James Phillips. Heidegger’s Volk: Between National Socialism and Poetry. Stanford: Stanford UP, 2005 [Book review]
journal contributionposted on 21.05.2017 by Andrew Padgett, James Phillips
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The space of the “in between” is a central figure in James Phillips’ study of Heidegger’s Volk (“the people”). Phillips’ reading of Heidegger manages to navigate a path between so many dangerous, because dogmatic, views of his engagement with National Socialism. The picture of Heidegger’s thought that Phillips constructs is one marked by das Fremde (the strange; the alien) and Unheimlichkeit (uncanniness, or the unhomeliness of that which lacks a home) that characterise Heidegger’s conception of Dasein’s poetic dwelling. The “in between” (80) which Heidegger’s thought inhabits is marked, on the one hand, by what in 1933 he saw to be the promise of National Socialism’s appeal to “the people,” and which he still saw in 1953 to be the movement’s “inner truth.” The other pole of the “in between” of Phillips’ study is that of Heidegger’s inevitable disillusionment with National Socialism, which his ontology exceeded but “could not leave... behind and cut itself off from” (53).