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An Examination of Martin Heidegger’s Notion of Being by Alutu Nicholas Chinaemelum

Topic: An Examination of Martin Heidegger’s Notion of Being  

By Alutu Nicholas Chinaemelum


Martin Heidegger was obsessed with the thought of Being. He sought to redefine Being  as it differs to the traditional definition of being. In his attempt to explain this  concept of Being , employs the phenomenological method though in a diverse form from that of his master and teacher Huserl. Heidegger in review of Husserl claims states that being cannot be bracketed or doubted for it is the fundamental phenomenon in which all others are grounded and from which they derive their existence. This being Heidegger calls “Dasein”. This research work further explains the basic concept of Being which consist of facticity, existentiality and falleness and lays bare the inconsistency in Heidegger notion of Being.


Title page





Table of contents


1.1  Introduction

1.2  Statement of the problem

1.3  Statement of objective

1.4  Method of the study

1.5  Significance of the study



3.1 Biography of Martin Heidegger

3.2 Heidegger on Being

3.3 Being in the world

3.4 Being Ahead of myself

3.5 Falleness of Being



5.1 Evaluation of Heidegger      

5.2 Conclusion

Works Cited



1.1  Introduction 

The notion of being is a philosophical issue  that has engulfed the pre Socratic era. As many philosophers, have contributed immensely in defining this concept “Being”.

Prior to Heidegger, Parmenides an ancient Philosopher, was the first to divulge the concept of being. In his attempt to answer the question, he maintained that whatever is, is “Being”. He goes on to affirm that Being is uncreated, unchangeable, one and motionless. This view of Parmenides, was countered by plato, who termed being to be more than one (multiple). Also, Plotinus the founder of neo Platonism, recreated his own view of being. He defined being “as the one”  which is wholly transcendent, beyond all thought and being, and incomprehensible. Streams to Aristotle who further describes Being as the foundation and unity of all things. Thomas Aquinas identifying with Aristotle, attested and defined “Being” as “Being par excellence” and this Being, he proves as God. Contrary to this view, Duns Scotus in his part, maintained that whatever exists is being. This Being is indefinable, because it is the simplest and the most all embracing of all concepts. William of Ockham subscribed to this point, he posit an univocal conception of being. He maintained that the term Being is predicated of both God and the creatures in the same sense.

The problem of Being did not feature prominently in the modern world. The philosophers of this era, were more preoccupied with the problem of “substance” rather than with the problem of being.  Thus the problem of “being” emerged again with Martin Heidegger. Among the contemporary issues to be divulged, Heidegger was obsessed with the ancient problem of Being, which has been neglected by philosophers.

Heidegger as is explored in  this paper, tries to disclose the ontological meaning of ‘Being’. He centered his notion of Being, on the very being through which other Beings derive their Being and this he calls the “Being of beings”.

This research work thus reveals the approach , through which Heidegger used to explain the “Being of beings” which he named “Dasein” and his reveal of the basic characteristic of human existence.

1.2 Statement of the problem

Man's quest for his ontological existence is for Heidegger inclusive of his very nature,  and basically the fundamental difference  between humanity and things.  In other to give answer to this fundamental question of being, resulted to the problem  in the ancient era.  Parmenides the first to divulge this issue conceived being from monists point.  He views being to be one and unchanging which means that whatever exists around us that is allergic to change ceases to be called being because they are transient whereas being is eternal and unchanging.  This view was countered by dualist philosophers who viewed Being to be multiple and not one.  Due to the inconclusiveness in the ancient and medieval concept of Being,  Martin Heidegger of the modern era came up with a new ideology  on the  concept of Being.  He sought to correct the errors in traditional philosophy which is the thought about humanity in the same words we think about things.  By being, Heidegger does not mean any particular kind of being,  he means the being of Beings.  That is the being from who other beings derive their existence. Expounding this Heidegger’s concept of being,  lies the focus of this work.

1.3 Statement of Objective

The main goal of this work is to examine the concept of being by martin Heidegger:
1. To ascertain the inconsistencies in Heidegger notion of Being

2. to examine the basic aspects of Dasein’s  Being

3. to show the relationship between being and the world.

1.4 Method of Study

This work is a combination of Historical analysis and a critical  approach.  It is research work comprising of journals and internet materials, which tend at examining the historical concept of being,  from the pre-Socratic era to the modern period and further criticize the inconsistency in Heidegger notion of Being.

1.5 Significance of the study

Every research work undertaken plays a significant role in the advancement of knowledge. Thus, this research work plays a vital role as it stands as a literature for researchers on Heidegger’s concept of being. Above all, it helps humans in understanding who they actually are and also in distinguishing the many aspects of being in terms of its facticity, existentiality and falleness.


This is an extract from the essay: 'An Examination of Martin Heidegger’s Notion of Being', written by Alutu Nicholas Chinaemelum . For the full version, send us an email on scholarsorgng@gmail.com You can also like our facebook page using the link:  https://web.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100071046720875 . You can also find us using the name ‘Scholars International’.



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