Enjoyable documentary about Martin Heidegger.

Its BBC so i’m unsure if there are too many gross distortions or outright lies, but i gather much of it is sound – that he was a Nazi Party member from the start, that he ratted on colleagues, even fabricating rumours to damn them, out of spite. i only know his philosophy via George Steiner’s superb Heidegger, which is well worth seeking out (i found a copy in the Huddersfield public library 10 years ago, probably now tossed in the garbage for being less popular than Dan Brown et al). i wanted to start reading Being & Time at university, but in the introduction the translator says (as translators always do) that it’s impossible to translate Heidegger, so i promptly returned the book and decided to try again when i could read German (this is about 14 years ago and i still can’t manage). Here’s a picture of the man himself:

heidegger

Heidegger was born exactly 5 months after Wittgenstein and 5 months and a week after Hitler, and exactly one year after TS Eliot. He died when i was a couple of months old, comfortingly. He seems to have been a deeply awful and hypocritical human being, a publicly fervent Nazi and anti-semite who had a Jewish lover, a profound philosopher who publicly backed a rabble of gutter scum, a shameless apple polisher (German Streber) and willing Gestapo informant. Some men are contradictory or inconsistent; Heidegger, i would say, was merely a hypocrite (with the original Greek sense of the word in the background). Here’s an amusing reading from Thomas Bernhard’s Old Masters, on the subject of Heidegger:

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