Naming Φύσις and the Inner Truth of National Socialism : A New Archival Discovery - PDF

Research in Phenomenology Naming Φύσις and the Inner Truth of National Socialism : A New Archival Discovery Julia A. Ireland Whitman College Abstract This article offers an interpretive reconstruction

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Research in Phenomenology Naming Φύσις and the Inner Truth of National Socialism : A New Archival Discovery Julia A. Ireland Whitman College Abstract This article offers an interpretive reconstruction of Heidegger s first reference to the inner truth of National Socialism in the 1934/35 lecture course, Hölderlin s Hymns Germania and The Rhine (Gesamtausgabe 39), which has remained unknown due to an editorial error. Focusing on the distinction Heidegger draws between Greek φύσις and natural science, it examines the way Heidegger conceives politics more originally through Hölderlin and the naming force of Nature. It then contextualizes Heidegger s specific reference to National Socialism in terms of the then contemporary debate between liberalism and the racially determined new science, arguing that Heidegger thinks the inner truth of National Socialism as a φύσις-event. Keywords Heidegger Hölderlin National Socialism inner truth and greatness φύσις natural science Scandalous. It is the single word most often used to characterize Heidegger s 1935 reference in Introduction to Metaphysics1 to the inner truth and greatness 1 First and foremost, I wish to thank Dr. Hermann Heidegger for permission to cite the manuscripts, and for his willingness to allow me to publish a reproduction of the manuscript page with my article. I would also like to thank Frau Heidrun Fink and Frau Hildegard Dieke at the Deutsches Literaturarchiv (dla) in Marbach, Germany, for helping me locate Heidegger s manuscripts, as well as the head of the Archive Department, Dr. Ulrich von Bülow, who took the time to review the manuscript page with me and to address some of my basic questions. I also wish to thank Tracy Colony, Theodore Kisiel, Richard Polt, William McNeill, John Sallis, koninklijke brill nv, leiden, 2014 doi / 316 Ireland of N.S. [National Socialism]. 2 The consistency with which it is deployed by nearly everyone writing on Heidegger s politics from journalists to philosophically minded internet bloggers to serious Heidegger scholars reveals it to have assumed an almost idiomatic force. Scandalous is the word used to capture and mark the experience of immediate moral offense built into a formulation that has the disadvantage of showing Heidegger engaged in the activity of drawing a distinction. And it is also the word used to describe the relationship between the experience of that offense and its blatancy, which connects the scandalous to shamelessness and to publicity. This has placed more than one scholar into the ambivalent position of, on the one hand, praising Heidegger for the courageousness of his decision to include in the 1953 Niemeyer edition of Introduction to Metaphysics a sentence he did not deliver as part of the lecture course, while, on the other hand, taking him to task not just for not deleting the phrase when presented the opportunity but also for retrospectively justifying it by way of a later parenthetical.3 Greg Fried, Thomas Sheehan, and Peter Trawny for their advice and assistance. I am particularly grateful to Tom Davis, whose questions and comments have been invaluable in the progression of this article through its many drafts. Finally, I am indebted to both Whitman College and the Alexander von Humboldt Stiftung for contributing funding for the three separate trips to the dla that supported my research and the checking of my facts. 2 I will be referring to Heidegger s original formulation of this sentence as it is found in the Fritz Heidegger typescript and cited by Petra Jaeger in her editor s Afterword to the fourth edition of Einführung in die Metaphysik. Jaeger confirms that Heidegger had originally employed the abbreviation n.s. [Nationalsozialismus], which he subsequently revised to read as this movement (diese Bewegung) in preparing the course for publication in 1953 by the Max Niemeyer Verlag (Einführung in die Metaphysik, ed. Petra Jaeger, 4th ed., vol. 40 of Gesamtausgabe [Vittorio Klostermann: Frankfurt am Main, 1983], 243; translated by Gregory Fried and Richard Polt as Introduction to Metaphysics [Yale University Press: New Haven, 2001], 213; hereafter cited as ga 40 and im, respectively). I have modified Fried and Polt s translation throughout in order to bring forward Heidegger s use of particular words. The sentence published in the 1953 Niemeyer edition and currently found in the 4th edition of the Gesamtausgabe volume of Einführung in die Metaphysik reads: What is being peddled about today but has not the least thing to do with the inner truth and greatness of this movement [namely, the encounter between global technology and modern humanity] is fishing about in these troubled waters of values and totalities (ga 40: 208; im, 213). Fried and Polt place Heidegger s parenthetical reference to global technology in square brackets to indicate its status as a later addition. 