For Work / Against Work
Debates on the centrality of work

On Hegel's Philosophy of Right: The 1934-35 Seminar and Interpretive Essays

by Heidegger, Martin (2014)


This is the first English translation of the seminar Martin Heidegger gave during the Winter of 1934-35, which dealt with Hegel's Philosophy of Right. This remarkable text is the only one in which Heidegger interprets Hegel's masterpiece in the tradition of Continental political philosophy while offering a glimpse into Heidegger's own political thought following his engagement with Nazism. It also confronts the ideas of Carl Schmitt, allowing readers to reconstruct the relation between politics and ontology. The book is enriched by a collection of interpretations of the seminar, written by select European and North American political thinkers and philosophers. Their essays aim to make the seminar accessible to students of political theory and philosophy, as well as to open new directions for debating the relation between the two disciplines. A unique contribution, this volume makes available key lectures by Heidegger that will interest a wide readership of students and scholars.

Key Passage

In the winter of 1934 Heidegger wanted to interlace two intentions, namely a philosophical project of overcoming a certain historical philosophical situation with a political project ofsupporting the deep political transformation in Germany. With reference to theparallelization of the lecture course and the seminar, on Hegel as the consummatorof Western philosophy and Hölderlin as the initiator of a new history,Heidegger responded to what, for him, was a necessary historical coincidence, anecessary historical “responsibility” (GA 38: 121).That is why he also was willing to reconsider certain public discourses. Heread attentively Ernst Jünger’s highly influential essay “Th e Worker,” which was published at the end of 1932, just to address the “German student as worker” (GA 16: 198–208) in a pathetic speech at the end of November 1933. Obviously, in this time Heidegger recognized in Jünger’s speculative attack the possibility ofbuilding a philosophical storm- troop. (p.7)


Heidegger, Hegel, Schmitt, Junger, Twentieth Century, National Socialism, Continental Philosophy, Political Theory, Philosophy Of Right


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