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Translator's note: The two principal texts discussed by Orozco (“Plato and the Poets” and “Plato's Educational State”) are translated by P. Christopher Smith in Hans-Georg Gadamer, Dialogue and Dialectic: Eight Hermmeutical Studies on Plato.

1. Ross accords philosophical predominance to Gadamer alone on the grounds that Habermas has “made too much of a mark in the social sciences and in political debates for him simply to be called a philosopher” (“Schmuggel. Gadamers Ge-heimnis,” Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Feb. 11, 1995). By this criterion, however, Plato's Republic, Aristotle's Nichomachean Ethics, and Hobbes's Leviathan would all forfeit their status as philosophical texts. [BACK]

2. Henning Ritter, “Konziliantes Denken. ‘Der Philosoph Hans-Georg Gadamer wird neunzig,’” Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Feb. 10, 1990, 27. [BACK]

3. Martin Heidegger, Unterwegs zur Sprache (Frankfurt am Main: Vittorio Kloster-mann, 1959), 243. [BACK]

4. “The goal of all attempts at reaching understanding is agreement concerning the subject matter. Hence the task of hermeneutics has always been to establish agreement where there was none or where it had been disturbed in some way” (WM276). [BACK]

5. It was Jiirgen Habermas who critically questioned this hermeneutic postulate, thereby initiating a debate that introduced the “claim to justification” as the inelim-inable foundation of a theory of interpretation. [BACK]

6. These case studies form part of a larger work, Platonische Gewalt. Gadamers poli-tischeHermeneutih derNS-Zeit (Berlin: Argument Verlag, 1995), in which I undertake an ideological analysis of Gadamer's philosophical interventions in important aspects of National Socialism. [BACK]

7. Research into the circumstances of Gadamer's call to Leipzig reveals that he was promoted in place of the university's preferred choice, the NSDAP candidate Theodor Haering, an ordinarius lecturer in Tubingen, on the insistence of Professor Heinrich Harmjanz, who was the minister responsible for the social sciences section (Department W6) in the Ministry of Education. Gadamer's name occupied second place on the list, even before that of the SS “echelon candidate” Hans Lipps. See

Jerry Miiller, The Other God that Failed: Hans Freyer and the Deradicalization of German Conservatism (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1987), 319. Control of Department W6, which for all intents and purposes was “already something like an SS post” (Helmut Heiber, Walter Frank und sein Reichsinstitut fur Geschichte des neuen Deutschlands [Stuttgart: Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt, 1966], 649), was given to the SS lobbyist Harmjanz in 1937. [BACK]

8. Cited in Peter Dudeck, “Kontinuitat und Wandel. Wissenschaftliche Pada-gogik im Nachkriegsdeutschland,” in Wissenschaft im geteilten Deutschland. Restaur-ation oder Neubeginn nach 1945? eds. W. H. Pehle and P. Sillem (Frankfurt am Main: Fischer Taschenbuch Verlag, 1992), 68. Spranger was still able to identify “much that was irreproachable, indeed praiseworthy, in National Socialism” (ibid., 69), such as the “Reichsberufwettkampf,” the “Arbeitsdienstpflicht” and the “NS Landjahr.” [BACK]

9. See Wolfgang Fritz Haug, “Nicolai Hartmanns Neuordnung von Wert und Sinn,” in Deutsche Philosophen 1933, ed. Wolfgang Fritz Haug (Hamburg: Argument-Verlag, 1989), 159–87. [BACK]

10. See Thomas Laugstien, “Die protestantische Ethik und der ‘Geist von Potsdam’. Sprangers Rekonstruktion des Fiihrerstaats aus dem Prinzip personlicher Ve-rantwortung,” in Deutsche Philosophen 1933, 29–68. [BACK]

11. See Thomas Friederich, “Theodor Litts [?] Warnung von der ‘allzu direkten Methoden,’” in Deutsche Philosophen 1933, 99–124. [BACK]

12. Some of the results of this research are drawn together in my essay “Die Plato Rezeption in Deutschland um 1933,“in “Die besten Geister der Nation”. Philosophic und Nationahozialismus, ed. Use Korotin (Vienna: Picus Verlag, 1994). [BACK]

13. In the standard work on research into Plato in the German-speaking context, Ernst Moritz Manasse (Bucher uber Platan. Bd. I. Werke in deutscher Sprache [Tubingen: Mohr, 1957] reviews all the editions of the relevant literature after 1945 and yet more or less completely excludes consideration of the obvious relations that they bear to their historical context. [BACK]

