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SecurityPolitics, Humanity, and the Philology of Care$
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John T. Hamilton

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780691157528

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691157528.001.0001

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The Sorrow of Thinking

The Sorrow of Thinking

(p.262) 14 The Sorrow of Thinking

John T. Hamilton

Princeton University Press

This chapter begins by discussing Heidegger's thoughts on security. For Heidegger notions of security should be treated with utmost caution. If human being is a manifestation of Being—Being as Time, self-disclosing and self-concealing—then any project designed to contain Being or evade its destabilizing call would be a failure in thinking. The chapter then turns to Carl Schmitt and the ambivalence of security that underlies his political theorizations. On the surface, Schmitt's much discussed notions of sovereignty, the exception, and decisionism reflect a committed belief in the primacy of state safety classically expressed in the Ciceronian formula salus populi suprema lex—“The safety of the people is the highest law.” However, Schmitt at times challenges this prioritization of security, whose privative force, in his view, tends to become manifest in the way the private sphere dangerously impinges upon state policy.

Keywords:   Martin Heidegger, security, Carl Schmitt, sovereignty, exception, decisionism, state safety

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