Heidegger, Dilthey, and the Crisis of Historicism (Paperback)
  • Heidegger, Dilthey, and the Crisis of Historicism (Paperback)

Heidegger, Dilthey, and the Crisis of Historicism (Paperback)

Paperback 304 Pages / Published: 13/07/1995
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The collapse of historicism was not merely the demise of an academic tradition but signified a shift in the understanding of hermeneutics and metaphysics. Whereas earlier books have explored the rise and dominance of historicism within academic history, this is the first to trace its collapse and to show how it was shaped by larger philosophical and scientific concerns. Charles R. Bambach's lucid account of the demise of historicism within the context of German metaphysics provides a rich new perspective on the development of the young Heidegger's concept of "historicity" and on the origins of postmodern thought.

Bambach reconstructs the methodological debates arising from a pervasive sense of crisis among German philosophers in the late nineteenth century. He details the divergent attempts by the Neo-Kantians, Nietzsche, and Dilthey to overcome the limitations of historical relativism. Heidegger's view of "historicity," Bambach shows, radically transforms the problematic of historicism into a discourse concerning the crisis of philosophical modernity.

Publisher: Cornell University Press
ISBN: 9780801482601
Number of pages: 304
Weight: 482 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 18 mm


"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."

* Journal of Modern History *

"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."

* H-Net Reviews *

"Mr. Bambach's signal achievement is to show, by a scrupulous reading of Heidegger's work, that he was not simply a political naif 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."

* New York Sun *

"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."

* Central European History *

"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

"With its extraordinary command of both Heidegger's philosophy and the German historical tradition, Heidegger, Dilthey, and the Crisis of Historicism makes an original and lasting contribution to the field. The way Charles Bambach analyzes the crisis of German historicism, cashes it out in a nuanced reading of the early Heidegger, and inscribes the entire discussion within the genesis of postmodernity is both brilliant and compelling."

-- Thomas Sheehan, Loyola University Chicago

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