Is Heidegger’s Philosophy Ethically Meaningless?

  • Dongsoo LeeEmail author
Part of the Contributions To Phenomenology book series (CTPH, volume 84)


The political implications of Heidegger’s philosophy are often misunderstood as perilous by his critics. In particular, they contend that he is ignorant of ethics and his idea of an-archic praxis is harmful or meaningless for public life. In my view, however, such critique is not proper. For Heidegger, Dasein has nothing to do with selfishness, but is a being based on original ethics. Unlike metaphysical ethics, original ethics thinks that laws and ethical directives are assigned according to the dispensation or sending of Being, which conditions, determines, and makes ethics possible. In addition, the an-archic is different from the nihilistic, the anarchic, or the antimoral. In contrast to it, an-archy in Heidegger means the openness that possibilities exist intrinsically and indeterminately on the ontological level. In my view, the weakness in Heidegger’s political philosophy does not lie in the fact that it is harmful, meaningless, or ethically egoistic, but rather in the fact that he never descends to a dialectical assessment of the determinate claims of this or that political program.


Ethical Egoism Contemporary Ethic Thinking Subject Thoughtful Meditation Original Ethic 
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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Kyung Hee UniversitySeoulSouth Korea

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