Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Great Minds, Great Mistakes

It's a story of a professor and his student, of a Nazi and a persecuted Jew, of forgiveness that shouldn't have been offered - or perhaps, it's merely about hormones. Even if it was the hormones of Martin Heidegger and Hannah Arendt. Richard Cohen has some interesting thoughts:

Taken together, this is a thoroughly frightening couple -- two of the 20th century's great philosophers, their genius contradicted by their inexplicably appalling lives: One embraced Nazism, the other excused him for doing so. In one critical area, they were no different than a goon and his gal. By way of caution, there ought to be statues of them in every city square, and billboards of them looking down on the naive who think, as Alan Greenspan once romantically did of financial markets, that man is rational.


Sergio said...

Philospher Mario Bunge once wrote that if Heidegger hadn't been a german professor and pupil of famous Husserl (jewish, converted lutheran and another hermeticist) he'd have been taken for what he really was: a madman and an impostor.

ShrinkWrapped said...

Your link doesn't work. Try this:

ShrinkWrapped said...

Apparently, the link was truncated, so it is incomplete.
Here's the rest of it: fair_martin_heidegger_and_hannah_arendt.html

Barry Meislin said...

The banality of intelligence?....

(Or the limits of...?)

Anonymous said...

to me today it seems more like the hubris of intelligence and maybe a bit of the hubris of class
if one has both one might feel protected from doing anything wrong


Anonymous said...

I just read the Richard Cohen piece and should like somebody with clout to inform Richard Cohen that Wernher von Braun and Herbert von Karajan are to say it midly not quite in the same league. Even though I don't care much for Karajan I don't think he ever had responsibility for an atrocity like Mittelbau Dora to the extent von Braun had.

No matter how useful von Braun may have proved to be later in life one should never forget the Dora-part of which he of course "never knew anything" i.e. was in the literal sense of the word innocent.