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Abstract: “A virtuous circle: Academic expertise and public philosophy”
This essay examines the relationship between academic and public philosophy through the lens of Heidegger studies. Specifically, this essay: shows how Heidegger uses technical terminology within the context of the academy to break new philosophical ground; explains how suitably clarified technical terminology can be used to introduce people to Heidegger’s philosophy and to apply Heidegger’s ideas to current affairs; and illustrates how the application of Heidegger’s ideas to contemporary issues results in new forms of academic research. Ultimately, this essay argues that there is a dialectical relationship between academic and public philosophy: i.e., public philosophy translates esoteric ideas developed in the academy into publicly accessible prose and then applies those ideas to daily life; but in doing so, public philosophy inspires new lines of academic inquiry.