Talk:Martin Heidegger

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Former good article nomineeMartin Heidegger was a Philosophy and religion good articles nominee, but did not meet the good article criteria at the time. There are suggestions below for improving the article. Once these issues have been addressed, the article can be renominated. Editors may also seek a reassessment of the decision if they believe there was a mistake.
August 10, 2006Good article nomineeNot listed

Lead[edit]

As a result of recent edits, the second sentence of the lead currently states,

"A poll of North American college and university teachers of philosophy identified his first book, Being and Time (1927), as one of the central philosophical works of the 20th century."

That statement is inappropriate. It does not belong in the lead. It must either be reverted back to the previous version ("His first and best known book, Being and Time (1927), is regarded as one of the central philosophical works of the 20th century"), or it must be removed entirely. The purpose of the lead is to present information of enduring importance and relevance. What "A poll of North American college and university teachers of philosophy" revealed is not information of enduring importance and relevance. It is not only trivial but obviously trivial. The purpose of the change appears to be to downgrade as much as possible the importance of Being and Time by reducing the statement that it is seen as important by philosophers to as trivial and as inconsequential a form as possible. The change is a form of disruption. The lead should not contain trivial statements. Freeknowledgecreator (talk) 23:51, 28 November 2019 (UTC)

I note that VeryRarelyStable actually stated, "If an accurate description of its provenance is sufficient to "trivialize" it, then it is trivial and should be trivialized." My response is that deliberately including material in the lead that you actually admit is trivial is a form of disruption. Freeknowledgecreator (talk) 23:55, 28 November 2019 (UTC)
"Its" and "it" in that statement refer to the claim that Being and Time is "regarded as one of the central philosophical works of the 20th century". If the source of that "regard" is an opinion poll of North American teachers of philosophy, then to say so is to accurately report the importance of Being and Time, whereas to obscure it and report the poll's findings as fact is to overstate the importance of Being and Time. If in fact the poll is not the only source of the "regard", then it should be relatively easy to summarize the other reasons for this "regard", as in "Every major philosopher since Heidegger has made use of the concept of Geworfenheit" or whatever, in fact, those other reasons are. If on the other hand the poll is the only source of the "regard", then the statement "Being and Time is regarded as one of the central philosophical works of the 20th century", stated as fact without reference to its provenance, misrepresents the true state of affairs. —VeryRarelyStable (talk) 00:19, 29 November 2019 (UTC)
Nothing in your comment answers my criticism of your edit. You deliberately added a statement to the lead that you yourself admit is trivial, which is a form of disruption. Freeknowledgecreator (talk) 00:22, 29 November 2019 (UTC)
The word "trivialize" was yours. I do not claim that "A poll of North American college and university teachers of philosophy identified his first book, Being and Time (1927), as one of the central philosophical works of the 20th century" is a trivial statement; you claimed that it "trivialized" the status of Being and Time.
I maintain that if attributing it (accurately) to "a poll of North American college and university teachers of philosophy" is sufficient to "trivialize" the statement "Being and Time is regarded as one of the central philosophical works of the 20th century", then the statement "Being and Time is regarded as one of the central philosophical works of the 20th century" was already trivial. I did not add, or restore, anything that I thought was trivial.
VeryRarelyStable (talk) 00:30, 29 November 2019 (UTC)
Yes, the word "trivialize" was mine, but you indicated agreement with it ("then it is trivial and should be trivialized"), even if you are now trying to backtrack from that. In any case, the fundamental point remains: a statement about what a poll revealed is trivial and does not belong in the lead. Freeknowledgecreator (talk) 00:33, 29 November 2019 (UTC)
I did not. I expressed what would necessarily follow if you were correct about the "trivialization". ("If an accurate description of its provenance is sufficient to "trivialize" it...") —VeryRarelyStable (talk) 00:35, 29 November 2019 (UTC)
I note your failure to respond to the point that a statement about what a poll revealed is of insufficient importance for the lead. May I ask whether you would accept a return of the statement that Being and Time is "regarded as one of the central philosophical works of the 20th century" if it were supported by additional citations, and if so, how many more would be needed? Or do you object to it on principle, no matter how many citations are provided? Freeknowledgecreator (talk) 00:43, 29 November 2019 (UTC)
I think a statement like that needs to be supported by exposition, rather than just citations. What's central about it? What indispensable philosophical concepts come from it? (In the lede, naming those concepts will do; the explanations of them can wait till the body.) —VeryRarelyStable (talk) 00:44, 29 November 2019 (UTC)
As for "a statement about what a poll revealed is of insufficient importance for the lead" – well, if a poll is the source of the statement "Being and Time is regarded as one of the central philosophical works of the 20th century", then the statement "Being and Time is regarded as one of the central philosophical works of the 20th century" is a statement about what a poll revealed, regardless of whether this is openly stated. If that's enough to disqualify it from the lede then the only option is to drop it entirely. (But of course it's not just "a poll", it's a continent-wide poll of academic philosophy teachers, which carries rather more weight.) —VeryRarelyStable (talk) 00:50, 29 November 2019 (UTC)
The lead is a summary. It doesn't have to go into full detail. That's the purpose of the rest of the article.Freeknowledgecreator (talk) 00:45, 29 November 2019 (UTC)
Which is why I say merely naming the concepts will do for the lede; the explanations can wait till the body. And it only has to be the two or three most important ones. —VeryRarelyStable (talk) 00:50, 29 November 2019 (UTC)
Since the lead is only a summary, it is perfectly acceptable for it to state that "Being and Time" is regarded as one of the central philosophical works of the 20th century". You have presented no valid objection to that statement. Freeknowledgecreator (talk) 00:54, 29 November 2019 (UTC)

Regarded by whom? Certainly not by everybody, or even every philosopher. ("Being and Time is regarded as one of the central works in existential philosophy of the 20th century" would not be objectionable.) "By a majority of North American philosophy teachers, as measured by a poll" helps answer that question. But without it, it misleadingly gives the impression that this "regard" is universal or at least without serious contest. That impression is false. That is my objection. —VeryRarelyStable (talk) 01:00, 29 November 2019 (UTC)

Being and Time obviously is a "central philosophical work of the 20th century" in the sense that it is a highly influential philosophical work. That is objectively true and it is inconsequential if some philosophers would reject such a statement. As I said, you've presented no valid objection to the statement "His first and best known book, Being and Time (1927), is regarded as one of the central philosophical works of the 20th century". It should be restored. More citations could be provided, but I don't believe they are necessary. Your rewording the statement into a statement about what a poll stated makes it inappropriate trivia. Freeknowledgecreator (talk) 01:05, 29 November 2019 (UTC)
"Obviously" isn't a citation, and repetition isn't an argument. Why is it invalid to avoid presenting misleading impressions?
There are lots of "highly influential" works; it takes a bit more than being "highly influential" to count as "central".
Whether it's "inconsequential" that "some philosophers" would reject such a statement depends rather critically on what proportion of philosophers "some" represents.
The statement "Being and Time is regarded as one of the central philosophical works of the 20th century" is something a poll stated. If "what a poll stated is inappropriate trivia", then the statement of the work's centrality is inappropriate trivia. You can't turn something important into something trivial by stating where you got the information from.
VeryRarelyStable (talk) 01:11, 29 November 2019 (UTC)
The statement that Being and Time is a highly influential philosophical work obviously isn't a citation. However, it is a statement that anyone who takes the trouble to look up books and articles about Heidegger, or who informs himself about 20th century philosophy, would realize is true. If you haven't taken that trouble, why exactly would you become so interested in editing an article about Heidegger? Your comments about the wording that reduces the statement about Being and Time being regarded as important to the results of a poll are confused, self-referential nonsense. The statement "Being and Time" is regarded as one of the central philosophical works of the 20th century" could be backed up by numerous sources, so plainly it is not simply "something a poll stated" and obviously should not be described that way. Freeknowledgecreator (talk) 01:20, 29 November 2019 (UTC)
No, I meant the word "obviously" doesn't count as actually backing up your arguments with facts.
There is a large school of thought that disagrees with you about Heidegger being central to 20th-century philosophy. They include all the academics I've personally heard lecture about him. Some dwelt on his Nazism and his relationship with Hannah Arendt, others on the obscurity of his language (and asserted that it reflected an obscurity of thought). Perhaps these people are a minority – I don't know – but they are not an inconsequential minority.
Well, if it could be backed up by numerous sources, adduce them. Or better still, explain what concepts from Being and Time are so important to modern philosophy. Even if it's only in the body of the article and not the lede. I've taken a quick look through the article and found several reiterations of the centrality of Heidegger's thought, but scant supporting explanation of what was so central about it. Sartre developed Existentialism after reading him but Heidegger himself felt Sartre misrepresented him. Derrida got the concept of "deconstruction" from him. OK, those are two important philosophical concepts, but it takes more than two concepts to be a "central work". And not all philosophers are either existentialists or deconstructionists.
VeryRarelyStable (talk) 01:32, 29 November 2019 (UTC)
You are confusing "agreement with" with acknowledging the importance" -----Snowded TALK 07:07, 29 November 2019 (UTC)
Would the Martin Heidegger article improve or worsen if the Three Highly Experienced Editors ceased making edits? Enormous effort is wasted arguing ridiculous points. The article is clearly biased. It seems likely to me that if these three suspended involvement for some period of time, then the article would improve, i.e. converge towards the goal for a wikipedia article — "to create a comprehensive and neutrally written summary of existing mainstream knowledge about (Martin Heidegger)." I propose we conduct this experiment, where the Three Highly Experienced Editors cease editing for some period of time (6 weeks?) and see what happens. I, for one, am dedicated to the goal of wikipedia. Would they be willing to do this? If not, why not? Sbelknap (talk) 02:52, 29 November 2019 (UTC)
The Baruch poll is cited in the Wittgenstein article in a similar way. There is nothing wrong with using a poll to make the point that 'Being and Time' is considered important by some content experts. Sbelknap (talk) 18:44, 29 November 2019 (UTC)
You could just duplicate the article in your sandbox and eventually propose another version to be merged with this one. Azerty82 (talk) 19:34, 29 November 2019 (UTC)

There emphatically is something wrong with mentioning what a poll stated in the lead of what is meant to be a serious encyclopedia article. A poll, by definition, reflects opinion and has no authority; the finding of a poll is trivial information. So I utterly reject a change such as this. I believe the article should restore the wording that was there before the disruptive editing to the lead began (eg, that Being and Time is "regarded as one of the central philosophical works of the 20th century"). It could be supported by multiple citations, and the fact that it can be backed by multiple sources shows that there is absolutely no reason to present the statement as the finding of a poll. An appropriate thing to happen at this stage would be for further citations to be added, if they are thought necessary. Then, if agreement cannot be found to restore the previous wording, editors should agree on some different wording, one that does not degrade Wikipedia and embarrass it as a project by talking about opinion polls. Freeknowledgecreator (talk) 23:04, 29 November 2019 (UTC)

The Baruch poll is presented in the lede of the Wittgenstein article. There are many such surveys or polls that are in ledes of other wikipedia articles. There is certainly no guidance that supports your assertion that having poll results in a lede is inappropriate. There are multiple sources that question the value of 'Being and Time' and multiple sources that praise its value. A poll of philosophy teachers seems as good a source as any other. For now, I will delete the assertion from the lede until there is some consensus on this talk page. :The Baruch poll is presented in the lede of the Wittgenstein article. There are many such surveys or polls that are in ledes of other wikipedia articles. There is certainly no guidance that supports your assertion that having poll results in a lede is inappropriate. There are multiple sources that question the value of 'Being and Time' and multiple sources that praise its value. A poll of philosophy teachers seems as good a source as any other. For now, I will delete the assertion from the lede until there is some consensus on this talk page.
This isn't a discussion about the Wittgenstein article. You're forgetting the fact that just because an article states something that doesn't mean that it should state that thing. I don't care whether there is a guideline specifically related to statements about the importance of philosophical works being worded as statements about the result of opinion polls or not. The wording you restored is an embarrassing blight on Wikiepdia and should be replaced with something else. Freeknowledgecreator (talk) 23:09, 29 November 2019 (UTC)
should state? Are you familiar with Hume's Guillotine? Please provide some sort of evidence or logical argument supporting your assertion that citing a poll in the lede is somehow wrong? This doesn't seem obvious at all. Sbelknap (talk) 00:21, 30 November 2019 (UTC)
A poll has no authority in determining what philosophical works are or are not important, are or are not seen (rightly or wrongly) as being important, or are or are not influential. Freeknowledgecreator (talk) 05:42, 30 November 2019 (UTC)
Then the statement about Being and Time being important should not have been there in the first place, since the only source cited for it was the Baruch Poll. But your first response was not to remove the statement about Being and Time's importance, but to remove the statement about it having been determined by a poll.
(I remain a little puzzled by the assertion, however. What could possibly determine what philosophical works are or are not important but the aggregated opinions of respected scholars of philosophy? Why should the fact that these opinions were aggregated by polling make any difference to their weight?)
VeryRarelyStable (talk) 06:44, 30 November 2019 (UTC)
Scholarship is not based on opinion polls, and "teachers of philosophy" are not necessarily "respected scholars of philosophy". Obviously a better source would be preferable. The appropriate thing would have been to find one, not to add rubbish about opinion polls to the lead. Freeknowledgecreator (talk) 07:01, 30 November 2019 (UTC)
Then why did we have a statement sourced from a poll in the lede for so long? Is it OK to base our scholarship on opinion polls as long as we don't admit that's what we're doing? —VeryRarelyStable (talk) 07:15, 30 November 2019 (UTC)
It is pointless to ask me why. I cannot explain everything that happens on Wikipedia. If you're asking why I didn't remove it myself, that's because I have been much more interested in working on other articles. Freeknowledgecreator (talk) 09:23, 30 November 2019 (UTC)
You didn't just not remove it; you reverted to it. You've been quizzing me on why I then undid your revert; I think the converse question is fair enough. —VeryRarelyStable (talk) 09:41, 30 November 2019 (UTC)
Let us carefully consider the meaning of the emotionally-charged reaction by some editors to edits to the Heidegger article that are factual, well-sourced, and non-controversial among scholars. Many such edits are reverted or deleted without good reasons. Threats to deplatform well-intentioned editors are made. I urge interested editors to review the log of edits going back many years to understand what I mean. This pattern of behavior seems inimical to the goal of wikipedia. Isn't this exactly the reason why the mechanism of topic banning exists? Why is this harmful behavior permitted? What can be done to solve this problem? Sbelknap (talk) 17:53, 30 November 2019 (UTC)
  • Outside editor comment. I've just taken a look at this article lead for the first time. I don't tend to edit philosophy articles so I might be able to help towards consensus. I've been at WP for over a decade and have worked on very many ledes in very controversial topic areas. I suggest this lede gets cut right down, per WP:LEDE "It should be written in a clear, accessible style with a neutral point of view." For example, I studied philosophy in my last two years of high school (which was a long time ago) and attended university to masters degree but fwiw, I don't know what ontic means. I assume it's semantically connected to ontology somehow, but having to click a blue link in the lede to understand the word is not what we mean by accessible. If you look closely, the use of the word assumes the reader knows what it means: contrast Britannica's use of 'existentialism' [1] which even if the reader doesn't know what it means, the reader understands what its relationship is to the subject. That example should point to a re-write of the lede section. Further, what North Americans think about him isn't WP:NPOV. Why does the world care what North Americans think? That is not to take sides in the discussion above; I am simply calling for major simplification in all areas of the lede. Remember: this article is not for philosophers to win fights over, it's for their grannies and their grandchildren to understand. Cuts for simplification are a great way of achieving NPOV, because the more generic the meaning, the more universally applicable it becomes. Starting with Martin Heidegger was a German Philosopher. -Chumchum7 (talk) 06:35, 1 December 2019 (UTC)
    Seconded by a similar outsider. I dont remember why this page on my watchlist and i was about to delete it from there, but I have read this talkpage through and i was impsessed with the high level of civility of the discussion. Cudos to all.
At the same time i cannot help but notice that most of the discussion is among a handful of pagewatchers i suspect entrenched in their opinions for so long time as not to see roads to compromises. (Btw wikilawyering is not one of them.) An example is the battle over a quote "heidegger is... but at the same time...". Both sides are right here. But their rightness comes from different considerations. It is like a fight over "The Sun is the source of life on the earth, but it is so hot that if you land on it, you will evaporate instantly". Both clauses are true (with reservations), independent of each other, and put in one sentence for a reason. Question: is this latter reason crucial to the understanding the Sun, or it is a mere rhetoric device, an example of the ying/yan cliche? If the contraposition is crucial, then secondary sources must dwell on it profusely, and then it must be in the lede. Otherwise the two facts may be stated independently without particular loss of meaning. And both may be included in the lede independently, if they summarize important pieces of the article.
That said, there is a generic advice for disagreements, especially ones which lead to pagelock: instead of writing repetitive walls of text (meaning you dont hear each other), bring in independent opinions, i.e, start RFCs for clearly defined controversies. And be prepared to be patient, y'all know of long battles over mere trifles in wp. Good luck, I am unwatching. - Altenmann >talk 20:01, 1 December 2019 (UTC)
I do agree with you, Chumchum7. But I'm afraid that a longer scroll through the archives of this Talk page will reveal that "this article is for grannies and their grandchildren to understand" is itself a point of contention and a source of insta-reverts. As one of the partisans in that debate too I'm obviously going to have a biased viewpoint (the parties seem to be approximately the same as in the present disagreement); but the other side of the debate has given reasons like "That's as comprehensible as Heidegger ever gets" when they remove clarification templates – i.e. (as I read their position), because Heidegger's own writing was obscure, therefore his Wikipedia article has to be obscure as well or it's not representing him properly. —VeryRarelyStable (talk) 03:10, 2 December 2019 (UTC)
I don't believe anyone has said that the article must be obscure. It is only reasonable to point out that some obscurity may be unavoidable. Freeknowledgecreator (talk) 03:21, 2 December 2019 (UTC)

Here is a proposed lead:

Martin Heidegger (/ˈhaɪdɛɡər, ˈhaɪdɪɡər/;[12][13] German: [ˈmaʁtiːn ˈhaɪdɛɡɐ];[14][12] 26 September 1889 – 26 May 1976) was a German philosopher in the Continental tradition of philosophy. Heidegger argued that a person's life experience (being-in-the-world) could not be reduced to their logical thoughts alone but instead must include their emotional experience. Heidegger's work influenced the work of the existential philosophers.

From 1928 until 1967, Heidegger was a Professor of Philosophy at the University of Freiburg; he was briefly rector of the University, though his tenure as rector was fraught with difficulties and he ultimately resigned after eleven months. He published many philosophical works, perhaps most notably, 'Being and Time' (Sein und Zeit 1927), which concerns the nature of being and the issue of authenticity. Karl Jaspers, writing in the first volume of his work Philosophy (1932), credited Heidegger as making essential points in 'Being and Time' about "being in the world" and also about "existence and historicity".[1] Heidegger argued that the original meaning of the philosophical concept of truth was unconcealment and criticized the framing of existence in terms of a technological instrumentalist understanding of mechanism and purpose.

Born in rural Meßkirch, Baden-Württemberg, he was the son of the sexton of a rural Roman Catholic parish. He studied theology at the University of Freiburg while supported by the Catholic church, later switching to philosophy. He completed his doctoral thesis on psychologism in 1914 and his thesis for qualification as a University teacher in 1916. His scholarly work was influenced by Edmund Husserl's phenomenology. For the next two years, he worked as an unsalaried Privatdozent, and then served as a soldier in the German army during the last ten months of World War I.

Heidegger's work is considered by many readers to be difficult to understand or obscure; this opinion is shared by some philosophers, particularly those from the analytic tradition of philosophy. Despite this, a poll of North American college and university teachers of philosophy identified his first book, Being and Time (1927), as one of the central philosophical works of the 20th century.[2] Heidegger was a prominent member of the Nazi Party and during his time as rector he supported the Nazification of the University of Feiburg. Due to his promotion of Nazism, Heidegger was forbidden to teach at the University of Freiburg between 1945 and 1951 when his teaching privileges were restored. Despite the urging of colleagues and friends, Heidegger never disavowed his Nazism. He only referred to his Nazism obliquely, saying "He who thinks greatly must err greatly."

Sbelknap (talk) 23:07, 4 December 2019 (UTC)

References

  1. ^ Jaspers, Karl (1969). Philosophy. Volume 1. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press. p. 103.
  2. ^ Lackey, Douglas (1999). "What Are the Modern Classics? The Baruch Poll of Great Philosophy in the Twentieth Century". Philosophical Forum. 30 (4): 329–46. doi:10.1111/0031-806x.00022.
I reject your suggestion. It is poorly written and would lower the quality of the article. Essentially none of it acceptable. A statement like "Heidegger argued that a person's life experience (being-in-the-world) could not be reduced to their logical thoughts alone but instead must include their emotional experience" is trite nonsense and isn't in any way supported by the article body. Freeknowledgecreator (talk) 23:20, 4 December 2019 (UTC)
And your alternative laymen's explanation is… Sbelknap (talk) 01:37, 5 December 2019 (UTC)
You're claiming that Heidegger was a prominent member of the Nazi Party"? I can't even see that supported at Martin Heidegger and Nazism, let alone in the main body of the article here. Martinevans123 (talk) 23:23, 4 December 2019 (UTC)
Hmm. Maritn Heidegger and Nazism has "In September 1945, the Denazification Committee published its report on Heidegger. He was charged on four counts: his important, official position in the Nazi regime; his introduction of the Führerprinzip into the University; his engaging in Nazi propaganda and his incitement of students against "reactionary" professors.[1] He was subsequently dismissed from university the same year. In March 1949, he was declared a "follower" (Mitläufer) of Nazism by the State Commission for Political Purification.[1] But he was reintegrated in 1951, given emeritus status, and continued teaching until 1976. In 1974, he wrote to his friend Heinrich Petzet: "Our Europe is being ruined from below with 'democracy'"." "important, official" seems like prominent to me, but "important, official" is OK, too. Sbelknap (talk) 01:37, 5 December 2019 (UTC)
OK, alternatively the New York Review of Books has "He was also a convinced Nazi."[2]Sbelknap (talk) 01:37, 5 December 2019 (UTC)
"Heidegger argued that a person's life experience (being-in-the-world) could not be reduced to their logical thoughts alone but instead must include their emotional experience" is certainly not nonsense; I can understand what it means without having to strain my brain, which puts it in sharp contrast with the "explanations" of Heidegger's philosophy in the article (in consequence of which I find it difficult to judge whether it is accurate as well as readable).
(In case the non-partisan observers are wondering, this is the sort of thing I was referring to before, about one party blocking the other's attempts to clarify the writing here. Any attempt to summarize Heidegger's philosophy in words that can be understood is rejected as "bad writing" or "nonsense" or what-have-you without any suggestions for improvement other than "leave it the way it is".)
The proposed lede is in my opinion better-written than the existing one. The word "prominent" needn't be a hill to die on; it can be swapped for something like "committed". There is room for improvement in some of the phrasing: for instance
Heidegger was forbidden to teach at the University of Freiburg between 1945 and 1951 when his teaching privileges were restored
would be clearer if it were rephrased as
Heidegger was forbidden to teach at the University of Freiburg from 1945 until his teaching privileges were restored in 1951.
But these kinds of things don't constitute a reason to reject the new lede entirely.
What I am wondering is – is it not the case that, since the publication of the Black Notebooks, some of Heidegger's critics consider his work to be not merely obscure but deeply bound up with anti-Semitism and Nazism? Shouldn't that at least rate a mention in the lede (as well as more balanced consideration in the article)? – along the lines of
...and during his time as rector he supported the Nazification of the University of Freiburg; some critics argue that his Nazism deeply influenced his philosophy.
or possibly the wording we had before, namely
...and during his time as rector he supported the Nazification of the University of Freiburg; there is controversy over the degree to which his Nazism influenced his philosophy.
VeryRarelyStable (talk) 00:18, 5 December 2019 (UTC)
Agree, your phrasing on sequence of suspension from teaching at Freiburg is an improvement. Also, agree with your phrasing on Nazism (possibly) influencing his philosophy. Sbelknap (talk) 01:52, 5 December 2019 (UTC)

Second draft of lead, based on comments.


