Heidegger, Art and Politics: The Fiction of the Political

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Some Nazi education officials viewed him as a rival, while others saw his efforts as comical. Some of Heidegger's fellow Nazis also ridiculed his philosophical writings as gibberish. He finally offered his resignation on 23 April , and it was accepted on 27 April. Heidegger remained a member of both the academic faculty and of the Nazi Party until the end of the war. Though as rector he prevented students from displaying an anti-Semitic poster at the entrance to the university and from holding a book burning, he kept in close contact with the Nazi student leaders and clearly signaled to them his sympathy with their activism.

In , Heidegger wrote of his term as rector, giving the writing to his son Hermann; it was published in The rectorate was an attempt to see something in the movement that had come to power, beyond all its failings and crudeness, that was much more far-reaching and that could perhaps one day bring a concentration on the Germans' Western historical essence.

It will in no way be denied that at the time I believed in such possibilities and for that reason renounced the actual vocation of thinking in favor of being effective in an official capacity.

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In no way will what was caused by my own inadequacy in office be played down. But these points of view do not capture what is essential and what moved me to accept the rectorate. Beginning in , German-Jewish philosopher Edmund Husserl championed Heidegger's work, and helped him secure the retiring Husserl's chair in Philosophy at the University of Freiburg.

On 6 April , the Reichskommissar of Baden Province, Robert Wagner, suspended all Jewish government employees, including present and retired faculty at the University of Freiburg. Heidegger's predecessor as Rector formally notified Husserl of his "enforced leave of absence" on 14 April Heidegger became Rector of the University of Freiburg on 22 April The following week the national Reich law of 28 April , replaced Reichskommissar Wagner's decree.


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The Reich law required the firing of Jewish professors from German universities, including those, such as Husserl, who had converted to Christianity. The termination of the retired professor Husserl's academic privileges thus did not involve any specific action on Heidegger's part. Heidegger had by then broken off contact with Husserl, other than through intermediaries. Heidegger later claimed that his relationship with Husserl had already become strained after Husserl publicly "settled accounts" with Heidegger and Max Scheler in the early s.

Heidegger did not attend his former mentor's cremation in In , under pressure from publisher Max Niemeyer, Heidegger agreed to remove the dedication to Husserl from Being and Time restored in post-war editions. Heidegger's behavior towards Husserl has evoked controversy. Arendt initially suggested that Heidegger's behavior precipitated Husserl's death. She called Heidegger a "potential murderer. In , only a year after Husserl's death, Heidegger wrote in his Black Notebooks : "The more original and inceptive the coming decisions and questions become, the more inaccessible will they remain to this [Jewish] 'race'.

After the failure of Heidegger's rectorship, he withdrew from most political activity, but remained a member of the Nazi Party. However, it subsequently transpired that this qualification had not been made during the original lecture, although Heidegger claimed that it had been. This has led scholars to argue that Heidegger still supported the Nazi party in but that he did not want to admit this after the war, and so he attempted to silently correct his earlier statement.

In private notes written in , Heidegger took a strongly critical view of Hitler's ideology; [] however, in public lectures, he seems to have continued to make ambiguous comments which, if they expressed criticism of the regime, did so only in the context of praising its ideals.

For instance, in a lecture, published posthumously, Heidegger said of recent German classics scholarship:. In the majority of "research results," the Greeks appear as pure National Socialists. This overenthusiasm on the part of academics seems not even to notice that with such "results" it does National Socialism and its historical uniqueness no service at all, not that it needs this anyhow. Heidegger's former lover Arendt spoke on his behalf at this hearing, while Jaspers spoke against him. One consequence of this teaching ban was that Heidegger began to engage far more in the French philosophical scene.

In his postwar thinking, Heidegger distanced himself from Nazism, but his critical comments about Nazism seem "scandalous" to some since they tend to equate the Nazi war atrocities with other inhumane practices related to rationalisation and industrialisation , including the treatment of animals by factory farming. For instance in a lecture delivered at Bremen in , Heidegger said: "Agriculture is now a motorized food industry, the same thing in its essence as the production of corpses in the gas chambers and the extermination camps, the same thing as blockades and the reduction of countries to famine, the same thing as the manufacture of hydrogen bombs.

