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Heidegger's Children: Hannah Arendt, Karl L With, Hans Jonas, and Herbert Marcuse

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Martin Heidegger is perhaps the twentieth century's greatest philosopher, and his work stimulated much that is original and compelling in modern thought. A seductive classroom presence, he attracted Germany's brightest young intellects during the 1920s. Many were Jews, who ultimately would have to reconcile their philosophical and, often, personal commitments to Heidegger with his nefarious political views.

In 1933, Heidegger cast his lot with National Socialism. He squelched the careers of Jewish students and denounced fellow professors whom he considered insufficiently radical. For years, he signed letters and opened lectures with Heil Hitler! He paid dues to the Nazi party until the bitter end. Equally problematic for his former students were his sordid efforts to make existential thought serviceable to Nazi ends and his failure to ever renounce these actions.

This book explores how four of Heidegger's most influential Jewish students came to grips with his Nazi association and how it affected their thinking. Hannah Arendt, who was Heidegger's lover as well as his student, went on to become one of the century's greatest political thinkers. Karl Löwith returned to Germany in 1953 and quickly became one of its leading philosophers. Hans Jonas grew famous as Germany's premier philosopher of environmentalism. Herbert Marcuse gained celebrity as a Frankfurt School intellectual and mentor to the New Left.

Why did these brilliant minds fail to see what was in Heidegger's heart and Germany's future? How would they, after the war, reappraise Germany's intellectual traditions? Could they salvage aspects of Heidegger's thought? Would their philosophy reflect or completely reject their early studies? Could these Heideggerians forgive, or even try to understand, the betrayal of the man they so admired? Heidegger's Children locates these paradoxes in the wider cruel irony that European Jews experienced their greatest calamity immediately following their fullest assimilation. And it finds in their responses answers to questions about the nature of existential disillusionment and the juncture between politics and ideas.

Synopsis:

"Not the least of Martin Heidegger's contributions to twentieth-century thought was his ability to inspire gifted disciples who read him against the grain, producing political theories very different from the ideology endorsed by the master, to his eternal disgrace, in l933. Looking closely at four of the most talented of their number, Richard Wolin, with the provocative directness his readers have come to expect, argues that troubling residues remain not far beneath the surface of their influential work. Heidegger's Children is a book that many will seek to refute, but none can ignore."--Martin Jay, University of California, Berkeley

"This is an exceedingly important book that goes right to the core of debates about modernity and the human condition. It is both timely and enduringly important. It is also engrossing--provocative in some places, deeply insightful in others. More than a significant contribution to the field, it constitutes a new field in its own right. Wolin has defined a philosophical Pandora's box, and his interpretation is going to initiate some agonized soul-searching."--Michael Ermarth, Dartmouth College

Synopsis:

Martin Heidegger is perhaps the twentieth century's greatest philosopher, and his work stimulated much that is original and compelling in modern thought. A seductive classroom presence, he attracted Germany's brightest young intellects during the 1920s. Many were Jews, who ultimately would have to reconcile their philosophical and, often, personal commitments to Heidegger with his nefarious political views.

In 1933, Heidegger cast his lot with National Socialism. He squelched the careers of Jewish students and denounced fellow professors whom he considered insufficiently radical. For years, he signed letters and opened lectures with Heil Hitler! He paid dues to the Nazi party until the bitter end. Equally problematic for his former students were his sordid efforts to make existential thought serviceable to Nazi ends and his failure to ever renounce these actions.

This book explores how four of Heidegger's most influential Jewish students came to grips with his Nazi association and how it affected their thinking. Hannah Arendt, who was Heidegger's lover as well as his student, went on to become one of the century's greatest political thinkers. Karl Löwith returned to Germany in 1953 and quickly became one of its leading philosophers. Hans Jonas grew famous as Germany's premier philosopher of environmentalism. Herbert Marcuse gained celebrity as a Frankfurt School intellectual and mentor to the New Left.

Why did these brilliant minds fail to see what was in Heidegger's heart and Germany's future? How would they, after the war, reappraise Germany's intellectual traditions? Could they salvage aspects of Heidegger's thought? Would their philosophy reflect or completely reject their early studies? Could these Heideggerians forgive, or even try to understand, the betrayal of the man they so admired? Heidegger's Children locates these paradoxes in the wider cruel irony that European Jews experienced their greatest calamity immediately following their fullest assimilation. And it finds in their responses answers to questions about the nature of existential disillusionment and the juncture between politics and ideas.

