Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Simon Critchley on Heidegger - on Guardian Website

Over at http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/belief/2009/jun/05/heidegger-philosophy you'll find Simon Critchley offering an intro to Heidegger: which is worth a read. He is going to blog more on this - so may be worth a look...

You may also enjoy the wide range of comments that have been posted (!)


1 comment:

  1. I don't know why Simon Critchley would say that Heidegger is "the most important and influential philosopher in the continental tradition in the 20th century". What does he mean by "the continental tradition"? As opposed to the "analytic tradition" (both terms lack clarity). Heidegger as we all know inverts his theory mid-course from analytic to continental. I don't know about you, but changing one's mind conveniently 180 degrees reeks of many things including charlatanism and guilt, i.e. Tony Blair's Catholicism. The question is whether Heidegger's political involvement supports or defends his philosophy, which in turn shapes whether his philosophy embraces his life or if the two are separate and distinct: more in the tradition of continental or analytic? In other words do we look at his philosophy separate from text and context or does his personal historicity reflect upon his philosophy. Analytic philosophy holds that a thing of whatever sort stands alone outside its historicity or context. Continental philosophy embraces the historicity of its author. As a "continental philosopher" Heidegger would be held to his context weighting his actions significantly. In the current climate of revulsion to genocide and Nazism, Heidegger is accountable thus distorting the impact of his philosophy. This is another question which is begging to be answered in philosophy: the question of justification. Is Philosophical/theoretical analysis simply and unequivocally subjective, swung and shaped to gratify personal whim - as Nietzsche claims with perspectivism? This is why Heidegger is worrying. For this reason, and not for Critchley's debatable claim on Heidegger's importance and influence, Heidegger should be studied. Heidegger is full of contradiction and its analysis is important as a cautionary note

    I liked the blog comment after Critchley's writing that noted that Heidegger's "being-there" related only to some, leaving others, the so-called "imperfect", Jews, Communists, Gypsies, Homosexuals, *not anywhere*