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Heidegger, Morality and Politics
Questioning the Shepherd of Being


  • Date Published: November 2017
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781108419796

£ 78.99

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About the Authors
  • Heidegger has often been seen as having no moral philosophy and a political philosophy that can only support fascism. Sonia Sikka's book challenges this view, arguing instead that Heidegger should be considered a qualified moral realist, and that his insights on cultural identity and cross-cultural interaction are not invalidated by his support for Nazism. Sikka explores the ramifications of Heidegger's moral and political thought for topics including free will and responsibility, the status of humanity within the design of nature, the relation between the individual and culture, the rights of peoples to political self-determination, the idea of race and the problem of racism, historical relativism, the subjectivity of values, and the nature of justice. Her discussion highlights aspects of Heidegger's thought that are still relevant for modern debates, while also addressing its limitations as reflected in his political affiliations and sympathies.

    • Provides analysis of Heidegger's position on a wide range of interconnected moral and political subjects, relating his thought to current philosophical debates
    • Goes beyond highly polarized debates about Heidegger's Nazism, challenging traditional views and presenting a balanced perspective
    • Avoids excessive jargon while remaining true to Heidegger's own revisions of philosophical terminology, making the book accessible to non-specialists as well as Heidegger scholars
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'Sonia Sikka offers a holistic vision of Heidegger's entrée into the moral and political realms in a way that counters the piecemeal and even polemical caricatures that are frequently presented. She succeeds in confronting the difficult and controversial issues surrounding Heidegger's involvement in National Socialism and the recent revelations of anti-Semitic remarks in his Black Notebooks. Her book is an indispensable resource which will prove to be rewarding for students and scholars alike.' Frank Schalow, University of New Orleans

    'Presenting itself as 'an exegesis and friendly critique of Martin Heidegger's moral and political philosophy' … this book is more than that: it is also a thought-provoking statement of Sikka's own position, a Heidegger-inflected moral realism. Free of the partisanship that mars so much of the Heidegger literature, the book demonstrates an admirable command of both the primary and the secondary literature, as also of such thinkers as Herder, Kant, Fichte, Schelling, and Nietzsche.' Karsten Harries, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews

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    Product details

    • Date Published: November 2017
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781108419796
    • length: 254 pages
    • dimensions: 235 x 158 x 16 mm
    • weight: 0.48kg
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    Note on citations
    List of abbreviations
    1. Freedom and necessity
    2. Is humanity an end in itself?
    3. Animals and other beings
    4. Justice in light of the good
    5. Cultures, peoples, nations
    6. Was Heidegger racist?
    7. The status of reason

  • Author

    Sonia Sikka, University of Ottawa
    Sonia Sikka is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Ottawa. Her publications include Herder on Humanity and Cultural Difference (Cambridge, 2011), Multiculturalism and Religious Identity: Canada and India (2014) and Living with Religious Diversity (2015).

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