Heidegger and the Destruction of Aristotle
On How to Read the Tradition
Imprint: Northwestern University Press
A bold new conception of Heidegger’s project of Destrucktion as a method of interpreting history
For Martin Heidegger, our inherited traditions provide the concepts through which we make our world intelligible. Concepts we can also oppose, disrupt, and even exceed. First, however, if Western philosophy is our inheritance, we must submit it to Destruktion—starting with Aristotle. Heidegger and the Destruction of Aristotle: On How to Read the Tradition presents a new conception of Heidegger’s “destruction” as a way of reading.
Situated between Nietzschean genealogy and Derridean deconstruction, this method uncovers in Aristotle the most vital originating articulations of the Western tradition and gives us the means to confront it. Sean D. Kirkland argues this is not a rejection of the past but a sophisticated and indeed timely hermeneutic tool—a complex, illuminating, and powerful method for interpreting historical texts at our present moment. Acknowledging the historical Heidegger as a politically compromised and still divisive figure, Kirkland demonstrates that Heideggerian destruction is a method of interpreting history that enables us to reorient and indeed transform its own most troubling legacies.