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Friedrich Nietzsche is notable for having declared that God is dead and for having written several of his works in the presumption that man must find a new mode of being given the demise of God. Perhaps the most interesting quote on this theme appears in his The Gay Science ( aka Joyous Wisdom). A fairly full version of this key quote is set out immediately below:-

     Have you not heard of that madman who lit a lantern in the bright morning hours, ran to the market-place, and cried incessantly: "I am looking for God! I am looking for God!"
  As many of those who did not believe in God were standing together there, he excited considerable laughter. Have you lost him, then? said one. Did he lose his way like a child? said another. Or is he hiding? Is he afraid of us? Has he gone on a voyage? or emigrated? Thus they shouted and laughed. The madman sprang into their midst and pierced them with his glances.

 "Where has God gone?" he cried. "I shall tell you. We have killed him - you and I. We are his murderers. But how have we done this? How were we able to drink up the sea? Who gave us the sponge to wipe away the entire horizon? What did we do when we unchained the earth from its sun? Whither is it moving now? Whither are we moving now? Away from all suns? Are we not perpetually falling? Backward, sideward, forward, in all directions? Is there any up or down left? Are we not straying as through an infinite nothing? Do we not feel the breath of empty space? Has it not become colder? Is it not more and more night coming on all the time? Must not lanterns be lit in the morning? Do we not hear anything yet of the noise of the gravediggers who are burying God? Do we not smell anything yet of God's decomposition? Gods too decompose. God is dead. God remains dead. And we have killed him. How shall we, murderers of all murderers, console ourselves? That which was the holiest and mightiest of all that the world has yet possessed has bled to death under our knives. Who will wipe this blood off us? With what water could we purify ourselves? What festivals of atonement, what sacred games shall we need to invent? Is not the greatness of this deed too great for us? Must we not ourselves become gods simply to be worthy of it? There has never been a greater deed; and whosoever shall be born after us - for the sake of this deed he shall be part of a higher history than all history hitherto."

 Here the madman fell silent and again regarded his listeners; and they too were silent and stared at him in astonishment. At last he threw his lantern to the ground, and it broke and went out. "I have come too early," he said then; "my time has not come yet. The tremendous event is still on its way, still travelling - it has not yet reached the ears of men. Lightning and thunder require time, the light of the stars requires time, deeds require time even after they are done, before they can be seen and heard. This deed is still more distant from them than the distant stars - and yet they have done it themselves."


It has been further related that on that same day the madman entered divers churches and there sang a requiem. Led out and quietened, he is said to have retorted each time: "what are these churches now if they are not the tombs and sepulchres of God?"


   What Nietzsche is concerned at in relating the above is that God is dead in the hearts of modern men - killed by rationalism and science. This same God however, before becoming dead in men's hearts and minds, had provided the foundation of a "Christian-moral" defining and uniting approach to life as a shared cultural set of beliefs that had defined a social and cutural outlook within which people had lived their lives.


Nietzsche seems to be suggesting that the acceptance of the Death of God will also involve the ending of accepted standards of morality and of purpose. Without the former and accepted faith based standards society is threatened by a nihilistic situation where peoples lives are not particularly constrained by considerations of morality or particularly guided by any faith related sense of purpose.

 What are we now to do?


Given the "unbelievability" of the "God-hypothesis" Nietzsche himself seemed to favour the creation of a new set of values "faithful to the earth." This view perhaps being associable with the possibility of the "Overman" or "Superman."

 "I teach you the overman. Man is something that shall be overcome. What have you done to overcome him? All beings so far have created something beyond themselves; and do you want to be the ebb of this great flood and even go back to the beasts rather than overcome man? What is the ape to man? A laughingstock or a painful embarrassment. And man shall be just that for the overman: a laughingstock or a painful embarrassment..."
==Nietzsche Thus spoke Zarathustra==


"Companions, the creator seeks, not corpses, not herds and believers. Fellow creators, the creator seeks -- those who write new values on new tablets. Companions, the creator seeks, and fellow harvesters; for everything about him is ripe for the harvest. ... Fellow creators, Zarathustra seeks, fellow harvesters and fellow celebrants: what are herds and shepherds and corpses to him?"==Nietzsche Thus spoke Zarathustra== Share

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Explore Inner Space!!!Edit

"...man is a bundle of relations, a knot of roots, whose
flower and fruitage is the world..."
Ralph Waldo Emerson


It is widely known that Plato, pupil of and close friend to Socrates, accepted that Human Beings have a " Tripartite Soul " where individual Human Psychology is composed of three aspects - Wisdom-Rationality, Spirited-Will and Appetite-Desire.

What is less widely appreciated is that such major World Faiths as Christianity, Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism see "Spirituality" as being relative to "Desire" and to "Wrath".


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God is deadEdit

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopediaJump to: navigation, search

This article is about the philosophical event described by Nietzsche. For other uses, see God is dead (disambiguation)."God is dead" (German: [1] "Gott ist tot" (help·info); also known as the death of God) is a widely-quoted statement by German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche. It first appears in The Gay Science (Deutsch: Die fröhliche Wissenschaft), section 108 (New Struggles), in section 125 (The Madman), and for a third time in section 343 (The Meaning of our Cheerfulness). It is also found in Nietzsche's classic work Thus Spoke Zarathustra (Deutsch: Also sprach Zarathustra), which is most responsible for popularizing the phrase. The idea is stated in "The Madman" as follows: God is dead. God remains dead. And we have killed him. How shall we comfort ourselves, the murderers of all murderers? What was holiest and mightiest of all that the world has yet owned has bled to death under our knives: who will wipe this blood off us? What water is there for us to clean ourselves? What festivals of atonement, what sacred games shall we have to invent? Is not the greatness of this deed too great for us? Must we ourselves not become gods simply to appear worthy of it?—Nietzsche, The Gay Science, Section 125, tr. Walter Kaufmann==Explanation== "God is dead" never meant that Nietzsche believed in an actual God who first existed and then died in a literal sense. It may be more appropriate to consider the statement as Nietzsche's way of saying that the conventional "God" of 19th century middle class Christianity is no longer a viable or believable source of any received wisdom. Nietzsche recognizes the crisis which the death of God represents for existing moral considerations, because "When one gives up the Christian faith, one pulls the right to Christian morality out from under one's feet. This morality is by no means self-evident... By breaking one main concept out of Christianity, the faith in God, one breaks the whole: nothing necessary remains in one's hands."[1] This is why in "The Madman", a work which primarily addresses atheists, the problem is to retain any system of values in the absence of a divine order.

The death of God is a way of saying that humans are no longer able to believe in any such cosmic order since they themselves no longer recognize it. The death of God will lead, Nietzsche says, not only to the rejection of a belief of cosmic or physical order but also to a rejection of absolute values themselves — to the rejection of belief in an objective and universal moral law, binding upon all individuals. In this manner, the loss of an absolute basis for morality leads to nihilism. This nihilism is what Nietzsche worked to find a solution for by re-evaluating the foundations of human values. This meant, to Nietzsche, looking for foundations that went deeper than Christian values. He would find a basis in the "will to power" that he described as "the essence of reality."

Nietzsche believed that the majority of people did not recognize this death out of the deepest-seated fear or angst. Therefore, when the death did begin to become widely acknowledged, people would despair and nihilism would become rampant. This is partly why Nietzsche saw Christianity as nihilistic. He may have seen himself as a historical figure like Zarathustra, Socrates or Jesus, giving a new philosophical orientation to future generations to overcome the impending nihilism.

[edit] Nietzsche and HeideggerEdit

Martin Heidegger understood this part of Nietzsche's philosophy by looking at it as death of metaphysics. In his view, Nietzsche's words can only be understood as referring not to a particular theological or anthropological view but rather to the end of philosophy itself. Philosophy has, in Heidegger's words, reached its maximum potential as metaphysics and Nietzsche's words warn of its demise and that of any metaphysical world view. If metaphysics is dead, Heidegger warns, that is because from its inception that was its fate.[2]

[edit] New possibilitiesEdit

Nietzsche believed there could be positive possibilities for humans without God. Relinquishing the belief in God opens the way for human creative abilities to fully develop. The Christian God, he wrote, would no longer stand in the way, so human beings might stop turning their eyes toward a supernatural realm and begin to acknowledge the value of this world.

Nietzsche uses the metaphor of an open sea, which can be both exhilarating and terrifying. The people who eventually learn to create their lives anew will represent a new stage in human existence, the Übermensch — i.e. the personal archetype who, through the conquest of their own nihilism, themselves become a sort of mythical hero. The 'death of God' is the motivation for Nietzsche's last (uncompleted) philosophical project, the 'revaluation of all values'.

[edit] Nietzsche's voiceEdit

Although Nietzsche puts the statement "God is Dead" into the mouth of a "madman" in The Gay Science, he also uses the phrase in his own voice in sections 108 and 343 of the same book. In the madman's passage, the man is described as running through a marketplace shouting, "I seek God! I seek God!" He arouses some amusement; no one takes him seriously. Maybe he took an ocean voyage? Lost his way like a little child? Maybe he's afraid of us (non-believers) and is hiding?-- much laughter. Frustrated, the madman smashes his lantern on the ground, crying out that "God is dead, and we have killed him, you and I!" "But I have come too soon," he immediately realizes, as his detractors of a minute before stare in astonishment: people cannot yet see that they have killed God. He goes on to say: This prodigious event is still on its way, still wandering; it has not yet reached the ears of men. Lightning and thunder require time, the light of the stars requires time, deeds, though done, still require time to be seen and heard. This deed is still more distant from them than the most distant stars—and yet they have done it themselves.—trans. Walter Kaufmann, The Gay Science, sect. 125Earlier in the book (section 108), Nietzsche wrote "God is Dead; but given the way of men, there may still be caves for thousands of years in which his shadow will be shown. And we — we still have to vanquish his shadow, too." The protagonist in Thus Spoke Zarathustra also speaks the words, commenting to himself after visiting a hermit who, every day, sings songs and lives to glorify his god: 'And what is the saint doing in the forest?' asked Zarathustra. The saint answered: 'I make songs and sing them; and when I make songs, I laugh, cry, and hum: thus do I praise God. With singing, crying, laughing, and humming do I praise the god who is my god. But what do you bring us as a gift?' When Zarathustra had heard these words he bade the saint farewell and said: 'What could I have to give you? But let me go quickly lest I take something from you!' And thus they separated, the old one and the man, laughing as two boys laugh. But when Zarathustra was alone he spoke thus to his heart: 'Could it be possible? This old saint in the forest has not yet heard anything of this, that God is dead!'—trans. Walter Kaufmann, Thus Spoke Zarathustra, Prologue, sect. 2.What is more, Zarathustra later refers not only to the death of God, but states: 'Dead are all the Gods'. It is not just one morality that has died, but all of them, to be replaced by the life of the übermensch, the new man: 'DEAD ARE ALL THE GODS: NOW DO WE DESIRE THE OVERMAN TO LIVE.'—trans. Thomas Common, Thus Spoke Zarathustra, Part I, Section XXII,3==[edit] Death of God theological movement== The cover of the April 8, 1966 edition of Time and the accompanying article concerned a movement in American theology that arose in the 1960s known as the "death of God". The death of God movement is sometimes technically referred to as "theothanatology" (In Greek, Theos means God and Thanatos means death.)

The main protagonists of this theology included the Christian theologians Gabriel Vahanian, Paul Van Buren, William Hamilton and Thomas J. J. Altizer, and the rabbi Richard L. Rubenstein.

