Martin Heidegger – Thinking the Unthinkable

“We are attempting to learn thinking. The way is long. We dare take only a few steps. If all goes well they will take us to the foothills of thought. But they will take us to places which we must explore to reach the point where only the leap will help further. The leap alone takes us into the region where thinking resides. We shall therefore take a few practice leaps right at the start, though we won’t notice it at once, nor need to…In contrast to a steady progress, where we move unawares from one thing to the next and everything remains alike, the leap takes us abruptly to where everything is different, so different that it strikes us as strange. Abrupt means the sudden sheer descent or rise that marks the chasm’s edge. Though we may not founder in such a leap, what the leap takes us to will confound us.” -- Martin Heidegger

The Magus of Messkirch - Martin Heidegger (ger/eng)

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11 Comments on "Martin Heidegger – Thinking the Unthinkable"

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Joseph K

Its hard to think that Heidegger was not seen for what he is….a die hard Nazi.


Was he really a Nazi or a Nazi sympathizer?? There is a difference i suppose??


How can a man so ‘narrow’ be so ‘broad’?!


I like Heideggers retreat in the mountains, quiet and calm and far from so called ‘civilization’. Wish all of us had similar retreats to retire to once in a while.


The being and time arguement is quite powerful .. unthinkable probably means boundless in this context?

9 Divinities

What happened to the people who think the unthinkable and break philosophic barriers? Lets hope the 21stC produces a few. The way things are, I don’t have much hope though.


All philosophers need ‘time out’ from civilization I think – the proverbial shack in the mountains. Heidegger was no exception. very illuminating post.


That Heidegger was a Nazi sympathizer/activist… does it really stack up against him..I mean he was one of the most orignal thinkers. History has not forgiven Nazism anyway..Jus a thought


Apparently a pioneer in 20th Century philisophy Heidegger wanted to see what ‘being’ itself is. i.e. as I understand it, beyond metaphysics.

But no philosophy has a point if you can’t relate it to life.

Can someone give everyday examples.?

Carrie Major

Heidegger states nicely: “Profound boredom, drifting here and there in the abysses of our existence like a muffling fog, removes all things and men and oneself along with it into a remarkable indifference. This boredom reveals being as a whole.”
Does he mean that boredom reveals the Nothingness that is the foundations of existence or human life?

If so, does he mean Nothingness literally as being the base of existence.
That from which all originates?

Ashmita Agarwal

I am reading “An introduction to Metaphysics” in which Heidegger explains what philosophy actually is. I am very confused by his explanation and was wondering if anyone could shed some light on it.

What does he mean when he says philosophy is Untimely, and concerned with the extra-ordinary?

What is Heidegger’s understanding of Being? What does he feel Being is? How does it relate to the Ancient Philosophers (Socrates, Plato and Aristotle) that he brings up in the book.
Also what does he mean when he says “human being-there”?