Friday, February 22, 2013
In The Independent, John Gray reviews Hitler's Philosophers.
In detailing the complicity of philosophers with Nazism, Sherratt is not opening up new ground. There is a large literature on Heidegger's involvement, while scholars such as Richard Wolin have explored the appeal of fascism to several generations of European intellectuals. There are no startling insights here into why some of Germany's leading philosophers actively collaborated with Nazism. From one point of view, Heidegger's flirtation with Nazism may have been not much more than an extreme example of careerism; but it may also have flowed from some deep features of his philosophy. Dealing mainly with events and personalities rather than the internal logic of philosophical positions, Sherratt cannot tell us whether it was the philosopher or the philosophy that was principally at fault.
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