The enowning blog brings my attention to a blogcasted conversation with Andrew Mitchell about the philosophy of Heidegger. (More on Stanford podcasts.) Mitchell is a Post-Doctoral Fellow in the Humanities at Stanford University with research interests in contemporary continental philosophy, philosophy and literature, and he is in conversation (the programme is called Entitled Opinions and it has a great archive, with programmes on Robert Musil, Michel Tournier, Virgil, Proust, Camus and more) with Robert Harrison (author of the superb The Dominion of the Dead).

enowning itself has recently had some interesting things to say about the provocative John Gray. For me, Gray's anti-humanism is leaden and unsophisticated and you can sense that the bloke was once scarily right-wing, but he seems to be what passes muster as a public intellectual these days so I'm glad to see enowning bothering to read him carefully:

Gray is here following a common pattern: Heidegger is considered an important philosopher by those who have read him; I don't understand him; Heidegger was a Nazi; Nazism is universally condemned; I'll simply dismiss Heidegger's way of thinking by ascribing his politics to it. It is, of course, Heidegger's own fault that his critics can avail themselves of this excuse, but it doesn't say much for the critics either.

Readers Comments

  1. I'm not sure what you mean by "scarily right-wing". From what i read he was a free marketeer but then denounced it in his book" False Dawn: The Delusions of Global Capitalism".

  2. Hi Rob,

    I wrote, "Gray's anti-humanism is leaden and unsophisticated and you can sense that the bloke was ONCE scarily right-wing."



  3. I don't think he was. His many books before straw dogs suggest he was more of a liberal than he is now. He now thinks liberalism and the human race would be better off dead. If anything, he's more right wing.

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