French Interpretations of Heidegger

An Exceptional Reception

Edited by David Pettigrew & François Raffoul

Subjects: Phenomenology, Philosophy, Psychoanalysis, Postmodernism, French Studies
Series: SUNY series in Contemporary French Thought
Paperback : 9780791475607, 308 pages, July 2009
Hardcover : 9780791475591, 308 pages, October 2008

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Table of contents

Introduction: David Pettigrew and François Raffoul
1. Toward the End of the “French Exception”?
Dominique Janicaud
2. Levinas’s Heideggerian Fantasm
Reginald Lilly
3. The Thoughtful Dialogue Between Martin Heidegger and Jean Beaufret: A New Way of Doing Philosophy
Pierre Jacerme
4. Postscripts to the “Letter on ‘Humanism’”: Heidegger, Sartre, and Being-Human
Dennis Skocz
5. Merleau-Ponty’s 1959 Heidegger Lectures: The Task of Thinking and the Possibility of Philosophy Today
Wayne Froman
6. Self-Fashioning as a Response to the Crisis of “Ethics”: A Foucault/Heidegger Auseinandersetzung
Alan Milchman and Alan Rosenberg
7. Contamination, Essence, and Decomposition: Heidegger and Derrida
Andrew Mitchell
8. Between Deleuze and Heidegger There Never Is Any Difference
Jonathan Dronsfield
9. On a Divine Wink
Jean-Luc Nancy
10. Sticking Heidegger with a Stela: Lacoue-Labarthe, Art and Politics
Gregory Schufreider
11. Dwelling with Language: Irigaray Responds
Helen A. Fielding
12. Forgiving “La Dette Impensée”: Being Jewish and Reading Heidegger
Allen Scult
13. The Poverty of Heidegger’s “Last God”
Jean Greisch
14. The Reception and Nonreception of Heidegger in France
Françoise Dastur
List of Contributors

A sustained philosophical engagement with significant and creative French interpreters of Heidegger.


French Interpretations of Heidegger undertakes a philosophical engagement with the work of the most significant and creative figures involved in the reception of Heidegger in France. The essays address those thinkers who have been influenced by Heidegger's thought and have interpreted it in remarkable ways, including Levinas, Beaufret, Sartre, Merleau-Ponty, Foucault, Derrida, Deleuze, Nancy, Lacoue-Labarthe, Irigaray, Zarader, Greisch, and Dastur. The volume explores the extraordinary impact that Heidegger's thought has had on contemporary French philosophy, including such movements as existentialism, deconstruction, feminist theory, post-structuralism, and hermeneutics, and illustrates its impact on the American continental scene as well.

David Pettigrew is Professor of Philosophy at Southern Connecticut State University. François Raffoul is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Louisiana State University. Together, they have translated many books, including The Creation of the World or Globalization by Jean-Luc Nancy and The Book of Love and Pain: Thinking at the Limit with Freud and Lacan by Juan-David Nasio, both also published by SUNY Press.


"…the editors of this book have made a commendable effort in compiling thought-provoking essays on the responses to Heidegger's ideas of some of the most important figures in late-modern French thought. " — Symposium

"An indispensable resource for anyone wanting a serious engagement not only with contemporary French philosophy but also with the thought of Heidegger. The studies in this collection are not merely retrospective reflections; they are themselves original contributions to the ongoing French reception of Heidegger's thought. " — David Michael Kleinberg-Levin, author of Before the Voice of Reason: Echoes of Responsibility in Merleau-Ponty's Ecology and Levinas's Ethics