“Professor Shocked, Shocked To Find Out Prominent Nazi Was An Anti-Semite”: "The reason why this is all so painfully awkward is that it all fits in a well-preexisting narrative, which is this: Heidegger was the godfather of the school of historicism, sometimes known as relativism, which holds that all truth is socially constructed and historically determined, and that therefore we have no access to capital-T Truth. Obviously, this idea has had a tremendous impact, both on 20th century academic philosophy, and in more debased form in the broader culture. And obviously, a critique of this idea as long as it has existed has been that if relativism is true, then morality is false, and if morality is false then all manner of evil is permitted. Indeed, all manner of evil might be inevitable, since in the absence of a recognition of transcendent truth, the only remaining way to resolve disputes is violence, and the only criterion of decision power. Which makes it really really tempting to point to Heidegger’s very life as exhibit A for the prosecution of relativism. And which makes things, again, quite awkward for all those who would use relativism as the thin end of the wedge of a happy-peppy progressivism."
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