Daten zum Projekt

Heidegger and Postmodernity: a Story of Violence?

Initiative: Freigeist-Fellowships
Bewilligung: 27.07.2023
Laufzeit: 3 Jahre


The project investigates Heideggerian hermeneutics and its impact in Western Germany after 1945 in the field both of philosophy as represented by Hans-Georg Gadamer and of historical studies as represented by Reinhart Koselleck. On the occasion of Heidegger's 80th birthday in 1969, Erasmus Schöfer noted in the Süddeutsche Zeitung that "his way of posing hermeneutic questions [...] has become so much a part of the methodology of various disciplines in the humanities that it is hardly still recognised as inspired by Heidegger". It has thus really permeated into so-called 'continental philosophy', but also into the theory of historical science (Geschichtstheorie). My aim is to understand how Heidegger succeeded in propagating what I consider to be hermeneutics of violence the effects of which are insufficiently understood and seen today. The research of recent years has made it manifest that Heidegger's thinking goes hand in hand with a treatment of texts and, more generally, of historical tradition that is antimethodological, a treatment that serves his own interests and protects his thinking against criticism. Heidegger himself calls his 'method' a "destruction". By examining the interpretive theories of Gadamer and Koselleck in relation to Heidegger, it will be asked how hermeneutics of violence is given the form of a theory and what this implies in how the concepts of 'method', 'concept', 'critique' and 'historicity' (Geschichtlichkeit) are understood by these influential writers.


  • Dr. Sidonie Kellerer

    Universität zu Köln
    Philosophische Fakultät
    a.r.t.e.s. Graduate School for the Humanities