Wednesday, February 09, 2011
Looks like Dr. Ireland is on tour; tomorrow at Clarke. With this additional tidbit:
Ireland discovered that an abbreviation thought to refer to “Natural Science” actually refers to “National Socialism.”
The announcement also says Dr. Ireland translated Hölderlin's Hymn "The Ister", so she's the scholar formerly known as Julia Davis. Coincidentally, Elucidations of Hölderlin's Poetry was also translated by another Washingtonian, Keith Hoeller. What is it about the Pacific Northwest and Heidegger?
Forests and mountains, mostly rural, and...mostly whitey--sort of built-in Lebensraum, made to order for conservative Heideggerians. Probably many germans and scandanavians as well, as with most north country (at least until canada), and..."Sie lieben Die Natur" .

She certainly has respectable creds, and I do not hold the way she packages herself against her--if she does a credible job in her presentation.
The novelist, Tom Robbins, says the Pacific Northwest is all about mushrooms.
That was then. Judging by the news, these days it's all bc bud and meth labs.
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Looks like Julia Ireland will be presenting a modified version of this paper at the Heidegger in Messkirch conference this May. She’s tentatively scheduled for 9:30-10:30am Friday May 27 with the paper title “Heidegger and the ‘Inner Truth of National Socialism’: Nature, Intimacy, and Technology”. Jet lag/conference lag permitting I’ll probably attend the paper and could give you some additional cliff notes if you’d like.
I would very much appreciate your reflections.

As I recall, she pivots her theory on a textual abbreviation "N.S." that gets translated as "natural science" and is instead "national socialism." Hence MH's love for the Nazis was being covered over.
Hey Adam, it'd be great if you would let us know what Dr. Ireland's uncovered.
Sorry about the length...

So, I went to Julia Ireland’s paper. And there was much quoting of German and talk of insertions within insertions, and my German is by no means of the best quality so I didn’t exactly catch and grasp everything which was said. And moreover, I would hate to be responsible for the distribution of the mis-interpretation of her work. That being said…

In very brief form, there are some insertions in Hölderlins Hymnen ‘Germanien’ und ‘Der Rhein’. These insertions are in the manscript and in the GA edition but were not given in the lecture course. These insertions are to be understood as unfolding the ideas presented in the immediate context. In one of these insertions, Heidegger talks of the ‘inner truth of NS’. If the abbreviation NS in the manuscript is interpreted as national socialism rather than natural science, then, these insertions present a much better, or more productive site for the debate over the issue of Heidegger’s insertion of a similar line into the published version of Introduction to Metaphysics.

In long form…

While working on a translation of Hölderlins Hymnen ‘Germanien’ und ‘Der Rhein’, and having the opportunity to investigate the hand written manuscripts, Ireland found what she judges to be a mis-interpretation of the manuscript which had made its way into the Gasamtausgabe edition. And here I should note at the outset that she’s not trying to enter into any sort of conspiracy theories about the GA editors or anything of that sort. Also I should probably note that I’m a bit out of my element since, in the interests of completing my graduate program on time and within the word limit (cf. my struggle with brevity here) I personally have become so specialised as to be almost completely limited to 1927-1929 (with a few forays beyond that time period here and there).

Now effectively, at bottom, we have the insertion, which was not delivered in the actual lecture course Einführung in die Metaphysik (Introduction to Metaphysics) about the ‘inner truth of national socialism’ but was added for its original publication in 1953. And Heidegger understandably copped a bunch of flack for that. The context of that insertion is value philosophy; philosophy of value is a corruption of the inner truth of national socialism, but as it were, the horizon of actualy national socialism.

On the other hand when Ireland was looking through the Germanien und der Rhein lecture course manuscripts she noticed a phrase with a similar syntax, the passage in Germanien und der Rhein seems to echo that which was added to Introduction to Metaphysics. So that perhaps, Heidegger is really quoting his insertion from Germanien und der Rhein, in the Introduction to Metaphysics (the motivation being, the exigencies of the present and so forth in the early 50s).

In the manuscript of Germanien und Der Rhein Heidegger writes of the ‘inner truth of NS’. In the GA edition the NS is rendered as Naturwissenschaft. Usually, Heidegger abbreviates ‘Naturwissenschaft’ as ‘Naturwiss’ or something of that ilk. However, the editors followed a precedent where, in another place (pretty sure it was in another place but can’t remember where), Heidegger had instructed that NS was to be rendered Naturwissenschaft (perhaps, ‘naturalis scientia’?). So really, it’s kind of undecidable philologically what the manuscript means.

