentialism and phenomenology, particularly his exploration of the nature of being.

  • 2

    What is Heidegger's concept of "Being-in-the-world?"

    "Being-in-the-world" is a central concept in Heidegger's philosophy, referring to the idea that human existence is fundamentally intertwined with the world in which we live. It emphasizes the interconnectedness of human beings with their surroundings.

  • 3

    What is Heidegger's critique of technology?

    Heidegger believed that modern technology has a negative impact on human existence by distancing us from our true nature and leading to a loss of authenticity. He argued that technology obscures our understanding of being and limits our ability to experience the world authentically.

  • 4

    What is Heidegger's notion of "Dasein?"

    "Dasein" is a term used by Heidegger to describe human existence as a unique way of being. It emphasizes the idea that human beings are always situated in a particular context and are constantly engaged in the world around them.

  • 5

    How did Heidegger's involvement with the Nazi party impact his philosophy?

    Heidegger's affiliation with the Nazi party during World War II has been a subject of controversy. Some scholars argue that his political views influenced his philosophy, while others suggest that his philosophical ideas should be considered separately from his personal beliefs.

Childhood & Early Life
Martin Heidegger was born in Messkirch, Germany, to Friedrich Heidegger and Johanna Kempf. His father was the sexton of the village church, which is why Heidegger was brought up in a household of stringent religious beliefs.
Initially, his parents could not afford university education so he was enrolled at a Jesuit seminary but because of his psychosomatic heart condition, Heidegger was asked to leave the program.
From 1909 to 1911, Heidegger studied theology at the University of Freiburg and later changed his subjects to philosophy. By now he had left Catholicism because with his newly attained philosophical views, Catholicism did not make much sense.
He attained his doctoral degree after finishing his thesis on psychologism, inspired by Neo-Thomism and Neo-Kantianism and completed his venia legendi in 1916. He started working as Privatdozent and then as a German soldier during World War I.
Continue Reading Below
After working as a salaried assistant to Edmund Husserl at the University of Freiburg, Heidegger was honored with an extraordinary Professorship in Philosophy at the University of Marburg in 1923.
In 1927, Heidegger published his foremost work ‘Sein und Zeit (Being and Time)’ and became the Professor of Philosophy at the University of Freiburg in the following year, after Husserl retired.
In spite of its virtually tightly packed obscurity, the work earned Heidegger acknowledgment as one the world’s chief philosophers.
Heidegger's later works include: ‘Vom Wesen der Wahrheit (‘On the Essence of Truth’) 1930’, ‘Der Ursprung des Kunstwerkes (The Origin of the Work of Art) 1935’, ‘Einfuhrung in die Metaphysik (Introduction to Metaphysics (1935)’, Bauen Wohnen Denken (Building Dwelling Thinking) 1951’, etc.
He was made the rector of the University of Freiburg in 1933 and later joined the National Socialist German Workers’ (Nazi) Party. In his speeches and addresses, he started to openly support the German revolution and appreciate Adolf Hitler.
After the World War II ended, French authorities made sure that Heidegger is not allowed to teach because of his association with the Nazi Party in 1946. But he was later pronounced as a Mitlaufer and was not prosecuted.
This pronouncement allowed the University of Freiburg to hire him back and he was granted emeritus status in 1951 and continued to teach there for more than a decade, until 1967.
Major Works
‘Sein und Zeit (Being and Time)’, published in 1927, is Heidegger’s first academic book and is considered to be his most important work. The book investigates the question of ‘being’ through themes such as mortality, care, anxiety, temporality, and historicity.
Personal Life & Legacy
Heidegger got married to Elfride Petri in a Catholic ceremony and a week later in a Protestant ceremony in 1917. They had a son named Jorg together. He used to spend much of his time at his vacation home at Todtnauberg.
He died in 1976 and was buried in the Messkirch cemetery beside his parents and brother.
Facts About Martin Heidegger

Martin Heidegger had a deep love for nature and often found inspiration for his philosophical ideas while walking in the Black Forest near his home in Germany.

Heidegger was known for his unconventional teaching methods, which included long periods of silence during lectures to encourage students to think deeply about his philosophical concepts.

Despite his reputation as a complex and sometimes difficult philosopher, Heidegger had a playful side and enjoyed playing traditional Bavarian card games with friends.

Heidegger was a skilled carpenter and often spent time working with wood in his workshop, finding solace and inspiration in the act of creating tangible objects with his hands.

Heidegger was a lover of poetry and often incorporated poetic language and references into his philosophical writings, emphasizing the importance of art and literature in understanding the human experience.

See the events in life of Martin Heidegger in Chronological Order

How To Cite

Article Title
- Martin Heidegger Biography
- Editors,

People Also Viewed

Hannah Arendt Biography
Hannah Arendt
Walter Benjamin Biography
Walter Benjamin
Edith Stein Biography
Edith Stein
Erich Fromm Biography
Erich Fromm
Friedrich Engels Biography
Friedrich Engels