Black Notebooks

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The Black Notebooks (German: Schwarze Hefte) are a set of notebooks written by German philosopher Martin Heidegger (1889–1976) which were first published in 2014.[1][2] They were edited by Peter Trawny. Originally a set of small notebooks with black covers in which Heidegger jotted observations (some have said "sketches"), they have been collated into a 1,000-page transcript.[3] The first notebook is missing. The subsequent notebooks will be published in the Gesamtausgabe. So far, fourteen notebooks have been published encompassing the years 1931–1941 (GA 94–96). The notebooks from 1942–1945 are in private possession, but they have already been prepared for publication. The notebooks alleged by Trawny to contain explicitly antisemitic content,[1] reigniting the debate about Heidegger's Nazism and its relationship to his philosophical project. Critics of this claim have countered it by pointing to the sketchbook character of the Black Notebooks and the intention of the author for them to remain private and unpublished ruminations on the cultural and philosophical ideas received via time and place. Others have cited an antisemitism that does not qualify as racial, social, interpersonal or political, but rather exists only in a certain use of received concepts and German philosophical commentary up to his time.

For instance, Jesús Adrián Escudero in his "Heidegger’s Black Notebooks and the Question of Anti-Semitism" has countered that "In Heidegger's case, it is a type of anti-Semitism that could be qualified as "religious," "cultural," or "spiritual." In a letter to Hannah Arendt, in which he comments on the rumors about his anti-Semitism, it reads: "As to the rest, in matters related to the university I am as much an anti-Semite as I was ten years ago in Marburg. This anti-Semitism even found the support of Jacobstahl and Friedländer. This has nothing to do with personal relationships (for example, Husserl, Misch, Cassirer and others)." When Heidegger speaks of "Judaization" (Verjudung), he does so from a given cultural context".


  1. ^ a b Paul Hockenos (24 February 2014). "Release of Heidegger's 'Black Notebooks' Reignites Debate Over Nazi Ideology". The Chronicle of Higher Education. Retrieved 7 October 2018.
  2. ^ Philip Oltermann (13 March 2014). "Heidegger's 'black notebooks' reveal antisemitism at the core of his philosophy". The Guardian. Retrieved 7 October 2018.
  3. ^ Jonathan Rée (12 March 2014). "In defence of Heidegger". Prospect. Retrieved 7 October 2018.

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