Heidegger for Historians: History as Conservation

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Bard Graduate Center

38 West 86th Street

New York, NY 10024

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This workshop is devoted to Martin Heidegger’s thinking about history in the 1920s and specifically his 1926 summer seminar on Johann Gustav Droysen’s textbook on historical methodology (Grundriss der Historik). Heidegger’s teacher, Heinrich Rickert, was a central figure in the late nineteenth-century German debate about what constituted historical knowledge (as opposed to natural scientific knowledge). History was the subject of the public lecture that marked his entry into university life in 1915 (“The Concept of Time in the Science of History”). And history occupied a major role in Being and Time, his classic work of 1927. That 1926 seminar, however, which was his most direct engagement with academic history and its practice, has neither been published, translated, or commented upon. In the seminar were Paul Oskar Kristeller, later doyen of Renaissance studies in the United States, Karl Löwith, polymathic commentator on philosophy and history in the nineteenth century, and Hans-Georg Gadamer, philosopher and theorist of hermeneutics, while the literary remains of the slightly younger Reinhart Koselleck, the most important German historian of the second half of the twentieth century, show his deep debt to Heidegger’s “philosophy of history.”

Servanne Jollivet will situate Heidegger in the context of contemporary debates on historicism, Ingo Farin will address the impact on Heidegger of the correspondence between Wilhelm Dilthey and Count Paul Yorck von Wartenburg, Jan Eike Dunkhase will given an overview of the seminar and its sources, and Peter N. Miller will discuss Droysen and Heidegger.

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Bard Graduate Center

38 West 86th Street

New York, NY 10024

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