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Heidegger, Strauss, and the Premises of PhilosophyOn Original Forgetting$
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Richard L. Velkley

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780226852546

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226852553.001.0001

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Primal Truth, Errant Tradition, and Crisis

Primal Truth, Errant Tradition, and Crisis

The Pre-Socratics in Late Modernity

(p.27) Chapter 1 Primal Truth, Errant Tradition, and Crisis
Heidegger, Strauss, and the Premises of Philosophy

Richard L. Velkley

University of Chicago Press

This chapter aims to consider in broad terms what Friedrich Nietzsche and Martin Heidegger claim to find in the early philosophers and what philosophically motivates their quest. For these two thinkers, the early philosophers and poets are the source of primordial wisdom from which the modern West must draw for self-renewal. In considering the turn to the early philosophers in these two great thinkers, one uncovers something fundamental about their philosophies, and thus about philosophy in the most recent period of modernity. As a consequence, light is also shed on the nature of modernity itself. Nietzsche here describes German philosophy as a rebellion against modernity, against the Reformation in particular, and as a second Renaissance of antiquity.

Keywords:   early philosophers, Friedrich Nietzsche, Martin Heidegger, primordial wisdom, modern West, self-renewal, German philosophy, modernity, antiquity

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