Martin Heidegger (/ˈhaɪdɛɡər, ˈhaɪdɪɡər/;[12][13] German: [ˈmaʁtiːn ˈhaɪdɛɡɐ];[14][12] 26 September 1889 – 26 May 1976) was a German philosopher in the Continental tradition of philosophy. Rejecting the Latinized German used by previous German philosophers, Heidegger expressed his ideas using simple German words in novel ways and building compound German words that were rarely used or were neologisms. Some of the apparent obscurity of Heidegger is due to this (what he considered essential) building of a new German vocabulary for philosophy. For example, in his early work, Being and Time (1927), Heidegger attempted to recover what he considered the fundamental philosophical question of what it means for something to be, avoiding words derived from the Latin word 'existentia' and instead using the German word Dasein ("being-there").[3]:193 Heidegger argued that Dasein is defined by care: a human's practically engaged and concernful mode of being-in-the-world, in opposition to such Rationalist thinkers as René Descartes, who defined human existence by a human's ability to think (e.g., 'Cogito ergo sum'). Heidegger's work influenced the work of the existential philosophers and the postmodernists.

From 1928 until 1967, Heidegger was a Professor of Philosophy at the University of Freiburg; he was briefly rector of the University, though his tenure as rector was fraught with difficulties and he ultimately resigned after eleven months. He published many philosophical works, perhaps most notably, 'Being and Time' (Sein und Zeit 1927), which concerns the nature of being and the issue of authenticity. Karl Jaspers, writing in the first volume of his work Philosophy (1932), credited Heidegger as making essential points in 'Being and Time' about "being in the world" and also about "existence and historicity".[4] Heidegger argued that the original meaning of the philosophical concept of truth was unconcealment and criticized the framing of existence in terms of a technological instrumentalist understanding of mechanism and purpose.

Born in rural Meßkirch, Baden-Württemberg, he was the son of the sexton of a rural Roman Catholic parish. He studied theology at the University of Freiburg while supported by the Catholic church, later switching to philosophy. He completed his doctoral thesis on psychologism in 1914 and his thesis for qualification as a University teacher in 1916. His scholarly work was influenced by Edmund Husserl's phenomenology. For the next two years, he worked as an unsalaried Privatdozent, and then served as a soldier in the German army during the last ten months of World War I.

Heidegger's work is considered by many readers to be difficult to understand or obscure; this opinion is shared by some philosophers, particularly those from the analytic tradition of philosophy. Despite this, a poll of North American college and university teachers of philosophy identified his first book, Being and Time (1927), as one of the central philosophical works of the 20th century.[5] Heidegger was a important, official member of the Nazi Party and during his time as rector he supported the Nazification of the University of Feiburg. Based on some comments written by Heidegger in his Black notebooks, some critics argue that his Nazism deeply influenced his philosophy, though others agree. Due to his promotion of Nazism, Heidegger was forbidden to teach at the University of Freiburg between 1945 and 1951 when his teaching privileges were restored. Despite the urging of colleagues and friends, Heidegger never disavowed his Nazism. He only referred to his Nazism obliquely, saying "He who thinks greatly must err greatly."


Sbelknap (talk) 21:59, 5 December 2019 (UTC)

So, you're still claiming that "Heidegger was a prominent member of the Nazi Party"? I still can't even see that supported at Martin Heidegger and Nazism, let alone in the main body of the article here. The lead section is meant to summarize this article. Thanks. Martinevans123 (talk) 22:03, 5 December 2019 (UTC)
Sbelknap, you have every right to put forward whatever suggestions for the lead you wish. Other editors have an equal right to respond that your suggestions to date are no good. It is not appropriate for the opening sentences of the lead to state something such as, "Rejecting the Latinized German used by previous German philosophers, Heidegger expressed his ideas using simple German words in novel ways and building compound German words that were rarely used or were neologisms. Much of the apparent obscurity of Heidegger is due to this (what he considered essential) building of a new German vocabulary for philosophy." Essentially that is editorial commentary; it simply doesn't belong in the article, let alone in the lead. Also, a bit of thought would suggest that pretty much all philosophers of note have been "considered by many readers to be difficult to understand". So, no, such trivia as "Heidegger's work is considered by many readers to be difficult to understand or obscure" absolutely and emphatically does not belong in the lead. Nor do we need statements about what "many readers" think, whatever "many readers" is supposed to mean - it is uselessly vague. The lead should note what actual philosophers think of Heidegger; not what unqualified, anonymous, and unidentified "many readers" allegedly think. Freeknowledgecreator (talk) 22:15, 5 December 2019 (UTC)
The difficulty of reading Heidegger is mentioned in the body of the article; it is the subject of the quote from Roger Scruton. Part (but not all) of the reaason for this difficulty was Heidegger's building of a new German vocabulary for philosophy. This is not in serious dispute by scholars. Its OK with me to use some other word than prominent, but that is the *meaning* of the quote I cited above. Sbelknap (talk) 22:18, 5 December 2019 (UTC)
Does the article actually state something as stupid as, "Heidegger's work is considered by many readers to be difficult to understand or obscure", or anything to that effect? Because if it does, that needs to be removed. It is of no relevance what "many readers" think if the "readers" in question are simply ordinary, unqualified, non-philosophers who happen to read Heidegger and find it hard. Freeknowledgecreator (talk) 22:20, 5 December 2019 (UTC)
You can find the quote from Roger Scruton using the page search function of your web browser. There is rather a lot of variability in what other philosophers think of Heidegger. Some consider his application of religious/spiritual concepts to phenomenology to be an intellectual cul-de-sac, best skimmed over or forgotten. Some consider his work to be utter nonsense or wordplay. Others consider Heidegger's work to be of central importance. How to summarize that in the lede? Is not the experience of readers of Heidegger at least as appropriate to the lead as the various opinions of philosophers? Sbelknap (talk) 22:26, 5 December 2019 (UTC)
Ah yes. The "utter nonsense" again. I think we've covered Russell, with that single quote above, haven't we? Please show us some quotes from all those others. Many thanks. Martinevans123 (talk) 22:45, 5 December 2019 (UTC)
Our focus here is on building a strong lede for this article. Let us stay on topic, shall we? Sbelknap (talk) 22:54, 5 December 2019 (UTC)
If we're all focused, let's not use totally unsupported pejorative phrases like "utter nonsense", shall we? Martinevans123 (talk) 22:56, 5 December 2019 (UTC)
The phrase "utter nonsense" is a quote that is provided (with citation) in the body of the article: 'Roger Scruton stated that: "His major work Being and Time is formidably difficult—unless it is utter nonsense, in which case it is laughably easy. I am not sure how to judge it, and have read no commentator who even begins to make sense of it"' However, this quote is not in the lead and your comment is off topic. Sbelknap (talk) 23:17, 5 December 2019 (UTC)
Scruton doesn't sound so sure, does he. He uses the word "unless". How many commentators had he read by 1989? Jeff Collins doesn't tell us, does he? Martinevans123 (talk) 23:26, 5 December 2019 (UTC) p.s. although that Collins book does give us a little pen-and-ink sketch of Heidegger that looks remarkably like Adolf Hitler.
Any suggestions for the lead? Sbelknap (talk) 23:39, 5 December 2019 (UTC)
You've suggested "in his early work, Being and Time (1927)". Wasn't that his first book? And also his most notable? Martinevans123 (talk) 23:43, 5 December 2019 (UTC)
According to the Heidegger Gesamtausgabe, where Heidegger dictated the order of his works, Frühe Schriften (1912–1916) predated Sein und Zeit (1927). Arguably, On Time and Being is Heidegger's most notable work, as it documents his "turn". Sbelknap (talk) 00:18, 6 December 2019 (UTC)
I'm afraid I have to say the points about Germanic and Latinate roots, and the details of his early life, don't seem weighty enough for the lede – though I'd hang on to them for the article. Here's a draft edit from me (I've dropped the references so that we don't get them piling up at the end of the section, not because I don't think they should be there):

Martin Heidegger ([pronunciation guide] 26 September 1889 – 26 May 1976) was a German philosopher in the Continental tradition of philosophy. Heidegger was concerned with the question of existence – what it means for something or someone to be. Heidegger used the German term Dasein ("being-there") to denote the human experience of existence. He argued that Dasein is defined by care: a human's practically engaged and concernful mode of being-in-the-world, in opposition to such Rationalist thinkers as René Descartes, who defined human existence by a human's ability to think (e.g., "Cogito ergo sum"). Heidegger's work is a key reference point for the existential philosophers and the postmodernists.

From 1928 until 1967, Heidegger was a Professor of Philosophy at the University of Freiburg; he was briefly rector of the University, though his tenure as rector was fraught with difficulties and he ultimately resigned after eleven months. He published many philosophical works, perhaps most notably his first book, Being and Time (Sein und Zeit 1927), which concerns the nature of being and the issue of authenticity. Karl Jaspers, writing in the first volume of his work Philosophy (1932), credited Heidegger as making essential points in Being and Time about "being in the world" and also about "existence and historicity". Heidegger argued that the original meaning of the philosophical concept of truth was "unconcealment" and criticized the framing of existence in terms of a technological "instrumentalist" understanding of mechanism and purpose.

Heidegger's work is considered by many readers to be obscure or difficult to understand; this opinion is shared by some philosophers, particularly those from the analytic tradition of philosophy. Despite this, a poll of North American college and university teachers of philosophy identified Being and Time as one of the central philosophical works of the 20th century.

Heidegger was a mid-ranking member of the Nazi Party, and during his time as rector he supported the Nazification of the University of Freiburg. Based on some comments written by Heidegger in his Black notebooks, some critics argue that his Nazism deeply influenced his philosophy, though this is disputed. Due to his promotion of Nazism, Heidegger was forbidden to teach at the University of Freiburg from 1945 until his teaching privileges were restored in 1951. Despite the urging of colleagues and friends, Heidegger never disavowed his Nazism. He only referred to it obliquely, saying "He who thinks greatly must err greatly."

VeryRarelyStable (talk) 01:30, 6 December 2019 (UTC)
The suggestion suffers from the same problems as earlier suggestions, for example, in a paragraph such as, "Heidegger's work is considered by many readers to be obscure or difficult to understand; this opinion is shared by some philosophers, particularly those from the analytic tradition of philosophy. Despite this, a poll of North American college and university teachers of philosophy identified Being and Time as one of the central philosophical works of the 20th century." Again: it does not matter what "many readers" may think, even if there were a citation that actually stated that "many readers" think this or that of Heidegger. It also does not matter what a poll stated. Freeknowledgecreator (talk) 01:42, 6 December 2019 (UTC)
Does not matter to whom? The Gods of Lankhmar? The obscurity/difficulty/absurdity/ of Heidegger's writing would certainly matter to a reader of wikipedia intent on learning more about Heidegger. I note that no evidence is provided in support of this dubious assertion. quod grātīs asseritur, grātīs negātur Sbelknap (talk) 03:51, 6 December 2019 (UTC)
Now, having repeated that many times, and used boldface for emphasis, you might try providing an actual supporting argument. What objective, non-opinion-based yardstick did you use all those times you decided it was important for the lede to keep saying that Being and Time was a "central" philosophical work? —VeryRarelyStable (talk) 03:14, 6 December 2019 (UTC)
This draft version of the lede looks good to me. Sbelknap (talk) 03:46, 6 December 2019 (UTC)
It's garbage. In answer to your question above: it does not matter what "many readers" think about Heidegger in the sense that it is objectively trivial information, and as such does not belong in the article's lead section. Per WP:LEAD: "The lead serves as an introduction to the article and a summary of its most important contents." Essentially every writer in western history who has been regarded as a philosopher has seemed "difficult" to many of those who have tried to read him - which makes it stupid for the lead to state something such as "many people find reading him difficult." Readers learn nothing of value from the inclusion of such inappropriate material. Let's not pander to anti-intellectualism. Freeknowledgecreator (talk) 07:14, 6 December 2019 (UTC)
  • Outside editor returns: Further to my point of principle above: Occam's Razor anyone? I know next to nothing about Heidegger, but I have done a lot of editing in controversial topic areas, which is an exercise in condensation. Remember that at all times we are to seek the most universally acceptable phrasing (not the most comprehensive), and this can be done by reducing text to a basic form and then building it up if necessary. So let's start with some bare bones - and go ahead and correct inaccuracies:
Martin Heidegger ([pronunciation guide] 26 September 1889 – 26 May 1976) was a German philosopher. From 1928 until 1967, he was a Professor of Philosophy at the University of Freiburg. He published many philosophical works, most notably his first book, Being and Time (Sein und Zeit 1927), which has been described as one of the central philosophical works of the 20th century.
Heidegger was concerned with the question of existence – what it means for us 'to be'. Heidegger used the German term Dasein ("being-there") to define the human experience in terms of action - rather than thought, as opposed to some of his predecessors. Heidegger's work is a key reference point for existentialist philosophy.
His work is an aspect of the Continental tradition of philosophy; it is considered by philosophers from the Analytic tradition to be obscure, difficult to understand or even nonsensical. Some critics argue that Nazism deeply influenced his thinking, although this is disputed. Due to his association with Nazism, Heidegger was forbidden to teach at the University of Freiburg from 1945 until his teaching privileges were restored in 1951.
-- Chumchum7 (talk) 05:06, 6 December 2019 (UTC)
Chumchum7, respectfully, most, if not quite all, major philosophers in western history have sometimes been considered to be "difficult to understand" even by philosophers. That being the case, what possible purpose do you believe noting that Heidegger's work has been considered "difficult to understand" by some philosophers serves? It's a completely inappropriate statement that does not belong in the lead. I also do not believe that it is properly cited. True, the article does note "This quote expresses the sentiments of many 20th-century analytic philosophers concerning Heidegger" - but that peculiarly worded observation is not the same as the material you are proposing to add to the lead. Given how strangely worded and vague it is, I also suspect it is not genuinely supported by the citation given. Freeknowledgecreator (talk) 07:30, 6 December 2019 (UTC)
I hardly think it's unfair to point out that the man who said "Making itself intelligible is suicide for philosophy" tended to be a bit harder to follow than the average philosopher. Perhaps the relevant lede paragraph could be rejigged around that, as something like
His work is an example of the Continental tradition of philosophy; it is considered by philosophers from the Analytic tradition to be obscure, difficult to understand or even nonsensical. Heidegger himself did not seek to be widely understood, arguing that "Making itself intelligible is suicide for philosophy." He was a member and public supporter of the Nazi Party during its tenure; some critics argue that Nazism deeply influenced his philosophy, although this is disputed. Due to his association with Nazism, Heidegger was forbidden to teach at the University of Freiburg from 1945 until his teaching privileges were restored in 1951.
VeryRarelyStable (talk) 11:11, 6 December 2019 (UTC)

@Freeknowledgecreator "...what possible purpose do you believe noting that Heidegger's work has been considered "difficult to understand" by some philosophers serves?" The purpose of fulfilling WP:LEDE, namely: "It should identify the topic, establish context, explain why the topic is notable, and summarize the most important points, including any prominent controversies." If there is a prominent, notable and verifiable debate about (i) his comprehensibility or (ii) criticism about his comprehensibility from the Analytical school, our guidelines require us to include it in the lede. If there isn't, they don't. So are you saying there isn't? Because I really don't care per se; I only care about establishing if there is or there isn't for the purpose of achieving consensus and article stability. I agree with your point that all major philosophers are difficult to understand, so the bottom line is whether the incomprehensibility is particularly prominent or widespread in this case. On the matter of citations being inaccurate, then that's a different matter and said content should be cut immediately. -Chumchum7 (talk) 12:51, 6 December 2019 (UTC)

Heidegger is controversial for three reasons: he was a Nazi; his philosophy is possibly nonsensical (or possibly not!); and he had sexual relationships with his female students. Of these, the most important controversy (in my opinion) is whether or not his philosophy is nonsensical. The reason this is the most important controversial aspect of Heidegger is that he is notable for being a philosopher, so the possibility that what he did is utter nonsense is directly in his wheelhouse of competence. Sbelknap (talk) 16:28, 6 December 2019 (UTC)
@Sbelknap Please list a few references that verify that there is a notable controversy about whether his philosophy is possibly nonsensical - or possibly not. It seems one is here [2] -Chumchum7 (talk) 19:31, 6 December 2019 (UTC)
Theodor Adorno is perhaps the most prominent critic of Heidegger.[6] The best primary source of Adorno's critique of Heidegger's philosophy, and more generally Husserlian phenomenology, is his Against Epistemology.[7] in which he criticizes Husserlian Phenomenology. Lukacs devotes an entire chapter in The Destruction of Reason (Die Zerstörung der Vernunft, Berlin, 1954) to criticizing Heidegger and german Existenzphilosophie in general. Herman Philipse's Heidegger's Philosophy of Being discredits Heidegger's thought entirely.[8] Of secondary sources, Biletzki discusses criticism of Heidegger by Carnap (chapter 13) [9] Sbelknap (talk) 20:50, 6 December 2019 (UTC)
Might be worth adding that fact at Theodor W. Adorno, which mentions Heidegger but not quite in such strong terms. Martinevans123 (talk) 21:57, 6 December 2019 (UTC)
From Martin Jay's review [10] of 'Towards a New Manifesto'[11] we have this:

Among the most interesting topics pursued by Horkheimer and Adorno is that of the ambivalent implications of argumentation for philosophy, an issue that is performatively acted out in the dialogue itself. Both Horkheimer and Adorno recognize that there is something sinister in the undiluted hostility to argument in certain twentieth-century philosophers. "Thinking that renounces argument -- Heidegger -- switches into pure irrationalism," Adorno cautions; "the mistrust of argument is at bottom what has inspired the Husserls and the Heideggers. The diabolical aspect of it is that the abolition of argument means that their writing ends up in tautology and nonsense." (72) There is somehow a vital link, they suggest, between the imperative to argue and the imperative to turn theory into practice.

Sbelknap (talk) 22:52, 6 December 2019 (UTC)
Sorry. No idea how that supports or negates the fact that Adorno is the most prominent critic of Heidegger. Martinevans123 (talk) 22:56, 6 December 2019 (UTC)
Let us not conflate levels of abstraction. Two separate assertions: Theodor W. Adorno is a notable philosopher. Adorno opines that Heidegger's abolition of argument ends in tautology and nonsense. QED. Sbelknap (talk) 23:03, 6 December 2019 (UTC)
Ah, I see. We're back on the "nonsense" thing again. Martinevans123 (talk) 23:07, 6 December 2019 (UTC)
Again, assuming good faith by @Martinevans123, please note that the Adorno cite is responsive to the query. Sbelknap (talk) 23:28, 6 December 2019 (UTC)
Again, sorry. No idea how that supports or negates the "fact" that Adorno is the "most prominent critic of Heidegger." Martinevans123 (talk) 23:32, 6 December 2019 (UTC)
I invite interested editors who are not @martinevans123 to review the query by @chumchum7 and judge for themselves whether my citation of Adorno is response to @chumchum7's query. Further, deponeth sayeth not. Sbelknap (talk) 23:42, 6 December 2019 (UTC)
Martinevans123, why does Adorno have to be the "most prominent critic" for his opinion to be notable? —VeryRarelyStable (talk) 23:52, 6 December 2019 (UTC)
I wasn't suggesting that he did have to be. I was suggesting that, if it was a fact, it ought to appear in his article. By the way, T disagree with Chumchum7's choice of that paper by Taylor Carman in Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, as evidence that "there is a notable controversy about whether his philosophy is possibly nonsensical". Martinevans123 (talk) 00:07, 7 December 2019 (UTC)
And yet you've twice queried the support for that claim, rather than attending to whether Adorno's opinion on Heidegger constitutes an indication of something notable enough for the lede. —VeryRarelyStable (talk) 02:49, 7 December 2019 (UTC)
Perhaps we should all just continue, and assume that the claim "Theodor Adorno is perhaps the most prominent critic of Heidegger" is an axiomatic truth. Evenso, I'd suggest that's worth mentioning at Theodor W. Adorno. Martinevans123 (talk) 10:27, 7 December 2019 (UTC) p.s. if there was a whole section in the article discussing Adorno's criticism of Heidegger, then yes, it might belong in the lead.
  • Question to all. Separately, of all the major philosophers, if ranked by alleged incomprehensibility, who are verifiably around the top? Is Mr H in this group or not? -Chumchum7 (talk) 19:31, 6 December 2019 (UTC)
Well, here's one small indication: there's a series of books called "Philosophy through jokes" or something which I discovered in a bookshop recently while Christmas shopping. One of them was titled "Heidegger and a hippo walk up to those Pearly Gates..." and it turned out to be about Heidegger and existentialism, but the point of the jokes was that – at least according to that author – Heidegger was the most incomprehensible philosopher in the Western canon. (Heidegger and a hippo walk up to the Pearly Gates. St Peter says "We only have room for one more today, so we'll let through the first one who can explain the meaning of life." Heidegger says [Heidegger quote about Being, which I didn't attempt to memorize, inserted here]. St Peter says to the hippo, "It's your lucky day.")
Others with similar though lesser reputations for obscurity include Hegel and Kant. I've seen suspicion directed at Hegel and Heidegger, but not Kant, that their obscurity is either a deliberate screen for meaninglessness or that they got lost in their own verbiage without realizing it. This is not something that goes with all philosophy or even all German philosophy: at any level of the philosophical canon, from big names like Plato and Nietzsche down to contemporary writers like Daniel Dennett and James Flynn, you can find people writing perfectly comprehensibly.
VeryRarelyStable (talk) 22:23, 6 December 2019 (UTC)
Maybe you should add that at the Hippopotamus article? Martinevans123 (talk) 00:09, 7 December 2019 (UTC)
I do apologize for my inappropriate attempt at levity. I should have realized it would be a fatal distraction. I see from your edit summary that the phrase "here's one small indication" was entirely crowded out. Of course it would take a survey of the opinions a wide range of informed writers to verify where Heidegger falls on the incomprehensibility list, but, well, the appropriateness of using surveys of people's opinions as sources has been called into question in this section already, hasn't it? (Still unclear as to what we're being asked to refer to instead.) —VeryRarelyStable (talk) 02:49, 7 December 2019 (UTC)

