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by Hugo Ott

  • ISBN: 0465028985
  • Category: Math & Science
  • Author: Hugo Ott
  • Subcategory: Biological Sciences
  • Other formats: mbr mobi lit docx
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Basic Books (November 2, 1993)
  • Pages: 407 pages
  • FB2 size: 1356 kb
  • EPUB size: 1918 kb
  • Rating: 4.6
  • Votes: 539
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Ott's book is not a full biography of Heidegger.

Ott's book is not a full biography of Heidegger. It is sketchy on matters other than the philosopher's political involvement and includes little of his intellectual development - the books he read that influenced him - and his personal life. Ott also does not discuss Heidegger's philosophy in much detail.

Martin Heidegger: a Political Life. By Hugo Ott. HarperCollins, 1993. Martin Heidegger has been described as one of the most influential philosophers of the twentieth century. He is concerned with two things, Heidegger’s involvement with National Socialism and the question of whether this was accidental to his philosophy, and his relationship with Roman Catholicism.

Title: Martin Heidegger: A political life Item Condition: used item in a very good condition. item 1 Martin Heidegger: A political life-Hugo Ott, Allan Blunden -Martin Heidegger: A political life-Hugo Ott, Allan Blunden. Used-like N : The book pretty much look like a new book. Read full description. See details and exclusions. item 2 Martin Heidegger: A political life By Hugo Ott, Allan Blunden -Martin Heidegger: A political life By Hugo Ott, Allan Blunden. item 3 Martin Heidegger: A political life,Hugo Ott, Allan Blunden -Martin Heidegger: A political life,Hugo Ott, Allan Blunden. Each month we recycle over . million books, saving over 12,500 tonnes of books a year from going straight into landfill sites. All of our paper waste is recycled and turned into corrugated cardboard. Sold alia (384812)99. 3% positive FeedbackContact seller. Heidegger: A Political Life by Hugo Ott (Paperback, 1994).

The German historian deals with many of the same matters as Farias, but his book is not a sensational expose’.

Title: Martin Heidegger: A Political Life. Publisher: Basic Books. Publication Date: 1993.

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Home Martin Heidegger, Russia, and Political Philosophy This is the idea of Dasein applied to a political perspective.

Home Martin Heidegger, Russia, and Political Philosophy. Martin Heidegger, Russia, and Political Philosophy. Political philosophy. The works of Martin Heidegger have recently been met with heightened interest in a number of countries. This is the idea of Dasein applied to a political perspective. We will discuss this in more detail below, but first it is necessary to embark on a brief excursion into the history of the study of Martin Heidegger’s ideas in Russia. In the Soviet Union, Martin Heidegger’s ideas were not known to the general public, primarily because the peak of his activities coincided with Nazi rule in Germany.

Heidegger's Political Life. com User, September 8, 2008. In the 1980s and 1990s, the philosoper Martin Heidegger's (1889 - 1976) association with Nazism came under increasing scrutiny. I have been struggling with Heidegger again and rereading "Being and Time" (1927). In the process, I wanted to learn more about the nature of Heidegger's ties to Nazism.

MARTIN HEIDEGGER: A Political Life By Hugo Ott. Translated from German by Allan Blunden. THERE is no longer any doubt about Martin Heidegger's enthusiastic backing of the National Socialist Party

Philosopher Martin Heidegger joined the Nazi Party (NSDAP) on May 1, 1933, ten days after being elected Rector of the University of Freiburg. A year later, in April 1934, he resigned the Rectorship and stopped taking part in Nazi Party meetings, but.

Philosopher Martin Heidegger joined the Nazi Party (NSDAP) on May 1, 1933, ten days after being elected Rector of the University of Freiburg. A year later, in April 1934, he resigned the Rectorship and stopped taking part in Nazi Party meetings, but remained a member of the Nazi Party until its dismantling at the end of World War II. The denazification hearings immediately after World War II led to Heidegger's dismissal from Freiburg, banning him from teaching

