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Heidegger, Martin

(1889-1976). German philosopher. In 1927 he published his magnum opus, Being and Time. It strongly influenced Jean-Paul Satre and other existentialists, and, despite Heidegger's protestations, led to his being classed as the leading atheistic existentialist. His declared purpose in the work was to raise anew the question of the meaning of being. His preliminary analysis of human existence (dasein, or "being there") employed the method of phenomenology. Heidegger joined the Nazi Party in 1933 and supported Hitler's policies as rector of Freiburg (1933-34) and less actively through the end of the war. Heidegger's work strongly influenced hermeneutics and poststructuralism. (from "Heidegger, Martin." Encyclopedia Britannica. 2006. Encyclopedia Britannica Premium Service. 31 Mar. 2006 ).

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