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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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Thinking the Oblivion of Thinking: The Unfolding of Machenschaft and Rechnung in the Time of the Black Notebooks

Thinking the Oblivion of Thinking: The Unfolding of Machenschaft and Rechnung in the Time of the Black Notebooks

Chapter:
(p.269) 18 Thinking the Oblivion of Thinking: The Unfolding of Machenschaft and Rechnung in the Time of the Black Notebooks
Source:
Reading Heidegger's Black Notebooks 1931-1941
Author(s):

Nancy A. Weston

Publisher:
The MIT Press
DOI:10.7551/mitpress/9780262034012.003.0018

The newly-available notebooks kept by Heidegger in the 1930s reveal a sustained effort to comprehend the ground, essence, and provenance of the events of that catastrophic decade, bringing sobering implications for our own times. Drawn by those events to attend ever more acutely to the peculiar cogency and ubiquity of our distinctive late-modern way of thinking — here named Machenschaft and Rechnung, later seen in the workings of the Will to Power and as the essence of Technik — Heidegger finds in the sweep and dominance of calculative-instrumental thinking the consummation of Western metaphysics, and in its totalizing sway the sending-withdrawal of Being. In its exhaustive prevalence, giving us our understanding of beings and giving us over into our constantly exploitative relations with them, the self-perpetuating drive to efficiency and expediency overtakes all possibility of truth and right — now subsumed, as all else, to the demands of power and production. Its thoroughgoing ascendancy constitutes the quietly pervasive horror of our times, giving more conspicuous and notorious horrors their essence, nourishment, and driving rationale. Following Heidegger’s growing insight here as it unfolds, we encounter profoundly disquieting implications for today, when that drive prevails all the more thoroughly, imperceptibly, and thus insidiously.

Keywords:   Black Notebooks, Will to Power, Metaphysics, Technik, Modernity, instrumental thinking, Nazism, National Socialism, Nihilism

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