Friday, April 03, 2015
Stefanos Geroulanos on French Heideggerians.
Few philosophers continue to interpret the world from the strict perspective of such Heideggerian fundamentals as a MetaGreece of poetic thinking. For a while, claims to be working in ontology routinely demanded political clarifications and a taking of sides: in his first footnote to Being and Event, published in 1988, Alain Badiou included a discussion of his distance from both orthodox Heideggerians and their humanist critics. Nevertheless, though the strict, uncritical French following of Heidegger came largely to an end, it is premature to conclude, with Ferry and Renaut (and to a certain degree with Rockmore’s pessimism), that Heidegger is finished in France. In the very least, phenomenologians and philosophers deeply indebted to Heidegger continued to hold very significant positions. In 2003, in another major institutional “success,” Heidegger became an established part of the questions for the agrégation en philosophie. Moreover, as noted already, the post-‘87 corpus of works is significant and, for the most part, adequately informed by the problem of Heidegger’s Nazism. A generation of younger, somewhat more critical if still deeply indebted philosophers has taken up the space left open by the Heideggerians’ collapse, approaching him through a more careful perspective and often centering on his very early work. It is also too soon to assess if a relative decline of Heidegger’s influence, in favor of the more recent turns toward philosophies of life (notably toward Bergson and Deleuze) and, especially, the turn toward analytic and post-analytic philosophy— is either of long-term significance or related to the political question.
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