Heidegger, Martin (18891976)
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German philosopher, an important influence on phenomenology, existentialism and hermeneutics. He believed that modern society, in particular technology, had a dehumanizing and nihilistic effect, and in the Nazi period expressed this belief by sympathizing with the Nazis. Though he later modified some of these views, his main philosophical concern remained the same: the study of "being" - in the world as perceived and experienced directly by human beings. Heidegger's work, though somewhat blacklisted after the Second World War, has been increasingly influential, in anthropology as well as in a number of other disciplines. With the advent of postmodernism, the interest in his work has soared, and today his phenomenological approach (often as further developed by Merleau-Ponty) occupies a central position in anthropological thinking.

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