I'm a philosophy student that tends to post about really serious things unseriously and about really unserious things seriously.
I was once described as a "beautiful, intelligent iguana".
I can’t even begin to explain how problematic this is in 250 characters, but suffice to say this is an injustice and misunderstanding of Heidegger’s thought.
No its not.
Heideger is genocidal.
Guh, why’d I come into tumblr just to see Heidegger being treated so badly?
Seriously, he was a Nazi. We get it. No one’s really shown adequately, from what I’ve been able to see, how his Nazi membership was tied fundamentally to his philosophy. And not just the rectoral address from then either (that’s obviously Nazi propaganda, but who seriously denies that?). What’s particularly genocidal about Being & Time? What’s fascist about his essay on animals? Is his fourfold really just some sort of pun on Fuhrer?
None of this makes any sense. If he has fundamental Nazi ties, show it. The usefulness and greatness of a thinker extends beyond their lifetime, even during their lifetime. Isn’t this the whole point of the ‘Death of the Author’ type stuff? If they author’s dead, then we can mine the points of their thinking that are useful, and divorce it from whatever overt themes it had in their life. Sure, Heidegger was a Nazi, but there’s nothing about the fundamental insight that being in never fully present that necessarily leads to Nazism (though he did tie the two together in some of his works, no doubt; I just mean it’s not a necessary, structural tying-together).
I’m going to be lazy and type up a a quote from, surprise surprise, Bourdieu on this issue. Either way I would have been making a hash repeat of it anyway though there is also a book I think called quite simply “Heidegger and Nazism” that adds more to some of what Bourdieu outlined (particularly given Bourdieu wrote his work BEFORE the Heidegger controversy rocked France and all the other various contributions to the issue).
“[C]ontrary to one widely-held view of sociology, it was a reading of the work itself, with its dual meanings and covert undertones, that revealed some of the most unexpected political implications of Heidegger’s philosophy, at a time when they were not recognized by historians: its condemnation of the Welfare State, hidden deep inside a theory of temporality; its anti-semitism, sublimated as a condemnation of rootlessness [‘errance’]; its refusal to disavow the commitment to Nazism, evident in the tortuous allusions which punctuate Heidegger’s dialogue with Junger; its ultra-revolutionary conservatism, which inspired not only philosophical strategies of radical overcoming but also, as Hugo Ott has shown, the disappointed philosopher’s break with the Hitler regime, when it failed to reward his revolutionary aspirations to the vocation of philosophical Fuhrer.”
Of course his philosophy cannot be wholly reduced to his political position and it does address issues within philosophy. What there is though is a match between the political positions and the dualisms of revolutionary conservatism with the ‘legitimised’ philosophical discourse of Heidegger. However, I don’t think anyone here is saying that his Nazism completely dismisses all he wrote - in opposition though to ‘the death of the author’ approach it is only through the rejection of a ‘pure’ reading of Heidegger (which does not mean returning to trying to decipher the author’s supposed intentions but to move beyond the internal / external opposition of reading) that this can be brought to the surface and dealt with.
I’m just going to be somewhat brief here. I agree that there probably is philosophical ties between H. and his Nazism (I think Zizek does a good job of showing this in Defense of Lost Causes, personally, but of also complicating the whole issue because he’s an asshole like that). I need to read up more on the whole tie between H.’s (I’m really tired of typing his name today, obviously) Nazism and his philosophy - though from what I have read so far, I haven’t seen many people show a very thorough connection between the two. I could be proven wrong though.
I’m just against this whole “Heidegger was a nazi, and nazi’s are bad, therefore Heidegger is bad” type of logic I’m seeing all over my dashboard right now. Like, at least have the ability to say “I don’t really like H. because his Nazi connections have always made me suspicious, but I know to it than that. I’m just not really concerned with going further into it than that.” That statement alone would have made me happy with the treatment of Heidegger on here. It’s just all….more complicated than people are making it out on here, as is usually the case with anything (not just on here).
tl;dr: I agree with you in terms of content, I’m just against some of the forms of argumentation that have been taken on on here.