3 This passage from Introduction to Metaphysics has a remarkably contested editorial history, which includes not only Heidegger s replacing of the abbreviation n.s. with this movement but the question as to when, exactly, he added the parenthetical referring to global technology. Hartmut Buchner, who assisted Heidegger in reviewing the final changes to be Naming Φύσις and the Inner Truth of National Socialism 317 In the chapter he dedicates to this passage in The Shadow of That Thought, French philosopher Dominique Janicaud thus poses the question, Why keep an acknowledgement of the inner truth and greatness of [National Socialism]? In fact this is what has caused the problem or the scandal in 1953 and what keeps it alive today. 4 The answer is because, for Heidegger, this expression possesses positive, which is to say decisive, philosophical content a point he seeks to draw forward when challenged in the 1966 Der Spiegel interview, however much he garbles just when it was that he added the parenthetical.5 Despite the explanation he goes on to offer (and the most salient point concerns how we go about identifying what he there terms a real confrontation with the technological world ), such positive content nonetheless seems to remain indecipherable within the context of Heidegger s specific analyses in Introduction to Metaphysics. It does not seem possible to retrace the steps that connect the depth of creative insight that distinguishes that course with the sardonic tonality of remarks on the increased number of works on value generated by Nazi ideologues and Heidegger s affirmation of an inner truth and greatness. Yet this is not the case. For when Heidegger uses this particular formulation in Introduction to Metaphysics he is quoting and thereby presupposing the entire supporting context of his first reference to the inner truth of National Socialism. Phrased in a slightly different manner and also employing an included in the 1953 Niemeyer edition, advised him to clarify some... and better develop what was actually meant by this sentence in the context of the time. Heidegger, whom Buchner describes as becoming very angry at this suggestion, responded with the statement: That I cannot do: it would be a falsification of history. I said it that way then, and if today s readers do not want to understand what was meant by it in the context of the whole lecture course, then I cannot help them. See Buchner, Fragmentarisches, in Erinnerung an Martin Heidegger, ed. Günther Neske (Pfüllingen: Neske, 1977), 49. Despite this statement and it is largely based upon Heidegger s reply here that commentators have deemed his decision to retain this line courageous Heidegger was in fact willing to edit out other political references from the lecture courses. See note 6, below. 4 See Dominique Janicaud, The Shadow of That Thought: Heidegger and the Question of Politics, trans. Jérome Millon (Evanston, il: Northwestern University Press, 1996), chap. 4, The Purloined Letter, 50 64, here 54 (Janicaud s emphasis). 5 In the 1966 Der Spiegel interview, Heidegger mistakenly claims that the parenthetical was included in the original manuscript and corresponded exactly to [his] conception of technology at that time (Reden und Andere Zeugnisse eines Lebensweges, ed. Hermann Heidegger, vol 16 of Gesamtausgabe [Frankfurt am Main: Vittorio Klostermann, 2000], ; here after cited as ga16, translated by Maria P. Alter and John D. Caputo as Only a God Can Save Us, in The Heidegger Controversy: A Critical Reader, ed. Richard Wolin [New York: Columbia University Press, 1991], ). 318 Ireland abbreviation, this first reference took place exactly five months earlier within the context of a series of remarkable insertions, found in The Rhine portion of the handwritten manuscript of the 1934/35 Winter Semester lecture course Hölderlin s Hymns Germania and The Rhine, 6 but has remained unknown for contingent reasons. The typescript of the course collated by Fritz Heidegger and corrected by Heidegger makes clear that, in contrast to Introduction to Metaphysics, Heidegger made an editorial decision to omit several passages containing overt political content,7 including parenthetical sentences found on this 6 The lecture course is divided into two parts, Germania, which Heidegger delivered in the closing months of 1934 prior to the Christmas holiday, and The Rhine, which he delivered in 1935 with the resumption of the Winter Semester (Hölderlins Hymnen Germanien und Der Rhein, ed. Susanne Ziegler, vol. 39 of Gesamtausgabe [Frankfurt am Main: Vittorio Klostermann: 1999], translated by William McNeill and Julia Ireland as Hölderlin s Hymns Germania and The Rhine. [Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2014]; hereafter abbreviated as ga39 and gr, respectively). Notes by Siegfried Bröse indicate Heidegger delivered this reference in the lecture he gave on January 29, 1935 (Bröse, dla ). The reference from Introduction to Metaphysics was delivered on June 27, See the article by Theodore Kisiel, Heidegger s Philosophical Geopolitics in the Third Reich, in A Companion to Heidegger s Introduction to Metaphysics, ed. Richard Polt and Gregory Fried (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2001), A comparative review of the manuscript against the Fritz Heidegger typescript and the current German edition reveals that Heidegger made an editorial decision to leave out some of the more political references from the course, though he does so in such an inconsistent manner that Ziegler, in mistaking the abbreviation N.soz, could not have known Heidegger intended the parentheticals included on this manuscript page to be omitted for their political content. Needless to say, the contrast this poses to the editorial process to which Heidegger submitted Einführung in die Metaphysik invites every type of question as to what the text of a Heidegger lecture course is, since Heidegger here edited out a highly charged political reference that he did not in fact deliver as part of the course and that has arguably made its way back into the text only as a result of Ziegler s misidentification of the abbreviation N.soz. However it was that Heidegger s editorial process took place for this particular passage, Heidegger chose not to edit out what for the time was the racialist expression stammverwandtes Volk (a people of related lineage) in referring to the metaphysical kinship between the Greeks and the Germans in their respective drives toward the origin (see ga 39: 205; gr, 187). Nor does he omit the historically specific comparison between the Führer and Christ, which Fritz Heidegger mistranscribes as Führersein the being of the Führer and which Ziegler replicates in the edited volume (see Manuscript dla , p. 59; Typescript dla , p. 142; ga 39: 210; gr, 192). Luise Krohn, who possessed a remarkably sensitive ear for Heidegger s political references, is correct in rendering this word as Führertum (Führerdom) (Krohn, dla , p ). Notably, both passages are shown to be insertions within the manuscript page. By contrast, the Fritz Heidegger typescript Naming Φύσις and the Inner Truth of National Socialism 319 particular manuscript page. When the editor for the Gesamtausgabe volume, Susanne Ziegler, returns to fill in these sentences, she mistakenly interprets Heidegger s handwriting in the abbreviation N.soz for N.W, transcribing it in the edited volume as Naturwissenschaft or natural science. (She has reasonable grounds for doing so.) The passage as it is found in the current third edition of the course thus reads: Neu ist diese angeblich neue Wissenschaft nur dadurch, daß sie nicht weiß, wie veraltet sie ist. Mit der inneren Wahrheit der Naturwissenschaft [sic] hat sie vollends nichts zu tun. [This purportedly new science is new only by virtue of the fact that it does not know how antiquated it is. It has nothing whatsoever to do with the inner truth of natural science (sic)] (ga 39: 195; gr, 178).8 I discovered Ziegler s error in the context of examining what the Deutsches Literaturarchiv catalogues as Nachschrift, or lecture notes, put together by Luise Krohn, which were included as part of a review of archival documents undertaken for the English translation of the Germania and The Rhine course. Krohn s inclusion of manuscript page numbers indicate that these lecture notes are, instead, an independently generated copy of The Rhine portion of the manuscript made prior to the presentation of that part of the course in January 1935;9 the philological and philosophical analysis of this passage shows that she correctly transcribes the reveals that Heidegger made the decision to omit the sentence often cited in the secondary literature on Hölderlin s status as the poet of the Germans in which Heidegger makes explicit reference to the unique sense of politics being enacted in the Germania and The Rhine course as a whole: In this process [of Hölderlin s becoming a force in the history of our people], we must keep in mind politics in its highest and authentic sense, so much so that whoever accomplishes something here has no need to talk about the political (ga 39: 214; gr, 195). For a further discussion of such passages, see Theodore Kisiel s, Political Interventions in the Lecture Courses of , in Heidegger Jahrbuch 5. Heidegger und der Nationalsozialismus ii, Interpretationen, ed. Alfred Denker and Holger Zaborowski (Freiburg: Verlag Karl Alber, 2009), See Appendix A of the present essay for the complete citation in German of this passage, including my corrections; Appendix B is a copy of Heidegger s actual handwritten manuscript page; Appendix C is a rendering of the layout of this same page with its content translated into English. I have included bracketed numbers in the latter, which are cued to my analysis of what I am calling the logical succession of Heidegger s insertions. I again want to acknowledge Dr. Hermann Heidegger s generous permission to include a reproduction of the manuscript