The Banality of Heidegger (5 3/8 X 7 7/8)

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9780823275939: The Banality of Heidegger (5 3/8 X 7 7/8)
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Heidegger and Nazism: Ever since the philosopher’s public involvement in state politics in 1933, his name has necessarily been a part of this unsavory couple. After the publication in 2014 of the private Black Notebooks, it is now unambiguously part of another: Heidegger and anti-Semitism.

What do we learn from analyzing the anti-Semitism of these private writings, together with its sources and grounds, not only for Heidegger’s thought, but for the history of the West in which this thought is embedded? Jean-Luc Nancy poses these questions with the depth and rigor we would expect from him. In doing so, he does not go lightly on Heidegger, in whom he finds a philosophical and “historial” anti-Semitism, outlining a clash of “peoples” that must at all costs arrive at “another beginning.” If Heidegger’s uncritical acceptance of prejudices and long-debunked myths about “world Jewry” shares in the “banality” evoked by Hannah Arendt, this does nothing to lessen the charge. Nancy’s purpose, however, is not simply to condemn Heidegger but rather to invite us to think something to which the thinker of being remained blind: anti-Semitism as a self-hatred haunting the history of the West―and of Christianity in its drive toward an auto-foundation that would leave behind its origins in Judaism.

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About the Author:

Jean-Luc Nancy (Author)
Jean-Luc Nancy is Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at the Université Marc Bloch, Strasbourg. His wide-ranging thought is developed in many books, including Expectation: Philosophy, Literature; The Possibility of a World; The Banality of Heidegger; The Disavowed Community; and, with Adèle Van Reeth, Coming (all Fordham).

Jeff Fort (Translator)
Jeff Fort is Associate Professor of French at the University of California, Davis, and the translator of more than a dozen books, by Jean Genet, Jacques Derrida, Maurice Blanchot, Jean-Luc Nancy, and others.

Review:

This formidable little book is a tightly argued response to the publication, still ongoing, of Heidegger’s sprawling Black Notebooks... Nancy’s merit is to have found an argument that is all the more devastating as it is measured. It does not simply condemn Heidegger but investigates the reasons for the condemnation; it is unsettling because in the process it indicts the history of the West and of Christianity in particular. (Self & Society)

“A relentlessly powerful probe, masterfully cast, soundly translated. Rezoning Arendt’s sense of banality, the work commits itself to handling the disturbingly blithe crudeness of anti-semitism in philosophical headquarters. One of the greatest philosophers of our time, Jean-Luc Nancy tracks Heidegger’s descent, addressing the scandalous incompatibility of racist outburst and the question of Being. Covering a range of assault from the euphemization and derealization of anti-Semitic stances to the tragic consequences of juridical logic, Nancy goes after a traumatically enduring record of human/inhuman failure.” (―Avital Ronell New York University)

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9780823275922: The Banality of Heidegger (5 3/8 X 7 7/8)

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