Book Review: Peter E. Gordon – Continental Divide: Heidegger, Cassirer, Davos
In 2003, Peter Gordon, Professor of History at Harvard University, published a remarkable book on the kinship between two distinctive figures of Weimar culture: the German Jewish philosopher, theologian, and mystic Franz Rosenzweig and the famed author of Being and Time, Martin Heidegger. The inspiration for this book had come from a short piece Rosenzweig had written on a momentous philosophical debate between Heidegger and his colleague Ernst Cassirer that had taken place at Davos, Switzerland, in 1929 in front of a large international audience. Gordon’s new book, Continental Divide: Heidegger, Cassirer, Davos, deals directly with this encounter — with its content, its setting, its antecedents, consequences, and implications. The book can usefully be read as a sequel to Gordon’s earlier work, for the two books together draw an extraordinary picture of a unique moment in the history of twentieth-century German philosophy and culture.