Eugen Fink is considered one of the clearest interpreters of phenomenology and was the preferred conversational partner of Edmund Husserl and Martin Heidegger. In Play as Symbol of the World, Fink offers an original phenomenology of play as he attempts to understand the world through the experience of play. He affirms the philosophical significance of play, why it is more than idle amusement, and reflects on the movement from "child's play" to "cosmic play." Well-known for its non-technical, literary style, this (...) skillful translation by Ian Alexander Moore and Christopher Turner invites engagement with Fink's philosophy of play and related writings on sports, festivals, and ancient cult practices. (shrink)
A translation of Werner Hamacher’s essay “Andere Schmerzen,” which he was unable to complete before his death on July 7, 2017. The essay analyzes the connection between pain and language in the work of Pindar, Sophocles, Cicero, Seneca, Kant, Hegel, and Valéry.
This is the first English translation of the majority of Fichte’s 1807 essay on Machiavelli, which has been hailed as a masterpiece and was important for the development of German idealist political thought, as well as for its reception by figures such as Carl von Clausewitz, Max Weber, Leo Strauss, and Carl Schmitt. Fichte’s essay attempts to resuscitate Machiavelli as a legitimate political thinker and an “honest, reasonable, and meritorious man.” It tacitly critiques Napoleon, who was occupying Prussia when Fichte (...) composed the piece, and calls on the Germans to resist the French. And some have argued that it marks a shift in Fichte’s political thought toward a more realist position. (shrink)
This is a translation of Hans-Georg Gadamer’s recently discovered 1952 Berlin speech. The speech includes several themes that reappear in Truth and Method, as well as in Gadamer’s later writings such as Reason in the Age of Science. For example, Gadamer criticizes positivism, modern philosophy’s orientation toward positivism, and Enlightenment narratives of progress, while presenting his view of philosophy’s tasks in an age of crisis. In addition, he discusses structural power, instrumental reason, the objectification of nature and human beings, the (...) reduction of both to mere means, and the colonization of scientific-technological ways of knowing and being—all of which continue to impact our social and political lives together and threaten the very existence of every living being. This speech is essential reading for Gadamer scholars interested in the social, political, and ethical dimensions of his thought and for those interested in bringing Gadamer into conversation with critical theory. (shrink)
In this article, I analyze Heidegger’s marginalia in his personal copy of the 1946 Zurich edition of poems by Georg Trakl, which I discovered several years ago while conducting research in the castle of Heidegger’s hometown of Meßkirch. Although Heidegger’s marginalia in this volume are not extensive, they are significant for three reasons: they provide valuable insight into his reading of the spirit of Trakl’s poetic work and into the place in which Heidegger situates it; they frequently shed light on (...) topics often left in the shadows by Heidegger and his expositors, topics such as biography, sexual difference, and Christianity; and they bear on Heidegger’s lifelong engagement with the status of being and even, at times, seem to call into question his published positions on it. (shrink)
Cette lettre, publiée ici pour la première fois en français, dans sa version originale, a été envoyée par Jean Wahl à Martin Heidegger le 12 décembre 1937. Elle répond à une lettre que Heidegger avait écrite à Wahl une semaine plus tôt au sujet des thèses de Wahl dans la célèbre conférence « Subjectivité et transcendance ».  Dans cette conférence, qui a été décrite comme « un tournant dans l’histoire intellectuelle du XXe siècle »,  Wahl s’interrogeait, entre autres, (...) sur la mesure dans laquelle la philosophie pouvait fournir une théorie générale des intuitions d’existences particulières telles que Kierkegaard ou Nietzsche. En d’autres termes, une philosophie de l’existence était-elle possible, ou ces existences elles-mêmes n’étaient-elles pas « à la fois plus ‘existentielles’ et plus vraiment philosophiques que les philosophies de l’existence »?  Dans sa réponse, Heidegger déclarait que sa propre pensée ne pouvait être qualifiée de philosophie de l’existence, car elle ne s’occupait de l’être humain que dans la mesure où celui-ci pouvait éclairer l’être lui-même. Wahl, cependant, n’était pas convaincu, et dans la lettre publiée ici, il défend à la fois sa décision d’appeler Heidegger un philosophe de l’existence et propose plusieurs objections à la manière dont Heidegger essaie de répondre à la question de l’être. (shrink)
This article examines the extent to which two of Meister Eckhart’s Latin writings fall prey to Heidegger’s charge of ontotheology. It argues that the intellectualist, ‘meontological’ approach to God in Eckhart’s First Parisian Question and the analogical, ontological approach in his Opus tripartitum are not as different as may initially appear. Not only do both rest on Eckhart’s peculiar doctrine of analogy; both serve to dismantle the ontotheological architecture. Indeed, rather than an intellectualist alternative to ontotheology, Eckhart’s First Parisian Question (...) presents a meticulously crafted dialectic designed to explode rational distinctions. Rather than a traditional account of God as the highest being, Eckhart’s Opus tripartitum obliterates hierarchies with its appeal to treat all being as God. Still, although both approaches contribute to an appreciation of Eckhart’s principal concern—the basic unity of the ground of the soul and the Godhead in releasement—neither suffices for unfolding its deepest implications. An ontotheological residue remains. (shrink)
Translators’ Abstract: This is a translation of Hans-Georg Gadamer’s recently discovered 1952 Berlin speech. The speech includes several themes that reappear in Truth and Method, as well as in Gadamer’s later writings such as Reason in the Age of Science. For example, Gadamer criticizes positivism, modern philosophy’s orientation toward positivism, and Enlightenment narratives of progress, while presenting his view of philosophy’s tasks in an age of crisis. In addition, he discusses structural power, instrumental reason, the objectification of nature and human (...) beings, the reduction of both to mere means, and the colonization of scientific-technological ways of knowing and being—all of which continue to impact our social and political lives together and threaten the very existence of every living being. This speech is essential reading for Gadamer scholars interested in the social, political, and ethical dimensions of his thought and for those interested in bringing Gadamer into conversation with critical theory. (shrink)
Martin Heidegger wrote one and only one preface for a scholarly work on his thinking, and it was for William J. Richardson’s study Heidegger: Through Phenomenology to Thought, first published in 1963. Ever since, both Heidegger’s Preface and Richardson’s groundbreaking book have played an important role in Heidegger scholarship. Much has been discussed about these texts over the decades, but what has not been available to students and scholars up to this point is Richardson’s original comments and questions to Heidegger (...) that led to the famous Preface. These are published here for the first time both in the German original and in our English translation. In our commentary we 1) discuss how Heidegger’s Preface came about, 2) explain the source and status of the materials published here, and 3) pair selected passages from Richardson’s text with Heidegger’s reply in his Preface to highlight the consonance of their thinking. (shrink)
Philosophy of History is in crisis. This crisis has a structural origin in separating a finitude of the one from an infinitude of the many. This difference seems to produce an aporia. Where could history be that would talk of both?