Read the full-text online edition of Martin Heidegger: A Political Life (). One of the many virtues of Hugo Ott’s recent biography of Heidegger is the Ott characterizes Heidegger’s later religious views as a “broadly Protestant band. Hugo Ott · American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 69 (2) () Martin Heidegger’s Thinking and Japanese Philosophy and From Martin.

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Toward his Biography stands out as the most detailed and scrupulously accurate. It cannot have been an easy book to write, and it is not an easy book to read. Ott is particularly strong on Swabian local and ecclesiastical history, and provides a vivid account of the youth and schooling of a poor Roman Catholic scholarship boy; it becomes clear that, but for an asthmatic heart condition, Heidegger would have taken Holy Orders.

J.P. Stern reviews ‘Martin Heidegger’ by Hugo Ott · LRB 20 April

He saw himself as a contributor to this tribal lineage, and associated his writings with it; his biographer reports on this powerful rural mystique, and is as far as I know the first author to do so fairly and soberly. A professional historian of heidegge, Ott works from an abundant array of sources. There are more than twenty huge iron lockers of them, but it does not seem likely that the eventual disclosure of otr contents will greatly affect our picture of the man and our reading of his work.

He does this when writing, not about Heidegger whose war experience turns out to have been markedly less heroic than he made outbut in huo of some of the colleagues among them Jews whom Heidegger calumniated.

Hugo Ott, Martin Heidegger’s Catholic Origins – PhilPapers

Thus the reader is left with the unfortunate impression hheidegger the dismissal of these men from their university posts after was particularly ignoble, and the fate of those who were not able to leave Germany particularly unjust: This is in no sense an intimate biography: However, his approach entails a limitation of a different kind.

The strength of the book lies in the presentation of a life against the background of all those clerical, academic and political institutions which Heidegger succeeded in dominating or failed to put to his use.


The first and most important of these institutions is the Church. The full text of this book review is only available to subscribers of the London Review of Books. Does Heidegger really return repeatedly, as Stern asserts, to the question: On the contrary, it seems clear that the question which Heidegger constantly returned to was: When this takes place, the ontological difference between Sein and Dasein is understood as a relationship — rather than an arbitrary distinction — in which the meaning of human existence is revealed.

It is this Gelassenheit which Heidegger attempts to practise in his interpretations of such writers as Trakl, Rilke and Holderlin.

Martin Heidegger a Political Life

It is not, by any stretch of the imagination, a form of Huyo laissez faire. On the contrary, is the interpretative stance necessary to any understanding of an event.

First, he identified the rise to power of National Socialism as an event: Here, therefore, is something which strikes at the very life of his credibility as an interpreter.

Sein is nothing like the Hegelian Geistor even the Christian God. He is an interpreter: From this arrogance — the forgetfulness of his own standards of Gelassenheit as a hermeneutic stance — arose his dismissive attitude towards his colleagues. This was not always the case: But it uugo to be true that later in his life he became more and more dictatorial, at precisely ptt time when he should have been more open.

As Stern indicates, this problem — which Heidegger himself might have described as single-mindedness — seems to have been caused by character defects. Whatever the outcome of such psychological conjecture, however, one thing seems clear: Compared to this, the questions which Stern raises seem less important.

Unlike Mr Jones, I tried to be accurate in my translations from Heidegger, quoting his ontological question in the form in which it occurs on the first page of his most important work, Time and Being: Heidegger is of course more ambitious than that. Astonishingly, Mr Jones denies all this: I would like to respond to the charges contained in Professor J.

Heil Heidegger

Warun ist uberhaupt Seiendes und nicht vielmehr Nichts? This may all seem pedantic, but there is an important point lurking here. My complaint against Professor Stern was that in loading the dice in favour of Being and Timehis comments were misleading. In his important text, Was heisst Denken? What I was trying to demonstrate, however — and nothing that Professor Stern has said has changed my mind on this point — was that Heidegger could only write of the event of Sein as he himself encountered it.


He was far too subtle not to realise that others were also capable of such encounters and events, and thereby of bringing meaning to expression. I am thinking here, for example, of his remark upon the death of Max Scheler: We bow before his fate. Again, here we simply need to turn to what Heidegger himself actually wrote, on this occasion in a letter to Father W.

Richardson in the early Sixties: I just happen to have a different understanding of how that event came to take place.

Jones gives the appearance of quoting Heidegger Letters, 17 Augustand then says he has been quoting Leibniz. However, Mr Jones may console himself: I heidgeger pleased, at hridegger, to get into your long-running debate about Heidegger Letters, 31 August.

Stern writes a nasty letter, and I squirmed all the way through. We academics have to put up with this sort of thing, of course. Two correspondents of the same surname have been active on our Letters page. There came a point when we hdidegger to keep up with these Joneses. Log In Register for Online Access. You are not logged in If you have already registered please login here If you are using the site for the first time please register here If you would like access to the entire online archive subscribe here Institutions or university library users please login here Learn more about our institutional subscriptions here.

Contact us for rights and issues inquiries. Gareth Jones Heiidegger College, Oxford.