Philosophy 190

Spring 2021

Number Title Instructor Days/time Room
190 Proseminar: Intersubjectivity, Communality, and Responsibility Kaiser/Grosser Tu 4-7 TBA

Intersubjectivity, Communality, and Responsibility: The critical reception of Heidegger’s thought in phenomenology, existentialism, and critical theory

Many seminal philosophers have taken up strands in the early or later work of Martin Heidegger, focusing on themes such as intersubjectivity, communality, and responsibility. Important examples include Hannah Arendt, Simone De Beauvoir, Emanuel Levinas, Kitaro Nishida, Hans Jonas, Herbert Marcuse, and Jürgen Habermas. These thinkers’ critical engagement with Heideggerian themes has contributed decisively to important movements in twentieth-century thought, such as discourse theory, environmental ethics, existentialist feminist philosophy, and the Kyoto School of phenomenology. More recently, Lisa Guenther, Sara Ahmed, Byung Chul Han, and Achille Mbembe have continued to engage with this particular line of philosophical inheritance, bringing to it a new emphasis on issues of gender and race.

We will begin with a brief study of key excerpts from Being and Time and a couple of influential later essays by Heidegger, to provide the relevant background, followed by a comprehensive survey of works by the other figures mentioned above.

The seminar will be conducted in a collaborative, explorative way.


Each participant will be encouraged to give a short presentation (co-presentations are welcome) on one of the selected texts with an accompanying handout. Alternatively, a short paper could be produced in lieu of the presentation. The final paper will allow for an in-depth exploration of a topic tailored to your specific interests.

As taught this semester, this course satisfies the 160-187 (but not the 160-178) requirement for the major.

Previously taught: FL20, FL20, SP20, FL19, SP19, FL18, SP18, FL17, SP16, FL15, SP15, FL14, SP13.