Generation Existential: Heidegger's Philosophy in France, 1927-1961 1st Edition

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ISBN-13: 978-0801443916
ISBN-10: 0801443911
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"A compelling account of the peaceful invasion of contemporary French theory by the German existentialist whose legacy remains tainted by his support for National Socialism. Kleinberg's account unfolds through individual portraits of the intriguing personalities—Emmanuel Lévinas, Alexandre Koyré, Alexandre Kojéve, Raymond Aron, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Jean-Paul Sartre, Jean Beaufret, and Maurice Blanchot—whose interrogation of subjectivity and alterity, ontology and historicity, and freedom and responsibility were powerfully influenced by Heidegger's thinking. Kleinberg's rigorous examination of the translation of Heidegger's concepts and questions into the French context explores how the 'generation of 1933' became 'generation existential.'"—Jonathan Judaken, American Historical Review, October 2006

"Like the foreign irritant that causes oysters to secrete pearls, Heidegger stimulated successive generations of French thinkers to produce some of their most creative ideas. Ethan Kleinberg painstakingly reconstructs the existentialist moment in that still unfolding story, providing lucid and persuasive accounts of the impact of Heidegger's philosophy as inspiration and foil when it first crossed the Rhine. Generation Existential will be of interest not only to intellectual historians but also to anyone still grappling with the legacy of Sartre, Kojéve, Blanchot, and Levinas."—Martin Jay, Sidney Hellman Ehrman Professor of History, University of California, Berkeley

"Ethan Kleinberg's study of the successive waves in the reception and rethinking of Heidegger in France covers a crucial chapter in modern French thought and contemporary critical theory. His lucid and careful exposition, which includes a discussion of the problems posed to French thinkers by National Socialism and the Shoah, provides a basis for an informed, critical reexamination of this important dimension of recent intellectual history. He also elucidates how responses to Heidegger have always been more or less intricate and coded responses to larger social, political, and ethical issues, including one's conception of the very foundation of a secular democracy."—Dominick LaCapra, Cornell University, author of History in Transit: Experience, Identity, Critical Theory

"Ethan Kleinberg has written an important book on Heidegger's French reception that spans the influence of the German philosopher on French thinkers from Alexandre Kojéve to Maurice Blanchot. Kleinberg's systematic overview of this crucial chapter in the history of French existentialism and its broader impact explores the complex ways in which French philosophers appropriated Heidegger to counter the French postwar intellectual establishment and adapted him to address their own specific priorities. In demonstrating how Heidegger became not quite 'French,' Kleinberg illuminates several recent debates on a wide variety of topics, including French debate over Heidegger's Nazism."—Carolyn J. Dean, Brown University, author of The Fragility of Empathy after the Holocaust

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"Like the foreign irritant that causes oysters to secrete pearls, Heidegger stimulated successive generations of French thinkers to produce some of their most creative ideas. Ethan Kleinberg painstakingly reconstructs the existentialist moment in that still unfolding story, providing lucid and persuasive accounts of the impact of Heideggers philosophy as inspiration and foil when it first crossed the Rhine.Generation Existential will be of interest not only to intellectual historians but also to anyone still grappling with the legacy of Sartre, Kojeve, Blanchot, and Levinas."—Martin Jay, Sidney Hellman Ehrman Professor of History, University of California, Berkeley
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 308 pages
  • Publisher: Cornell University Press; 1 edition (September 8, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0801443911
  • ISBN-13: 978-0801443916
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,218,093 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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7 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Joelskool on October 30, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Prof. Kleinberg takes you through the significance of Heidegger's philosophy to the modern Frech existential philosophers (Satre, Blanchot, Levinas, etc..) This is a particularly tricky subject because many of France's modern thinkers were Jewish (or Lefty's) and Heidegger was a Nazi. Kleinberg is able to address how Heidegger's philosophy continued to push itself into the modern thought discourse in France despite the social conflict his politics presented. It's a good historical narrative with plenty of tizight philosophical exogesis. Need to twist your noodle and learn about a really interesting period in western history? Give this one a shot.
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A great critical-historical reconstruction of the intellectual and social roots of twentieth century French philosophy, from Russia and more.
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Generation Existential: Heidegger's Philosophy in France, 1927-1961
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