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Martin Heidegger and European Nihilism makes available in English Lowith's major writings concerning the origins of cultural breakdown in Europe that paved the way for the Third Reich. Including incisive discussions of Heidegger and Carl Schmitt, a noted legal theorist of the same period who also supported the Third Reich, Heidegger and European Nihilism helps to illuminate the allure of Nazism for scholars committed to revolutionary nihilism. Lowith's landmark essay on European nihilism is also included in its entirety here, along with two never-before-published letters from Heidegger to Lowith. In a work of impressive historical depth, Lowith traces the abandonment of higher European ideals in favor of a fatal flirtation with nihilism. These essays explore the enthronement of man above God, a trend that had begun to appear in European thought by the mid-nineteenth century in the works of Nietzsche and Marx and one that informed the nihilist philosophies of Heidegger and other theorists of the early twentieth century. An introduction by editor Richard Wolin provides lucid commentary, placing the three essays gathered here in a broad historical context, along with suggestions for further reading. This seminal work of intellectual history sheds light on the fascist impulses of nihilism in the first half of the twentieth century, but also offers unique perspective on the intellectual malaise of today.
Martin Heidegger's ties to Nazism have tarnished his stature as one of the towering figures of twentieth-century philosophy. The publication of the Black Notebooks in 2014, which revealed the full extent of Heidegger's anti-Semitism and enduring sympathy for National Socialism, only inflamed the controversy. Richard Wolin's The Politics of Being: The Political Thought of Martin Heidegger has played a seminal role in the international debate over the consequences of Heidegger's Nazism. In this edition, the author provides a new preface addressing the effect of the Black Notebooks on our understanding of the relationship between politics and philosophy in Heidegger's work. Building on his pathbreaking interpretation of the philosopher's political thought, Wolin demonstrates that philosophy and politics cannot be disentangled in Heidegger's oeuvre. Völkisch ideological themes suffuse even his most sublime philosophical treatises. Therefore, despite Heidegger's profundity as a thinker, his critique of civilization is saturated with disturbing anti-democratic and anti-Semitic leitmotifs and claims.
Heidegger's connection with Nazism is well known and has been exhaustively debated. But we need to understand better why Heidegger believed National Socialism to be the best cure for the ills of modern society. In this book Christopher Rickey examines the internal logic of Heidegger's ideas to explain how they led him to become a powerful critic of liberalism and a Nazi supporter. Key to Rickey's interpretation is the radically antinomian conception of religiosity he finds at the core of Heidegger's challenge to modernity. Heidegger responds to the crisis of modernity with a philosophy attuned to the fundamental need for humans to live with the proper stance toward the divine. Inspired by Lutheran and mystical theology, Heidegger outlines an essentially religious conception of authentic human being. Like his radical Lutheran forerunners, Heidegger politicizes the radical strains of Luther's theology to create a potent revolutionary brew: the revolution of the saints. Rickey traces out the ways in which these currents fundamentally shape Heidegger's thought: the Lutheran background to his critique of modern science and the technological rationality it spawns; his transformation of Aristotle's prudential conception of practical wisdom into the total revelation of being that lays the basis for revolutionary political action; and his mystical and sectarian understanding of authentic community. Rickey shows how this political-theological vision forms the basis of Heidegger's concrete political action, and he concludes with an analysis of the fundamental problems this vision poses to our political thinking today.
This book is a thorough study of Nietzsche’s thoughts on nihilism, the history of the concept, the different ways in which he tries to explain his ideas on nihilism, the way these ideas were received in the 20th century, and, ultimately, what these ideas should mean to us. It begins with an exploration of how we can understand the strange situation that Nietzsche, about 130 years ago, predicted that nihilism would break through one or two centuries from then, and why, despite the philosopher describing it as the greatest catastrophe that could befall humankind, we hardly seem to be aware of it, let alone be frightened by it. The book shows that most of us are still living within the old frameworks of faith, and, therefore, can hardly imagine what it would mean if the idea of God (as the summit and summary of all our epistemic, moral, and esthetic beliefs) would become unbelievable. The comfortable situation in which we live allows us to conceive of such a possibility in a rather harmless way: while distancing ourselves from explicit religiosity, we still maintain the old framework in our scientific and humanistic ideals. This book highlights that contemporary science and humanism are not alternatives to, but rather variations of the old metaphysical and Christian faith. The inconceivability of real nihilism is elaborated by showing that people either do not take it seriously enough to feel its threat, or – when it is considered properly – suffer from the threat, and by this very suffering prove to be attached to the old nihilistic structures. Because of this paradoxical situation, this text suggests that the literary imagination might bring us closer to the experience of nihilism than philosophy ever could. This is further elaborated with the help of a novel by Juli Zeh and a play by Samuel Beckett. In the final chapter of the book, Nietzsche’s life and philosophy are themselves interpreted as a kind of literary metaphorical presentation of the answer to the question of how to live in an age of nihilism.
