[lit-ideas] Re: Daughter of a Female Dog

  • From: Phil Enns <phil.enns@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Wed, 24 Jun 2009 18:23:25 +0700

Walter O. wrote of Kant:

"... no other philosopher has had more crap written about him than he."

Herr Trogge nominates four others:

1. Plato
2. Descartes
3. Heidegger
4. Wittgenstein

If we move beyond quantity to the nature of the crap, surely Nietzsche is an
obvious nominee.

Which reminds me of my graduate days and a lively discussion in a pub.  It
was a course on Heidegger and the class had moved from classroom to an
environment more conducive to philosophical reflection.  The discussion
revolved around the question of whether Heidegger's involvement with
National Socialism should influence the interpretation of his works.  As I
remember it, we students were divided and our professor firmly on the side
of Heidegger's politics being irrelevant for understanding his philosophy.
I, too, thought that Heidegger's politics were not relevant, but uneasy with
the thought of dismissing it.  Towards the end of the last century, there
was quite a thriving cottage industry devoted to the question of Heidegger
and Nazism.

Here I am taking Walter literally when he speaks of crap written about a
philosopher.  Is there a philosopher who has had more written _about him_,
than Heidegger?

I suppose the larger question would be whether this is of any philosophical
interest.  And I think I haven't changed my mind on this matter since my
graduate days.  I still feel biography should not guide philosophical
thought, but I am, perhaps, more uncomfortable with dismissing biographical


Phil Enns
Yogyakarta, Indonesia

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