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Heidegger’s thinking concerns things so fundamental that those coming to Heidegger for the first time should be warned that the bases of just about everything they think, assume, or take for granted are at stake in his texts. Imagine that the whole of Western thought, since the time of the first philosophers in ancient Greece, has been in the grip of a prejudice affecting all its aspects and even what seems selfevident. This is something so deep and all-pervasive that it should not

even be called a prejudice if that word implies choice and individual misjudgement rather than an unavoidable heritage into which people are born and receive their most seemingly immediate sense of themselves. This is Heidegger’s massive claim, and his view of ‘Western metaphysics’ as being constituted in terms that call for ‘deconstruction’ has since become amplified in the work of the contemporary French thinker Jacques Derrida (1930-).