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Last Reviewed on June 19, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 256

Being and Time is a seminal work in Western philosophy and arguably Heidegger's most moving contribution to epistemology, or the study of what one can "know" and "do." Here are some key quotes.

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The term "Being" does not define that realm of entities which is uppermost when these are articulated conceptually according to genus and species: the "universality" of Being "transcends" any universality of genus.

Here, Heidegger elucidates his conception of Dasein, or "being," which is the core concept in the book. Dasein is the reflexive process with which a subject tries to apprehend different things in the world and determine that they have ontological value. To Heidegger, this process is inseparable from the cognitive conditions that govern the unique perception of each subject doing the perceiving.

Every questioning is a seeking. Every seeking takes its direction beforehand from what is sought. Questioning is a knowing search for beings in their thatness and whatness.

Here, Heidegger characterizes the process of making philosophical inquiry as contingent on the bedrock of assumptions that are available to an individual. Despite the power of assumptions to obfuscate ontological clarity, he vindicates human beings' unrelenting will to seek objective truth.

Everyone is the other and no one is himself.

This quote sums up Heidegger's broad social and philosophical argument that subjects achieve a sense of self by summing up countless perceptual fragments obtained from the world as they move through it and interact with it. All being, including the being-ness of individual identity, is obtained from the world of the "other."

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