Martin Heidegger's earliest writings

Robert Vigliotti, Fordham University


The purpose of this dissertation is to provide a historically and philosophically adequate interpretation of the earliest of Martin Heidegger's writings, works spanning his student years of 1910–1919. Heidegger conceived his project during his student years as a vital retrieval of what he understood as a unique medieval spirituality and religiosity integrated both with the conceptual rigor of a truly new and progressive Scholasticism that had replaced its reliance on the Aristotelian doctrine of logic and categories with the more flexible theory of logic and sciences of the neo-Kantian and phenomenological movements. This Heideggerian neo-Scholasticism would, he believed, be able to address and to incorporate the constant revolutions in thought of the contemporary sciences. Seen against the background of the intellectual situation of the first two decades of the twentieth century, these works appear as an innovative, albeit flawed, synthesis of medieval scholasticism with current trends in epistemology and logic and as tailored to meet at once the needs of both academic philosophy and Roman Catholic theology. While some commentators and biographers have explored particular issues contributing to Heidegger's thought and goals at this time, no single source has brought together a full appreciation of the complexities his philosophical position within his contemporary situation. This dissertation hopes to be a first step in rectifying this deficiency in the scholarship on the young Heidegger's student years by providing a historically rich and nuanced reading of the complexity of the neo-Scholastic movement at the turn of the twentieth century, the problems that beset German academic philosophy even as the practitioners of the neoKantian and phenomenological schools vied for prominence within the field, and the social difficulties lying before a Catholic seeking entrance into the ranks of the university. These elements must be addressed as a necessary precondition for a full appreciation of Heidegger's early ambitions and the works that grew out of his personal project.

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Recommended Citation

Vigliotti, Robert, "Martin Heidegger's earliest writings" (2002). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI3037232.