• plaque flag
    2.7k
    he would deflect and say that what is important is not his beliefs but thinking.Fooloso4

    ways not works

    Why must it be a deflection ? If he said 'Being is God,' he'd just further confuse people who are already confused and eager to project.

    Idle talk, gossip, chugging along in language, grasping the typical superficiality, falling immersion into hackneyed responses, curiosisties self-flattering delusions that not it's caught the butterfly, the problem of meaning, the reaching for with concepts, the agony and ecstasy of poesis....
  • waarala
    97
    Heidegger made the fatal mistake, which Spengler ultimately avoided, to jump from the radical-conservative standpoint into the Nazi camp. Result was that from then on he was to become stamped as a Nazi. I think that H. was nearly on the same line with the _then current_ Nazism in about 1932-1934 (it was then still possible to Heidegger to endorse Nazism) but outside this short period he was representing entirely different "Nazism" or something that is not Nazism at all from our current perspective (some sort of Hölderlinian patriot he was all his life). However, it is appropriate that whenever discussing Heidegger to remind at least in a footnote to this extremely troubling episode.

    H's. later few, extremely strange and out of context, references to Jews in the late 30' meant that H. consciously couples himself with the official Germany's, or to his so dear "fatherland's", fate. That is, H. consciously victimizes himself, takes responsibility, as part of the Germany's possible future reputation with regard to its horrendously criminal treatment of the Jew population ("Jew" as a mystified notion). With those comments he makes sure that when Germany is later accused of its deeds he is also there on the side of the accused.
  • Arne
    815
    I never said anything about definition or meaningMikie

    Then why did you spend so much time arguing that the definition given didn't count?

    Perhaps I misinterpreted. Either way, we had an excellent discussion and we seem to be in agreement that the ontology thesis presented in Being and Time is worthy of being studied as an ontology thesis regardless of significant moral shortcomings on the part of the author.

    I re-read all of your posts on this thread and they are good.
  • Ciceronianus
    3k
    I've been grateful to Heidegger, nonetheless, since my earliest philosophical studies in the late '70s for his monumental oeuvre as a/the paragon of how NOT to philosophize - or think-live philosophically (as Arendt points out) - as manifest by the generations of heideggerian obscurant sophists (i.e. p0m0s e.g. Derrida, Baudrillard, Lyotard, Rorty et al) who've come and gone in and out of academic & litcrit fashion since the 1950s ...
    — 180 Proof
    180 Proof

    I like this. Well said.

    As I've said, I'm listening to the book mentioned in the OP. There's a good deal left to listen to. I think its persuasively makes a case that there is a relation between H's political/social ideology and his philosophical works. The author professes to admire H for his efforts to provide the philosophical foundation for an alternative to nihilism and angst which, it appears, was rampant in European philosophy before Being in Time.

    [Have patience with me here, if you will. I've never understood why angst and nihilism were supposedly prevalent in 19th and 20th century Europe, and elsewhere to a lesser extent, and am inclined to attribute it to an overreaction to the perceived failure of Christianity, which resulted in people being deprived of the solace of its busybody, "Big Daddy" God, giving meaning to life and setting rules. So, I'm not inclined to think there was some kind of need H tried to satisfy, if there was one. I may not be accurately describing the author's views, or H's for that matter in this respect]

    Assuming the author accurately describes what H wrote, however, he wrote a great deal about Volk, Blut und Boden, Arbeit macht frei. The author thinks this wacky (to me) glorification of Germany, Germans, the German language and culture and corresponding denigration of all other people and nations (especially Jews) is consistent with the entirety of his work and that this would be clearer still if his philosophical works rendered into English, including portions of Being and Time, had not been modified by sympathetic translators.

    I haven't read Being and Time; certainly not in its entirety. I've read some of his other, shorter works such as The Question Concerning Technology and it seems to me that it can be inferred from them that he was something of a mystic and romantic. Perhaps that in addition to his rampant Germanophilia accounts for his reference to the "inner truth and greatness" of National Socialism, even in the 1953 publication of An Introduction to Metaphysics.
  • Paine
    2.2k

    I think some of the anxiety came from the revolutions of 1848 where institutions accepted some democratic reforms in exchange for protecting the status quo. The anti-liberal reaction to the revolutions became the grounds for the ultra-nationalist movements that followed.

