New: Heidegger

A good candidate for the title of the most controversial philosopher of the past two centuries, Martin Heidegger remains an essential figure for anyone looking to engage with philosophy today. We will aim to provide an overview of his work, giving due prominence to his major publication Being and Time. Heidegger had important contributions to make to most areas of philosophy and we will look to engage with these on their own terms and in relation to their considerable influence on those who came after his return to the question of the meaning of Being.

Who is this course for

This course is at Upper Intermediate/Advanced level and so would not be suitable for people who are new to studying philosophy. It would be an ideal continuation course for students who have previously studied on our Intermediate level courses and who now want a course that will look at the work of a particular philosopher in some depth. It may also be suitable for people who have had some previous grounding in Philosophy and who now want to study in more depth.
Although you should have some previous experience of studying philosophy it is not expected that you need to have a great deal of familiarity with Heidegger's, as this is what the course will aim to provide.

What does this course cover

Despite the many problems associated with him, there can be no doubt that Martin Heidegger was one of the most original and influential philosophers of the 20th Century. He made essential contributions to existentialism, phenomenology and, perhaps most of all, took up an approach to the questions of fundamental ontology that continues to reverberate today.

We will be primarily focusing on 'Being and Time', which is a true tour de force of philosophical writing. We will go on to explore some of the later essays and evaluate the merits of different interpretations of Heidegger's work and of its implications for philosophy. We will also have to confront the question of the relationship between Heidegger's philosophical work and his repellent politics - a topic that has considerable significance well beyond issues of interpretation and moral responsibility.

By the end of the course you should be able to:

' Explain and assess a range of the concepts and arguments used by Heidegger in Being and Time and in later texts
' Evaluate different interpretations of Heidegger's work and the significance of these for wider philosophical debates
' Assess how the relationship between Heidegger's obviously philosophical work and his politics should be interpreted by us today

What will it be like

The course is an interactive mixture of tutor exposition, class discussion and group/pair work. Videos and clips will be used to supplement some of these class based activities. There are opportunities for further discussion and reading outside of the class via the course's Moodle website.
We will assess your expectations of the course in the first sessions. Thereafter, you will be able to monitor your progress on the course through participation in class discussion, questions and answers and in-class exercises. At the end of the course, you will be able to measure your progress against the stated outcomes for the course.

What else do you need to buy or do

It will be useful for you to have access to a copy of 'Being and Time'. You do not need to buy anything else and a range of other resources will be made available as handouts and via the courses Moodle page.

What this course could lead to

Other Advanced level Philosophy courses at the Mary Ward Centre or other similar establishments. Other courses in the Humanities and Social Sciences with a strong emphasis on theory and the study of the mind and human behaviour(e.g., Psychology, Economics, Sociology, Anthropology, History).

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Got a Question about this Course?

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