So then, Ireland’s argument is not primarily philological or a matter of ad hominen argument against the editors or anything of that ilk (though that’s what I kind of expected from the original abstract, and so far as she doesn’t want to go in that direction I hope that I am in some sense rendering her a service here). The argument is primarily philosophical. In the context of the ‘inner truth of NS’ statement in Germanien and Der Rhein, Ireland argues that any talk of the inner truth of natural science is unintelligible. I cannot render her argument in its proper force, but effectively, at bottom I take it that she argues that in this context, natural science is terminologically fixed as the corruption of phusis, and the task is the re-experiencing of phusis in the new beginning, thus, as it were, beyond the Greeks, and equally, beyond what goes by the name of Naturwissenschaft.

We cannot rely on the student notes to decide the meaning of NS because this section of the manuscript was not delivered (of course, if it did name the state, it wouldn’t have been delivered because, the spies! the spies! Though Ireland does not rely on this, and I don’t think that she mentioned it). And though it is rendered in the GA edition in a continuous text, what we really have is the breaking of a sentence mid-sentence and the insertion, in the margins of an elaboration of the ideas discussed in the actual course, and then we have insertions within the insertions and so forth and this fact is significant for Ireland’s argument (mostly because of the interpretation of the insertions as an elaboration of the ideas presented in the main flow of the text).

All told there are three insertions, though these are not rendered as marginal notes in the GA edition, they are instead included in the flow of the text. In my notes I have the third insertion listed as the beginning of the last paragraph on GA39 p195 and concluding at the first colon on 196. There is also an insertion starting with ‘Neu ist diese…’ on GA39p195 containing the last two sentences of the main paragraph and perhaps picking up again afterwards… I don’t know exactly; my notes are incomplete but in any case this has the inner truth line in it, and it in fact was inserted in the middle of a sentence from the delivered manuscript. My notes are unclear. But as I understand it, it replaces a discussion of demagogy (so that works for interpreting NS as national socialism). The second insertion I’m not sure about, my notes are unclear. There was also a suggestion that there should have been more paragraphs in this area.

So, Ireland is working on journal article which will detail all this in much greater clarity and distinctness than I can here. Moreover, it would correct any mistakes which I may well be making in rendering her argument here.

But the main point, what makes the discussion productive, is effectively not of the form, ‘oh my god, he’s done it again’ but rather that the context in which these assertions occur in Germanien and Der Rhein (if NS is interpreted as national socialism) is a much more productive context for the debate over the ‘inner truth’ line.

The interpretation of the line, in terms of value philosophy, in terms of poesis, and in terms of techne does not make the line properly intelligible. But, if the line is interpreted as a conflict over the question of phusis, its reduction, de-historicisation and ‘de-naturing’ in natural science, its corruption when interpreted according to race and bios, then it becomes more intelligible. Of course according to Heidegger, all this corruption is the symptom and not the cause, thus the conflict with the Nazi modification of natural science, must go to the ground, that is, to the question of phusis proper, only there can we face the real problem, that is, as it were, the Ursache problem. Nazism has the right ‘terminology’ for this conflict but uses it and understands it incorrectly. So I think that the argument here is that Heidegger sees Nazism as presenting the site for the problem but going the wrong way, and so whilst in way Heidegger sees Nazism as ontologically disastrous he also sees it as presenting certain appropriate possibilities for a new ground experience of phusis (this needs more development than I can personally give to it from my notes).

At bottom (and I’m sure that I have presented it inadequately here which is my own personal responsibility), the whole problematic of natural science, the Greek concept of phusis, and the re-experiencing of phusis in a new beginning is a more productive site for the debate over Heidegger’s nearness and distance from the Nazi party and his assertion that it has an inner truth etc., than that over value philosophy etc. So that’s the project, and probably when Ireland to gets an article published on the matter we will be able to see further how this re-configuration of the line leads to a more productive situating of the relevant question surrounding Heidegger's talk about 'the inner truth of national socialism.'

Thank you very much. As it is such a touchy issue, I do not expect in my lifetime to see any sort of resolution. Ireland has added another wrinkle. Glad to hear that she is an honext scholar and not just out to exploit the issue.

As MH, I now understand, reconstructed Holderlin's "Andenken," as MH admits, to conform to MH's interpretation of it, we shall likely see many similar attempts with this issue.
No worries January.
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