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Heidegger and the Problem of Evil

Translated into English by Patrick Trompiz and Agata Bielik-Robson


Cezary Wodziński

This book provides an encompassing and thorough study of Martin Heidegger’s thought. It is not only a presentation but also a profound critique of the thinker’s beliefs. In the context of Heidegger’s cooperation with Nazism, the author reflects on the reasons behind his inability to confront the problem of evil and vulnerability to the threats of totalitarianism.
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Chapter 2: Second Meanings


1. On the trails of its own

Heidegger’s work begins to speak in a language not of its own making…. The simplicity of this formulation should not delude us. Following the trails which have revealed themselves so far, we have been able to recognise the internal complication, the semantic meandering of the variegated and many-segmented process of immersion in the Heideggerian project of a series of new meanings. In subsequent scenes there has also appeared a basic correlation between the stages of this process – we may agree to call it “the process of semanticization”, thus transformation at the semantic level of the project – and the reshaping which the philosophical problematic is put through. Until this point we have mainly been interested in one function of the process of semanticization of the Heideggerian project (as regards language and the philosophical problematics thereof): the pro-semantic function. Putting it most generally, this depends on absorbing or reabsorbing new meanings into a complex of old meanings, already present. Heidegger introduces a series of new concepts, which are to play a key role in the project in the years 1933–1934, quite suddenly, without prior explication or problematization and without marking out their proper semantic scope. In other cases, equally important, we arrive at a rejection of the principle of deconstructing the traditional categories of metaphysics. The previously worked out semantic structure of his work absorbs new concepts – “nation”, “spirit”, “leadership”, “fight”, “reform”, “transformation of reality”, “the end of metaphysics” and...

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