Putting Heidegger in the library’s grave of discarded lies

Monday’s New York Times has an interesting article about the forthcoming English edition of Emmanuel Faye’s book Heidegger: The Introduction of Nazism into Philosophy in Light of the Unpublished Seminars of 1933-1935.  In brief, Faye argues that Heidegger’s pro-Nazi views were not incidental, but were at the core of his life’s work. Accordingly, suggests Faye, libraries should remove Heidegger books from the “Philosophy” section, and place them in the “History of Nazism” section. From what I know of Heidegger (he’s discussed in my forthcoming book Aiming for Liberty) his intellectual influence on the 20th century was highly pernicious. Heidegger, like Hitler, wrote books addressing the question of what it means to be a “German,” and came to similar conclusions. Both writers were verbose; Heidegger was superior in the fabrication of elaborate philosophical constructs, while inferior to his hero is writing comphrensibly. Given Heidegger’s own dedication to Hitlerism, it seems that Heidegger himself might have considered it appropriate for his books to be shelved next to Mein Kampf.

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