Gregory Fried offers in this book a careful investigation of Martin Heideggers understanding of politics. Disturbing issues surround Heideggers commitment to National Socialism, his disdain for liberal democracy, and his rejection of the Enlightenment. Fried confronts these issues, focusing not on the historical debate over Heideggers personal involvement with Nazism, but on whether and how the formulation of Heideggers ontology relates to his political thinking as expressed in his philosophical works.The inquiry begins with Heideggers interpretation of Heraclitus, particularly the term polemos (war, or, in Heideggers usage, confrontation). Fried contends that Heidegger invests polemos with broad ontological significance and that his appropriation of the word provides important insights into major strands of his thinkinghis conception of the human being, understanding of truth, and interpretation of historyas well as the meaning of the so-called turn in his thought. Although Fried finds that Heideggers politics are continuous with his thought, he also argues that Heideggers work raises important questions about contemporary identity politics. Fried also shows that many postmodernists, despite attempts to distance themselves from Heidegger, fail to avoid some of the same political pitfalls his thinking entailed.

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