Talk:Martin Heidegger

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Former good article nomineeMartin Heidegger was a Philosophy and religion good articles nominee, but did not meet the good article criteria at the time. There are suggestions below for improving the article. Once these issues have been addressed, the article can be renominated. Editors may also seek a reassessment of the decision if they believe there was a mistake.
August 10, 2006Good article nomineeNot listed

First question - is Heidegger's notability as a Philosopher or as a Nazi[edit]

We don't vote on Wikipedia we look at the evidence. So assertions will get us nowhere fast. I started this thread to break the log jam but if it doesn't work I will go to ANI with a request for a topic ban. We don't use primary sources, we don't assert positions, we don't do personal attacks and we don't compromise unless it is within the context of the sources and with due attention to weight. That means involved editors should present evidence from third-party sources on this subject - please get started -----Snowded TALK 07:13, 14 December 2019 (UTC)

Loaded question in the heading aside (where I come from he's notable as a Nazi philosopher), your party have been reverting edits with third-party evidence for months, and we're getting a bit puzzled as to exactly what is going to be good enough for you. —VeryRarelyStable (talk) 07:48, 14 December 2019 (UTC)
Also, WP:WEIGHT is exactly what's at issue here. We know what you think is the appropriate weight for Heidegger's Nazism as compared to his philosophy, and we disagree. That should tell you that your comments so far have failed to convince us. In case you're wondering, that's because so far all you've done is assert your position on it (over and over again) without providing supporting argumentation for why you hold that position.
So let me ask a direct question. Why do you think the critics who believe Heidegger's Nazism was foundational to his philosophy are so unimportant?
(In case you're wondering – answers along the lines of "Because they are that unimportant!" are going to fail.)
VeryRarelyStable (talk) 07:54, 14 December 2019 (UTC)
Yup, "Was Heidegger's thinking contaminated by Nazism?" is a matter of opinion, not of hard facts. The hard fact is that Heidegger did not write political philosophy.
As a Nazi he wasn't notable: first, he supported a losing wing of the Nazi party and this became apparent really fast. Second, his only active involvement in WW2 and/or Holocaust is digging trenches because he was compelled to do so. Third, his only position of power was a one-year rectorate and he resigned from office long before the whole atrocities of WW2/Holocaust became apparent. Tgeorgescu (talk) 14:44, 14 December 2019 (UTC)
Heidegger was a leader of the effort to subordinate German academia to the Nazi Party. He was a notable Nazi.Sbelknap (talk) 16:35, 14 December 2019 (UTC)
There you go again. Please consult WP:OR for guidance. Again, we have engaged editors that substitute their opinion for that of scholars. Again, it matters not what opinion @Tgeorgescu holds. What do reliable sources hold to be the case? That is what matters. Please cite sources that matter and stop inserting your original research into wikipedia.Sbelknap (talk) 16:39, 14 December 2019 (UTC)
Assert facts, not opinions WP:ASSERT. Tgeorgescu (talk) 16:49, 14 December 2019 (UTC)
This was done. Facts were added to this article, with high-quality citations. The record is in the edit log of the Martin Heidegger article. The problem is *not* the assertion of facts. Instead, the problem is the erasure or obscuring of facts about Heidegger that do not fit the preferred narrative of some of the currently-engaged editors." Sbelknap (talk) 04:46, 15 December 2019 (UTC)

The article characterizes Heidegger as a “a seminal thinker” and a (now deleted) quotation called him “one of the most influential philosophers of the 20th century” – I don’t believe there is a source that says he was “a seminal Nazi” or “Heidegger was one of the most influential Nazis of the 20th century.” His Nazism should be given approximately the same proportional weight as Ezra Pound’s fascism is given in the Ezra Pound article. Heidegger’s philosophy is not overtly fascist or promoting Nazism. George Pattison says of Emmanuel Faye’s book “Heidegger, the Introduction of Nazism into Philosophy” that “Faye finds some sort of reference to Nazism in just about every line Heidegger ever wrote and I think that most people think that’s clearly that’s an exaggeration and sometimes even perhaps rather stupid and forced.” Pattison goes on to say, “we can’t avoid knowing a little bit about the life, but in this case it’s not going to be decisive for how we really engage with the thought.” So I think we need to note that there is a debate on how far Nazism influenced Heidegger, but we should report on the debate and not produce a flurry of sources that weigh the argument one way or another and not take sides trying to prove that his philosophy was fundamentally a Nazi philosophy, in accordance with a neutral point of view. Heidegger was the son of a sexton, at university he first studied Catholic theology, he wrote his Phd thesis on the scholastic theology of Duns Scotus and worked with Rudolph Bultmann on the Gospel of John. He wrote on medieval mysticism and gave lectures on St Paul, so given this background one could make a case that Heidegger’s philosophy is fundamentally Christian. Heidegger had many influences, only one of which was Nazism. So his Nazism should be covered in the article, but he is most notable as a philosopher - Epinoia (talk) 17:17, 14 December 2019 (UTC)

@Tgeorgescu: just because Heidegger wasn't a very successful Nazi doesn't mean he isn't notable as a Nazi. George Mallory is notable for his failed attempt to climb Mt Everest; Robert Falcon Scott is notable for his failed attempt to be the first person to reach the South Pole.
@Epinoia: Pattison's book should certainly be covered in the article, but it shouldn't be given priority over Faye's. The thing is that the scholars are debating, just like we are, not over whether Heidegger was a Nazi but over how important his Nazism was to his philosophy. His Wikipedia article should not take sides in that debate, but of course we have to make some sort of decision as to how much weight the article is going to give it, and I think the nearest we can get to not taking sides is to pick a point in the middle.
VeryRarelyStable (talk) 00:26, 15 December 2019 (UTC)
Regarding Ezra Pound, why is there no Ezra Pound and Fascism article? Heidegger's Nazism and Anti-semitism is much more notable than Pound's Fascism. Do a search on Amazon for books about Heidegger.Sbelknap (talk) 02:43, 15 December 2019 (UTC)

Heidegger never apologized nor publicly expressed regret for his involvement with his affiliation with Nazism,[1] in private he called it "the biggest stupidity of his life" (die größte Dummheit seines Lebens).[2] In his book From the Experience of Thinking (Aus der Erfahrung des Denkens), Heidegger states, Great thoughts, great errors (Wer gross denkt, irrt gross Perhaps this should be reflected in this article? Sbelknap (talk) 05:00, 15 December 2019 (UTC)

Regarding Scott, he did actually reach the South Pole. It was his return from the South Pole that failed. Sbelknap (talk) 05:09, 15 December 2019 (UTC)

wikipedia and Encyclopedia Britannica are not the same. They do not have the same goals. Their content need not be the same. However, it is interesting how Britannica handles this issue: "In the months after the appointment of Adolf Hitler as chancellor of Germany in January 1933, German universities came under increasing pressure to support the “national revolution” and to eliminate Jewish scholars and the teaching of “Jewish” doctrines, such as the theory of relativity. In April 1933 Heidegger was elected rector of Freiburg by the university’s teaching staff. One month later he became a member of the Nazi Party; until he resigned as rector in April 1934, he helped to institute Nazi educational and cultural programs at Freiburg and vigorously promoted the domestic and foreign policies of the Nazi regime. Already during the late 1920s he had criticized the dissolute nature of the German university system, where specialization and the ideology of academic freedom precluded the attainment of a higher unity. In a letter of 1929 he bemoaned the progressive “Jewification” (Verjudung) of the German spirit. In his inaugural address, “Die Selbstbehauptung der deutschen Universität” (“The Self-Assertion of the German University”), he called for reorganizing the university along the lines of the Nazi Führerprinzip, or leadership principle, and celebrated the fact that university life would thereafter be merged with the state and the needs of the German Volk. During the first month of his rectorship, he sent a telegram to Hitler urging him to postpone an upcoming meeting of university rectors until Gleichschaltung—the Nazi euphemism for the elimination of political opponents—had been completed. In the fall of 1933 Heidegger began a speaking tour on behalf of Hitler’s national referendum to withdraw Germany from the League of Nations. As he proclaimed in one speech: “Let not doctrines and ideas be your guide. The Führer is Germany’s only reality and law.” Heidegger continued to support Hitler in the years after his rectorship, though with somewhat less enthusiasm than he had shown in 1933–34." [3]— Preceding unsigned comment added by Sbelknap (talkcontribs)