Martin Heidegger's Being and Time, one of the most influential philosophical works of the twentieth century, was published in 1927, the same year as the second volume of Hitler's Mein Kampf. The coincidence is appropriate: although Heidegger's is a conspicuously abstract philosophy, delivered in a language whose enigmas often defeat interpretation, it is firmly 'grounded' (one of Heidegger's favourite terms) in its time and circumstances.Heidegger was a private supporter of Nazism from its inception, and in the 1930s made public his personal belief, pronouncing his support for Hitler. But Heidegger was not only a Nazi in his political affiliation: he believed his philosophy to be the spiritual parallel to Hitler's leadership. In 1933 he was made Rektor of Freiburg University, a position which he hoped would enable him to put into practice his political and social views. He became one of the main instigators of the Nazification of German universities, encouraging students to participate in paramilitary exercises, and to salute him as if he were himself the Fuhrer. This was an aspect of the self-mythology to which he was prone: Hannah Arendt, his one-time pupil and lover, said his involvement with Nazism could be attributed 'partly to the delusion of genius, partly to desperation'. His political beliefs also deeply affected his closest personal and intellectual relationships. In the name of the Reich, he turned Gestapo informer, blackening 'un-German' professors as 'political unreliables', and, in an act of betrayal, he stood by as the regime expelled from Freiburg his mentor and friend, Edmund Husserl.A profound influence on Sartre and other existentialists, acknowledged as a guiding inspiration by Foucault, defended by Derrida, Heidegger, since his death, has been and still is a major source of philosophical ideas for intellectuals both in Europe and in America. Hugo Ott's purpose in this scrupulously detailed and balanced biography is not to give his own explication of Heidegger's philosophy but to show that it is no longer possible to read it without considering the politics of its creator. In doing so Ott draws upon letters, archival material and the private papers of Heidegger, his friends, family and colleagues, in many cases for the first time, thereby fundamentally altering our understanding of him. In addition to its elucidation of the complicated but undeniable connections between Heidegger's life and thought, Ott's account is to be valued for the profound questions it raises about the responsibilities of intellectuals in the twentieth century.
Reviews about Martin Heidegger: A Political Life (2):
Ott’s work is at the core of the discussion about Heidegger’s Nazism, maybe one of the two most important sources for the facts, along with Victor Farias’s Heidegger and Nazism. There are certainly other books and many articles and papers as well — too many to mention — but those two at least are essential.

It’s hard to put our attention as readers on anything other than the Nazism discussion, but the book also addresses Heidegger’s early Catholicism (as does Farias’s book), a discussion I found extremely interesting in its own right.

Ott organizes the book around what Heidegger, in a letter to Karl Jaspers, called “the two great thorns in my flesh — the struggle with the faith of my birth, and the failure of the rectorship” (it was during Heidegger’s time as rector at the University of Freiburg that he became most involved with National Socialism).

The first of these “thorns” is Heidegger’s struggle with Catholicism. Somewhat parallel to Nietzsche’s upbringing in the Protestant faith and intended career in the clergy, Heidegger looked destined for a place in the Catholic Church. In fact, he applied to become a member of The Society of Jesus but was rejected, not on grounds of faith but for health matters. Until that time, he had pursued theological studies, and, judging by his writings up through 1914/15 (his middle twenties), his faith appeared firm.

When his intended career in the Church was closed to him, he turned first to mathematics and then to philosophy. But his philosophical studies remained, for the moment, heavily influenced by his religious convictions, even through his habilitation.

He was a “Catholic philosopher” within the university system. As such, he was both constrained to and available for certain positions and not others. His eventual turn away from Catholicism opened his ambitions to non-theologically laden positions, while eliminating him from consideration for positions reserved for Catholic thinkers.

Although within a few years of his habilitation, he was questioning his faith, eventually explicitly abandoning adherence to Catholic doctrine, he later maintained that he remained a Catholic all his life.

It is interesting to read (or re-read) some of Heidegger’s writings on religion, now knowing more about his early convictions and his turn away from them. In particular, his Introduction to the Phenomenology of Religion along with his book on Augustine and Neo-Platonism (both drawn from lecture notes) provide some bridges between central aspects of his mature thought, such as anxiety, facticity, and even the difficult notion of Gelassenheit from his later writings, and his deep Catholicism.

His rejection of Catholic doctrine was life-changing. Certainly his thought could not be confined within the bounds of Catholicism, and the Church demanded faithfulness to its doctrines. His marriage, to the Protestant Elfride Petri, was a turning point. And of course, his career opportunities changed, as he was no longer confined to or qualified for positions reserved for “Catholic philosophers.”

The bulk of the book, though, addresses Heidegger’s relationship to National Socialism.

I think it is beyond debate by now that Heidegger was truly a Nazi. His addresses, letters, and public statements during his rectorship at the University of Freiburg in 1933 and 1934 establish that much. The questions that remain of interest for me, and that appear open for debate, are to what extent he truly embraced the ideology of National Socialism (and may have continued to embrace it after his rectorship), and to what extent his involvement in Nazism compromises his philosophical work.

Ott’s book is especially helpful on the first of those questions.

Ott is not a dispassionate reporter of facts. And at times his rhetoric is polemical, although not so much as Farias’s. And Ott is concerned to give fair treatment to Heidegger, considering Heidegger’s and others’ excuses and explanations, although rejecting any softening of his judgment of those critical years 1933 and 1934.