In 1961, Vahanian's book The Death of God was published. Vahanian argued that modern secular culture had lost all sense of the sacred, lacking any sacramental meaning, no transcendental purpose or sense of providence. He concluded that for the modern mind "God is dead". In Vahanian's vision a transformed post-Christian and post-modern culture was needed to create a renewed experience of deity.

Both Van Buren and Hamilton agreed that the concept of transcendence had lost any meaningful place in modern thought. According to the norms of contemporary modern thought, God is dead. In responding to this collapse in transcendence Van Buren and Hamilton offered secular people the option of Jesus as the model human who acted in love. The encounter with the Christ of faith would be open in a church-community.

Altizer offered a radical theology of the death of God that drew upon William Blake, Hegelian thought and Nietzschean ideas. He conceived of theology as a form of poetry in which the immanence (presence) of God could be encountered in faith communities. However, he no longer accepted the possibility of affirming belief in a transcendent God. Altizer concluded that God had incarnated in Christ and imparted his immanent spirit which remained in the world even though Jesus was dead.

Unlike Nietzsche, Altizer believed that God truly died. He is considered to be the leading exponent of the Death of God movement.

Rubenstein represented that radical edge of Jewish thought working through the impact of the Holocaust. In a technical sense he maintained, based on the Kabbalah, that God had "died" in creating the world. However, for modern Jewish culture he argued that the death of God occurred in Auschwitz. Although the literal death of God did not occur at this point, this was the moment in time in which humanity was awakened to the idea that a theistic God may not exist. In Rubenstein's work, it was no longer possible to believe in an orthodox/traditional theistic God of the Abrahamic covenant; rather, God is a historical process.[3]


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Thus Spoke ZarathustraEdit

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopediaJump to: navigation, searchFor the tone poem by Richard Strauss, see Also sprach Zarathustra (Richard Strauss).

Thus Spoke Zarathustra: A Book for All and None
[2]

Title page of the first edition.

Author Friedrich Nietzsche
Original title Also sprach Zarathustra: Ein Buch für Alle und Keinen
Country Germany
Language German
Genre(s) philosophical novel, prose poetry
Publisher Ernst Schmeitzner
Publication date 1883–1885
Media type Hardcover, paperback
Preceded by The Gay Science
Followed by Beyond Good and Evil

Thus Spoke Zarathustra: A Book for All and None (German: Also sprach Zarathustra: Ein Buch für Alle und Keinen) is a philosophical novel by German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, composed in four parts between 1883 and 1885. Much of the work deals with ideas such as the "eternal recurrence of the same", the parable on the "death of God", and the "prophecy" of the Overman, which were first introduced in The Gay Science.[1]

Described by Nietzsche himself as "the deepest ever written," the book is a dense and esoteric treatise on philosophy and morality, featuring as protagonist a fictionalized prophet descending from his recluse to mankind, Zarathustra. A central irony of the text is that Nietzsche mimics the style of the Bible in order to present ideas which fundamentally oppose Christian and Jewish morality and tradition.

GenesisEdit

Thus Spoke Zarathustra was conceived while Nietzsche was writing The Gay Science; he made a small note, reading "6,000 feet beyond man and time," as evidence of this.[2] More specifically, this note related to the concept of the Eternal Recurrence, which is, by Nietzsche's admission, the central idea of Zarathustra; this idea occurred to him by a "pyramidal block of stone" on the shores of Lake Silvaplana in the Upper Engadine, a high alpine region whose valley floor is at 6,000 ft. Nietzsche planned to write the book in three parts over several years. He wrote that the ideas for Zarathustra first came to him while walking on two roads surrounding Rapallo, according to Elisabeth Förster-Nietzsche in the introduction of Thomas Common's early translation of the book.

While developing the general outlook of the book, he subsequently decided to write an additional three parts; ultimately, however, he composed only the fourth part, which is viewed to constitute an intermezzo.

Nietzsche commented in Ecce Homo that for the completion of each part: "Ten days sufficed; in no case, neither for the first nor for the third and last, did I require more" (trans. Kaufmann). The first three parts were first published separately, and were subsequently published in a single volume in 1887. The fourth part remained private after Nietzsche wrote it in 1885; a scant forty copies were all that were printed, apart from seven others that were distributed to Nietzsche's close friends. In March 1892, the four parts were finally reprinted as a single volume. Since then, the version most commonly produced has included all four parts.

The original text contains a great deal of word-play. An example of this exists in the use of the words "over" or "super" and the words "down" or "abyss/abysmal"; some examples include "superman" or "overman", "overgoing", "downgoing" and "self-overcoming".

[edit] SynopsisEdit

The book chronicles the fictitious travels and pedagogy of Zarathustra. The name of this character is taken from the ancient prophet usually known in English as Zoroaster (Avestan: Zaraθuštra), the Persian founder of Zoroastrianism. Nietzsche is clearly portraying a "new" or "different" Zarathustra, one who turns traditional morality on its head. He goes on to characterize "what the name of Zarathustra means in my mouth, the mouth of the first immoralist:" [F]or what constitutes the tremendous historical uniqueness of that Persian is just the opposite of this. Zarathustra was the first to consider the fight of good and evil the very wheel in the machinery of things: the transposition of morality into the metaphysical realm, as a force, cause, and end in itself, is his work. […] Zarathustra created this most calamitous error, morality; consequently, he must also be the first to recognize it. […] His doctrine, and his alone, posits truthfulness as the highest virtue; this means the opposite of the cowardice of the "idealist” who flees from reality […]—Am I understood?—The self-overcoming of morality, out of truthfulness; the self-overcoming of the moralist, into his opposite—into me—that is what the name of Zarathustra means in my mouth.

– Nietzsche, Ecce Homo, "Why I Am a Destiny", §3, trans. Walter Kaufmann

Zarathustra has a simple characterisation and plot,[3] narrated sporadically throughout the text. It possesses a unique experimental style, one that is, for instance, evident in newly invented "dithyrambs" narrated or sung by Zarathustra. Likewise, the separate Dithyrambs of Dionysus was written in autumn 1888, and printed with the full volume in 1892, as the corollaries of Zarathustra's "abundance".

Some speculate that Nietzsche intended to write about final acts of creation and destruction brought about by Zarathustra. However, the book lacks a finale to match that description; its actual ending focuses more on Zarathustra recognizing that his legacy is beginning to perpetuate, and consequently choosing to leave the higher men to their own devices in carrying his legacy forth.

Zarathustra also contains the famous dictum "God is dead", which had appeared earlier in The Gay Science.[4] In his autobiographical work Ecce Homo, Nietzsche states that the book's underlying concept is discussed within "the penultimate section of the fourth book" of The Gay Science (Ecce Homo, Kaufmann). It is the Eternal recurrence of the same events.

This concept first occurred to Nietzsche while he was walking in Switzerland through the woods along the lake of Silvaplana (close to Surlei); he was inspired by the sight of a gigantic, towering, pyramidal rock. Before Zarathustra, Nietzsche had mentioned the concept in the fourth book of The Gay Science (e.g., sect. 341); this was the first public proclamation of the notion by him. Apart from its salient presence in Zarathustra, it is also echoed throughout Nietzsche's work. At any rate, it is by Zarathustra's transfiguration that he embraces eternity, that he at last ascertains "the supreme will to power".[5] This inspiration finds its expression with Zarathustra's Roundelay, featured twice in the book, once near the story's close:

O man, take care!
What does the deep midnight declare?
"I was asleep—
From a deep dream I woke and swear:—
The world is deep,
Deeper than day had been aware.
Deep is its woe—
Joy—deeper yet than agony:
Woe implores: Go!
But all joy wants eternity—
Wants deep, wants deep eternity."

Another singular feature of Zarathustra, first presented in the prologue, is the designation of human beings as a transition between apes and the "Übermensch" (in English, either the "overman" or "superman"; or, superhuman or overhuman. English translators Thomas Common and R. J. Hollingdale use superman, while Kaufmann uses overman, and Parkes uses overhuman). The Übermensch is one of the many interconnecting, interdependent themes of the story, and is represented through several different metaphors. Examples include: the lightning that is portended by the silence and raindrops of a travelling storm cloud; or the sun's rise and culmination at its midday zenith; or a man traversing a rope stationed above an abyss, moving away from his uncultivated animality and towards the Übermensch.

The symbol of the Übermensch also alludes to Nietzsche's notions of "self-mastery", "self-cultivation", "self-direction", and "self-overcoming". Expostulating these concepts, Zarathustra declares: "I teach you the overman. Man is something that shall be overcome. What have you done to overcome him?

"All beings so far have created something beyond themselves; and do you want to be the ebb of this great flood and even go back to the beasts rather than overcome man? What is the ape to man? A laughingstock or a painful embarrassment. And man shall be just that for the overman: a laughingstock or a painful embarrassment. You have made your way from worm to man, and much in you is still worm. Once you were apes, and even now, too, man is more ape than any ape.

"Whoever is the wisest among you is also a mere conflict and cross between plant and ghost. But do I bid you become ghosts or plants?

"Behold, I teach you the overman! The overman is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the overman shall be the meaning of the earth! I beseech you, my brothers, remain faithful to the earth, and do not believe those who speak to you of otherworldly hopes! Poison-mixers are they, whether they know it or not. Despisers of life are they, decaying and poisoned themselves, of whom the earth is weary: so let them go!"

Thus Spoke Zarathustra, Prologue, §3, trans. Walter Kaufmann

The book embodies a number of innovative poetical and rhetorical methods of expression. It serves as a parallel and supplement to the various philosophical ideas present in Nietzsche's body of work. He has, however, said that "among my writings my Zarathustra stands to my mind by itself" (Ecce Homo, Preface, sec. 4, Kaufmann). Emphasizing its centrality and its status as his magnum opus, it is stated by Nietzsche that: With [Thus Spoke Zarathustra] I have given mankind the greatest present that has ever been made to it so far. This book, with a voice bridging centuries, is not only the highest book there is, the book that is truly characterized by the air of the heights—the whole fact of man lies beneath it at a tremendous distance—it is also the deepest, born out of the innermost wealth of truth, an inexhaustible well to which no pail descends without coming up again filled with gold and goodness.

Ecce Homo, Preface, §4, trans. Walter Kaufmann

Since, as stated, many of the book's ideas are also present in his other works, Zarathustra is seen to have served as a precursor to his later philosophical thought. With the book, Nietzsche embraced a distinct aesthetic assiduity. He later reformulated many of his ideas, in his book Beyond Good and Evil and various other writings that he composed thereafter. He continued to emphasize his philosophical concerns; generally, his intention was to show an alternative to repressive moral codes and to avert "nihilism" in all of its varied forms.

Other aspects of Thus Spoke Zarathustra relate to Nietzsche's proposed "Transvaluation of All Values". This incomplete project began with The Antichrist.

[edit] ThemesEdit

Nietzsche injects myriad ideas into the book, but there are a few recurring themes. The overman (Übermensch), a self-mastered individual who has achieved his full power, is an almost omnipresent idea in Thus Spoke Zarathustra. Man as a race is merely a bridge between animals and the overman. Nietzsche also makes a point that the overman is not an end result for a person, but more the journey toward self-mastery.

The eternal recurrence, found elsewhere in Nietzsche's writing, is also mentioned. The eternal recurrence is the idea that all events that have happened will happen again, infinitely many times. Such a reality can serve as the litmus test for an overman. Faced with the knowledge that he would repeat every action that he has taken, an overman would be elated as he has no regrets and loves life.