We are not debating the fact that he supported the Nazi Party or the degree of his support for them, but the source of his notability. If he had not been the founder of Existentialism I doubt anyone would be talking about him. He would be a minor German Philosopher who like may others supported the Nazis. Because of that status, the nature of his support for the Nazi's has always been a source of controversy. If we go to reliable third party sources in the form of philosophical directories they all reference the fact he was a Nazi but briefly, the vast bulk of each article is about him as a philosopher, and that includes Stanford. We run with questions of weight on what is said in these sources. If anything those sources indicate that more material should be shifted over from this article into the one on Heidegger and the Nazis but that is another topic. -----Snowded TALK 11:25, 15 December 2019 (UTC)
I note that you have ignored the Encyclopedia Britannica entry quoted above. The Encyclopedia Britannica is a general interest reference work. It turns out that the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy is a (surprise!) encyclopedia of philosophy. The scope of a biography article in wikipedia extends beyond philosophy to include other elements of notability. Heidegger is notable as the lover of Hannah Arendt (who had some influence on making Heidegger famous/infamous), as an anti-semite and Nazi (as per dozens of scholarly books and articles), and as the originator of a school of philosophy that is variously held to be either of major importance or as a nonsensical cul-de-sac.Sbelknap (talk) 17:26, 15 December 2019 (UTC)
You mean the Encyclopedia Britannica main entry which doesn't mention his membership of the Nazi for several paragraphs and opens "German philosopher, counted among the main exponents of existentialism. His groundbreaking work in ontology (the philosophical study of being, or existence) and metaphysics determined the course of 20th-century philosophy on the European continent and exerted an enormous influence on virtually every other humanistic discipline, including literary criticism, hermeneutics, psychology, and theology."? Pretty much establishes his importance overall and clearly establishes his notability is as a Philosopher -----Snowded TALK 06:14, 16 December 2019 (UTC)
Heidegger's thinking was too abstract for him to fit well within the Nazi party. He was accused of "metaphysical antisemitism", which would be more properly called anti-modernism, or, using a term coined by nl:Willem Schinkel, culture-ism. He had musings about the role of Jews in respect to modernity, but he did not write political philosophy and has never endorsed the biologically-grounded racism of the Nazi party. For propaganda purposes Heidegger was useless: if he had orchestrated Hilter's electoral campaign, Hitler would have never been elected, Heidegger's idiolect being incomprehensible for the average German. Tgeorgescu (talk) 23:03, 15 December 2019 (UTC)
@Tgeorgescu: Can you please pay attention to what's being discussed? Nobody but you is debating whether Heidegger was a Nazi or whether he was a particularly effective Nazi. The question is not how much effect Heidegger had on Nazism, it's how much effect Nazism had on Heidegger.
And can you please stop bringing up the irrelevancies whether Heidegger bought in to Nazi biological race theories? Biology wasn't the driver of Nazi ideology; it was something the Nazis appropriated when it was useful to their cause and discarded when it wasn't, like every other kind of science and scholarship.
VeryRarelyStable (talk) 23:30, 15 December 2019 (UTC)
So, yeah, then we discuss "How notable is Nazism in Heidegger's philosophy?" not "Is Heidegger a notable Nazi?", which was the original question in this topic. Tgeorgescu (talk) 23:49, 15 December 2019 (UTC)
Some great points. Heck, despite decades of intense effort, Martin Heidegger couldn't even convert his brother to Nazism.[4] Sbelknap (talk) 04:27, 16 December 2019 (UTC)

Discussion here seems to consist of little more than interminable wrangling and rambling comments. Nothing concrete is being achieved, and no progress is apparently being made in resolving disagreements, leading me to suspect that protection of the article may accomplish nothing. Does anyone want to actually discuss the content issues that led to the article being protected, or to place a suitably worded request for comment? Freeknowledgecreator (talk) 05:37, 16 December 2019 (UTC)

My take is that we have to flush out if people are prepared to engage with an approach of based proper sourcing first. If yes then all well and good, if not then we can fall back to an ANI request for a topic ban. That means a defined topic by topic approach. On this first topic we have five editors in favour of his notability resting in this philosophy, two against, and said two are being very very selective in their quotes. If the VeryRarelyStable/Sbeleknap combo can accept that then we move to the next subject. If not then they can invoke one of various dispute resolution processes in Wikipedia. If they refuse to do that and instead persist in making the same arguments, then the case for a topic ban becomes clear. -----Snowded TALK 06:14, 16 December 2019 (UTC)
Please explain what you mean by "an approach of based proper sourcing". We've been providing sources for our assertions for months. Why are they not good enough?
We are not against Heidegger's notability being for his philosophy; we are against it being solely for his philosophy and, at that, solely for positive assessments of his philosophy.
VeryRarelyStable (talk) 07:11, 16 December 2019 (UTC)
You are providing primary and selective sources - for a question of this nature we should be using third party sources. Three quoted to date include the Britannica, Stamford and Oxford and I could quote several more, WP:RS is pretty clear on this especially in respect of weight. I should not have to explain this to an experienced edtor. All reference the Nazi membership, none of them emphasis it. I repeat, not one would even talk about his politics if he hadn't been the founding father of Existentialism. By the way, the action of your 'companion' in changing the title of this section was trivialisation of this attempt to resolve the log jam. It will not go down well if this all gets reviewed. I choose the easiest issue to resolve base on third party sources, and if we can't resolve that then I hold little prospect of more controversial issues downstream. Find a reliable THIRD party source source or give up on this question and we can move on -----Snowded TALK 07:31, 16 December 2019 (UTC)
That is not what wikipedia requires. Instead, wikipedia relies (mostly) on secondary sources. See WP:RSPRIMARY "Wikipedia articles should be based mainly on reliable secondary sources, i.e., a document or recording that relates or discusses information originally presented elsewhere. Reputable tertiary sources, such as introductory-level university textbooks, almanacs, and encyclopedias, may be cited." One major challenge we have is that some editors make up new wikipedia rules out of thin air. Please stop doing this. It is disruptive and is a contributor to the problem. Sbelknap (talk) 13:12, 16 December 2019 (UTC)
Please assume good faith. My edit of the subtitle was sincere. The relationship between Hannah Arendt and Heidegger is a factor that contributes to Heidegger's notability.[5] Stop making threats. Threatening ANI topic bans is not appropriate here. All engaged editors have made productive edits. Threatening to invoke ANI, as some editors have repeatedly done, can itself be considered a violation of wikipedia policy.Sbelknap (talk) 13:18, 16 December 2019 (UTC)
You don't change titles after a discussion has started. We use third party sources if they are they are available, they are, use them. There are no third party sources to support you on Arendt in respect of notability, strop wasting our time. At the moment this thread is over unless you introduce proper sourcing or new information. You need to accept the conclusion or use one of the dispute resolution processes. -----Snowded TALK 15:55, 16 December 2019 (UTC)
You don't change titles after a discussion has started. Another assertion without justification; this may be done, and is done, to reflect the course of discussion; it certainly does no harm. We use third party sources if they are they are available, they are, use them. We? Who is We? That's not how We do things on wikipedia. Please see WP:RSPRIMARY, "Wikipedia articles should be based mainly on reliable secondary sources, i.e., a document or recording that relates or discusses information originally presented elsewhere. Reputable tertiary sources, such as introductory-level university textbooks, almanacs, and encyclopedias, may be cited." The long-term problem here is that some editors believe that they are writing an entry in an encyclopedia of philosophy while other editors believe they are writing an entry in wikipedia. Fortunately, we can determine which group of editors is adhering closer to reality by checking the url for this page. Mine says "" What does yours say?Sbelknap (talk) 18:57, 16 December 2019 (UTC)
How does his relationship with Arendt have any bearing on his notability as a philosopher or as a Nazi? Thanks. Martinevans123 (talk) 13:50, 16 December 2019 (UTC)
We are writing a wikipedia biography article here. Wikipedia biography articles emphasize what makes the subject notable, whatever that might be. There are three things that make Martin Heidegger notable: He was a philosopher (or possibly a mystic). He was an anti-semite and a Nazi. He was the lover of Hannah Arendt.Sbelknap (talk) 18:57, 16 December 2019 (UTC)
Apparently, he wasn't antisemitic enough to hate Jewish women. Tgeorgescu (talk) 14:57, 16 December 2019 (UTC)
Apparently you are unacquainted with the nature of anti-semitism among German philosophers, who often distinguish between Judischer Geist ("Jewish spirit") and actual individual Jewish persons.[6]
Well, quite. Noting that we are keeping Nazism and anti-semitism separate here, not just "not hate Jewish women" but actually to actively fall in love with one. Martinevans123 (talk) 15:11, 16 December 2019 (UTC)
For him the deal-breaker was culture, not race. Tgeorgescu (talk) 15:18, 16 December 2019 (UTC)
Either culture or race could be used to commit atrocities. This matters how?Sbelknap (talk) 18:57, 16 December 2019 (UTC)
Irrelevant, since Heidegger himself committed no atrocities. He was a member of a mass party in a totalitarian country. About "Jewish spirit": I agree, Heidegger's antisemitism was cultural, not racial. He used the word "Jews" as a shorthand for "modernist, liberal cosmopolitans". Did he have racial prejudices? Absolutely, we all have: even black Police officers are more likely to shoot at a black suspect than at a white suspect. Tgeorgescu (talk) 19:05, 16 December 2019 (UTC)
Heidegger helped anesthetize the German academe, removing an important potential source of resistance to the Holocaust. He was more than a member, he was an enthusiastic supporter of the Nazi Party. Again, assertions without cited sources. There is important scholarship since publication of the Schwarze Hefte that bears on this issue.[8]Sbelknap (talk) 19:19, 16 December 2019 (UTC)
I don't know if what you say is true or false, since I lost my major interest in his works before the publication of the Black Books, so I'm not going to read those. But my two cents are that you exaggerate his political success/importance. If he told that he was political important, that's self-flattery. Tgeorgescu (talk) 21:36, 16 December 2019 (UTC)

Can we please stay on topic? How much weight should be given to Heidegger's Nazism as it bears upon his philosophy? That's something Heidegger scholars themselves don't agree on. So the Wikipedia article should report both sides of the controversy instead of, as it currently does, favouring the low-weight side by default.

