Heidegger in the East-Central Europe
Poland, September 2020
Instytut Filozofii i Socjologii Polskiej Akademii Nauk [Institute of Philosophy and Sociology of the Polish Academy of Sciences] would like to invite to a conference “Heidegger in the East-Central Europe”. The subject matter of the conference is the presence of Martin Heidegger’s thought in the culture of the countries of East-Central Europe. Restricting the philosophical problematic to geopolitical boundaries results from the common – in contradistinction to other European countries – experience which befell particular nations and societies inhabiting the area lying in the East of Europe.
In the cultures of the countries of East-Central Europe, the personage and works of Martin Heidegger are treated particularly ambivalently. On the one hand, his influence on the entirety of this culture is not to be overrated and it reaches far beyond professional philosophy; his works got oftentimes critically elaborated and translated and his ideas were developed by the most outstanding intellectuals the majority of whom comprised the democratic opposition under socialism, and who, after the political transformation, became a part of the new establishment. On the other hand, from the very beginning, the reception of his philosophy was in East-Central European humanities rather delayed and superficial and also somehow situated on the fringes of Western debates on the subject. Due to his peculiar style and political involvement, Heidegger earned many declared enemies.
While taking a closer look at the history of Eastern-European reception of Heidegger’s philosophy, one can safely say that the period of socialism is the time of its forced absence, which was only to be followed by its tediously making way into philosophical culture, which was concluded – at a time of the political transformation – with the sheer explosion of its translations and monographic studies thereupon. The nineties of XX century as well as the first decade of XXI century witnessed an increased interest in Heidegger, whose thought was associated both with the foundations as well as with the most recent trends of the entire contemporary humanities.
It seems that what belongs to a class of the most important threads related to the reception of Heidegger in the countries of the Eastern bloc are what follows: the issue of language and translation, the general diagnosis of culture and the understanding of history, the way of comprehending human existence, theological references of thinking about Being as well as political significance of the philosophy from the realm of (post)metaphysics. The purpose of the conference is to summarize and describe the legacy of Eastern European contacts with Heidegger’s thought. The conference is supposed to answer the following questions: what are the main directions of the reception of his philosophy in East-Central Europe? Is there any characteristic hint of this reception which would allow us to speak of the emergence of a particular intellectual formation?
If one is warranted in speaking of its peculiarities, what does it involve when compared against the background of the reception of Heidegger’s philosophy in Western countries
(France, Germany, Great Britain and USA)? How do the circles of Heideggerians look like in particular countries? Are they homogeneous; or rather, quite the contrary – highly diversified? Can we speak of the existence of the Heideggerian left or right wings? By the same token, are there Heideggerian reformers and orthodox adherents? What does the problem of translating Heidegger’s works into Slavic languages, or into Hungarian and Romanian consist in etc.? What sort of relation holds between Heidegger’s philosophy and the most burgeoning philosophies in the Eastern bloc? And what about the issue of philosophico-political assessment of Heidegger’s political involvement, which can be witnessed in – among others – “Black Notebooks”? Does it have a bearing on current politics, and if so – then of what kind?
Seweryn Blandzi (IFiS PAN Warszawa)
Daniel R. Sobota (IFiS PAN Warszawa)
Andrzej Serafin (IFiS UP Kraków)
Filip Borek (IF UW Warszawa)