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It should thus not be surprising that his ideas were widely received and regarded by Iranian intellectuals and students before (and after) the Iranian Revolution of 1979. One of the main seeds of Heideggerian thought that blossomed particularly well in the Iranian context was his notion of authenticity (Eigentlichkeit). Used by Heidegger to draw ontological distinctions, authenticity inspired a politicized discourse—among its Iranian readers—on a return to an “authentic” self. The authenticity of the Iranian return to the self firmly grounded on a separation from imposed Western ideals. A tendency among Iranians toward the study of existentialism[1] in addition to Heidegger’s poignant critique of a decadent West cloaked in religious terminology made him an excellent partner to a group of Iranian intellectuals unsatisfied with a despotic monarch perceived to be antagonistic to Islam.

Heidegger’s ideas were mainly conveyed through the divisive character of Ahmad Fardid (1909–94). Educated in both Iran and Europe, Fardid soon established himself as an influential authority on Heidegger in Iran while teaching philosophy at the University of Teheran. Fardid rarely published anything and instead had organized a group of “Iranian Heideggerians” in the 1970s who according to one of its prominent participants, Dariush Shayegan, would use these meetings to explore “conflicts between modernity and tradition, absolutism and democracy, liberalism and communism.” More importantly, Shayegan maintains that Fardid would use Heidegger’s ideas “to serve his own interest and draw far-fetched conclusions” (1)[2]. Despite Fardid’s own interpretation of Heidegger, his philosophical framework stayed faithful to Heidegger’s account of a decline of the West. While Heidegger looked toward the Greeks for a re-evaluation of one’s being, “Fardid relocates the original and authentic spiritual experience of humanity in a nebulous Orient/Islam.” [πηγή]

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