I'm still not clear what previous disputants meant by "third party" sources. It's not the same as "tertiary" sources, because secondary sources are preferred on Wikipedia. At face value, I would take it to mean that if two scholars are having a dispute, you use a source by a third scholar reporting on them to determine the status of the dispute within the field (though of course it's fine to use the disputing scholars' own writings as sources to describe their individual positions). But since some of the sources we've used have been of other scholars reporting on people criticizing Heidegger, it's unclear how they fail to qualify.

Call me suspicious, but I can't suppress the thought that perhaps in some people's minds, any scholar who criticizes Heidegger even in the context of reporting other people criticizing Heidegger thereby ceases to be "third party".

Which would mean that "use third party sources" reduces to "use only sources that are not critical of Heidegger".

To which the answer is "No."

VeryRarelyStable (talk) 23:42, 16 December 2019 (UTC)

More innuendo? A third party source is something like an Encyclopedia and is the gold standard. I've checked five todate - they all clearly state he was a Nazi and are critical, but the emphasis is on his version of existentialism. If we have a controversy over the role of the Black Books we mention it but we do not speak in Wikipedia's voice until the controversy is over, and we are proportionate. using primary sources to make a point us called original research. -----Snowded TALK 09:13, 17 December 2019 (UTC)
Well, if by "third party" you meant "tertiary", then it's you, not us, that has misread WP:RS. Here's what it actually says:
Wikipedia articles should be based mainly on reliable secondary sources, i.e., a document or recording that relates or discusses information originally presented elsewhere.
VeryRarelyStable (talk) 09:47, 17 December 2019 (UTC)


  1. ^ For critical readings of the interview (published in 1966 as "Only a God Can Save Us", Der Spiegel), see the "Special Feature on Heidegger and Nazism" in Critical Inquiry 15:2 (Winter 1989), particularly the contributions by Jürgen Habermas and Blanchot. The issue includes partial translations of Derrida's Of Spirit and Lacoue-Labarthe's Of Spirit and Heidegger, Art, and Politics: the Fiction of the Political.
  2. ^ Quoted by Heinrich Wiegand Petzet, Auf einen Stern zugehen. Begegnungen und Gespräche mit Martin Heidegger 1929-1976, 1983 p. 43, and also by Frédéric de Towarnicki, A la rencontre de Heidegger. Souvenirs d'un messager de la Forêt-Noire, Gallimard-Arcades p. 125
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^ Redner, Harry. "Philosophers and Anti-Semitism." Modern Judaism 22, no. 2 (2002): 115-41.
  7. ^ Redner, Harry. "Philosophers and Anti-Semitism." Modern Judaism 22, no. 2 (2002): 115-41.
  8. ^ Richard Wolin. "On Heidegger's Antisemitism: The Peter Trawny Affair." Antisemitism Studies 1, no. 2 (2017): 245-79.

Moving to closure on the first question[edit]

There is no requirement for other editors to continue a discussion forever. All involved editors have now made their positions clear and there is a clear consensus that Heidegger is notable as a philosopher not as a Nazi. The question of how much weight should be given to his nazism can be next up but only this is now accepted. Sbelknap and VeryRarelyStable, if you do not accept this then you have to invoke a dispute resolution process ON THIS QUESTION. Other questions stay open but we need to forward one question at a time -----Snowded TALK 09:00, 17 December 2019 (UTC)

A "clear consensus that Heidegger is notable... not as a Nazi"? What exactly is your definition of "consensus", please?
Because so far what's happened is that we've tried to argue for our case, and you've restated your position and restated your position and not engaged with our arguments.
I presume you don't think "consensus" means "take a snap poll and go with the majority", since you opened this section with "We don't vote on Wikipedia". If you did think that, you would be wrong.
Or – given how the word "consensus" has been used in edit summaries on your side of the debate – perhaps you think "consensus" means "status quo"? Because it doesn't mean that either.
(Just to make, clearer still, one of several points that is persistently being ignored: we believe Heidegger is notable both as a philospher and as a Nazi, and that the latter is not being given due weight, and that your attempts to force it into an either-or dichotomy are inappropriate.)
VeryRarelyStable (talk) 09:44, 17 December 2019 (UTC)
I have looked through the entire discussion above, and my problem with it is that the specific content disagreements that led to the article being protected really are not being discussed. Instead, editors are arguing with each other about what they think of Heidegger, and unsurprisingly, this is leading nowhere. It might help if editors would say what they will do when and as article protection inspires. For example, does anyone intend to revert Snowded and restore Sbelknap's edits? If so, they should say so. We need to know now whether edit warring is simply going to begin again. If edit warring does immediately resume after protection expires, nothing will have been accomplished. Freeknowledgecreator (talk) 10:04, 17 December 2019 (UTC)
Ah. So if anyone were to "revert Snowded and restore Sbelknap's edits", that would not be allowable. In other words, it's pre-determined that Sbelknap is wrong and Snowded is right. And that's what you call a "consensus". Well, thank you for your honesty, at least. —VeryRarelyStable (talk) 10:09, 17 December 2019 (UTC)
A comment like that is a great example of why discussion here does not seem to be serving any useful purpose. You put words in my mouth, attribute to me a view I do not hold ("that would not be allowable"), and avoid answering the question of whether you will, in fact, revert Snowded - which would be a continuation of the edit warring that led to the article's protection. If someone did simply revert Snowded, that would be unfortunate, but I never said that it wouldn't be "allowable". Why don't you say what you think of the specific content issues involved, those concerning the content removed in Snowded's edit? Freeknowledgecreator (talk) 10:16, 17 December 2019 (UTC)
Because I've said it many times over already and I'm getting tired of it. If it would be allowable for someone to revert Snowded and restore Sbelknap's edits, why did you make that the test of whether "nothing will have been accomplished"?
But since you ask, let me not be accused of dodging a question.
  • Is Heidegger's philosophy notable? Yes, but this is not at issue as we all think so already.
  • Is Heidegger's Nazism notable? Yes.
  • Is Heidegger's Nazism notable in relation to his philosophy? Yes, because there is a live debate among scholars about how closely they are related, and to downplay that debate is to side with one of the parties to that debate by default.
  • Is the obscurity of Heidegger's philosophy notable? Yes. He's the poster child for analytical philosopher's criticisms of the obscurity of Continental philosophy.
  • Is Heidegger's relationship with Hannah Arendt notable? Yes, but less so – it should be discussed in the article but not as the topic of a level 1 heading. It should probably get a bigger discussion on Arendt's page than here.
  • Does the current discussion of Heidegger's philosophy meet Wikipedia's standards of intelligibility? No, by a very long margin.
  • Is it OK for the discussion of Heidegger's philosophy not to meet Wikipedia's standards since Heidegger himself would not have agreed with being judged by those standards? No.
VeryRarelyStable (talk) 10:27, 17 December 2019 (UTC)
A tip I received from Jud Evans: if you replace Being with Pantheist God, Heidegger makes perfect sense. Tgeorgescu (talk) 12:21, 17 December 2019 (UTC)
That's interesting.Sbelknap (talk) 16:55, 17 December 2019 (UTC)
As siding with one side of that debate: hard facts are scarce, there is no smoking gun. Tgeorgescu (talk) 14:29, 17 December 2019 (UTC)
This "edit warring" is a violation of WP:OWN No one "owns" content (including articles or any page at Wikipedia). If you create or edit an article, others can make changes, and you cannot prevent them from doing so. In addition, you should not undo their edits without good reason. Sbelknap (talk) 16:59, 17 December 2019 (UTC)