The will to power is the fundamental component of human nature. Everything we do is an expression of the will to power. The will to power is a psychological analysis of all human action and is accentuated by self-overcoming and self-enhancement. Contrasted with living for procreation, pleasure, or happiness, the will to power is the summary of all man's struggle against his surrounding environment as well as his reason for living in it.

Copious criticisms of Christianity can be found in Thus Spoke Zarathustra, in particular Christian values of good and evil and its belief in an afterlife. Nietzsche sees the complacency of Christian values as fetters to the achievement of overman as well as on the human spirit.

[edit] StyleEdit

Harold Bloom calls Thus Spoke Zarathustra a "gorgeous disaster", adding that its rhapsodic fiction is "now unreadable".[6]

Noteworthy for its format, the book comprises a philosophical work of fiction whose style often lightheartedly imitates that of the New Testament and of the Platonic dialogues, at times resembling pre-Socratic works in tone and in its use of natural phenomena as rhetorical and explanatory devices. It also features frequent references to the Western literary and philosophical traditions, implicitly offering an interpretation of these traditions and of their problems. Nietzsche achieves all of this through the character of Zarathustra (referring to the traditional prophet of Zoroastrianism), who makes speeches on philosophic topics as he moves along a loose plotline marking his development and the reception of his ideas. One can view this characteristic (following the genre of the bildungsroman) as an inline commentary on Zarathustra's (and Nietzsche's) philosophy. All this, along with the book's ambiguity and paradoxical nature, has helped its eventual enthusiastic reception by the reading public, but has frustrated academic attempts at analysis (as Nietzsche may have intended). Thus Spoke Zarathustra remained unpopular as a topic for scholars (especially those in the Anglo-American analytic tradition) until the second half of the twentieth century brought widespread interest in Nietzsche and his unconventional style that does not distinguish between philosophy and literature.[7] It offers formulations of eternal recurrence, and Nietzsche for the first time speaks of the Übermensch: themes that would dominate his books from this point onwards.

A vulnerability of Nietzsche's style is that his nuances and shades of meaning are very easily lost — and all too easily gained — in translation. The Übermensch is particularly problematic: the equivalent "Superman" found in dictionaries and in the translations by Thomas Common and R.J. Hollingdale may create an unfortunate association with the heroic comic-character "Superman", while simultaneously detracting from Nietzsche's repeated play on "über" as well as losing the gender-neutrality of the German.

The "Übermensch" is the being that overcomes the "great nausea" associated with nihilism; that overcomes that most "abysmal" realization of the eternal return. He is the being that "sails over morality", and that dances over gravity (the "spirit of gravity" is Zarathustra's devil and archenemy). He is a "harvester" and a "celebrant" who endlessly affirms his existence, thereby becoming the transfigurer of his consciousness and life, aesthetically. He is initially a destructive force, excising and annihilating the insidious "truths" of the herd, and consequently reclaiming the chaos from which pure creativity is born. It is this creative force exemplified by the Übermensch that justifies suffering without displacing it in some "afterworld".

[edit] TranslationsEdit

The English translations of Zarathustra differ according to the sentiments of the translators. The Thomas Common translation favors a classic English approach, in the style of Shakespeare or the King James Version of the Bible. Common's poetic interpretation of the text, which renders the title Thus Spake Zarathustra, received wide acclaim for its lambent portrayal. Common reasoned that because the original German was written in a pseudo-Luther-Biblical style, a pseudo-King-James-Biblical style would be fitting in the English translation.

The Common translation, which improved on Alexander Tille's earlier attempt,[8] remained widely accepted until the more critical translations, titled Thus Spoke Zarathustra, separately by R.J. Hollingdale and Walter Kaufmann, which are considered to convey more accurately the German text than the Common version. Kaufmann's introduction to his own translation included a blistering critique of Common's version; he notes that in one instance, Common has taken the German "most evil" and rendered it "baddest", a particularly unfortunate error not merely for his having coined the term "baddest", but also because Nietzsche dedicated a third of The Genealogy of Morals to the difference between "bad" and "evil".[8] This and other errors led Kaufmann to wondering if Common "had little German and less English".[8] The translations of Kaufmann and Hollingdale render the text in a far more familiar, less archaic, style of language, than that of Common.

Clancy Martin's 2005 translation opens with criticism and praise for these three seminal translators, Common, Hollingdale, and Kaufmann. He notes that the German text available to Common was considerably flawed, and that the German text from which Hollingdale and Kaufmann worked was itself untrue to Nietzsche's own work in some ways. Martin criticizes Kaufmann for changing punctuation, altering literal and philosophical meanings, and dampening some of Nietzsche's more controversial metaphors.[9] Kaufmann's version, which has become the most widely available, features a translator's note suggesting that Nietzsche's text would have benefited from an editor; Martin suggests that Kaufmann "took it upon himself to become his editor".[9]

Graham Parkes describes his own 2005 translation as trying "above all to convey the musicality of the text (which was not a priority for Walter Kaufmann or R.J. Hollingdale, authors of the best English translations so far)."[10]

[edit] Musical adaptationEdit

The book inspired Richard Strauss to compose the tone poem Also sprach Zarathustra, which he designated "freely based on Friedrich Nietzsche." [11] Zarathustra's Roundelay is set as part of Gustav Mahler's Third Symphony (1895-6), originally under the title What Man Tells Me, or alternatively What the Night tells me (of Man). Frederick Delius based his major choral-orchestral work A Mass of Life (1904-5) on texts from Thus Spoke Zarathustra. The work ends with a setting of Zarathustra's Roundelay which Delius had composed earlier, in 1898, as a separate work. Carl Orff also composed a three-movement setting of part of Nietzsche's text as a teenager, but this work remains unpublished.

[edit] Editions of Thus Spoke ZarathustraEdit

  • 1st - 1909 - (limited to 2,000)
  • 2nd - 1911 - (limited to 1,500)
  • 3rd - 1914 - (limited to 2,000)
  • 4th - 1916 - (limited to 2,000) of Friedrich Nietzsche's Thus Spake Zarathustra: A Book for All and None translated by Thomas Common, published by the MacMillan Company in 1916, printed in Great Britain by The Darwien Press of Edinburgh.
  • Also sprach Zarathustra, edited by Giorgio Colli and Mazzino Montinari, Munich: Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag (study edition of the standard German Nietzsche edition)
  • Thus Spoke Zarathustra, translated by Walter Kaufmann, New York: Random House; reprinted in The Portable Nietzsche, New York: The Viking Press, 1954 and Harmondsworth: Penguin Books, 1976
  • Thus Spoke Zarathustra, translated by R. J. Hollingdale, Harmondsworth: Penguin Books, 1961
  • Thus Spoke Zarathustra, translated by Graham Parkes, Oxford: Oxford World's Classics, 2005
  • Thus Spoke Zarathustra, translated by Adrian del Caro and edited by Robert Pippin, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006

[edit] Commentaries on Thus Spoke ZarathustraEdit

[edit] Introduction to Thus Spoke ZarathustraEdit

  • Rüdiger Schmidt Nietzsche für Anfänger: Also sprach Zarathustra - Eine Lese-Einführung (introduction in German to the work)

[edit] Essay collections on Thus Spoke ZarathustraEdit

[edit] ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ C. Guignon, D. Pereboom. Existentialism: Basic Writings, 2nd ed., Hackett, 2001. pp. 101-113
  2. ^ Gutmann, James. "The "Tremendous Moment" of Nietzsche's Vision". The Journal of Philosophy, Vol. 51, No. 25. American Philosophical Association Eastern Division: Papers to be presented at the Fifty-First Annual Meeting, Goucher College, December 28-30, 1954. pp. 837-842.
  3. ^ Pippin, Robert. "Nietzsche: Thus Spoke Zarathustra". Cambridge Texts in the History of Philosophy, University of Chicago, 2006. ISBN 0-5216-0261-0. p. ix.
  4. ^ Nietzsche, Friedrich Wilhelm. "The Gay Science: With a Prelude in German Rhymes and an Appendix of Songs". (Edition) Random House, 1974. p. xii.
  5. ^ The Will to Power, sect. 617; trans. Kaufmann
  6. ^ Bloom, Harold, The Western Canon: The Books and School of the Ages, Riverhead Books, 1994, p. 261, 422
  7. ^ Behler, Ernst, Nietzsche in the Twentieth Century in The Cambridge Companion to Nietzsche, Magnus and Higgins (ed), Cambridge University Press, 1996, pp. 281-319
  8. ^ a b c Nietzsche, Friedrich. Trans. Kaufmann, Walter. The Portable Nietzsche. 1976, page 108-9.
  9. ^ a b Nietzsche, Friedrich. Trans. Martin, Clancy. Thus Spoke Zarathustra. 2005, page xxxiii.
  10. ^ Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche, Graham Parkes. Thus spoke Zarathustra. 2005, page xxxv
  11. ^ Bernard Jacobson. "Richard Strauss, Also Sprach Zarathustra, Op. 30 (1896)". American Symphony Orchestra: Dialogues and Extensions. http://www.americansymphony.org/dialogues_extensions/99_2000season/2000_03_08/strauss.cfm. Retrieved 2007-12-11.

[edit] External linksEdit

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Martin HeideggerEdit

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopediaJump to: navigation, searchFor other uses, see Heidegger (disambiguation).

Martin Heidegger
Full name Martin Heidegger
Born September 26, 1889
Meßkirch, Germany
Died 26 May 1976 (aged 86)
Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany
Era 20th-century philosophy
Region Western Philosophy
School Phenomenology
· Hermeneutics · Existentialism
Main interests Ontology
· Metaphysics · Art · Greek philosophy · Technology · Language · Poetry  · Thinking
Notable ideas Dasein
· Gestell · Heideggerian terminology
Influenced by[show]Anaximander · Parmenides · Heraclitus · Plato · Aristotle · Duns Scotus · Kant · Hölderlin · Schelling · Hegel · Kierkegaard · Nietzsche · Dilthey · Brentano · Husserl · Rilke · Trakl
Influenced[show]Agamben · Arendt · Benoist · Bloom · Borgmann · Caputo · Derrida · Dreyfus · Foucault · Gadamer · Grant · Kuki · Lacan · Löwith · Marcuse · Merleau-Ponty · Nancy · Ricoeur · Rorty · Sartre · Stiegler · Sloterdijk · Strauss · Vattimo

Martin Heidegger (September 26, 1889 – May 26, 1976; German pronunciation: [ˈmaɐ̯tiːn ˈhaɪdɛɡɐ]) was an influential German philosopher. His best-known book, Being and Time, is considered to be one of the most important philosophical works of the 20th century by many professional philosophers.[1]

Heidegger remains controversial due to his involvement with Nazism and statements in support of Adolf Hitler. Much of his postwar rehabilitation is owed to Hannah Arendt, his former mistress and student, who, while praising his philosophical insights, regarded his understanding of Nazi politics as naive and "foolish."[2]

ContentsEdit

[hide]*1 Introduction

[edit] IntroductionEdit

Heidegger claimed that Western philosophy has, since Plato, misunderstood what it means for something "to be", tending to approach this question in terms of a being, rather than asking about being itself. In other words, Heidegger believed all investigations of being have historically focused on particular entities and their properties, or have treated being itself as an entity, or substance, with properties. A more authentic analysis of being would, for Heidegger, investigate "that on the basis of which beings are already understood", or that which underlies all particular entities and allows them to show up as entities in the first place.[3] But since philosophers and scientists have overlooked the more basic, pre-theoretical ways of being from which their theories derive, and since they have incorrectly applied those theories universally, they have confused our understanding of being and human existence. To avoid these deep-rooted misconceptions, Heidegger believed philosophical inquiry must be conducted in a new way, through a process of retracing the steps of the history of philosophy.