About the Author

Richard Wolin is Distinguished Professor of History at the City University of New York Graduate Center. He is the author of The Politics of Being, The Heidegger Controversy, and The Terms of Cultural Criticism, and he served as academic consultant for the BBC documentary Heidegger: Design for Living. He is a frequent contributor to the New Republic and Dissent.

Table of Contents

Preface xi

PROLOGUE: "Todesfuge" and "Todtnauberg" 1

ONE: Introduction: Philosophy and Family Romance 5

TWO: The German-Jewish Dialogue: Way Stations of Misrecognition 21

THREE: Hannah Arendt: Kultur, "Thoughtlessness," and Polis Envy 30

FOUR: Karl Löwith: The Stoic Response to Modern Nihilism 70

FIVE: Hans Jonas: The Philosopher of Life 101

SIX: Herbert Marcuse: From Existential Marxism to Left Heideggerianism 134

SEVEN: Arbeit Macht Frei: Heidegger As Philosopher of the German "Way" 173

EXCURSUS: Being and Time: A Failed Masterpeice? 203

Conclusion 233

Notes 239

Index 271

Product Details

ISBN:
9780691114798
Author:
Wolin, Richard
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Location:
Princeton
Subject:
General
Subject:
History, Criticism, Surveys
Subject:
Philosophy
Subject:
Political philosophy
Subject:
European History
Subject:
Jewish studies
Subject:
World History-General
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
February 2003
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
College/higher education:
Language:
English
Illustrations:
5 halftones
Pages:
296
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in 15 oz

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Politics » General
History and Social Science » Politics » United States » Foreign Policy
History and Social Science » World History » General
Humanities » Philosophy » General
Science and Mathematics » Biology » Zoology » Mammals

Heidegger's Children: Hannah Arendt, Karl L With, Hans Jonas, and Herbert Marcuse New Trade Paper
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$31.75 In Stock
Product details 296 pages Princeton University Press - English 9780691114798 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , "Not the least of Martin Heidegger's contributions to twentieth-century thought was his ability to inspire gifted disciples who read him against the grain, producing political theories very different from the ideology endorsed by the master, to his eternal disgrace, in l933. Looking closely at four of the most talented of their number, Richard Wolin, with the provocative directness his readers have come to expect, argues that troubling residues remain not far beneath the surface of their influential work. Heidegger's Children is a book that many will seek to refute, but none can ignore."--Martin Jay, University of California, Berkeley

"This is an exceedingly important book that goes right to the core of debates about modernity and the human condition. It is both timely and enduringly important. It is also engrossing--provocative in some places, deeply insightful in others. More than a significant contribution to the field, it constitutes a new field in its own right. Wolin has defined a philosophical Pandora's box, and his interpretation is going to initiate some agonized soul-searching."--Michael Ermarth, Dartmouth College

"Synopsis" by , Martin Heidegger is perhaps the twentieth century's greatest philosopher, and his work stimulated much that is original and compelling in modern thought. A seductive classroom presence, he attracted Germany's brightest young intellects during the 1920s. Many were Jews, who ultimately would have to reconcile their philosophical and, often, personal commitments to Heidegger with his nefarious political views.

In 1933, Heidegger cast his lot with National Socialism. He squelched the careers of Jewish students and denounced fellow professors whom he considered insufficiently radical. For years, he signed letters and opened lectures with Heil Hitler! He paid dues to the Nazi party until the bitter end. Equally problematic for his former students were his sordid efforts to make existential thought serviceable to Nazi ends and his failure to ever renounce these actions.

This book explores how four of Heidegger's most influential Jewish students came to grips with his Nazi association and how it affected their thinking. Hannah Arendt, who was Heidegger's lover as well as his student, went on to become one of the century's greatest political thinkers. Karl Löwith returned to Germany in 1953 and quickly became one of its leading philosophers. Hans Jonas grew famous as Germany's premier philosopher of environmentalism. Herbert Marcuse gained celebrity as a Frankfurt School intellectual and mentor to the New Left.

Why did these brilliant minds fail to see what was in Heidegger's heart and Germany's future? How would they, after the war, reappraise Germany's intellectual traditions? Could they salvage aspects of Heidegger's thought? Would their philosophy reflect or completely reject their early studies? Could these Heideggerians forgive, or even try to understand, the betrayal of the man they so admired? Heidegger's Children locates these paradoxes in the wider cruel irony that European Jews experienced their greatest calamity immediately following their fullest assimilation. And it finds in their responses answers to questions about the nature of existential disillusionment and the juncture between politics and ideas.

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