Tuesday, April 30, 2019
In the uchicago news, Dieter Roelstraete on philosophers' huts.
Heidegger and Wittgenstein were not only exact contemporaries who respected each other’s work from a safe distance, but they both built these cocoons for thinking deep thoughts right around the same time, and for comparable reasons that reveal an underlying reactionary, anti-modern instinct. Wittgenstein, the tormented scion of a wealthy Austro-Hungarian industrialist family who could not bear the niceties of social life in Vienna and Cambridge, fled to a remote rural nook of Norway’s fjords in search of a simpler life. Heidegger was the modest, diminutive son of a middle-class church official in the Swabian provinces of Germany whose retreat to a peasant cabin in the countryside has something exquisitely staged and therefore inauthentic about it. And that’s where the seeds for Being and Time were sown, much like Wittgenstein’s Tractatus was shaped in no small measure by the experience of living at the edge of the world. Very cinematic, is it not?
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