page, which makes graphically vivid both how Heidegger worked and the difficulties any editor of Heidegger s works must contend with. 9 Krohn, dla , p. 103x 103z. The Deutsches Literaturarchiv catalogues Krohn s manuscript copy as a Nachschrift, which implies that it is a collection of lecture notes (the term can also refer to formal course Protokolle), and indeed Krohn s version of the Germania portion of the course reads as lecture notes. By contrast, Krohn s marginal notation of manuscript 320 Ireland abbreviation as Nationalsozialismus. Student notes confirm Heidegger did not actually read out the parenthetical referring to National Socialism as part of his actual lecture, which is consistent with the way he treated the reference from Introduction to Metaphysics.10 While the omission of the bracketed sentences already goes far in confirming the fact of their political content, and the further review of Heidegger s page numbers, beginning with Heidegger s Transitional Overview and Summary (ga 39: 11; gr, 11), indicate that she was making a copy from the handwritten manuscript of The Rhine portion of the course. This is confirmed by Krohn s correct and sometimes corrected transcription of the word Seyn, as well as her completeness and accuracy when compared against both Hallwachs lecture notes and the Fritz Heidegger typescript. Her inclusion of Heidegger s More Incisive Review (ga 39: Zweites Kapitel; gr, chap. 2) as an independently numbered set of pages at the end of her notebook further suggests that she copied what Heidegger had already written out as the completed manuscript of The Rhine portion of the course prior to its having been delivered with the resumption of the Winter Semester in January 1935; Heidegger would have first written such a review within the context of his actually delivering the course, and there are several transpositions of blocks of text within Krohn s copy that point to Heidegger s later substitution of revised manuscript pages. A letter to Elisabeth Blochmann dated December 21, 1934, indicates that Heidegger had already worked out the [ Germania and The Rhine ] lecture course in its entirety and that it was available for Blochmann to read (ga 16: 336). With the exception of these transposed portions of text, Krohn s clear disinterest in Heidegger s brief discussions of Christianity in that Review in which she indicates sentences she has left out with ellipses (this is something she does not do in copying The Rhine manuscript), and her omission of sentences that she cannot read and other reasonable errors, her copy of The Rhine portion of the course corresponds exactly to both the handwritten manuscript and the Fritz Heidegger typescript. 10 Student lecture notes by Wilhelm Hallwachs, Alfred Bergstrausser, and Siegfried Bröse reveal Heidegger did not read the two-sentence parenthetical referring to National Socialism as part of the lecture course. However, Hallwachs notes show Heidegger did read the first parenthetical referring to so-called liberal objectivity that directly prompts the insertion of his reference to the inner truth of National Socialism, though he does so out of order in reading it at the very end of his first long insertion (Hallwachs, dla , p. 176). Bergstrausser s notes, which he typed up later and are also the most fragmentary of the three, are important for recording the rhetorical tonality of the way Heidegger delivered this part of the lecture. When Bergstrausser renders this passage he both puts this section in parentheses and includes the following note: (Here H makes a digression [macht eine Abschweifung], saying: Science is today the organized business of procuring and transmitting knowledge...) (Bergstrausser, dla , 18. Vorlesung Heidegger über Hölderlin ). I wish to thank Theodore Kisiel for helping me to find Bergstrausser s notes. Naming Φύσις and the Inner Truth of National Socialism 321 handwriting verifies the abbreviation as N.soz, 11 correcting this passage in the Gesamtausgabe does not address its deeper significance. It does not clarify what it was philosophically that prompted Heidegger to add the reference to National Socialism within what the manuscript page shows to be the wholesale revision of an otherwise schematic transition within Heidegger s interpretation of Hölderlin s The Rhine hymn. Nor does it help make sense of the way Heidegger then went on to add several further insertions in light of that reference, making explicit a series of latent political connections that begin with the distinction he draws between the Greek interpretation of Nature as φύσις and natural science and that extend to the lecture course on Hegel s Philosophy of Right, which he was delivering contemporaneously with the Germania and The Rhine course.12 To play off the question posed by Janicaud, the issue here is not why keep an acknowledgment of the inner truth of National Socialism but why add one in the first place? What about Hölderlin s rivers prompts Heidegger to include such an
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