Martin Heidegger (September 26, 1889 May 26, 1976) was a German philosopher. He studied at the University of Freiburg under Edmund Husserl, the founder of phenomenology, and became a professor there in 1928. He influenced many other major philosophers, and his own students at various times included Hans-Georg Gadamer, Hans Jonas, Emmanuel Levinas, Hannah Arendt, Leo Strauss, Xavier Zubiri and Karl Lwith. Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Jean-Paul Sartre, Jacques Derrida, Michel Foucault, Jean-Luc Nancy, and Philippe Lacoue-Labarthe also studied his work more or less closely. Beyond his relation to phenomenology, Heidegger is regarded as a major or indispensable influence on existentialism, deconstruction, hermeneutics and postmodernism. He attempted to reorient Western philosophy away from metaphysical and epistemological and toward ontological questions, that is, questions concerning the meaning of being, or what it means to be. Much controversy has surrounded his status as a prominent academic member of the Nazi Party.
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