The world of Philosophy is in turmoil as Martin Heidegger’s private notes, known as Blacknotes, were recently published in Germany for the first time, revealing his antisemitism.
Heidegger’s thought is considered a steppingstone. With his book Being and Time (1927) and his exploration of the “Being” question , he is one of the most influential philosopher of the 20th century. The Blacknotes encompass three notebooks that he wrote between 1931 and 1942. The notes are his private reflections against Jewish people that he described as “people without a land”, “with a talented calculation,” and as people that “live according to the principle of race.”
“The antisimetic sentences in the Blacknotes are disgusting and terrible,” said Günter Figal, German philosopher and president of The Martin Heidegger Society. “They have saddened me. I would have never thought to find those kinds of reflections in Heidegger.”
Heidegger’s attraction for the Nazism has been documented enough. Nazism, in fact, drew his attention but only for one year. And as of today, Heidegger’s antisemetic views were only considered something that have never affected his philosophy and his works at all.
For sure, according to Taylor Carmen who is professor of Philosophy at Barnanrd College, “it is depressing to learn that Heidegger embraced such bigotry and he took seriously such stupid fantasies about the Jews in Europe.” But this is not surprising at all. “It is hard for people to accept that being a genius in one area doesn’t prevent you from being an imbecile in another, or in everyday life, but that’s how it is,” he said during an interview.
Despite the fact that Heidegger’s reflections are strongly negative against Jewish, as Figal underlined, the Philosophy of the 20th century could not be thought without Heidegger.