A minor issue is whether or not we should include in this biography some key info on his early life in the lede/lead. One major flaw with the current approach to Heidegger in wikipedia is that his "beautiful" philosophy is riven from his "ugly" life, so we have a separate article on Heidegger and Nazism, and relevant information in several other articles. Yet, this article is a biography! Regarding the lede, it does seem important to his development as a philosopher that Heidegger's father was a sexton of a small Catholic parish, that the Catholic church supported his study of theology at Freiburg, that his thesis was on psychologism, that he was influenced by Husserl, and that he served as a German soldier. Each of these elements is interesting in light of his professional work. I boiled this down to the following: "Born in rural Meßkirch, Baden-Württemberg, he was the son of the sexton of a rural Roman Catholic parish. He studied theology at the University of Freiburg while supported by the Catholic church, later switching to philosophy. He completed his doctoral thesis on psychologism in 1914 and his thesis for qualification as a University teacher in 1916. His scholarly work was influenced by Edmund Husserl's phenomenology. For the next two years, he worked as an unsalaried Privatdozent, and then served as a soldier in the German army during the last ten months of World War I." Thoughts? Sbelknap (talk) 15:59, 7 December 2019 (UTC)

No objections. His father's secular occupation might be mentioned, at least in the article? Martinevans123 (talk) 16:55, 7 December 2019 (UTC)
- I think this belongs in the Biography section, not in the lead - the lead, at 5 paragraphs, already exceeds the length recommended in MOS:LEAD - we can't have every detail about his life in the lead, the lead is a summary - the Biography section already notes that his father was a sexton, no need to repeat it in the lead - no problem adding any missing material to the article, but not relevant to the lead - Epinoia (talk) 17:33, 7 December 2019 (UTC)
This is *precisely* how this article has gone so terribly off the rails. The biography "section" is not some subsidiary section of the Martin Heidegger article, it is the entire article. The lede summarizes this biographical narrative. This is a *biography*. Its primary subject is a person. That person is Martin Heidegger. This article is about Heidegger's life. He was raised a Catholic, studied theology, switched to philosophy, became a University professor, became a Nazi, thought, wrote, and taught about philosophy, and lived a life. We are writing a biographical narrative, not (primarily) a philosophical treatise. Please review the lead/lede of biographies of other philosophers. The Friedrich Nietzsche and Ludwig Wittgenstein ledes are particularly well done. Sbelknap (talk) 22:00, 7 December 2019 (UTC)
Most bio articles don't include Early life detail in the lead. Are philosophers different in some way? Martinevans123 (talk) 22:04, 7 December 2019 (UTC)
- Wikipedia:Biography dos and don'ts says, "Don't give undue weight to traits unrelated to notability." - I think this applies especially to the lead - in the lead we want only information related to notability and not give undue weight to minor details that belong in the body of the article, resulting in unnecessary clutter in the lead - Epinoia (talk) 22:34, 7 December 2019 (UTC)
Please do read MOS:LEADBIO and WP:MOSBIO and look at some examples: Thomas Edison, Albert Einstein, Fidel Castro, Bertrand Russel and the aforementioned Wittgenstein. Some article leads about philosophers are well-written. Others make the same error that is seen in the Martin Heidegger article, neglecting the biographical narrative. Most biography article leads do include some information about the person's life, in the context of what makes them notable. Sbelknap (talk) 23:12, 7 December 2019 (UTC)

References

  1. ^ a b Cite error: The named reference Sheehan was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  2. ^ https://www.nybooks.com/articles/2014/10/09/heidegger-in-black/#fnr-2
  3. ^ Velasquez, M., Philosophy: A Text with Readings (Boston: Cengage Learning, 2012), p. 193.
  4. ^ Jaspers, Karl (1969). Philosophy. Volume 1. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press. p. 103.
  5. ^ Lackey, Douglas (1999). "What Are the Modern Classics? The Baruch Poll of Great Philosophy in the Twentieth Century". Philosophical Forum. 30 (4): 329–46. doi:10.1111/0031-806x.00022.
  6. ^ https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/adorno/
  7. ^ Adorno, Theodor (2013). Against epistemology : a metacritque. Cambridge: Polity. ISBN 0745665373.
  8. ^ Philipse, Herman (1998). Heidegger's philosophy of being : a critical interpretation. Princeton, N.J: Princeton University Press. ISBN 0691001197.
  9. ^ Biletzki, Anat (2002). The story of analytic philosophy : plot and heroes. London New York: Routledge. ISBN 0415162513.
  10. ^ https://ndpr.nd.edu/news/towards-a-new-manifesto/
  11. ^ Adorno, Theodor (2019). Towards a new manifesto. London: Verso. ISBN 1786635534.

Roger Scruton[edit]

The quote "His major work Being and Time is formidably difficult—unless it is utter nonsense, in which case it is laughably easy. I am not sure how to judge it, and have read no commentator who even begins to make sense of it" is sourced to Jeff Collins (1998), Introducing Heidegger, Thriplow, Cambridge: Icon Books: [3], also known by the title Heidegger for Beginners. But Collins is not a notable author and this might not be considered an authoritative source on Heidegger. Would the primary source be any better: Roger Scruton (2010), A Short History of Modern Philosophy from Descartes to Wittgenstein, London: Routledge: [4], page 270? Another possible secondary source, available online, might be Michael Watts (2014), The Philosophy of Heidegger, London: Routledge: [5]. Thanks. Martinevans123 (talk) 17:15, 6 December 2019 (UTC)

"Collins is not a notable author" is yet another assertion posted on this talk page without any evidence. Collins is the author of a series of books about philosophers that are written for beginners. I've seen these in my local bookstore. The book on Heidegger has been favorably reviewed. [1] Here is that review:

This is a recent volume in the "For Beginners" series, edited by Richard Appiganesi, which ranges from Machiavelli to Postmodernism, from Newton to Stephen Hawking, from the Enlightenment to Chaos Theory. Each book is written in comic-strip form, with endearingly inept illustrations. This may seem off-putting to the earnest autodidact; in fact, the approach works very well: the books may look unserious, but they are soundly based. The treatment of Heidegger's stubborn, extremely intricate, often impenetrable - wholly nonsensical, according to some, such as the logical positivists - philosophy is clear and, rare in treatments of this thinker, jargon-free. Heidegger is a controversial figure, not only for his philosophy but for his politics: he joined the Nazi party in 1933, and never publicly recanted his admiration for its policies. For all the difficulty of his philosophy, his concerns are always with the here-and-now, with the question of what it is to be in the world - with human being. Jeff Collins - I assume he is the author of the text - has done an admirable job of explicating the work of this profound, frequently maddening, but always exciting thinker.

Sbelknap (talk) 19:50, 6 December 2019 (UTC)

The source should be removed; I agree that it is not an "authoritative source on Heidegger", and nor should it be used as a source for Scruton's views. The book is aimed at explaining Heidegger in simplified terms to a popular audience; it is not a serious academic source and it downgrades the quality of the article to use it place of a serious academic source. The Irish Times is not a philosophical journal and its opinion does not matter. Freeknowledgecreator (talk) 18:30, 6 December 2019 (UTC)
Jeff Collins is not notable in terms of a Wikipedia article. Feel free to create one. I'm not sure that the notability of philosophical commentators hinges on whether or not they appear on the shelves of your local bookstore. Martinevans123 (talk) 18:32, 6 December 2019 (UTC) p.s. Richard Appiganesi also has no Wiki article.
Jeff Collins is a Senior Lecturer in Art History at the University of Plymouth. He teaches and writes about critical theory, postmodernism, and the philosophy of art. What other sort of background would be better suited for authoring a work on Heidegger? There are many notable persons who lack a wikipedia biography. Among other reasons, that is why we have wikipedia editors: wikipedia is an unfinished enterprise. If one wants to learn about something about which one knows little, one effective strategy is to go to the "young adult" section of your public library and read the books on that subject. Such books do not assume very much about baseline knowledge. I suggest that *almost every* wikipedia article would benefit from citing sources written for beginners along with more advanced sources. That is a big chunk of wikipedia's audience. The assertion that wikipedia should only cite "academic" or "authoritative" sources is contrary to the philosophy of wikipedia. This does explain how this Martin Heidegger article has gone so horribly astray! Sbelknap (talk) 18:54, 6 December 2019 (UTC)
What's the objection to just using the primary source, exactly? Thanks. Martinevans123 (talk) 18:57, 6 December 2019 (UTC)
Because that is not how we do things at wikipedia. Please see WP:RS "Wikipedia articles should be based mainly on reliable secondary sources, i.e., a document or recording that relates or discusses information originally presented elsewhere." I have no objection to *also* citing primary sources. But WP:RS instructs us to emphasize secondary sources. Sbelknap (talk) 19:06, 6 December 2019 (UTC)
I guess either Scruton made that comment or he didn't. There's nothing more reliable than his own book. The advantage of the primary source is that it shows the context. I wonder could your remember to sign your posts, Sbelknap? It's sometimes confusing if another editor replies and there is no clear singature for an earlier post. Many thanks. Martinevans123 (talk) 19:45, 6 December 2019 (UTC)
It is also true that the advantage of the secondary source is that it provides context. Here on wikipedia, we emphasize secondary sources, as per WP:RS. Again, I have no objection to citing both the secondary source and the primary source in this particular case. Sbelknap (talk) 19:49, 6 December 2019 (UTC)
Would you care to outline here the "context" that Collins gives for that quote? Because, looking at an online version of that book, I can't see any. Thanks. Martinevans123 (talk) 19:54, 6 December 2019 (UTC)
Was the rest of the book, other than the quote, invisible to you? As with any secondary source, it is the text (or in this case text plus illustrations) that provides the context. Sbelknap (talk) 22:03, 6 December 2019 (UTC)
I was looking for some explanation for the Scruton quote. It seems somewhat unlikely that Collins would take a whole book explain that one sound-bite. Perhaps your local bookshop copy has the answer? I could see the Hitler-like pen-and-ink sketch, thanks. Martinevans123 (talk) 22:10, 6 December 2019 (UTC)
I will here assume that your query is posed in good faith. If you do not wish to add Jeff Collins's book to your library or e-library, you can see the context here: https://books.google.com/books?id=onJvBwAAQBAJ&pg=PT17&lpg=PT17&dq=%22Jeff+Collins%22+heidegger+scruton&source=bl&ots=L4NjlWWW_4&sig=ACfU3U2uEF2wSERWcdRGlN69tpXWt-4JEA&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwigwPW9haLmAhUj1VkKHaJ-A7MQ6AEwAnoECAoQAQ#v=onepage&q=%22Jeff%20Collins%22%20heidegger%20scruton&f=false

Sbelknap (talk) 22:16, 6 December 2019 (UTC)

Yes, I saw that. Sorry, that's not what I would call "context". Perhaps someone else could ellucidate how that single Scruton quote is explained. Martinevans123 (talk) 22:25, 6 December 2019 (UTC)
res ipsa loquitur Sbelknap (talk) 22:56, 6 December 2019 (UTC)
Martinevans123, what would you call "context"? There's a pattern here of you demanding it and then declaring yourself unsatisfied with the answer. —VeryRarelyStable (talk) 02:52, 7 December 2019 (UTC)
I've made a few observations. I may have made a few requests. As far as I can see I've "demanded" nothing. And I don't see any "pattern." I'd call "context" some kind of explanation or perspective on that soundbite. I can see nothing else on that page online. Perhaps it's because it's a snippet view. If you have a printed copy it might make more sense/ be more expansive. Martinevans123 (talk) 09:15, 7 December 2019 (UTC)
  • General note. We need to keep focused on the part of this knot that everyone can agree on. That will start loosening it up for it to finally get untied. So, let's note the difference between (i) there's a well-known, prominent or notable public debate about Heidegger's comprehensibility and (ii) Heidegger is incomprehensible. Without agreeing on the latter, can we all agree on the former? -Chumchum7 (talk) 06:25, 7 December 2019 (UTC)
The disagreement among engaged editors on this page has been between these two assertions: (i) there's a well-known, prominent or notable public debate about Heidegger's comprehensibility and (ii) Heidegger is comprehensible. Sbelknap (talk) 06:49, 7 December 2019 (UTC)
Well in that case we're getting closer to a solution. Let's stop even talking about the latter, because it is a matter of opinion and not even required in the lede. If we can find wording for the former that suits everyone, we'll have a breakthrough. Let's remember that Wikipedia is not about competition between ideas, it's about collegiality in finding an idea that has consensus. -Chumchum7 (talk) 09:09, 7 December 2019 (UTC)

I am not immediately going to revert it, but I question the merits of this edit by Sbelknap. Any explanation of Heidegger's ideas is always going to be "difficult to understand" for some people, so I doubt that "this is difficult to understand" is a valid reason for removing something. Freeknowledgecreator (talk) 23:50, 7 December 2019 (UTC)

- the whole "Heidegger is difficult to understand" reveals more about the reader than about Heidegger - people projecting their own intellectual limitations onto Heidegger - I don't fully understand quantum physics, but if I said, "I can't understand quantum physics so it must be nonsense." I would sound pretty dumb - Heidegger does take work to understand, but he can be understood - so we should drop all this Heidegger is incomprehensible or nonsense, it is not true and is irrelevant to his philosophy - Epinoia (talk) 00:42, 8 December 2019 (UTC)
We are not here to conduct our own original research. Whether or not you find Heidegger comprehensible is irrelevant. Instead, we are writing an article about Heidegger that reflects consensus opinion of secondary sources, when that is available, or that describes multiple perspectives when there is no consensus. The reason that the incomprehensibility or nonsensicalness of Heidegger is relevant is because that is what some secondary sources hold to be the case. Sbelknap (talk) 06:27, 8 December 2019 (UTC)
The difference is, there isn't a school of physicists that maintains that quantum physics is nonsense. Even physicists who prefer different specialties and leave quantum physics to others don't maintain that quantum physics is nonsense. —VeryRarelyStable (talk) 06:34, 8 December 2019 (UTC)

Here is the first sentence from the second paragraph of the lead:

"In the first part of Being and Time (1927), Heidegger attempted to turn away from "ontic" questions about beings to ontological questions about the idea of Being itself, and recover the most fundamental philosophical question: the question of Being, of what it means for something to be."

Here is a simpler version:

"In Being and Time (1927), Heidegger addressed the fundamental philosophical question of what it means for something to be."

Can we all agree that the tortured and pedantic first sentence does not belong in the lede of a wikipedia article? In terms of its *meaning* if the first sentence is OK, how exactly would the second sentence be not OK? Sbelknap (talk) 00:37, 8 December 2019 (UTC)

Your proposed change to the sentence does not simply remove material. It alters the meaning of text, without evidence that the change is correct. I already tried to explain the problem to you. You proposed "simpler version" would be better if it removed the word "fundamental". Freeknowledgecreator (talk) 00:42, 8 December 2019 (UTC)
OK:

"In Being and Time (1927), Heidegger addressed the philosophical question of what it means for something to be."

Sbelknap (talk) 01:02, 8 December 2019 (UTC)
Freeknowledgecreator, I'm reading your edit summaries, and I'm really hoping that I'm wrong, and that, while reverting edits on the basis of "not being consensus", you are not planning to dig your heels in and refuse to allow anything but the present state of the article to become "consensus". —VeryRarelyStable (talk) 06:34, 8 December 2019 (UTC)

References

  • VeryRarelyStable, the same question has crossed my mind. They don't appear to have responded to my engagement with them above:

@Freeknowledgecreator "...what possible purpose do you believe noting that Heidegger's work has been considered "difficult to understand" by some philosophers serves?" The purpose of fulfilling WP:LEDE, namely: "It should identify the topic, establish context, explain why the topic is notable, and summarize the most important points, including any prominent controversies." If there is a prominent, notable and verifiable debate about (i) his comprehensibility or (ii) criticism about his comprehensibility from the Analytical school, our guidelines require us to include it in the lede. If there isn't, they don't. So are you saying there isn't? Because I really don't care per se; I only care about establishing if there is or there isn't for the purpose of achieving consensus and article stability. I agree with your point that all major philosophers are difficult to understand, so the bottom line is whether the incomprehensibility is particularly prominent or widespread in this case. On the matter of citations being inaccurate, then that's a different matter and said content should be cut immediately. -Chumchum7 (talk) 12:51, 6 December 2019 (UTC)

  • Per Wikipedia policy, the said user would do themselves a favor to attend to the fact that the current lede does not have consensus, in order to avert future assessment of whether WP:OWN is causing the gridlock here.
  • Wikipedia guidelines say the lede must include any notable controversies; there seems to be widespread agreement that there is a verifiable public and academic discourse - whether anti-intellectual or not - about whether or not Heidegger is comprehensible (which, to repeat ad nauseam, does not mean Heidegger is incomprehensible).
  • So, what's Freeknowledgecreator's proposed simpler version? -- Chumchum7 (talk) 07:03, 8 December 2019 (UTC)

This sentence in the lead is particularly awful:

"Heidegger approached this question through an inquiry into the being (the living human creature) that has an understanding of Being, and asks the question about that creature itself. He called the human experience of Being Dasein ("being-there")."

Here is an alternative:

"Heidegger approached this question through an inquiry into the human experience of Being. In reference to this human experience of being, Heidegger rejected the Latinate term "existential" preferring to use the German word Dasein ("being-there")."

Sbelknap (talk) 07:18, 8 December 2019 (UTC)

(i) Yes to "In Being and Time (1927), Heidegger addressed the philosophical question of what it means for something to be.". (ii) Yes what you describe as an awful sentence really is awful. Good of you to suggest an alternative. I'd suggest go further: "Heidegger approached this question through an inquiry into the human experience of Being, which he called Dasein ("being-there")." -Chumchum7 (talk) 07:37, 8 December 2019 (UTC)

Chumchum7, I have never altered my view that the article should not emphasize the issue of Heidegger being considered difficult to understand, as that's a pathetic issue that doesn't distinguish Heidegger at all from other major philosophers. Maybe the issue of Heidegger's writings being considered obscure would be worth exactly one sentence in the article; there's no reason for to be covered in the lead. Freeknowledgecreator (talk) 08:56, 8 December 2019 (UTC)

Freeknowledgecreator, thank you for the reply. You and possibly others say it's a pathetic issue, while other editors still say it's a notable issue. Herein lies the problem. Can you offer an attempt at solving it? -Chumchum7 (talk) 09:49, 8 December 2019 (UTC)
@Freeknowledgecreator:, I'm looking over the edit summaries for your latest batch of reverts and I have to ask: what do you think the word "consensus" means? —VeryRarelyStable (talk) 23:33, 9 December 2019 (UTC)
@Freeknowledgecreator: once again given your latest revert and its edit summary, I have to repeat the question, and also my earlier one. Do you intend to keep reverting whatever you don't agree with, while also not engaging on the talk page except to re-state your position, and then blame others for not getting "consensus"? —VeryRarelyStable (talk) 05:18, 11 December 2019 (UTC)
Just to remind folks, I was asking about the best source for the Roger Scruton quote. No more. No less. Thanks. Martinevans123 (talk) 11:35, 8 December 2019 (UTC)
A significant number of modern philosophers could be considered obscure it is not notable. If anything 'Being and Nothingness'is even worse and some of modern analytical philosophy worse again. Further much of said criticism comes from a very different school or from political motivation - he was not a very nice person! By way of a compromise we could use a third-party source (there has too little of this) "Like his great rival Hegel (who also made life difficult for his non-German readers by trying to 'teach philosophy to speak German'_, he is alternately worshipped, reviled, or sympathetically assimilated to other, more accessible philosophers, especially Wittgenstein." The Oxford Companion to philosophy Honderich second edition pp375 -----Snowded TALK 06:46, 11 December 2019 (UTC)

Further edits to Lead[edit]

A group of editors has done some excellent work on the wikipedia glossary for Heideggerian terminology. I've linked to this resource in the lede, but I notice that the body of the Martin Heidegger article is out of synch with and inferior to the glossary where those terms are used in the body of the article. I'm attempting to fix some of this, while focusing on the lede. I could use some input on how to adjust the use of Heideggerian terminology in the body of the Martin Heidegger article. Sbelknap (talk) 19:42, 8 December 2019 (UTC)

Also, I'm struggling with how to (briefly) mention "the turn" in the lead. IMHO, "the turn" belongs in the lead because this arc of thought/feeling is at least as important as Heidegger's work on being-in-time, and in a sense supercedes what he wrote in Sein und Zeit. I'm having trouble reducing this to a sentence, and the confused text in the body doesn't help much. Any suggestions? Sbelknap (talk) 19:47, 8 December 2019 (UTC)

The current draft has this truly awful sentence,

Heidegger also argued that the original meaning of the philosophical concept of truth was disclosure, to philosophical analyses of art as a site of the revelation of truth, and to philosophical understanding of language as the "house of being."

, which is notable both for being difficult to understand and for not reflecting the evolution of Heidegger's thoughts on the relationship between disclosure (Aletheia) and truth. It seems to me that the lede could be improved by simply deleting this sentence. Thoughts? Sbelknap (talk) 19:59, 8 December 2019 (UTC)

Writing in lead is becoming incoherent[edit]

For example, "Heidegger argued that Dasein is denoted by Sorge the German word he used to express the human experience of care or concern about Dasein." This wording is incoherent. Does this mean Dasein is Sorge is Dasein? What is this "denotation?" Aren't we missing some commas? What is the German term for this notion of "experience?" I suspect there is none. CCS81 (talk) 20:20, 8 December 2019 (UTC)

I tend to agree. I really don't understand what that sentence is trying to say. I also disagree with trying to write the lead section before the material, which it is meant to be summarising, has been expanded and agreed in the relevant sub-section(s) of the main body. Martinevans123 (talk) 20:40, 8 December 2019 (UTC)
What does "Heidegger argued that Dasein is denoted by Sorge" mean? Thanks. Martinevans123 (talk) 20:56, 8 December 2019 (UTC)
Removed text from lead; deleted garbled sentence from third paragraph of lead. Sbelknap (talk) 21:02, 8 December 2019 (UTC)
In the lead section: "Heidegger was "an enthusiastic supporter of the Nazi Party" (with two sources). But in the article main body: "According to historian Richard J. Evans, Heidegger was not only a member of the Nazi Party, but "enthusiastic" about participating" (with no sources). The lead section is supposed to be a summary of the entire article. Why do we have unique material in the lead? That should not happen. Martinevans123 (talk) 22:41, 8 December 2019 (UTC)

Further problems in lead revisions[edit]

There are still a ton of unclear, false, and both unclear and false claims in the lead as it is now written.

