Heidegger's Crisis: Philosophy and Politics in Nazi Germany
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Heidegger's Crisis shows not only how the Nazis exploited philosophical ideas and used philosophers to gain public acceptance, but also how German philosophers played into the hands of the Nazis. Hans Sluga describes the growth, from World War I onward, of a powerful right-wing movement in German philosophy, in which nationalistic, antisemitic, and antidemocratic ideas flourished.
aftermath. The exposition is systematically held together by the assumption that the philosophers I discuss negotiated their political engagement by means of a quadrilateral of concepts. In the first chapter I argue that the notions of crisis, nation, leadership, and order had the peculiar quality of being at once philosophical and political concepts and could thus serve to bridge the gap between discourse and action. Though it is not difficult to see that these four notions have a political
notion of crisis must be of limited political and philosophical concern. In reality, however, the experience gains political and philosophical significance precisely because of its indeterminacy. Politics is a field in which indeterminate notions play a crucial role. Politics operates freely with symbols, devices and concepts open to multiple readings. Flags and emblems, gestures and rituals, persons and offices, architectural and verbal devices, can all serve such symbolic functions in the
separated the educated from the workers, and thereby made possible the rise of Marxist materialism. Idealism and materialism were nothing but estranged brothers born of the same age. Krieck was convinced that the events of August 1914 signaled the moment when all the established divisions between the German people had fallen away and when the folkish realism first manifested itself. Though Heidegger stayed away from such polemical denunciations of the idealist tradition and even adopted
irreconcilable with the Nazi worldview." The partiality with which he selected his material in 1935 from the often glittering, ambiguous, and contradictory remarks of Nietzsche's writings might certainly make one suspect that he was motivated by other than philosophical considerations. Is it possible that he wrote his book only to help the Nietzsche archives and to assure the continuing support of the government? It seems plausible to assume that Oehler's motivations were not entirely unselfish,
finding themselves in a [To view this image, refer to the print version of this title.]