For Work / Against Work
Debates on the centrality of work

The Heidegger controversy: A critical reader

by Heidegger, Martin; Wolin, Richard (1992)


This anthology is a significant contribution to the debate over the relevance of Martin Heidegger's Nazi ties to the interpretation and evaluation of his philosophical work. Included are a selection of basic documents by Heidegger, essays and letters by Heidegger's colleagues that offer contemporary context and testimony, and interpretive evaluations by Heidegger's heirs and critics in France and Germany.In his new introduction, "Note on a Missing Text," Richard Wolin uses the absence from this edition of an interview with Jacques Derrida as a springboard for examining questions about the nature of authorship and personal responsibility that are at the heart of the book.Richard Wolin is Professor of Modern European Intellectual History and Humanities at Rice University. He is the author of Walter Benjamin, The Politics of Being: The Political Thought of Martin Heidegger, and The Terms of Cultural Criticism: The Frankfurt School, Existentialism and Poststructuralism.

Key Passage

In his lectures of the late 1930s, Heidegger would critically distance himself from Nietzsche's metaphysics. In the early 1930s, however, his relation to Nietzsche was far from critical. Instead, at this time, he clearly viewed the historical potentials of the Nazi movement-its "inner truth and greatness," as he would remark in An Introduction to Metaphysics (1935)- in a manner consistent with the doctrines of Nietzsche and junger; that is, as a  resurgence of a  new heroic ethos, a "will to power," that would place Germany in the forefront of a  movement directed toward the "self-overcoming" of bourgeois nihilism. Thus, following the argument set forth by junger in The Worker, in which "the soldier-worker" is viewed as a  new social "type" ("Gestalt") who is infatuated with risk, danger, heroism, and, as such, represents the antithesis to the timorous "bourgeois," Heidegger views Nazism as a Nietzschean-Jungerian Arbeitergesellschaft in statu nascendi.  (p.121)


Heidegger, Germany, National Socialism, Nazi, Twentieth Century, National Socialist Education, Junger, Nietzsche


On Heidegger

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