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The Thought of Martin Heidegger

Lecturers: Sean Ryan, Craig Barrie, David Rathbone and Matthew Sharpe

Originally Taught: Winter School 2005

Lecture 1: Heidegger and the Seinsfrage (Matt Sharpe)
This seminar will give an introduction to Heidegger and to the course overall. It will focus on Heidegger's Introduction to his first great work, Being and Time, credited by many as the founding work of Continental European Philosophy. This introduction also stands as an introduction to Heidegger's life work, since Being and Time as we have it remains incomplete. In it, Heidegger raises the question of Being (Seinsfrage) that preoccupied him throughout his life, and argued that philosophy has forgotten this questionóand forgotten this forgetting. I will explore Heidegger's question, together with his adaptation and transformation of Husserlian phenomenology, with a view to the later lectures in the course.

Lecture 2: Being and Time Part One Division Two: Dasein and Temporality (David Rathbone)
By the end of Division One of Being and Time, Heidegger has brought "care" into view as the meaning of the being of the phenomenon of Existence ("Dasein"). In Division Two (# 45 - # 83), he aims to clarify the phenomenon of care by situating it in its turn within the broader horizon of the phenomenon of projection per se, appearing first as temporality, then next as historicity. The aim of this lecture is to clarify Heidegger's understanding of the phenomenon of historicity as the meaning of the phenomenon of existence, and to consider the ways in which Heidegger's two main Kant books attempt to supply the "missing" second part of Being and Time as announced in section 8 of the Introduction.

Lecture 3: Art, Poetry & Language (Sean Ryan)
Heidegger's long essay on the origin of the work of art marks something of a turning point in his thought, away from the analyses of everyday existence that characterise Being and Time and towards the rare and exemplary experiences that bring forth works of art, poetry and philosophy. This seminar will examine the difficult and sometimes perplexing claims that Heidegger makes in this essay, for example: What is meant by the claim that the origin of the work of art is art itself? In what sense is the work truthful? In what sense is it conflictual? Crucially, why is all art essentially poetry (in what sense do even the visual arts presuppose poetry?), and how therefore are we to understand language?

Lecture 4: Overcoming Metaphysics (Sean Ryan)
Heidegger maintains that metaphysics, and sometimes philosophy itself, is at an end. But what does he mean by 'metaphysics' here, and how are we to understand its 'end'? And what is there left to think at the end of metaphysics? This seminar will follow up these questions by examining Heidegger's understanding of both the beginning and the end of metaphysics, and briefly consider his interpretations of the crucial figures in this history, particularly the Pre-Socratic philosophers, who stand at the beginning, and Nietzsche, who brings it to completion.

Lecture 5: The Question Concerning Technology (Craig Barrie)
In The Question Concerning Technology, Heidegger repeatedly proclaims that technology must be understood as a 'way [or mode] of revealing.' How, for Heidegger, does this way relate to other ways of revealing (e.g. poetry/art)? How does modern technology reveal the world differently from previous epochs? What are the limits or blind spots inherent in technology in general, and modern technology in particular, as ways of revealing? The last of these questions prompts discussion of Heidegger's optimistic appropriation of Hölderlin:
But, where the danger is, grows
The saving power also.