I won’t go through the evidence that supports and establishes Heidegger’s participation and support for National Socialism during those years, or the evidence for anti-semitic attitudes and behavior. That’s what Ott’s book is for. Heidegger not only gave official support, as he must have to occupy a position as rector of one of Germany’s leading universities, he also pursued his own ambitions within the “movement” to reform philosophy and the German university itself. He vied for the intellectual leadership of Nazi Germany.

I think it’s also true, in more substantial terms, that Heidegger’s thought contained a strain of affinity for German nationalism. Heidegger saw the world in a cultural crisis. And he saw Germany as a savior.

Why Germany? Aside simply from his being German, Germany was, in his terms, a “metaphysical nation”. Germany alone stood against the threats on either side of Europe — “a giant pincer grip between Russia on one side and America on the other”. From a “metaphysical perspective”, both America and Russia (or the Soviet Union) represented “the same soulless spectacle of technology run riot and ordinary people at the mercy of social organization without roots.”

Germany stood in a position to recapture a more “authentic” existence, lost since the time of the early Greeks. Throughout his later writings, Heidegger repeats this theme of the need to release ourselves, German or not, from the hold of a technological world and recapture that lost relationship to Being.

So why National Socialism? Why Hitler? National Socialism appeared to embody the destiny of the German historical role — to reassert an affirmative relationship to nature and among its people, to assert itself positively. And Heidegger pulls no punches in his statement to the Freiburg University students as rector — “The Fuhrer himself and he alone is the German reality, present and future, and its law.”

National Socialism presented an opportunity for Heidegger, one that he threw himself into during those years. A Germany in revolution was the opportunity, even if it is difficult to see any evidence of “authenticity” in the National Socialist ideology itself.

Ultimately Heidegger failed — his personal ambitions for the German university system and for German philosophy were not fulfilled, and just failed to catch on. He was ultimately at odds with any dogmatic order, much less one so strict as National Socialism, and he was undoubtedly out of his depth among the knife-sharp political skills of others also pursuing personal goals within the Party.

There was a strong backlash against Heidegger after his time as Freiburg’s rector. As an example, in 1934, Erich Jaensch, a philosopher and former colleague of Heidegger’s at the University of Marburg, condemns Heidegger in a report meant to limit his influence in National Socialist intellectual leadership circles and positions — “Heidegger’s thought is characterized by the same obsession with hairsplitting distinctions as Talmudic thought. This is why it holds such an extraordinary fascination for Jews, persons of Jewish ancestry and others with a similar makeup. If Heidegger acquires a decisive influence over the formation and selection of young academics, this will mean with absolute certainty that the selection criteria in our universities and intellectual life will favour those of Jewish stock who remain in our midst.”

But it would be a stretch to say that the backlash had much to do with unfaithfulness to the Nazi cause on Heidegger’s part — it appears instead just to be part of the power struggle within the intellectual leadership of National Socialism (allowing that the quote from Jaensch sounds anything but “intellectual”).

Beyond the question of Heidegger’s actual Nazi participation, the question of the relation between his philosophical thought and his Nazism is complicated. I don’t think that is the strength of Ott’s book. There are other, more penetrating works to go to — Victor Farias’s book (Heidegger and Nazism) for one. And Hans Sluga’s Heidegger’s Crisis provides a much needed, broader look at Heidegger’s context, the role of philosophy in Germany in the 30s and 40s and the philosophical battles both between supporters and opponents of National Socialism and among the supporters for standing within the Third Reich. Unlike Ott, a social historian, both Farias and Sluga are philosophers, better equipped for the complexities of the philosophical side of the topic.

it’s a volatile topic, to say the least. I think it would be foolish to simply throw all of Heidegger’s philosophical work into disrepute. The epistemology of Being and Time, and Heidegger’s critique of traditional metaphysics, both in Being and Time, and in later work, are critical pieces of twentieth century philosophy. Are they tainted by, in some way supportive of his Nazism? Good question. To some extent, the question was addressed after the end of the war, in the decision to allow Heidegger to resume his philosophical work within the post-war “denazified” Germany. That decision was based in part on the importance of his work and his contributions to philosophy per se.

