Nicolas de Warren
Jan Patočka’s Heretical Essays can be seen as one of the last attempts to divine metaphysical meaning from the war to end all wars. Based on this work, my research aims to develop a framework for a more comprehensive investigation of the impact of the First World War on 20th-century philosophy. I shall be particularly interested in understanding the Heretical Essays in a comparative context with Hannah Arendt’s Human Condition, the writings of Ernst Jünger, Teilhard de Chardin, Heidegger, and Carl Schmitt, as well as the literature of ‘Fronterlebnis’ during the 1920s and 1930s. I shall also look at the genealogy of the relationship between war and experience in 19th-century German thought as well as the relationship between Patočka’s philosophical vision of Europe and his implicit philosophy of religion.