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The question of being was integral to the philosophy of Martin Heidegger (1889-1976) and was a large factor in the development of his political and aesthetic thought. In Heidegger and the Question of National Socialism, Bernhard Radloff investigates the philosophical foundations and cultural context of Heidegger's conception of being, focusing on the idea of gestalt as the guiding thread that determined German conservative thought throughout the 1930s. In doing so, Heidegger's philosophy is related to the whole of German society at the time, a society in which gestalt was the guiding light and the ultimate aspiration of artists, technicians, and politicians. Throughout the book, Heidegger's own understanding of gestalt is used as a window to his thoughts on being, which is conceived of as incorporated, finite, and historically situated in beings. Concentrating on the years between 1933 and 1942, Radloff seeks to capture the response of Heidegger's philosophy to National Socialism, examining key works and relating them to the literature of the German conservative revolution. Heidegger and the Question of National Socialism is, therefore a thorough treatment of his political philosophy as it relates to the question of being. Adopting both a historical and phenomenological approach to the subject, this book is equally an examination of German conservative ideology, a critique of technological determinism, and a study of one of the most controversial philosophers of twentieth century.
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Bernhard Radloff is a professor in the Department of English at the University of Ottawa.
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