Reading progress update: I've read 131 out of 440 pages.

At the Existentialist Café: Freedom, Being, and Apricot Cocktails - Sarah Bakewell

I really like Husserl's outlook. 

For Husserl, therefore, cross-cultural encounters are generally good, because they stimulate people to self-questioning. He suspected that philosophy started in ancient Greece not, as Heidegger would imagine, because the Greeks had a deep, inward-looking relationship with their Being, but because they were a trading people (albeit sometimes a warlike one) who constantly came across alien-worlds of all kinds.

This difference highlights a deeper contrast of attitude between Husserl and Heidegger in the 1930s. During that decade’s events, Heidegger turned increasingly to the archaic, provincial and inward-looking, as prefigured by his article about not going to Berlin. In response to the same events, Husserl turned outwards. He wrote about his life-worlds in a cosmopolitan spirit – and this at a time when ‘cosmopolitan’ was becoming recast as an insult, often interpreted as code for ‘Jewish’. He was isolated in Freiburg, yet he used his last few talks of the 1930s, in Vienna and Prague, to issue a rousing call to the international scholarly community. Seeing the social and intellectual ‘crisis’ around him, he urged them to work together against the rise of irrationalism and mysticism, and against the cult of the merely local, in order to rescue the Enlightenment spirit of shared reason and free inquiry. He did not expect anyone to return to an innocent belief in rationalism, but he did argue that Europeans must protect reason, for if that was lost, the continent and the wider cultural world would be lost with it.

What really struck me in this section was this part:

He wrote about his life-worlds in a cosmopolitan spirit – and this at a time when ‘cosmopolitan’ was becoming recast as an insult, often interpreted as code for ‘Jewish’. He was isolated in Freiburg, yet he used his last few talks of the 1930s, in Vienna and Prague, to issue a rousing call to the international scholarly community. Seeing the social and intellectual ‘crisis’ around him, he urged them to work together against the rise of irrationalism and mysticism, and against the cult of the merely local, in order to rescue the Enlightenment spirit of shared reason and free inquiry.

It struck me because, I cannot get out of my mind that our current Prime Minister is mostly famous for this quote:

But if you believe you’re a citizen of the world, you’re a citizen of nowhere.

Theresa May, 5 October 2016

It's just as depressing as it is infuriating to see the parallels.

 

Oh, and by the way, how can Heidegger claim a line of thinking that is based on the position of things and beings "in-the-world" and then seek to explain or justify his theory by ignoring the world around him and turning to his inner voice only.

 

That makes no sense to me either.

But then, ugh, Heidegger...