14. This short outline is based upon accounts of the Plato scholarship of the period, which, studied in detail, reveal a more differentiated picture. For a fuller discussion, see Orozco, “Die Plato Rezeption in Deutschland um 1933.” [BACK]

15. Volker Losemann, Nationalsozialismus und Antihe: Studien zur Entwichlung des FachesAlte Geschichte 1933–1945 (Hamburg: Hoffmann und Campe, 1977), 86. [BACK]

16. It is not necessary here to go into the still undecided question as to whether this biography is genuine or fake. Of central interest, however, is the role this biography played in transforming the principles on which philological investigations into Plato were conducted. The volume Das Problem der ungeschriebene Lehre Platans (Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, 1972), edited byjiirgen Wippern, contains a number of contributions in which the attempt to reconstruct Plato's unwritten doctrine draws upon a far more complex set of sources. [BACK]

17. HansL, eisegang, DiePlatondeutungderGegenwart (Karlsruhe: G. Braun, 1929), documents this through the example of Kurt Singer (a member of the George circle): “The conclusions to be drawn from demonstrating the authenticity of the Seventh Letter, the fact that Plato himself said that he did not write down his real doctrine, the attempt to discover this doctrine in the utterances of his pupils and by re-interpreting the later dialogues in light of these utterances—all this was simply

pushed to one side by Singer with a magnificent gesture of superiority. However, we have no idea on what factual knowledge or on what personal research this rejection is based” (50). [BACK]

18. Werner Jaeger, “Die Erziehung des politischen Menschen und die An tike,” Volk im Werden 3 (1933): 4.6. [BACK]

19. Plato und die Dichter (Frankfurt am Main: Vittorio Klostermann, 1934), 5; reprinted in GW5; subsequent page references (to the original) appear in parentheses in the text. [BACK]

20. It is this immanence that allows Gadamer to make recourse to this text again on other occasions; by interpreting Plato's work from an atemporal standpoint he is able to disregard its historical features. This is particularly clear in his polemic against Karl Popper (“Platos Denken in Utopien,” Gymansium. Zeitschrift fur Kultur derAntikeundhumanistischeBildunggo [1983]: 434–55). [BACK]

21. “Antrittsvorlesung in Berlin. Gehalten am 10. Mai 1933,” in Alfred Baeum-ler, Mdnnerbund und Wissenschaft (Berlin: Junker und Dunnhaupt, 1943), 131. [BACK]

22. This is not to say that Gadamer is quoting Baeumler directly. Nonetheless, this coincidence is not wholly contingent. It demarcates an identical critical front. The ideal of the harmonious personality was derived polemically from a formulation of Schiller's and was widely used under National Socialism as a cipher to criticize the “apolitical intellectual.” Gadamer's employment of this term represents a classic example of what Michel Pecheux has termed a “cross-discourse.” [BACK]

23. In the introduction to Platans Lehre von der Wahrheit (Frankfurt am Main: Vittorio Klostermann, 1931–32, 1940), 201, Martin Heidegger indicated his own approach to the question of Plato's secret doctrine: “The ‘doctrine’ of a thinker is that which remains unsaid in what is said, that to which man is exposed in order that he might expend himself on it.” Heidegger's modern interpretation of the analogy of the cave addresses the reader by mobilizing both the hermeneutic force of the esoteric and a notion of truth as something that can only be revealed. Manfred Frank (Stil in der Philosophic [Stuttgart: Reclam, 1992], 64) has described this phenomenon in a very clear way: “What can be ‘shown’ in the utterances of philosophy but cannot be ‘said,’ that is, what remains silent can always remain silent profoundly.” Devoted disciples are attracted by the realm of the unspoken in that they imagine themselves to be among the select few who stand in the presence of a truth that can never be grasped discursively. See Andrew Bowie's translation of Frank's statement in Radical Philosophy 80 (Nov./Dec. 1996): 56. [BACK]

24. “Platos Staat der Erziehung,” in Das neue Bild der Antihe, ed. Helmut Berve (Leipzig: Koehler & Amelang, 1942), 317 (reprinted in GW5:24g-6i). [BACK]

