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Book description

The 1929 encounter between Ernst Cassirer and Martin Heidegger in Davos, Switzerland is considered one of the most important intellectual debates of the twentieth century and a founding moment of continental philosophy. At the same time, many commentators have questioned the philosophical profundity and coherence of the actual debate. In this book, the first comprehensive philosophical analysis of the Davos debate, Simon Truwant challenges these critiques. He argues that Cassirer and Heidegger's disagreement about the meaning of Kant's philosophy is motivated by their different views about the human condition, which in turn are motivated by their opposing conceptions of what the task of philosophy ultimately should be. Truwant shows that Cassirer and Heidegger share a grand philosophical concern: to comprehend and aid the human being's capacity to orient itself in and towards the world.


‘Simon Truwant's book provides a rigorous and clear analysis of the philosophical issues that distinguished the positions of Ernst Cassirer and Martin Heidegger during their epoch-making debate at Davos in 1929. His original work provides an important contribution to enriching our understanding of the genealogy and the dynamics of twentieth century thought.'

Jeffrey A. Barash - Université de Picardie Jules Verne

‘Truwant's book should be the starting point for anyone interested in the philosophical meaning of the famous ‘debate' between Heidegger and Cassirer in Davos. Going far beyond the debate itself, the book offers a lucid, meticulously researched account of the philosophical positions Heidegger and Cassirer brought to the debate, an astute analysis of their relation to Kant, and a thoughtful assessment of the implications for philosophy today. A first-rate achievement.'

Steven Crowell - Rice University

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