During the podcast, I mentioned some video of Heidegger from television back in the 70s. I think I uncharitably characterized him as being a bit out of touch with a broader audience and arrogant. You be the judge:
(This is an excerpt from a longer piece which is (I think) in full available on YouTube, but broken into two parts, only the first of which is translated. This is from the second part.)
So if you were a teacher being interviewed on national television, you might find some way to articulate your views in a way that didn’t come off as aloof and prophetic. That being said, you see him here packing in a bunch of Heidegger-tastic notions. The key one is the distinction between ‘thinking’ and ‘philosophy’, which is central to his later work and only suggested in B&T. Heidegger wanted to open a dialogue about Being that wasn’t bound by the strictures of the philosophical tradition – Ontology without Metaphysics, if you will. In Being and Time, he thought there was a systematic way to do this, by ‘destroying’ the history of philosophy and doing a kind of hermeneutic maneuver to recover some ancient lost meaning.
In his later work, he spends more time playing with language and interpreting poetry vs. directly engaging the tradition. In part, this was his attempt to engage in ‘thinking’ vs. ‘philosophy’. Ultimately, he realized that wrestling with the philosophical tradition only generated more philosophy, when what he wanted was something else. He realized the path was through language, which led him to focus on thinkers who used language in ‘thoughtful’ ways but who weren’t philosophers – poets like Rilke & Hoelderlin. Reading them was an attempt to get at Being – a project he never gave up even though he abandoned the methodology of B&T.
This focus on language and thought was in part why he was so influential on many of the so-called ‘continental’ thinkers, particularly French ones. (They, however, didn’t express the same love for German speaking poets.) While I think the fact that he references one of his own lectures as a ‘proof point’ in his conversation and talks about the messianic or perhaps more aptly described ‘uebermench’ who will come to ‘attempt the thought’ qualifies as a bit beyond the pale, I’m sympathetic to his other big point that philosophy dies in science. Philosophic inquiry ends in the scientific enterprise and, if you follow Heidegger, begins the task of thinking. If not, maybe you try to write Principia Mathematica or the Cartesian Meditations.