Cover image for Heidegger's roots : Nietzsche, national socialism and the Greeks
Heidegger's roots : Nietzsche, national socialism and the Greeks
Bambach, Charles R.
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Publication Information:
Ithaca, N.Y. : Cornell University Press, [2003]

Physical Description:
xxvi, 350 pages ; 24 cm
The myth of the homeland -- The Nietzschean self-assertion of the German University -- The geo-politics of Heidegger's Mitteleuropa -- Heidegger's Greeks and the myth of autochthony -- Heidegger's "Nietzsche".
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B3279.H49 B265 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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Charles Bambach reads Heidegger's writings from 1933 to 1945 in historical context, showing that Heidegger was engaged in a conversation with the National Socialists and others on the German right about the authentic mission of the German Volk, and that this theme was central to all of his thought. An essential reference in the debates over one of the twentieth century's most influential-and controversial-philosophers, this book demonstrates the profound influence on Heidegger's work of both historical context and the other thinkers with whom he engaged in dialogue. These latter include not only the ancient Greeks and such German predecessors as Hegel, Holderlin, and Nietzsche, but also those contemporaries of the radical right from whom he would later try to distance himself.

Author Notes

Charles Bambach is Associate Professor of the History of Ideas/Philosophy at the University of Texas, Dallas.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

Although Bambach (Graduate Center, CUNY) has taken on a topic that has received a great deal of attention--Heidegger's personal and philosophical engagement with Nazism--he nonetheless presents a valuable and fresh perspective on well-trodden terrain. His book focuses on the crucial period from 1933 to 1945, paying particular attention to Heidegger's engagement with and reworking of the pre-Socratic philosophers and Nietzsche. Bambach also presents a careful and nuanced reading of Heidegger's infamous Rectorial Address. What is truly remarkable about Bambach's study is the refusal to rush to judgment. Almost all studies of these issues are either exculpatory exercises of the faithful or witch-hunts that already know the conclusion at the outset of the investigation. Bambach, instead, carefully places the relevant texts not only in the development of Heidegger's own thought but also within the larger context of the pro-fascist academic discourse of the time. The latter is particularly crucial, for it is only on the basis of a larger understanding of this discourse that Heidegger's own unique position becomes understandable. ^BSumming Up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty. S. Barnett Central Connecticut State University

Table of Contents

Abbreviationsp. ix
Acknowledgmentsp. xv
Prefacep. xvii
Introductionp. 1
I. The Hutp. 1
II. Pastorale Militansp. 4
III. The Cultural Metaphysics of the Great Warp. 5
Chapter 1. The Myth of the Homelandp. 12
I. Philosophy and Politicsp. 12
II. The Roots of Revolutionp. 15
III. The Commitment to Hardness and Severityp. 31
IV. "On the Essence of Truth" and Subterranean Philosophyp. 38
V. The Myth of Bodenstandigkeit and the Greek Beginningp. 46
VI. Athens or Jerusalem?p. 51
VII. Death for the Fatherlandp. 57
VIII. Heidegger's Holderlinian Volksreligionp. 63
Chapter 2. The Nietzschean Self-Assertion of the German Universityp. 69
I. The Nietzschean Context of the Rectorial Addressp. 69
II. The Essence of the German Universityp. 78
III. Self-Determination, Self-Assertion, and Leadershipp. 81
IV. The Archeology of Self-Assertionp. 89
V. The Essence of Science as Philosophiap. 94
VI. Plato's Staat and Heidegger's Volkp. 99
VII. The Philomythos and the Myth of Heroic Greatnessp. 107
Chapter 3. The Geo-Politics of Heidegger's Mitteleuropap. 112
I. Heidegger's Ursprungsphilosophiep. 112
II. Europa and the History of the Westp. 121
III. Heidegger, Scheler, and the "Metaphysics of War"p. 125
IV. The Politics and Metaphysics of Autochthony: Bloch and Rosenzweigp. 130
V. The Metaphysics of Mitteleuropap. 137
VI. Heidegger's Idea of Europe in Introduction to Metaphysicsp. 143
VII. The Violence of the Uncanny: Antigone and the German Volkp. 146
VIII. Nietzsche's "Great Politics," Heidegger's Petty Politicsp. 159
IX. "Europe and German Philosophy" (1936)p. 167
Chapter 4. Heidegger's Greeks and the Myth of Autochthonyp. 180
I. The Politics of the Anti-Politicalp. 180
II. Heidegger's Elegy of Aletheia and the Greek Beginningp. 189
III. The Athenian Myth of Autochthony and Its German Fatep. 196
IV. Plato in a Brown Shirtp. 200
V. The Politics of Hellenomaniap. 208
VI. The Politics of a Singular Archep. 213
VII. The Pre-Socratic Renaissance in Weimarp. 219
VIII. Heidegger, Nietzsche, and German Philhellenismp. 227
IX. Sophocles, Holderlin, and the Politics of Homecomingp. 232
X. Norbert von Hellingrath's Myth of a Secret Germanyp. 241
Chapter 5. Heidegger's "Nietzsche"p. 247
I. Self-Staging the Nietzsche Lecturesp. 247
II. Heidegger's "Confrontation" with Nietzschep. 255
III. Heidegger and the Metaphysics of Editorial Practicep. 261
IV. Heidegger's "Confrontation(s)" with National Socialismp. 271
V. Heidegger, Baeumler, and the National Socialist Interpretation of Nietzschep. 274
VI. Nazi Biologism and Heideggerian Autochthonyp. 281
VII. Heidegger's Early Nietzsche Lecturesp. 289
VIII. The Metaphysics of War Redivivusp. 301
IX. Parmenides, Stalingrad, and the Myth of Roman Declinep. 309
X. Heideggerian Autochthony at the End of the Warp. 317
Postscriptp. 326
Indexp. 337