In Heidegger met with the Jewish poet Paul Celan , a concentration camp survivor. Celan visited Heidegger at his country retreat and wrote an enigmatic poem about the meeting, which some interpret as Celan's wish for Heidegger to apologize for his behavior during the Nazi era. On 23 September , Heidegger was interviewed by Rudolf Augstein and Georg Wolff for Der Spiegel magazine, in which he agreed to discuss his political past provided that the interview be published posthumously.

Geoffrey Bennington. Heidegger and Google. 2016

It was published five days after his death, on 31 May Second, he admitted that he saw an "awakening" Aufbruch which might help to find a "new national and social approach," but said that he changed his mind about this in , largely prompted by the violence of the Night of the Long Knives. In his interview Heidegger defended as double-speak his lecture describing the "inner truth and greatness of this movement.

However, Heidegger asserted that his dedicated students would know this statement was no eulogy for the Nazi Party. Rather, he meant it as he expressed it in the parenthetical clarification later added to Introduction to Metaphysics , namely, "the confrontation of planetary technology and modern humanity. The Der Spiegel interviewers did not bring up Heidegger's quotation comparing the industrialization of agriculture to the extermination camps. In fact, the interviewers were not in possession of much of the evidence now known for Heidegger's Nazi sympathies.

Heidegger was one of the most influential philosophers of the 20th century, and his ideas have penetrated into many areas, but in France there is a very long and particular history of reading and interpreting his work which in itself resulted in deepening the impact of his thought in Continental Philosophy. Heidegger's influence on French philosophy began in the s, when Being and Time , "What is Metaphysics? The influence of Heidegger on Sartre's Being and Nothingness is marked, but Heidegger felt that Sartre had misread his work, as he argued in later texts such as the " Letter on Humanism ".

In that text, intended for a French audience, Heidegger explained this misreading in the following terms:. Sartre's key proposition about the priority of existentia over essentia [that is, Sartre's statement that "existence precedes essence"] does, however, justify using the name "existentialism" as an appropriate title for a philosophy of this sort. But the basic tenet of "existentialism" has nothing at all in common with the statement from Being and Time [that "the 'essence' of Dasein lies in its existence"]—apart from the fact that in Being and Time no statement about the relation of essentia and existentia can yet be expressed, since there it is still a question of preparing something precursory.

Aside from merely disputing readings of his own work, however, in the "Letter on Humanism" Heidegger asserts that "Every humanism is either grounded in a metaphysics or is itself made to be the ground of one. After the war, Heidegger was banned from university teaching for a period on account of his support of Nazism while serving as Rector of Freiburg University.

Deconstruction came to Heidegger's attention in by way of Lucien Braun's recommendation of Jacques Derrida 's work Hans-Georg Gadamer was present at an initial discussion and indicated to Heidegger that Derrida's work came to his attention by way of an assistant.

Heidegger expressed interest in meeting Derrida personally after the latter sent him some of his work. There was discussion of a meeting in , but this failed to take place. Braun also brought to Heidegger's attention the work of Michel Foucault. Foucault's relation to Heidegger is a matter of considerable difficulty; Foucault acknowledged Heidegger as a philosopher whom he read but never wrote about.

Derrida attempted to displace the understanding of Heidegger's work that had been prevalent in France from the period of the ban against Heidegger teaching in German universities, which amounted to an almost wholesale rejection of the influence of Jean-Paul Sartre and existentialist terms. According to Derrida, Sartre's interpretation of Dasein and other key Heideggerian concerns is overly psychologistic, anthropocentric, and misses the historicality central to Dasein in Being and Time.

These debates included the question of whether it was possible to do without Heidegger's philosophy, a position which Derrida in particular rejected. More recently, Heidegger's thought has influenced the work of the French philosopher Bernard Stiegler. This is evident even from the title of Stiegler's multi-volume magnum opus , La technique et le temps volume one translated into English as Technics and Time, 1: The Fault of Epimetheus. Stiegler understands the existential analytic of Being and Time as an account of psychic individuation , and his later "history of being" as an account of collective individuation.

He understands many of the problems of Heidegger's philosophy and politics as the consequence of Heidegger's inability to integrate the two. Heidegger has been very influential on the work of the Italian philosopher Giorgio Agamben. Agamben attended seminars in France led by Heidegger in the late s. Heidegger's influence upon 20th century continental philosophy is unquestioned and has produced a variety of critical responses.

