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53 ~ JOURNAL OF THE HISTORY or PHILOSOPHY 33:3 JULY 199 5 Kain's defense of Marx raises a number of issues, three of which will be briefly mentioned here. The first concerns his response to the charge that Marx was guilty of reductionism. Since Marx held that we cannot understand material conditions without the use of symbolic frameworks, Kain argues, the symbolic has priority over the material in his thought. This seems to overlook the distinction between the order of being and the order of knowing. Why should we assume that what has priority in the latter necessarily has priority in the former? Second, in Kain's view Marxian socialism is simply the institutionalization of Kant's categorical imperative. Many scholars have questioned whether Marxist theory rests on normative principles of justice, Kantian or otherwise. This work would have been strengthened had Kain attempted a response to their arguments. Finally, there is some tension in Kain's assessment of Marx's work. Marx is applauded on the grounds that he showed how "the ideal can be made real," thereby avoiding the utopianism of Rousseau. Yet Kain simultaneously holds that Marxism as a political movement is dead, that Marx's theory of how to realize the ideal has totally failed, and that only the ideal element in Marx remains to inspire us. Aren't these concessions fatal to Kain's case? To justify his thesis that Marx holds the preeminent place in modern political philosophy Kain would have to establish that a (non-Stalinist) social order constructed on Marxian principles is feasible, and that there are forces in contemporary society that might yet push us in this direction. This has been attempted recently by David Schweickert, whose book Capitalism(New York: Cambridge University Press, 1993) thus complements Kain's in an important way. TONY SMITH Iowa State University Hans Sluga. Heidegger'sCrisis:Philosophyand Politicsin Nazi Germany. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1993. Pp. x + 285. Cloth, N.P. Hans Sluga's new book, Heidegger's Crisis:Philosophyand Politics in Nazi Germany, has much to recommend it. The book is rooted in Sluga's own experiences learning philosophy in the late fifties as an undergraduate in West Germany, in particular, his own painful discovery that many German philosophers were involved in National Socialism in varying degrees. Sluga turned away from the early influences of Oskar Becker and Heidegger and shifted to Gottlob Frege, only to discover that even Frege was not above the taint of nationalism and antisemitism. This book represents Sluga's attempt to address that uncomfortable silence concerning the role of German philosophy in relation to the rise and takeover of National Socialism. One of the virtues of this book is its scope: it attempts to comprehend the larger question of the relationship between German philosophy and National Socialism in a holistic manner. Sluga does an admirable job of maintaining the balance between this larger objective and the vast array of details in his narrative of the historical aspects of German philosophy. Indeed, I believe Sluga may well be the first person to address this question comprehensively with a fair degree of success. Another virtue of the text BOOK REVIEWS 531 is that for the most part Sluga accomplishes his objective without the ad hominem arguments, the moralizing, the "axe-grinding," and the innuendos which have at times muddied rather than clarified the debate over Heidegger, Paul de Man, and others. Most importantly, however, Siuga knows his stuff, in this case history and philosophy . He moves easily and well from one to the other without losing the reader either in a labyrinth of historical details or in the abstract complexities of philosophy. Apart from the problems discussed below, Sluga's work remains highly provocative, evenhanded and illuminating. There are a number of minor problems over which I would quibble. One example will suffice. Sluga following Hugo Ott's claims that an alliance existed among Heidegger, Alfred Baeumler, and Ernst Krieck in the spring of 1933. At first Sluga states that they "found themselves.., in close alliance" (144). However, by the end of his discussion, Sluga talks about "the alliance they struck" (151 ). As far as I know, there is no...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1538-4586
Print ISSN
0022-5053
Pages
pp. 530-532
Launched on MUSE
2008-01-01
Open Access
No
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