While I would be willing to include mention that Heidegger is a philosopher, as many secondary and tertiary sources state that this is so, it should be noted that there is not universal agreement that Heidegger was a philosopher. Would Kant have considered Heidegger a philosopher? In his book, Heidegger: The Introduction of Nazism into Philosophy, the author, Emmanuel Faye argues that Martin Heidegger was not a philosopher, and that his works should not be classified under "philosophy" because they were entirely based on National Socialism. Faye argues that Heidegger's work should be classified under "hate speech". Sbelknap (talk) 18:21, 17 December 2019 (UTC)

- as noted above, George Pattison says of Emmanuel Faye’s book “Heidegger, the Introduction of Nazism into Philosophy” that “Faye finds some sort of reference to Nazism in just about every line Heidegger ever wrote and I think that most people think that’s clearly an exaggeration and sometimes even perhaps rather stupid and forced.” - based on this I don't think we can regard Faye's position as mainstream, but as extreme, possibly fringe, minority position - we can argue about whether Pattison's scholarship outweighs Faye's, but I think it is clear from the sources that Heidegger is overwhelmingly known primarily as a philosopher, he is taught in university courses as a philosopher, found in encyclopedias of philosophy, cataloged in libraries under philosophy, etc. - Epinoia (talk) 18:33, 17 December 2019 (UTC)
Faye wrote his book before publication of the Black Notebooks. It turns out that Faye was largely correct. There are about a dozen reviews of Faye's book that turn up with a simple search, so Epinoia provides us with this cherry-picked review. Here is Patricia Cohn's more balanced review in the New York Times[1] Here's a key quote:

That is precisely what Mr. Faye says he wants. In his view teaching Heidegger’s ideas without disclosing his deep Nazi sympathies is like showing a child a brilliant fireworks display without warning that an ignited rocket can also blow up in someone’s face.

Sbelknap (talk) 20:06, 17 December 2019 (UTC)
Despite the insistence of some currently engaged editors, there is no consensus as to what Heidegger meant in Being and Time, nor even what his neologisms or repurposed German compound words mean.[2]

At the first page of Sein und Zeit, the one piece of work that has secured Martin Heidegger’s place in the philosophy of history, the author declares that the purpose behind the work is to explicate the “meaning of being”,or”dem Sinn von Sein”.There is however no clear consensus among Heidegger scholars of what this is supposed to be. Indeed, there is not even a clear consensus of what Heidegger means by “meaning”, or “Sinn” as the German term is. On the contrary, the interpretations have little in common except being about Heidegger.

Sbelknap (talk) 20:21, 17 December 2019 (UTC)


  1. ^
  2. ^ Almäng, Jan. "Heidegger on Sinn." Philosophical Communications (2008).
- a review of a book is not academic support for a book - if we want to establish a neutral point of view we need to reflect the widely supported views of scholars - Pattison says "most people" regard Faye as "clearly an exaggeration" - if most people regard Faye as extreme, then his work is a minority position - basing arguments on extreme sources is not supporting a neutral point of view - WP:UNDUE says, "articles should not give minority views or aspects as much of or as detailed a description as more widely held views or widely supported aspects. Generally, the views of tiny minorities should not be included at all" - Heidegger's notability is primarily as a philosopher - Epinoia (talk) 20:31, 17 December 2019 (UTC)
Sure, scholars disagree on Faye and many other things. That is the point! When there is disagreement among scholars, that ought to be reflected in this article. Faye published his book a decade ago. Since then, much of what Faye wrote seems on-target, as per later scholarship. Some engaged editors seem stuck in 2009, ignoring (or cherry-picking) recent scholarship. If we want to establish a neutral point of view, how about not deleting edits that are supported by high-quality secondary and tertiary sources? Sbelknap (talk) 21:16, 17 December 2019 (UTC)
Heidegger's notability is primarily as a philosopher Heidegger is notable as a philosopher (or perhaps a mystic), as an anti-semite and Nazi, and as the lover of Hannah Arendt. Some argue that Heidegger's philosophy is incoherent or nonsensical. Some argue that Heidegger's philosophy was important and novel. Some argue that Heidegger's philosophy is so contaminated by his antisemitism and Nazism as to not be worthy of consideration as philosophy. Each of these points of view ought be included in this article. Sbelknap (talk) 04:20, 18 December 2019 (UTC)

Trying again[edit]

At the moment we have Sbelknap and VeryRarelyStable against the rest. From my perspective, they are ignoring third party sources and focusing on the interpretation of primary sources - worse they argue that is legitimate. There is no prospect of this changing. I've lived through enough such issues on Wikipedia to know this could go on forever. To everyone who is not Sbelknap or VeryRarelyStable as long as you allow this to carry on, it will get worse.

We have a first issue resolved as a consensus by involved editors in favour of Heidegger being notable as a philosopher. Yes was also a member of the Nazi Party but his notability does not come from that. Sbelknap and VeryRarelyStable are entitled to disagree with that, but in order to do that, they have to invoke one of several possible dispute resolution processes that involve other editors. They need to be left to get on with this and when has that resolved we can go onto the next issue one by one, ideally with some time limit. I seriously suggest leaving them to themselves until then engage properly. -----Snowded TALK 07:03, 18 December 2019 (UTC)

"Sbelknap and VeryRarelyStable against the rest"? I thought you said "We don't vote on Wikipedia"?
There's another option in between tertiary and primary sources, and it just happens to be the one that WP:RS recommends and that we've been using.
We already had other editors come in, remember? Look upthread a few sections. What did they say? Which side of the debate did they find wasn't engaging with their questions?
Heidegger being notable as a philosopher and Heidegger being notable as a Nazi are not two mutually exclusive options.
Whether Heidegger's notability comes from his Nazism is under dispute. You convince no-one by merely asserting that it does not.
If you stick your fingers in your ears and go "la la la" every time we talk, the fact that you don't hear us presenting any arguments says nothing about us and everything about you.
And if that's going to be your approach for the rest of the questions, then we already know what conclusions you are going to reach and the whole business was a charade from the beginning.
VeryRarelyStable (talk) 07:21, 18 December 2019 (UTC)
Well VeryRarelyStable, you've made clear that you and Sbelknap have absolutely no idea what you are talking about, but not that any of us should waste our time trying to accommodate you regarding the problems that lead to your 'brain glitches.' Given these 'glitches' and the utterly incoherent responses that they yield (as evidenced by your utterly incoherent response to my last post regarding ownership, possessive pronouns, and everything else that you were claiming in your last post), my advice is to take your interest in learning about these subjects elsewhere. The alternative is to degrade whatever Wikipedia article you take an interest in into a series of "understandable" but false piles of claims that would make a teenage college student blush. CCS81 (talk) 08:56, 18 December 2019 (UTC)
My "brain glitches" are not just mine; they're a phenomenon well-known to psycholinguists, which all readers experience upon reading text full of left-branching and centre-branching sentence trees. I suppose in order to read Heidegger it is necessary to train yourself to read very dense prose; is it your opinion that Wikipedia articles should be written only for people who've mastered such texts? And if so, how are these experts also so unfamiliar with the language that they're in danger of being misled into thinking a text has become an agent? —VeryRarelyStable (talk) 03:36, 19 December 2019 (UTC)

The task here is to find a way forward. I suggest that we follow the policies and standards of wikipedia: rely (mostly) on secondary sources, respect the diversity of views among these secondary sources, and stop substituting ones own opinion for that of experts. Sbelknap (talk) 16:06, 18 December 2019 (UTC)

I fully agree, Sbelknap, but we've been suggesting that for months and it's fallen on deaf ears. And the one self-proclaimed expert who's come along thinks the article doesn't need to be understandable. —VeryRarelyStable (talk) 03:40, 19 December 2019 (UTC)

I think the editors here are enacting what should be stated simply in the article, that there are controversies about Heidegger's obscure writing style, and about whether his political and philosophical views are related. At the moment the talk page is degenerating into an obscure mish mash of personal remarks and entrenched opinion. It perfectly shows the controversy which Heidegger's work arouses, and is best summarised in the article itself rather than being endlessly rehearsed and mulled over here publicly. My penny's worth.

TonyClarke (talk) 06:23, 19 December 2019 (UTC)

TonyClarke, that's exactly what our side of the debate is asking for. —VeryRarelyStable (talk) 06:39, 19 December 2019 (UTC)
VeryRarelyStable So you agree that there are two contentious issues remaining? Well, the article already mentions, in the lead and elsewhere, the debated and controversial relationship between his philosophy and his 'Nazism'. So am I correct in thinking that you are being blocked in adding well-cited references to the alleged obscurity of his writing? The alleged obscurity should be easily supported and inserted. If reverted, then dispute resolution can be sought. The length of this talk page issue is becoming unmanageable, and needs to be resolved. The personal attacks and recriminations do not reflect well on our work. Tell me if I have got this wrong?

