Challenging the Absolute: Nietzsche, Heidegger, and Europe's Struggle Against Fundamentalism (Hardcover)
Our contemporary world presents a seemingly inexplicable paradox. It is a world where interaction among societies of different cultural traditions has never been easier. A world in which modern technology has visibly overcome the physical barriers that had long condemned the majority of men to relative isolation from one another. Yet, our world is also one in which the illusion of a lost "original" cultural or religious identity, grounded by a metaphysical absolute, pits men against one another. A physically more accessible world has thus become an increasingly fundamentalist one. In this book, written in the wake of such influential European thinkers as Nietzsche, Heidegger, Foucault, Derrida, and Vattimo, Simon Oliai analyzes the conceptual underpinnings of this paradox and argues that, unless the "European" affirmation of man's finite existence becomes universal, we shall never rid ourselves, to echo Nietzsche, of the repressive shadow of a long dead metaphysical idol.
Simon F. Oliai is a former UNESCO adviser on the worldwide promotion of the humanities, as well as a philosopher of history who has studied and lectured in the United States, France, and Iran. He has organized several noted international seminars in Europe and the Middle East and is the editor of the landmark international anniversary dossier on the Martin Heidegger, which was published by the French review Portique in 2006.