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Frontiers of Philosophy in China

Front. Philos. China    2019, Vol. 14 Issue (4) : 523-551     https://doi.org/10.3868/s030-008-019-0032-4
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Is Heidegger an Orientalist or an Occidentalist European Philosopher? Disclosing the Political Factor behind Heidegger’s Representation of Chinese Thinking
Jean-Yves Heurtebise()
Department of French Language and Culture, Fu Jen Catholic University, New Taipei 24205, Taiwan, China; French Centre for Research on Contemporary China, 20/F Wanchai Central Building 89 Lockhart Road Wanchai, Hong Kong, China
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Abstract

Though Heidegger became a kind of conceptual companion of comparative philosophers, and a methodological example for interpreters of Daoist philosophy claiming that Zhuangzi or Laozi embodied the overcoming of Western “onto-theology,” Heidegger himself not only stressed his disbelief in the notion that Asian thinking could save the West from its “civilizational crisis” but also clearly claimed that Western thinking could emerge only through its distinction from the “mythical East.” However, at the same time, Heidegger criticized the decadence of the West, claimed the necessity of cultural rejuvenation, and then, with the failure of Germany to perform this task, seemed to turn to Chinese sources to find alternative solutions. How to understand Heidegger’s complex relationship with China? Is Heidegger an Orientalist or an Occidentalist European philosopher? Moreover, how to understand the subtle and troubling connections between Heidegger’s complex relationship with China and Heidegger’s highly “problematic” (to say the least) intellectual engagement with Nazi ideology? To what extent are Orientalism and Occidentalism are linked to Heidegger’s belief in the Nationalist-Socialists’ claims about “saving” the “European spirit”?

Keywords Heidegger      Orientalism      Occidentalism      Daoism      National Socialism     
Issue Date: 06 January 2020
 Cite this article:   
Jean-Yves Heurtebise. Is Heidegger an Orientalist or an Occidentalist European Philosopher? Disclosing the Political Factor behind Heidegger’s Representation of Chinese Thinking[J]. Front. Philos. China, 2019, 14(4): 523-551.
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http://journal.hep.com.cn/fpc/EN/10.3868/s030-008-019-0032-4
http://journal.hep.com.cn/fpc/EN/Y2019/V14/I4/523
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