Martin Heidegger (Routledge Critical Thinkers) by Timothy Clark

By Timothy Clark

Since the ebook of his tremendous paintings, Being and Time, Martin Heidegger has remained some of the most influential figures in modern notion, and is a key impression for contemporary literary and cultural idea.

This guidebook offers a terrific entry-point for readers new to Heidegger, outlining such concerns and ideas as:

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* the boundaries of 'theory'
* the historical past of being
* the starting place of the paintings of art
* language
* the literary work
* poetry and the political
* Heidegger's involvement with Nazism.
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Fully up-to-date all through and that includes a brand new part on enviromental proposal and ecocriticism, this guidebook in actual fact and concisely introduces Heidegger's an important paintings in relation to artwork, language and poetry, and descriptions his carrying on with impact on severe theory.

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Example text

Nietzsche surmises it is induced by a distinctively human desire, indeed a need, for meaning, for the existence of values that can motivate the human will: “Gradually, man has become a fantastic animal that has to fulfill one more condition of existence than any other animal: man has to believe, to know, from time to time why he exists; his race cannot flourish without a periodic trust in life—without faith in reason in life” (GS 1; cf. Z, I 15; WP 12, 36). Nihilistic disorientation is a consequence of the frustration of that need: human beings need for their existence to have purpose or meaning, but it proves to be a pointless succession of events.

And he summarizes his considered conception of nihilism crisply: “A nihilist is a man who judges of the world as it is that it ought not to be, and of the world as it ought to be that it does not exist” (WP 585; cf. 247). Strictly speaking, nihilism is a “development” of pessimism. 19 Such a close affinity also supports an interpretation of nihilism in terms of despair. For it could not be explained easily if we interpreted nihilism as disorientation: in this case, pessimism and nihilism would rather seem antithetical since pessimism presupposes values that devaluation undermines.

Nevertheless, it figures prominently in the genesis of nihilism, insofar as it induces us to discern and acknowledge the truth of its premises. Nihilism is customarily thought to be a consequence of the death of God: nihilism appears “once the belief in God and an essentially moral order become untenable” (WP 55). ” Although it is one of the views most closely associated with his philosophy, Nietzsche says singularly little about the death of God.

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