Martin Heidegger and European Nihilism

Overview

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 ...
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Overview

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.
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Editorial Reviews

Choice

A flurry of books has appeared on Heidegger's seduction by Nazism.... [b]ut Löwith's work has a very special claim, and its publication in English is an event of major significance.... [T]he present volume is unique as an indispensable, insightful, philosophical account of why Heidegger decided for National Socialism. As a devoted student and intimate friend of Heidegger in Freiburg.... Löwith understands Heidegger minutely and sympathetically, and his interpretations of Heidegger's works are wide-ranging and unerring.

Choice

A flurry of books has appeared on Heidegger's seduction by Nazism.... [b]ut Löwith's work has a very special claim, and its publication in English is an event of major significance.... [T]he present volume is unique as an indispensable, insightful, philosophical account of why Heidegger decided for National Socialism. As a devoted student and intimate friend of Heidegger in Freiburg.... Löwith understands Heidegger minutely and sympathetically, and his interpretations of Heidegger's works are wide-ranging and unerring.

Choice
A flurry of books has appeared on Heidegger's seduction by Nazism. . . . [b]ut Löwith's work has a very special claim, and its publication in English is an event of major significance. . . . [T]he present volume is unique as an indispensable, insightful, philosophical account of why Heidegger decided for National Socialism. As a devoted student and intimate friend of Heidegger in Freiburg . . . . Löwith understands Heidegger minutely and sympathetically, and his interpretations of Heidegger's works are wide-ranging and unerring.
Michael E. Zimmerman
Remains one of the most insightful critical commentaries ever composed about this century's leading­­and most disturbing­­philosopher. . . . An important publishing event not only for Heidegger scholars, but for everyone concerned with the fateful entanglement of thought and politics in twentieth-century Germany.
Booknews
Lowith, a former student of Heidegger, examines the relationship between the philosophy and the politics of his celebrated teacher in the English translation of two volumes previously published in 1983 and 1984 by J.B. Metzler Verlag. He analyzes the origins of cultural breakdown in Europe that paved the way for the Third Reich and explains the allure of Nazism for scholars committed to revolutionary nihilism. Includes two letters from Heidegger to Lowith. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

Meet the Author

Karl Lowith (1897-1973) taught philosophy at the University of Marburg until forced out of Germany in 1934.Richard Wolin, professor of modern European intellectual history at Rice University, is the author of many books, including The Politics of Being: The Political Thought of Martin Heidegger (Columbia).

Columbia University Press

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Table of Contents

Translator's Note
Contexts and Controversies: An Introduction 1
Suggestions for Further Reading 27
1 Heidegger: Thinker in a Destitute Time
1 Dasein Resolute Unto Itself, and Being Which Itself Gives 33
2 History, Historicality, and Destining of Being 69
3 The Interpretation of the Unsaid in "Nietzsche's Word 'God Is Dead'" 96
4 On the Critical Appraisal of Heidegger's Influence 128
2 The Occasional Decisionism of Carl Schmitt
The Occasional Decisionism of Carl Schmitt 137
Postscript: On Martin Heidegger's Political Decisionism and Friedrich Gogarten's Theological Decisionism 159
3 European Nihilism: Reflections on the Spiritual and Historical Background of the European War
The Unity of Europe and the Decline of that Unity 173
The End of Ancient Europe 181
European Nihilism 192
Classical German Philosophy and the German Revolution 209
The Political Horizon of Heidegger's Existential Ontology 211
Germany: The Reich of Protest 225
Afterword to the Japanese Reader 228
Two Letters from Martin Heidegger to Karl Lowith 285
Notes: Lowith and Heidegger: An Introduction 245
Notes: Heidegger: Thinker in a Destitute Time 249
Notes: The Occasional Decisionism of Carl Schmitt 271
Notes: European Nihilism: Reflections on the Spiritual and Historical Background of the European War 286
Notes: Two Letters 291
Index 295
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