TonyClarke (talk) 20:32, 21 December 2019 (UTC)

There is no requirement to debate forever. There is a clear consensus position, you are either accept that and move on or you use one of the many ways available to bring in other editors. I've taken part in multiple disputes on Wikipedia over the years and you have had mode than a fair hearing. The pair of you have not been ignored, other editors disagree with you.-----Snowded TALK 07:16, 19 December 2019 (UTC)
I'll believe we're not being ignored when I see even one of our arguments actually engaged with. —VeryRarelyStable (talk) 07:17, 19 December 2019 (UTC)
As for "consensus", I'm pretty sure that what's happened is other editors on our side have run into the same brick wall we have and decided they have better things to do with their time than bash their heads against it. I've seen two or three come and go by now. —VeryRarelyStable (talk) 07:19, 19 December 2019 (UTC)
I've been watching the article for over a decade and you're just plain wrong - if people have been excluded feel free to list them with some diffs. I've also seen people bend over backward to try and engage with you, get your mind around the fact that engagement does have necessarily mean agreement-----Snowded TALK 07:27, 19 December 2019 (UTC)

VeryRarelyStable, let me repeat the question you've persistently avoided answering: do you, in fact, intend to revert Snowded as soon as the article is unprotected? Such an edit might be "allowable" in the sense that Wikipedia's policies would permit it, but it would still be heavily discouraged as a form of edit warring. Remember that an edit that may be "allowable" simply taken in itself can become a form of prohibited edit warring if endlessly repeated. Resumption of such edit warring would leave it looking doubtful that article protection has accomplished anything. Instead of reverting, why not see what version of the article a majority of editors active on the talk page would prefer? Freeknowledgecreator (talk) 09:02, 19 December 2019 (UTC)

I intend to continue to try to improve the article as I think it needs improving. Will I simply revert the last change? Probably not; there are a number of ways the wording could be improved.
Snowded, exactly how is your position a "clear consensus position"? More of your party are actively arguing the point here than ours, but I checked, and you did indeed open the main heading with the words "We don't vote on Wikipedia we look at the evidence." So you can't just mean you have greater numbers. What do you mean by "consensus"?
While you're at it, you're quite right of course that engagement is not the same as agreement. You say you've seen people "bend over backward" to try and engage with us. Well, then, I'm afraid my memory must be terribly faulty. Could you please refresh it as to how people have answered the following concerns we've raised?
  1. There exists a school of thought in Heidegger criticism that Heidegger's Nazism was central to his philosophy. No-one wants to see the article simply repeat this school's arguments as fact, but we believe it goes so far the other way as to support the opposing school's arguments as fact by default. That constitutes a breach of WP:NPOV.
  2. There exists a school of thought that Heidegger's philosophy is needlessly obscurantist, and within that school a widespread belief that this is because he had something to hide – whether that something was his Nazism or merely a lack of coherent thinking. No-one wants to see the article simply repeat this school's arguments as fact, but again we believe it goes so far the other way as to support the opposing school by default.
  3. The sections purporting to explain Heidegger's philosophy are obscure to the point of being incomprehensible for anyone who is not a Heidegger expert. This is against Wikipedia policy. Since Heidegger is taught to undergraduates, his Wikipedia page is supposed to be aimed at high school students. Most attempts to rectify this have been reverted. Some have been excoriated as "wrong" and "confused"; then the same people making these criticisms have refused all requests to explain the passages more lucidly, alternating their reasons for doing so between "it's perfectly clear already" and "it can never be clear, it's Heidegger". (Yes, we know Heidegger himself would have opposed Wikipedia policy on this. That doesn't change Wikipedia policy.)
  4. Almost all attempts to rectify the above problems have been reverted within hours. Often the reason given is that the editor "didn't get consensus first" – which is another contravention of Wikipedia policy for edits that were not already in contention. Other reasons given are that the edit "wasn't an improvement" or that it was "poorly written", but these kind of reasons are given regardless of the edit and regardless of the quality of the writing.
  5. One particular edit, to the wording of a quote, was repeatedly reverted and resisted for months, until a new editor made the same change to the quote but also changed wording in the lede in such a way that Heidegger's Nazism was not so clearly signalled, at which point suddenly the altered quote was accepted. This makes no sense on the hypothesis that the wording of the quote was a problem, as had previously been argued; it makes complete sense on the hypothesis that the party who edited it want this article to downplay any faults or flaws in Heidegger as far as it possibly can. Which would again be a breach of WP:NPOV. The party in question is invited to disconfirm that hypothesis by letting through edits critical of Heidegger. No-one is asking anyone to leave bad writing to stay bad, but it is possible to fix bad writing without removing the content it was intended to convey. The party in question has instead continued to revert edits critical of Heidegger.
Do please refresh my memory. Where did anyone engage with these arguments?
I do feel I need to emphasize that my idea of "engaging with an argument" does not include
  • asserting that the argument's conclusion is false, without explaining why; or
  • asserting that the argument doesn't need to be answered.
VeryRarelyStable (talk) 10:30, 19 December 2019 (UTC)
I've made my position clear and recommended it to others. Simply repeating the same points will get you nowhere people simply do not agree with you -----Snowded TALK 11:51, 19 December 2019 (UTC)
@snowded, your edits and reverts appear to violate WP:OWN and WP:OR. Can you please explain how this is not the case? Sbelknap (talk) 17:01, 19 December 2019 (UTC)
- accusing other editors of suppressing information or denying facts is "prima facie evidence of your failure to assume good faith." - in the case of biographies, "it is vitally important always to err on the side of caution" - Snowded's edits are an attempt to maintain a neutral point of view - (the guideline to err on the side of caution is for biographies of living people, but I think we can extend it to contentious issues over dead people as well) - Epinoia (talk) 18:04, 19 December 2019 (UTC)
Please feel free to make that a formal complaint at ANI -----Snowded TALK 18:30, 19 December 2019 (UTC)
Please answer the question asked. You have repeatedly reverted or edited the Martin Heidegger page so as to remove material that is supported by high-quality secondary and tertiary sources. I am asking why you are making edits that appear to violate WP:OWN or WP:OR. Please explain.Sbelknap (talk) 20:06, 19 December 2019 (UTC)
- Snowded's edits were made to maintain a neutral point of view that "fairly represents all significant viewpoints that have been published by reliable sources" - calling a source "high quality" does not make it so (odd how sources that support your position are high quality, but sources opposing your position are dismissed as cherrypicking) - sources such as Arno and Faye are minority views and WP:UNDUE says that "articles should not give minority views or aspects as much of or as detailed a description as more widely held views" and that the views of tiny minorities, such as Faye, "should not be included at all, except perhaps in a "see also" - Epinoia (talk) 01:04, 20 December 2019 (UTC)
You continue to make assertions that appear to be based largely on your own opinion. You continue to mischaracterize the evidence supporting edits that you don't like. This is not about majority rule. Edits that are supported by many high-quality secondary sources written by scholars and philosophers deserve inclusion in this Heidegger article.Sbelknap (talk) 03:12, 20 December 2019 (UTC)

I have no intention of answering your question. We have resolved the question of Heidegger's notability. You (and your companion) either accept that decision in which case we can move on, or, you can use one of the many dispute resolution processes. If you fancy appealing to ANI feel free. If you will not take either option then I will make a case to the wider community for some restriction on your editing on this and related subjects.-----Snowded TALK 05:22, 20 December 2019 (UTC)

