Continuing on a European theme, and on recycled debates, the perennial issue of Heidegger and the Nazis has been reignited by the publication of Emmanuel Faye’s Heidegger, l’introduction du nazisme dans la philosophie, which also includes an attack on Carl Schmitt, another thinker associated with the Nazis but now popular on the left (Mark Bahnisch gives some background here). Not surprisingly, Faye’s book has produced a reaction, in the classic form of a manifesto (in 13 languages!). The manifesto announces this site, with many contributions (all in French), with lots of references to to previous contributions to the debate, and without any systematic organisation, which makes it all a bit hard to follow. Some of the arguments focus on the details of the historical evidence, and others on the more general question of whether the kind of attack put forward by Faye and his supporters is legitimate, even granted the fact of Heidegger’s Nazi activity.
I haven’t read Faye, and it sounds as if he pushes his case too far, but I’m not ready to acquit Heidegger of active support for the Nazis, or to conclude that our reading of his philosophical views should be unaffected by his own apparent interpretation of them as a guide to action. However, others are, no doubt, better informed and should feel free to set me straight.
fn1. This longer post at my blog gives some links to an earlier round a few years ago.