Continental Philosophy

Martin Heidegger

What was Martin Heidegger’s theory of time?

As with space, time, explained Heidegger, is a creation of Dasein based on its concern for things beyond its immediate self. Dasein in the mode of temporality even creates abstract or clock time because it is a goal-oriented being. Something that is “not-yet” becomes located in the future. On the basis of the “having-been,” which is the past, the immediacy of the present emerges from Dasein’s concern about something in the future. As a structure of human existence, temporality thus temporalizes itself. This is Heidegger’s terminology, and what he seems to mean is that when you think about the future, you think about how the present will be a memory to you then. People do this when they deliberately take photographs to “create memories.”


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