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 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. You do not need to have a detailed knowledge of Heidegger's work as this is what the course aims 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 will be as interactive as possible, with a mixture of tutor exposition, class discussion, textual analysis and some use of group and/or pair work. It is not intended to be a lecture course and part of what we hope you will learn on the course is how to engage in reading an often difficult text on your own. Particular sections of the text will be highlighted and looked at closely but at times we may need to 'jump-on' in order to cover the key areas.

What else do you need to buy or do

Electronic copies of all the main texts covered during the course will be available to you as part of the Moodle page for the course, and these will be supplemented as go on by other electronic resources and/or handouts. If you prefer to work with a hard copy then it would be advisable to have a copy of Heidegger's 'Being and Time', which is widely available.

What this course could lead to

Further courses in the Centre's Upper Intermediate and Advanced Philosphy courses, or similar courses elsewhere.

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