Heidegger argued that this misunderstanding, beginning with Plato, has left its traces in every stage of Western thought. All that we understand, from the way we speak to our notions of "common sense", is susceptible to error, to fundamental mistakes about the nature of being. These mistakes filter into the terms through which being is articulated in the history of philosophy—such as reality, logic, God, consciousness, and presence. In his later philosophy, Heidegger argues that this profoundly affects the way in which human beings relate to modern technology.

Heidegger's work has strongly influenced philosophy, theology and the humanities. Within philosophy it played a crucial role in the development of existentialism, hermeneutics, deconstruction, postmodernism, and continental philosophy in general. Well-known philosophers such as Karl Jaspers, Leo Strauss, Ahmad Fardid, Hans-Georg Gadamer, Jean-Paul Sartre, Emmanuel Lévinas, Hannah Arendt, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Michel Foucault, Richard Rorty, and Jacques Derrida have all analyzed Heidegger's work.

Heidegger supported National Socialism and was a member of the Nazi Party from May 1933 until May 1945[4]. His defenders, notably Hannah Arendt, see this support as arguably a personal " 'error' " (a word which Arendt placed in quotation marks when referring to Heidegger's Nazi-era politics.)[5] Defenders think this error was largely irrelevant to Heidegger's philosophy. Critics, such as his former students Emmanuel Lévinas[6] and Karl Löwith,[7] claim that Heidegger's support for National Socialism revealed flaws inherent in his thought.[8]

[edit] BiographyEdit

[edit] Early yearsEdit

[5][6]The Mesnerhaus in Meßkirch,
where Heidegger grew up.Heidegger was born in rural Meßkirch, Germany. Raised a Roman Catholic, he was the son of the sexton of the village church, Friedrich Heidegger, and his wife Johanna, née Kempf. In their faith, his parents adhered to the First Vatican Council of 1870, which was observed mainly by the poorer class of Meßkirch. The religious controversy between the wealthy Altkatholiken and the working class led to the temporary use of a converted barn for the Roman Catholics. At the festive reunion of the congregation in 1895, the Old Catholic sexton handed the key to six-year-old Martin.[citation needed]

Heidegger's family could not afford to send him to university, so he entered a Jesuit seminary, though he was turned away within weeks because of the health requirement, and what he described as a psychosomatic heart condition.[9] Heidegger later left Catholicism, describing it as incompatible with his philosophy. After studying theology at the University of Freiburg from 1909 to 1911, he switched to philosophy, in part again because of his heart condition. Heidegger completed his doctoral thesis on psychologism in 1914 influenced by Neo-Thomism and Neo-Kantianism,[10] and in 1916 finished his venia legendi with a thesis on Duns Scotus influenced by Heinrich Rickert and Edmund Husserl.[11] In the two years following, he worked first as an unsalaried Privatdozent, then served as a soldier during the final year of World War I, working behind a desk and never leaving Germany. After the war, he served as a salaried senior assistant to Edmund Husserl at the University of Freiburg from 1919 until 1923.

[edit] MarburgEdit

In 1923, Heidegger was elected to an extraordinary Professorship in Philosophy at the University of Marburg. His colleagues there included Rudolf Bultmann, Nicolai Hartmann, and Paul Natorp. Heidegger's students at Marburg included Hans-Georg Gadamer, Hannah Arendt, Karl Löwith, Gerhard Krüger, Leo Strauss, Jacob Klein, Gunther (Stern) Anders, and Hans Jonas. Through a confrontation with Aristotle he began to develop in his lectures the main theme of his philosophy: the question of the sense of being. He extended the concept of subject to the dimension of history and concrete existence, which he found prefigured in such Christian thinkers as Saint Paul, Augustine of Hippo, Luther, and Kierkegaard. He also read the works of Dilthey, Husserl, and Max Scheler.[12]

[edit] FreiburgEdit

In 1927, Heidegger published his main work Sein und Zeit (Being and Time). When Husserl retired as Professor of Philosophy in 1928, Heidegger accepted Freiburg's election to be his successor, in spite of a counter-offer by Marburg. Heidegger remained at Freiburg im Breisgau for the rest of his life, declining a number of later offers including one from Humboldt University of Berlin. Among his students at Freiburg were Charles Malik, Herbert Marcuse, and Ernst Nolte. Emmanuel Levinas attended his lecture courses during his stay in Freiburg in 1928.[citation needed]

Heidegger was elected rector of the University on April 21, 1933, and joined the National Socialist German Workers' (Nazi) Party on May 1.[13]. In his inaugural address as rector on May 27, and in political speeches and articles from the same year, he expressed his support for the Nazi cause and its leader, Adolf Hitler.[14] He resigned the rectorate in April 1934, but remained a member of the Nazi party until 1945.[15] See also: Martin_Heidegger#Heidegger_and_National_Socialism===[edit] Post-war=== In late 1946, as France engaged in épuration légale, the French military authorities determined that Heidegger should be forbidden from teaching or participating in any university activities because of his association with the Nazi Party.[16] The denazification procedures against Heidegger continued until March 1949, when he was finally pronounced a "Mitläufer" (literally, "fellow-traveler", but the equivalent meaning in English is closer to "bandwagon effect" or "herd instinct", standing for the notion that people often do and believe things merely because many other people do and believe the same things) of National Socialism, and no punitive measures against him were proposed. This opened the way for his readmission to teaching at Freiburg University in the winter semester of 1950–51.[17] He was granted emeritus status and then taught regularly from 1951 until 1958, and by invitation until 1967.

[edit] Personal lifeEdit

[7][8]Heidegger's stone-and-tile chalet clustered among others at Todtnauberg.Heidegger married Elfriede Petri on March 21, 1917, in a Catholic ceremony officiated by his friend Engelbert Krebs, and a week later in a Protestant ceremony in the presence of her parents. Their first son Jörg was born in 1919. According to published correspondence between the spouses,[18] Hermann (born 1920) is the son of Elfriede and Friedel Caesar.

Martin Heidegger had extramarital affairs with Hannah Arendt and Elisabeth Blochmann, both students of his. Arendt was Jewish, and Blochmann had one Jewish parent, making them subject to severe persecution by the Nazi authorities. He helped Blochmann emigrate from Germany prior to World War II, and resumed contact with both of them after the war.[19]

Heidegger spent much time at his vacation home at Todtnauberg, on the edge of the Black Forest. He considered the seclusion provided by the forest to be the best environment in which to engage in philosophical thought.[20] [9][10]Heidegger's grave in MeßkirchHeidegger died on May 26, 1976, and was buried in the Meßkirch cemetery.


[edit] PhilosophyEdit

[edit] Being, time, and DaseinEdit

Heidegger's philosophy is founded on the attempt to conjoin what he considers two fundamental insights:

  • The first is his observation that, in the course of over 2,000 years of history, philosophy has attended to all the beings that can be found in the world (including the "world" itself), but has forgotten to ask what "being" itself is. This is Heidegger's "question of being," and it is Heidegger's fundamental concern throughout his work. One crucial source of this insight was Heidegger's reading of Franz Brentano's treatise on Aristotle's manifold uses of the word "being," a work which provoked Heidegger to ask what kind of unity underlies this multiplicity of uses. Heidegger opens his magnum opus, Being and Time, with a citation from Plato's Sophist [21] indicating that Western philosophy has neglected "being" because it was considered obvious, rather than as worthy of question. Heidegger's intuition about the question of being is thus a historical argument, which in his later work becomes his concern with the "history of being," that is, the history of the forgetting of being, which according to Heidegger requires that philosophy retrace its footsteps through a productive "destruction" of the history of philosophy.
  • The second intuition animating Heidegger's philosophy derives from the influence of Edmund Husserl, a philosopher largely uninterested in questions of philosophical history. Rather, Husserl argued that all that philosophy could and should be is a description of experience (hence the phenomenological slogan, "to the things themselves"). But for Heidegger, this meant understanding that experience is always already situated in a world and in ways of being. Thus Husserl's understanding that all consciousness is "intentional" (in the sense that it is always intended toward something, and is always "about" something) is transformed in Heidegger's philosophy, becoming the thought that all experience is grounded in "care." This is the basis of Heidegger's "existential analytic", as he develops it in Being and Time. Heidegger argues that to describe experience properly entails finding the being for whom such a description might matter. Heidegger thus conducts his description of experience with reference to "Dasein," the being for whom being is a question.[22] In Being and Time, Heidegger criticized the abstract and metaphysical character of traditional ways of grasping human existence as rational animal, person, man, soul, spirit, or subject. Dasein, then, is not intended as a way of conducting a "philosophical anthropology", but is rather understood by Heidegger to be the condition of possibility for anything like a "philosophical anthropology."[23] Dasein, according to Heidegger, is care. In the course of his existential analytic, Heidegger argues that Dasein, who finds itself thrown into the world amidst things and with others, is thrown into its possibilities, including the possibility and inevitability of one's own mortality. The need for Dasein to assume these possibilities, that is, the need to be responsible for one's own existence, is the basis of Heidegger's notions of authenticity and resoluteness—that is, of those specific possibilities for Dasein which depend on escaping the "vulgar" temporality of calculation and of public life.

The marriage of these two observations depends on the fact that each of them is essentially concerned with time. That Dasein is thrown into an already existing world and thus into its mortal possibilities does not only mean that Dasein is an essentially temporal being; it also implies that the description of Dasein can only be carried out in terms inherited from the Western tradition itself. For Heidegger, unlike for Husserl, philosophical terminology could not be divorced from the history of the use of that terminology, and thus genuine philosophy could not avoid confronting questions of language and meaning. The existential analytic of Being and Time was thus always only a first step in Heidegger's philosophy, to be followed by the "dismantling" (Destruktion) of the history of philosophy, that is, a transformation of its language and meaning, that would have made of the existential analytic only a kind of "limit case" (in the sense in which special relativity is a limit case of general relativity).[citation needed]

That Heidegger did not write this second part of Being and Time, and that the existential analytic was left behind in the course of Heidegger's subsequent writings on the history of being, might be interpreted as a failure to conjugate his account of individual experience with his account of the vicissitudes of the collective human adventure that he understands the Western philosophical tradition to be. And this would in turn raise the question of whether this failure is due to a flaw in Heidegger's account of temporality, that is, of whether Heidegger was correct to oppose vulgar and authentic time.[24]

[edit] Being and TimeEdit

[12][13]View from Heidegger's vacation chalet in Todtnauberg. Heidegger wrote most of Being and Time there.Main article: Being and TimeBeing and Time (German title: Sein und Zeit), published in 1927, is Heidegger's first academic book. He had been under pressure to publish in order to qualify for Husserl's chair at University of Freiburg and the success of this work ensured his appointment to the post.

It investigates the question of being by asking about the being for whom being is a question. Heidegger names this being Dasein (see above), and the book pursues its investigation through themes such as mortality, anxiety, temporality, and historicity. It was Heidegger's original intention to write a second half of the book, consisting of a "Destruktion" of the history of philosophy—that is, the transformation of philosophy by re-tracing its history—but he never completed this project.

Being and Time influenced many thinkers, including such existentialist thinkers as Jean-Paul Sartre (although Heidegger distanced himself from existentialism—see below).