    Nietzsche tried a few lines of this when he was young. His rejection of Wagner signaled the end of that party. To my knowledge, Heidegger never addressed that part of Nietzsche's teachings despite the considerable effort to interpret other parts.
  • 180 Proof
    14.5k
    One need merely say 'Tübingen Seminary' to understand what German philosophy is at bottom: an insidious theology. The Swabians are the best liars in Germany: they lie innocently. — Friedrich Nietzsche, 1888
    Heidegger lies notoriously always and everywhere and wherever he can. — Hannah Arendt (1950ish)
    One can forgive many Germans but there are some Germans it is difficult to forgive. It is difficult to forgive Heidegger. — Emmanuel Levinas, 1974
  • Tom Storm
    8.6k
    Maybe a diversion, but do you have a strong sense why Nazism appealed to H? What do you think was in H's process that allowed Nazism to fit comfortably alongside his more complex thinking?


    Perhaps that in addition to his rampant Germanophilia accounts for his reference to the "inner truth and greatness" of National Socialism, even in the 1953 publication of An Introduction to Metaphysics.Ciceronianus

    Is this an answer to my question above? A form of elevated Volksgesinnung?
  • Pantagruel
    3.3k
    It seems myopic to criticize someone for being on the wrong side of a socio-historic movement. Every author expresses his or her ideas through the lens of their cultural milieu. If we were to restrict our studies to whoever stands on the right side of moral history, where would that leave us? On some kind of remote moral pinnacle and faced with an impossible task. Society is a product of the conflict of viewpoints, and wealthier for the diversity. Heidegger's writings obviously have an exterior, that is the context in which they were framed. They also have an interior, which it would be a gross trivialization to view as propaganda. His writings undoubtedly are the work of a brilliant mind, with much of value, perhaps not for everyone; but our culture would be the poorer for its loss.
  • 180 Proof
    14.5k
    Have you read the even a few pages of this thread? If so, can you point to examples of "gross trivialization" of H just because he was an unapologetic Nazi?
  • Pantagruel
    3.3k
    If the thread was titled "The extent of National Socialist ideology in the writings of Heidegger" I wouldn't have said a thing. It was called "Heidegger's Downfall" and developed along that thematic line. It's a normative criticism masquerading as philosophical commentary.
  • 180 Proof
    14.5k
    :roll:

    You might find this youtube interesting ...
  • Tom Storm
    8.6k
    Thanks for both responses. Will check out the podcast. The Black Notebooks were probably a game changer.
  • Ciceronianus
    3k
    A form of elevated Volksgesinnung?Tom Storm

    Elevated, schmelevated. It's difficult for me to think of his silly rhapsodies regarding the German Volk without picturing him as one of the performers of Springtime for Hitler.

    I finished Wolin's book, and even I, unrivaled as I think I am in my loathing for Heidegger, was astonished by the scope of his odiousness.
  • Ciceronianus
    3k
    It seems myopic to criticize someone for being on the wrong side of a socio-historic movementPantagruel

    Yes, we are all too quick to criticize those who supported Hitler and the Nazi regime and referred to the Holocaust as the "self-annihilation of the Jews." The "wrong side of a socio-historic movement," forsooth.
  • Joshs
    5.4k


    Yes, we are all too quick to criticize those who supported Hitler and the Nazi regime and referred to the Holocaust as the "self-annihilation of the Jews." The "wrong side of a socio-historic movement," forsooth.Ciceronianus

    I don’t know if it is any more improper to refer to supporters of Hitler as being on the wrong side of a sociologist-historic movement than it is to characterize Trump supporters that way.

    “On Sunday evening, just as Rosh Hashanah was coming to a close, Trump posted a meme on his social-media platform, Truth Social, excoriating “liberal Jews” who had “voted to destroy America”.(Atlantic Magazine)
  • Pantagruel
    3.3k
    the ontology thesis presented in Being and Time is worthy of being studied as an ontology thesis regardless of significant moral shortcomings on the part of the author.Arne

    I think this sums up whatever substantive merit the OP contains: should we allow situational moral issues to to dictate philosophical interpretation. Do people frequently fail to embody their own ideals? Forsooth.

