Books about Heidegger and politics

German Existentialism. Martin Heidegger, translated by Dagobert D. Runes, New York, Philosophical Library, 1965.

Most of the pieces in this book are short newspaper accounts of Heidegger's activities as rector in 1933. A few of them are by Heidegger himself, but as printed in newspapers.

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Heidegger and Nazism. Victor Farias, edited, with a Foreword, by Joseph Margolis and Tom Rockmore, translated from the French by Paul Burrell, German material translated by Gabriel R. Ricci, Philadelphia, Temple University Press, 1987.

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Heidegger and The Holocaust. Edited by Alan Milchman and Alan Rosenberg, New Jersey, Humanities Press, 1996.
Contains:

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Heidegger and The Ideology of War. Domenico Losurdo, translated by Marella and Jon Morris, Amherst, NY, Humanity Press, 2001.

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Heidegger and "The Jews". Jean Francois Lyotard, translated by Andreas Michel and Mark S. Roberts, Minneapolis, University of Minnesota Press, 1990.

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Heidegger and the Nazis. Jeff Collins, New York, Totem Books, 2000.

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Heidegger, Art and Politics. Philippe Lacoue-Labarthe, translated by Chris Turner, Oxford, Basil Blackwell, 1990.

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The Heidegger Case On Philosophy and Politics. Edited by Tom Rockmore and Joseph Margolis, Philadelphia, Temple University Press, 1992.
Contains:

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The Heidegger Controversy. Edited by Richard Wolin, Cambridge, The MIT Press, 1993.
Contains:

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Heidegger, Philosophy, Nazism. Julian Young, Cambridge, U.K., Cambridge University Press, 1997.
'Since 1945, and particularly since the facts of the "Heidegger case" became known in 1987, an enormous number of words have been devoted to establishing, not only Heidegger's involvement with Nazism, but also that his philosophy is irredeemably discredited thereby. This book, while not denying the depth or seriousness of Heidegger's political involvement (on the contrary, new aspects of it are disclosed), challenges this tide of opinion, arguing that the philosophy itself is not compromised in any of its phases, and that acceptance of it is fully consistent with a deep commitment to liberal democracy.'

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Heidegger's Being and Time and the Possibility of Political Philosophy. Mark Blitz, Ithaca, Cornell University Press, 1981.

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Heidegger's Children. Richard Wolin, Princeton University Press, 2001.

Review: First Things Mark Blitz
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Heidegger's Confrontation with Modernity. Michael E. Zimmerman, Bloomington, Indiana University Press, 1990.

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Heidegger's Crisis, Philosophy and Politics in Nazi Germany. Hans Sluga, Cambridge, Mass., Harvard University Press, 1993.

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Heidegger's Polemos. Gregory Fried, New Haven, Yale University Press, 2000.

In this book polemos, via Heidegger's interpretation of Heraclitus, is understood as confrontation, and as such, as something necessary to useful questioning and thus philosophy. Here, discussing the revolutionary nature of history, as a helix circling and progressing, polemos is linked to Ereignis.

[W]hat Dasein has become accustomed to is not a realm of being but a mode of interpreting Being as a being, thereby lapsing into nihilism and the oblivion of Being. Moreover, the revolution is not an act accomplished by the will of the human subject or exercised as a dominion over history. The revolution occurs in the appropriating event of the turning between Dasein and Being: "The other inception demands the leap into the gaping middle of the turning of the appropriating event, in order to prepare the There in respect to its grounding--knowingly, questioningly, and in the style of preparation". The Ereignis "founds" the belonging-together of Dasein and Being; it "appropriates" them to one annother in the Kehre as a polemos that grants both Being and Dasein a meaningful history open to interpretative confrontation.

P. 132

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Heidegger's Political Thinking. James F. Ward, Amherst, University of Massachusetts Press, 1995.

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Heidegger's Silence. Berel Lang, Ithaca, Cornell University Press, 1996.

