Continental Divide: Heidegger, Cassirer, Davos. Peter Gordon. The two positions at Davos may uncover an archetypal tension in philosophical thought. Continental Divide: Heidegger, Cassirer, Davos By Peter E. Gordon (Harvard University Press, pp., $) I. The Swiss town of Davos was. Peter Gordon’s book, Continental Divide: Heidegger, Cassirer, Davos, is due out this month. It looks promising–plus Harvard UP tells us all that.

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Write a customer review. Neo-Kantianism had dominated the German philosophical scene for two generations or more, but by the s deep divisions were becoming evident in this school of thought. Through a close and painstaking hekdegger, Gordon dissects the exchange itself to reveal that it was at core a philosophical disagreement over what it means to be human.

Continental Divide: Heidegger, Cassirer, Davos: Peter E. Gordon: : Books

As Gordon explains, the Davos debate would continue to both inspire and provoke well after the two men had gone their separate ways. One is a mock debate by the students.

Cassirer was no doubt an accomplished philosopher, an influential teacher, and above all a thoroughly decent and admirable human being, but he does not get casskrer in stature to the much more problematic Heidegger, cassiter he certainly also lacks the philosophical radicalism of a Wittgenstein, Foucault, or Derrida and the incisive scientific acumen of a Russell, Quine, or Rawls.

InHeidegger infamously declared his allegiance to Nazism and became the rector at Freiburg. A Parting of the Ways: Project MUSE promotes the creation and dissemination of essential humanities and social science resources through collaboration with libraries, publishers, and scholars worldwide. See all 4 reviews. Many on the next generation of European philosophers were interested spectators at the debate. AmazonGlobal Ship Orders Internationally. In Marchphilosophers Martin Heidegger — and Ernst Cassirer — met in Davos, Switzerland for a public series of individual lectures and for a discussion and debate.

The deeper tragedy is that it ended in politics at all. An Essay on Man: Heidegger’s thought began with religious questions although it abandoned religion. Their disagreement can be understood only if we appreciate their heudegger point of departure as thinkers of the German interwar crisis, an era of rebellion that touched all of the major philosophical movements of the day—life-philosophy, philosophical anthropology, neo-Kantianism, phenomenology, and existentialism.


He reproduces the entire transcript of the event composed at the time by two dvaos German philosophers, interspersed with his own perceptive comments. In his conclusion, Casairer writes: In their Davos debate, Cassirer and Heidegger explored the issues that divided them and also tried to see the extent to which they shared common ground. The debate took place inon the cusp of Nazism.

Explore the Home Gift Guide. Gordon begins his book with a broad characterization of Cassirer’s and Heidegger’s philosophical positions.

He sets the stage for the discussion by giving the broad philosophical background that produced it. Gordon refuses to boil those ideas off in either uncritical historicism or easy political editorializing. By continuing to use this website, you agree to their use. Join Our Mailing List: Gordon mentions some extraordinary events at Davos surrounding the debate.

Their encounter lends the impression of a titanic clash of ideas, the embodiment of phenomenology versus neo-Kantianism. The topic of the debate was about the interpretation of Kant’s First Critique, but it had implications concerning philosophical method in general, enlightenment rationalism versus irrationalism, and parliamentary liberalism versus anti-democratic nationalism in Germany.

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Gordon here returns to this primal scene and reconstructs the event with extraordinarily thoughtful and scrupulous precision. It was a moment when German Jews seemed finally to have gained full social and political acceptance and they had become a significant and stimulating element in German cultural life.


The Davos meeting has dzvos an important, near legendary, stature in the history of Continental philosophy. Cassirer had begun the debate with the question: Gordon finds the debate between Cassirer and Heidegger turned on what he termed two competing “images of humanity” each of which derived in part from Kant.


He grants accordingly that it would be “foolish to believe that Rosenzweig was ever much more than a minor curiosity within the larger drama of Continental philosophy.

Amazon Drive Cloud storage from Amazon. The Frankfurter Zeitung would write at the time that it “was felt to be not merely an academic quarrel between professors but a confrontation of representatives of two epochs.

Heidegger, Cassirer, Davos

Gordon states that he began the study with a qualified partial csssirer for Heidegger but became increasingly sympathetic towards Cassirer as the study proceeded.

Gordon is Amabel B. Here is, perhaps, a place to disagree with Gordon’s assessment. Get to Know Us. Cassirer’s concentrated on a critique of philosophical anthropology and specifically of Max Scheler’s version of this new trend.

Without cookies your experience may not be seamless. Taylor Carman Times Literary Supplement An Introduction to a Philosophy of Human Culture. David Nirenberg New Republic Continental Divide provides the definitive narrative and analysis of the Davos incident, its background, its context and its aftermath.

Showing of 4 reviews. Project MUSE Mission Project MUSE promotes the creation and dissemination of essential humanities and social science resources through collaboration with libraries, publishers, and scholars worldwide.

Continental Divide: Heidegger, Cassirer, Davos – Wikipedia

As Gordon explains, the Davos debate would continue to both inspire and provoke well after the two men had gone their separate ways.

Our recent titles are available via Edelweiss. I’d like to read this book on Kindle Don’t have a Kindle? The opposition of freedom and finitude nevertheless serves Gordon well for framing his narrative of the Davos debate. The book displays a rare combination of historical and philosophical insight.

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