The Question of Being in Heidegger's "Introduction to Metaphysics" Analytical Essay by Righter

The Question of Being in Heidegger's "Introduction to Metaphysics"
An analysis of the question of Being as understood and described by Martin Heidegger in his book, "Introduction to Metaphysics".
# 153830 | 1,380 words | 1 source | MLA | 2014 | US
Published on Feb 19, 2014 in Philosophy (History - 20th Century)

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The paper examines Martin Heidegger's "Introduction to Metaphysics" and discusses his philosophical problem; the question of Being and our relation to it. The paper explains how Heidegger stresses the urgency of our current situation in regards to how we relate to the fundamental question, and concludes that although his concerns are exaggerative, they are a testament to his commitment to the progress of philosophy in specific and mankind in general.

From the Paper:

"In the Introduction to Metaphysics, Martin Heidegger says that the fundamental question
of philosophy is, "Why are there beings at all instead of nothing?" (Heidegger,1) Although this question may not seem as important as other philosophical questions, Heidegger states that it is metaphysics that "determines all philosophy" (Heidegger, 19); that "to ask thisquestion is philosophize." (Heidegger, 13) He admits, ofcourse, that this question is not the first question philosophers ask. It is, however, the most important question: "The question, 'Why are there beings at all instead of nothing?' is first in rank for us as the broadest, as the deepest, and finally as the most originary question." (Heidegger, 2) In order to explain why this question is the guiding question forphilosophy, Heidegger talks about how Being was understood by the ancient Greeks.
"As far as we know, Anaximander was the first person in the West to ask the question,
"What is the Being?"The time period in which Anaximander lived in ancient Greece, when
"questioning about beings as such and as a whole received its true inception," was the period of "the first and definitive unfolding of Western philosophy." (Heidegger, 14) In ancient Greece, beings were called phusis, and the term phusis meant something like "the emerging, abiding sway" which included "both 'becoming' as well as 'Being'." (Heidegger, 16) This first inception of western philosophy - beginning with the asking of the question of Being- represents for Heidegger a way of thinking that is to be both admired and emulated."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Heidegger, Martin. Introduction to Metaphysics. Trans. Fried, Gregory and Polt, Richard. Yale University Press: 2000.

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