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On overestimating philosophy: Lessons from Heidegger’s Black Notebooks


Farin, I and Malpas, J, On overestimating philosophy: Lessons from Heidegger's Black Notebooks, Journal of Aesthetics and Phenomenology, 4, (2) pp. 183-195. ISSN 2053-9320 (2017) [Refereed Article]

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DOI: doi:10.1080/20539320.2017.1396701


In this paper we discuss Heidegger’s conception of philosophy in the Black Notebooks. In particular, we set out a reading of the Notebooks from the 1930s and early 1940s as exhibiting an extremist view of philosophy, and its concern with being, which accords it an absolute and exclusive priority above and beyond everything else. We argue that such overcompensation for philosophy’s declining fortune involves a willful turning away from the realities of human life, and from the multifarious symbolic and functional worlds in which the meaning of being is articulated, refracted, and lived by individuals. In contrast, we suggest that Heidegger’s early Freiburg lecture courses already contain the basis for a critique of such an inflated notion of philosophy, and that the shift in Heidegger’s thinking in the late 1940s—away from an onto-historical and towards a topological understanding—is a consequence of Heidegger’s own reaction against the extremity of his thinking, and a turning back to the properly human dimensions of thinking and the matters that call for thinking.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:being, Heidegger, humanism, nihilism, Plato, philosophy, thinking, topology
Research Division:Philosophy and Religious Studies
Research Group:Philosophy
Research Field:Philosophy not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in philosophy and religious studies
UTAS Author:Farin, I (Dr Ingo Farin)
UTAS Author:Malpas, J (Professor Jeff Malpas)
ID Code:123436
Year Published:2017
Deposited By:Office of the School of Humanities
Deposited On:2018-01-09
Last Modified:2018-05-08

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