oa Indo-Pacific Journal of Phenomenology - Narcissism, nationalism and philosophy in Heidegger

Volume 5 Number 2
  • ISSN : 1445-7377



This paper contrasts the notion of "willing" in Heidegger's politics with the notion of "dawning" in Heidegger's philosophy. It argues that, in the political text, the attunement of Dasein to what-is is centred in the notion of Dasein's "willing" of what-is, while in the philosophical text it is centred in the notion of what-is "dawning" on Dasein. It maintains that the attitude to anxiety essential to a "dawning" of what-is is not reached in Heidegger's "The Self-Assertion of the German University ". It concludes by maintaining that, rather than being attuned to what-is, the will in the "The Self-Assertion of the German University" is attuned to its own relationship to what is in a narcissistic rather than a philosophical way; that is, it territorializes "dawning" as a relation to "what is", and makes "dawning" of "what-is" its "own" in the same way as any nationalism makes a culture, a language or a geographical region its own. In contrast to the narcissism of nationalism, philosophy, as outlined by Heidegger in the essay "What Is Metaphysics?", is the experience of allowing what-is to "dawn" on Dasein rather than a preoccupation with "willing" of "dawning" as one's own relation to Being.

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