PHIL 201 -- Heidegger's /Being and Time/
Winter 2011

Instructor:    Clinton Tolley
   office:   HSS 8018
   hours:   tbd
   phone:  2-2686
   email:   ctolley [at]


Time:        Monday, 4:00-6:50pm
Location:  Philosophy Department Seminar Room [H&SS, 7077] [map]

Required textbooks

Martin Heidegger, Being and Time
 trs., Macquarrie and Robinson;  Harper, 1962/2008

Martin Heidegger, History of the Concept of Time
tr., Kisiel; Indiana,1992

{available at the Price Center bookstore}

Course description

We will read and discuss Heidegger's challenging yet extremely rewarding masterwork, his 1927 Being and Time.  We will start by putting ourselves in a better position to understand this  text by first reading through selections from two of Heidegger's key influences, Brentano and Husserl, and by then working through the first half of a lecture course on the concept of time that Heidegger gave in 1925, shortly before composing Being and Time itself.  Throughout the quarter we will also become familiar with, and try to develop a critical perspective on, some of the more influential secondary literature.

Major topics to be addressed include:

  phenomenology and the proper method of philosophy;
the place of intuition, description, and analysis in philosophy;
  the role of history and tradition in philosophy;
the role of the first-person perspective in philosophy;
 the significance of basic ontological distinctions (e.g, between being (essence), the constitution of being (categoriality), the entities (instances) that 'are' in this way, etc.)
  the difference between ontic and ontological inquiry;
  the essential constitution of being a human being;
  intentionality and the relation between subjects and 'the world';
  the distinction between sensibility and understanding;
  the distinction between theoretical and practical understanding, and between theoretical and practical sensibility;
the role that being with others plays in forming what it is to be human;
  the theory of meaning;
  the meaning of being;
  the meaning of being a human being;
  the relationship between meaningfulness and time, and especially death;
  authentic vs inauthentic understandings of the meaning of being, being
human, and death

Course requirements

Two 2-3pp short response papers on two different week's readings, due Sunday, noon
15-20pp seminar paper, due exam week

Schedule of readings

{subject to change}
Introduction: from psychology to phenomenology
  Brentano, Psychology and Husserl, Ideas (week 1) [available through WebCT]
  Heidegger, History of The Concept of Time (week 2 [and throughout])
From phenomenology to the analysis of existence: Being and Time (weeks 3-10)

Reference links


Course URL

last updated: November 13th, 2010