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Martin Heidegger

Heidegger (1889-1976) was a German Phenomenologist who re-conceptualized our understanding of being. Since the time of Plato, Heidegger contends, we have misunderstood questions of being. Traditionally, we ask what it means "to be" from the position of a being, rather than asking about the nature of being itself. Being is not an entity or a property, but "that on the basis of which beings are already understood". Heidegger thought that the traditional method inquiry was misguided, and only by retracing our steps through the history of philosophy can the problem be resolved. Heidegger's work paved the way for existentialism and post-modern continental philosophy.