Understanding the political and ecological implications of Heidegger’s work without ignoring his noxious public engagements
The most controversial philosopher of the twentieth century, Martin Heidegger has influenced generations of intellectuals even as his involvement with Nazism and blatant anti-Semitism, made even clearer after the publication of his Black Notebooks, have recently prompted some to discard his contributions entirely. For Michael Marder, Heidegger’s thought remains critical for interpretations of contemporary politics and our relation to the natural environment.
Bringing together and reframing more than a decade of Marder’s work on Heidegger, this volume questions the wholesale rejection of Heidegger, arguing that dismissive readings of his project overlook the fact that it is impossible to grasp without appreciating his lifelong commitment to phenomenology and that Heidegger’s anti-Semitism is an aberration in his still-relevant ecological and political thought, rather than a defining characteristic. Through close readings of Heidegger’s books and seminars, along with writings by other key phenomenologists and political philosophers, Marder contends that neither Heidegger’s politics nor his reflections on ecology should be considered in isolation from his phenomenology. By demonstrating the codetermination of his phenomenological, ecological, and political thinking, Marder accounts for Heidegger’s failures without either justifying them or suggesting that they invalidate his philosophical endeavor as a whole.
Michael Marder is Ikerbasque Research Professor of Philosophy at the University of the Basque Country, Vitoria-Gasteiz, and professor-at-large in the Humanities Institute at Diego Portales University, Santiago, Chile. He is author of Grafts: Writings on Plants (Minnesota, 2016) and Energy Dreams: Of Actuality.
"For many years, Michael Marder has been one of the most interesting philosophical interpreters of Heidegger. What he gives us to think here is really remarkable. The readers of his book on Heidegger will be inspired."—Peter Trawny, editor of the collected works of Martin Heidegger
"Often indefensible, always indispensable: Heidegger, for all his errors, continues to provoke us as modernity draws nearer to a reckoning. In this thoughtful book, Michael Marder sifts through Heidegger’s texts in a search for an open yet finite dwelling, a home beyond parochialism and globalism."—Richard Polt, Xavier University
"Deploying an exceptional familiarity with Heidegger scholarship, Michael Marder highlights how Heidegger’s thinking of the Thing offers a rich opening for ecological resistance to consumerist politics and economics."—David Wood, author of Deep Time, Dark Times: On Being Geologically Human
"Michael Marder's book is particularly thought-provoking. Highly recommended for all who continue to wrestle with the dual legacy of Heidegger's thought and his "great mistakes," without minimizing either."—Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews
"Marder’s book struck a chord with me because the author sets out to make a significant point, that is, to advocate our duty to engage with Heidegger rather than continue to ignore him because of his antisemitic sentiments."—Phenomenological Reviews