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According to Husserl, Being and Time claimed to deal with ontology but only did so in the first few pages of the book. Having nothing further to contribute to an ontology independent of human existence, Heidegger changed the topic to Dasein. Whereas Heidegger argued that the question of human existence is central to the pursuit of the question of being, Husserl criticized this as reducing phenomenology to "philosophical anthropology" and offering an abstract and incorrect portrait of the human being. The Neo-Kantian Ernst Cassirer and Heidegger engaged in an influential debate located in Davos in , concerning the significance of Kantian notions of freedom and rationality see Cassirer—Heidegger debate.

Whereas Cassirer defended the role of rationality in Kant , Heidegger argued for the priority of the imagination. Stuttgart Initially members of the Frankfurt School were positively disposed to Heidegger, becoming more critical at the beginning of the s. Heidegger's student Herbert Marcuse became associated with the Frankfurt School. Initially striving for a synthesis between Hegelian Marxism and Heidegger's phenomenology, Marcuse later rejected Heidegger's thought for its "false concreteness" and "revolutionary conservativism.

Contemporary social theorists associated with the Frankfurt School have remained largely critical of Heidegger's works and influence. However, work by philosopher and critical theorist Nikolas Kompridis tries to show that Heidegger's insights into world disclosure are badly misunderstood and mishandled by Habermas, and are of vital importance for critical theory, offering an important way of renewing that tradition.

Criticism of Heidegger's philosophy has also come from analytic philosophy , beginning with logical positivism. In "The Elimination of Metaphysics Through Logical Analysis of Language" , Rudolf Carnap accused Heidegger of offering an "illusory" ontology, criticizing him for committing the fallacy of reification and for wrongly dismissing the logical treatment of language which, according to Carnap, can only lead to writing "nonsensical pseudo-propositions. The British logical positivist A. Ayer was strongly critical of Heidegger's philosophy. In Ayer's view, Heidegger proposed vast, overarching theories regarding existence, which are completely unverifiable through empirical demonstration and logical analysis.

For Ayer, this sort of philosophy was a poisonous strain in modern thought. He considered Heidegger to be the worst example of such philosophy, which Ayer believed to be entirely useless. Bertrand Russell considered Heidegger an obscurantist , writing,. Highly eccentric in its terminology, his philosophy is extremely obscure.

One cannot help suspecting that language is here running riot. An interesting point in his speculations is the insistence that nothingness is something positive. As with much else in Existentialism, this is a psychological observation made to pass for logic. This quote expresses the sentiments of many 20th-century analytic philosophers concerning Heidegger.

Roger Scruton stated that: "His major work Being and Time is formidably difficult—unless it is utter nonsense, in which case it is laughably easy. I am not sure how to judge it, and have read no commentator who even begins to make sense of it". The analytic tradition values clarity of expression. Heidegger, however, has on occasion appeared to take an opposing view, stating for example:. Making itself intelligible is suicide for philosophy. Those who idolize "facts" never notice that their idols only shine in a borrowed light.

They are also meant not to notice this; for thereupon they would have to be at a loss and therefore useless. But idolizers and idols are used wherever gods are in flight and so announce their nearness. Apart from the charge of obscurantism , other analytic philosophers considered the actual content of Heidegger's work to be either faulty and meaningless, vapid or uninteresting.

Why We Should Read Heidegger - Quillette

However, not all analytic philosophers have been as hostile. Gilbert Ryle wrote a critical yet positive review of Being and Time. Ludwig Wittgenstein made a remark recorded by Friedrich Waismann : "To be sure, I can imagine what Heidegger means by being and anxiety" [] which has been construed by some commentators [] as sympathetic to Heidegger's philosophical approach.

These positive and negative analytic evaluations have been collected in Michael Murray ed.


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Heidegger's reputation within English-language philosophy has slightly improved in philosophical terms in some part through the efforts of Hubert Dreyfus , Richard Rorty , and a recent generation of analytically oriented phenomenology scholars. Pragmatist Rorty claimed that Heidegger's approach to philosophy in the first half of his career has much in common with that of the latter-day Ludwig Wittgenstein. Nevertheless, Rorty asserted that what Heidegger had constructed in his writings was a myth of being rather than an account of it. The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy states that Heidegger's writing is "notoriously difficult", possibly because his thinking was "original" and clearly on obscure and innovative topics.

Although Heidegger is considered by many observers to be one of the most influential philosophers of the 20th century, [] aspects of his work have been criticised by those who nevertheless acknowledge this influence, such as Hans-Georg Gadamer and Jacques Derrida. Some questions raised about Heidegger's philosophy include the priority of ontology, the status of animals, the nature of the religious, Heidegger's supposed neglect of ethics Levinas , the body Maurice Merleau-Ponty , sexual difference Luce Irigaray , or space Peter Sloterdijk.

