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  • Print publication year: 2009
  • Online publication date: February 2013

Introduction: key concepts in Heidegger's thinking of being


“Basic concepts” or Ground-Concepts” [Grundbegriffe] means for us here: grasping [begreifen] the ground [Grund] of beings as a whole. … When we have grasped something we also say something has opened up to us. … Thus “to grasp” [Be-greifen] the ground means above all that the “essence” of the ground embraces us into itself [ein-begriffen], and that it speaks to us in our knowing about it.

(BC 18–19 = GA 51: 21, trans. mod.)

Martin Heidegger (1889–1976) is widely considered to be the most famous, influential and controversial philosopher of the twentieth century. His writings are also among the most formidable. The fundamental concepts of his thought are for many the source of both fascination and frustration. Yet any student of philosophy – or of contemporary thought in general – needs to become acquainted with Heidegger's main ideas. This book is designed to facilitate this process. Each chapter introduces and explains a key concept – or a cluster of closely related concepts – in Heidegger's thought. Together, the chapters cover the full range of his path of thought in its early, middle and later periods.

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