Research in Phenomenology 35 (1):181-218 (2005)
Terrorism is a metaphysical problem that concerns the presence of beings today. Heidegger's own thinking of being makes possible a confrontation with terrorism on four fronts: 1) Heidegger's conception of war in the age of technological replacement goes beyond the Clausewitzian model of war and all its modernist-subjectivist presuppositions, 2) Heidegger thinks "terror" (Erschrecken) as the fundamental mood of our time, 3) Heideggerian thinking is attuned to the nature of the terrorist "threat" and the "danger" that we face today, 4) Heidegger rethinks the notion of "security" in a manner that alerts us to the oxymoronic character of "homeland security." The epoch of terrorism is likewise the era of political transformation that Heidegger identifies with "Americanism." In this essay an effort is made to think terrorism qua metaphysical problem and to inquire into the perhaps privileged role of America for the thinking of terrorism today.
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