Degree Granting Department
Stephen P. Turner
Charles B. Guignon
Authenticity, National Socialism, Radical Democracy, Tradition
Martin Heidegger was not only one of the greatest philosophers of the twentieth century but also a supporter of and a contributor to one of the most discriminatory ideologies of the recent past. Thus, "the Heidegger's case" gives us philosophers an opportunity to work on discrimination from a philosophical perspective. My aim in this essay is to question the relationship between freedom and discrimination via Heidegger's philosophy. I will show that what bridges the gap between Heidegger's philosophy and a discriminatory ideology such as the National Socialist ideology is Heidegger's conceptualization of freedom with the aid of a monolithic understanding of history--one that refuses to acknowledge the plurality and heterogeneity in the socio-historical existence of human beings. Accordingly, I will claim that the Heideggerian freedom depends on the social, if not literal, murder of the marginalized segments of a given society.
However, I will refuse to conclude that Heidegger's philosophy is a Nazi philosophy and that it should never be appropriated as long as we want to purify our thoughts from discriminatory ideas. Rather, I will re-appropriate Heidegger, against Heidegger, to read and interpret Michel Foucault's and Judith Butler's philosophies. My aim here is to construct a social ontology that may justify anti-discriminatory policies. More specifically, through my Heideggerian readings of Foucault and Butler, I will argue that one's freedom is dependent on the cultural resuscitation of socially, and sometimes literally, murdered racial, sexual, ethnic, religious, and sectarian/confessional minorities.
Scholar Commons Citation
Karademir, Aret, "Subject of Conscience: On the Relation between Freedom and Discrimination in the Thought of Heidegger, Foucault, and Butler" (2013). Graduate Theses and Dissertations.