Heidegger's thinking on art

Date of Award




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)



First Committee Member

Jean-Pol Madou, Committee Chair


Martin Heidegger produced a comprehensive, highly original body of thought on art. He conceived of the work of art primarily as a projected place (or time) where art happens. For Heidegger, art is a largely linguistic process or an advent of truth, in the sense of a language-bound revealing of the Being of some being (and of a people). Because art and language are essentially connected, the work of art is place, time and "Volk" specific. The work of art is, like its human author, linguistically thrown into a particular or concrete historic World and is, thus, fundamentally bound to a specific historical people. Heidegger held that real or pure German art was superior, due to its grounding in the German language, and could help establish a new epoch of German greatness. His profoundly non-aesthetic, "volkish" (i.e. anti-elitist) and instrumentatist views on art, in general, and German art in particular, are close to Nazi "art politics" and can help make the case for establishing a philosophical basis for Heidegger's engagement with Naziism.


History, European; Philosophy; Language, General

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