"Heidegger addressed the philosophical question of what it means for something to be." No, this is expressly what he says that everyone in the history of philosophy has done that he will not be doing. He is after the being that is conceptually prior to the being of the somethings.
"Heidegger approached this question through an inquiry into the human experience of Dasein[.]" This is incoherent. What you're calling "human experience" simply is Dasein, and this phrase "human experience" is exactly the kind of phrasing that Heidegger is trying to avoid.
"Dasein, by which he meant 'being-in-the-world,'" Dasein and being-in-the-world are not coextensive, but at least this is sourced, so I will not push the point here. But this is misleading, and the point could be made more precisely and accurately.
" René Descartes, who defined human existence by a human's ability to think[.]" So existence is defined by ability? This is not totally wrong, but the wording is convoluted and the relationship between definition, existence, ability, and thinking is blurry at best. Why we are staking complicated and misleading claims about the relationship between definition, existence, ability, and thinking for Descartes in the lead of the Heidegger article is beyond me.

I could go on. I shudder to think of all the terrible undergraduate term papers that are about to be written quoting these misleading or incoherent passages. I don't have the energy to deal with this right now but I really hope fellow editors can restore the lead to the level of quality it had previously, and that much (but not all) of the rest of the article has. CCS81 (talk) 01:12, 9 December 2019 (UTC)

The level of quality it had previously was "utterly incomprehensible to non-philosophers". Wikipedia is not under any obligation to adhere to the niceties of Heidegger's terminology. It is under an obligation to communicate clearly to non-experts, even when discussing experts who were not clear communicators themselves. —VeryRarelyStable (talk) 01:25, 9 December 2019 (UTC)
Fine, but basic misstatements of facts is not a problem of failing to "adhere to niceties." Examples of basic misstatements of facts introduced through these recent edits are "Heidegger addressed the philosophical question of what it means for something to be" and "Heidegger approached this question through an inquiry into the human experience of Dasein." These are not problems of clarity, but of simple accuracy. CCS81 (talk) 01:32, 9 December 2019 (UTC)
Would you like to produce rewrites of those sentences to be accurate, while retaining their simplicity of language? —VeryRarelyStable (talk) 01:41, 9 December 2019 (UTC)
With all due respect, you are mischaracterizing the scope of Heidegger's discourse in 'Being and Time', which certainly *includes* the current statement in the lead as one aspect. That is, the sentence in the lead is accurate, as far as it goes. The idea of the lead is to provide a summary or overview of what is to come in the main article. We all understand that this is quite difficult to do in this case. But the reader is not well-served by pushing the accelerator pedal to the floor in the lead without context. I challenge you, when you have sufficient energy, to explain in one sentence what Heidegger was working on in Being and Time at the level of an intelligent 16 year old who has no prior exposure to phenomenology. Sbelknap (talk) 01:42, 9 December 2019 (UTC)
This "scope" you are indicating is unclear, and I do not understand this "inclusion" that you are asserting but not explaining, given that Heidegger expressly says that he seeks to avoid investigating being with respect to the somethings and nowhere does he call Dasein "human experience." I will take a stab at a revision. CCS81 (talk) 01:58, 9 December 2019 (UTC)
Your version is an improvement. But it is unnecessarily confusing: was Heidegger solving a problem or answering a question? There is no need for having two assertions in one sentence. Can you slim that down a bit, retaining its clarity? Sbelknap (talk) 03:03, 9 December 2019 (UTC)
I confess that I find this response very confusing. What is this distinction between problems and questions that you are gesturing at, and where do you find it in the lead? Problems typically entail questions, i.e., the question of how to solve the problem. Questions frequently entail problems, i.e., the problem of knowing the correct answer to the question. Given this, I cannot understand the source of your confusion. And this issue of "two assertions in one sentence" is, I assume, one about which you are joking. Take your first sentence of your last message above: "With all due respect, you are mischaracterizing the scope of Heidegger's discourse in 'Being and Time', which certainly *includes* the current statement in the lead as one aspect." There are two explicit assertions in your sentence (the second and third clauses) and an implicit third assertion (in your '[w]ith all due respect' clause). I imagine you are well aware that conjunctions ("and," "but," "which," etc.) are frequently employed in English grammar to conjoin multiple assertions in a single sentence when appropriate, and that you don't need a person on the internet to explain this to you. But by all means, if you find a sentence in the article that would be better as two sentences, feel free to tweak. CCS81 (talk) 04:32, 9 December 2019 (UTC)
Your most recent edit addressed my main concern. Sentences in the lead ought to be simpler than sentences one would write to a sophisticated colleague. Your effort definitely improved the lead, so for that I am grateful.Sbelknap (talk) 05:39, 9 December 2019 (UTC)

It's refreshing that we can make progress towards improvement rather than getting into revert-wars. But I'm afraid the current lede is again a bit too technical. I can figure out what "or the question regarding that which is common to all entities that makes them entities" means if I take a good run at it, but it's definitely an uphill effort. I don't think "the instrumentalist understanding of modern technology" is as transparent as it could be either. And I'm sure we can express the point about "the treatment of all Nature as a standing reserve on call for human purposes" without introducing the technical term "enframing" which then doesn't actually get used. —VeryRarelyStable (talk) 08:17, 9 December 2019 (UTC)

Taking a look at the most recent changes – I'm sorry, CCS81, I think it was clearer when phrased as a question (the misagreement of course can be corrected). Here's a go at making those paragraphs easier to read:

In Being and Time (1927), Heidegger considered the meaning of "being": what do all entities have in common that makes them entities? To address this question, Heidegger analysed Dasein, his term for the specific type of being that humans possess, which he associated closely with what he called "being-in-the-world". This conception of the human is in contrast with Rationalist thinkers like René Descartes, who understood human existence most basically as thinking, as in Cogito ergo sum ("I think therefore I am").
Heidegger's later work criticized the instrumentalist understanding of modern technology in the Western tradition, whereby all of Nature is treated as a "standing reserve" on call for human purposes.

VeryRarelyStable (talk) 11:06, 9 December 2019 (UTC)

I agree. This version by @VeryRarelyStable is easier to understand. I favor revising the text in the lead to this version. Sbelknap (talk) 19:58, 9 December 2019 (UTC)
The revert wars were due to this well written article being absolutely butchered by editors who do not understand the subject about which they are writing. I'm sorry, but it has been simply painful to watch this article devolve into a series of convoluted and false claims reflecting the basic confusions one has when encountering this material for the first time. I'm fine with your sentence as a question, but we will want to rephrase your sentence regarding the later work, which as is includes an agency assertion of a non-agent. The work didn't do the criticizing, it is the criticizing. CCS81 (talk) 17:11, 9 December 2019 (UTC)
That is, I'm suggesting the second paragraph that you have above should read, "In his later work, Heidegger criticized the instrumentalist understanding of modern technology in the Western tradition, whereby all of Nature is treated as a "standing reserve" on call for human purposes," or something like that. CCS81 (talk) 17:13, 9 December 2019 (UTC)
Why the use of past tense, e.g. "Heidegger considered...", "Heidegger analysed..." etc.? Academic works still published are generally described in the present simple tense e.g. "Heidegger considers...", "Heidegger analyses ..." etc.? Thanks. Martinevans123 (talk)
It is common in English to treat instruments, grammatically, as agents. One can say "the carpenter struck the nail with the hammer" or "the hammer struck the nail". In the same vein it is unobjectionable to metonymize passages of speech or writing into speakers or writers: "The Bible says 'Thou shalt not kill'" is just as acceptable as "Moses, if it was him, says in the Bible 'Thou shalt not kill'".
In this case, I'm not going to raise an objection if you'd rather have "In his later work, Heidegger criticized..." than "Heidegger's later work criticized..." Neither one is an awkward sentence. I'm just pointing out that that particular pseudo-rule can produce awkwardness in other contexts.
What I do object to is the statement that the article was "well written" to begin with. It may have been comprehensible to people accustomed to machete-ing their way through Heidegger's prose, but Wikipedia articles are supposed to be accessible to the general public, and this wasn't. Still isn't. There's been a lot of hack-and-slash at the lede and it's become a big mess, but the sections on Heidegger's philosophy remain opaque.
The revert wars began because those of us who can see how opaque those sections are, are those who are not readers of Heidegger, while those who are readers of Heidegger, instead of helping out and making our readable-but-incorrect edits readable-and-correct, reverted them to correct-but-unreadable with reasons that alternated between "Heidegger is hard to read, so it's OK for his Wikipedia article to be inaccessible" and "This is fine already, what are you complaining about?"
In case it needs reiterating: It is not OK for a Wikipedia article to be inaccessible. Even if Heidegger himself would have disagreed.
VeryRarelyStable (talk) 23:16, 9 December 2019 (UTC)
I was asking about tense. But if you think "the lede has become a big mess", you might want to consider getting the article right first and then just using the lede to summarise the article. Thanks. Martinevans123 (talk) 23:23, 9 December 2019 (UTC)
What did I miss? Is there still a tense problem in the lead? Sbelknap (talk) 01:11, 10 December 2019 (UTC)
I was responding to CCS81. We tried to get the article right first; that's how the revert wars started. —VeryRarelyStable (talk) 23:43, 9 December 2019 (UTC)

"Entities." Is that the right word? Because my cup and my slipper, which I am looking at now, are entities. They've got something in common. But later in the paragraph the content appears to assume we are talking about human beings. Improved phrasing required. -Chumchum7 (talk) 04:48, 10 December 2019 (UTC)

VeryRarelyStable, I have no idea what you are talking about and I suspect that makes two of us. Your points about accessibility are fine. Your points about agency, grammar, Heidegger, and your use of Sbelknap's incoherent edits are not. (I mean, come on, anyone who thinks "Sorce" is proper German is not fit to do this kind of work.) Your "readable-but-incorrect" edits are not as "readable" as you take them to be, and are "incorrect" in ways that I do not think you can grasp. You seem to be under the impression that phrasing points incorrectly and in the vernacular of college-level writers (who overuse colons and questions that should be phrased as statements, etc.) makes for a more "readable" article in which Heidegger's alleged "unreadability" is corrected into something that is "readable." But if you were better at "reading" you would see that this is not the case, and that your edits are neither "readable" nor "accurate." At any rate, I'm not sure what to tell you at this point. You and your friend Sbelknap are on the warpath to make a complete joke out of this article, and if that is your agenda, I do not see a way to stop you. Good luck, and if I can find a way to make you deal with all of the horseshit garbage undergraduate essays that are going to result from your misguided and uninformed edits to this article you can rest assured that I will take it. CCS81 (talk) 07:36, 10 December 2019 (UTC)
CCS81, if you can point out incorrect or misleading statements in the article, please do so. If recent changes have introduced incorrect or misleading material then certainly they should be removed. However, this is less likely to happen if you take an aggressive approach, as opposed to calmly and politely explaining where other editors are going wrong. Making complaints about other editors is not as helpful an approach as pointing out where changes are inaccurate. Freeknowledgecreator (talk) 07:50, 10 December 2019 (UTC)
Among other things, it would help if you could say what you think of this edit by TonyClarke. It was not clear to me whether the content added was accurate, or whether it was properly cited, as opposed to being an editor's personal commentary on Heidegger. Freeknowledgecreator (talk) 07:57, 10 December 2019 (UTC)
Ugh, what a mess. I don't take that edit to be accurate, it seems like a Nietzschean personal commentary on Heidegger. CCS81 (talk) 08:08, 10 December 2019 (UTC)
For now, suffice it to say that nearly every edit over the last two or three days has been a "incorrect or misleading statement" on this subject. CCS81 (talk) 08:25, 10 December 2019 (UTC)

I communicate unfamiliar concepts for a living. My job is to write lecture notes for students with disabilities. As well as exposing me to subject matter from all over the academe, this gets me practice in writing things down that I don't have full background on.

You're right, CCS81. I don't have the beginning of an understanding of Heidegger. But I should, because I've read the Wikipedia page about him many times in the last few months.

That is what we are trying to fix here.

My style guides are people who can write and be understood. They come from a variety of different starting-points and would probably robustly disagree with each other on a number of things if they were to meet (which would require time-travel in some cases). But they agree on one thing: the purpose of all writing is communication. Therefore, the purpose of any rules of writing is communication. Any "rule" of grammar or style that impedes clarity of communication is a pseudo-rule and should be dropped.

No-one, reading "The Bible instructs us not to kill", or "Plato's Republic argues that society should be run by a philosophical elite", or "Heidegger's later works criticized the instrumentalist understanding of modern technology", hallucinates that the books in question have become agents and are talking and having arguments out of little papery mouths. I promise.

I can't be bothered right now to look up whether this is called "metonymy" or "metathesis" or something else, but it's a perfectly legitimate form of expression.

In my experience, it's beginner writers trying to sound academic who write like the philosophy sections of this article. It's easy to pile concept upon concept, to think of clarificatory metaphors and examples as you go but then allude to them in passing rather than laying them out, so that they mystify where they should illuminate. That's lazy writing. Or, to be more charitable, that's time-pressured college essay writing.

The work of writing is untangling what came out of your keyboard in the first burst of ideas so that it communicates something to someone who doesn't share a brain with you and doesn't know what all those piled-up allusions and technicalities mean.

"Questions that should be phrased as statements..." If you mean that an encyclopaedia is not the place for rhetorical questions, I agree. An encyclopaedia's job is to set out facts in plain language. But in this case we are not talking about a rhetorical question. The offending passage is

Heidegger considered the meaning of "being": what do all entities have in common that makes them entities? To address this question, Heidegger analysed Dasein...

which you think should be

Heidegger addresses the meaning of "being", the question regarding that which is common to all entities that makes them entities. Heidegger approaches this question through an analysis of Dasein...

Now you're telling me that the problem is that a statement has been phrased as a question. But

the question regarding that which is common to all entities that makes them entities

isn't a statement. It doesn't have a main verb; it has a participle (regarding) and a verb in a relative clause (that which is common). It is a noun phrase, and it's there to elaborate upon the word "being" in the previous sentence. As I said, I got what it meant – after a couple of goes.

The word regarding is ill-chosen, I think. If I announce that I have a question for you "regarding your maiden aunt in Cheshire", I could follow it with any inquiry on the topic I have just announced. What could it mean to say I'm asking "the question regarding your maiden aunt in Cheshire"? I imagine you would reply "Which question is that?" Of would be better than regarding in this context.

On top of that, my mental sentence-parsing software glitches when it runs into the words the question regarding that which is common. It takes a second go before I can pick out the semantic units (entities – what makes them entities – that which is common to all entities that makes them entities – the question regarding that which, ah, got you.) No such glitch happens when "the question" is phrased as a question in the first place.

The rule against "phrasing statements as questions" (including ones that aren't actually statements) has impeded clarity of communication. That makes it a pseudo-rule, and it should be dropped.

Of course writers who over-use the device of introductory questions, as some college students indeed do, should be encouraged to vary up their style a little. But that doesn't make all use of the device illegitimate.

And as for "alleged unreadability" – you can drop the "alleged". We are talking about a man who said "Making itself intelligible is suicide for philosophy." It says so right there in the article.

Now if you're so sick of inaccuracies in this article, you can do one thing that will fix them forever:

Re-write the damn thing so it's readable.

VeryRarelyStable (talk) 10:05, 10 December 2019 (UTC)

"But I should, because I've read the Wikipedia page about him many times in the last few months." I'm really not sure that's very likely. Martinevans123 (talk) 10:15, 10 December 2019 (UTC)
Which means that the Wikipedia page is not doing its job, and needs to be changed. That was kind of by way of being my point. —VeryRarelyStable (talk) 10:19, 10 December 2019 (UTC)
Ah yes, I see. At first sight your comment struck me as a self-contradiction. We really need expert advice here. Not only is philosophy a very specialized field, but much of Heidegger's work is very individual. Added to that, there is the issue of it being written originally in a different language. Martinevans123 (talk) 10:33, 10 December 2019 (UTC)
No editor can read another editor's mind. Assume that other editors are well-intentioned. Focus on the content. Aim for balance, NPOV, respect for the variety of views. Our particular opinions are of little relevance to the task of writing an encyclopedia article. Sbelknap (talk) 17:07, 10 December 2019 (UTC)
I'm assuming that this advice is not just directed at me in particular. Martinevans123 (talk) 17:13, 10 December 2019 (UTC)
Your assumption is sound. This is what I was just muttering to myself as I read through the latest entries on this talk page.Sbelknap (talk) 17:36, 10 December 2019 (UTC)
I liked the wikipedia entry for Geworfenheit. Jim Morrison is a better explainer than any of us. Its not even close.

Riders on the storm

Riders on the storm
Riders on the storm
Into this house we're born
Into this world we're thrown
Like a dog without a bone
An actor out on loan
Riders on the storm

— Jim Morrison, in

Sbelknap (talk) 17:36, 10 December 2019 (UTC)

Here's a source.[1] Sbelknap (talk) 18:02, 10 December 2019 (UTC)

References

Just a few quick notes about this. VeryRarelyStable, the version of the sentence to which you are responding is not the one for which I was advocating. My sentence read, or was supposed to read, :Heidegger addresses the meaning of "being", or the question regarding that which is common to all entities that makes them entities. Heidegger approaches this question through an analysis of Dasein... . You omitted the 'or,' which carries over the grammatical force from the first clause and, I think, addresses much of what you're saying in your analysis. But that doesn't matter, and I am by no means suggesting that my way of phrasing the sentence is the best. Far from it, and your points about words like 'regarding' are fine with me and well taken. But, in any case, this version of the sentence is more conceptually precise than agentially and grammatically misleading phrasings like those for which you and your editor friend were advocating. And I'm sorry, but when you start defending principles of composition like agency assertions of non-agents that I have been trained as a college professor to teach the students in my classes not to use, I simply need to excuse myself from the situation. Like you, I make my living explaining (or doing my best to explain) complicated concepts to young people. But just because a claim is easily understood by young people does not mean that it is true, conceptually precise, or valuable. To put the same point differently, your claim is that writing about communication only, but this is incomplete and potentially dangerous. Writing is about communicating truth, and we have many bad habits of communicating that preclude our speaking truthfully. Some of these are easily addressed, like agency assertions of non-agents. For example, it is very easy to change "Plato's Republic argues..." to "Plato argues in the Republic...", and in so doing we have constructed a sentence that is closer to indicating the truth of the matter, or who exactly is doing what exactly. Your insisting that the former is fine because it is easily understood, by contrast, entails missing that communication is about more than simply making oneself understood. The danger of saying things that are easily understood but not true is one about which Heidegger is deeply concerned, but probably that point is beyond the scope of our current discussion. CCS81 (talk) 06:03, 18 December 2019 (UTC)
@CCS81:
and in so doing we have constructed a sentence that is closer to indicating the truth of the matter... So you are concerned that people may think the book has become an agent. I promise you that's not how language works. People will understand you to be referring to the content of the text, not to the action of speaking, because this is a natural way of expressing the idea.
I can't help but wonder: how would you adapt this to a work whose author is unknown or disputed? Especially if one question at issue is how many authors there may have been and which one wrote which part of the text? If you can't just say "The text says such-and-such", how do you communicate about the content of the text without prematurely committing yourself to a hypothesis about authorship or throwing in all kinds of complicated verbiage like "Whoever wrote the first section of Chapter 8 of the Gospel of John, said in it..."
I certainly take your point about truth. It is precisely because we are attempting to communicate truth that clarity is so important. But truth doesn't reside in the form of the words; it resides in the idea conveyed by the words. Do you mind if I pick a sentence from your own paragraph above and see what happens if we try and take the face value of each word and phrase?
And I'm sorry, but when you start defending principles of composition like agency assertions of non-agents that I have been trained as a college professor to teach the students in my classes not to use, I simply need to excuse myself from the situation.
  • And I'm sorry... Are you really? What is the cause of your sorrow?
  • ...but when you start defending principles of composition... When I start defending those principles? I started defending those principles hours to days before you read my completed comment. I started defending these again several minutes ago, and I don't expect you will see it for some time after I hit "Publish". Did you feel the effects of my writing as some kind of psychic tremor before reading this?
  • ...principles of composition like agency assertions of non-agents... Principles like agency assertions of non-agents? Like them in what way? What points of resemblance and what degree of resemblance causes the psychic tremor that warns you I have started to defend them?
  • ...that I have been trained as a college professor... Trained, like a performing seal?
  • ...to teach the students in my classes not to use... Your classes, are they? You own them? How much did you pay for them? And if the students are in them, does that make them physical spaces?
  • ...I simply need to excuse myself from the situation. You need to? You mean you'll suffer some kind of harm if you don't? Oh, but wait. To excuse yourself, which would mean pardoning yourself from wrongdoing – that's what to excuse means, isn't it?
I hope you're getting the point by now. You could ponderously re-word each of those phrases into something that avoids that particular pitfall, and I could simply find more pitfalls. There is literally no form of language which is free of this, and I don't use the word "literally" lightly. To some degree you have to take on trust the reader's ability to figure out what you mean. You don't have a choice. Twisting and turning to try and avoid this will only cause your writing to become more and more opaque, which means it will convey no message. And if it conveys no message, it conveys no truth.
Whoever taught you you could avoid all that by avoiding a few natural turns of phrase like marked squares on a hopscotch grid taught you a bunch of bollocks.
And perhaps (but it's hard to tell) this explains why the sections of this article attempting to communicate what Heidegger's philosophy actually was are in such an abysmal predicament. They may look all right to you, the expert; to me, the non-expert, they mostly convey nothing at all. You expressed sympathy earlier for college professors having to mark undergraduate term papers on Heidegger's philosophy based on our changes of wording. I promise you that, to such people as write undergraduate term papers, the present state of the article might as well be a floral pattern in wallpaper for all the information it conveys about Heidegger's philosophy.
VeryRarelyStable (talk) 07:01, 18 December 2019 (UTC)
@CCS81: And there I went and forgot to address your main point. Sorry.
No, I'm afraid
Heidegger addresses the meaning of "being", or the question regarding that which is common to all entities that makes them entities.
does not clear up all the mysteries. My brain still glitches at "the question regarding that which". All that's accomplished by the word "or" is to add a further confusion: are we saying that Heidegger addresses either "the meaning of being" or "the question regarding that which..."? Unlike the facetious misunderstandings I made up as examples above, this is a genuine confusion. If I read the sentence two or three times over I think I do get it. But there's whole paragraphs of this stuff ahead and I can't keep doing that for paragraphs. Again I must point out that phrasing the question as a question clears up the confusion as if by magic.
VeryRarelyStable (talk) 07:10, 18 December 2019 (UTC)

The Nazi question[edit]

Using a third-party source again. "His initial support for nazism was rooted not in anti-semitism, bus in distaste for technology and industrialised mass society, which he associated with the USA and USSR; later he regarded Nazism as an aspect of technological modernity and its 'forgetfulness of being' rather than as an abnormal excrescence" Honderick: Oxford Companion second edition pp372. This is as impecable a third party source as you can get get - its is not an online collection of essays - so I would normally just replace much of the primary source bloat but I offer it for commentary first -----Snowded TALK 06:57, 11 December 2019 (UTC)-----Snowded TALK 06:58, 11 December 2019 (UTC)

What's the publication date on that? Before or after the Black Notebooks? —VeryRarelyStable (talk) 07:45, 11 December 2019 (UTC)
The point is not strictly relevant; it is a reliable third-party source and it does not deny anti-Semitism. This quote supports that "The notebooks also show that for Heidegger, antisemitism overlapped with a strong resentment of American and English culture, all of which he saw as drivers of what he called Machenschaft, variously translated as "machination" or "manipulative domination". Also from a reliable source which would argue a reference to the US Cultural aspect is important - to repeat the phrase from Honerick does not say he was not anti-Semitic (read it carefully)it references to roots of his support for the Nazis. Something which is important in relation to Hegel and others -----Snowded TALK 09:48, 12 December 2019 (UTC)

Edit to the Young Hegelians[edit]

This entry was deleted from the Young Hegelians subsection:

Martin Jay's review [1] of Theodor Adorno's and Max Horkheimer's book, 'Towards a New Manifesto'[2] states:

Among the most interesting topics pursued by Horkheimer and Adorno is that of the ambivalent implications of argumentation for philosophy, an issue that is performatively acted out in the dialogue itself. Both Horkheimer and Adorno recognize that there is something sinister in the undiluted hostility to argument in certain twentieth-century philosophers. "Thinking that renounces argument -- Heidegger -- switches into pure irrationalism," Adorno cautions; "the mistrust of argument is at bottom what has inspired the Husserls and the Heideggers. The diabolical aspect of it is that the abolition of argument means that their writing ends up in tautology and nonsense." There is somehow a vital link, they suggest, between the imperative to argue and the imperative to turn theory into practice.

