Access this past course AU $90/$145

Being and Time in 5 Weeks

Lecturer: Ingo Farin

Originally Taught: Summer School 2024

Martin Heidegger is easily the most controversial philosopher in the 20th century. One of the best introductions to his thought is his early work Being and Time (1927). In this course we set ourselves a very ambitious goal, namely to read and discuss the ideas laid out in Being and Time – in just five weeks. The emphasis is on the discussion of the primary text by Heidegger, but references to main interpretative lines in the vast secondary literature will occasionally be consulted. For each session I will provide a summary of the main points and then open it up for debate among the participants of the course. Participants can decide for themselves how much of the readings they want to work through for each week – the weekly meetings are not dependent on everyone reading everything. The main point is to understand Heidegger and relate his thoughts to our very changed situation in the 21st century.

There are two English translations of Being and Time available, the one by Joan Stambaugh or the earlier one by John Macquarrie & Edward Robinson. Joan Stambaugh’s translation is now also available in a revised edition by Dennis J. Schmidt. For our purposes, any of the versions will do. I will occasionally look at the German original. If you don’t want to buy the book, you can still follow the discussion, as I will have slides and short write-ups to help us along in the discussion. Alternatively, you may plan on reading or re-reading the bulk of the book on your own, after the course.    

Lecture  One – Introduction to Heidegger & Heidegger’s Philosophy & Being and Time 

I will give a short overview over Heidegger’s philosophy and situate Being and Time within Heidegger’s long career and within the broader philosophical scene in the 20th century. We will then discuss §§ 1-5, and §§ 9-13 in detail. I will give a quick summary of §§ 6-13 (which are not required). Key concepts: Dasein, Being.  


  • BT, §§ 1-5 and 9-13 comprise the basic reading 
  • § 6-8 can be easily skipped. 

Week Two – Dasein, Being, and Being-in-the-World  

This week is devoted to Heidegger’s key concept of the world and being-in-the-world, as well as the concepts of authentic and inauthentic being, being with others, idle talk, ambiguity, and fallenness. I will give an overview over the decidedly secular approach in Heidegger and explain how Heidegger departs from traditional metaphysics. 


  • §§ 14-38 
  • § 17 & 19-21 can be skipped, as well as § 33

Week Three – Care

This week is devoted to Heidegger’s analyses of the fundamental structure of care, anxiety, the disclosure of the world, projection, and truth. I will make sure that we get all the important ideas on board without making it too technical.


  • § 39-44  
  • 43 can be skipped; §44 is hard and will be revisited after the end of the course. 

Week Four — Authentic Dasein: Death, Conscience, and Resoluteness  

This is the heart of Heidegger’s analysis and what has been quite influential in what has been called existentialism (Heidegger always disliked the term and never adopted it as a name for his own philosophy).   


  • § 45-66

Week Five: Temporality, History, Science and the Meaning of Being in General  


  • § 67-83
  • §82-83 are a bit technical and not so essential to the book, but I will give the gist of Heidegger’s ideas in these sections.