Ben Thomas                                                                      University of Kent, UK


Volume 1, October 2021   

During the years 1952–53 the art historian and philosopher Edgar Wind participated in several
major cultural events organized by the Congress for Cultural Freedom – notably the arts festival
Masterpieces of the Twentieth Century in Paris in 1952, and the conference Science and Freedom in
Hamburg in 1953. Wind’s involvement in this high-profile anti-communist organization, covertly
funded by the CIA, led him to reflect on his experience of exile, the threat posed to The Warburg
Institute by the Nazis in the 1930s, and the parallels with his current experience of American
academia at the height of Senator Joseph McCarthy’s influence. The moving impact of his return
to Hamburg in 1953 prompted Wind to make an unusually personal definition of freedom as
resulting from ‘the breaking up of habitus’, contrasting with Martin Heidegger’s contemporary
concept of ‘dwelling’ and closer to Theodor Adorno’s argument in Minima Moralia that ‘dwelling, in
the proper sense, is now impossible’ and that today ‘it is part of morality not to be at home in one’s

Dwelling; Edgar Wind; Exile; Freedom; Martin Heidegger; Theodor Adorno


The Edgar Wind Journal 1: 67-85, 2021
DOI: 10.53245/EWJ-00005
Copyright: © 2021 B. Thomas. This is an open access, peer-reviewed article published by Bernardino Branca