HFIK03962U FILO. Module 10: Selected Topic in Phenomenology and Philosophy of Mind: - CANCELLED

Volume 2019/2020

Kandidatuddannelsen i Filosofi, 2017-ordningen


Heidegger is known for insisting on our fundamental being-with others. We are all living in a public world, and our daily life of practical concerns contains innumerable references to others, regardless of whether or not they de facto are present. For some theorists, Heidegger’s account of Dasein’s fundamental being-with (Mitsein) was a major accomplishment. One that, to quote Binswanger, “banished entire libraries on the problem of empathy, the problem of perceiving the foreign as such, the problem of the ‘constitution of the foreign I,’ and so on, to the realm of history”. Indeed, Heidegger has often been seen as someone who took sociality and intersubjectivity much more serious than earlier phenomenologists. This is, however, not a view that is shared by all post-Heideggerian phenomenologists. Indeed, Levinas has been a persistent critic. For Levinas, Heidegger’s notion of being-with is fundamentally incapable of capturing the original and fundamental relation with the other as other. Whereas selfhood for Heidegger always already involves membership of a community, and the we for Heidegger might be prior to the I and the thou, Levinas rejects the notion of an all-embracing collectivity and insists that true intersubjectivity requires that the other isn’t simply another community member, but rather an absolute stranger, somebody characterized by an irreducible alterity. 

In the course, we will first read and discuss Heidegger’s account as it is developed in, for instance, History of the Concept of Time and Being and Time and then consider Levinas’s critical response in Time and the Other, Totality and Infinity, and essays such as “Is Ontology Fundamental?” We will also read texts by authors such as Buber, Sartre, Arendt, and Derrida who have all discussed Heidegger’s account of intersubjectivity. The course will not only offer a deeper understanding of a fundamental divide in phenomenological thinking about sociality – between those who think that the encounter with radical otherness is most fundamental and those who think the communal being-with-others has priority – but also engage with the more systematic question concerning the relation between individual and community. 

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Class Instruction
  • 56
  • Preparation
  • 353,5
  • Total
  • 409,5
Type of assessment
Written assignment