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

[Extract from: "The Self-Assertion of the German University" ("Die Selbstbehauptung der deutschen Universitlit") by Martin Heidegger first appeared in 1933 with Kom Verlag in Breslau. lt Was republished in 1983 by Klostermann Verlag in Frankfun.]-Only if we resolutely obey this decree to win back the greatness of the beginning, only then will science become the innermost necessity of our existence. Otherwise, science will remain something in which we become involved purely by chance or will remain a calm, pleasurable activity, an activity free of danger, which promotes the mere advancement of knowledge [Kenntnisse]. If, however, we obey the distant decree of the beginning, then science must become the fundamental event of our spiritual existence as a Volk [geistig-volklichen Daseins]. And if our ownmost existence itself stands on the threshold of a great transformation; if it is true what the last German philosopher to passionately seek God, Friedrich Nietzsche, said: "God is dead"; if we must take seriously the abandonment of man today in the midst of Being, what then does this imply for science? (p.32)


Heidegger, Germany, National Socialism, Nazi, Twentieth Century, National Socialist Education, Academia, Duty, Work Creation, Service


The Self-Assertion of the German University [1933], Heidegger Citations

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