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The Necessity of Thinking Historically – Heidegger After Nietzsche

Kelly, Dominic (2020) The Necessity of Thinking Historically – Heidegger After Nietzsche. Journal of the British Society for Phenomenology, 51 (2). pp. 162-173. ISSN 2332-0486

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This paper is concerned with the turning that occurs within the work of Martin Heidegger. In particular it seeks to reveal it as a turning that takes place within the notion of history as it is elaborated by Heidegger in the difference between Nietzsche and Hölderlin, that is, in the difference between philosophy and poetizing. It locates the necessity for such a turning in Heidegger's dissatisfaction with his own thinking up to the early 1930s (as suggested in his Black Notebooks). In particular the paper focuses on Heidegger's confrontation with Nietzsche over the question of nihilism in the hope of drawing out the different approaches of each thinker in trying to think this problem historically, and how this confrontation helps move Heidegger's thought towards a more poietical way of thinking. The paper concludes that Heidegger, in seeking to distinguish his thought from that of Nietzsche's, not only owes a debt to Nietzsche but that Heidegger's non-public texts of the late 1930s and early 1940s are also formally indebted to him.

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