A word to Heidegger? The limits of tolerance in the oral history of philosophy





interview, ethics, propaganda, Martin Heidegger, Nazism, Barbara Cassin, Alain Badieu


The beginning of the new realm in philosophical research, which is the oral history of phiosophy, is followed by the consequential set of serious ethical issues. The purpose of this article is to identify moral orientations a historian of philosophy can rely on in oral communication with respondents. The starting point of the analysis is the ethical standards of interviews developed by the Oral History Society. An example to test these standards based on the principle of maximum tolerance is the case of Martin Heidegger. Considering the ambiguity of some outstanding philosophical figures, the main task of the article is to find the line between propagation of the dangerous views of the philosopher and objective philosophical analysis. As a guide to the ethics of interviewing philosophers, I propose the approach suggested by Alain Badieu and Barbara Cassin regarding Heidegger. They claim that a great philosopher can simultaneously be a Nazi and an anti-Semite. I outlined the general feature of interaction with ambiguous personalities in a philosophical interview: (1) the interviewer should not make extreme judgments in advance; (2) We have no right to remove some ambiguous philosophers from discourse, and communication with them is a personal matter of the interviewer. But philosophical community should produce the criteria for exact distinction between the sphere of ethically unacceptable and realm of uncertain.

Author Biography

Sofiia Dmytrenko

undergraduate student, Faculty of Philosophy, Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv (Ukraine).


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How to Cite

Dmytrenko, S. (2020). A word to Heidegger? The limits of tolerance in the oral history of philosophy. Filosofska Dumka, (4), 81–92. https://doi.org/10.15407/fd2019.04.081






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