On Philosophical Anthropology and Aesthetics
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In Vortrage und Aufsatze (Public Lectures and Essays) Heidegger declares: 'once it has become anthropology, philosophy perishes from metaphysics.' Remarks critical of 'philosophical anthropology' are scattered throughout his writings, but so far commentators have not connected these tantalizing statements in any systematic way. This book deals with his hostility by addressing what we are to make of Heidegger's frequent but elusive dismissals of philosophical anthropology as a field of study.
This examination of Heidegger's complex relation to philosophical anthropology traces how pioneering thinkers like Schelling and Schiller paved the way not only for Heidegger but also for some of his potential competitors, most notably Max Scheler and Georg Simmel. Weidler argues that confronting the puzzle over Heidegger's peculiar relation to philosophical anthropology is also one of the keys to explaining his popularity as a philosopher, which has endured despite revelations of his various personal and political failings.
Introduction: The Decisive Decade from 1936 to 1946
PART I: Back to the 1780s
Chapter 1 Philosophical Anthropology:
Herder's Pantheism as a Subtext for Heidegger's First Schelling Lecture
Chapter 2 Revelation:
Heidegger's Second Schelling Lecture vis-a-vis Scheler and Simmel
Chapter 3 "The Origin of the Work of Art":
A Critique of Schiller Incognito and the Beginning of Artisan Thinking
PART II: Battleground Nietzsche
Chapter 4 Heidegger's Nietzsche Volumes:
Nihilism, Physiological Aesthetics, and Volitional Metaphysics
Chapter 5 Hegel and Nietzsche in Holzwege:
Religious Skepticism, Witnessing, and "Subjectity"
PART III: Poeticsat the "Zero Hour"
Chapter 6 "Why Poets?":
Cultural Rebirth and the Poetic Inception of Piety
Chapter 7 The Letter on Humanism:
Modulations of the German Poet in a Demonic Text
CODA: Being and Time as an "Old-fashioned" Book?
Chapter 8 Freedom for Death and Prussian Resolve
Conclusion: Faith and Fanaticism after Heidegger
Considering the intersection of philosophical anthropology and aesthetics, this book provides a new way of approaching Heidegger and the ingenuity and rhetorical complexity of his writing style.