Martin Heidegger's Changing Destinies

Guillaume Payen


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Yale University Press
23 May 2023
ISBN: 9780300228328
720 pages

From the publisher

A portrait of Martin Heidegger as a man and a philosopher

In this biography of Martin Heidegger (1889-1976), now available in English, historian Guillaume Payen synthesizes the connections between the German philosopher's life and work. Critically, but without polemics, he creates a portrait of Heidegger in his time, using all available sources-lectures, letters, and the notorious "black notebooks."

Payen chronicles Heidegger's "changing destinies": after the First World War, an uncompromising Catholicism gave way to a vigorous striving for a philosophical revolution-fertile ground for National Socialism. The book reflects a life of light and shadow. Heidegger was a great philosopher and teacher who cultivated friendships and love affairs with Jews but also was an anti-Semitic nationalist who lamented the "Judaization of German intellectual life."