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A Short History of German Philosophy$
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Vittorio Hösle

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780691167190

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691167190.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM PRINCETON SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.princeton.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Princeton University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in PRSO for personal use.date: 28 June 2022

National Socialist Anthropology and Political Philosophy: Arnold Gehlen and Carl Schmitt

National Socialist Anthropology and Political Philosophy: Arnold Gehlen and Carl Schmitt

Chapter:
(p.232) 14 National Socialist Anthropology and Political Philosophy: Arnold Gehlen and Carl Schmitt
Source:
A Short History of German Philosophy
Author(s):

Vittorio Hösle

, Steven Rendall
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691167190.003.0014

This chapter focuses on Arnold Gehlen (1904–1976) and Carl Schmitt (1888–1985). Gehlen's Der Mensch. Seine Natur und seine Stellung in der Welt (“Man, His Nature and Place in the World,” 1940), may be the most important philosophical book published under the Third Reich. The book concentrates on the peculiar mode of being of a finite, rational being that knows it is finite: an obvious subject when belief in God has ceased while at the same time a thirst for reality prevails that is not satisfied by the subtle foundational ideas of Frege and Husserl. Schmitt was one of the most important political thinkers of the past century, despite his moral repulsiveness. This was evident in his inability to feel remorse after the war, his mawkish self-pity regarding his own fate (he was a potential defendant in the Nuremberg trials until Robert Kempner decided against arraigning him), his complete lack of sympathy for the victims of the Holocaust, and indeed the ostentatious display of his Catholicism, with whose ethical core his original political ideas were in the most blatant contradiction.

Keywords:   Arnold Gehlen, Carl Schmitt, German philosophers, German philosophy, German history

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