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The Banality of Heidegger$
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Jean-Luc Nancy

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780823275922

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823275922.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM FORDHAM SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.fordham.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Fordham University Press, 2017. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in FSO for personal use (for details see http://www.fordham.universitypressscholarship.com/page/privacy-policy).date: 11 December 2017

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Chapter:
(p.44) 10
Source:
The Banality of Heidegger
Author(s):

Jean-Luc Nancy

Jeff Fort

Publisher:
Fordham University Press
DOI:10.5422/fordham/9780823275922.003.0010

Perhaps rancor—in the sense of bitter disappointment and rage at unjust deception—is a more appropriate term than hatred for describing what infected the West from its beginnings, insofar as the latter promised itself completion and fulfillment. Such a completion then could only take the form of destruction, which Heidegger both dreaded and wished for. Such thinking gives rise to a form of despair that couples misery (Not, distress) with the need for an Other that harbors an absolute alterity through which a new and essential event may become possible. While this configuration may be highly questionable, it does not invalidate the thinking of alterity and multiplicity that was, perhaps ironically, inspired by Heidegger, in thinkers such as Sartre, Levinas, Foucault, Derrida, Lacan, Lyotard, and even Deleuze. Through such thinkers there may be seen a thought derived in part from Heidegger which in no way transmits the anti-Semitic configurations underpinning Heidegger’s fixation on the fulfillment of being. Indeed, they attest to a motif of Jewish alterity, which ironically can in turn be seen to have been made possible by Heidegger, albeit also despite him. But Heidegger also had a sense of another way, which can be seen in his evocation, in the Black Notebooks, of “grace”—which translates charis in Greek, and chen in Hebrew.

Keywords:   alterity, distress, fulfillment of being, grace, Heidegger, rancor

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