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By the Roots

Jeremy Waldron, 9 February 1995

The Anatomy of Anti-Liberalism 
by Stephen Holmes.
Harvard, 330 pp., £23.95, November 1993, 0 674 03180 6
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... representative of anti-liberal thought pales in comparison with that of his fellow Nazi apologist Martin Heidegger. Holmes mentions Heidegger early on in the book – in connection with the critique of liberal materialism and instrumental rationality – but apparently does not think he warrants a chapter to ...

War as a Rhizome

Fredric Jameson: Genre Trouble, 4 August 2022

... Germany’s first genuine bourgeois revolution. So, perhaps it’s a matter of class?The reason, Martin-Heinz Douglas Freiherr von Bora, is that you are all that we’re striving to leave behind, the kind of Germany of lords and ladies and generals’ sons and estates … I’m not even sure you are fighting for the same Germany I’m fighting for.The ...

Against Solitude

Martin Jay: Karl Jaspers, 8 June 2006

Karl Jaspers, a Biography: Navigations in Truth 
by Suzanne Kirkbright.
Yale, 352 pp., £25, November 2004, 0 300 10242 9
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... Compared to the other still influential giants of 20th-century German philosophy – Husserl, Heidegger, Gadamer, Adorno, Habermas, Arendt, Cassirer and Wittgenstein (I’m including Austrians) – he has faded from the canon. At least in the English-speaking world, Jaspers is now remembered more for his writings on other thinkers, such as Nietzsche or ...

The Ramsey Effect

Kieran Setiya, 18 February 2021

Frank Ramsey: A Sheer Excess of Powers 
by Cheryl Misak.
Oxford, 500 pp., £25, February 2020, 978 0 19 875535 7
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... that developed between analytic and Continental philosophy, the latter epitomised by the likes of Martin Heidegger and Jacques Derrida. But the taxonomy is bizarre, as Bernard Williams once complained, since it contrasts a method or approach to philosophy with a geographical region, ‘rather as though one divided cars into front-wheel drive and ...

Plato’s Friend

Ian Hacking, 17 December 1992

Metaphysics as a Guide to Morals 
by Iris Murdoch.
Chatto, 520 pp., £20, October 1992, 0 7011 3998 6
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... friend. Murdoch brings her friends, Schopenhauer, Simone Weil, Anselm, Hume, Wittgenstein, Martin Buber, but above all Plato. Perhaps you will warm to her book only if most of her friends are your friends. This has little to do with philosophical doctrine. I happen to be an entrenched nominalist and don’t for a moment believe in Plato’s Ideas or ...

Posties

Richard Rorty, 3 September 1987

Der Philosophische Diskurs der Moderne: Zwölf Vorlesungen 
by Jürgen Habermas.
Suhrkamp, 302 pp., £54, February 1985, 3 518 57702 6
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... from Marx’s description of his social and historical role. Nietzsche is still reeling from Heidegger’s description of him as ‘the last metaphysician’. If Habermas has his way, we shall, from now on, have to think of Heidegger, Derrida and Foucault as philosophers who tried and failed to achieve something which ...

Speaking Azza

Martin Jay: Where are you coming from?, 28 November 2002

Situatedness; Or, Why We Keep Saying Where We’re Coming From 
by David Simpson.
Duke, 290 pp., £14.50, March 2002, 0 8223 2839 9
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... wants to deny those who find it in their ‘azza’ identities. The same evasive logic allowed Heidegger, another critic of scientific objectivism and cultural relativism with no time for ethical dilemmas, famously to insist that ‘only a God will save us now.’ Can even a secular believer that a future history will bail us out make a convincing case ...

Half-Finished People

Thomas Meaney: Germany Imagines Hellas, 11 October 2012

The Tyranny of Greece over Germany 
by E.M. Butler.
Cambridge, 351 pp., £23.99, March 2012, 978 1 107 69764 5
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... variant of Alfred Rosenberg and company; and the more genteel version of Gymnasium graduates like Martin Schede, the chief Nazi archaeologist, who didn’t subscribe to any Nordic-Greek theory and thought of themselves merely as adding Greek grace-notes to the German triumph. Hitler was closer to the second group. He called Rosenberg ‘a narrow-minded Baltic ...