25. Gadamer's various interpretations of the Seventh Letter reveal the variety of possible readings to which this letter is exposed. In the texts of 1934 and 1942 he discusses the first part of the letter, in which Plato provides a narrative account of his political and philosophical development. Gadamer's influential article “Dialectic and Sophism in Plato's Seventh Letter,” dating from 1964, contains a shift in emphasis insofar as he devotes his attention to that part of the letter in which Plato addresses the question concerning “the means by which knowledge comes about” (“Dialektik und Sophistik im siebten Platonischen Brief” [GW6:g2]). This essay is a meticulous philological treatise that is radically different from the pieces discussed above in its mode of presentation, style, and form of argument. It is also interesting

because Gadamer discusses the political reading of Plato at a markedly discreet distance. In the tradition of the Tubingen school of classical philology, he writes: “We are concerned to investigate the responses of Aristotle and his contemporaries [to the dialogues—T. O.]. The more we engage with Plato's philosophy in this way, the more one-sided seems the approach to Plato's dialogues which was pursued in Germany in the first half of this century. Either the ‘political Plato’ was pushed to the fore, as in the work of Wilamowitz, Friedlander and—in the extreme form—Hilde-brandt. Or, with reference to the Existenzphilosophie of the aos, prominence was given to the ‘existential Plato’ and the doctrine of ideas was stripped of its dogmatic form” (GW6:gi). [BACK]

26. See Thomas Laugstien, “Die protestantische Ethik und der ‘Geist von Potsdam,’” in Philosophieverhaltnisse im deutschen Faschismus (Hamburg: Argument-Verlag, 1990), 61 ff. [BACK]

27. See Miiller, The Other God that Failed, 267 ff. [BACK]

28. See Martin Janicke, “Die ‘Abgriindige Wissenschaft’ vom Leviathan. Zur Hobbes-Deutung Carl Schmitts im Dritten Reich,” Zeitschrift fur Politik 3: 401–15. [BACK]

29. It remains an open question whether Gadamer sought to indicate his proximity to the Kieler school with this discreet reference. According to Bernd Riithers (Entartetes Recht. Rechtslehren und Kronjuristen im Dritten Reich [Munich: Beck, 1994], 43), this school did not regard the state as “a mere instrument of power for the party or for a ‘movement’” (ibid.). In the tradition of Hegelian modes of thought, the state was “bound up with the incarnation of the idea of the ethical as a superpersonal form of ‘law’ whose central content they sought to define in a national and racist way. The very notions of general law, penal law and individual rights represented normative limits upon the holders of power because of their connection with objective and fundamental legal values (justice, ethical life). The idea of the state and of ‘right’ could not be instrumentalized at will. Nonetheless, the recourse to Hegel and to German Idealism could, theoretically, set limits to the misuse of the law and the state in the despotic arbitrariness of the administration of the law and the employment of the police” (ibid.). Laugstien has also drawn attention to the function-alizing of the Hegelian universal within this school: “the Hegelian discourse of the ‘universal’ in which everything individual knows itself to be sublated was ideally suited to consecrating as a higher necessity the removal of the basic rights of the individual” (Philosophieverhaltnisse im deutschen Faschismus, 175). [BACK]

30. Martin Broszat, Der Staat Hitlers (Munich: DTV, 1983), 412 ff. This source documents a statement made to the minister of justice by Frank's representative in the National Socialist Juristenbund on August 22, 1935. There he expressed “serious concern about the state of legal protection in Germany” (ibid.). He referred to the fact “that the refusal of legal support in cases of preventative detention” by the Gestapo stood “in contradiction to the natural sense of law of the northern peoples” and “encouraged calumny.” Further, “the activities of the Gestapo—like the Russian Tscheka—w[ere] outside of the sphere of law” and “purely despotic.” Frank later took a leading role in the genocide of the Jews. He was condemned to death by the Nuremberg military tribunal. [BACK]

31. Gadamer criticizes Schmitt's discussion of the play's contemporary political relevance, arguing that Schmitt sought “to read Hamlet like a roman-à-clef (GW2: 379). Gadamer maintains programmatically that, “The more that remains open, the

more freely the process of understanding succeeds, that is, the process of transposing what is known in the play into one's own world and, of course, into the world of one's political experience as well” (GWa 1380). [BACK]

32. Gadamer provided the introduction and commentary for a translation of Aristotle's Metaphysics that was published in 1948. [BACK]

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