Demythologizing Heidegger

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Indiana University Press, 1993 - Philosophy - 234 pages
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ŇThere is no other book that focuses on the religious significance of the many ÔturningsŐ in HeideggerŐs thought, nor that addresses the question of HeideggerŐs politics textually rather than autobiographically.Ó ŃMerold Westphal John D. CaputoŐs critique of Martin HeideggerŐs texts assesses HeideggerŐs achievement as a thinker while locating the source of his ethical insensitivity and political blindness. Caputo traces the emergence in HeideggerŐs writings of the misguided notion that the Western tradition grew from a single Greek beginning, excluding everything Jewish and Christian. From the early Freiburg lectures to the later works, Caputo shows that the myth of Being was not a feature of HeideggerŐs writings in the 1920s, but that it arose in the 1930s as he moved into the orbit of National Socialism. This fatal move jettisoned from HeideggerŐs thought the ethics of mercy and justice that entered the Western tradition from biblical sources. Demythologizing Heidegger calls for a distinction between dangerous, elitist, hierarchizing myths such as HeideggerŐs and salutary, liberative, empowering myths that foster the humility of justice. In contrast to Heidegger, Caputo points to the writings of Derrida, Lyotard, and Levinas for a flourishing discourse on justice.

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Aletheia and the Myth of Being
Heideggers Kampf

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About the author (1993)

Academician John D. Caputo (b.1940) specializes in continental philosophy, described as the interaction among 20th century French and German philosophy and religion. He has written a number of scholarly books including The Mystical Element in Heidegger's Thought (1978), Heidegger and Aquinas (1982), Demythologizing Heidegger (1993), Against Ethics (1993), and The Prayers and Tears of Jacques Derrida (1997). Caputo has been honored in Dublin and Toronto, where conferences have been organized around his work. Caputo is professor of philosophy at Villanova University in Pennsylvania, where he received his M.A. in 1964. Other degrees include a B.A. from LaSalle College (1962) and a Ph.D. from Bryn Mawr (1968).

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