“Above All, do not Mistake Me for Someone Else!”. Some Thoughts on the book by Friedrich-Willhelm von Herrmann and Francesco Alfieri “Martin Heidegger. The Truth About the `Black Notebooks`’’ Cover Image

“Par visu vairāk zvērinu es jūs – ar citiem nesajauciet mani!”
“Above All, do not Mistake Me for Someone Else!”. Some Thoughts on the book by Friedrich-Willhelm von Herrmann and Francesco Alfieri “Martin Heidegger. The Truth About the `Black Notebooks`’’

Author(s): Raivis Bičevskis
Subject(s): Contemporary Philosophy, Existentialism, Ontology
Published by: Latvijas Universitātes Filozofijas un socioloģijas institūts
Keywords: Martin Heidegger; Black Notebooks;

Summary/Abstract: Nietzsche`s admonition in “Ecce homo”: “Above all do not mistake me for someone else” was voiced by the thinker on the verge of what was left behind and what was still to come; these were the words between the past and the future. The thinker himself was on the verge of extremities thinking about the historical fate when riveting events are overrun by silence. This is also true of Heidegger, who had stepped on a very dangerous path that is possible only for a courageous and radical thinker. He was also concerned about the question of being and attempted to muse about the fate of the two and a half thousand years of European thinking. The `Black Notebooks` is a text bearing witness to this concern. This is a very important witness and yet, – not the last one and not the conclusive one. Such a witness requires to be listened to. It seems that the present age, that ever-so-often readily succumbs to mass-media sensationalism and revelations, has failed to do so. Since the publication of the first volume of the `Black Notebooks` within the series of Gesamtausgabe in 2014 (and even before that) the question of Heidegger`s relations with Nazism has been discussed again and again.The discussion seems to have completely lost the point of what Heidegger had really had in mind and what was the contextual set-up of the Notes. Friedrich Willhelm von Herrmann and Francesco Alfieri have composed a book which is of immense importance to all who have attermpted to understand what Heidegger is saying in the `Black Notebooks`. This work is of great use to the students and professors, the general intellectual readership, as well as to the casual reader who will look through the pages of the book. This book will be of immense help to independent investigation of Heidegger`s thought so as not to succumb to a false- news reality. The reader will discover up till now possibly unknown aspects of Heidegger`s teaching, because ever so often someone has stopped at the “I know Heidegger well enough” phase. The discussions and accusations of late have built up a wall of indubitable certainty around Heidegger, so that further investigation of what he really thought seems fatuous. The book of von Herrmann and Alfiery dismantles this wall of indubitable certainty. The authors reveal the completely new tonality of the Heideggerian concepts that have been used for the distortion of his thoughts on being, by using such terms as e.g. historical anti-semitism (Seinsgeschichtlicher Antisemitismus) or metaphysical anti-semitism. Von Herrmann and Alfieri convincingly demonstrate the vacuity of such statements, completely disfiguring the meaning of Heidegger`s notes. Heideggerian concepts acquire a completely new ring if used in the right context. The reader should be grateful to the authors for the great amount of work performed in contextualizing of Heidegger`s thought. Their efforts (and those of Francois Fedier) revealing the real meaning of Heideggerian teaching, and withstanding the preassure of the so-called media-reality (and correspondingly naive views within academia) deserve commendation. The situation has been aptly charactarized by Hans Georg Gadamer in a letter to von Herrmann: modern mass-media are hungry and will create a necessity even there where nothing of the sort had existed before. The present book, however, fills the gap that has been created due to the uncertainty and shyness of Heidegger`s readership, succumbing under the preassure of the media. It is of paramount importance – to understand what Heidegger had been saying. This need has been attended to and all those who are concerned with the fate of Heidegger`s thought, the fate of European philosophy, have received a message and a road-map. Nietzsche`s admonition not to mistake him for someone else is prophetic. Heidegger is not to be confussed with any other philosopher. The book ‘Martin Heidegger. The Truth from The “Black Notegbooks”’ is of great importance because it keeps this difference intact. At present the book is being translated into Latvian, so as to await publication in the autum of 2018 during the conference in Riga intended to mark the ninetieth anniversary of Heidegger` s visit to Riga in September 1928 at the invitation of the Herder Society where he delivered a course of lectures on Kant`s Critique of Pure Reason and the contemporaneuous philosophical situation.

  • Issue Year: XXIV/2018
  • Issue No: 1
  • Page Range: 124-151
  • Page Count: 28
  • Language: Latvian