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Contemporary politics is faced, on the one hand, with political stagnation and lack of a progressive vision on the side of formal, institutional politics, and, on the other, with various social movements that venture to challenge modern understandings of representation, participation,and democracy. Interestingly, both institutional and anti-institutional sides of this antagonism tend to accuse each other of "nihilism", namely, of mere oppositional destructiveness and failure to offer a constructive, positive alternative to the status quo. Nihilism seems, then, all engulfing. In order to better understand this political situation and ourselves within it,The Politics of Nihilism proposes a thorough theoretical examination of the concept of nihilism and its historical development followed by critical studies of Israeli politics and culture. The authors show that, rather than a mark of mutual opposition and despair, nihilism is a fruitful category for tracing and exploring the limits of political critique, rendering them less rigid and opening up a space of potentiality for thought, action, and creation.
This important collection reveals a hitherto neglected aspect of Heidegger’s impact, adding to our knowledge of the interaction between Western philosophy and Russia as well as the often neglected East European milieu.
A daring marriage of philosophy and practical politics, Gianni Vattimo takes on some of the most pressing questions of our time: Is it still possible to talk of moral imperatives, individual rights, or political freedom? Are these values still relevant in today's world? Vattimo argues that nihilism is not the absence of meaning but the recognition of a plurality of meanings; it is not the end of civilization but the beginning of new social paradigms. Nihilism is an ethical doctrine in which there are no moral absolutes or infallible natural laws. "Truth" is inescapably subjective, and, because the conditions for equality and liberty are not "naturally" given, society must create these ideals or it will inevitably fall prey to irrationality, prejudice, and oppression. Featuring fourteen of Vattimo's most influential essays on ethics, politics, and law, this collection is a provocative reevaluation of meaning, values, and the idea of freedom in Western culture.
When Nietzsche announced 'the advent of nihilism' in 1887/88, he argued that he was sketching 'the history of the next two centuries': 'For some time now', he wrote, 'our whole European culture has been moving as toward catastrophe [...]: restlessly, violently, headlong, like a river that want to reach the end, that no longer reflects, that is afraid to reflect.' Can we gain a ground for reflection upon our own condition? Can we heed Nietzsche's warning? Can we respond to the challenge? In this book, eleven newly commissioned essays from leading scholars offer an attempt to grasp Nietzsche's prescience through Heidegger's critique of it; attempting to think through the philosophical consequences of the last century in reading the signs of our own condition. The book also provides and fascinating and unique discussion of some of the lesser-known texts of the later Heidegger.
In the decades since Martin Heidegger's death, many of his early writings--notes and talks, essays and reviews--have made it into print, but in such scattershot fashion and erratic translation as to mitigate their usefulness for understanding the development, direction, and ultimate shape of his work. This timely collection, edited by two preeminent Heidegger scholars, brings together in English translation the most philosophical of Heidegger's earliest occasional writings from 1910 to the end of 1927. These important philosophical documents fill out the context in which the early Heidegger wrote his major works and provide the background against which they appeared. Accompanied by incisive commentary, these pieces from Heidegger's student days, his early Freiburg period, and the time of his Marburg lecture courses will contribute substantially to rethinking the making and meaning of Being and Time. The contents are of a depth and quality that make this volume the collection for those interested in Heidegger's work prior to his masterwork. The book will also serve those concerned with Heidegger's relation to such figures as Aristotle, Dilthey, Husserl, Jaspers, and Löwith, as well as scholars whose interests are more topically centered on questions of history, logic, religion, and truth. Important in their own right, these pieces will also prove particularly useful to students of Heidegger's thought and of twentieth-century philosophy in general.