Levinas was deeply influenced by Heidegger, and yet became one of his fiercest critics, contrasting the infinity of the good beyond being with the immanence and totality of ontology. Levinas also condemned Heidegger's involvement with National Socialism, stating: "One can forgive many Germans, but there are some Germans it is difficult to forgive. It is difficult to forgive Heidegger. Heidegger's defenders, notably Arendt, see his support for Nazism as arguably a personal " 'error' " a word which Arendt placed in quotation marks when referring to Heidegger's Nazi-era politics.

Heidegger's collected works are published by Vittorio Klostermann. He defined the order of publication and dictated that the principle of editing should be "ways not works. The contents are listed here: Heidegger Gesamtausgabe. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. German philosopher.

For other uses, see Heidegger disambiguation. Freiburg im Breisgau , West Germany.

Heidegger, Art and Politics: The Fiction of the Political

Die Lehre vom Urteil im Psychologismus. Heideggerian terminology Dasein Gestell Ontotheology Ontological difference Ontologische Differenz Existentials Existenzialien Ekstase Sigetics Sigetik Hermeneutic circle Aletheia Disclosure Fundamental ontology Forgetfulness of Being Seinsvergessenheit Dwelling Wohnen Language as the vehicle through which the question of Being can be unfolded [6] " Language speaks " Art's ability to set up a strife between "world" and "earth" [7].

This section may be confusing or unclear to readers. In particular, the language is obfuscatory and the logical sequence between one sentence and the next is obscure throughout. Please help us clarify the section. There might be a discussion about this on the talk page. September Learn how and when to remove this template message. Main article: Being and Time. See also: Kehre. Main article: Heidegger and Nazism. Candler eds. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Retrieved In a piece, in which Heidegger distances his views from Sartre's existentialism, he links the turn to his own failure to produce the missing divisions of Being and Time [i.

At root Heidegger's later philosophy shares the deep concerns of Being and Time , in that it is driven by the same preoccupation with Being and our relationship with it that propelled the earlier work. This is not to say that the later thinking turns away altogether from the project of transcendental hermeneutic phenomenology. The project of illuminating the a priori conditions on the basis of which entities show up as intelligible to us is still at the heart of things. Existential phenomenology. Kevin Attell Stanford University Press, , p.

Zalta, Edward N. The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Random House Webster's Unabridged Dictionary. Retrieved 22 October Philosophical Forum. Frankfurt a. Poetry, Language, Thought. Heidegger: The Man and the Thinker. Transaction Publishers. John Van Buren p. Now his thesis is included in: M. Princeton University Press. August Duquesne University Press. The New York Times. Retrieved 27 September Heidegger, Philosophy, Nazism. Cambridge University Press. The Independent. The Coming of the Third Reich.

Penguin Books. The Telegraph. Die Zeit in German. Evanston, Ill: Northwestern University Press. Die Zeit. Briefwechsel — Joachim W. Storck, ed. Marbach am Neckar: Deutsches Literatur-Archiv, , 2nd edn. Heidegger Studies. Martin Heidegger. IV, Issue 1—2 , pp. Retrieved 27 April Studia Phaenomenologica. Studia UBB Philosophia. Through Phenomenology to Thought.

Preface by Martin Heidegger. The Hague : Martinus Nijhoff Publishers. The Bronx: Fordham University Press. December 21, Life and Works". Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. On Time and Being.

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Translated by Joan Stambaugh. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Paul Celan and Martin Heidegger: an unresolved conversation, — , pp. Hegel, Heidegger, and the Ground of History. Bottom of page: Oxford University Press. End of 1st paragraph: The University of Chicago Press. End of 2nd paragraph: The University of Chicago Press. Near end of 3rd paragraph. Halfway through 2nd paragraph: The University of Chicago Press. Halfway through 3rd paragraph: The University of Chicago Press. End of 3rd paragraph: The University of Chicago Press.

Craig J. Chadwick, Henry transl. SUNY Press. Archived from the original PDF on June 11, Revue Internationale de Philosophie. Dordrecht: Springer. Herbert Utz Verlag — Wissenschaft. Was heisst denken? Translated, with a complementary essay, by Graham Parkes. London and New York.

