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Reading Heidegger's Black Notebooks 1931-1941$
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Ingo Farin and Jeff Malpas

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780262034012

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262034012.001.0001

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On Relevant Events, Then and Now

On Relevant Events, Then and Now

(p.223) 15 On Relevant Events, Then and Now
Reading Heidegger's Black Notebooks 1931-1941

Tracy B. Strong

The MIT Press

What difference might the political, social and economic contexts in which Heidegger’s Black Notebooks were written make to our understanding of them? Why in particular was Heidegger, even when pressed by friends, unable to find a way to dissociate himself from his choice to side with (at least his version of) National Socialism? Philosophy, for Heidegger, had as its mission to change how one lived, a change that should also happen in the context of a people. (Many others have held this position, including Alexander Hamilton). Heidegger hoped (against all that should have been evidence) to “lead the leaders.” His remarks on “world-historical Judaism” need to be understood in the context of Germany in the thirties and the worries and hopes he has for National Socialism. This in no way excuses them, though it does not make them categorically irrational.

Keywords:   Volk, Leadership, Zionism, the role of the philosopher, the Cave

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