Saturday, May 17, 2014

Even our Best Friends Can Let Us Down

The linked article recently published in the New Yorker, Is Heidegger Contaminated by Nazism?, really needs no comment, except a personal one.   It captures for me a lot about why I loved studying Heidegger so much in my undergraduate days, along with my profound disappointment at his anti-semitism.  And, perhaps, there is also an object lesson here.    As the article notes, philosophy professor Peter Trawny said this about Heidegger's anti-semitism: “The problem is not just that I’m morally shocked—it’s also a problem that he is so dumb.”  It seems that no amount of brilliance in one area can innoculate us against stupity in another.


James R said...

From the article:
“the errancy through which human beings stray is not something that, as it were, extends alongside them like a ditch into which they occasionally stumble; rather, errancy belongs to the inner constitution of the [existence] into which historical human beings are admitted.”

Martin Heidegger

However, it excuses nothing. We are still responsible.

Big Myk said...

To state that errancy belongs to the inner constitution of being human may be little different than saying we all live in a state of sin. Straying through errancy was what the movie we liked so much, A Separation, was all about.

And, yes, in spite of it all, we are still responsible. "The sad duty of politics is to establish justice in a sinful world.” Reinhold Niebuhr