Why Does It Matter If Heidegger Was Anti-Semitic?
Publisher: The New Yorker
Date Written: 27/03/2014
Year Published: 2014
Resource Type: Article
Cx Number: CX16715
The publication of the philosopher Martin Heideggers Schwarzen Hefte (Black Notebooks), written between 1931 and the early nineteen-seventies, is likely to cause an uproar.
Early debate about 'Black Notebooks' is focussed on Heideggers acknowledgment of the important role of anti-Semitism in his philosophy.... Heideggers 'Notebooks' are works of the full flowering of his philosophical maturity, written privately, as a means for him to work out his ideas. Heidegger has long been suspected of anti-Semitism in his private life, as well as of collaboration with an anti-Semitic regime, but, Trawny writes, "nobody would have suspected an anti-Semitism transmuted into philosophy." (Trawnys new book is titled "Heidegger and the Myth of the Jewish World Conspiracy.")
According to Thomas Assheuer, writing in Die Zeit, "The Jew-hatred in Black Notebooks is no afterthought; it forms the foundation of the philosophical diagnosis." In other words, these newly published writings show that, for Heidegger, anti-Semitism was more than just a personal prejudice.