Jan 18, 2013

Excellent Documentary about Martin Heidegger

I just recently ran across a set of YouTube videos the soft-spoken, scholarly, sympathetic philosophy professor, Michael Woods.  They effectively comprise a roughly one-hour documentary about the life and background -- but also some of the guiding ideas -- of the great existentialist thinker, Martin Heidegger.  Here is the first part of the sequence:




Here are the other portions of the documentary:
Woods takes us on a journey both through sites and locations central to Heidegger's life, and into some of the puzzles, problems, and paradoxes of his commitments and choices -- including Heidegger's membership in the Nazi party (which Woods suggests bears some similarities with Plato's engagements with tyrants).  Woods excellently locates Heidegger in the cultural history and developments of his time, connecting him with musicians, poets, and other philosophers.

He makes a case throughout that this great thinker -- while radically questioning, reflecting, and thinking -- was nevertheless marked by a kind of thoughtlessness.  Among the many issues addressed by Woods are his final meditations upon why Love assumed such a small role, by comparison with Anxiety and Death, in Heidegger's thought.

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