References

  1. ^ https://ndpr.nd.edu/news/towards-a-new-manifesto/
  2. ^ Adorno, Theodor (2019). Towards a new manifesto. London: Verso. p. 72. ISBN 1786635534.

Adorno is a prominent philosopher of the Frankfurt School. Adorno and others in the Frankfurg School were critical of Heidegger's philosophy. Here, a record of a conversation between Adorno and Horkheimer provides a statement about Heidegger's work. This edit is supported by two citations, one a book and the other a book review. This belongs in the Young Hegelians section of the Martin Heidegger article. Something must be done to stop the systematic removal from the Heidegger article of high-quality material that is critical of Heidegger. We have had and continue to have a serious POV problem.Sbelknap (talk) 19:29, 11 December 2019 (UTC)

- the quotation doesn't really contribute to the understanding of Heidegger's philosophy, so is unnecessary - that "the mistrust of argument is at bottom what has inspired the Husserls and the Heideggers" is highly debatable, and probably untrue; were Heidegger and Husserl both inspired by a mistrust of argument?, unlikely - the sensational, emotional and religious language in the quotation makes it dubious as philosophy: "sinister", "undiluted hostility", "diabolical" - Adrono and Horkhmeimer don't prove anything, they "caution" and "suggest" - and there is "somehow a vital link" - somehow?, they obviously don't know what this vital link is, but use it as a basis for argument anyway - putting in this whole quote gives undue weight to a minor point of view - perhaps reduce it to a sentence along the lines of, "Philosophers of the Frankfurt School, such as Adrono and Horkhmeimer, suggest that Heidegger has a mistrust of argument that ends up in tautology and nonsense." with the citations - WP:UNDUE - Epinoia (talk) 23:00, 11 December 2019 (UTC)
It would certainly be preferable to cite Adorno and Horkheimer's book directly rather than someone's review of it. Still, I think Sbelknap is right. Specific material critical of Heidegger is removed from this article as soon as any piece of it is added, as being trivial; general statements to the effect that there is controversy over Heidegger are removed as being unsupported; then when specific examples are adduced they are removed as being trivial, and so on. The idea that there may be a general tide of criticism towards Heidegger, of which any one piece of criticism might indeed be minor but put together they come to something significant, is not being allowed to show through. This constitutes a POV problem. Epinoia, you previously compared the criticisms to people not understanding quantum physics, but I think a better comparison would be if the article on string theory excluded all mention of loop quantum gravity, or vice versa. —VeryRarelyStable (talk) 00:12, 12 December 2019 (UTC)
Generally, I would agree that using direct quotes is better. However, we've tried almost everything to try to get to a NPOV on Heidegger's Nazism, the obscurity of his jargon, and the opinion by some credible evaluators that his work is specious nonsense. When quotes from high-quality sources are used, they are attacked as not being the primary source. When primary sources are used, they are attacked as being outliers. Here, I tried to combine a primary source and a secondary source. Interested readers can see the context of the secondary source or, if they choose, see the context of the primary source. Alas, the Heidegger apologists who congregate here have, so far, mostly succeeded in maintaining this article in a state of hagiography. Sbelknap (talk) 03:29, 12 December 2019 (UTC)
Personal attacks again I see, evidence mounting. Anyone who disagrees with you is an apologist. It simply isn't relevant to the article -----Snowded TALK 09:50, 12 December 2019 (UTC)
There have been no personal attacks. I will here rely upon the generally-understood concept of "Heidegger Apologist" which has nothing to do with me personally. This term is widely-used. Here, for example:[1]
If there is a whole school of criticism of Heidegger in this vein, that is relevant to the article. —VeryRarelyStable (talk) 10:06, 12 December 2019 (UTC)
One thing to try, Sbelknap, though it might take some time: collate all the criticisms we've had speciously rejected as "minor", maybe in your Sandbox or something, and post them all in one go in the relevant sections. That would be pretty undeniable evidence of notability to an unbiased observer. —VeryRarelyStable (talk) 10:09, 12 December 2019 (UTC)

- there is nothing wrong with criticizing Heidegger - criticism is one of the ways in which philosophy advances - but simply to characterized Heidegger as obscure or nonsense does not help in the understanding of his philosophy - for example, if you read, "Punk rock is just noise", that would not help in understanding punk rock, but if you read, "In emphasizing the sonic aspects of music, speed, volume, distortion, etc., over the melodic elements, punk rock limits the emotional expression of music to anger and frustration", it might help in understanding punk rock, even if you disagree with it - similarly with Heidegger, we need criticism that aids in our understanding of Heidegger not simple condemnations, and the criticism needs to be given appropriate weight - Epinoia (talk) 16:06, 12 December 2019 (UTC)

This is a good example of the problem. You are substituting your own judgement for that of eminent scholars and philosophers. It matters little what I might think or what you might think. What matters is what notable scholars think, as recorded in high-quality primary and secondary sources. Sbelknap (talk) 16:11, 12 December 2019 (UTC)
Agree with Epinoia and there is no way "the Heidegger apologists" is not a personal attack -----Snowded TALK 17:41, 12 December 2019 (UTC)
OK. What is your preferred term for editors who systematically revert well-sourced edits that show Heidegger in an unfavorable light? Sbelknap (talk) 17:55, 12 December 2019 (UTC)
In the case of this article ones who have a different opinion from you on questions of weight, relevance and balance. Try and learn to work with them rather than throwing out insults and we might get somewhere. Wikipedia has well-established processes for resolving disputes all of which are available to you; none of them include insults. There are also processes to deal with editors who can't resist personal attacks and invoking them is becoming more rather than less likely in your case -----Snowded TALK 18:33, 12 December 2019 (UTC)
Your unwieldy term does not accurately describe the group of currently engaged editors who systematically violate the rules of wikipedia by rejecting well-sourced information that puts Heidegger in a negative light. Those who control the words, control the thoughts. Please explain how "Heidegger apologist" is inaccurate and how it constitutes a personal attack. Sbelknap (talk) 18:48, 12 December 2019 (UTC)
So far what we have learned is that trying to "work with" the Three Very Experienced Editors gets us absolutely nowhere. All changes critical of Heidegger are reverted. Contrary to the edit summaries given for the reverts, no amount of supporting citations and no degree of rephrasing sways the outcome. The only thing that does work, as we accidentally found out a short while ago, is removing something more critical of Heidegger at the same time, so that the article ends up more Heidegger-positive on balance.
Meet me in the middle, says the unreasonable man.
You take a step forward. He takes a step back.
Meet me in the middle, says the unreasonable man.
VeryRarelyStable (talk) 23:10, 12 December 2019 (UTC)
You've been met in the middle when you pay due attention to weight. A lot of the material you are both suggesting is entirely appropriate for the Heidegger and Nazisim article but not here where the material (and the criticism of Heidegger) is already covered. If you can't or won't see that personal attack point then the option only will be to build a case for ANI. Any continuation and I start to do that. Wikipedia rules are VERY clear- you should not be commenting the motivations other editors either as individuals or more generally -----Snowded TALK 08:54, 13 December 2019 (UTC)

References

I have tried to avoid speculating as to other editors' motivations. My comments refer to patterns of behaviour observable through months to years of this article's edit history. As for weight, it is a live controversy whether Heidegger's Nazism was incidental or central to his philosophy. By shunting it off to another page this article takes a stance in that controversy. —VeryRarelyStable (talk) 10:39, 13 December 2019 (UTC)

Heidegger's anti-semitism[edit]

Added resignation statement of former chair of Martin Heidegger society to body; added anti-semite to the lead with citation. Sbelknap (talk) 23:08, 12 December 2019 (UTC)

Removed. The "resignation statement of former chair of Martin Heidegger society" is not information about Heidegger himself and does not belong in the article, since it has only an incidental connection with the article subject. See WP:PROPORTION. It was irresponsible to state in the lead that Heidegger was "an anti-semite" without qualification and without context to help readers understand such a statement, so I have removed that as well. Freeknowledgecreator (talk) 23:30, 12 December 2019 (UTC)
Like that. Thank you for the demonstration of what I was just saying, Freeknowledgecreator. I think we all know that if there had been "qualification" on the statement in the lede, you would have removed it as being "too long". —VeryRarelyStable (talk) 23:55, 12 December 2019 (UTC)
Your comment fails to assume good faith. I don't really regard it as helpful for the lead of a biographical article to simply state that someone was "an anti-Semite" and leave it that. Even the lead of the article on Adolf Hitler doesn't simply state that Hitler was "an anti-Semite". It provides more specific and more useful information. Freeknowledgecreator (talk) 00:08, 13 December 2019 (UTC)
A few months ago I was ready to assume good faith. One month ago I was trying hard to keep assuming good faith. There comes a point when an assumption is no longer tenable in the face of mounting evidence to the contrary. —VeryRarelyStable (talk) 00:11, 13 December 2019 (UTC)
This reversion by Freeknowledgecreator is inappropriate. Measures are needed to restrain the repeated inappropriate behavior of these Heidegger apologists.Sbelknap (talk) 00:48, 13 December 2019 (UTC)

Added quote from their article Heidegger’s Radical Antisemitism by Jeff Love and Michael Meng to Contemporary European reception subsection. Sbelknap (talk) 00:58, 13 December 2019 (UTC)

Added quote with citation of Emmanuel Faye from his book.Sbelknap (talk) 01:27, 13 December 2019 (UTC)

The goal is to maintain a balanced and neutral perspective on the subject of Heidegger. While there is a small amount of information in this article that is critical of Heidegger, this article does not even begin to reflect the range of scholarly opinion. Those editors who subvert efforts to present a balanced view of Heidegger, including the analyses of scholars and philosophers who are critics of Heidegger, are not remaining faithful to the philosophy of wikipedia.Sbelknap (talk) 01:30, 13 December 2019 (UTC)

Sbelknap, I do accept that you are trying in good faith to improve the article, and I am sorry to have to revert your recent edits. There are numerous problems with them. It is irresponsible to add a statement such as "Many scholars consider Heidegger's philosophy to contain a core element of anti-semitism" to the lead, without offering the slightest information about how or in what way Heidegger's philosophy is supposedly anti-semitic. Again, I sympathize with what you are trying to do, since the accusations of anti-semitism are important, but material like that is pandering to sensationalism. The issue is a complex one and has to be dealt with carefully. I also have to note that, in some cases, you made factually inaccurate or misleading changes that seem to reflect lack of familiarity with the subject matter. For instance, you changed a section title reading, "The Young Hegelians and Critical Theory" to "Criticism by the Young Hegelians". If you actually look at the article Young Hegelians, you will see that it states, "The Young Hegelians (German: Junghegelianer), or Left Hegelians (Linkshegelianer), or the Hegelian Left (die Hegelsche Linke), were a group of German intellectuals who, in the decade or so after the death of Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel in 1831, reacted to and wrote about his ambiguous legacy." If the Young Hegelians were active in the early to mid 19th century, how then did they "criticize" in any fashion the 20th century philosopher Heidegger? Your change here is simply confused and inaccurate. Freeknowledgecreator (talk) 02:41, 13 December 2019 (UTC)
That is not actually what happened. The previous version of this subsection title was the "Left Hegelians and Critical Theory." I didn't make that title. My understanding is that the Left Hegelians and the Young Hegelians are one and the same. My understanding is that the critical theorists are intellectual descendants of the Young Hegelians. I've changed this subsection title in an attempt to get closer to the descriptor that covers those that are mentioned in the subsection. If you have a better title, great.Sbelknap (talk) 03:21, 13 December 2019 (UTC)
You note in your recent edit summary that the material you added is "well-sourced". To be quite clear about it, it is not enough for material to be "well-sourced" to be added to the article. It also has to be appropriate in nature and to meet tests such as due weight. See WP:PROPORTION. Material such as that concerning Günter Figal has minimal connection with the article subject, Heidegger, and does not belong here. Freeknowledgecreator (talk) 02:47, 13 December 2019 (UTC)
You are asserting that the Martin Heidegger Society is not somehow associated with Martin Heidegger? Do tell!Sbelknap (talk) 03:52, 13 December 2019 (UTC)
The subject of the article is Martin Heidegger, not the Martin Heidegger Society. The fact that the society and its former President are in some sense connected with Heidegger does not automatically mean that material about them is relevant here. The decision of Günter Figal to resign as as President of the Martin Heidegger Society is certainly undue for this article. You have shown poor judgment by insisting on trying to include it here. Freeknowledgecreator (talk) 05:29, 13 December 2019 (UTC)
The quotation from the article by Jeff Love and Michael Meng is unreasonably long. Material from academic articles should be properly summarized, not presented in the form of unreasonably long quotations. Though it is not the most important issue, you incorrectly placed the name of their article, "Heidegger’s Radical Antisemitism", in italics - book titles are italicized, but titles of articles are not. Freeknowledgecreator (talk) 02:52, 13 December 2019 (UTC)
The quote seems OK with me. There are certainly many long quotes in wikipedia. You seem to be arguing for nuance and complexity, and at the same time insisting that the negative material be presented in a form so brief that it is difficult or impossible to understand what meaning is being conveyed in the cited source. The effect of this is to obscure the meaning of material that is negative about Heidegger.Sbelknap (talk) 03:24, 13 December 2019 (UTC)
Yes, no doubt it seems "OK" to you; however it isn't. We summarize material here at Wikipedia. We don't quote massive chunks of text taken from articles, as that is inappropriate and an incompetent way to go about writing an encyclopedia. It is entirely possible to have nuance and complexity without quoting very lengthy passages from academic articles (and pointlessly including the title of the article in the main body of the article, rather than in the references section, as well). If you want to do something appropriate, try summarizing the point being expressed by Love and Meng and get rid of that pointless quotation, pointlessly presented in block quotes. Freeknowledgecreator (talk) 03:31, 13 December 2019 (UTC)
There is always a reason to reject material that is critical of Heidegger, isn't there? Your opinion about the length of quotes in wikipedia is falsified by simply reading wikipedia. On this contentious issue, it is my considered opinion, after many attempts to improve this article, that the only way to move forward is to emphasize quotes from good sources. If you are so intent on summarizing the Love and Meng quote, propose such a summary and other editors will evaluate your summary.Sbelknap (talk) 03:40, 13 December 2019 (UTC)
You are quite wrong. Per WP:IMPARTIAL: "The tone of Wikipedia articles should be impartial, neither endorsing nor rejecting a particular point of view. Try not to quote directly from participants engaged in a heated dispute; instead, summarize and present the arguments in an impartial tone." That is part of a policy that editors are expected to follow. Your refusal to do so makes your edits unacceptable. Freeknowledgecreator (talk) 05:31, 13 December 2019 (UTC)
You included content stating, "In his book, Heidegger, the introduction of Nazism into philosophy, Emmanuel Faye notes that Heidegger’s philosophy is Nazi ideology" - that is entirely inappropriate, per WP:NPOV, because it present the opinion of a single scholar as though it were uncontroversial, uncontested fact. There are obviously scholars - such as Julian Young - who totally disagree with such an assessment of Heidegger's philosophy, so it is really outrageous to present Faye's opinion as if it were uncontested fact. Freeknowledgecreator (talk) 03:05, 13 December 2019 (UTC)
The blurb from Julian Young's book, which "challenges (the) tide of opinion" that Heidegger's philosophy is irredeemably discredited by Heidegger's Nazism. That shows the *opposite* of what you assert; it is Young that is struggling against the tide of Heidegger criticism. This consensus view that Heidegger's Nazism contaminates Heidegger's philosophy requires inclusion in this wikipedia article. Here is the blurb from his book.Sbelknap (talk) 04:04, 13 December 2019 (UTC)

Since 1945, and particularly since the facts of the "Heidegger case" became widely known in 1987, an enormous number of words have been devoted to establishing not only Heidegger's involvement with Nazism, but also that his philosophy is irredeemably discredited thereby. This book, while in no way denying the depth or seriousness of Heidegger's political involvement, challenges this tide of opinion, arguing that his philosophy is not compromised in any of its phases, and that acceptance of it is fully consistent with a deep commitment to liberal democracy.

Blurbs are essentially advertising material. They are not part of the book's actual text and do not have scholarly status. It's pretty stupid to quote a blurb as though it showed much of anything. No, Sbelknap, the blurb of that book does not show that there is a "consensus view" that "Heidegger's Nazism contaminates Heidegger's philosophy". Freeknowledgecreator (talk) 05:35, 13 December 2019 (UTC)
Where do you see the text "Faye notes that Heidegger's philosophy is Nazi philosophy."? Here is the current text quoting Faye.

In his book, Heidegger, the introduction of Nazism into philosophy, Emmanuel Faye argues that Heidegger’s philosophy is Nazi ideology.

“By its very content, it disseminates within philosophy the explicit and remorseless legitimation of the guiding principles of the Nazi movement.”[1]

Sbelknap (talk) 03:45, 13 December 2019 (UTC)

I am aware of what the current text is. It only reads that way now because I changed your blatantly biased addition. Freeknowledgecreator (talk) 05:36, 13 December 2019 (UTC)
VeryRarelyStable, you stated, "Please get consensus before making contentious changes". I could say the same thing to you. You should not have restored Sbelknap's edits. Though they are certainly being made in good faith, they are sensationalistic, biased in that they present controversial opinions as if they were uncontested fact, not in accord with WP:NPOV, and sometimes simply outright factually mistaken, as I have noted at length. Freeknowledgecreator (talk) 02:54, 13 December 2019 (UTC)
CCS81 indicated above that Sbelknap's edits are effectively turning the article into garbage. Frankly that seems to be correct. Freeknowledgecreator (talk) 02:58, 13 December 2019 (UTC)
@Freeknowledgecreator The anti-semitism issue is addressed well by the quoted material I included. Your reversion of these edits is inappropriate. The resignation of the head of the Martin Heidegger society because of Heidegger's anti-semitism is certainly relevant here. The engaged editors have had 5 years to "deal carefully" with this "complex issue." Since 2014, there is much scholarly work that has engaged the material disclosed in the Black Notebooks. That work was simply not adequately reflected in the Martin Heidegger article.Sbelknap (talk) 03:04, 13 December 2019 (UTC)
No, the issue is not "addressed well" by your edits because they were blatantly biased and presented controversial opinions, such as Emmanuel Faye's view that Heidegger’s philosophy is Nazi ideology, as if they were uncontested fact. That is unacceptable when other scholars hold completely contrary views. You may be editing in good faith but your edits are frankly incompetent and destructive. The comment from Günter Figal is not "criticism" of Heidegger or his philosophy at all; it simply a statement by one person explaining his reasons for resigning from the Martin Heidegger Society. It does not belong in the article. Freeknowledgecreator (talk) 03:16, 13 December 2019 (UTC)
What do you think "consensus" means, Freeknowledgecreator? Do you think it's "Agrees with Freeknowledgecreator"? If not, why do you habitually revert changes you disagree with on the basis that they "didn't get consensus", then raise objections when the same reason is given for undoing your edits? In asking other editors to "get consensus", do you have any intention of listening to their side of the case or even negotiating for a reasonable compromise? Or do you intentionally use this as a pretext, knowing full well that if you simply disregard other editors' arguments, "consensus" will never be reached? —VeryRarelyStable (talk) 03:06, 13 December 2019 (UTC)
I would be more than happy to arrive at a compromise version. For example, the statement about Faye's opinion could be rewritten to neutralize it, by presenting it as simply Faye's opinion, rather than uncontested fact. That would be appropriate, albeit it would be only one of the changes necessary to that material. Sbelknap's behaviour has shown however that he has little interest in editing neutrally or in compromising with other editors. Someone who wanted to edit neutrally would have presented Faye's opinion as opinion to begin with, instead of presenting the view that Heidegger's philosophy is "Nazi ideology" as though it were unchallenged fact. Freeknowledgecreator (talk) 03:12, 13 December 2019 (UTC)
Faye argues that Heidegger's philosophy is "Nazi ideology." Making an argument is not the same as presenting an opinion and not the same as stating a fact. The current text accurately describes what Faye has done in his book. Sbelknap (talk) 03:15, 13 December 2019 (UTC)
The material you added stated, "Emmanuel Faye notes that Heidegger’s philosophy is Nazi ideology". That presented Faye's opinion as if it were fact. That was a blatantly biased addition. If you add blatantly biased material of that kind, why be surprised that it gets removed? Again, some of the material you added might be appropriate in a different form; unfortunately, you are clearly not editing neutrally, so it would seem best under the circumstances to simply undo your edits. Your additions are not only less than neutral but also confusing, poorly presented, and definitely lower the quality of the article. I cannot revert them all immediately because of the three revert rule, but I'd encourage Snowded, CCS81, or anyone else for that matter, to revert all your recent changes. Freeknowledgecreator (talk) 03:26, 13 December 2019 (UTC)
How is adding relevant, well-sourced quotes on a topic that is neglected in this article anything but a plus? Your quarrel would seem to be with the scholars and philosophers that wrote this material, not other editors.Sbelknap (talk) 03:32, 13 December 2019 (UTC)
That comment shows that you really don't understand the problems with your recent edits. The problem with adding "relevant, well-sourced quotes" is that we do not add direct quotations at all except where it is really necessary. Rather, we summarize the content of sources and present it in our own words. WP:OVERQUOTE is a useful essay with some good advice on this issue. You should read it. Besides the excessive use of quotation, your quotations are poorly organized and poorly presented. The "contemporary criticism" section (former titled "Contemporary European reception") now reads particularly badly as a result of your recent edits. You have added new material there without any apparent logic, in terms of where the quotations have been placed. Freeknowledgecreator (talk) 05:10, 13 December 2019 (UTC)
Please re-read the Faye sentence and quote. It doesn't say what you claim it says.Sbelknap (talk) 03:47, 13 December 2019 (UTC)
That material, in the form in which you originally added it, states, "Emmanuel Faye notes that Heidegger’s philosophy is Nazi ideology." If you cannot understand why that was an inappropriate and biased addition then that is a good example of why you should refrain from editing this article, or any article on a controversial topic. The "notes that" part implies that Faye's opinion is fact. Freeknowledgecreator (talk) 04:47, 13 December 2019 (UTC)
Changes were excessive - more legitimate in part on the Heidegger and Nazi article it would be a lot better if controversial edits were discussed here first -----Snowded TALK 08:45, 13 December 2019 (UTC)
Here's the thing: the existence of the Heidegger and Nazi article is the problem - not the solution. That material belongs in this article. The bifurcation into a "good" biography and a "bad" biography simply obscures Heidegger's negative aspects from most readers, who will never look at the Heidegger and Nazi article. As others have noted, the most interesting aspect of wikipedia are the actions - and interactions of wikipedia editors. Some graduate student can write a PhD thesis on the bizarre antics of those who work to obscure Heidegger's Nazism.Sbelknap (talk) 14:24, 13 December 2019 (UTC)
Wrong. Per WP:SUMMARYSTYLE: "A fuller treatment of any major subtopic should go in a separate article of its own." The relationship between Heidegger and Nazism has sufficient coverage to warrant its own dedicated article, leaving a briefer summary of the topic in this article. Freeknowledgecreator (talk) 00:21, 14 December 2019 (UTC)

References

  1. ^ Faye, Emmanuel (2009). Heidegger, the introduction of Nazism into philosophy in light of the unpublished seminars of 1933-1935. New Haven: Yale University Press. p. 246. ISBN 9780300120868.

