The Public Interest

Understanding Heidegger

Mark Blitz

Fall 2001

MANY consider Martin Heidegger to be the twentieth century’s most significant philosopher. Arendt, L6with, Strauss, Koj_ve, Gadamer, and Marcuse studied with him, Jaspers, Bultmann, Sartre, and Derrida wrote books heavily influenced by his work. Existentialism, deconstructionism, literary and art criticism, and environmentalism owe formulations, justifications, and sometimes the heart of their positions to his analyses. Indeed, Heidegger’s influence is so widespread that professors from India to Indiana discuss him in thousands of books and articles, a daunting mountain of scholarship more likely to bury the student than to lead him upward. 

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