His guilt during the rectorship is hard to deny (although he attempted to do so himself in his apologia, both written and verbal during the denazification procedures and during his subsequent career), as is the damage he did to others — students, colleagues, and personal relations. Jaspers’ judgement speaks well, I think — “I can accept to some extent the personal excuse that Heidegger was unpolitical by nature, and that the special brand of National Socialism he concocted for himself had precious little to do with the real thing.” Jaspers then refers to something that Max Weber had said — “children who stick their fingers into the wheel of world history are going to get them broken.”
In the 1980s and 1990s, the philosopher Martin Heidegger's (1889 -- 1976) association with Nazism came under increasing scrutiny. I have been struggling with Heidegger again and rereading "Being and Time" (1927). In the process, I wanted to learn more about the nature of Heidegger's ties to Nazism. Thus, I read with interest this book by Hugo Ott, "Martin Heidegger: A Political Life" (1993) which has become one of the standard treatments of the subject. Ott is Professor of Economics and Social History at the University of Freiburg. Heidegger spent most of his philosophical career at Freiburg, as an assistant to the famous philosopher Edmund Husserl and then, following a period at Marburg where he wrote "Being and Time" assuming Husserl's chair at Freiburg in 1928. Infamously, Heidegger became Rector at Freiburg in 1933 where he was a strongly activist supporter of Hitler.

In his latter years, with an interview he gave to the German newspaper Der Spiegel in 1966 (not published until after his death) and in a book called "Facts and Thoughts", Heidegger tried to downplay his association with Nazism. Many of Heidegger's supporters have tried to characterize the philosopher as a political innocent who had no real idea of the nature of the political views he claimed to espouse. Using archival material. letters, and Heidegger's own writings, Ott shows that Heidegger's claims and those of apologists do not stand up. From the early days of the 1930s Heidegger became increasingly involved with Nazism and with remaking the German universities in its image. His involvement continued well into the 1930s, following his resignation from the Rectorship in April, 1934. Heidegger was indeed a committed follower of Hitler and National Socialism and he vied albeit unsuccessfully with other less intellectually gifted and more unscrupulous individuals for a position of intellectual leadership within the movement.

Ott's book is not a full biography of Heidegger. It is sketchy on matters other than the philosopher's political involvement and includes little of his intellectual development -- the books he read that influenced him -- and his personal life. Ott also does not discuss Heidegger's philosophy in much detail. His account of the writing of "Being and Time" is scant in the extreme. Ott claims that philosophy is not within his expertise. Beyond some rather broad generalizations, he does relatively little in exploring the extent and nature of the link between Heidegger's philosophy and his politics.

Thus, in his study, Ott shows Heidegger increasingly involved with Nazi activity, but I still was unsure how, why and when Heidegger became attracted to Nazism. Ott gives a detailed portrayal of Heidegger's activities during his Rectorship, including his inaugural speech, his attempt to reshape the German universities, his informing on a chemist named Herman Staudinger, a subsequent recipient of the Nobel Prize, and his shabby treatment of Edmund Husserl, his former mentor. Ott also describes Heidegger's career after his rectorship in which he remained, for a time, committed to Nazism. Ott discusses the difficult question of Heidegger's attitude towards Jews and finds considerable evidence at some periods of his life of Anti-Semitism. As the 1930s continued, Heidegger came under surveillance from the Nazis who tried to censor or ban some of his writings.

In 1945, with the end of WW II and the occupation of Freiburg, Heidegger was subjected to a lengthy denazification proceeding. The result was a ban on Heidegger teaching which remained in place until 1951. Ott offers a full account of this proceeding. The evidence that was introduced remains critical in understanding Heidegger's relationship to Nazism. Heidegger, in the course of his long post-war life, never fully came to terms with Nazism or explained or apologized for his role.

In addition to discussing Heidegger and Nazism, Ott offers insight into the philosopher's relationship to Catholicism. Heidegger, born to a devout Catholic family, was able to pursue his studies only because of Catholic financial assistance. He briefly thought of becoming a priest. He abandoned Catholicism around 1916-1917, but Ott points out that his attitude to his former faith remained ambivalent. "Being and Time" for example rebels against scholasticism even while its author remains deeply steeped in it. Ott argues that Heidegger struggled with Catholicism throughout his life. I think he is correct in this, and that Heidegger's religious seekings are an integral part of his thought, as important as are the political dimensions.

Many readers, myself included, struggle with Heidegger because of the sense his works convey of insight. Thus in his report to the Denazification Commission, Karl Jaspers, who was severely critical of Heidegger wrote: "In the full flow of his discourse he occasionally succeeds in hitting the nerve of the philosophical enterprise in a most mysterious and marvellous way." (Ott, p. 338) Ott's book nowhere denies the importance of Heidegger's thought or on the fascination it exerts on people who are far from the Nazism that captured the philosopher. Ott's book, nevertheless, offers grounds for pause and for careful reflection in reading and coming to an understanding of the thought of Heidegger.

Robin Friedman

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