Philosophy 188

Spring 2014

Number Title Instructor Days/time Room
188 Phenomenology Madva TuTh 2-3:30 220 Wheeler

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

This course will consist primarily in close readings of two great works in the phenomenological tradition, Heidegger’s Being and Time and Merleau-Ponty’s Phenomenology of Perception. We will address questions such as: the essence of human experience, or the first-person point-of-view; the relationships between human beings and their physical and social environments; the role of the body in enabling or constituting experience; what it means to be an “authentic” versus “inauthentic” self; the appropriate attitude to take to human finitude and mortality; the relations between first-personal and scientific approaches to human experience; and the philosophical methodology best suited to address all of the above questions.

We will also read selections from other writers, such as Husserl, Sartre, and Beauvoir. Depending on student interest, we will conclude the course either by looking back to the historical precursors of 20th-century phenomenology, such as Nietzsche and Kierkegaard, or by looking forward to the role of phenomenology in contemporary debates in philosophy of mind, action, and cognitive science.

Previously taught: SP13, SU09A, SU08D, SU07D, SP05.