    It's always easier to moralize than it is to be moral.
  • Fooloso4
    5.7k
    should we allow situational moral issues to to dictate philosophical interpretation.Pantagruel

    It is a grave mistake to assume that the two are separate. "Situational ethics" trivializes the extermination of groups of people. Central to Heidegger's "philosophical interpretation" is the preeminent place and role of human beings.That some human beings, the German Volk, are to play an important world historical role and others are not simply to be ignored or excluded but round up and put in death camps, is evidence of the troubling failure of his philosophical interpretation.
  • Pantagruel
    3.3k
    It is a grave mistake to assume that the two are separate.Fooloso4

    I would never assume that. However philosophy, by its very nature, is a kind of intellectual idealization. If the philosophy is explicitly a philosophy of how best to live life (e.g. Stoicism) then attempting this kind of analysis might have merit. I would definitely see Heidegger within the context of the historical events, and as symptomatic of a global malaise. However there are people walking around today committing atrocities that would make Hitler blush. We demonize in order to ignore. Let's focus on the living crises of human conduct that we at least have some hope of addressing.
  • Fooloso4
    5.7k
    philosophy, by its very nature, is a kind of intellectual idealization.Pantagruel

    That may be one way in which it is practiced but intellectual idealization is not what philosophy is by its very nature. I think Heidegger would reject that claim.

    We demonize in order to ignore.Pantagruel

    To acknowledge and face the problem is to neither demonize nor ignore him nor to deny his importance.
  • Pantagruel
    3.3k
    To acknowledge and face the problem is to neither demonize nor ignore him nor to deny his importance.Fooloso4

    Exactly what "problem"? Is Heidegger culpable for something, or of something?

    And I didn't mean we demonize to ignore Heidegger. We demonize one thing in order to ignore other instances of that thing that are still going on. Atrocities are perpetrated daily in the name of economics. I'd as soon excoriate those responsible for that as Heidegger. And those guilty of standing by and letting that happen.
  • Ciceronianus
    3k
    should we allow situational moral issues to to dictate philosophical interpretation.Pantagruel

    There's a kind of magnificence in your extravagant, blithe dismissal of Heidegger's support for attempted genocide and a Germanic master race. If you read or listen to Wolin's book, by the way, you'll find that these positions have their basis in his philosophical musings (primarily in the Black Notebooks and his letters to his brother). As for his philosophy, such as it is, it seems to me that Dewey's alleged observation that Heidegger "reads like a Swabian peasant trying to sound like me" describes whatever is of worth in it, by my understanding, if we subtract H's mysticism and Romanticism.
  • Ciceronianus
    3k
    However there are people walking around today committing atrocities that would make Hitler blush.Pantagruel

    Ah. Now we learn Hitler wasn't that bad a fellow, after all. Loved dogs, they say.
  • Pantagruel
    3.3k
    Ah. Now we learn Hitler wasn't that bad a fellow, after all. Loved dogs, they say.Ciceronianus
    Non sequitur. Because someone is worse doesn't mean someone else isn't bad.
  • Fooloso4
    5.7k
    Exactly what "problem"?Pantagruel

    His support of Nazism.

    Is Heidegger culpable for something, or of something?Pantagruel

    Read his Rectoral Address

    On a more individual basis there is his treatment of Jewish students.

    Atrocities are perpetrated daily in the name of economics. I'd as soon excoriate those responsible for that as Heidegger.Pantagruel

    We do not have to pick one or the other.

    The question is whether his philosophy and his Nazism are two different and unrelated things.
  • Pantagruel
    3.3k
    The question is whether his philosophy and his Nazism are two different and unrelated things.Fooloso4

    Yes, which is what I said. I've read Being and Time five times and never found it suggestive of any kind of antisemitism or fascism. To those who dismiss it, no skin off my nose. Your loss.
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