You can put all the haughty words on it you like; what's just happened here is that I have once again invited you to engage with our arguments, and you have explicitly refused to do so. —VeryRarelyStable (talk) 08:13, 20 December 2019 (UTC)
No editor is required to engage beyond a certain level - you have exceeded your quota and this has been going for long enough. I repeat, accept the consensus of other editors on the source of his notability and we can move on. If you can't agree with it then use existing Wikipedia dispute processes. If nether alternative is acceptable then the case for a wider restriction will have to made -----Snowded TALK 08:35, 20 December 2019 (UTC)
Yup, such efforts would be appreciated at Martin Heidegger and Nazism, which is dedicated to such subject. This is simply the wrong article for it. Tgeorgescu (talk) 10:35, 20 December 2019 (UTC)
The rules are the rules; see WP:FOLLOW. Are currently engaged editors willing to follow all the policies and guidelines of wikipedia or not?Sbelknap (talk) 14:10, 20 December 2019 (UTC)
see earlier replies-----Snowded TALK 15:32, 20 December 2019 (UTC)
@Snowded et al assert that WP:POV somehow allows a group of engaged editors to decide that Martin Heidegger is primarily a philosopher and only incidentally a Nazi. Yet, that is not what WP:POV provides at all, at all. If a group of editors decide that Martin Heidegger is primarily a space alien from the Planet Zocor would that be dispositive? Of course not. wikipedia articles are expected to reflect external reality. In this case, there are dozens of high-quality sources supporting the assertion that Heidegger's Nazism is an important aspect of his biography. It is not either/or, it is both: one facet of Heidegger's life was that he was a philosopher; another facet of his life is that he was an anti-semite and an enthusiastic Nazi. It is our duty as editors to reflect reality in our edits.Sbelknap (talk) 16:31, 20 December 2019 (UTC)
Your analysis is too extreme (one-sided): Heidegger was an enthusiastic Nazi for about one year. There are no hard facts that he would have advocated racism grounded in biology. There are mere opinions, not facts. See WP:ASSERT. Tgeorgescu (talk) 17:00, 20 December 2019 (UTC)
The available evidence does not support the assertion that Heidegger was an enthusiastic Nazi for about one year. There is a lot of scholarship on this. I would be interested in your thoughts when you've had a chance to review the available information.Sbelknap (talk) 17:18, 20 December 2019 (UTC)
Hitler had Heidegger's champion killed. Why would Heidegger have kept his enthusiasm. I think by then it was clear to him what Nazism was. Of course, he could not simply renounce his membership card, that would have amounted to treason (as he was already suspect for supporting the losing wing of the Nazi party). Tgeorgescu (talk) 17:26, 20 December 2019 (UTC)
Tgeorgescu: my recommendation is not to engage with our dynamic duo on any content issues unless and until they either accept consensus or use an established conflict resolution process on the first issue about notability. Virtually everyone on wikipedia accepts that choice and those who don't end up with topic bans. Sbelknap has ready been through that once so he knows how it works -----Snowded TALK 19:23, 20 December 2019 (UTC)

From the Paris Review:

Not that Heidegger has had to apologize, either. For the past seventy years, his many apologists and acolytes have gone to astounding lengths in trying to prove that his philosophical oeuvre exists independent of what was, they avowed, a mere weakness of character, an instance of momentary opportunism. In 2014, a group of French philosophers even tried to halt the publication of Heidegger’s Black Notebooks, his philosophical diaries. But if antisemitic references in his philosophy are oblique and, as some would have it, coincidental to his critique of modernity, the Notebooks leave little room for such charitable reading. Even after the war he would bemoan the Jewish “drive for revenge,” with their aim consisting in “obliterating the Germans in spirit and history.”

And yet, the Black Notebooks haven’t lain to rest one of the more irksome debates around continental philosophy. Perhaps that’s what the release of Heidegger’s correspondence with his lifelong confidante, his brother Fritz, will achieve. His heirs, having held back these letters for many years, have finally caved to the pressure that began to mount following the release of the Black Notebooks. The excerpts released in advance by Die Zeit and Le Monde last weekend show Heidegger for what, apparently, he was: the real deal, a dyed-in-the-wool Nazi who bought into Hitler’s ideology wholesale. And he wasn’t a particularly sophisticated one. In his letters, the forefather of deconstruction voices his impassioned belief in Volk and Führer, perpetual German victimhood, “world Jewry,” the threat of Bolshevism, and American decadence.

Perhaps it’s inconvenient, but it’s hardly shocking: Heidegger was not just a member of the Nazi party, but also a Nazi. Nor was he just a “metaphysical antisemite”—he also just really disliked Jews. Let’s hope this settles the matter.[1]

Sbelknap (talk) 20:03, 20 December 2019 (UTC)

It is still only relevant because he is the founding father of Existentialism, for which he is notable. Now are you going to accept that consensus position or use a dispute resolution process to challenge said decision? Until you do one the other we can't move on and discuss matters such as how much prominence should give to his undisputed Nazi past and at what level we should report the suggestion that his philosophy is contaminated by Nazi ideology and I am sure other matters. If you can't take one of these two options then you have evidently not here to work collaboratively with editors and we will have to look at everything from a topic ban to a 1RR restriction or similar to allow the page to be open to editing again-----Snowded TALK 06:09, 21 December 2019 (UTC)
@Snowded: Sbelknap and I have both made it clear that we think Heidegger's philosophy and his position in the history of philosophy are notable. We can't believe you're quite so bad at reading as to keep on arguing at us over something we've agreed on, and therefore we surmise, when you set it down with an ultimatum and a threatening tone, that you must mean more than that. You have, higher up the thread, laid it out as a binary choice – Heidegger is primarily notable either as a philosopher or as a Nazi – and it is the exclusivity of that binary that we don't accept.
That being said, if one party to a dispute does not accept a position, then by definition it is not a consensus position. That's what "consensus" means. Either you are arguing over something we already agreed to, or you think reiterating your own position ad nauseam constitutes a "consensus". I'm not staking anything on which one is the case.
VeryRarelyStable (talk) 07:09, 21 December 2019 (UTC)
Nobody has challenged that Heidegger's philosophy is notable. Can we dispense with this straw man? Does it matter at all to engaged Wikipedia editors that dozens of scholars consider Heidegger's anti-semitism and Nazism to also be notable? From Tablet:

Like the famous optical illusion in which the same figure is both a duck and a rabbit, then, we keep twisting and turning our image of Heidegger, trying to see in him both the Nazi and the philosopher at the same time[2]

Sbelknap (talk) 07:13, 21 December 2019 (UTC)
His mention of the Rabbit–duck illusion, in that book review of the Black Notebooks, in The Tablet, suggests that Adam Kirsch is saying that being a Philosopher and being a Nazi are mutually exclusive and logically impossible? But I'm surprised that the quote Kirsch uses, "Flame, announce to us, light up for us, show us the path from which there is no turning back", doesn't appear at Martin Heidegger and Nazism. Martinevans123 (talk) 11:34, 21 December 2019 (UTC)
Wittgenstein used the rabbit:duck illusion to distinguish "seeing that" from "seeing as." Even knowing that the other perception is possible, and that the perception can switch, one perception dominates the other at any particular time. In the case of a Nazi-philosopher, those who see the philosopher have difficulty seeing the Nazi and vice versa.Sbelknap (talk) 14:47, 21 December 2019 (UTC)
I think that's your interpretation. I don't see that he makes any distinction between two separate groups of people. I think he sees it as a conflicting perception held by individual people. Martinevans123 (talk) 15:13, 21 December 2019 (UTC)
Just to clarify, Kirsch is using the rabbit:duck illusion as an analogy of Heidegger's Nazi:Philosopher dichotomy. I expect Kirsch is using this analogy because he is channeling Wittgenstein here. I am not myself making my own interpretation or describing my interpretation.Sbelknap (talk) 15:24, 21 December 2019 (UTC)
You just said "In the case of a Nazi-philosopher, those who see the philosopher have difficulty seeing the Nazi and vice versa." I don't see that claim made by Kirsch, nor in the original exposition by Wittgenstein. Martinevans123 (talk) 15:33, 21 December 2019 (UTC)
Good point.Sbelknap (talk) 18:57, 21 December 2019 (UTC)



Wikipedia works on consensus and the consensus on this article is that Heidegger is notable as a philosopher not as a Nazi; consensus is not unanimity. If a minority do not choose to accept that consensus view then there are various dispute resolution progresses they can adopt, none of which you have invoked. Accept or invoke or have your behavior taken to ANI for resolution, and it will be your behaviour which will be examined not the content. -----Snowded TALK 07:45, 21 December 2019 (UTC)

