Babette Babich, “Shattering the Political or the Question of War in Heidegger’s Letter on Humanism.” In: Proceedings of the Heidegger Circle 2013, Convenors David Pettigrew and Rex Gilliland (University of Southern Connecticut, New Haven) 25-49.


Continental Philosophy | History of Philosophy | Political Theory | Social and Behavioral Sciences


Jean Beaufret’s question concerning humanism was “politically” framed on several levels as initially presented to Heidegger.1 Accordingly, Heidegger’s own response was itself political: invoking both technology and the self-same question of science that we remain—and to this day—still “too pious” (in Nietzsche’s words) to be able to frame as a question: the very same question Heidegger develops in his later lectures delivered to the businessmen of Germany, including his Question Concerning Technology. The preoccupation with thinking technology and thinking science remains with Heidegger to the end of his life. Even more significant perhaps (particularly in proximity with Heidegger’s focus on language as the “house of Being” as on the human as “the shepherd of Being”—rather than as “lord of beings”— and on thinking through the notions of near proximity [Nähe] and those who are close to us or neighborliness [Nachbarschaft], ), is Heidegger’s focus on malevolence, das Bösartige, which I here attempt to explore in terms of the entanglements of what heals or saves or redeems [das Heilen] and of what is holy [Heilig].