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Heidegger. Emmanuel Faye, New Haven, Yale University Press, 2009.

Reviews: Peter E. Gordon Robin Celikates Steven B. Smith Patricia Cohen Carlin Romano Adam Kirsch Tim Black Michael Maidan
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Martin Heidegger: A Political Life. Hugo Ott, translated by Allen Blunden, New York, Basic Books, 1993.

Reviews: Peter J. Leithart J.P. Stern
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Martin Heidegger and National Socialism: Questions and Answers. Edited by Gunther Neske and Emil Kettering. Translated by Lisa Harries, New York, Paragon House, 1990.
Contains:

Martin Heidegger in Conversation was also translated by B. Srinivasa Murthy and published by Arnold-Heinemann Publishers, India, in 1977.

In The Rectorate, written shortly after the war, Heidegger explains his motives and perspective on his time as Rector and his Rectorial Address. In particular he explains his interpretation of Heraclitus, fragment 53.

The attitude of reflection and questioning is oriented toward "battle." But what does battle mean in the address? If what is essential in this reflection returns to the Greek ἐπιστήμη and that means to ἀλήθεια, then one may conjecture that the essence of battle is also not conceived arbitrarily. Battle is thought in the sense of Heraclitus, fragment 53. But to understand this often-cited and equally often misunderstood saying, two things should first be taken into consideration, as I have said often enough in my lectures and seminars:

1. The word πόλεμος, with which the fragment begins, does not mean "war" but what is meant by the word επισ, which Heraclitus uses in the same sense. But that means "strife"--not strife as discord and squabbling and mere disagreement and certainly not as the use of violence and beating down the opponent but as confrontation in which the essence of those who confront one another exposes itself to the other and thus shows itself and comes to appearance, and that means in a Greek way: into what is unconcealed and true. Because battle is reciprocal recognition that exposes itself to what is essential, the address, which orients this questioning and reflecting toward "battle," continually speaks of "being exposed." That what is said here lies in the direction of the Heraclitan saying is very clearly shown by the saying itself. One must only take a second point into consideration.

2. Not only must we not think πόλεμος as war and, furthermore, not use the supposedly Heraclitean proposition "War is the father of all things" to proclaim war and combat as the highest principle of all being and to philosophically justify the warlike. Above all and at the same time, we must take into consideration what Heraclicus' saying--cited in the usual manner--falsifies everything, because saying in its entirety is thus suppressed and with it what is essential. The complete saying goes: "Although confrontation sows all things, it is also (and above all) of all things that which is highest that which preserves, and this is because it lets some show themselves as gods, the others, however, as humans, because it lets some step into the open as bondsmen, but the others as free beings."

The essence of πόλεμος lie in δεικνύναι, to show, and in ποιεῖυ, to produce [her-stellen], as the Greeks say, make-it-stand-out [hervorstellen] in open view. This is the essence of battle as it is philosophically thought, and what is said in the address is only thought philosophically.

P. 20-21

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On Heidegger's Nazism and Philosophy. Tom Rockmore, Berkeley, University of California, Press, 1992.

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The Politics of Being. Richard Wolin, New York, Columbia University Press, 1990.

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The Shadow of That Thought. Dominique Janicaud, translated by Michael Gendre, Evanston, Northwestern University Press, 1996.

A good recap of how l'affaire Heidegger played out in France, the major players, and their positions, along with incisive commentary. Well written and well translated.

In reviewing Lacoue-Labarthe's contribution, Janicaud points to Ereignis:

In front of the Holocaust itself, do moral condemnations suffice? Heidegger's silence only repeats and emphasizes the unthinkable character of that "event," infernal and irrecoverable Ereignis.

P. 90

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Timely Meditations. Leslie Paul Thiele, Princeton, Princeton Unversity Press, 1995.

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Created 1995/5/26
Last updated 2014/6/18
Pete