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By Andrzej Rychard

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Or, does Heidegger mean here something else, something “new”? When he talks about knowledge of the essence of science that it is indispensable for the German nation, he also emphasizes that he means “the new concept of science” (der neue Wissenschaftsbegriff). We also keep in mind Heidegger’s hints about him being caught in the middle of the conflict between “old” and “new” ways and that he linked the latter with the notion of “science turned political”. ) Therefore, what does the “new” mean in the expression “the new concept of science”?

There are, however, some serious reasons – and not just external ones but ones to be found in the middle of Heidegger’s thinking – to question such an apolitical reading. In Heidelberg and Kil, in June 1933, Heidegger held a lecture “University in the New Reich”; in Tübingen, the same year in November, a lecture “University in the National-Socialist State”. In both speeches Heidegger concentrates on one basic issue: the connection between the National-Socialist revolution, which leads to the “total transformation of German being” (this already known expression pops out in both his lectures: die wollige Umwälzung des gesamten deutschen Daseins), and the situation of the university (that is, of the German universities).

Heidegger claims that the common translation of Heraclitus’s maxim – “war is the mother of all things” – is wrong. It should rather read as follows: “Das Wesen des polemos liegt im deiknynai, zeigen und polein, her-stellen, griechisch: hervor-stellen in den offenen Anblick. Dies ist das Wesen des ‘Kampfes’ philosophisch gedacht, und das in der Rede Gesagte ist nur philosophisch gedacht. ” (SB, 29) This proves that the only admissible interpretation of the rectorate speech is the philosophical one.

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