Philosophy 185

Spring 2015

Number Title Instructor Days/time Room
185 Heidegger Kaiser TuTh 11-12:30 30 Wheeler

Since its publication in 1927 Heidegger’s major work Being and Time has been many things to its various recipients. Though the work has made major contributions to existential thought, hermeneutics, and post-structuralism its main concern is a revolution of what Heidegger regarded as the central term of philosophy since antiquity: the concept of being. Because he viewed the traditional understanding of this concept as superficial and misguided, his plan was (in part) to work out a new fundamental ontology. Its design was (I) to reveal the true meaning of being on the basis of temporality as its transcendental horizon and (II) to point out the crucial missteps in the tradition (Aristotle, Descartes and Kant) that led to the misconception. Heidegger never finished his ambitious project, but the work’s first part with its extensive analysis of human understanding as the basis of the conception of being was sufficient to make this work a major challenge to friend and foe alike.

The course will be confined to a close study of the difficult text itself, focusing on the connection between the question of being, the analysis of human nature, and the phenomenological method that Heidegger presents as the necessary foundations of his project in Division I. We will also cover his analysis of death, conscience, resoluteness, and Dasein’s authentic potentiality for being ‘whole’, i.e. the first three chapters of Division II.

Text to be used: Martin Heidegger, Being and Time, translated by John Macquarrie/Edward Robinson, paperback reprint 2008, Harper Perennial Modern Thought Series. However, we will also extensively consult the revised edition by Dennis J. Schmidt of the Joan Stambaugh translation (Suny Series in Contemporary Philosophy, 2010).

Previously taught: SP11, FL09, FL07, FL05, SP04.