This volume contains new and original papers on Martin Heidegger's complex relation to Friedrich Nietzsche's philosophy. The authors not only critically discuss the many aspects of Heidegger's reading of Nietzsche, they also interpret Heidegger's thought from a Nietzschean perspective. Here is presented for the first time an overview of not only Heidegger's and Nietzsche's philosophy but also an overview of what is alive - and dead - in their thinking. Many authors through a reading of Heidegger and Nietzsche deal with current issues such as technology, ecology, and politics. This volume is of.
Process approaches to organization studies focus on flow, activities, and evolution, understanding organizations and organizing as processes in the making. They stand in contrast to positivist approaches that see organizations and phenomena as fixed, static, and measurable. Process approaches draw on a range of ideas and philosophies. The Handbook examines 34 philosophers and social theorists, both those commonly linked to process thinking, such as Whitehead, Bergson and James, and those that are not as often addressed from a process perspective such as Dilthey and Tarde. Each chapter addresses the background and context of this thinker, their work (with a focus on the processual elements), and the potential contribution to organization and management research. For students and scholars in the field of Organization Studies this book is an entry point into the work of philosophical thinkers and social theorists for whom the world is far from being a solid place.
The Bloomsbury Companion to Existentialism is the definitive guide to this key area of modern European philosophy. Now available in paperback, the book covers the fundamental questions asked by existentialism, providing valuable guidance for students and researchers to some of the many important and enduring contributions of existentialist thinkers. Chapters from an international team of experts explore existentialism's relationship to philosophical method; ontology; politics; psychoanalysis; ethics; religion; literature; emotion; feminism and sexuality; emotions; authenticity and the self; its significance in Latin American culture; and its contribution to the development of post-structuralism and cognitive science. In addition, five short chapters summarize the status of canonical figures Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Heidegger, Sartre and de Beauvoir, delineating the historical approach to their work, while pointing to new directions contemporary research is now taking. Featuring a series of indispensable research tools such as an A to Z glossary, a timeline of key events, texts and thinkers in existentialism, a list of resources, and an annotated guide to further reading, this Companion is an essential resource to help the new reader navigate through the heart of Existentialism and modern European philosophy.
The question of being was integral to the philosophy of Martin Heidegger (1889-1976) and was a large factor in the development of his political and aesthetic thought. In Heidegger and the Question of National Socialism, Bernhard Radloff investigates the philosophical foundations and cultural context of Heidegger's conception of being, focusing on the idea of gestalt as the guiding thread that determined German conservative thought throughout the 1930s. In doing so, Heidegger's philosophy is related to the whole of German society at the time, a society in which gestalt was the guiding light and the ultimate aspiration of artists, technicians, and politicians. Throughout the book, Heidegger's own understanding of gestalt is used as a window to his thoughts on being, which is conceived of as incorporated, finite, and historically situated in beings. Concentrating on the years between 1933 and 1942, Radloff seeks to capture the response of Heidegger's philosophy to National Socialism, examining key works and relating them to the literature of the German conservative revolution. Heidegger and the Question of National Socialism is, therefore a thorough treatment of his political philosophy as it relates to the question of being. Adopting both a historical and phenomenological approach to the subject, this book is equally an examination of German conservative ideology, a critique of technological determinism, and a study of one of the most controversial philosophers of twentieth century.
Martin Heidegger is one of the greatest conundrums in the philosophical world, alternately incredibly inspiring and mind-bogglingly frustrating. S. J. McGrath acknowledges the impossibility of trying to encapsulate Heidegger in a nutshell, and refuses to present him here in summary, thereby absolving the audience of the task of reading the philosopher. Instead, this introduction is truly that -- leading readers to Heidegger where they can then begin or continue their own relationship with him. McGrath deals extensively with Heidegger's excursion into ontology, for which he is most famous, having single-handedly resurrected the study in the twentieth century. A chapter is also devoted to Heidegger's phenomenology, including an examination of his best-known work, Being and Time. No book on Heidegger would be complete without a discussion of his life as a Nazi, and McGrath does not shirk that duty, offering a chapter on the philosopher's politics. His ethics and theology are also enthusiastically tackled, giving this deceptively small book a very wide range. McGrath writes, “If in this book I take the trouble to point out something essentially wrong with Heidegger's philosophy, it is only because there is so much that is right about it.” Nonetheless, the book closes with a thoughtful explanation of why McGrath himself, though an admirer, is not a Heideggerian.
