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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 3: Sense


1. Thinking Being

This is how Heidegger formulates the idea that has been present in European philosophy from its very beginning: Jeder Denker denkt nur einen einzigen Gedanken (N I, 475). Every thinker thinks only one thought. Heidegger’s philosophy fully confirms this popular wisdom. Furthermore, in the case of Heidegger it is easy to point to this one thought – it is evident that it is closely connected to the word das Sein (Being). All the turns and modifications notwithstanding, Heidegger’s project of thinking has always consisted in thinking of Being (das Denken des Seins). His road, however winding, has always been a road to Being. And this is also how Heidegger himself understood his own philosophy. On this particular subject his critics seem uniquely unanimous. To quote one of the more famous commentators:

“Heidegger often pointed to the fact – writes Otto Pöggeler – that the question of Being, already developed by Aristotle in the form of the question about the various meanings of the word “Being”, was always the only issue of his thinking. Indeed, already in his dissertation Heidegger defines the highest task of philosophy the fragmentation of the “whole sphere of Being into various forms of reality”. His purpose in Sein und Zeit is still nothing other than the elucidation of the question about ‘what belongs to the concept of the science about Being as such, it potentialities and forms’. But it is only later that Heidegger begins to inquire about the...

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