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Heidegger, Dilthey, and the Crisis of Historicism 1st Edition

2 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0801482601
ISBN-10: 0801482607
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Editorial Reviews


"Bambach's study of Heidegger is more than a solid scholarly work, it is a study bound to shake the reader out of any complacency concerning the world we live in, actively plunging the reader into the 'postmodern condition' we all share."―Paul Robberecht, University of Alberta, Seminar

"Mr. Bambach's signal achievement is to show, by a scrupulous reading of Heidegger's work, that he was not simply a political naïf caught up in a political maelstrom, as he tried to portray himself after the war. Nor was his decision to become Nazi Rector of his university merely a personal mistake, unrelated to his thought. Rather, Mr. Bambach shows that the very roots of his philosophy grow out of a poisonous soil. . . Mr. Bambach shows conclusively that Heidegger did not just disgrace himself with his Nazism; he revealed something essentially dangerous about his thought."―Adam Kirsch, New York Sun, 6 August 2003

"This book is not an expose; we've been through Martin Heidegger's none-too-salubrious laundry hamper before. But it is a book that asks the right question. It is time, Charles Bambach argues, for intellectual historians to get beyond apologies on the one hand, and attempts at total definition and dismissal on the other; rather, he insists, 'we need to ask, what kind of National Socialism did Heidegger aspire to establish? How did Heidegger's own inimitable brand of National Socialism affect the questions he raised about Germany and its place in the history of the West?' (p. xviii). To answer these questions, Bambach make a series of extremely careful and interesting excursuses into specific political, intellectual, and linguistic contexts that shaped Heidegger's thinking, uncovering the ways in which that master punster and merge/sorter of idea fashioned his public statements."―Suzanne Marchand, Louisiana State University, Central European History, 38(1)

"Bambach offers a close reading of Heidegger's texts both in the immediate historical an apolitical context of the years in which they were written and in the context of Heidegger's overall project of deconstructing the Western metaphysical tradition of calculative thinking that objectifies beings and transforms all forms of existence into resources to gain mastery over the earth."―Roderick Stackelberg, Gonzaga University, H-Net Reviews, October 2004

"Charles Bambach is a philosopher who aims to make philosophical discussions of Heidegger more historical and closer to the context of Heidegger's thought. The central point of Bambach's book about the place of politics and rootedness in Heidegger's thought is that Heidegger's philosophical work in the 1930s was deeply connected to National Socialism. . . . There is still important sorting to be done in relation to what is living and what is dead in Heidegger, but Bambach's book is a significant contribution to this discussion. Heidegger's vision of the world was far from the mainstream of contemporary American academic discourse, and this is Bambach's main concern: to caution us about the selective appropriation of Heidegger's ideas about ecology."―David S. Luft, University of California, San Diego, Journal of Modern History, vol. 77 no. 3, September 2005


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Cornell University Press; 1st edition (July 10, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0801482607
  • ISBN-13: 978-0801482601
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #705,964 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By P. Taborsky on December 16, 2007
Format: Hardcover
There is very little material available on Neo Kantianism in English. This book, an exploration of the development of Heidegger's thought against the background of nineteenth century NeoKantianism (actually only the 'Baden' school) and historicism (Heidegger studied under the NeoKantian Heinrich Rickert ), is one of the few.

The book in general is a lucid and valuable exploration some of the roots of Heidegger's thinking; however, it strikes me that there are a number of conceptual confusions in the book. For instance, in the long opening chapter we are told on one page that modernist thought 'is punctuated by a peculiarly historicist understanding of time as a linear, rosary bead sequence of cause and effect', while only a page later we are told that 'the modern experience of history is acausal, discontinuous, and ironic'.

Likewise, we read about 'the historicist narrative of progressive and unitary time', but this seems to conflict with the relativism and attention to events in their historical singularity that historicism is said to have ushered in.

Bambach wishes to see Heidegger as a key figure in the transition from a modernist to a post-modernist understanding (this thought should give us pause, however, considering Heidegger's own criticisms of another thinker often linked with post-modernism, namely Nietzsche) but also admits that the distinction between the two categories is 'slippery', and admits that both are essentially reactive in character. But these interesting thoughts from the introduction are not developed in the rest of the book; if these terms are vague, it would seem unwise to continue to rely on them to shape one's analysis.

Rickert, Heidegger's NeoKantian teacher, comes in for a lot of criticism (following Heidegger).
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 15, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Charles R. Bambach has done us a kindness by providing us with this detailed, ambitious, and thoroughly readable treasure of scholarship. He demonstrates, above all, the kind of scholarly precision and erudition that is sorely lacking in most books on Heidegger. This book is a must read for anyone interested in 19th and 20th century philosophy of history. It is far superior to its only comparable predecessor, Jeffrey A. Barash's "Heidegger and the Problem of Historical Meaning."
The only negative thing I have to say about this book is that the thread of the argument is inscrutable at times. The overall point, of course, is quite clear, but one tends to become lost in the details. The last chapter on Heidegger is particularly flawed in this respect.
All the same, this book is a new departure in Heidegger scholarship, and ought to be well-received by all.
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