OK it is time to talk[edit]

To be clear all editors are agreed that Heidegger was a member of the Nazi Party and was anti-Semitic. All editors are further agreed that material which states this should be in the article. There is another article that specifically addresses this which is linked. The disputes relate to questions of weight, how much should they be mentioned.

Heidegger is not notable as an Anti-semite or a Nazi, he is notable as a Philosopher which is the focus of this article.

The constant edit waring is getting us now where so I suggest we stop all potentially controversial edits while we agree to some principles to determine what should or should not be included. If we can't do that then we JOINTLY formulate the issues and call a RFC to get other editors involved. We would also call in a dispute resolution editor.-----Snowded TALK 09:24, 13 December 2019 (UTC)

Heidegger is not notable as an Anti-semite or a Nazi, he is notable as a Philosopher is one of the points in contention. I know you disagree; I'm asking you not to beg the question. —VeryRarelyStable (talk) 10:42, 13 December 2019 (UTC)
Fully agree that Heidegger is not notable as an Anti-semite or a Nazi. Martinevans123 (talk) 10:44, 13 December 2019 (UTC)
(ec) All the philosophy directories I've reviewed only make passing reference but it is something we can debate. -----Snowded TALK 10:48, 13 December 2019 (UTC)
Another assertion without citation of a source. Google Heidegger, my friend. 8 of the top 10 entries mention Heidegger's Nazism right up front.Sbelknap (talk) 21:08, 13 December 2019 (UTC)
Most philosophers were not Nazis. This is what makes Heidegger fascinating and notable. Our goal should be to merge the Heidegger article and the Heidegger and Nazism article. Sbelknap (talk) 14:26, 13 December 2019 (UTC)
Many have been slave owners :-) But it is something else that can be debated get a list and we can get started -----Snowded TALK 15:01, 13 December 2019 (UTC)
Nope. Focused on Heidegger. Perhaps to clarify your goal, we could retitle the Martin Heidegger biography article and the Heidegger and Nazism biography article into these: Martin Heidegger the Good and Martin Heidegger the Terrible. Sbelknap (talk) 20:58, 13 December 2019 (UTC)

- there seems to be a concerted effort to maximize the negative aspects of Heidegger - there have been repeated calls to merge this article with the Heidegger and Nazism article, his life has been called "ugly", there has been a push to caracterize his philosopy as nonsense, a quote was recently added to the article that implied his philosophy was "diabolical" while removing a cited quote that said Heidegger was one of the most influential philosophers of the 20th century - there seems to be a campaign to right a great wrong (WP:RIGHTGREATWRONGS) and let the world know the Truth about Martin Heidegger and all done by taking the moral high ground and gaming the system by claiming that is in the service of a neutral point of view - there are other controvertial figures from the same era such as Ezra Pound who was a poet and also a fascist and antisemite, Gertrude Stein was a writer who worked for the Petain government during WWII, and T.S. Eliot who was a poet and antisemite; perhaps their articles could be used as examples of how to balance their positive achievements with their negative political views - we do need to work towards a neutral point of view and it is important to note Heidegger's Nazism and important to cite criticism of his philosophy, but we don't want to make the article predominantly about his Nazism and criticism of his philosophy; Heidegger is most notable as a philosopher and other aspects of his life must be given due weight (WP:DUE), although there seems to be tendentious disagreement about what that due weight is - Epinoia (talk) 22:13, 13 December 2019 (UTC)

I would disagree with an attempt to merge this article, with Martin Heidegger and Nazism. But for that to happen there would need to be a clear RfC proposal. If this is the real objective, then that process would be quite a major undertaking and all the suggested edits here might need to be forgotten about and re-written. If the current round of editing is not to be a complete waste of time, the question of merging needs to be addressed and some kind of consensus reached. Martinevans123 (talk) 23:20, 13 December 2019 (UTC)
0. Creation of a biography of Martin Heidegger from the perspective of what makes him notable (Philosophy, anti-semitism & Nazism, relationship with Hanna Arendt): I vote in favor of this.
1. Merging the Martin Heidegger article with the Heidegger and Nazism article: I vote in favor of this.
2. Inclusion of perspective of prominent scholars and philosophers that consider Heidegger's philosophy to possibly be nonsense or to be nonsense: I vote in favor of this.
3. Inclusion of perspective of prominent scholars and philosophers that consider Heidegger's philosophy to be important or influential: I vote in favor of this.
4. Inclusion of perspective of prominent scholars and philosophers that consider Heidegger's philosophy to be contaminated by Nazism: I vote in favor of this.
5. Inclusion of perspective of prominent scholars and philosophers that consider Heidegger's philosophy to be uncontaminated by Nazism: I vote in favor of this.
6. Inclusion of perspective of prominent scholars and philosophers that consider Heidegger's philosophy to be incoherent or meaningless: I vote in favor of this.
7. Inclusion of perspective of prominent scholars and philosophers that consider Heidegger's written work to be obscure or difficult to understand: I vote in favor of this.
8. Inclusion of perspective of prominent scholars and philosophers that consider Heidegger's written work to be novel, insightful, and groundbreaking: I vote in favor of this.
9. Creation of an article that is written in plain English for an intelligent, educated 16 year old native speaker of English: I vote in favor of this.
10. Creation of an article that accurately presents the life, philosophy, and influence of Martin Heidegger: I vote in favor of this.

Sbelknap (talk) 23:32, 13 December 2019 (UTC)

A 100% vote in favour for all those! 0. Creation of a biography of Martin Heidegger from the perspective of what makes him notable (Philosophy): I vote in favour of this. Martinevans123 (talk) 15:35, 14 December 2019 (UTC)
I do think it would make more sense to have all the Heidegger information under one lede than to split off his involvement with Nazism. On the other hand, if the two pages were to be merged, it would probably be in order to condense the incoming material somewhat.
There isn't a "push to characterize Heidegger's philosophy as nonsense". What there is, is a push to give due weight to the large school of thought that already holds his philosophy to be nonsense – or in many cases holds most Continental philosophy to be nonsense, but holds up Heidegger as the fount and epicentre of that nonsense. Granted that this is not the scholarly consensus on Heidegger, it is also not a small fringe opinion.
I would identify four foci of disagreement over the article:
  1. What weight is due to Heidegger's Nazism?
  2. What weight is due to the scholarly position that Heidegger's philosophy is nonsense?
  3. How can we communicate a summary of Heidegger's philosophy in language appropriate to Wikipedia?
  4. Is it appropriate to revert edits as "not having consensus" when there isn't a live debate over them on the Talk page?
The first three concern the content of the article, which we should try to reach some kind of compromise on. But I need to signal loud and clear that it is the fourth that raises the suspicion, in those of us whose edits get reverted, that the editors on the other side of the debate are not amenable to reaching a compromise.
VeryRarelyStable (talk) 23:36, 13 December 2019 (UTC)
The chief problem I see is that edits containing relevant assertions supported by high-quality citations are summarily reverted by other editors using specious justification. If its not formatted properly, ask for it be formatted properly. If it mischaracterizes the cited source, correct this error without deletion, or share your concern with the editor who made that edit, requesting correction. The undue weight objection is abused by engaged editors on this article. Just stop doing that. The article is very far away from being balanced, as a simple google search, or scan of amazon books, or scholar.google.com search will show.Sbelknap (talk) 00:00, 14 December 2019 (UTC)
Sbelknap, as I already noted, being properly cited is only one of the standards added content has to meet in order to be acceptable. It also has to be neutrally written and fit properly into the article. A major problem with your edits has been excessive use of quotations. Are you willing to reconsider that approach and properly summarize material? Some of the material you added in good faith would be acceptable if only you would rewrite it somewhat. For example, the material about Emmanuel Faye's view, that "Heidegger’s philosophy is Nazi ideology", would be acceptable if it excluded the unnecessary direct quotation ("By its very content, it disseminates within philosophy the explicit and remorseless legitimation of the guiding principles of the Nazi movement"). Freeknowledgecreator (talk) 00:26, 14 December 2019 (UTC)
I recently began using exact quotes in response to the "no-win" strategy employed by some engaged editors, where summarized information is judged to be wrong and summarily reverted, often without justification. I struggle to maintain good faith regarding these reverts. Sbelknap (talk) 01:19, 14 December 2019 (UTC)
Well, would you please stop using "exact quotes" when material can be summarized instead? It isn't a helpful approach. Per WP:IMPARTIAL: "The tone of Wikipedia articles should be impartial, neither endorsing nor rejecting a particular point of view. Try not to quote directly from participants engaged in a heated dispute; instead, summarize and present the arguments in an impartial tone." Freeknowledgecreator (talk) 01:23, 14 December 2019 (UTC)
This is an inappropriate use of WP:IMPARTIAL. Scholars and philosophers are being quoted, often from scholarly books, articles, or other sources. The *entire point* of scholarly work is to produce such analysis. I disagree with your opinion on this in the strongest terms.Sbelknap (talk) 02:25, 14 December 2019 (UTC)
How is it an inappropriate use of a policy discouraging direct quotations to point out that it discourages direct quotations? There is no sense in which the "entire point" of "scholarly work" is to reproduce quotations from anyone. CCS81, Epinoia, Martinevans123, Snowded, and VeryRarelyStable, what do you think? Freeknowledgecreator (talk) 02:37, 14 December 2019 (UTC)

I think (since you ask) that the question both misrepresents the argument and detracts from the real point. The argument is not that reproducing quotations is the point of scholarly work; the argument is that scholarly work already produces impartial analysis, and therefore it does not breach WP:IMPARTIAL to reproduce such analysis verbatim.

But the real point is that the lengthy quotations were only introduced in the first place because, when material taken from these scholarly sources was summarized instead of directly quoted, it was then insta-reverted on the grounds of not being representative of the scholarly sources (or sometimes on no grounds at all). Direct quotes were deemed the only way of demonstrating that the material was indeed a faithful reproduction of the writers' position – and now direct quotes are getting reverted for being direct quotes.

Can you see what that looks like from our perspective?

VeryRarelyStable (talk) 05:02, 14 December 2019 (UTC)

WP:IMPARTIAL is clear that quoting directly when covering a "heated dispute" is discouraged. That "scholarly work already produces impartial analysis" is an irrelevant assertion that does not provide a justification for Sbelknap's excessive use of quotations and the associated poor editing. Obviously, there is a "heated dispute" over Heidegger's philosophy, and simply declaring that the views of scholars are "impartial" does not alter that. If material is removed "on the grounds of not being representative of the scholarly sources", then the answer is to add material that is "representative of the scholarly sources". Freeknowledgecreator (talk) 05:34, 14 December 2019 (UTC)
Yeah, see, the problem with that is that the material was representative of the scholarly sources, by the lights of those adding it, but kept getting removed anyway on the grounds that those removing it claimed it wasn't. It got to the point where it seemed the only way to demonstrate that it was representative of the sources was to present verbatim what the sources actually said – which is what you're now complaining about.
Please tell me you can see what that looks like from our side of the table.
I take your point regarding quotes when covering a dispute. But the article already contains material from the pro-Heidegger side of the dispute, which in our view makes the article unbalanced and needs to be balanced appropriately (please be assured, no-one is suggesting removing it). Direct quotes were a last-ditch measure after multiple attempts to summarize were rejected.
When I encounter poor writing or editing in new edits to Wikipedia articles I'm watching, assuming the edits present new information, my policy is to edit them so that they're better-written but the new information is still there. I consider that basic courtesy. If some of the new information is dubious, I excise the dubious material and preserve the rest. I don't revert unless the whole thing is dubious.
VeryRarelyStable (talk) 05:49, 14 December 2019 (UTC)
I reviewed the quotes in question, Freeknowledgecreator. AFAICT, none of them are controversial at present. Please identify the quote that you consider to be the best example of being a "heated dispute." Sbelknap (talk) 06:10, 14 December 2019 (UTC)
What you are claiming is blatantly false. You added material from Emmanuel Faye, to the effect that "Heidegger’s philosophy is Nazi ideology", which obviously is very controversial. Why claim otherwise? Freeknowledgecreator (talk) 07:26, 14 December 2019 (UTC)
What is controversial about these quotes among scholars? Please stop substituting your opinion for that of experts.Sbelknap (talk) 04:55, 15 December 2019 (UTC)
Sbelknap, I'm not interested in having an interminable argument with you. I'll keep up discussion so long as it seems possible it may serve some useful purpose; if it doesn't seem to serve a useful purpose, then I will discontinue it. Frankly we've already reached the stage where further comment is pointless. Freeknowledgecreator (talk) 05:21, 15 December 2019 (UTC)

Snowded TALK 06:14, 16 December 2019 (UTC)

First question - is Heidegger's notability as a Philosopher or as a Nazi[edit]

We don't vote on Wikipedia we look at the evidence. So assertions will get us nowhere fast. I started this thread to break the log jam but if it doesn't work I will go to ANI with a request for a topic ban. We don't use primary sources, we don't assert positions, we don't do personal attacks and we don't compromise unless it is within the context of the sources and with due attention to weight. That means involved editors should present evidence from third-party sources on this subject - please get started -----Snowded TALK 07:13, 14 December 2019 (UTC)

Loaded question in the heading aside (where I come from he's notable as a Nazi philosopher), your party have been reverting edits with third-party evidence for months, and we're getting a bit puzzled as to exactly what is going to be good enough for you. —VeryRarelyStable (talk) 07:48, 14 December 2019 (UTC)
Also, WP:WEIGHT is exactly what's at issue here. We know what you think is the appropriate weight for Heidegger's Nazism as compared to his philosophy, and we disagree. That should tell you that your comments so far have failed to convince us. In case you're wondering, that's because so far all you've done is assert your position on it (over and over again) without providing supporting argumentation for why you hold that position.
So let me ask a direct question. Why do you think the critics who believe Heidegger's Nazism was foundational to his philosophy are so unimportant?
(In case you're wondering – answers along the lines of "Because they are that unimportant!" are going to fail.)
VeryRarelyStable (talk) 07:54, 14 December 2019 (UTC)
Yup, "Was Heidegger's thinking contaminated by Nazism?" is a matter of opinion, not of hard facts. The hard fact is that Heidegger did not write political philosophy.
As a Nazi he wasn't notable: first, he supported a losing wing of the Nazi party and this became apparent really fast. Second, his only active involvement in WW2 and/or Holocaust is digging trenches because he was compelled to do so. Third, his only position of power was a one-year rectorate and he resigned from office long before the whole atrocities of WW2/Holocaust became apparent. Tgeorgescu (talk) 14:44, 14 December 2019 (UTC)
Heidegger was a leader of the effort to subordinate German academia to the Nazi Party. He was a notable Nazi.Sbelknap (talk) 16:35, 14 December 2019 (UTC)
There you go again. Please consult WP:OR for guidance. Again, we have engaged editors that substitute their opinion for that of scholars. Again, it matters not what opinion @Tgeorgescu holds. What do reliable sources hold to be the case? That is what matters. Please cite sources that matter and stop inserting your original research into wikipedia.Sbelknap (talk) 16:39, 14 December 2019 (UTC)
Assert facts, not opinions WP:ASSERT. Tgeorgescu (talk) 16:49, 14 December 2019 (UTC)

This was done. Facts were added to this article, with high-quality citations. The record is in the edit log of the Martin Heidegger article. The problem is *not* the assertion of facts. Instead, the problem is the erasure or obscuring of facts about Heidegger that do not fit the preferred narrative of some of the currently-engaged editors." Sbelknap (talk) 04:46, 15 December 2019 (UTC)

The article characterizes Heidegger as a “a seminal thinker” and a (now deleted) quotation called him “one of the most influential philosophers of the 20th century” – I don’t believe there is a source that says he was “a seminal Nazi” or “Heidegger was one of the most influential Nazis of the 20th century.” His Nazism should be given approximately the same proportional weight as Ezra Pound’s fascism is given in the Ezra Pound article. Heidegger’s philosophy is not overtly fascist or promoting Nazism. George Pattison says of Emmanuel Faye’s book “Heidegger, the Introduction of Nazism into Philosophy” that “Faye finds some sort of reference to Nazism in just about every line Heidegger ever wrote and I think that most people think that’s clearly that’s an exaggeration and sometimes even perhaps rather stupid and forced.” Pattison goes on to say, “we can’t avoid knowing a little bit about the life, but in this case it’s not going to be decisive for how we really engage with the thought.” So I think we need to note that there is a debate on how far Nazism influenced Heidegger, but we should report on the debate and not produce a flurry of sources that weigh the argument one way or another and not take sides trying to prove that his philosophy was fundamentally a Nazi philosophy, in accordance with a neutral point of view. Heidegger was the son of a sexton, at university he first studied Catholic theology, he wrote his Phd thesis on the scholastic theology of Duns Scotus and worked with Rudolph Bultmann on the Gospel of John. He wrote on medieval mysticism and gave lectures on St Paul, so given this background one could make a case that Heidegger’s philosophy is fundamentally Christian. Heidegger had many influences, only one of which was Nazism. So his Nazism should be covered in the article, but he is most notable as a philosopher - Epinoia (talk) 17:17, 14 December 2019 (UTC)

@Tgeorgescu: just because Heidegger wasn't a very successful Nazi doesn't mean he isn't notable as a Nazi. George Mallory is notable for his failed attempt to climb Mt Everest; Robert Falcon Scott is notable for his failed attempt to be the first person to reach the South Pole.
@Epinoia: Pattison's book should certainly be covered in the article, but it shouldn't be given priority over Faye's. The thing is that the scholars are debating, just like we are, not over whether Heidegger was a Nazi but over how important his Nazism was to his philosophy. His Wikipedia article should not take sides in that debate, but of course we have to make some sort of decision as to how much weight the article is going to give it, and I think the nearest we can get to not taking sides is to pick a point in the middle.
VeryRarelyStable (talk) 00:26, 15 December 2019 (UTC)
Regarding Ezra Pound, why is there no Ezra Pound and Fascism article? Heidegger's Nazism and Anti-semitism is much more notable than Pound's Fascism. Do a search on Amazon for books about Heidegger.Sbelknap (talk) 02:43, 15 December 2019 (UTC)

Heidegger never apologized nor publicly expressed regret for his involvement with his affiliation with Nazism,[1] in private he called it "the biggest stupidity of his life" (die größte Dummheit seines Lebens).[2] In his book From the Experience of Thinking (Aus der Erfahrung des Denkens), Heidegger states, Great thoughts, great errors (Wer gross denkt, irrt gross Perhaps this should be reflected in this article? Sbelknap (talk) 05:00, 15 December 2019 (UTC)

Regarding Scott, he did actually reach the South Pole. It was his return from the South Pole that failed. Sbelknap (talk) 05:09, 15 December 2019 (UTC)

wikipedia and Encyclopedia Britannica are not the same. They do not have the same goals. Their content need not be the same. However, it is interesting how Britannica handles this issue: "In the months after the appointment of Adolf Hitler as chancellor of Germany in January 1933, German universities came under increasing pressure to support the “national revolution” and to eliminate Jewish scholars and the teaching of “Jewish” doctrines, such as the theory of relativity. In April 1933 Heidegger was elected rector of Freiburg by the university’s teaching staff. One month later he became a member of the Nazi Party; until he resigned as rector in April 1934, he helped to institute Nazi educational and cultural programs at Freiburg and vigorously promoted the domestic and foreign policies of the Nazi regime. Already during the late 1920s he had criticized the dissolute nature of the German university system, where specialization and the ideology of academic freedom precluded the attainment of a higher unity. In a letter of 1929 he bemoaned the progressive “Jewification” (Verjudung) of the German spirit. In his inaugural address, “Die Selbstbehauptung der deutschen Universität” (“The Self-Assertion of the German University”), he called for reorganizing the university along the lines of the Nazi Führerprinzip, or leadership principle, and celebrated the fact that university life would thereafter be merged with the state and the needs of the German Volk. During the first month of his rectorship, he sent a telegram to Hitler urging him to postpone an upcoming meeting of university rectors until Gleichschaltung—the Nazi euphemism for the elimination of political opponents—had been completed. In the fall of 1933 Heidegger began a speaking tour on behalf of Hitler’s national referendum to withdraw Germany from the League of Nations. As he proclaimed in one speech: “Let not doctrines and ideas be your guide. The Führer is Germany’s only reality and law.” Heidegger continued to support Hitler in the years after his rectorship, though with somewhat less enthusiasm than he had shown in 1933–34." [3]— Preceding unsigned comment added by Sbelknap (talkcontribs)

