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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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The Banality of Heidegger

Jean-Luc Nancy

Jeff Fort

Fordham University Press

Heidegger’s thought, insofar as it is organized in the 1930s and 1940s by the motif of the beginning and the historial in its uniqueness, had recourse to anti-Semitism in ways that betray its share in the self-detestation that profoundly characterizes the West. While being in Heidegger arguably exceeds any thinking of a self, in the Black Notebooks he turns it into a kind of Self that is the enemy of every Other, and in turn he conceals this in his published texts. His fixation on a unitary schema of historiality played a part in his refusal to acknowledge the singularity of the extermination of the Jews. The an-archic quality of Derrida’s notion of destinerrance shows that Heidegger’s thinking also points in a different, non-unique form of destining. But Heidegger rather gave in to a rage for the initial and the archi-, though he was equipped to see this trap for what it was. An age-old hatred of self, a rancor of the West against itself, occluded this knowledge.

Keywords:   anti-Semitism, Black Notebooks, decline, destinerrance, destining, errancy, eternity, Heidegger, self-detestation

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