The being of the Volk: state, Führer and ‘the political’ in Heidegger’s seminars during the Kairos

Sharpe, Matthew 2018, The being of the Volk: state, Führer and ‘the political’ in Heidegger’s seminars during the Kairos. In Zartaloudis, Thanos (ed), Law and philosophical theory: critical intersections, Rowman & Littlefield, London, Eng., pp.199-217.

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Title The being of the Volk: state, Führer and ‘the political’ in Heidegger’s seminars during the Kairos
Author(s) Sharpe, MatthewORCID iD for Sharpe, Matthew
Title of book Law and philosophical theory: critical intersections
Editor(s) Zartaloudis, Thanos
Publication date 2018
Start page 199
End page 217
Total pages 19
Publisher Rowman & Littlefield
Place of Publication London, Eng.
Keyword(s) Heidegger
Hegel seminars
critical theory
Summary This chapter will address Heidegger’s legal theory, or rather, whatshould be called his political or metapolitical theory, wherein thephilosophy of Being is adapted to the perceived demandsof ‘the urgency of our [German] Dasein [that] assails us’. As Susanna Lindberg has commented, this period of 1933–1935 holdsa particular interest for political theorists. For it is the only period in whichHeidegger descends to what we would standardly recognize as political philosophy. In 1933–1934, his advanced seminars included an extensive deliberation on the state and its relation to the Volk. The advanced class of 1934–1935 was devoted to a confrontation with Hegel’s Philosophy of Right. Heidegger speaks on directly political subjects: the Führerprinzip, the masses, ‘Semitic nomads’, the distress of the German Volk, and the need for the German state to ‘work out into the wider expanse’ (2015, 55). In the process, he makes clear his criticism of rival National Socialist thinkers, whom he consistently accuses of insufficiently fathoming what Heidegger conceives as the deepest significance of the Bewegung. Heidegger positively articulates what might be called a National Socialist political theology. This is grounded in the ‘theophany’ of the founding, decisionistic self-assertion of the Volk as a communal Being – ‘the cutting nearness of the coming god’ – and the alleged, destined calling of the Führer, as someone who ‘makes a gesture towards the Bereich of the Demigods’, educating the Volk for its spiritual mission: ‘a total transformation, a worldwide blueprint, on the foundation of which he educates the whole people’.
Edition 1st
Language eng
Field of Research 220210 History of Philosophy
220307 Hermeneutic and Critical Theory
HERDC Research category B1 Book chapter
Copyright notice ©2018, Rowman & Littlefield
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