What Is Called Thinking?

Heidegger, Martin, and J. Glenn Gray. What Is Called Thinking? New York: Harper & Row, 1976.

What Is Called Thinking contains a course of university lectures Heidegger delivered in 1951 and 1952 at the University of Freiburg. They were the last before his formal retirement from the university and also the first lectures he was permitted to give there since 1944.

“As near a definitive statement of Heidegger’s new period as can be found.” —Jean M. Perreault

“For an acquaintance with the thought of Heidegger, What Is Called Thinking? is as important as Being and Time. It is the only systematic presentation of the thinker’s late philosophy and…it is perhaps the most exciting of his books.”—Hannah Arendt


“In the present discourse… the word ‘thinking’ means as much as ‘having views.’ One might say, for instance: ‘I think it will snow tonight.’ But he who speaks that way is not thinking, he just has views on something. We must be very careful, however, not to regard this ‘viewing’ as insignificant. All our daily life and all we do moves within what we have in view, and necessarily so. Even the sciences stay within it. And how is it one-sided? Is it not one of science’s highest principles to explore its objects from as many sides as possible, even from all sides? Where is the one-sidedness in that? It lies precisely in the sphere of scientific exploration. Historical science may thoroughly explore a period, for instance, in every possible respect, and yet never explore what history is.”