For Work / Against Work
Debates on the centrality of work

Being and Truth

by Heidegger, Martin (2010)


In these lectures, delivered in 1933-1934 while he was Rector of the University of Freiburg and an active supporter of the National Socialist regime, Martin Heidegger addresses the history of metaphysics and the notion of truth from Heraclitus to Hegel. First published in German in 2001, these two lecture courses offer a sustained encounter with Heidegger's thinking during a period when he attempted to give expression to his highest ambitions for a philosophy engaged with politics and the world. While the lectures are strongly nationalistic and celebrate the revolutionary spirit of the time, they also attack theories of racial supremacy in an attempt to stake out a distinctively Heideggerian understanding of what it means to be a people. This careful translation offers valuable insight into Heidegger's views on language, truth, animality, and life, as well as his political thought and activity.

Key Passage

[Extract from Lecture On 30 January 1933: Kolbenheyer]-We are grateful for the role that spiritual workers of this sort play in life, for  they  are  doing  nothing  but  bringing  to  light  a  perhaps  unintended justification of the most trite reactionary position. The facts demonstrate it: the weightiest objection to the speech and the clearest sign of how questionable  it is, is the  deafening  applause  that  I  do  not  begrudge  Herr Kolbenheyer.8. Whoever has experienced and grasped even the slightest part of the  new  German  reality  that  stands  before  us  must  already know after Kolbenheyer’s first sentences how things stand with his attitude. He takes “vocation” as a purely economic phenomenon, which it has become in the bourgeois age. He does not see that it is precisely vocation that is being experienced and grasped anew in its essence from the ground up (not on the basis of so-called spirit), namely, in its fundamental political character and on the basis of the essence of labor. (p.162)


Heidegger, Hegel, National Socialism, Metaphysics, Logic, Nationalism, Language


Being and Truth [1933], Heidegger Citations

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