One of the century's greatest philosophers, without whom there would be no Sartre, no Foucault, no Frankfurt School, Martin Heidegger was also a man of great failures and flaws, a Faustus who made a pact with the devil of his time, Adolf Hitler. The story of Heidegger's life and philosophy, a quintessentially German story in which good and evil, brilliance and blindness are inextricably entwined and the passions and disasters of a whole century come into play, is told in this brilliant biography.
Heidegger grew up in Catholic Germany where, for a chance at pursuing a life of learning, he pledged himself to the priesthood. Soon he turned apostate and sought a university position, which set him on the path to becoming the star of German philosophy in the 1920s. Rudiger Safranski chronicles Heidegger's rise along with the thought he honed on the way, with its debt to Heraclitus, Plato, and Kant, and its tragic susceptibility to the conservatism that emerged out of the nightmare of Germany's loss in World War I. A chronicle of ideas and of personal commitments and betrayals, Safranski's biography combines clear accounts of the philosophy that won Heidegger eternal renown with the fascinating details of the loves and lapses that tripped up this powerful intellectual.
The best intellectual biography of Heidegger ever written and a best-seller in Germany, Martin Heidegger: Between Good and Evil does not shy away from full coverage of Heidegger's shameful transformation into a propagandist for the National Socialist regime; nor does it allow this aspect of his career to obscure his accomplishments. Written by a master of Heidegger's philosophy, the book is one of the best introductions to the thought and to the life and times of the greatest German philosopher of the century.
Rudiger Safranski studies German, philosophy, and history in Frankfurt and Berlin. He has worked in adult education and was co-publisher of the magazine Berliner Hefte. He is also the author of a widely acclaimed biography of E. T. A. Hoffman. Ewald Osers is the distinguished translator of numerous works of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction from German and Czech, including the correspondence of Richard Strauss and Hugo von Hofmannsthal.
Preface: A Master from Germany Chronology Abbreviations Translator's Note Childhood and School Idealism and Materialism: German Philosophy in the Nineteenth Century Career Planning and Career Problems The Outbreak of World War I: Habilitation, War Service, Marriage The Triumph of Phenomenology: Husserl and Heidegger, Father and Son Revolution in Germany and the Question of Being Parting with Catholicism and Studying the Laws of Free Fall while Falling Marburg University and Hannah Arendt, the Great Passion Being and Time: What Being? What Meaning? The Mood of the Time: Waiting for the Great Day A Secret Principal Work: The Metaphysics Lectures of 1929-30 Balance Sheets at the End of the Republic The National Socialist Revolution and Collective Breakout from the Cave Is Heidegger Anti-Semitic? Heidegger's Struggle for the Purity of the Movement Departure from the Political Scene The Age of Ideology and Total Mobilization: Heidegger Beats a Retreat The Philosophical Diary and Philosophical Rosary Heidegger under Surveillance Heidegger Faces the Denazification Committee: Barred from University Teaching What Do We Do When We Think? Martin Heidegger, Hannah Arendt, and Karl Jaspers after the War Heidegger's Other Public Adorno and Heidegger: From the Jargon of Authenticity to the Authentic Jargon of the 1960s Sunset of Life Notes Works Cited Further Reading Index