Saturday, October 01, 2016

Philosophy professor …

… Is Heidegger's Philosophical Complexity Enough to Excuse His Overt Anti-Semitism? – Tablet Magazine.

For him, the key experiences and challenges of existence are individual: Alone we suffer, alone we die, and alone we must make meaning out of our fate. The highest value, then, is not goodness but authenticity; above all, authenticity in the face of death. To accept one’s actual condition of mortality and thrownness, not to flee from these difficult facts into consoling illusions and abstractions, is for Heidegger the ultimate moral achievement. As he writes, “Authentic Being-towards-death can not evade its ownmost non-relational possibility, or cover up this possibility by fleeing from it, or give a new explanation for it to accord with the common sense of ‘the they.’ ”
Except that, as this piece makes clear, Heidegger's own illusions and abstractions were precisely designed to console nihilists. Another faith-based world view. It isn't faith that's the problem, though. It's where you place that faith.


  1. Well said Frank. And another problem is Heidegger's weirdly impenetrable language...

  2. I remember translating passage from — I guess Sein und Zeit — while editing a review of a biography of him. And I realized that the passage became clear once you realized that the neologism he employed basically meant the same as what all other philosophers called contingency. Among other things that became clear was that what he had to say on the subject was fairly pedestrian.