This book explores the alternative futures of political community and moves beyond the critique of what is wrong with existing, state-based forms of political community. It does so not with the defence of a particular normative model of political community in mind, but rather in the quest for new ways of thinking about political community itself. Exploring how the political must be rethought in the twenty-first century and beyond, this book is divided into three parts: Part I focuses on the core problem that, despite the obvious need to rethink political community ‘beyond’ the nation state, our conceptual language is still thoroughly shaped by modernity, its prioritisation of the state and sovereignty, and its assumption of unifying progress in history. Part II focuses on postmodern political community, these chapters take up the calls made above for new thinking about political community that goes ‘beyond’ modern conceptions. Part III turns to the question of the emergence and decline of new forms of political community. The purpose of this section is to consider how the transformation of political community occurs in practice, and what the primary driver of this change is globally, locally and historically. This book will be of strong interest to students and scholars of International Relations, Political and Social Theory.
In Basic Concepts, Heidegger claims that "Being is the most worn-out" and yet also that Being "remains constantly available." Santiago Zabala radicalizes the consequences of these little known but significant affirmations. Revisiting the work of Jacques Derrida, Reiner Schürmann, Jean-Luc Nancy, Hans-Georg Gadamer, Ernst Tugendhat, and Gianni Vattimo, he finds these remains of Being within which ontological thought can still operate. Being is an event, Zabala argues, a kind of generosity and gift that generates astonishment in those who experience it. This sense of wonder has fueled questions of meaning for centuries-from Plato to the present day. Postmetaphysical accounts of Being, as exemplified by the thinkers of Zabala's analysis, as well as by Nietzsche, Dewey, and others he encounters, don't abandon Being. Rather, they reject rigid, determined modes of essentialist thought in favor of more fluid, malleable, and adaptable conceptions, redefining the pursuit and meaning of philosophy itself.
François Hartog explores crucial moments of change in society's "regimes of historicity," or its ways of relating to the past, present, and future. Inspired by Hannah Arendt, Reinhart Koselleck, and Paul Ricoeur, Hartog analyzes a broad range of texts, positioning The Odyssey as a work on the threshold of historical consciousness and contrasting it with an investigation of the anthropologist Marshall Sahlins's concept of "heroic history." He tracks changing perspectives on time in Chateaubriand's Historical Essay and Travels in America and sets them alongside other writings from the French Revolution. He revisits the insights of the French Annales School and situates Pierre Nora's Realms of Memory within a history of heritage and today's presentism, from which he addresses Jonas's notion of our responsibility for the future. Our presentist present is by no means uniform or clear-cut, and it is experienced very differently depending on the position we occupy in society. We are caught up in global movement and accelerated flows, or else condemned to the life of casual workers, living from hand to mouth in a stagnant present, with no recognized past, and no real future either (since the temporality of plans and projects is inaccessible). The present is therefore experienced as emancipation or enclosure, and the perspective of the future is no longer reassuring, since it is perceived not as a promise, but as a threat. Hartog's resonant readings show us how the motor of history(-writing) has stalled and help us understand the contradictory qualities of our contemporary presentist relation to time.
“A sprawling analysis of religion in major psychological and philosophical literature, fiction and in private life . . . compelling and remarkable.”—Publishers Weekly “Unlike Freud, I do not claim that religion is just an illusion and a source of neurosis. The time has come to recognize, without being afraid of ‘frightening’ either the faithful or the agnostics, that the history of Christianity prepared the world for humanism.” So writes Julia Kristeva in this provocative work, which skillfully upends our entrenched ideas about religion, belief, and the thought and work of a renowned psychoanalyst and critic. With dialogue and essay, Kristeva analyzes our “incredible need to believe”—the inexorable push toward faith that, for Kristeva, lies at the heart of the psyche and the history of society. Examining the lives, theories, and convictions of Saint Teresa of Avila, Sigmund Freud, Donald Winnicott, Hannah Arendt, and other individuals, she investigates the intersection between the desire for God and the shadowy zone in which belief resides. Kristeva suggests that human beings are formed by their need to believe, beginning with our first attempts at speech and following through to our adolescent search for identity and meaning. Kristeva then applies her insight to contemporary religious clashes and the plight of immigrant populations. Even if we no longer have faith in God, Kristeva argues, we must believe in human destiny and creative possibility. Reclaiming Christianity’s openness to self-questioning and the search for knowledge, Kristeva urges a “new kind of politics,” one that restores the integrity of the human community. “A helpful commentary and introduction to Kristeva’s major work over the last two decades.”—Choice

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