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November 05 , 2009

Heidegger, History and the Holocaust


Heidegger, History and the Holocaust is an important contribution to the longstanding debate concerning Martin Heidegger's association with National Socialism. Although a difficult topic, this ambitious new work moves the entire debate on the Heidegger controversy forward.

Following Being and Time Heidegger expands on his notion of authenticity and related notions such as historicity and discusses the possibility of an authentic Dasein of a people along structurally consistent lines to his account of authenticity in Being and Time. O'Brien argues that the same difficulties which appear to hamstring the early account of authenticity further affect the notion of an authentic Dasein of a people; Heidegger's political myopia in the thirties can thus be attributed to an underlying failure to come to terms with some of the difficulties discussed in this study. O'Brien concedes that Heidegger's philosophy is influenced by its historical period and context but argues that, however inflammatory, Heidegger's rhetoric cannot be simply reduced to crude Nazi jingoism.

This book is a genuinely philosophical approach to the Heidegger controversy and a much-needed re-examination of his ideas and influences.
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