[edit] Die KehreEdit

Some scholars have argued that Heidegger's thought after Being and Time exhibits a "turn" in his thinking (die Kehre). Heidegger denied this in a letter—published by William J. Richardson in Heidegger: Through Phenomenology to Thought (1963)—which stated that, if there had been a turn at all, it was simply a matter of going deeper into the same matters. In his later work, Heidegger largely abandons the account of Dasein as a pragmatic, engaged, worldly agent, and instead discusses other elements necessary to an understanding of being, notably language, the earth (as the almost ineffable foundation of world) and the presence of the gods. Nevertheless, Dasein (or "mortals", as he later prefers to say) remains a crucial part of the coming-about or event (Ereignis) of being.[citation needed]

[edit] Later worksEdit

[15][16]"Am Feldweg" in Meßkirch. Heidegger often went for a walk on the path in this field. See the text "Der Feldweg" GA Nr. 13Heidegger's later works, following the so-called "turn" and after the Second World War, seem to many commentators to at least reflect a shift of focus, if not indeed a major change in his philosophical outlook. One way this has been understood is as a shift from "doing" to "dwelling", although others feel that this is to overstate the difference. Heidegger focuses less on the way in which the structures of being are revealed in everyday behavior, and more on the way in which behavior itself depends on a prior "openness to being." The essence of being human is the maintenance of this openness. Heidegger contrasts this openness to the "will to power" of the modern human subject, which is one way of forgetting this originary openness.

Heidegger understands the commencement of the history of Western philosophy as a brief period of authentic openness to being, during the time of the pre-Socratics, especially Parmenides, Heraclitus, and Anaximander. This was followed, according to Heidegger, by a long period increasingly dominated by the forgetting of this initial openness, a period which commences with Plato, but a forgetting or abandonment which occurs in different ways throughout Western history.

Two recurring themes of Heidegger's later writings are poetry and technology. Heidegger sees poetry and technology as two contrasting ways of "revealing." Poetry reveals being in the way in which, if it is genuine poetry, it commences something new. Technology, on the other hand, when it gets going, inaugurates the world of the dichotomous subject and object, which modern philosophy commencing with Descartes also reveals. But with modern technology a new stage of revealing is reached, in which the subject-object distinction is overcome even in the "material" world of technology. The essence of modern technology is the conversion of the whole universe of beings into an undifferentiated "standing reserve" (Bestand) of energy available for any use to which humans choose to put it. Heidegger described the essence of modern technology as Gestell, or "enframing." Heidegger does not unequivocally condemn technology: while he acknowledges that modern technology contains grave dangers, Heidegger nevertheless also argues that it may constitute a chance for human beings to enter a new epoch in their relation to being. Despite this, some commentators have insisted that an agrarian nostalgia permeates his later work.

Heidegger's later works include Vom Wesen der Wahrheit ("On the Essence of Truth", 1930), Der Ursprung des Kunstwerkes ("The Origin of the Work of Art", 1935), Einführung in die Metaphysik ("An Introduction to Metaphysics", 1935), Bauen Wohnen Denken ("Building Dwelling Thinking", 1951), and Die Frage nach der Technik ("The Question Concerning Technology", 1954) and Was heisst Denken? ("What Is Called Thinking?" 1954). Also Beiträge zur Philosophie (Vom Ereignis) (Contributions to Philosophy [From Enowning]), composed in the years 1936–38 but not published until 1989, on the centennial of Heidegger's birth.

[edit] InfluencesEdit

[edit] Aristotle and the GreeksEdit

Heidegger was influenced at an early age by Aristotle, mediated through Catholic theology, medieval philosophy, and Franz Brentano. Aristotle's ethical, logical, and metaphysical works were crucial to the development of his thought in the crucial period of the 1920s. Although he later worked less on Aristotle, Heidegger recommended postponing reading Nietzsche, and to "first study Aristotle for ten to fifteen years."[25] In reading Aristotle, Heidegger increasingly contested the traditional Latin translation and scholastic interpretation of his thought. Particularly important (not least for its influence upon others, both in their interpretation of Aristotle and in rehabilitating a neo-Aristotelian "practical philosophy")[26] was his radical reinterpretation of Book Six of Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics and several books of the Metaphysics. Both informed the argument of Being and Time.

The idea of asking about being may be traced back via Aristotle to Parmenides. Heidegger claimed to have revived the question of being, the question having been largely forgotten by the metaphysical tradition extending from Plato to Descartes, a forgetfulness extending to the Age of Enlightenment and then to modern science and technology. In pursuit of the retrieval of this question, Heidegger spent considerable time reflecting on ancient Greek thought, in particular on Plato, Parmenides, Heraclitus, and Anaximander, as well as on the tragic playwright Sophocles.[citation needed]

[edit] DiltheyEdit

Heidegger's very early project of developing a "hermeneutics of factical life" and his hermeneutical transformation of phenomenology was influenced in part by his reading of the works of Wilhelm Dilthey.[citation needed]

Of the influence of Dilthey, Hans-Georg Gadamer writes the following: "As far as Dilthey is concerned, we all know today what I have known for a long time: namely that it is a mistake to conclude on the basis of the citation in Being and Time that Dilthey was especially influential in the development of Heidegger's thinking in the mid-1920s. This dating of the influence is much too late." He adds that by the fall of 1923 it was plain that Heidegger felt "the clear superiority of Count Yorck over the famous scholar, Dilthey." Gadamer nevertheless makes clear that Dilthey's influence was important in helping the youthful Heidegger "in distancing himself from the systematic ideal of Neo-Kantianism, as Heidegger acknowledges in Being and Time."[27] Based on Heidegger's earliest lecture courses, in which Heidegger already engages Dilthey's thought prior to the period Gadamer mentions as "too late", scholars as diverse as Theodore Kisiel and David Farrell Krell have argued for the importance of Diltheyan concepts and strategies in the formation of Heidegger's thought.[28]

Even though Gadamer's interpretation of Heidegger has been questioned, there is little doubt that Heidegger seized upon Dilthey's concept of hermeneutics. Heidegger's novel ideas about ontology required a gestalt formation, not merely a series of logical arguments, in order to demonstrate his fundamentally new paradigm of thinking, and the hermeneutic circle offered a new and powerful tool for the articulation and realization of these ideas.[citation needed]

[edit] HusserlEdit

There is disagreement over the degree of influence that Husserl had on Heidegger's philosophical development, just as there is disagreement about the degree to which Heidegger's philosophy is grounded in phenomenology. These disagreements centre around how much of Husserlian phenomenology is contested by Heidegger, and how much this phenomenology in fact informs Heidegger's own understanding.

On the relation between the two figures, Gadamer wrote: "When asked about phenomenology, Husserl was quite right to answer as he used to in the period directly after World War I: 'Phenomenology, that is me and Heidegger'." Nevertheless, Gadamer noted that Heidegger was no patient collaborator with Husserl, and that Heidegger's "rash ascent to the top, the incomparable fascination he aroused, and his stormy temperament surely must have made Husserl, the patient one, as suspicious of Heidegger as he always had been of Max Scheler's volcanic fire."[29]

Robert J. Dostal understood the importance of Husserl to be profound: Heidegger himself, who is supposed to have broken with Husserl, bases his hermeneutics on an account of time that not only parallels Husserl's account in many ways but seems to have been arrived at through the same phenomenological method as was used by Husserl.... The differences between Husserl and Heidegger are significant, but if we do not see how much it is the case that Husserlian phenomenology provides the framework for Heidegger's approach, we will not be able to appreciate the exact nature of Heidegger's project in Being and Time or why he let it unfinished.[30] Daniel O. Dahlstrom saw Heidegger's presentation of his work as a departure from Husserl as unfairly misrepresenting Husserl's own work. Dahlstrom concluded his consideration of the relation between Heidegger and Husserl as follows: Heidegger's silence about the stark similarities between his account of temporality and Husserl's investigation of internal time-consciousness contributes to a misrepresentation of Husserl's account of intentionality. Contrary to the criticisms Heidegger advances in his lectures, intentionality (and, by implication, the meaning of 'to be') in the final analysis is not construed by Husserl as sheer presence (be it the presence of a fact or object, act or event). Yet for all its "dangerous closeness" to what Heidegger understands by temporality, Husserl's account of internal time-consciousness does differ fundamentally. In Husserl's account the structure of protentions is accorded neither the finitude nor the primacy that Heidegger claims are central to the original future of ecstatic-horizonal temporality.[31]

[edit] KierkegaardEdit

Heideggerians regarded Søren Kierkegaard as, by far, the greatest philosophical contributor to Heidegger's own existentialist concepts.[32] Heidegger's concepts of anxiety (Angst) and mortality draw on Kierkegaard and are indebted to the way in which the latter lays out the importance of our subjective relation to truth, our existence in the face of death, the temporality of existence, and the importance of passionate affirmation of one's individual being-in-the-world.

[edit] Hölderlin and NietzscheEdit

Friedrich Hölderlin and Friedrich Nietzsche were both important influences on Heidegger, and many of his lecture courses were devoted to one or the other, especially in the 1930s and 1940s. The lectures on Nietzsche focused on fragments posthumously published under the title The Will to Power, rather than on Nietzsche's published works. Heidegger read The Will to Power as the culminating expression of Western metaphysics, and the lectures are a kind of dialogue between the two thinkers.

This is also the case for the lecture courses devoted to the poetry of Friedrich Hölderlin, which became an increasingly central focus of Heidegger's work and thought. Heidegger grants to Hölderlin a singular place within the history of being and the history of Germany, as a herald whose thought is yet to be "heard" in Germany or the West. Many of Heidegger's works from the 1930s onwards include meditations on lines from Hölderlin's poetry, and several of the lecture courses are devoted to the reading of a single poem (see, for example, Hölderlin's Hymn "The Ister").

[edit] Heidegger and Eastern thoughtEdit

Some writers on Heidegger's work see possibilities within it for dialogue with traditions of thought outside of Western philosophy, particularly East Asian thinking. Despite perceived differences between Eastern and Western philosophy, some of Heidegger's later work, particularly "A Dialogue on Language between a Japanese and an Inquirer", does show an interest in initiating such a dialogue.[33] Heidegger himself had contact with a number of leading Japanese intellectuals, including members of the Kyoto School, notably Hajime Tanabe and Kuki Shūzō. It has also been claimed that a number of elements within Heidegger's thought bear a close parallel to Eastern philosophical ideas, particularly Zen Buddhism and Taoism. Paul Hsao records Chang Chung-Yuan saying that "Heidegger is the only Western Philosopher who not only intellectually understands but has intuitively grasped Taoist thought."[citation needed]

According to Tomonubu Imamichi, the concept of Dasein was inspired—although Heidegger remains silent on this—by Okakura Kakuzo's concept of das in-der-Welt-sein (being in the world) expressed in The Book of Tea to describe Zhuangzi's philosophy, which Imamichi's teacher had offered to Heidegger in 1919, after having studied with him the year before.[34]

Some scholars interested in the relationships between Western philosophy and the history of ideas in Islam and Arabic philosophical medieval sources may have been influenced by Heidegger's work.[35]

[edit] Heidegger and National SocialismEdit

Main article: Heidegger and Nazism===[edit] The rectorate=== [18][19]The University of Freiburg, where Heidegger was Rector from April 21, 1933, to April 23, 1934Adolf Hitler was sworn in as Chancellor of Germany on January 30, 1933. Heidegger was elected rector of the University of Freiburg on April 21, 1933, and assumed the position the following day. On May 1 he joined the Nazi Party.

