In 1939 Martin Heidegger made the astonishing claim that the overcoming of the beyng of machination occurs in T. E. Lawrence's Seven Pillars of Wisdom. He arrived at this assessment in the course of his attempt to distance himself from Friedrich Nietzsche and Ernst Jünger. It is well known that Heidegger formulated his understanding of machination in part in response to Jünger's account of total mobilization, but the importance for Heidegger of Jünger's accounts of his experiences at the Front also needs to be recognized. Lawrence presented Heidegger with a very different response to a different kind of war from that of Jünger. This paper highlights some passages in Seven Pillars that help to explain what led Heidegger to believe that Lawrence provided a model of how to avoid some of the pitfalls of Nietzsche's and Jünger's attempts to overcome metaphysics.
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