File spoon-archives/heidegger.archive/heidegger_1998/heidegger.9804, message 36


Subject: RE: Heidegger & Nazism
Date: Sun, 5 Apr 1998 17:43:46 +0100



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Aglio,

Thought might be worth me adding some comments on this. Heidegger and Nazism has been done to death somewhat, and there is a lot of material out there that doesn't really add much to the debate.

Of Heidegger's texts there are a number of political texts gathered in Wolin (ed) The Heidegger Controversy - this also includes several documentary pieces and critical discussions. It's not the greatest of books, but it contains a lot of useful info.

I found the 1934-35 course Holderlins Hymnen 'Germanien' und 'Der Rhein' (Gesamtausgabe Band 39) had a number of comments that related to the political. Several other courses have passing references (Einfuhrung in die Metaphysik, Band 40, has one of the most famous), but one of the issues in Heidegger scholarship is precisely his lack of discussion of the topic.

Of the secondary texts, Hugo Ott, Martin Heidegger: A Political Life (this was originally published in German but I don't know the title); Jacques Derrida, De l'esprit; and Dominique Janicaud, L'ombre de cette pensee are ones I found particularly useful/interesting.

Janicaud seems to me to have the most sensible attitude: rather than dismiss Heidegger as a thinker because of his Nazism, or suggest that the biographical life is detachable from the thought; we must rather confront the political in the thought. The literature on Heidegger and Nazism - a very necessary topic for debate - would be far more interesting if his advice were at least borne in mind.

Best wishes

Stuart Elden
Department of Government
Brunel University, UK

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