Good dinners pass away, so do tyrants and toothache

Terry Eagleton: Death, Desire and so forth, 16 April 1998

Death, Desire and Loss in Western Culture 
by Jonathan Dollimore.
Allen Lane, 380 pp., £25, April 1998, 0 7139 9125 9
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... death into life, and his Spirit finds its truth only in the process of dismemberment. For Heidegger, the only authentic life is one which embraces death as an inner structure of Dasein or human existence, while for Sartre humanity is simply the ‘desire to be’, a tragically unfinishable project driven on by its own lack or néant. In ...

Attempts to Escape the Logic of Capitalism

Slavoj Žižek: Václav Havel, 28 October 1999

Václav Havel: A Political Tragedy in Six Acts 
by John Keane.
Bloomsbury, 532 pp., £25, September 1999, 0 7475 4458 1
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... with the need to offer critical insight into Western democracy. His solution was to follow Heidegger and to see in the technological hubris of capitalism, its mad dance of self-enhancing productivity, the expression of a more fundamental transcendental-ontological principle – ‘will to power’, ‘instrumental reason’ – equally evident in the ...

Big Pod

Richard Poirier: How Podhoretz Dumped His Friends, 2 September 1999

Ex-Friends 
by Norman Podhoretz.
Free Press, 256 pp., $25, February 1999, 0 684 85594 1
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... to get into an argument about anything and anyone, even with her former lover and lifelong friend Martin Heidegger. Clearly, she was prepared to take on nearly everyone close to her in New York when her Eichmann book appeared in 1963. Like most others he knew, Podhoretz found much to disapprove of in the book. Besides her many disparaging references to ...

Lend me a fiver

Terry Eagleton: The grand narrative of experience, 23 June 2005

Songs of Experience: Modern American and European Variations on a Universal Theme 
by Martin Jay.
California, 431 pp., £22, January 2005, 0 520 24272 6
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... disliked the notion, suspecting it of dark metaphysical tendencies. For William Blake, from whom Martin Jay takes the title of his absorbing new study, experience is a domain of false consciousness and fruitless desire. For Romantics like Keats, by contrast, it is the zone of sensuous immediacy in which truth is revealed. Truth, for the Keatsian sort of ...

Cough up

Thomas Keymer: Henry Fielding, 20 November 2008

Plays: Vol. II, 1731-34 
by Henry Fielding, edited by Thomas Lockwood.
Oxford, 865 pp., £150, October 2007, 978 0 19 925790 4
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‘The Journal of a Voyage to Lisbon’, ‘Shamela’ and ‘Occasional Writings’ 
by Henry Fielding, edited by Martin Battestin, with Sheridan Baker and Hugh Amory.
Oxford, 804 pp., £150
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... for the Year 1736. The same disdain for technical smoothness is evident in the work included in Martin Battestin’s volume of Fielding’s Occasional Writings, which opens with his earliest extant publication, the hudibrastic satire The Masquerade (1728), continues on to Shamela (knocked out in 1741 from a debtors’ jail), and culminates with the ...

The spirit in which things are said

Arnold Davidson, 20 December 1984

Themes out of School: Causes and Effects 
by Stanley Cavell.
Scolar/North Point, 288 pp., £16.95, January 1985, 0 86547 146 0
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... in the essays on film in this book, where Cavell may link, for example, Buster Keaton to Martin Heidegger’s understanding of the ‘world-hood of the world announcing itself’; it appears, too, in the recurrent theme of Emerson and Thoreau as underwriting ordinary language philosophy, a theme Cavell acknowledges most of his colleagues will ...

Peas in a Matchbox

Jonathan Rée: ‘Being and Nothingness’, 18 April 2019

Being and Nothingness: An Essay in Phenomenology and Ontology 
by Jean-Paul Sartre, translated by Sarah Richmond.
Routledge, 848 pp., £45, June 2019, 978 0 415 52911 2
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... even into those who served on it. He got off to a good start with books by Claudel, Gide, Roger Martin du Gard and Stéphane Mallarmé, bound in the same white jackets as the NRF. He blundered in 1913 by passing over the first volume of A la recherche du temps perdu, but by 1918 he had persuaded Proust to entrust him with all his future work. Being ...

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