Response to Woessner
Intellectual historians have something in common with philosophers: they also aim to interpret the “big picture” instead of focusing on little details. Unfortunately, too many philosophers today are losing this virtue and becoming so called “specialists,” “experts”, or “technicians.” If Martin Woessner, who was trained as an intellectual historian, embodies this philosophical virtue to the fullest, it is probably thanks to his long-time interest in Martin Heidegger. This is not simply evident in his contribution, whose incisive intuitions we will now try to respond to, but also in his book Heidegger in America, which we both read years ago with great interest. This reception of Heidegger in America does not simply outline the great effect his thought had in a nation he snubbed, but also suggests that the German thinker’s greatest legacy “may rest not within the pages of his Gesamtausgabe, but in the careers of his students, especially since so many of them went on to become the greatest of thinkers in their respective fields.” But does this not also stand for classics (Marx), philosophical movements (hermeneutics), and political ideologies (communism) when confronted through Heidegger?