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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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Philosophy, Science, and Politics in the Black Notebooks

Philosophy, Science, and Politics in the Black Notebooks

(p.253) 17 Philosophy, Science, and Politics in the Black Notebooks
Reading Heidegger's Black Notebooks 1931-1941

Andrew Bowie

The MIT Press

The Black Notebooks were written for publication. They need, however, to be read in the context of their writing. A careful reading shows that events of the first third of the twentieth century do not make it irrational to think that there was something like a ‘world-historical Judaism’, although Heidegger shows no sign of complexity here. If Heidegger’s thought opens a path to the choices he made (to join the Party, to actively urge support for the regime), what did he understand to be down that path, and what permitted him to think that National Socialism was along that path? The Notebooks thus raise the following questions for us: (1) What are the uses and abuses of the idea of a “people”? (2) Is the conception of a people essentialist? If so, what does one make of that? (3) Is Heidegger’s conception of Geschick essentialist? If so, what do we make of it? If not, what is it? (4) What is the proper relation of philosophical thought to its actualization? The Black Notebooks, contrary to what many have said, leave me with more to do, as they should for us all.

Keywords:   Judaism, Zionism, a “people” (Volk), historical destiny, philosophy, life

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