1889 — Martin Heidegger is born

Martin Heidegger was a German philosopher whose ideas were, to say the least, controversial.

In the Thirties, he was a supporter of Hitler and a member of the Nazi Party. Even after World War Two, he continued to express support for some parts of the Nazi ideology.

In his chosen field of philosophy, he was scarcely less controversial. Heidegger argued that every philosopher before him had misinterpreted the meaning of Plato’s philosophy, largely through not paying enough attention to what he called ‘the question of being’. This question of being underlies all of Heidegger’s work, and was a precursor to later movements such as postmodernism, deconstruction and existentialism.

It is difficult to quickly summarise, but it may be approached by considering the number of different meanings that the word ‘being’ can have, and how possible confusion between them might lead to different interpretations of statements featuring the word.

Referenced in:

Bruces’ Philosophers Song — Monty Python

At least, that’s what I THINK he meant..