Heidegger and Criticism: Retrieving the Cultural Politics of Destruction
In "Heidegger and Criticism: Retrieving the Cultural Politics of Destruction", William Spanos examines the controversy, both in Europe and the United States, surrounding Heidegger and recent disclosures about his Nazi past. Not intended as a defense or apology for Heidegger's thought, Spanos instead affirms the importance of Heidegger's "antihumanist" interrogation of the modern age, its globalization of technology, and its neo-imperialist politics. The attack on Heidegger's "antihumanistic" discourse (by "liberal humanists" who have imported the European debate into the United States) aligns ideologically with the ongoing policing operations of William Bennett, Allan Bloom, E.D. Hirsch, Roger Kimball, Dinesh D'Souza, and others in the spheres of higher education and cultural production. Throughout his arguments, Spanos focuses not so much on Heidegger the historical subject, as on the transformative cultural and political discourses and practices, implicit in and enabled by Heidegger's interrogations of Being and Time, that have led to the contemporary emergence of the multiplicity of resistant "Others" colonized by hegemonic discursive formations. All the while he reminds us that Heidegger's philosophic interrogations eventually generate a diverse body of transgressive writing and an oppositional intellectual climate in the West. Spanos is author of "Repetitions: the Postmodern Occasion in Literature and Culture" (1987) and "The End of Education: Toward Posthumanism" (Minnesota, 1992), and the editor of "Martin Heidegger and the Question in Literature" (1980) and the co-editor of "The Question of Textuality: Strategies of Reading in Contemporary American Criticism" (1982). This book is intended for those in the fields of philosophy, literary theory, political theory.
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