Cambridge University Press, January 11, Original article: "Heidegger and the Nazis". The New York Review of Books. Critical Inquiry. See also J. Sholtz argues that Heidegger wishes to think a new beginning for the human and for art. The poet grounds existence which is not yet but arises out of this gathering of paths and relations. The medium through which the sojourn takes place is language, which is one of the poles, the primary pole, around which a polis gathers.

When being is gathered in a certain historical moment, Heidegger claims, the possibility for decision arises. The second half of Part II concentrates on Deleuze. Sholtz mines the classic Deleuzian sources on art and gives a solid reading of key concepts, including those found in the Logics of Sensation and the Cinema Books I and II.

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Noting how important earth is for Heidegger's take on art and how Deleuze repositions our understanding of earth while implicitly critiquing Heidegger by allowing the earth to ask its own questions -- How does the earth understand itself? In his late philosophy, Heidegger does introduce a new concept, the planetary, which could be seen as an intermediary in moving us from earth to the cosmic. Extending beyond 'world' as culturally and linguistically immanent, Heidegger appeals to the planetary, seemingly as a positive future path for thinking -- Sholtz draws upon the work of Kostos Axelos in order to bridge the work of Heidegger and Deleuze on art and its possibilities of opening and becoming, possibilities central for Heidegger's project:.

Deleuze recognised Axelos' revisions of the planetary as important innovations on Heidegger's ontology, which mirror his own understanding of the open dynamism of being as becoming -- especially errancy and game. Therefore, Axelos represents a conceptual bridge which leads us away from the Heideggerian figuration of world and earth and necessitates a new figure, one that even surpasses that of the planetary -- which, we believe, remains mired for Deleuze in the residue of Heidegger's thinking -- toward the cosmic.

Having established the convergence of Deleuze and Heidegger on the possibilities of becoming, especially in and through a new approach to art, Part III, " Un Earthing a People-to-Come", seeks to expound the relationship between art and politics. In many ways, this is the most important chapter of the book and the most challenging, especially given Heidegger's own Nazism and Deleuze's own tough stance against Fascism and totalitarianism. One of the possibilities offered by art is the articulation and formation of a people-to-come, people being understood as a possible communion of persons that aims at dwelling together in one form or another.

For Heidegger, according to Sholtz, a people-to-come is conditioned by an understanding of art as gathering place Ort "for the historical destiny of a people which constructs the earth as a homeland Heimat " Deleuze is presented as offering art as yielding the possibility of creating a people that is both cosmic and minor. In A Thousand Plateaus , Deleuze presents a model of group formation that draws upon the elements of the aesthetics of territory formation.

The good group, as opposed to the mass characterized by homogeneity and indistinctiveness, follows the model of the pack, characterized by heterogeneous parts and the anomalous as a bounding yet fluid ordering structure. This conception of group interaction addresses the problem of inclusivity and exclusivity and represents the politics of becoming by conceiving of a collectivity as a multiplicity-assemblage, emphasising the fringe minoritarian , contagion change , and the between relations , which affirms the absolutely contingent as a positive and necessary condition.

Both thinkers are ultimately read as opening possibilities of different kinds of people to emerge, the invention of a people being understood as the foundation of any politics. Sholtz posits that whether a people become wanderers Heidegger or nomads Deleuze , the important thing is the possibilities of openings that art offers in helping build such possibilities.

Important for Sholtz is the ethics that emerge from Deleuze's concept of a people or group, an ethos that diverges from Heidegger's own personal views. Sholtz views Deleuzian ethics as: 1 responsibility to others, including the human and nonorganic, that form and in-form us; 2 the freeing of the molecular and developing a sensitivity to the affect; and 3 responsibility for the worlds that are engendered.

The conclusion of the book revisits the notion of becoming as a fluxus that is "always to come. Deleuzians will be troubled by the attempt to read group relations and interactions in terms of Derridean-influenced notion of a people-to-come. Heideggerians will be disturbed by the over emphasis on a possible future that does not fully account for the force of historicity and epochs on the making of specific kinds of peoples here and now.

Sholtz reminds readers, however, that though both Heidegger and Deleuze share similar concerns about being, art and politics, the two thinkers also diverge from one another in significant ways. Significantly, Deleuze maintains Heidegger's language of a 'people' rather than eschewing such language in favour of talk of 'community' 11 Sholtz rightly reminds readers that though Deleuze's political philosophy certainly challenges dominant paradigms and regimes of power, it nonetheless requires established and authoritative forms of power and state control: the rhizomatic exits with and is conditioned by the arboreal.