Heidegger delivered his inaugural address, the Rektoratsrede – "The University in the New Reich", on May 27, and it became notorious for its praise of National Socialism. Heidegger wrote, for example, that: "The German people must choose its future, and this future is bound to the Führer."[36]

His tenure as rector was fraught with difficulties from the outset. Some National Socialist education officials viewed him as a rival, while others saw his efforts as comical. Some of Heidegger's fellow National Socialists also ridiculed his philosophical writings as gibberish. He finally offered his resignation on April 23, 1934, and it was accepted on April 27. Heidegger remained a member of both the academic faculty and of the Nazi Party until the end of the war.

Philosophical historian Hans Sluga wrote: 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.[37] In 1945 Heidegger wrote of his term as rector, giving the writing to his son Hermann; it was published in 1983: 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. 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.[38]

[edit] Treatment of HusserlEdit

Beginning in 1917, Jewish-born philosopher Edmund Husserl championed Heidegger's work, and helped him secure the retiring Husserl's chair in Philosophy at the University of Freiburg.[39]

On April 6, 1933, 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 April 14, 1933.

Heidegger became Rector of the University of Freiburg on April 22, 1933. The following week the national Reich law of April 28, 1933, replaced Reichskommissar Wagner's decree. 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.[40]

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 1930s.[41]

Heidegger did not attend his former mentor's cremation in 1938. In 1941, under pressure from publisher Max Niemeyer, Heidegger agreed to remove the dedication to Husserl from Being and Time (restored in post-war editions).[42]

Heidegger's behavior towards Husserl has evoked controversy. Hannah Arendt initially suggested that Heidegger's behavior precipitated Husserl's death. She called Heidegger a "potential murderer." However, she later recanted her accusation.[43]

[edit] Post-rectorate National Socialist periodEdit

After the spectacular failure of Heidegger's rectorship, he withdrew from most political activity, without canceling his membership in the NSDAP (Nazi Party). Nevertheless, references to National Socialism continued to appear in his work.

In the course of his 1935 lectures, Heidegger referred to the "inner truth and greatness of this movement" (die innere Wahrheit und Größe dieser Bewegung), that is, of National Socialism. This phrase remained when the lectures were published in 1953 under the title, An Introduction to Metaphysics. However, Heidegger added a parenthetical qualification, without mentioning this change at the time of publication: "(namely, the confrontation of planetary technology and modern humanity) (nämlich die Begegnung der planetarisch bestimmten Technik und des neuzeitlichen Menschen)."[44]

In his lectures of 1942, published posthumously as Hölderlin's Hymn "The Ister", Heidegger made the following remark: Today—if one still reads such books at all—one can scarcely read a treatise or book on the Greeks without everywhere being assured that here, with the Greeks, "everything" is "politically" determined. In the majority of "research results", the Greeks appear as the 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.[45] Karl Löwith met Heidegger in 1936 while the latter was visiting Rome to lecture on Hölderlin. In an account set down in 1940 and not intended for publication, Löwith recounted an exchange with Heidegger over editorials published in the Neue Zürcher Zeitung: [I] told him that I did not agree either with the way in which Karl Barth was attacking him or in the way [Emil Staiger] was defending him, because my opinion was that his taking the side of National Socialism was in agreement with the essence of his philosophy. Heidegger told me unreservedly that I was right and developed his idea by saying that his idea of historicity [Geschichtlichkeit] was the foundation for his political involvement.[7] Löwith continued: In response to my remark that I could understand many things about his attitude, with one exception, which was that he would permit himself to be seated at the same table with a figure such as Julius Streicher (at the German Academy of Law), he was silent at first. At last he uttered this well-known rationalisation (which Karl Barth saw so clearly), which amounted to saying that "it all would have been much worse if some men of knowledge had not been involved." And with a bitter resentment towards people of culture, he concluded his statement: "If these gentlemen had not considered themselves too refined to become involved, things would have been different, but I had to stay in there alone." To my reply that one did not have to be very refined to refuse to work with a Streicher, he answered that it was useless to discuss Streicher; the Stürmer was nothing more than "pornography." Why didn't Hitler get rid of this sinister individual? He didn't understand it.[46]

[edit] Post-war periodEdit

Heidegger's affair with Hannah Arendt occurred some time before Heidegger's involvement in National Socialism, but her friendship with Heidegger did not end when she moved to Heidelberg to continue her studies under Karl Jaspers. Arendt later spoke on his behalf at his denazification hearings. Jaspers spoke against him at the same hearings, suggesting he would have a detrimental influence on German students because of his powerful teaching presence. Arendt cautiously resumed their friendship after the war, despite or even because of the widespread contempt for Heidegger and his political sympathies. The denazification hearings resulted in Heidegger being forbidden to teach between 1945 and 1951. One consequence of his disfavour in Germany was that Heidegger began to engage far more in the French philosophical scene.[citation needed]

In a lecture on technology delivered at Bremen in 1949, Heidegger made the following controversial remark: 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.[47] This quotation has been the subject of widespread criticism and interpretation. Philippe Lacoue-Labarthe, for example, described it as "scandalously inadequate."[48]

In 1967 Heidegger had an encounter with the poet Paul Celan, a Jew who had survived concentration camps operated by the Nazis' Romanian allies. While admiring aspects of Heidegger's writings, Celan had long been aware of Heidegger's involvement with National Socialism.[citation needed]

On July 24 Celan gave a reading at the University of Freiburg, attended by Heidegger. Heidegger there presented Celan with a copy of What is Called Thinking?, and invited him to visit him at his hut at Todtnauberg, an invitation which Celan accepted. On July 25 Celan visited Heidegger at his retreat, signing the guestbook and spending some time walking and talking with Heidegger. The details of their conversation are not known, but the meeting was the subject of a subsequent poem by Celan, entitled "Todtnauberg" (dated August 1, 1967).[citation needed]

The enigmatic poem and the encounter have been discussed by numerous writers on Heidegger and Celan, notably Lacoue-Labarthe. A common interpretation of the poem is that it concerns, in part, Celan's wish for Heidegger to apologize for Heidegger's behavior during the Nazi era.[citation needed]

[edit] The Der Spiegel interviewEdit

On September 23, 1966, 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 (it was published on May 31, 1976). In the interview, Heidegger defended his entanglement with National Socialism in two ways: first, he argued that there was no alternative, saying that he was trying to save the university (and science in general) from being politicized and thus had to compromise with the Nazi administration. 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 1934, largely prompted by the violence of the Night of the Long Knives.[citation needed]

In his interview Heidegger defended as double-speak his 1935 lecture describing the "inner truth and greatness of this movement." He affirmed that Nazi informants who observed his lectures would understand that by "movement" he meant National Socialism. However, Heidegger asserted that his dedicated students would know this statement was no elegy for the NSDAP. Rather, he meant it as he expressed it in the parenthetical clarification later added to An Introduction to Metaphysics (1953), namely, "the confrontation of planetary technology and modern humanity."[citation needed]

The Löwith account from 1936 has been cited to contradict the account given in the Der Spiegel interview in two ways: that there he did not make any decisive break with National Socialism in 1934, and that Heidegger was willing to entertain more profound relations between his philosophy and political involvement. The Der Spiegel interviewers did not bring up Heidegger's 1949 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.[49]

[edit] Influence and reception in FranceEdit

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.[citation needed]

[edit] Existentialism and pre-war influenceEdit

Heidegger's influence on French philosophy began in the 1930s, when Being and Time, "What is Metaphysics?" and other Heideggerian texts were read by Jean-Paul Sartre and other existentialists, as well as by thinkers such as Emmanuel Levinas, Alexandre Kojève and Georges Bataille.[50] Because Heidegger's discussion of ontology (the study of being) is rooted in an analysis of the mode of existence of individual human beings (Dasein, or being-there), his work has often been associated with existentialism. 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.[51] "Letter on 'Humanism'" is often seen as a direct response to Sartre's 1945 lecture "Existentialism is a Humanism." Aside from merely disputing readings of his own work, however, in "Letter on 'Humanism,'" Heidegger asserts that "Every humanism is either grounded in a metaphysics or is itself made to be the ground of one." Heidegger's largest issue with Sartre's existential humanism is that, while it does make a humanistic 'move' in privileging existence over essence, "the reversal of a metaphysical statement remains a metaphysical statement." From this point onward in his thought, Heidegger attempted to think beyond metaphysics to a place where the articulation of the fundamental questions of ontology were fundamentally possible.

[edit] Post-war forays into FranceEdit

After the war, Heidegger was banned from university teaching for a period on account of his activities as Rector of Freiburg University. He developed a number of contacts in France, where his work continued to be taught, and a number of French students visited him at Todtnauberg (see, for example, Jean-François Lyotard's brief account in Heidegger and "the jews", which discusses a Franco-German conference held in Freiburg in 1947, one step toward bringing together French and German students). Heidegger subsequently made several visits to France, and made efforts to keep abreast of developments in French philosophy by way of correspondence with Jean Beaufret, an early French translator of Heidegger, and with Lucien Braun.

[edit] Derrida and deconstructionEdit

Deconstruction came to Heidegger's attention in 1967 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 1972, but this failed to take place. Heidegger's interest in Derrida is said by Braun to have been considerable (as is evident in two letters, of September 29, 1967 and May 16, 1972, from Heidegger to Braun). 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. (For more on this see Penser à Strasbourg, Jacques Derrida, et al., which includes reproductions of both letters and an account by Braun, "À mi-chemin entre Heidegger et Derrida").

Jacques Derrida made emphatic efforts 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. In Derrida's view, deconstruction is a tradition inherited via Heidegger (the French term "déconstruction" is a term coined to translate Heidegger's use of the words "Destruktion"—literally "destruction"—and "Abbau"—more literally "de-building"). 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. Because of Derrida's vehement attempts to "rescue" Heidegger from his existentialist interpreters (and also from Heidegger's "orthodox" followers), Derrida has at times been represented as a "French Heidegger", to the extent that he, his colleagues, and his former students are made to go proxy for Heidegger's worst (political) mistakes, despite ample evidence that the reception of Heidegger's work by later practitioners of deconstruction is anything but doctrinaire.

[edit] The Farías debateEdit

Derrida, Lacoue-Labarthe, and Jean-François Lyotard, among others, all engaged in debate and disagreement about the relation between Heidegger's philosophy and his politics. These debates included the question of whether it was possible to do without Heidegger's philosophy, a position which Derrida in particular rejected. Forums where these debates took place include the proceedings of the first conference dedicated to Derrida's work, published as "Les Fins de l'homme à partir du travail de Jacques Derrida: colloque de Cerisy, 23 juillet-2 août 1980", Derrida's "Feu la cendre/cio' che resta del fuoco", and the studies on Paul Celan by Lacoue-Labarthe and Derrida which shortly preceded the detailed studies of Heidegger's politics published in and after 1987.

When in 1987 Víctor Farías published his book Heidegger et le nazisme, this debate was taken up by many others, some of whom were inclined to disparage so-called "deconstructionists" for their association with Heidegger's philosophy. Derrida and others not only continued to defend the importance of reading Heidegger, but attacked Farías, on the grounds of poor scholarship and for what they saw as the sensationalism of his approach. Not all scholars agreed with this negative assessment: Richard Rorty, for example, declared that "[Farias'] book includes more concrete information relevant to Heidegger's relations with the Nazis than anything else available, and it is an excellent antidote to the evasive apologetics that are still being published."[52]

[edit] Bernard StieglerEdit

More recently, Heidegger's thought has considerably 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).[53] Stiegler offers an original reading of Heidegger, arguing that there can be no access to "originary temporality" other than via material, that is, technical, supports, and that Heidegger recognised this in the form of his account of world historicality, yet in the end suppressed that fact. 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.

