Only a God Can Save Us – Heidegger’s Spiegel Interview (1966, published 1976)

I got to this from the wonderful Harish Jose thanks to this one reference to cybernetics:

Heidegger: Not in the sense of philosophy — not any more.30 The role of philosophy in the past has been taken ever today by the sciences. For a satisfactory clarification of the “efficacy” of [philosophical] thinking we would have to analyze in greater depth what in this case “efficacy” and “having an effect” can mean. Here we would need fundamental distinctions bctwen”occasion,” “stimulus,” “challenge,” “assistance,” “hinderancc” and “cooperation,” once we have sufficiently analyzed the “principle of ground [‘sufficient reason’].” Philosophy [today] dissolves into individual sciences: psychology, logic, political science.

SPIEGEL: And what now takes the place of philosophy?

Heidegger: Cybernetics.

…However, it is also a nice introduction (for me, who hasn’t read a lot of Heidegger, but has heard a lot of second-hand discourse) to (apart from the Nazism allegations) ‘technicity’ and a lot of other thinking whereby you can see the connections to AI, (counter)accelerationism, etc.


Only a God Can Save Us

Martin Heidegger, “Nur noch ein Gott kann uns retten,” Der Spiegel 30 (Mai, 1976): 193-219. Trans. by W. Richardson as “Only a God Can Save Us” in Heidegger: The Man and the Thinker (1981), ed. T. Sheehan, pp. 45-67.

“Only a God Can Save Us”: The Spiegel Interview (1966)

Martin Heidegger

Although Heidegger was one of the seminal thinkers of the twentieth century, few such men of his time were criticized more severely or resented more bitterly than he. Much of this criticism arose because of an association with the Nazis while Rector of the University of Freiburg, 1933-34, one that publicly he neither reputhated, justified, nor explained. In 1966 the editors of the German news weekly, Der Spiegel, requested of Heidegger an interview to discuss these issues. In granting the interview, which took place on September 23, 1966, Heidegger insisted that it remain unpublished during his lifetime. (It appeared in Der Spiegel on May 31, 1976, five days after his death.) Its substance goes far beyond the personal issues involved and rephrases his entire philosophical experience. He saw this as an opportunity to meditate upon the meaning of Being, particularly under the guise that most profoundly characterizes contemporary culture — labeled by him “technicity” (die Technik). In these terms the interview takes on the quality of a last will and testament.

In the translation which follows I have inserted the pagination of the German publication, Der Spiegel, Nr. 23 (1976), 193-219, directly into the text in brackets. I was assisted in historical matters by the researches of Dr. Kurt Maier of the Leo Baeck Institute, New York City.

— William J. Richardson, S.J.

continues in source:

Only a God Can Save Us