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The Introduction of Nazism into Philosophy in Light of the Unpublished Seminars of 1933-1935

Emmanuel Faye; Translated by Michael B. Smith; Foreword by Tom Rockmore

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In the most comprehensive examination to date of Heidegger’s Nazism, Emmanuel Faye draws on previously unavailable materials to paint a damning picture of Nazism’s influence on the philosopher’s thought and politics.

In this provocative book, Faye uses excerpts from unpublished seminars to show that Heidegger’s philosophical writings are fatally compromised by an adherence to National Socialist ideas. In other documents, Faye finds expressions of racism and exterminatory anti-Semitism.

Faye disputes the view of Heidegger as a naïve, temporarily disoriented academician and instead shows him to have been a self-appointed “spiritual guide” for Nazism whose intentionality was clear. Contrary to what some have written, Heidegger’s Nazism became even more radical after 1935, as Faye demonstrates. He revisits Heidegger’s masterwork, Being and Time, and concludes that in it Heidegger does not present a philosophy of individual existence but rather a doctrine of radical self-sacrifice, where individualization is allowed only for the purpose of heroism in warfare. Faye’s book was highly controversial when originally published in France in 2005. Now available in Michael B. Smith’s fluid English translation, it is bound to awaken controversy in the English-speaking world.

Emmanuel Faye is associate professor at the University Paris Ouest–Nanterre La Défense and an authority on Descartes. Michael B. Smith is professor emeritus of French and philosophy at Berry College and the translator of numerous philosophical works into English.

“Is it possible for a great philosopher to become a devoted Nazi? In his absorbing and challenging study Emmanuel Faye grasps the complexity of Martin Heidegger the man and the magnitude of his achievement."—Elie Wiesel

“Faye’s reading of Heidegger’s philosophy is quite simply transformative. Through a meticulous perusal of new sources—letters, heretofore unpublished seminars and lecture courses—he demonstrates that, during the 1920s and 1930s, right-wing ideological concerns were absolutely central to Heidegger’s Existenzphilosophie. Upon completing Faye’s study, it will be impossible to read Heidegger again naively, i.e., in a narrowly text-immanent manner.” — Richard Wolin, author of Heidegger’s Children and Distinguished Professor of History and Political Science, CUNY Graduate Center

"Emmanuel Faye incontestably shows that Heidegger’s Nazism was not fleeting, casual or accidental, but central to his philosophical enterprise.  Faye’s book challenges us to draw the ethical consequences from this fact." — Robert E. Norton, University of Notre Dame

“The book is not a pamphlet but the outcome of several years of extensive and serious research. […] Faye has unquestionably succeeded in collecting and laying out for the reader the documents of Heidegger’s deep involvement with National Socialism.”—Robin Celikates, H-Net Reviews in the Humanities & Social Sciences

"All scholars and admirers of Martin Heidegger’s œuvre should read the voluminous book on Heidegger’s infusion of Nazism into philosophy published by Emmanuel Faye. Having studied this tome, even French Heideggerians will no longer be able to deny the embarrassing depth and persistence of Heidegger’s philosophical involvment with Hitler’s National Socialism."—Herman Philipse, Dialogue, Canadian Philosophical Review

"By highlighting the links between Heidegger’s politics and his philosophy, and going where other experts have so manifestly been unprepared to go, Faye has done both history and philosophy a valuable service."—Martin Cohen, Times Higher Education

"Emmanuel Faye has produced a well-researched and painstakingly documented indictment of Heidegger's work and life, making good use of the work of his predecessors in addition to his own original research." —Michael Maidan, Philosophy in Review

Bronze medal winner of the 2009 Book of the Year Award in the Philosophy category, presented by ForeWord magazine
ISBN: 9780300172072
Publication Date: May 31, 2011
464 pages, 5 7/8 x 9 1/8
5 b/w illus.