Ah. Now this ("notable as a philosopher not as a Nazi") is a shift from what you were saying a moment ago, which was that the notability of Heidegger's Nazism and its influence on his philosophy were the next items on the agenda – yet to be dealt with. Are we to take it that the outcome of those discussions is predetermined and the discussions themselves are a charade?
No, consensus is not unanimity, but consensus does imply that some kind of agreement has been reached where formerly there was a dispute. Looking through the history of the article and the talk page I see no evidence of a history of reaching agreement; rather I see a history of steamrollering opposition with insta-reverts until they give up.
At your suggestion I'm just looking up WP:Dispute resolution, and once again I'm noticing all sorts of recommendations like
When you find a passage in an article that is biased, inaccurate, or unsourced the best practice is to improve it if you can rather than deleting salvageable text. For example, if an article appears biased, add balancing material or make the wording more neutral.
which are at odds with the actual long-standing practice of editing on this page (where "Poorly worded" is sufficient reason to revert whole paragraphs).
Have we had an RfC already? Was that what Chumchum7 was doing? What did become of that in the end?
ANI is for conduct disputes, not irresoluble conflicts over content. I have no fear about the outcome of such a process, but it is recommended that you go to the other editor's personal Talk page first.
A more appropriate place for the present discussion would be WP:DRN, don't you think?
VeryRarelyStable (talk) 08:21, 21 December 2019 (UTC)
Wikipedia process is pretty straight forward and well documented; if you don't follow it then it is a conduct issue. You need to be aware that no dispute protest will adjudicate content and you will have the same editors involved. Other editors disagree with you and have done so consistently for some time. You need to get your mind around the fact that this is legitimate. I won't be checking Wikipedia until after the weekend so you have time to sort out an approach. Constant use of pejorative phrases and personal attacks will not help; 'charade' being the latest example. You know perfectly well that this first discussion was about the primary source of notability. The consensus and the third party sources all say that is as a philosopher. My suggestion is that the next subject if we get there, could the emphasis to be placed on his membership of the nazi party in this article - at the moment there is more emphasis than in the third party sources -----Snowded TALK 10:03, 21 December 2019 (UTC)
WP:DRN it is. It's late at night here so I shall initiate the process tomorrow. I have things to say about "The consensus and the third party sources all say that is as a philosopher" but I shall say them on DRN. —VeryRarelyStable (talk) 10:31, 21 December 2019 (UTC)
I'm willing to participate in any manner that the other engaged editors consider productive. If WP:DRN seems like the way to go, that is OK with me. There is a large corpus of work on Heidegger that is excluded or deemphasized in this wikipedia article. In my view, Heidegger's notability includes all three aspects, in descending order of importance: philosopher, Nazi and anti-semite, and lover of Hannah Arendt. My view is based on extensive reading about Heidegger, some of which I've cited on this talk page and some of which are in my edits and reverted edits. I do wonder if other editors are simply unaware of much of the scholarly work on Heidegger's life and his philosophy that has been published in the past two decades.Sbelknap (talk) 15:00, 21 December 2019 (UTC)

As of now WP:DRN's submission link is not working. I have noted this on their Talk page. —VeryRarelyStable (talk) 23:46, 21 December 2019 (UTC)

Both of you need to to be aware that no one is going to adjudicate content. DRN, if that is your choice of process, will bring in mediation only -----Snowded TALK 21:21, 22 December 2019 (UTC)
WP:DRN states

This noticeboard is for content disputes only. Comment on the contributions, not the contributors. Off-topic or uncivil behavior may garner a warning, improper material may be struck-out, collapsed, or deleted, and a participant could be asked to step back from the discussion.Sbelknap (talk) 23:39, 22 December 2019 (UTC)

Then I suggest you read back through your many comments on other editors on this page and reflect. But you miss the point: no one on DRN will make any decision about content they will facilitate a discussion between editors about a content dispute -----Snowded TALK 05:48, 23 December 2019 (UTC)
The edit history speaks for itself.Sbelknap (talk) 22:55, 23 December 2019 (UTC)

Successfully posted to WP:DRN. —VeryRarelyStable (talk) 01:50, 27 December 2019 (UTC)

Weird things happening in this Martin Heidegger page (and possibly elsewehre within Wikipedia ?) - please fix it and/or report to whom it may concern[edit]

on top of the above last subject 'masked shrew', obviously a prank or a hack, which has nothing to do here, I noticed right now what seem a weird technical bug (?), when clicking on 'Deutch' in languages, one ends up in an article in German obviously wrong, about Thomas Assheuer -tried to check quickly the link in the settings, but couldn't see anything to be corrected- — Preceding unsigned comment added by Cestmoicestmoi (talkcontribs) 21:04, 22 January 2020 (UTC)

The interwiki link to the German article was a tricky one to track down. Basically, in a reference, an author link was pointing to de:Thomas Assheuer, but it was missing a leading colon. That caused the main article to think that was the related article. That's been fixed. —C.Fred (talk) 21:11, 22 January 2020 (UTC)
The off-topic thread was deleted. —C.Fred (talk) 21:11, 22 January 2020 (UTC)
I certainly wouldn't want an Assheuer that was missing a leading colon. I'm still not sure I fully understand what the OP was describing here. Martinevans123 (talk) 17:15, 13 February 2020 (UTC)


A Neutrality-disputed template in the lead of the article serves no purpose. It is too much like trying to perpetuate a disagreement that appears to have sputtered out. If anything, given the large number of people who have altered the article's content recently, a template about basic factual accuracy would be more appropriate. Freeknowledgecreator (talk) 03:34, 30 January 2020 (UTC)

"Appears to have sputtered out", as in, you refused to budge, and then stopped responding in the DRN, and they closed it. We're still here. —VeryRarelyStable (talk) 03:44, 30 January 2020 (UTC)
Nothing interesting was happening at the DRN. There is no reason for me to take part in a go-nowhere discussion. Freeknowledgecreator (talk) 04:03, 30 January 2020 (UTC)
I was under the impression you wanted us to be quiet and go away. That would have been a reason for you to take part in the DRN, because it's not going to happen until our concerns are answered. Not dismissed or ignored, answered. —VeryRarelyStable (talk) 04:16, 30 January 2020 (UTC)
Your opinion has been rejected here and in dispute resolution. You presented weak evidence (compare your citation of one article with detailed work on several third party sources). You have refused invitations to call an RfC. You now start to fall into the category of disruptive editing - and as you were warned when the DR process started that ends up with an ANI case and topic bans. -----Snowded TALK 12:31, 31 January 2020 (UTC)
If you'll welcome an outsider's opinion, VRS. The Rfc route is your only 'next' avenue. GoodDay (talk) 18:43, 31 January 2020 (UTC)
There is clearly a POV dispute. This is evident on this talk page and in the DRN. The tag ought remain. Sbelknap (talk) 14:39, 13 February 2020 (UTC)
No there isn't. We have two editors who will not accept consensus over multiple events. Further refusal to follow wiokipedia process and its an ANI report and request for a topic ban. -----Snowded TALK 17:08, 13 February 2020 (UTC)
Because it's a pseudoconsensus created by a small group of editors who revert anyone who disagrees with them until most people give up. —VeryRarelyStable (talk) 23:10, 13 February 2020 (UTC)
For a Philosophy article it has a fairly large group of editors involved and once again you are making accusations against other editors rather than following Wikipedia process. You were told pretty clearly what you needed to do in the dispute resolution process, but you refused to follow the advice of a neutral editor, indeed you broke his process by changing the subject. -----Snowded TALK 05:17, 14 February 2020 (UTC) -----Snowded TALK 05:17, 14 February 2020 (UTC)

@Sbelknap: & @VeryRarelyStable:, open up an Rfc, if you're so concerned. GoodDay (talk) 16:29, 14 February 2020 (UTC)

