Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Heidegger And No End

Heidegger in 1934 with Nazi badge
Following the expert conference on Martin Heidegger last December another symposium took place at Freiburg's university last week. Unfortunately this conference was not open to the public so that Red Baron can only report about what was written in the press.

Apparently this time the oral presentations had more depth of focus. The retired holder of the Heidegger Chair, Professor Günter Figal, called the Black Notebooks Heidegger's ecce homo where the philosopher appears as a person. This makes the Notebooks an incompatible almagamation of resentments and philosophy. As the most infamous example Figal cited Heidegger's remark about his teacher Edmund Husserl: He was, being of Jewish origin, with his empty rationality and calculating behavior (leere Rationalität und Rechenhaftigkeit) incapable of substantial decisions. Again, for Heidegger the universal spiritual enemy of the occidental attitude (abendländische Haltung) is not the Jewish race but the world Jewry. His assumption of the Weltjudentum being active in Christianity, Americanism, liberalism and any type of cultural activity is unbearable. This view of the world continued after 1945 when he criticized the strange being (das fremde Wesen) of the allied victors accusing Americans, Englishmen, and Russians of planetary terror on the world public. Heidegger concluded that against this attitude the massive brutality of the "ahistorical" National Socialism had been pure harmlessness.

At the end of the symposium Professor Markus Gabriel criticized the unchecked wish of scandalization and distortion of Heidegger's philosophy. Gabriel asked as Jürgen Habermas had demanded 50 years ago to think Heidegger against Heidegger for his philosophy is like in the case of other intellectual giants a conglomerate of insight and nonsense. However, nobody should disrespectfully use Heidegger's work as a quarry.

At that point I would have liked to have asked the question: How many of the broken stones are scree and how many may still be used as building blocks?

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