[edit] CriticismEdit

Heidegger's influence upon 20th century continental philosophy is unquestioned and has produced a variety of critical responses.

[edit] Early criticismsEdit

The content of Being and Time, according to Husserl, claimed to deal with ontology, but from Husserl's perspective 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.[54]

The Neo-Kantian Ernst Cassirer and Heidegger engaged in an influential debate located in Davos in 1929, concerning the significance of Kantian notions of freedom and rationality. Whereas Cassirer defended the role of rationality in Kant, Heidegger argued for the priority of the imagination. Dilthey's student Georg Misch wrote the first extended critical appropriation of Heidegger in Lebensphilosophie und Phänomenologie. Eine Auseinandersetzung der Diltheyschen Richtung mit Heidegger und Husserl, Leipzig 1930 (3. ed. Stuttgart 1964).

[edit] Left-Hegelianism and critical theoryEdit

Hegel-influenced Marxist thinkers, especially György Lukács and the Frankfurt School, associated the style and content of Heidegger's thought with German irrationalism and criticized its political implications.

Initially members of the Frankfurt School were positively disposed to Heidegger, becoming more critical at the beginning of the 1930s. 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." Theodor Adorno wrote an extended critique of the ideological character of Heidegger's early and later use of language in the Jargon of Authenticity. Contemporary social theorists associated with the Frankfurt School have remained largely critical of Heidegger's works and influence. In particular, Jürgen Habermas admonishes the influence of Heidegger on recent French philosophy in his polemic against "postmodernism" in The Philosophical Discourse of Modernity (1985). However, recent 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.[55][56]

[edit] Reception by Analytic and Anglo-American philosophyEdit

Criticism of Heidegger's philosophy has also come from analytic philosophy, beginning with logical positivism. Accusing Heidegger of offering an "illusory" ontology, Rudolf Carnap criticized him, in "The Elimination of Metaphysics Through Logical Analysis of Language" (1932), of committing the fallacy of reification and of wrongly dismissing the logical treatment of language, which, according to Carnap, can only lead to writing "nonsensical pseudo-propositions."

A strong critic of Heidegger's philosophy was the British logical positivist A. J. Ayer. 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 commented, expressing the sentiments of many mid-20th-century English-speaking philosophers, that: 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.[57] 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".[58]

The analytic tradition values clarity of expression. Heidegger, however, has on occasion appeared to take an opposing view, stating for example that "those in the crossing must in the end know what is mistaken by all urging for intelligibility: that every thinking of being, all philosophy, can never be confirmed by 'facts,' i.e., by beings. 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."[59] 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.

Not all analytic philosophers, however, 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"[60] which has been construed by some commentators[who?] as sympathetic to Heidegger's philosophical approach. These positive and negative analytic evaluations have been collected in Michael Murray (ed.), Heidegger and Modern Philosophy: Critical Essays (Yale University Press, 1978). 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, a significant figure in analytic philosophy. Nevertheless, Rorty asserted that what Heidegger had constructed in his writings was a myth of being rather than an account of it[61].

[edit] Contemporary European receptionEdit

Even though Heidegger is considered by many observers to be the most influential philosopher of the 20th century in continental philosophy, 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 (Emmanuel Levinas), the body (Maurice Merleau-Ponty), or sexual difference (Luce Irigaray).

Emmanuel Levinas was deeply influenced by Heidegger 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."[62]

[edit] CinemaEdit

[edit] BibliographyEdit

[edit] GesamtausgabeEdit

Heidegger's collected works are published by Vittorio Klostermann. The Gesamtausgabe was begun during Heidegger's lifetime. He defined the order of publication and dictated that the principle of editing should be "ways not works." Publication has not yet been completed.

The contents are listed here: Heidegger Gesamtausgabe.

[edit] Selected worksEdit

A complete list of English translations of Heidegger's work is available here.

Year Original German English Translation
1927 Sein und Zeit, Gesamtausgabe Volume 2 Being and Time, trans. by John Macquarrie and Edward Robinson (London: SCM Press, 1962); re-translated by Joan Stambaugh (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1996)
1929 Kant und das Problem der Metaphysik, Gesamtausgabe Volume 3 Kant and the Problem of Metaphysics, trans. by Richard Taft (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1990)
1935 Einführung in die Metaphysik (1935, published 1953), Gesamtausgabe Volume 40 An Introduction to Metaphysics, trans. by Gregory Fried and Richard Polt (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2000)
1936–8 Beiträge zur Philosophie (Vom Ereignis) (1936–1938, published 1989), Gesamtausgabe Volume 65 Contributions to Philosophy (From Enowning), trans. by Parvis Emad and Kenneth Maly (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1999)
1942 Hölderlins Hymne »Der Ister« (1942, published 1984), Gesamtausgabe Volume 53 Hölderlin's Hymn "The Ister", trans. by William McNeill and Julia Davis (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1996)
1949 "Die Frage nach der Technik", in Gesamtausgabe Volume 7 "The Question Concerning Technology" [2], in Heidegger, Martin, Basic Writings: Second Edition, Revised and Expanded, ed. David Farrell Krell (New York: Harper Collins, 1993)
1950 Holzwege, Gesamtausgabe Volume 5. This collection includes "Der Ursprung der Kunstwerkes" (1935–1936) Off the Beaten Track. This collection includes "The Origin of the Work of Art"
1955–56 Der Satz vom Grund, Gesamtausgabe Volume 10 The Principle of Reason, trans. Reginald Lilly (Bloomington, Indiana University Press, 1991)
1955–57 Identität und Differenz, Gesamtausgabe Volume 11 Identity and Difference, trans. by Joan Stambaugh (New York: Harper & Row, 1969)
1959 Gelassenheit, in Gesamtausgabe Volume 16 Discourse On Thinking
1959 Unterwegs zur Sprache, Gesamtausgabe Volume 12 On the Way To Language, published without the essay "Die Sprache" ("Language") by arrangement with Heidegger
Academic Genealogy
Notable teachers Notable students
Edmund Husserl

Nicolai Hartmann Heinrich Rickert

Hannah Arendt

Hans-Georg Gadamer Hans Jonas Kuki Shūzō Karl Löwith Herbert Marcuse Leo Strauss Jan Patočka Xavier Zubiri Karl Rahner

[edit] Further readingEdit

[edit] On Being and TimeEdit

  • William Blattner, Heidegger's Temporal Idealism
  • Taylor Carman, Heidegger's Analytic: Interpretation, Discourse, and Authenticity in "Being and Time"
  • Hubert Dreyfus, Being-in-the-World: A Commentary on Heidegger's Being and Time, Division I
  • Graham Harman, Tool-Being: Heidegger and the Metaphysics of Objects
  • Michael Gelven, A Commentary on Heidegger's Being and Time, Revised Edition
  • E.F. Kaelin, "Heidegger's Being & Time: A Reading for Readers"
  • Magda King, A Guide to Heidegger's Being and Time
  • Theodore Kisiel, The Genesis of Heidegger's Being and Time
  • Stephen Mulhall, Heidegger and Being and Time
  • James Luchte, Heidegger's Early Philosophy: The Phenomenology of Ecstatic Temporality

[edit] BiographiesEdit

  • Victor Farias, Heidegger and Nazism, ed. by Joseph Margolis and Tom Rockmore
  • Hugo Ott, Martin Heidegger: A Political Life
  • Otto Poeggeler, Martin Heidegger's Path of Thinking, trans. by D. Magurshak and S. Barber, Humanities Press, 1987.
  • Rüdiger Safranski, Martin Heidegger: Between Good and Evil
  • John van Buren, The Young Heidegger: Rumor of the Hidden King

[edit] Politics and National SocialismEdit

[edit] Other secondary literatureEdit

  • Robert Bernasconi, Heidegger in Question: The Art of Existing
  • Lee Braver. A Thing of This World: a History of Continental Anti-Realism. Northwestern University Press: 2007.
  • Walter A. Brogan, Heidegger and Aristotle: The Twofoldness of Being
  • Gabriel Cercel / Cristian Ciocan (eds), The Early Heidegger (Studia Phaenomenologica I, 3–4), Bucharest: Humanitas, 2001, 506 p., including letters by Heidegger and Pöggeler, and articles by Walter Biemel, Friedrich-Wilhelm von Herrmann, Theodore Kisiel, Marion Heinz, Alfred Denker
  • Steven Galt Crowell, Husserl, Heidegger, and the Space of Meaning: Paths toward Transcendental Phenomenology
  • Jacques Derrida, "Ousia and Gramme: Note on a Note from Being and Time", in Margins of Philosophy
  • Paul Edwards, Heidegger's Confusions
  • Christopher Fynsk, Heidegger: Thought and Historicity
  • Graham Harman, Heidegger Explained
  • Philippe Lacoue-Labarthe, Poetry as Experience
  • Philippe Lacoue-Labarthe, Heidegger and the Politics of Poetry
  • William McNeill, The Glance of the Eye: Heidegger, Aristotle, and the Ends of Theory
  • William McNeill, The Time of Life: Heidegger and Ethos
  • Jean-Luc Nancy, "The Decision of Existence", in The Birth to Presence
  • Herman Philipse, Heidegger's Philosophy of Being: A Critical Interpretation
  • Richard Polt, Heidegger: An Introduction
  • François Raffoul, Heidegger and the Subject
  • François Raffoul & David Pettigrew (ed), Heidegger and Practical Philosophy
  • John Sallis, Echoes: After Heidegger
  • John Sallis (ed), Reading Heidegger: Commemorations, including articles by Robert Bernasconi, Jacques Derrida, Rodolphe Gasché, and John Sallis, among others.
  • Reiner Schürmann, Heidegger on Being and Acting: From Principles to Anarchy
  • Tony See, Community without Identity: The Ontology and Politics of Heidegger
  • Adam Sharr, Heidegger's Hut
  • Bernard Stiegler, Technics and Time, 1: The Fault of Epimetheus
  • Leo Strauss, "An Introduction to Heideggerian Existentialism," in The Rebirth of Classical Political Rationalism (University of Chicago: 1989).
  • Andrzej Warminski, Readings in Interpretation: Hölderlin, Hegel, Heidegger

[edit] Reception in FranceEdit

[edit] Influence on Japanese philosophyEdit

  • Mayeda, Graham. 2006. Time, space and ethics in the philosophy of Watsuji Tetsurō, Kuki Shūzō, and Martin Heidegger (New York: Routledge, 2006). ISBN 0-415-97673-1 (alk. paper).

