Heidegger & the Political: Dystopias

Heidegger & the Political: Dystopias

Heidegger & the Political: Dystopias

Heidegger & the Political: Dystopias

Synopsis

Recent studies of Heidegger's involvement with National Socialism have often presented Heidegger's philosophy as a forerunner to his political involvement. This has occured often to the detriment of the highly complex nature of Heidegger's relation to the political. Heidegger and the Political redresses this imbalance and is one of the first books to critically assess Heidegger's relation to politics and his conception of the political.Miguel de Beistegui shows how we must question why the political is so often displaced in Heidegger's writings rather than read the political into Heidegger. Exploring Heidegger's ontology where politics takes place after a forgetting of Being and his wish to think a site more originary and primordial than politics, Heidegger and the Political considers what some of Heidegger's key motifs - his emphasis on lost origins, his discussions of Holderlin's poetry, his writing on technology and the ancient Greek polis - may tell us about Heidegger's relation to the political. Miguel de Beistegui also engages with the very risks implicit in Heidegger's denial of the political and how this opens up the question of the risk of thinking itself. Heidegger and the Political is essential reading for students of philosophy and politics and all those interested in the question of the political today.

Excerpt

There will come a day, perhaps, when philosophers will no longer feel the need to write about Heidegger’s politics. There will come a day when, everything said and done, every single aspect of Heidegger’s life, every single detail of his work having come under the inquisitive and scrupulous gaze of those doctors with an eye for Heidegger-the-Nazi, the age of a freer and more fruitful relation to the Heideggerian heritage will finally emerge. in the meantime, everything happens as if the deluge of monographs devoted to a (more or less sincere) understanding of Heidegger’s relation to Nazism and to politics were not about to come to an end. Given the popularity of the topic in academia, one might even wonder whether there is a better way of securing for oneself access to the temple of academic respectability than through writing a book with “Heidegger” and “politics” on the cover. This inflation is certainly largely due to the fact that, for too long, and under the influence of many “Heideggerians,” most commentators remained remarkably silent on this issue. After this all too suspicious silence came the no less suspicious cacophony which today surrounds us, and in the midst of which the average reader finds himself or herself utterly bewildered, wanting to flee the Heideggerian premises at once, if not to sacrifice the Gesamtausgabe to the altar of Western good conscience.

Why, then, a further book on Heidegger’s relation to National Socialism?

Is it to throw yet another stone at his corpus, another way to make sure that he will remain forever buried? Or is it to keep his memory alive, to bring yet another stone, yet another inscription to his mausoleum? Or is it a matter of yet a third? a matter of keeping the matter of thinking alive, simply by reading Heidegger? and why read, if not because Heidegger’s text calls for thinking, provokes thinking, begs and cries out for thinking? So, in a way, yes, it will be a matter of salvaging Heidegger, his texts, that is, a matter of not letting the closure of thinking silently

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