When we say someone is a great thinker,what do we mean?And can someone be a great thinker about some aspects of life,the world,society,philosophy and a very poor thinker in other aspects?Naturally I am thinking about Heidegger.Greatly admired,influential and a tutor to the likes of Hanna Arendt.
We could say he did us a service in reminding us that not even a great philosopher is always a good judge of society,politics and new ideas.Moreover,he must have shut his eyes to the attacks on Jewish people across Germany….How can this be?I hear someone saying,thinking is not enough if it is restricted to what is safe to think about.Character,ethical status,love of humanity seem to be absent from some of our academics and scholars.And how much more is that likely when our Universities are run as profit making businesses where the number of citations you receive is the measure of your work’s worth…. so noone may ever read it yet if you ask all your colleagues,friends and contacts to cite you then success and acclaim await.Meanwhile society crumbles,the poor are punished and old made anxious.
Re Hannah Arendt [ Wikipedia’
In 2012 a German film titled Hannah Arendt was released, directed by Margarethe von Trotta, and with Barbara Sukowa in the role of Arendt. The film concentrates on the Eichmann trial, and the controversy caused by Arendt’s book, which at the time was WIDELY MISUNDERSTOOD as defending Eichmann and blaming Jewish leaders for the Shoa/Holocaust