Heidegger: The Introduction of Nazism into Philosophy in Light of the Unpublished Seminars of 1933-1935

Overview

In the most comprehensive examination to date of Heidegger’s Nazism, Emmanuel Faye draws on previously unavailable materials to paint a damning picture of Nazism’s influence on the philosopher’s thought and politics.

In this provocative book, Faye uses excerpts from unpublished seminars to show that Heidegger’s philosophical writings are fatally compromised by an adherence to National Socialist ideas. In other documents, Faye finds expressions ...

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Overview

In the most comprehensive examination to date of Heidegger’s Nazism, Emmanuel Faye draws on previously unavailable materials to paint a damning picture of Nazism’s influence on the philosopher’s thought and politics.

In this provocative book, Faye uses excerpts from unpublished seminars to show that Heidegger’s philosophical writings are fatally compromised by an adherence to National Socialist ideas. In other documents, Faye finds expressions of racism and exterminatory anti-Semitism.

Faye disputes the view of Heidegger as a naïve, temporarily disoriented academician and instead shows him to have been a self-appointed “spiritual guide” for Nazism whose intentionality was clear. Contrary to what some have written, Heidegger’s Nazism became even more radical after 1935, as Faye demonstrates. He revisits Heidegger’s masterwork, Being and Time, and concludes that in it Heidegger does not present a philosophy of individual existence but rather a doctrine of radical self-sacrifice, where individualization is allowed only for the purpose of heroism in warfare. Faye’s book was highly controversial when originally published in France in 2005. Now available in Michael B. Smith’s fluid English translation, it is bound to awaken controversy in the English-speaking world.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Faye (philosophy, Univ. Paris Ouest-Nanterre La Défense) provides a well-argued and accessible case—first published in France in 2005—for holding Martin Heidegger (1889–1976) morally responsible for inculcating mid-20th-century European intellectual reason with a virulent strain of fascist irrationality. This fascistic embrace flourished most during 1933–35, and Faye shows how, in spite of stepping down as rector from his university, Heidegger continued to wield and even build popular influence during this era. Relying on a careful reading of the unpublished seminars and the available "complete" works Heidegger's supporters have brought to market, as well as a sound and thorough understanding of the political intricacies of the war period and postwar intellectual allegiances, Faye provides other scholars and general, informed readers with insights on how a reputation was built, the damage it did to others, and how to see it more clearly in our own period. VERDICT This first French study to make such an argument based on an examination of all of Heidegger's work is vastly important to world philosophy. With accessible writing, this is wonderfully recommended for all readers interested in 20th-century continental philosophy.—Francisca Goldsmith, Halifax P.L., N.S.
ForeWord Magazine

Bronze medal winner of the 2009 Book of the Year Award in the Philosophy category, presented by ForeWord magazine

— Book of the Year Award

Elie Wiesel

“Is it possible for a great philosopher to become a devoted Nazi? In his absorbing and challenging study Emmanuel Faye grasps the complexity of Martin Heidegger the man and the magnitude of his achievement."—Elie Wiesel

Richard Wolin

“Faye’s reading of Heidegger’s philosophy is quite simply transformative. Through a meticulous perusal of new sources—letters, heretofore unpublished seminars and lecture courses—he demonstrates that, during the 1920s and 1930s, right-wing ideological concerns were absolutely central to Heidegger’s Existenzphilosophie. Upon completing Faye’s study, it will be impossible to read Heidegger again naively, i.e., in a narrowly text-immanent manner.” — Richard Wolin, author of Heidegger’s Children and Distinguished Professor of History and Political Science, CUNY Graduate Center
Robert E. Norton

"Emmanuel Faye incontestably shows that Heidegger’s Nazism was not fleeting, casual or accidental, but central to his philosophical enterprise. Faye’s book challenges us to draw the ethical consequences from this fact." — Robert E. Norton, University of Notre Dame
Robin Celikates

“The book is not a pamphlet but the outcome of several years of extensive and serious research. […] Faye has unquestionably succeeded in collecting and laying out for the reader the documents of Heidegger’s deep involvement with National Socialism.”—Robin Celikates, H-Net Reviews in the Humanities & Social Sciences

Herman Philipse

"All scholars and admirers of Martin Heidegger’s œuvre should read the voluminous book on Heidegger’s infusion of Nazism into philosophy published by Emmanuel Faye. Having studied this tome, even French Heideggerians will no longer be able to deny the embarrassing depth and persistence of Heidegger’s philosophical involvment with Hitler’s National Socialism."—Herman Philipse, Dialogue, Canadian Philosophical Review

ForeWord Magazine - Book of the Year Award

Bronze medal winner of the 2009 Book of the Year Award in the Philosophy category, presented by ForeWord magazine

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780300172072
  • Publisher: Yale University Press
  • Publication date: 5/31/2011
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 464
  • Sales rank: 1,014,908
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Emmanuel Faye is associate professor at the University Paris Ouest–Nanterre La Défense and an authority on Descartes. Michael B. Smith is professor emeritus of French and philosophy at Berry College and the translator of numerous philosophical works into English.

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Table of Contents

Foreword to the English Edition Tom Rockmore vii

Preface xxiii

Acknowledgments xxvii

Introduction 1

1 Before 1933: Heidegger's Radicalism, the Destruction of the Philosophical Tradition, and the Call to Nazism 8

2 Heidegger, the "Bringing into Line," and the New Student Law 39

3 Work Camps, the Health of the People, and the Hard Race in the Lectures and Speeches of 1933-1934 59

4 The Courses of 1933-1935: From the Question of Man to the Affirmation of the People and the German Race 87

5 Heidegger's Hitlerism in the Seminar On the Essence and Concepts of Nature, History, and State 113

6 Heidegger, Carl Schmitt, and Alfred Baeumler: The Struggle Against the Enemy and His Extermination 151

7 Law and Race: Erik Wolf Between Heidegger, Schmitt, and Rosenberg 173

8 Heidegger and the Longevity of the Nazi State in the Unpublished Seminar on Hegel and the State 203

9 From the Justification of Racial Selection to the Ontological Negationism of the Bremen Lectures 243

Conclusion 316

Appendix A The Political Trustworthiness of the Parteigenosse Heidegger According to the Secret Reports of the SD 325

Appendix B Excerpt from Heidegger's Rectorship Address, Published Alongside the Anti-Semitic Theses of the Deutsche Studentenschaft in 1938 by Ernst Forsthoff 331

Notes 335

Bibliography 411

Index 431

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 1 of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    the work on Heidegger that had been waited so much

    With an strict use of the original documents and in the original language, Mr. Faye reveals with total clarity the stupidity of a "Philosophy" that rennounces to the universal in Philosophy and defends the regional, what Heidegger, following the Nazi ideology, names "Blood and Soil".
    The reader will find here astonishing letters and texts of Heidegger that definitivly reveal what was realy in his mind, under that cryptic language that de Nazi philosopher used to have.
    The book also takes it's focus on some other Nazi philosophers like Clauss or Rothacker, Schmitt or Jünger.

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