Snowded is threatening dissenters with a topic ban. Is this how wikipedia is supposed to work? Sbelknap (talk) 17:31, 14 February 2020 (UTC)
Open up an Rfc on the content you're concerned with. GoodDay (talk) 17:37, 14 February 2020 (UTC)
Snowded is saying that if you persist in ignoring the way wikipedia works then he will request the community, via ANI to give you a topic ban. It won't be the first time for you either which starts to raise a wider question about your understanding of the role of consensus not to mention a consistent pattern of personal attacks and comments. @GoodDay there is no point in repeating the same point, especially as it has been made to them at dispute resolution and elsewhere.-----Snowded TALK 07:00, 15 February 2020 (UTC)
I respectfully request that @snowded review WP:POVRAILROAD and reflect as to whether this is a problem for them. Sbelknap (talk) 23:15, 15 February 2020 (UTC)
In this context, it isn't. There are a diverse range of experienced editors who work on multiple philosophy and other articles who are opposed to your PoV. The issue with your behaviour was well illustrated in dispute resolution. You used a single partial source to support your contention. I worked through four third party sources to do a detailed analysis of how much of each pf those sources was devoted to the Nazi issue (significantly less that here). You simply ignored that. I was the one who suggested dispute resolution to the pair of you, but you just ignored the process and advise of the independent meditors. Todate you have not been prepared to work with other editors and, as you know from previous experience, that can result in a topic ban. A second topic ban for similar behaviour might lead to the community imposing more serious sanctions. -----Snowded TALK 07:41, 16 February 2020 (UTC)
Two of the tertiary sources cited during the dispute resolution were from encyclopedias of philosophy and were therefore focused on philosophy, not biography. All three tertiary sources were outdated, having been written and not meaningfully revised since the release of the black notebooks. I cited an entire issue of a current scholarly journal that covered Heidegger's Nazism. Sbelknap (talk) 17:43, 17 February 2020 (UTC)
And you advanced a similar argument before and the consensus was not with you. You've had multiple attempts here and one at Dispute Resolution and you have received the advice of an independent editor on Dispute Resolution. I hoped you would take the opportunity there to move on but you haven't. The discussion is over. I checked back on the details of your previous topic ban, and the failed appeal and the behaviour that resulted in a sanction there is being repeated -----Snowded TALK 18:54, 17 February 2020 (UTC)
As I mentioned on my Talk page when you came over there, Snowded, I am compiling a record from the page history and talk archives of how the "consensus" has been enforced over the last few years. I'm also including some indications of what sort of tone some parties consider "threatening" or "aggressive" when it's coming from those who disagree with them, vs. how those same parties feel free to express themselves towards others. When I have that information in a handy easily-accessible format I will formally call an RfC. —VeryRarelyStable (talk) 22:52, 17 February 2020 (UTC)
Cool, it's taken you long enough. However, an RfC looks at a specific disputed proposal around content and should ideally be mutually agreed upon in wording between the parties before it is launched. If you want to address any perceived behaviour issues or things such as "enforcing consensus" or "threatening" and aggressive behaviour then you need to present the evidence at ANI or call an ArbCom case. If I were you I would get advice from a neutral admin as you are evidently unfamiliar with Wikipedia process. -----Snowded TALK 07:30, 18 February 2020 (UTC)
I invite interested parties to review the edit history for this article. This edit history belies the false narrative which has been repeatedly stated on this talk page. Wikipedia policies and guidelines recommend reliance on citation of high-quality secondary sources (not tertiary sources), on deference to other editors whose edits rely on high-quality secondary sources that are relevant to the article, and on a balanced and accurate approach. While RfC is often useful for resolving disputes among currently-engaged editors, it is not obvious to me how RfC would be helpful here. Would somebody please explain how this could help solve the problem of a group of currently-engaged editors who for many years have reverted or deleted edits that are clearly relevant and important and are supported by high-quality secondary sources? Sbelknap (talk) 20:24, 18 February 2020 (UTC)
With respect I don't think it is feasible to ask people to read the edit history, which is almost interminable. Even in the last two months there have been many entries on the talk page largely expressing conflicting opinions about content and procedure. I thought the main issues had been about the difficulty of his writings and the lack of emphasis on his Nazi involvement, related to his philosophy. Clearly there are entrenched positions among the editors here, with some of the pillars of Wikipedia not observed, and very personal attacking language used. Could you say, without making personal reference to other editors, what edits or subjects need to be restored to the article to make it satisfactory? Since confrontations are often resolvable by compromise, then perhaps there can be initial compromise in giving a restricted number of such changes which you think need to be made. Also editors who wish to comment on your statement should also avoid personal references and observe the principles of Wikipedia, including advice about courtesy and respect for each other. I'm not pointing fingers at any one here, but just giving what I think might be a road to compromise to leave all this behind. What do you think?TonyClarke (talk) 15:56, 19 February 2020 (UTC)
Thanks, @TonyClarke. I have previously referred to specific parts of the edit history, which unavoidably indicates actions by particular currently-engaged editors, and been met with threats of topic banning or deplatforming. For this reason, I have made only general statements that do point one to particularly egregious deletions and reverts. One could, for example, look at the editing history of specific editors and come to understand the nature of the problem. Let me think about how this could be done in a way that can't be interpreted as an attack. Sbelknap (talk) 16:34, 19 February 2020 (UTC)


Regarding this edit: links to Wikipedia articles aren't sources. As per WP:INFOBOXCITE material that is not supported in the body of the article should be referenced in the infobox. If for some reason citations are "bloat" there (even though several other citations are already present), then the solution is not to just remove them but rather to add them to the article text. Nikkimaria (talk) 22:21, 16 June 2020 (UTC)

There are refernces on influences but not on those influenced and with good reason. Influences if they are not obvious in the main body of the text need refernces. However those influences should have reference to heidegger on their articles with appropriate references. There is no need to duplicate this as a quick click through allows an editor to validate. I also find it odd that you are only trying to action on this on two of several names and started off by deleting them - why? -----Snowded TALK 22:40, 16 June 2020 (UTC)
All but these two are at least mentioned somewhere else in the article. Nikkimaria (talk) 22:44, 16 June 2020 (UTC)
And a simple click on either name gets you to the relevant article and in both cases the influence of Heidegger is clearly stated. Rahner is notable for that influence and the other was his student. I still don't think you had any excuse to delete them without the most basic of checked. But wikipedia is about verifiability. If using a blue link allows verification then there is no need to replicate material alrady avaialbe to any reader -----Snowded TALK 22:54, 16 June 2020 (UTC)
A Wikipedia link is not sufficient for verifiability purposes; we need direct citations, whether in the infobox or in the article text. Any material lacking a reliable source directly supporting it may be removed and should not be restored without an inline citation to a reliable source. Nikkimaria (talk) 22:56, 16 June 2020 (UTC)
And if the material is in the link and it is cited there is no issue, if the material is not in the linked article then it needs to be cited there. It is verifiable and has a reliable source and thus passes the test -----Snowded TALK 04:45, 17 June 2020 (UTC)
No, a wikilink is not an inline citation. If there is to be content in this article, it should be cited in this article. Nikkimaria (talk) 12:59, 17 June 2020 (UTC)
Really? As long as something can be verified that is what counts. Replicating references over two articles doesn't make sense . I've read Wikipedia policy and edited here for a long time and I don't think your interpretation is right. Further if it is followed there is a massive and unecessary editing job to do over mutiple articles. I also think you were wrong to remove valuable material without first checking it out. -----Snowded TALK 14:22, 17 June 2020 (UTC)
Yes really. I'm not aware of any policy or guideline that supports your interpretation. Keep in mind that not everyone accesses Wikipedia the way you do - for example a printed article includes the references available on the page but not whatever references may or may not be available on some other article. If you don't care to do this work, fine, but you shouldn't actively impede addition of inline citations. Nikkimaria (talk) 20:30, 17 June 2020 (UTC)
Well we are interpreting policy in different ways, that is evident. Inline citations in the main body of the article are needed where material is contested but the principle is verifiabilty, not the insertion of the reference, that is a means to an end. These lists are highly compressed in the information box and the more you add references the more it gets difficult to navigate. You have clearly stated that if the name is mentioned in the main body of the Heidegger article (which would take a long time to find) then it doesn't need referencing. So the fact that I can click on the name and find the equivalent reference is really no different. In both cases you can verify the data and you are not being consistent. I'll repeat a point I made earlier, namely that if we followed your interpretation on all articles you creating a massive and unecessary task. Your final statement is not helpful - I am not opposed to inline citations that misses the point. Lets see what other editors think. -----Snowded TALK 08:53, 18 June 2020 (UTC)
This debate might be better on the template talk page so we can get some policy on the subject - it isn't appropriate here. How about we do that? -----Snowded TALK 08:59, 18 June 2020 (UTC)
We already have policy on the subject: inline citations. These are not required in infoboxes when the claim is cited in the body text, so if you wanted to avoid having them in the infobox you could simply mention these influences in the article. Nikkimaria (talk) 11:58, 18 June 2020 (UTC)
Really you are the sole authority on policy? The solution you have come up with is fine if it keeps you happy. But having checked policy I don't think you can make the claim -----Snowded TALK 14:20, 18 June 2020 (UTC)
Really you are the sole authority on policy? No, policy is the sole authority on policy. What policy have you checked that you believe supports your view? Nikkimaria (talk) 20:31, 18 June 2020 (UTC)
The principle of verifiability in WP:RS and I offered a suggestion that we take this issue for clarification either there on on the talk page of the You are the one making the absolute statements hence my comment -----Snowded TALK 05:53, 19 June 2020 (UTC)
My documentation of the history of inappropriate reversions and threatening remarks in edit summaries and Talk comments by a couple of editors of this page, intended for an RfC to establish whether said editors are indeed in effect claiming ownership, was disrupted by the COVID restrictions and related personal matters. I still have the notes. Do I need to get back to work on it? —VeryRarelyStable 06:00, 19 June 2020 (UTC)
Oh please do few things on wikipedia would give me greater pleasure than to see you do that -----Snowded TALK 06:05, 19 June 2020 (UTC)
WP:RS explicitly states that "a wikilink is not a reliable source". If you'd like to dispute that there you're of course welcome to do so. Nikkimaria (talk) 12:45, 19 June 2020 (UTC)
The link isn't but the material in the link can be. Please stop trying to make this a confrontation - wikipedia policy frequently needs development and this may be one that needs clarification - it impacts on other lists such as those of notable people. I'll probably but the issue together for a discussion at the RS board when I have time. -----Snowded TALK 12:50, 19 June 2020 (UTC)