Heidegger’s ‘black notebooks’ reveal antisemitism at core of his philosophy

Philip Oltermann in The Guardian:

ScreenHunter_564 Mar. 20 17.59He is widely regarded as one of Europe's most influential 20th century philosophers whose writings inspired some of the important thinkers of the modern era. But almost four decades after Martin Heidegger's death, scholars in Germany and France are asking whether the antisemitic tendencies of the author of Being and Time ran deeper than previously thought.

The philosopher's sympathies for the Nazi regime have been well documented in the past: Heidegger joined the party in 1933 and remained a member until the end of the second world war. But antisemitic ideas were previously thought to have tainted his character rather than touched the core of his philosophy – not least by Jewish thinkers such as Hannah Arendt or Jacques Derrida, who cited their debt to Heidegger.

This week's publication of the “black notebooks” (a kind of philosophical diary that Heidegger asked to be held back until the end of his complete work), challenges this view. In France the revelations have been debated vigorously since passages were leaked to the media last December, with some Heidegger scholars even trying to stop the notebooks' publication.

In Germany, one critic has argued that it would be “hard to defend”Heidegger's thinking after the publication of the notebooks, while another has already called the revelations a “debacle” for modern continental philosophy – even though the complete notebooks were until now embargoed by the publisher.

More here.