The secret and the neuter: On Heidegger and Blanchot

Research in Phenomenology 37 (1):32-55 (2007)
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Blanchot's thought has often been understood as a critique and a reversal of Heidegger's. Indeed, many formulas of the former are construed as mere inversions of the latter. Yet, the philosophical problem raised by the encounter between Blanchot and Heidegger cannot be suffciently accounted for in terms of 'inversion' or 'reversal'. Focusing on the question of the secret in its relation to Geheimnis , this essay starts with a discussion of the notion of secrecy in relation to mysticism and argues that this difference should not be construed in terms of a disjunction. Blanchot's relation to Heidegger is not on a par with Levinas' critical account of the latter; that to acknowledge the centrality of the secret does not commit one to mysticism; and that Blanchot's ultimate claims about the neuter commit him to a position that is much closer to Heidegger's than his apparent disavowal of the latter would seem to entail



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Pascal Massie
Miami University, Ohio

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On the Essence of Truth (Pentecost Monday, 1926).Martin Heidegger - 1998 - New Yearbook for Phenomenology and Phenomenological Philosophy 9:274-287.

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