Hitler the Anti-Nihilist? Statehood, Leadership, and Political Space in Heidegger’s Seminar of 1933-34
This essay considers Heidegger’s 1933–34 seminar ‘On the Essence and Concept of Nature, History, and State’ as an attempt to develop ananti-nihilist political philosophy based on human finitude and qualitative difference. I examine Heidegger’s views on the relation between people and state, the role of a leader, and the nature of political space. Heidegger distinguishes human existence from the natural world and argues that a people can attain its full, distinctively human Being only through its state, which is to be ruled absolutely by the soaring will of a born leader. He also offers an account of political space that distinguishes between the local homeland and the ‘interaction’ that connects it to a broader territory. I relate these ideas to some other texts by Heidegger and sketch an Arendtian critique of them.
“Hitler the Anti-Nihilist? Statehood, Leadership, and Political Space in Heidegger’s Seminar of 1933-34.” European Review 22:2 (May 2014): 231-243.
Polt, Richard, "Hitler the Anti-Nihilist? Statehood, Leadership, and Political Space in Heidegger’s Seminar of 1933-34" (2014). Faculty Scholarship. Paper 1.