Heidegger, her teacher and one-time lover, comes off as a sexist, selfish, vain, and pompous little man, his love letters to Arendt full of embarrassing romantic clichés. One of the most famous philosophers of the 20th century, Heidegger is shown calling for the “extermination of the enemy” before the Nazis's rise to power.
The NYTimes reviews Laura Secor’s Children of Paradise: The Struggle for the Soul of Iran.
Farsi translations of Popper’s works were flying off the shelves. But they were being savaged in the press by devotees of Soroush’s rival, Ahmad Fardid, who espoused the views of Martin Heidegger. Many hard-liners in the Islamic Republic were attracted to Heidegger, the midcentury German thinker tainted by his ties to Nazism, as a counter to Western scientific rationalism’s claims to universalism. “Because both philosophers were associated with the ruling regime, their debates were fully aired before the public,” Secor says. “Iranian intellectuals, perhaps thrilling to the aura of purpose, often describe the battle as a war by proxy between Heidegger and Popper.”
In Heidegger's classic text on the implications of death, Being and Time, he contrasts waiting with anticipation: waiting for death, like passing one's days in denial of mortality, is dismissed as fatalistic, pessimistic, a kind of giving up. Heidegger urges anticipation, which is not a kind of sitting around, mulling about, dwindling time until annihilation; anticipation of death employs our mortality as the single consideration that lifts us out of our immersion in the mundane details of daily life, freeing us to make bolder choices that embrace life, in all its ephemeral beauty.
In the Boston Review, Leland de la Durantaye on Agamben.
For Agamben the great political danger, in the name of which the Homo Sacer series and all of his books are written, is in seeing the world with an end, in seeing humanity as something that involves the accomplishment of a task, individual or collective. It is, moreover, Heidegger’s attachment to a notion of an epoch having a task that marks, for Agamben, the limit of his teacher’s philosophy. Heidegger’s analysis of Dasein, begun in Being and Time (1927), remained unfinished for the final half-century of his life. As Agamben makes clear in L’uso dei corpi, what led those problems to become so intractable as to be abandoned was Heidegger’s sense of Dasein having such a task—one which Heidegger, moreover, found for a time compatible with National Socialism. For Agamben, mankind has no millennial or messianic task to complete, no divinely ordained work it must do, no set function it must exercise.
At the end of the symposium Professor Markus Gabriel criticized the unchecked wish of scandalization and distortion of Heidegger's philosophy. Gabriel asked as Jürgen Habermas had demanded 50 years ago to think Heidegger against Heidegger for his philosophy is like in the case of other intellectual giants a conglomerate of insight and nonsense. However, nobody should disrespectfully use Heidegger's work as a quarry.
At that point I would have liked to have asked the question: How many of the broken stones are scree and how many may still be used as building blocks?
We live in absent time, and every great theoretician of memory (from Plato to Proust) knows it. Heidegger called it ekstatic, that anxious center held between past and future, always rooted in impossible memory of one’s unwanted beginning. Or Freud (yes, Freud) who warned us that everything we do, we do as if guided by a phantom of our unknown and likely never-to-be-known selves.
[I]t reproduces for the first time a letter from December 1931 in which famed German philosopher Martin Heidegger warmly recommends the “Hitler book,” arguing that its author has an “unusual and secure political instinct.”
I'm guessing that's the letter to his brother, mentioned in one of the Black Notebooks stories last year.
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