Fall 2018

Heidegger and the Jews

, 4 pts, GU4218


The conundrum of Martin Heidegger and the Jews continues. The recent publications of Heidegger’s Black-Notebooks reignited the debate over his ties to the National Socialist party and his personal anti-Semitism. These notebooks reveal that Heidegger establishes a philosophical case for his prejudices against Jews, one which arguably cuts to the very heart of his thinking. And yet, many of his closest and most brilliant students were Jewish, and it is becoming increasingly clear that his philosophy has left an indelible mark on twentieth century Jewish thought. This course is divided into two units: In the first unit we will become familiar with some central themes of Heidegger’s thought and explore the question of the philosophical grounding of his political failing. In the second unit we will examine a variety of responses to Heidegger by Jewish thinkers who, in different ways and for different purposes, both profited greatly from his philosophical innovations and levelled profound criticism of his thought and actions. The animating question the course will attempt to answer is: Is it possible, as one student of Heidegger’s had suggested, to think with and against Heidegger?

Section Number
Call Number
Day, Time & Location
R 12:10pm-2:00pm 201 80 Claremont Ave
Daniel Hershkowitz