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).
But what are people saying? Not that, you know, the concept of “being-in-the-world” is antisemitic or genocidal. But that Heidegger was a Nazi, and that it makes an imprint on his thinking. While I haven’t read the seminars Zizek references here (I’m not even sure they’re available in English), he quotes passages that are pretty explicitly anti-democratic and anti-egalitarian and that tie this into ontological dimensions of his thought. Heidegger suggests that rank and dominance as organizing principles of community carry with them a sort of ontological necessity that finds its full actualization in the Fuehrer-State.
Nobody is arguing that Heidegger isn’t important or that phenomenology as such is intrinsically fascistic. But there are problems with Heidegger’s thought that we need to be cognizant of.
Agreed. As I’ve stated elsewhere in these responses, there are definitely ties between Heidegger’s philosophy and his politics (sometimes explicit ones, sometimes not). I mean, look at his school addresses that came out right after he joined the Nazi party. And then there’s how he sold out people like Husserl, even though he was his mentor. There’s shit-tons of problems is H’s philosophy, and agreed, they should be brought to light (especially given H.’s love of such metaphors, this seems appropriate).
This whole thing is a response to the spirit of what whatiremembered said: that there was something wholly inadequate with the original post, and that it should be fleshed out a bit more.
The simple blanket statement “No it’s not. Heidegger is genocidal.” is really bad, especially coming from someone that’s usually a lot more nuanced than that. And that’s what I’m so against here. Maybe I’m just more cranky right now than I should be. I did just return to work from vacation, so that may be part of it. Who knows.