We are not debating the fact that he supported the Nazi Party or the degree of his support for them, but the source of his notability. If he had not been the founder of Existentialism I doubt anyone would be talking about him. He would be a minor German Philosopher who like may others supported the Nazis. Because of that status, the nature of his support for the Nazi's has always been a source of controversy. If we go to reliable third party sources in the form of philosophical directories they all reference the fact he was a Nazi but briefly, the vast bulk of each article is about him as a philosopher, and that includes Stanford. We run with questions of weight on what is said in these sources. If anything those sources indicate that more material should be shifted over from this article into the one on Heidegger and the Nazis but that is another topic. -----Snowded TALK 11:25, 15 December 2019 (UTC)
I note that you have ignored the Encyclopedia Britannica entry quoted above. The Encyclopedia Britannica is a general interest reference work. It turns out that the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy is a (surprise!) encyclopedia of philosophy. The scope of a biography article in wikipedia extends beyond philosophy to include other elements of notability. Heidegger is notable as the lover of Hannah Arendt (who had some influence on making Heidegger famous/infamous), as an anti-semite and Nazi (as per dozens of scholarly books and articles), and as the originator of a school of philosophy that is variously held to be either of major importance or as a nonsensical cul-de-sac.Sbelknap (talk) 17:26, 15 December 2019 (UTC)
You mean the Encyclopedia Britannica main entry which doesn't mention his membership of the Nazi for several paragraphs and opens "German philosopher, counted among the main exponents of existentialism. His groundbreaking work in ontology (the philosophical study of being, or existence) and metaphysics determined the course of 20th-century philosophy on the European continent and exerted an enormous influence on virtually every other humanistic discipline, including literary criticism, hermeneutics, psychology, and theology."? Pretty much establishes his importance overall and clearly establishes his notability is as a Philosopher -----Snowded TALK 06:14, 16 December 2019 (UTC)
Heidegger's thinking was too abstract for him to fit well within the Nazi party. He was accused of "metaphysical antisemitism", which would be more properly called anti-modernism, or, using a term coined by nl:Willem Schinkel, culture-ism. He had musings about the role of Jews in respect to modernity, but he did not write political philosophy and has never endorsed the biologically-grounded racism of the Nazi party. For propaganda purposes Heidegger was useless: if he had orchestrated Hilter's electoral campaign, Hitler would have never been elected, Heidegger's idiolect being incomprehensible for the average German. Tgeorgescu (talk) 23:03, 15 December 2019 (UTC)
@Tgeorgescu: Can you please pay attention to what's being discussed? Nobody but you is debating whether Heidegger was a Nazi or whether he was a particularly effective Nazi. The question is not how much effect Heidegger had on Nazism, it's how much effect Nazism had on Heidegger.
And can you please stop bringing up the irrelevancies whether Heidegger bought in to Nazi biological race theories? Biology wasn't the driver of Nazi ideology; it was something the Nazis appropriated when it was useful to their cause and discarded when it wasn't, like every other kind of science and scholarship.
VeryRarelyStable (talk) 23:30, 15 December 2019 (UTC)
So, yeah, then we discuss "How notable is Nazism in Heidegger's philosophy?" not "Is Heidegger a notable Nazi?", which was the original question in this topic. Tgeorgescu (talk) 23:49, 15 December 2019 (UTC)
Some great points. Heck, despite decades of intense effort, Martin Heidegger couldn't even convert his brother to Nazism.[4] Sbelknap (talk) 04:27, 16 December 2019 (UTC)

Discussion here seems to consist of little more than interminable wrangling and rambling comments. Nothing concrete is being achieved, and no progress is apparently being made in resolving disagreements, leading me to suspect that protection of the article may accomplish nothing. Does anyone want to actually discuss the content issues that led to the article being protected, or to place a suitably worded request for comment? Freeknowledgecreator (talk) 05:37, 16 December 2019 (UTC)

My take is that we have to flush out if people are prepared to engage with an approach of based proper sourcing first. If yes then all well and good, if not then we can fall back to an ANI request for a topic ban. That means a defined topic by topic approach. On this first topic we have five editors in favour of his notability resting in this philosophy, two against, and said two are being very very selective in their quotes. If the VeryRarelyStable/Sbeleknap combo can accept that then we move to the next subject. If not then they can invoke one of various dispute resolution processes in Wikipedia. If they refuse to do that and instead persist in making the same arguments, then the case for a topic ban becomes clear. -----Snowded TALK 06:14, 16 December 2019 (UTC)
Please explain what you mean by "an approach of based proper sourcing". We've been providing sources for our assertions for months. Why are they not good enough?
We are not against Heidegger's notability being for his philosophy; we are against it being solely for his philosophy and, at that, solely for positive assessments of his philosophy.
VeryRarelyStable (talk) 07:11, 16 December 2019 (UTC)
You are providing primary and selective sources - for a question of this nature we should be using third party sources. Three quoted to date include the Britannica, Stamford and Oxford and I could quote several more, WP:RS is pretty clear on this especially in respect of weight. I should not have to explain this to an experienced edtor. All reference the Nazi membership, none of them emphasis it. I repeat, not one would even talk about his politics if he hadn't been the founding father of Existentialism. By the way, the action of your 'companion' in changing the title of this section was trivialisation of this attempt to resolve the log jam. It will not go down well if this all gets reviewed. I choose the easiest issue to resolve base on third party sources, and if we can't resolve that then I hold little prospect of more controversial issues downstream. Find a reliable THIRD party source source or give up on this question and we can move on -----Snowded TALK 07:31, 16 December 2019 (UTC)
That is not what wikipedia requires. Instead, wikipedia relies (mostly) on secondary sources. See WP:RSPRIMARY "Wikipedia articles should be based mainly on reliable secondary sources, i.e., a document or recording that relates or discusses information originally presented elsewhere. Reputable tertiary sources, such as introductory-level university textbooks, almanacs, and encyclopedias, may be cited." One major challenge we have is that some editors make up new wikipedia rules out of thin air. Please stop doing this. It is disruptive and is a contributor to the problem. Sbelknap (talk) 13:12, 16 December 2019 (UTC)
Please assume good faith. My edit of the subtitle was sincere. The relationship between Hannah Arendt and Heidegger is a factor that contributes to Heidegger's notability.[5] Stop making threats. Threatening ANI topic bans is not appropriate here. All engaged editors have made productive edits. Threatening to invoke ANI, as some editors have repeatedly done, can itself be considered a violation of wikipedia policy.Sbelknap (talk) 13:18, 16 December 2019 (UTC)
You don't change titles after a discussion has started. We use third party sources if they are they are available, they are, use them. There are no third party sources to support you on Arendt in respect of notability, strop wasting our time. At the moment this thread is over unless you introduce proper sourcing or new information. You need to accept the conclusion or use one of the dispute resolution processes. -----Snowded TALK 15:55, 16 December 2019 (UTC)
You don't change titles after a discussion has started. Another assertion without justification; this may be done, and is done, to reflect the course of discussion; it certainly does no harm. We use third party sources if they are they are available, they are, use them. We? Who is We? That's not how We do things on wikipedia. Please see WP:RSPRIMARY, "Wikipedia articles should be based mainly on reliable secondary sources, i.e., a document or recording that relates or discusses information originally presented elsewhere. Reputable tertiary sources, such as introductory-level university textbooks, almanacs, and encyclopedias, may be cited." The long-term problem here is that some editors believe that they are writing an entry in an encyclopedia of philosophy while other editors believe they are writing an entry in wikipedia. Fortunately, we can determine which group of editors is adhering closer to reality by checking the url for this page. Mine says "wikipedia.org." What does yours say?Sbelknap (talk) 18:57, 16 December 2019 (UTC)
How does his relationship with Arendt have any bearing on his notability as a philosopher or as a Nazi? Thanks. Martinevans123 (talk) 13:50, 16 December 2019 (UTC)
We are writing a wikipedia biography article here. Wikipedia biography articles emphasize what makes the subject notable, whatever that might be. There are three things that make Martin Heidegger notable: He was a philosopher (or possibly a mystic). He was an anti-semite and a Nazi. He was the lover of Hannah Arendt.Sbelknap (talk) 18:57, 16 December 2019 (UTC)
Apparently, he wasn't antisemitic enough to hate Jewish women. Tgeorgescu (talk) 14:57, 16 December 2019 (UTC)
Apparently you are unacquainted with the nature of anti-semitism among German philosophers, who often distinguish between Judischer Geist ("Jewish spirit") and actual individual Jewish persons.[6]
Well, quite. Noting that we are keeping Nazism and anti-semitism separate here, not just "not hate Jewish women" but actually to actively fall in love with one. Martinevans123 (talk) 15:11, 16 December 2019 (UTC)
Same.[7]
For him the deal-breaker was culture, not race. Tgeorgescu (talk) 15:18, 16 December 2019 (UTC)
Either culture or race could be used to commit atrocities. This matters how?Sbelknap (talk) 18:57, 16 December 2019 (UTC)
Irrelevant, since Heidegger himself committed no atrocities. He was a member of a mass party in a totalitarian country. About "Jewish spirit": I agree, Heidegger's antisemitism was cultural, not racial. He used the word "Jews" as a shorthand for "modernist, liberal cosmopolitans". Did he have racial prejudices? Absolutely, we all have: even black Police officers are more likely to shoot at a black suspect than at a white suspect. Tgeorgescu (talk) 19:05, 16 December 2019 (UTC)
Heidegger helped anesthetize the German academe, removing an important potential source of resistance to the Holocaust. He was more than a member, he was an enthusiastic supporter of the Nazi Party. Again, assertions without cited sources. There is important scholarship since publication of the Schwarze Hefte that bears on this issue.[8]Sbelknap (talk) 19:19, 16 December 2019 (UTC)
I don't know if what you say is true or false, since I lost my major interest in his works before the publication of the Black Books, so I'm not going to read those. But my two cents are that you exaggerate his political success/importance. If he told that he was political important, that's self-flattery. Tgeorgescu (talk) 21:36, 16 December 2019 (UTC)

Can we please stay on topic? How much weight should be given to Heidegger's Nazism as it bears upon his philosophy? That's something Heidegger scholars themselves don't agree on. So the Wikipedia article should report both sides of the controversy instead of, as it currently does, favouring the low-weight side by default.

I'm still not clear what previous disputants meant by "third party" sources. It's not the same as "tertiary" sources, because secondary sources are preferred on Wikipedia. At face value, I would take it to mean that if two scholars are having a dispute, you use a source by a third scholar reporting on them to determine the status of the dispute within the field (though of course it's fine to use the disputing scholars' own writings as sources to describe their individual positions). But since some of the sources we've used have been of other scholars reporting on people criticizing Heidegger, it's unclear how they fail to qualify.

Call me suspicious, but I can't suppress the thought that perhaps in some people's minds, any scholar who criticizes Heidegger even in the context of reporting other people criticizing Heidegger thereby ceases to be "third party".

Which would mean that "use third party sources" reduces to "use only sources that are not critical of Heidegger".

To which the answer is "No."

VeryRarelyStable (talk) 23:42, 16 December 2019 (UTC)

More innuendo? A third party source is something like an Encyclopedia and is the gold standard. I've checked five todate - they all clearly state he was a Nazi and are critical, but the emphasis is on his version of existentialism. If we have a controversy over the role of the Black Books we mention it but we do not speak in Wikipedia's voice until the controversy is over, and we are proportionate. using primary sources to make a point us called original research. -----Snowded TALK 09:13, 17 December 2019 (UTC)
Well, if by "third party" you meant "tertiary", then it's you, not us, that has misread WP:RS. Here's what it actually says:
Wikipedia articles should be based mainly on reliable secondary sources, i.e., a document or recording that relates or discusses information originally presented elsewhere.
VeryRarelyStable (talk) 09:47, 17 December 2019 (UTC)

References

  1. ^ For critical readings of the interview (published in 1966 as "Only a God Can Save Us", Der Spiegel), see the "Special Feature on Heidegger and Nazism" in Critical Inquiry 15:2 (Winter 1989), particularly the contributions by Jürgen Habermas and Blanchot. The issue includes partial translations of Derrida's Of Spirit and Lacoue-Labarthe's Of Spirit and Heidegger, Art, and Politics: the Fiction of the Political.
  2. ^ Quoted by Heinrich Wiegand Petzet, Auf einen Stern zugehen. Begegnungen und Gespräche mit Martin Heidegger 1929-1976, 1983 p. 43, and also by Frédéric de Towarnicki, A la rencontre de Heidegger. Souvenirs d'un messager de la Forêt-Noire, Gallimard-Arcades p. 125
  3. ^ https://www.britannica.com/biography/Martin-Heidegger-German-philosopher/Later-philosophy#ref235219
  4. ^ https://forward.com/culture/358715/philosopher-martin-heidegger-spent-years-trying-to-convince-his-brother-to/
  5. ^ https://www.brainpickings.org/2016/04/25/hannah-arendt-martin-heidegger-love-letters/
  6. ^ Redner, Harry. "Philosophers and Anti-Semitism." Modern Judaism 22, no. 2 (2002): 115-41. www.jstor.org/stable/1396582.
  7. ^ Redner, Harry. "Philosophers and Anti-Semitism." Modern Judaism 22, no. 2 (2002): 115-41. www.jstor.org/stable/1396582.
  8. ^ Richard Wolin. "On Heidegger's Antisemitism: The Peter Trawny Affair." Antisemitism Studies 1, no. 2 (2017): 245-79. www.jstor.org/stable/10.2979/antistud.1.2.02.

Moving to closure on the first question[edit]

There is no requirement for other editors to continue a discussion forever. All involved editors have now made their positions clear and there is a clear consensus that Heidegger is notable as a philosopher not as a Nazi. The question of how much weight should be given to his nazism can be next up but only this is now accepted. Sbelknap and VeryRarelyStable, if you do not accept this then you have to invoke a dispute resolution process ON THIS QUESTION. Other questions stay open but we need to forward one question at a time -----Snowded TALK 09:00, 17 December 2019 (UTC)

A "clear consensus that Heidegger is notable... not as a Nazi"? What exactly is your definition of "consensus", please?
Because so far what's happened is that we've tried to argue for our case, and you've restated your position and restated your position and not engaged with our arguments.
I presume you don't think "consensus" means "take a snap poll and go with the majority", since you opened this section with "We don't vote on Wikipedia". If you did think that, you would be wrong.
Or – given how the word "consensus" has been used in edit summaries on your side of the debate – perhaps you think "consensus" means "status quo"? Because it doesn't mean that either.
(Just to make, clearer still, one of several points that is persistently being ignored: we believe Heidegger is notable both as a philospher and as a Nazi, and that the latter is not being given due weight, and that your attempts to force it into an either-or dichotomy are inappropriate.)
VeryRarelyStable (talk) 09:44, 17 December 2019 (UTC)
I have looked through the entire discussion above, and my problem with it is that the specific content disagreements that led to the article being protected really are not being discussed. Instead, editors are arguing with each other about what they think of Heidegger, and unsurprisingly, this is leading nowhere. It might help if editors would say what they will do when and as article protection inspires. For example, does anyone intend to revert Snowded and restore Sbelknap's edits? If so, they should say so. We need to know now whether edit warring is simply going to begin again. If edit warring does immediately resume after protection expires, nothing will have been accomplished. Freeknowledgecreator (talk) 10:04, 17 December 2019 (UTC)
Ah. So if anyone were to "revert Snowded and restore Sbelknap's edits", that would not be allowable. In other words, it's pre-determined that Sbelknap is wrong and Snowded is right. And that's what you call a "consensus". Well, thank you for your honesty, at least. —VeryRarelyStable (talk) 10:09, 17 December 2019 (UTC)
A comment like that is a great example of why discussion here does not seem to be serving any useful purpose. You put words in my mouth, attribute to me a view I do not hold ("that would not be allowable"), and avoid answering the question of whether you will, in fact, revert Snowded - which would be a continuation of the edit warring that led to the article's protection. If someone did simply revert Snowded, that would be unfortunate, but I never said that it wouldn't be "allowable". Why don't you say what you think of the specific content issues involved, those concerning the content removed in Snowded's edit? Freeknowledgecreator (talk) 10:16, 17 December 2019 (UTC)
Because I've said it many times over already and I'm getting tired of it. If it would be allowable for someone to revert Snowded and restore Sbelknap's edits, why did you make that the test of whether "nothing will have been accomplished"?
But since you ask, let me not be accused of dodging a question.
  • Is Heidegger's philosophy notable? Yes, but this is not at issue as we all think so already.
  • Is Heidegger's Nazism notable? Yes.
  • Is Heidegger's Nazism notable in relation to his philosophy? Yes, because there is a live debate among scholars about how closely they are related, and to downplay that debate is to side with one of the parties to that debate by default.
  • Is the obscurity of Heidegger's philosophy notable? Yes. He's the poster child for analytical philosopher's criticisms of the obscurity of Continental philosophy.
  • Is Heidegger's relationship with Hannah Arendt notable? Yes, but less so – it should be discussed in the article but not as the topic of a level 1 heading. It should probably get a bigger discussion on Arendt's page than here.
  • Does the current discussion of Heidegger's philosophy meet Wikipedia's standards of intelligibility? No, by a very long margin.
  • Is it OK for the discussion of Heidegger's philosophy not to meet Wikipedia's standards since Heidegger himself would not have agreed with being judged by those standards? No.
VeryRarelyStable (talk) 10:27, 17 December 2019 (UTC)
A tip I received from Jud Evans: if you replace Being with Pantheist God, Heidegger makes perfect sense. Tgeorgescu (talk) 12:21, 17 December 2019 (UTC)
That's interesting.Sbelknap (talk) 16:55, 17 December 2019 (UTC)
As siding with one side of that debate: hard facts are scarce, there is no smoking gun. Tgeorgescu (talk) 14:29, 17 December 2019 (UTC)
This "edit warring" is a violation of WP:OWN No one "owns" content (including articles or any page at Wikipedia). If you create or edit an article, others can make changes, and you cannot prevent them from doing so. In addition, you should not undo their edits without good reason. Sbelknap (talk) 16:59, 17 December 2019 (UTC)

While I would be willing to include mention that Heidegger is a philosopher, as many secondary and tertiary sources state that this is so, it should be noted that there is not universal agreement that Heidegger was a philosopher. Would Kant have considered Heidegger a philosopher? In his book, Heidegger: The Introduction of Nazism into Philosophy, the author, Emmanuel Faye argues that Martin Heidegger was not a philosopher, and that his works should not be classified under "philosophy" because they were entirely based on National Socialism. Faye argues that Heidegger's work should be classified under "hate speech". Sbelknap (talk) 18:21, 17 December 2019 (UTC)

- as noted above, George Pattison says of Emmanuel Faye’s book “Heidegger, the Introduction of Nazism into Philosophy” that “Faye finds some sort of reference to Nazism in just about every line Heidegger ever wrote and I think that most people think that’s clearly an exaggeration and sometimes even perhaps rather stupid and forced.” - based on this I don't think we can regard Faye's position as mainstream, but as extreme, possibly fringe, minority position - we can argue about whether Pattison's scholarship outweighs Faye's, but I think it is clear from the sources that Heidegger is overwhelmingly known primarily as a philosopher, he is taught in university courses as a philosopher, found in encyclopedias of philosophy, cataloged in libraries under philosophy, etc. - Epinoia (talk) 18:33, 17 December 2019 (UTC)
Faye wrote his book before publication of the Black Notebooks. It turns out that Faye was largely correct. There are about a dozen reviews of Faye's book that turn up with a simple search, so Epinoia provides us with this cherry-picked review. Here is Patricia Cohn's more balanced review in the New York Times[1] Here's a key quote:

That is precisely what Mr. Faye says he wants. In his view teaching Heidegger’s ideas without disclosing his deep Nazi sympathies is like showing a child a brilliant fireworks display without warning that an ignited rocket can also blow up in someone’s face.

Sbelknap (talk) 20:06, 17 December 2019 (UTC)
Despite the insistence of some currently engaged editors, there is no consensus as to what Heidegger meant in Being and Time, nor even what his neologisms or repurposed German compound words mean.[2]

At the first page of Sein und Zeit, the one piece of work that has secured Martin Heidegger’s place in the philosophy of history, the author declares that the purpose behind the work is to explicate the “meaning of being”,or”dem Sinn von Sein”.There is however no clear consensus among Heidegger scholars of what this is supposed to be. Indeed, there is not even a clear consensus of what Heidegger means by “meaning”, or “Sinn” as the German term is. On the contrary, the interpretations have little in common except being about Heidegger.

Sbelknap (talk) 20:21, 17 December 2019 (UTC)

References

  1. ^ https://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/09/books/09philosophy.html?_r=1&ref=arts
  2. ^ Almäng, Jan. "Heidegger on Sinn." Philosophical Communications (2008).
- a review of a book is not academic support for a book - if we want to establish a neutral point of view we need to reflect the widely supported views of scholars - Pattison says "most people" regard Faye as "clearly an exaggeration" - if most people regard Faye as extreme, then his work is a minority position - basing arguments on extreme sources is not supporting a neutral point of view - WP:UNDUE says, "articles should not give minority views or aspects as much of or as detailed a description as more widely held views or widely supported aspects. Generally, the views of tiny minorities should not be included at all" - Heidegger's notability is primarily as a philosopher - Epinoia (talk) 20:31, 17 December 2019 (UTC)
Sure, scholars disagree on Faye and many other things. That is the point! When there is disagreement among scholars, that ought to be reflected in this article. Faye published his book a decade ago. Since then, much of what Faye wrote seems on-target, as per later scholarship. Some engaged editors seem stuck in 2009, ignoring (or cherry-picking) recent scholarship. If we want to establish a neutral point of view, how about not deleting edits that are supported by high-quality secondary and tertiary sources? Sbelknap (talk) 21:16, 17 December 2019 (UTC)
Heidegger's notability is primarily as a philosopher Heidegger is notable as a philosopher (or perhaps a mystic), as an anti-semite and Nazi, and as the lover of Hannah Arendt. Some argue that Heidegger's philosophy is incoherent or nonsensical. Some argue that Heidegger's philosophy was important and novel. Some argue that Heidegger's philosophy is so contaminated by his antisemitism and Nazism as to not be worthy of consideration as philosophy. Each of these points of view ought be included in this article. Sbelknap (talk) 04:20, 18 December 2019 (UTC)

Trying again[edit]

At the moment we have Sbelknap and VeryRarelyStable against the rest. From my perspective, they are ignoring third party sources and focusing on the interpretation of primary sources - worse they argue that is legitimate. There is no prospect of this changing. I've lived through enough such issues on Wikipedia to know this could go on forever. To everyone who is not Sbelknap or VeryRarelyStable as long as you allow this to carry on, it will get worse.