[edit] Influence on Asian philosophyEdit

[edit] See alsoEdit

[edit] ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Lackey, Douglas. 1999. "What Are the Modern Classics? The Baruch Poll of Great Philosophy in the Twentieth Century". Philosophical Forum. 30 (4): 329-46
  2. ^ http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-858369328131624007 :Martin Heidegger], BBC "Human, All Too Human (TV series)" documentary, (in English and German)
  3. ^ Martin Heidegger, Being and Time, pp. 25–26.
  4. ^ Source: Hannah Arendt / Martin Heidegger by Elzbieta Ettinger, Yale University Press, New Haven, 1995, page 10
  5. ^ Hannah Arendt, Martin Heidegger At 80, New York Review of Books, 17/6, (Oct. 21, 1971), 50–54; repr. in Heidegger and Modern Philosophy ed. M. Murray (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1978), 293–303
  6. ^ "Martin Heidegger, Emmanuel Levinas\, and the Politics of Dwelling" by David J. Gauthier, Ph.D dissertation, Louisiana State University, 2004, page 156
  7. ^ a b Karl Löwith, Mein Leben in Deutschland vor und nach 1933: ein Bericht (Stuttgart: Metzler, 1986), p. 57, translated by Paula Wissing as cited by Maurice Blanchot in "Thinking the Apocalypse: a Letter from Maurice Blanchot to Catherine David", in Critical Inquiry 15:2, pp. 476–477.
  8. ^ "Emmanuel Faye,[in his “Heidegger: The Introduction of Nazism Into Philosophy,”] argues fascist and racist ideas are so woven into the fabric of Heidegger’s theories that they no longer deserve to be called philosophy. . . . Richard Wolin, the author of several books on Heidegger and a close reader of the Faye book, said he is not convinced Heidegger’s thought is as thoroughly tainted by Nazism as Mr. Faye argues. Nonetheless he recognizes how far Heidegger’s ideas have spilled into the larger culture." An Ethical Question: Does a Nazi Deserve a Place Among Philosophers? by Patricia Cohen. New York Times. Published: November 8, 2009. [1]
  9. ^ Hermann Philipse, Heidegger's Philosophy of Being p. 173, Notes to Chapter One, Martin Heidegger, Supplements, trans. John Van Buren p. 183.
  10. ^ Die Lehre vom Urteil im Psychologismus. Ein kritisch-theoretischer Beitrag zur Logik (1914). Source: Annemarie Gethmann-Siefert, "Martin Heidegger", Theologische Realenzyklopädie, XIV, 1982, p. 562
  11. ^ Note, however, that it was discovered later that one of the two main sources used by Heidegger was not by Scotus, but by Thomas of Erfurt. Thus Heidegger's 1916 doctoral thesis, Die Kategorien- und Bedeutungslehre des Duns Scotus, should have been entitled, Die Kategorienlehre des Duns Scotus und die Bedeutungslehre des Thomas von Erfurt. Source: Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
  12. ^ Gethmann-Siefert, 1982, p. 563
  13. ^ Charles Bambach, Heidegger’s Roots (Cornell University Press, 2003, page 82)
  14. ^ Julian Young, Heidegger, Philosophy, Nazism (Cambridge University Press, 1997, page 3, page 11).
  15. ^ Ibid. page 3
  16. ^ Provisional ruling October 5, 1946; final ruling December 28, 1946; Hugo Ott, Martin Heidegger: A Political Life, (Harper Collins, 1993, page 348)
  17. ^ Rüdiger Safranski, Martin Heidegger: Between Good and Evil (Harvard University Press, 1998, page 373)
  18. ^ Heidegger, Martin; Heidegger, Gertrud (September 2005), Mein liebes Seelchen! Briefe von Martin Heidegger an seine Frau Elfride: 1915–1970, Munich: DVA, ISBN 978-3421058492
  19. ^ Martin Heidegger / Elisabeth Blochmann. Briefwechsel 1918–1969. Joachim W. Storck, ed. Marbach am Neckar: Deutsches Literatur-Archiv, 1989, 2nd edn. 1990.
  20. ^ Being There, a Spring 2007 article on Heidegger's vacation home for Cabinet magazine.
  21. ^ For a study on Heidegger's reading of the Sophist and his less central interest in Plato's Timaeus and its conception of space qua khôra: see: Nader El-Bizri, "On Kai khôra: Situating Heidegger between the Sophist and the Timaeus", Studia Phaenomenologica, Vol. IV, Issue 1–2 (2004), pp. 73–98
  22. ^ In everyday German, "Dasein" means "existence." It is composed of "Da" (here/there) and "Sein" (being). Dasein is transformed in Heidegger's usage from its everyday meaning to refer, rather, to that being that is there in its world, that is, the being for whom being matters. In later publications Heidegger writes the term in hyphenated form as Da-sein, thus emphasizing the distance from the word's ordinary usage.
  23. ^ Jacques Derrida describes this in the following terms: "We can see then that Dasein, though not man, is nevertheless nothing other than man." Jacques Derrida, "The Ends of Man", Margins of Philosophy (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1982), p. 127.
  24. ^ Cf. Bernard Stiegler, "Technics of Decision: An Interview", Angelaki 8 (2003), pp. 154–67, and cf. the discussion of Stiegler's reading of Heidegger in the sub-section "Bernard Stiegler" below.
  25. ^ Heidegger, What is Called Thinking? (New York: Harper & Row, 1968), p. 73.
  26. ^ Kelvin Knight, Aristotelian Philosophy: Ethics and Politics from Aristotle to MacIntyre (Cambridge: Polity Press, 2007).
  27. ^ Hans-Georg Gadamer, "Martin Heidegger's One Path", in Theodore Kisiel & John van Buren (eds.), Reading Heidegger from the Start: Essays in His Earliest Thought (Albany: SUNY Press, 1994), pp. 22–4.
  28. ^ In The Genesis of Heidegger's Being and Time (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1993), Theodor Kisiel designates the first version of the project that culminates in Being and Time, "the Dilthey draft" (p. 313). David Farrell Krell comments in Daimon Life: Heidegger and Life-Philosophy (Bloomington & Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 1992) that "Heidegger's project sprouts (in part, but in good part) from the soil of Dilthey's philosophy of factical-historical life" (p. 35).
  29. ^ Hans-Georg Gadamer, "Martin Heidegger—75 Years", Heidegger's Ways (Albany: SUNY Press, 1994), p. 18.
  30. ^ Robert J. Dostal, "Time and Phenomenology in Husserl and Heidegger", in Charles Guignon (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Heidegger (Cambridge & New York: Cambridge University Press, 1993), p. 142.
  31. ^ Daniel O. Dahlstrom, "Heidegger's Critique of Husserl", in Theodore Kisiel & John van Buren (eds.), Reading Heidegger from the Start: Essays in His Earliest Thought (Albany: SUNY Press, 1994), p. 244.
  32. ^ Dreyfus, Hubert. Being-in-the-world: A Commentary on Heidegger's Being and Time, Division I. (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1991), Sec. Appendix.
  33. ^ Heidegger, "A Dialogue on Language between a Japanese and an Inquirer", in On the Way to Language (New York: Harper & Row, 1971).
  34. ^ Tomonubu Imamichi, In Search of Wisdom. One Philosopher's Journey, Tokyo, International House of Japan, 2004 (quoted by Anne Fagot-Largeau during her lesson at the Collège de France on December 7, 2006).
  35. ^ See for instance: Nader El-Bizri, The Phenomenological Quest between Avicenna and Heidegger (Binghamton, N.Y.: Global Publications SUNY, 2000)
  36. ^ Source: "German Men and Women!", Freiburger Studentenzeitung,, November 10, 1933, as quoted in //Introducing Heidegger// by Jeff Collins et al., Icon Books, Thriplow, Cambridge, p.e 96
  37. ^ Hans Sluga, Heidegger's Crisis: Philosophy and Politics in Nazi Germany (Cambridge, Massachusetts, & London: Harvard University Press, 1993), p. 149.
  38. ^ Heidegger, "The Rectorate 1933/34: Facts and Thoughts", in Günther Neske & Emil Kettering (eds.), Martin Heidegger and National Socialism: Questions and Answers (New York: Paragon House, 1990), p. 29.
  39. ^ Seyla Benhabib, The Reluctant Modernism Of Hannah Arendt (Rowman and Littlefield, 2003, p. 120.)
  40. ^ Seyla Benhabib, The Personal is not the Political (October/November 1999 issue of Boston Review.)
  41. ^ Martin Heidegger, "Der Spiegel Interview", in Günther Neske & Emil Kettering (eds.), Martin Heidegger and National Socialism: Questions and Answers (New York: Paragon House, 1990), p. 48.
  42. ^ Rüdiger Safranski, Martin Heidegger: Between Good and Evil (Cambridge, Mass., & London: Harvard University Press, 1998), pp. 253–8.
  43. ^ Elzbieta Ettinger,Hannah Arendt – Martin Heidegger, (New Haven, Conn., & London: Yale University Press, 1995), p. 37.
  44. ^ Rainer Marten, letter to Jürgen Habermas, January 28, 1988, cited by Habermas in "Work and Weltanschauung: the Heidegger Controversy from a German Perspective", Critical Inquiry 15 (1989), pp. 452–54.
  45. ^ Heidegger, Hölderlin's Hymn "The Ister" (Bloomington & Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 1996), pp. 79–80.
  46. ^ ibid, p. 477
  47. ^ Cited in Philippe Lacoue-Labarthe, Heidegger, Art and Politics: The Fiction of the Political (Oxford: Blackwell, 1990), p. 34.
  48. ^ Lacoue-Labarthe, Heidegger, Art and Politics, p. 34.
  49. ^ For critical readings of the interview (published in 1966 as "Only a God Can Save Us", Der Spiegel), see the "Special Feature on Heidegger and Nazism" in Critical Inquiry 15:2 (Winter 1989), particularly the contributions by Jürgen Habermas and Blanchot. The issue includes partial translations of Derrida's Of Spirit and Lacoue-Labarthe's Of Spirit and Heidegger, Art, and Politics: the Fiction of the Political.
  50. ^ On the history of the French translation of Heidegger's "What is Metaphysics?", and on its importance to the French intellectual scene, cf. Denis Hollier, "Plenty of Nothing", in Hollier (ed.), A New History of French Literature (Cambridge, Massachusetts, Harvard University Press, 1989), pp. 894–900.
  51. ^ Heidegger, "Letter on 'Humanism'", Pathmarks (Cambridge & New York: Cambridge University Press, 1998), pp. 250–1.
  52. ^ Richard Rorty, review of Heidegger and Nazism in the New Republic, quoted on the Temple University Press promotional page for Heidegger and Nazism
  53. ^ Bernard Stiegler, Technics and Time, 1: The Fault of Epimetheus (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1998), part 2.
  54. ^ See Edmund Husserl, Psychological and transcendental phenomenology and the confrontation with Heidegger (1927–1931) (Dordrecht: Kluwer, 1997).
  55. ^ Nikolas Kompridis, Critique and Disclosure: Critical Theory between Past and Future MIT Press, 2006.
  56. ^ Nikolas Kompridis, "Disclosing Possibility: The Past and Future of Critical Theory", International Journal of Philosophical Studies, Volume 13, Issue September 3, 2005 , pages 325 – 351.
  57. ^ Bertrand Russell, Wisdom of the West (New York: Crescent Books, 1989), p. 303.
  58. ^ Jeff Collins, Introducing Heidegger (Thriplow, Cambridge: Icon Books, 1998), p. 7.
  59. ^ Martin Heidegger, Contributions to Philosophy (From Enowning) (Bloomington & Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 1999), p. 307.
  60. ^ Wittgenstein and the Vienna Circle: Conversations Recorded by Friedrich Waismann, Basil Blackwell, Oxford, 1979, p.68
  61. ^ Jeff Collins, Introducing Heidegger (Thriplow, Cambridge: Icon Books, 1998), p. 170.
  62. ^ Emmanuel Levinas, Nine Talmudic Readings (Indiana University Press, 1990), p. xxv, translated by Annette Aronowicz
  63. ^ http://www.theister.com/

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