Heidegger’s fundamental ontology as a political project

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2016
Soysal, Zühtücan
Martin Heidegger’s fundamental ontology has long been debated in relation to Heidegger’s personal political affiliations with National Socialism, and there is a wide scope of interpretations as to whether his thought is essentially linked to the Nazi ideology. The customary way of reading the Heideggerian corpus within this context is to investigate whether or not the fundamental ontology yields a discriminatory political stance in favor of Germans over the rest of the people (or a group of them), and both his proponents and opponents submit to pursue their examinations on the basis of a binary separation on the one side of which are Germans. The criticisms made from the perspective of liberal thought occupy the largest place in the literature. In this study, after giving a preliminary sketch of the Heideggerian thought, which shows that the fundamental ontology cannot be read as a distinct project than its political implications, the liberal response is examined and its inadequacy of evaluating Heidegger’s thought is shown. After that, concepts from the Derridean understanding of hospitality are borrowed to develop a new framework which provides a novel way of reading Heideggerian ontology as a political project. Through that reading, the complex nature of Heideggerian thought with regards to politics is expounded, rather than giving a yes/no answer. Accordingly, the political polarization is shown to have three poles—Germans, non-German Westerners, and the rest of the people—and the interrelations between those poles are explicated. 

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Citation Formats
Z. Soysal, “Heidegger’s fundamental ontology as a political project,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2016.