Martin Heidegger: Between Good and Evil by Rüdiger Safranski

Martin Heidegger: Between Good and Evil

byRüdiger SafranskiTranslated byEwald Osers

Paperback | November 15, 1999

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One of the century's greatest philosophers, without whom there would be no Sartre, no Foucault, no Frankfurt School, Martin Heidegger was also a man of great failures and flaws, a Faustus who made a pact with the devil of his time, Adolf Hitler. The story of Heidegger's life and philosophy, a quintessentially German story in which good and evil, brilliance and blindness are inextricably entwined and the passions and disasters of a whole century come into play, is told in this brilliant biography.

Heidegger grew up in Catholic Germany where, for a chance at pursuing a life of learning, he pledged himself to the priesthood. Soon he turned apostate and sought a university position, which set him on the path to becoming the star of German philosophy in the 1920s. Rüdiger Safranski chronicles Heidegger's rise along with the thought he honed on the way, with its debt to Heraclitus, Plato, and Kant, and its tragic susceptibility to the conservatism that emerged out of the nightmare of Germany's loss in World War I. A chronicle of ideas and of personal commitments and betrayals, Safranski's biography combines clear accounts of the philosophy that won Heidegger eternal renown with the fascinating details of the loves and lapses that tripped up this powerful intellectual.

The best intellectual biography of Heidegger ever written and a best-seller in Germany, Martin Heidegger: Between Good and Evil does not shy away from full coverage of Heidegger's shameful transformation into a propagandist for the National Socialist regime; nor does it allow this aspect of his career to obscure his accomplishments. Written by a master of Heidegger's philosophy, the book is one of the best introductions to the thought and to the life and times of the greatest German philosopher of the century.

About The Author

Rüdiger Safranski studies German, philosophy, and history in Frankfurt and Berlin. He has worked in adult education and was copublisher of the magazine Berlin Hefte. He is also the author of a widely acclaimed biography of E.T.A. Hoffman.
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Details & Specs

Title:Martin Heidegger: Between Good and EvilFormat:PaperbackDimensions:496 pages, 9.25 × 6.37 × 0 inPublished:November 15, 1999Publisher:HarvardLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0674387104

ISBN - 13:9780674387102

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Extra Content

Table of Contents

Preface: A Master from Germany



Translator's Note

Childhood and School

Idealism and Materialism: German Philosophy in the Nineteenth Century

Career Planning and Career Problems

The Outbreak of World War I: Habilitation, War Service, Marriage

The Triumph of Phenomenology: Husserl and Heidegger, Father and Son

Revolution in Germany and the Question of Being

Parting with Catholicism and Studying the Laws of Free Fall while Falling

Marburg University and Hannah Arendt, the Great Passion

Being and Time: What Being? What Meaning?

The Mood of the Time: Waiting for the Great Day

A Secret Principal Work: The Metaphysics Lectures of 1929-30

Balance Sheets at the End of the Republic

The National Socialist Revolution and Collective Breakout from the Cave

Is Heidegger Anti-Semitic?

Heidegger's Struggle for the Purity of the Movement

Departure from the Political Scene

The Age of Ideology and Total Mobilization: Heidegger Beats a Retreat

The Philosophical Diary and Philosophical Rosary

Heidegger under Surveillance

Heidegger Faces the Denazification Committee: Barred from University Teaching

What Do We Do When We Think?

Martin Heidegger, Hannah Arendt, and Karl Jaspers after the War

Heidegger's Other Public

Adorno and Heidegger: From the Jargon of Authenticity to the Authentic Jargon of the 1960s

Sunset of Life


Works Cited

Further Reading


From Our Editors

This book tells the story of a remarkable man, describing both his life and philosophy. Martin Heidegger is an objectively written biography displaying the subject’s power of imagination. It contains many facts previous biographies have left out. We see how Heidegger developed his intellect and became one of the greatest thinkers of the century.

Editorial Reviews

This biography of Martin Heidegger is an impressive achievement, and English-speaking readers are fortunate that it is now available to them...Martin Heidegger is the first comprehensive biography of one of the most influential philosophers of the twentieth century. It offers a detailed view of Heidegger's intellectual development provided by no previous book, and it gives new information on his involvement with the Nazis. Given the importance of Heidegger's thought for many celebrated left-wing thinkers, including Jacques Derrida and Michel Foucault,Safranski's careful consideration of the relation between Heidegger's right-wing politics and his thought can help readers struggle with the much-debated question of whether the contemporary leftists of the postmodern movement are really cultural reactionaries in disguise...Safranski's biography is both the most authoritative and the most approachable of the recent Heidegger books.