We have a first issue resolved as a consensus by involved editors in favour of Heidegger being notable as a philosopher. Yes was also a member of the Nazi Party but his notability does not come from that. Sbelknap and VeryRarelyStable are entitled to disagree with that, but in order to do that, they have to invoke one of several possible dispute resolution processes that involve other editors. They need to be left to get on with this and when has that resolved we can go onto the next issue one by one, ideally with some time limit. I seriously suggest leaving them to themselves until then engage properly. -----Snowded TALK 07:03, 18 December 2019 (UTC)

"Sbelknap and VeryRarelyStable against the rest"? I thought you said "We don't vote on Wikipedia"?
There's another option in between tertiary and primary sources, and it just happens to be the one that WP:RS recommends and that we've been using.
We already had other editors come in, remember? Look upthread a few sections. What did they say? Which side of the debate did they find wasn't engaging with their questions?
Heidegger being notable as a philosopher and Heidegger being notable as a Nazi are not two mutually exclusive options.
Whether Heidegger's notability comes from his Nazism is under dispute. You convince no-one by merely asserting that it does not.
If you stick your fingers in your ears and go "la la la" every time we talk, the fact that you don't hear us presenting any arguments says nothing about us and everything about you.
And if that's going to be your approach for the rest of the questions, then we already know what conclusions you are going to reach and the whole business was a charade from the beginning.
VeryRarelyStable (talk) 07:21, 18 December 2019 (UTC)
Well VeryRarelyStable, you've made clear that you and Sbelknap have absolutely no idea what you are talking about, but not that any of us should waste our time trying to accommodate you regarding the problems that lead to your 'brain glitches.' Given these 'glitches' and the utterly incoherent responses that they yield (as evidenced by your utterly incoherent response to my last post regarding ownership, possessive pronouns, and everything else that you were claiming in your last post), my advice is to take your interest in learning about these subjects elsewhere. The alternative is to degrade whatever Wikipedia article you take an interest in into a series of "understandable" but false piles of claims that would make a teenage college student blush. CCS81 (talk) 08:56, 18 December 2019 (UTC)
My "brain glitches" are not just mine; they're a phenomenon well-known to psycholinguists, which all readers experience upon reading text full of left-branching and centre-branching sentence trees. I suppose in order to read Heidegger it is necessary to train yourself to read very dense prose; is it your opinion that Wikipedia articles should be written only for people who've mastered such texts? And if so, how are these experts also so unfamiliar with the language that they're in danger of being misled into thinking a text has become an agent? —VeryRarelyStable (talk) 03:36, 19 December 2019 (UTC)

The task here is to find a way forward. I suggest that we follow the policies and standards of wikipedia: rely (mostly) on secondary sources, respect the diversity of views among these secondary sources, and stop substituting ones own opinion for that of experts. Sbelknap (talk) 16:06, 18 December 2019 (UTC)

I fully agree, Sbelknap, but we've been suggesting that for months and it's fallen on deaf ears. And the one self-proclaimed expert who's come along thinks the article doesn't need to be understandable. —VeryRarelyStable (talk) 03:40, 19 December 2019 (UTC)

I think the editors here are enacting what should be stated simply in the article, that there are controversies about Heidegger's obscure writing style, and about whether his political and philosophical views are related. At the moment the talk page is degenerating into an obscure mish mash of personal remarks and entrenched opinion. It perfectly shows the controversy which Heidegger's work arouses, and is best summarised in the article itself rather than being endlessly rehearsed and mulled over here publicly. My penny's worth.

TonyClarke (talk) 06:23, 19 December 2019 (UTC)

TonyClarke, that's exactly what our side of the debate is asking for. —VeryRarelyStable (talk) 06:39, 19 December 2019 (UTC)
VeryRarelyStable So you agree that there are two contentious issues remaining? Well, the article already mentions, in the lead and elsewhere, the debated and controversial relationship between his philosophy and his 'Nazism'. So am I correct in thinking that you are being blocked in adding well-cited references to the alleged obscurity of his writing? The alleged obscurity should be easily supported and inserted. If reverted, then dispute resolution can be sought. The length of this talk page issue is becoming unmanageable, and needs to be resolved. The personal attacks and recriminations do not reflect well on our work. Tell me if I have got this wrong?

TonyClarke (talk) 20:32, 21 December 2019 (UTC)

There is no requirement to debate forever. There is a clear consensus position, you are either accept that and move on or you use one of the many ways available to bring in other editors. I've taken part in multiple disputes on Wikipedia over the years and you have had mode than a fair hearing. The pair of you have not been ignored, other editors disagree with you.-----Snowded TALK 07:16, 19 December 2019 (UTC)
I'll believe we're not being ignored when I see even one of our arguments actually engaged with. —VeryRarelyStable (talk) 07:17, 19 December 2019 (UTC)
As for "consensus", I'm pretty sure that what's happened is other editors on our side have run into the same brick wall we have and decided they have better things to do with their time than bash their heads against it. I've seen two or three come and go by now. —VeryRarelyStable (talk) 07:19, 19 December 2019 (UTC)
I've been watching the article for over a decade and you're just plain wrong - if people have been excluded feel free to list them with some diffs. I've also seen people bend over backward to try and engage with you, get your mind around the fact that engagement does have necessarily mean agreement-----Snowded TALK 07:27, 19 December 2019 (UTC)

VeryRarelyStable, let me repeat the question you've persistently avoided answering: do you, in fact, intend to revert Snowded as soon as the article is unprotected? Such an edit might be "allowable" in the sense that Wikipedia's policies would permit it, but it would still be heavily discouraged as a form of edit warring. Remember that an edit that may be "allowable" simply taken in itself can become a form of prohibited edit warring if endlessly repeated. Resumption of such edit warring would leave it looking doubtful that article protection has accomplished anything. Instead of reverting, why not see what version of the article a majority of editors active on the talk page would prefer? Freeknowledgecreator (talk) 09:02, 19 December 2019 (UTC)

I intend to continue to try to improve the article as I think it needs improving. Will I simply revert the last change? Probably not; there are a number of ways the wording could be improved.
Snowded, exactly how is your position a "clear consensus position"? More of your party are actively arguing the point here than ours, but I checked, and you did indeed open the main heading with the words "We don't vote on Wikipedia we look at the evidence." So you can't just mean you have greater numbers. What do you mean by "consensus"?
While you're at it, you're quite right of course that engagement is not the same as agreement. You say you've seen people "bend over backward" to try and engage with us. Well, then, I'm afraid my memory must be terribly faulty. Could you please refresh it as to how people have answered the following concerns we've raised?
  1. There exists a school of thought in Heidegger criticism that Heidegger's Nazism was central to his philosophy. No-one wants to see the article simply repeat this school's arguments as fact, but we believe it goes so far the other way as to support the opposing school's arguments as fact by default. That constitutes a breach of WP:NPOV.
  2. There exists a school of thought that Heidegger's philosophy is needlessly obscurantist, and within that school a widespread belief that this is because he had something to hide – whether that something was his Nazism or merely a lack of coherent thinking. No-one wants to see the article simply repeat this school's arguments as fact, but again we believe it goes so far the other way as to support the opposing school by default.
  3. The sections purporting to explain Heidegger's philosophy are obscure to the point of being incomprehensible for anyone who is not a Heidegger expert. This is against Wikipedia policy. Since Heidegger is taught to undergraduates, his Wikipedia page is supposed to be aimed at high school students. Most attempts to rectify this have been reverted. Some have been excoriated as "wrong" and "confused"; then the same people making these criticisms have refused all requests to explain the passages more lucidly, alternating their reasons for doing so between "it's perfectly clear already" and "it can never be clear, it's Heidegger". (Yes, we know Heidegger himself would have opposed Wikipedia policy on this. That doesn't change Wikipedia policy.)
  4. Almost all attempts to rectify the above problems have been reverted within hours. Often the reason given is that the editor "didn't get consensus first" – which is another contravention of Wikipedia policy for edits that were not already in contention. Other reasons given are that the edit "wasn't an improvement" or that it was "poorly written", but these kind of reasons are given regardless of the edit and regardless of the quality of the writing.
  5. One particular edit, to the wording of a quote, was repeatedly reverted and resisted for months, until a new editor made the same change to the quote but also changed wording in the lede in such a way that Heidegger's Nazism was not so clearly signalled, at which point suddenly the altered quote was accepted. This makes no sense on the hypothesis that the wording of the quote was a problem, as had previously been argued; it makes complete sense on the hypothesis that the party who edited it want this article to downplay any faults or flaws in Heidegger as far as it possibly can. Which would again be a breach of WP:NPOV. The party in question is invited to disconfirm that hypothesis by letting through edits critical of Heidegger. No-one is asking anyone to leave bad writing to stay bad, but it is possible to fix bad writing without removing the content it was intended to convey. The party in question has instead continued to revert edits critical of Heidegger.
Do please refresh my memory. Where did anyone engage with these arguments?
I do feel I need to emphasize that my idea of "engaging with an argument" does not include
  • asserting that the argument's conclusion is false, without explaining why; or
  • asserting that the argument doesn't need to be answered.
VeryRarelyStable (talk) 10:30, 19 December 2019 (UTC)
I've made my position clear and recommended it to others. Simply repeating the same points will get you nowhere people simply do not agree with you -----Snowded TALK 11:51, 19 December 2019 (UTC)
@snowded, your edits and reverts appear to violate WP:OWN and WP:OR. Can you please explain how this is not the case? Sbelknap (talk) 17:01, 19 December 2019 (UTC)
- accusing other editors of suppressing information or denying facts is "prima facie evidence of your failure to assume good faith." - in the case of biographies, "it is vitally important always to err on the side of caution" - Snowded's edits are an attempt to maintain a neutral point of view - (the guideline to err on the side of caution is for biographies of living people, but I think we can extend it to contentious issues over dead people as well) - Epinoia (talk) 18:04, 19 December 2019 (UTC)
Please feel free to make that a formal complaint at ANI -----Snowded TALK 18:30, 19 December 2019 (UTC)
Please answer the question asked. You have repeatedly reverted or edited the Martin Heidegger page so as to remove material that is supported by high-quality secondary and tertiary sources. I am asking why you are making edits that appear to violate WP:OWN or WP:OR. Please explain.Sbelknap (talk) 20:06, 19 December 2019 (UTC)
- Snowded's edits were made to maintain a neutral point of view that "fairly represents all significant viewpoints that have been published by reliable sources" - calling a source "high quality" does not make it so (odd how sources that support your position are high quality, but sources opposing your position are dismissed as cherrypicking) - sources such as Arno and Faye are minority views and WP:UNDUE says that "articles should not give minority views or aspects as much of or as detailed a description as more widely held views" and that the views of tiny minorities, such as Faye, "should not be included at all, except perhaps in a "see also" - Epinoia (talk) 01:04, 20 December 2019 (UTC)
You continue to make assertions that appear to be based largely on your own opinion. You continue to mischaracterize the evidence supporting edits that you don't like. This is not about majority rule. Edits that are supported by many high-quality secondary sources written by scholars and philosophers deserve inclusion in this Heidegger article.Sbelknap (talk) 03:12, 20 December 2019 (UTC)

I have no intention of answering your question. We have resolved the question of Heidegger's notability. You (and your companion) either accept that decision in which case we can move on, or, you can use one of the many dispute resolution processes. If you fancy appealing to ANI feel free. If you will not take either option then I will make a case to the wider community for some restriction on your editing on this and related subjects.-----Snowded TALK 05:22, 20 December 2019 (UTC)

You can put all the haughty words on it you like; what's just happened here is that I have once again invited you to engage with our arguments, and you have explicitly refused to do so. —VeryRarelyStable (talk) 08:13, 20 December 2019 (UTC)
No editor is required to engage beyond a certain level - you have exceeded your quota and this has been going for long enough. I repeat, accept the consensus of other editors on the source of his notability and we can move on. If you can't agree with it then use existing Wikipedia dispute processes. If nether alternative is acceptable then the case for a wider restriction will have to made -----Snowded TALK 08:35, 20 December 2019 (UTC)
Yup, such efforts would be appreciated at Martin Heidegger and Nazism, which is dedicated to such subject. This is simply the wrong article for it. Tgeorgescu (talk) 10:35, 20 December 2019 (UTC)
The rules are the rules; see WP:FOLLOW. Are currently engaged editors willing to follow all the policies and guidelines of wikipedia or not?Sbelknap (talk) 14:10, 20 December 2019 (UTC)
see earlier replies-----Snowded TALK 15:32, 20 December 2019 (UTC)
@Snowded et al assert that WP:POV somehow allows a group of engaged editors to decide that Martin Heidegger is primarily a philosopher and only incidentally a Nazi. Yet, that is not what WP:POV provides at all, at all. If a group of editors decide that Martin Heidegger is primarily a space alien from the Planet Zocor would that be dispositive? Of course not. wikipedia articles are expected to reflect external reality. In this case, there are dozens of high-quality sources supporting the assertion that Heidegger's Nazism is an important aspect of his biography. It is not either/or, it is both: one facet of Heidegger's life was that he was a philosopher; another facet of his life is that he was an anti-semite and an enthusiastic Nazi. It is our duty as editors to reflect reality in our edits.Sbelknap (talk) 16:31, 20 December 2019 (UTC)
Your analysis is too extreme (one-sided): Heidegger was an enthusiastic Nazi for about one year. There are no hard facts that he would have advocated racism grounded in biology. There are mere opinions, not facts. See WP:ASSERT. Tgeorgescu (talk) 17:00, 20 December 2019 (UTC)
The available evidence does not support the assertion that Heidegger was an enthusiastic Nazi for about one year. There is a lot of scholarship on this. I would be interested in your thoughts when you've had a chance to review the available information.Sbelknap (talk) 17:18, 20 December 2019 (UTC)
Hitler had Heidegger's champion killed. Why would Heidegger have kept his enthusiasm. I think by then it was clear to him what Nazism was. Of course, he could not simply renounce his membership card, that would have amounted to treason (as he was already suspect for supporting the losing wing of the Nazi party). Tgeorgescu (talk) 17:26, 20 December 2019 (UTC)
Tgeorgescu: my recommendation is not to engage with our dynamic duo on any content issues unless and until they either accept consensus or use an established conflict resolution process on the first issue about notability. Virtually everyone on wikipedia accepts that choice and those who don't end up with topic bans. Sbelknap has ready been through that once so he knows how it works -----Snowded TALK 19:23, 20 December 2019 (UTC)

From the Paris Review:

Not that Heidegger has had to apologize, either. For the past seventy years, his many apologists and acolytes have gone to astounding lengths in trying to prove that his philosophical oeuvre exists independent of what was, they avowed, a mere weakness of character, an instance of momentary opportunism. In 2014, a group of French philosophers even tried to halt the publication of Heidegger’s Black Notebooks, his philosophical diaries. But if antisemitic references in his philosophy are oblique and, as some would have it, coincidental to his critique of modernity, the Notebooks leave little room for such charitable reading. Even after the war he would bemoan the Jewish “drive for revenge,” with their aim consisting in “obliterating the Germans in spirit and history.”

And yet, the Black Notebooks haven’t lain to rest one of the more irksome debates around continental philosophy. Perhaps that’s what the release of Heidegger’s correspondence with his lifelong confidante, his brother Fritz, will achieve. His heirs, having held back these letters for many years, have finally caved to the pressure that began to mount following the release of the Black Notebooks. The excerpts released in advance by Die Zeit and Le Monde last weekend show Heidegger for what, apparently, he was: the real deal, a dyed-in-the-wool Nazi who bought into Hitler’s ideology wholesale. And he wasn’t a particularly sophisticated one. In his letters, the forefather of deconstruction voices his impassioned belief in Volk and Führer, perpetual German victimhood, “world Jewry,” the threat of Bolshevism, and American decadence.

Perhaps it’s inconvenient, but it’s hardly shocking: Heidegger was not just a member of the Nazi party, but also a Nazi. Nor was he just a “metaphysical antisemite”—he also just really disliked Jews. Let’s hope this settles the matter.[1]

Sbelknap (talk) 20:03, 20 December 2019 (UTC)

It is still only relevant because he is the founding father of Existentialism, for which he is notable. Now are you going to accept that consensus position or use a dispute resolution process to challenge said decision? Until you do one the other we can't move on and discuss matters such as how much prominence should give to his undisputed Nazi past and at what level we should report the suggestion that his philosophy is contaminated by Nazi ideology and I am sure other matters. If you can't take one of these two options then you have evidently not here to work collaboratively with editors and we will have to look at everything from a topic ban to a 1RR restriction or similar to allow the page to be open to editing again-----Snowded TALK 06:09, 21 December 2019 (UTC)
@Snowded: Sbelknap and I have both made it clear that we think Heidegger's philosophy and his position in the history of philosophy are notable. We can't believe you're quite so bad at reading as to keep on arguing at us over something we've agreed on, and therefore we surmise, when you set it down with an ultimatum and a threatening tone, that you must mean more than that. You have, higher up the thread, laid it out as a binary choice – Heidegger is primarily notable either as a philosopher or as a Nazi – and it is the exclusivity of that binary that we don't accept.
That being said, if one party to a dispute does not accept a position, then by definition it is not a consensus position. That's what "consensus" means. Either you are arguing over something we already agreed to, or you think reiterating your own position ad nauseam constitutes a "consensus". I'm not staking anything on which one is the case.
VeryRarelyStable (talk) 07:09, 21 December 2019 (UTC)
Nobody has challenged that Heidegger's philosophy is notable. Can we dispense with this straw man? Does it matter at all to engaged Wikipedia editors that dozens of scholars consider Heidegger's anti-semitism and Nazism to also be notable? From Tablet:

Like the famous optical illusion in which the same figure is both a duck and a rabbit, then, we keep twisting and turning our image of Heidegger, trying to see in him both the Nazi and the philosopher at the same time[2]

Sbelknap (talk) 07:13, 21 December 2019 (UTC)
His mention of the Rabbit–duck illusion, in that book review of the Black Notebooks, in The Tablet, suggests that Adam Kirsch is saying that being a Philosopher and being a Nazi are mutually exclusive and logically impossible? But I'm surprised that the quote Kirsch uses, "Flame, announce to us, light up for us, show us the path from which there is no turning back", doesn't appear at Martin Heidegger and Nazism. Martinevans123 (talk) 11:34, 21 December 2019 (UTC)
Wittgenstein used the rabbit:duck illusion to distinguish "seeing that" from "seeing as." Even knowing that the other perception is possible, and that the perception can switch, one perception dominates the other at any particular time. In the case of a Nazi-philosopher, those who see the philosopher have difficulty seeing the Nazi and vice versa.Sbelknap (talk) 14:47, 21 December 2019 (UTC)
I think that's your interpretation. I don't see that he makes any distinction between two separate groups of people. I think he sees it as a conflicting perception held by individual people. Martinevans123 (talk) 15:13, 21 December 2019 (UTC)
Just to clarify, Kirsch is using the rabbit:duck illusion as an analogy of Heidegger's Nazi:Philosopher dichotomy. I expect Kirsch is using this analogy because he is channeling Wittgenstein here. I am not myself making my own interpretation or describing my interpretation.Sbelknap (talk) 15:24, 21 December 2019 (UTC)
You just said "In the case of a Nazi-philosopher, those who see the philosopher have difficulty seeing the Nazi and vice versa." I don't see that claim made by Kirsch, nor in the original exposition by Wittgenstein. Martinevans123 (talk) 15:33, 21 December 2019 (UTC)
Good point.Sbelknap (talk) 18:57, 21 December 2019 (UTC)

References

Final[edit]

Wikipedia works on consensus and the consensus on this article is that Heidegger is notable as a philosopher not as a Nazi; consensus is not unanimity. If a minority do not choose to accept that consensus view then there are various dispute resolution progresses they can adopt, none of which you have invoked. Accept or invoke or have your behavior taken to ANI for resolution, and it will be your behaviour which will be examined not the content. -----Snowded TALK 07:45, 21 December 2019 (UTC)

Ah. Now this ("notable as a philosopher not as a Nazi") is a shift from what you were saying a moment ago, which was that the notability of Heidegger's Nazism and its influence on his philosophy were the next items on the agenda – yet to be dealt with. Are we to take it that the outcome of those discussions is predetermined and the discussions themselves are a charade?
No, consensus is not unanimity, but consensus does imply that some kind of agreement has been reached where formerly there was a dispute. Looking through the history of the article and the talk page I see no evidence of a history of reaching agreement; rather I see a history of steamrollering opposition with insta-reverts until they give up.
At your suggestion I'm just looking up WP:Dispute resolution, and once again I'm noticing all sorts of recommendations like
When you find a passage in an article that is biased, inaccurate, or unsourced the best practice is to improve it if you can rather than deleting salvageable text. For example, if an article appears biased, add balancing material or make the wording more neutral.
which are at odds with the actual long-standing practice of editing on this page (where "Poorly worded" is sufficient reason to revert whole paragraphs).
Have we had an RfC already? Was that what Chumchum7 was doing? What did become of that in the end?
ANI is for conduct disputes, not irresoluble conflicts over content. I have no fear about the outcome of such a process, but it is recommended that you go to the other editor's personal Talk page first.
A more appropriate place for the present discussion would be WP:DRN, don't you think?
VeryRarelyStable (talk) 08:21, 21 December 2019 (UTC)
Wikipedia process is pretty straight forward and well documented; if you don't follow it then it is a conduct issue. You need to be aware that no dispute protest will adjudicate content and you will have the same editors involved. Other editors disagree with you and have done so consistently for some time. You need to get your mind around the fact that this is legitimate. I won't be checking Wikipedia until after the weekend so you have time to sort out an approach. Constant use of pejorative phrases and personal attacks will not help; 'charade' being the latest example. You know perfectly well that this first discussion was about the primary source of notability. The consensus and the third party sources all say that is as a philosopher. My suggestion is that the next subject if we get there, could the emphasis to be placed on his membership of the nazi party in this article - at the moment there is more emphasis than in the third party sources -----Snowded TALK 10:03, 21 December 2019 (UTC)
WP:DRN it is. It's late at night here so I shall initiate the process tomorrow. I have things to say about "The consensus and the third party sources all say that is as a philosopher" but I shall say them on DRN. —VeryRarelyStable (talk) 10:31, 21 December 2019 (UTC)
I'm willing to participate in any manner that the other engaged editors consider productive. If WP:DRN seems like the way to go, that is OK with me. There is a large corpus of work on Heidegger that is excluded or deemphasized in this wikipedia article. In my view, Heidegger's notability includes all three aspects, in descending order of importance: philosopher, Nazi and anti-semite, and lover of Hannah Arendt. My view is based on extensive reading about Heidegger, some of which I've cited on this talk page and some of which are in my edits and reverted edits. I do wonder if other editors are simply unaware of much of the scholarly work on Heidegger's life and his philosophy that has been published in the past two decades.Sbelknap (talk) 15:00, 21 December 2019 (UTC)

As of now WP:DRN's submission link is not working. I have noted this on their Talk page. —VeryRarelyStable (talk) 23:46, 21 December 2019 (UTC)

Both of you need to to be aware that no one is going to adjudicate content. DRN, if that is your choice of process, will bring in mediation only -----Snowded TALK 21:21, 22 December 2019 (UTC)
WP:DRN states

This noticeboard is for content disputes only. Comment on the contributions, not the contributors. Off-topic or uncivil behavior may garner a warning, improper material may be struck-out, collapsed, or deleted, and a participant could be asked to step back from the discussion.Sbelknap (talk) 23:39, 22 December 2019 (UTC)

Then I suggest you read back through your many comments on other editors on this page and reflect. But you miss the point: no one on DRN will make any decision about content they will facilitate a discussion between editors about a content dispute -----Snowded TALK 05:48, 23 December 2019 (UTC)
The edit history speaks for itself.Sbelknap (talk) 22:55, 23 December 2019 (UTC)

Successfully posted to WP:DRN. —VeryRarelyStable (talk) 01:50, 27 December 2019 (UTC)