Heidegger and Marx
A Productive Dialogue over the Language of Humanism
Publication Year: 2013
Martin Heidegger and Karl Marx remain two of the most influential thinkers in philosophy, in political science and other social sciences, and in the humanities. Yet there has never been a full-length study in English of the relationship between their ideas, and there has only been one study in German (from 1966). A Productive Dialogue fills this gap and contradicts the widely held assumption that Heidegger had no significant engagement with Marx. Hemming focuses on four related areas of inquiry—Heidegger’s reading of Marx; Marx’s relation to G. W. F. Hegel; Heidegger’s disastrous political involvement with National Socialism; and the significance of Hegel, Marx, Heidegger, and Friedrich Nietzsche for the politics of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. A Productive Dialogue explores the understanding of political processes, systems, and behavior that animates both thinkers.
Published by: Northwestern University Press
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Title Page, Copyright Page
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This book began as a series of public lectures in the spring of 2010 from the Institute of Advanced Studies in Lancaster University (where I was awarded a research fellowship in 2008), and as seminars in the research training program of the university’s Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences and the Management School. ...
Introduction: There Is No Justice in Heidegger or for Marx
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Marx and Heidegger each understood that what they had to say arose from their own place and time. In this, they are, if in quite different ways, among the most concrete and rigorous of thinkers. More than any other thinkers in the last two hundred years, each, although differently, thought historically and sought to explain history as he understood it. ...
Heidegger and Marx
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Chapter 1. Interpretations of Heidegger and Marx
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Karl Marx and Martin Heidegger are each in their own right among the most commented-on and discussed thinkers of the recent period. Each has had a formative influence on not just one, but many, schools of thought, interpretation, and in Marx’s case, political practice. Even among those who would bear the name “Marxist,” we find vastly differing interpretations of Marx. ...
Chapter 2. The History of Marx and Heidegger
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Both Marx’s and Heidegger’s thought are grounded in an understanding of history, and above all, how philosophy itself has become historical. Before Hegel, philosophy had believed itself to be dealing with “the eternal” and unchanging: either, in the case of Plato, the eternity of the ideas, or in Aristotle, the ever-same of being itself, ...
Chapter 3. The History and Negation of Metaphysics
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The following three chapters are perhaps the most demanding in this book, in seeking to prepare the ground for the productive dialogue suggested by Heidegger with Marx. Each of them endeavors to illustrate an aspect of Hegel’s thought. Both Marx and Heidegger enter into a confrontation with Hegel, ...
Chapter 4. Logic and Dialectic
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Marx’s relentless antipathy to religion represents his antipathy to every thought of the supersensible, one that marks his every work, from the very earliest: in the preface of his doctoral thesis, Marx made his own the words Aeschylus gives to Prometheus: “ ‘with a single word, I hate all gods!,’ ...
Chapter 5. Metaphysics of the Human State
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In the last two chapters we have examined Hegel’s “speculative,” abstract thought, a philosophy which Marx regarded as still too concerned with the supersensible. Already we have begun to see how this speculative thinking is connected with “the political” and with what Hegel understood by the word “state,” at least in a preliminary way. ...
Historical, Political, and Ideological Background
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Chapter 6. The Situation of Germany
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Hegel describes a politics and a philosophy of becoming: even more than this, Hegel describes a metaphysics of becoming that is at the same time a material becoming. The metaphysics of becoming is the politics of becoming. Heidegger himself noted that in 1818 Hegel ceased to be a professor of philosophy in Heidelberg, and went to Berlin. ...
Chapter 7. The Ideology of Germany
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The public and scholarly evaluation of Martin Heidegger’s decision to become a Nazi began in 1946, as we have already seen, with the publication of Karl Löwith’s denunciation of Heidegger’s political engagement in the French journal Les Temps Modernes, under the title “The Political Implications of Heidegger’s Existentialism.” ...
Chapter 8. Nazism, Liberalism, Humanism
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Karl Marx’s definition of the finality of human existence as species-being conceals, as I have already suggested, a fundamental ambiguity, between the individual human existence—mine, and yours, and his, and hers—and species-existence as such. This ambiguity is the metaphysically construed difference between beings and what constitutes them as beings: ...
Chapter 9. The Jewish Question
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Why is the question of the biological a metaphysical question? Hegel’s philosophy, as the completion of metaphysics, is the rational securing of every being in advance of its becoming manifest through an already- grasped idea of it. What this means is that every being that is, is secured in terms of what it ought to be, ...
The Productive Dialogue: From Humanism to the Last God
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Chapter 10. Speaking of the Essence of Man
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We have already seen how Marx, in the sixth thesis on Feuerbach, had asserted that “the human essence is no abstraction inhering in each particular individual,”1 in a way entirely consistent with Hegel’s essential metaphysical thought of becoming and Nietzsche’s will to power. ...
Chapter 11. Production—Previously This Was Called God
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In order to understand what Heidegger could have meant by a “productive dialogue” it is necessary that we understand Marx’s own account of production. That account of production is in itself a confrontation with the whole history of thought, something of which Marx himself was acutely aware. ...
Chapter 12. The End of Humanism
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The Letter On Humanism has been the guiding thread for this book: it is perhaps important, therefore, to recall once again Heidegger’s caveat that “the letter still speaks in the language of metaphysics, and indeed knowingly. The other language lies in the background.”1 ...
Chapter 13. Between Men and Gods
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This book began by attempting to unfold Heidegger’s talk of “that dimension within which a productive dialogue with Marxism becomes possible.”1 Our attempt to understand what is said here has aimed to keep constantly before us that both Heidegger and Marx are concerned with the historical, as a name for “that dimension” in which the being of man unfolds. ...
Chapter 14. Conclusion
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In opening up a productive dialogue concerning Marx and Heidegger, a central question in this book has been that of the fate of Europe and that very being of Europe which has become a global affair. The taking into hand of the entire globe became a concern of the nineteenth century through the expansion of capital and production, ...
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Page Count: 326
Publication Year: 2013
Series Editor Byline: John Smith, Will Wordsworth