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PHI 123 — Exploring Human Existence: Martin Heidegger’s Being and Time

Quarter: Winter
Day(s): Wednesdays
Course Format: Live Online (About Formats)
Duration: 8 weeks
Date(s): Jan 31—Mar 20
Time: 7:00—8:50 pm (PT)
Refund Deadline: Feb 2
Unit: 1
Tuition: $465
Instructor(s): Frederick M. Dolan
Class Recording Available: Yes
Status: Open
ACCESS THE SYLLABUS » (subject to change)
Live Online(About Formats)
7:00—8:50 pm (PT)
Jan 31—Mar 20
8 weeks
Refund Date
Feb 2
1 Unit
Frederick M. Dolan
ACCESS THE SYLLABUS » (subject to change)
Martin Heidegger (1889-1976) was one of the most controversial philosophers of the 20th century. The only formal book he ever wrote, Being and Time (1927), presents a strikingly original account of the basic structures of human existence and is one of the great masterpieces of 20th-century philosophy. Being and Time influenced the continental tradition that emerged in Europe during Heidegger’s lifetime, and it continues to reverberate in a wide variety of disciplines, including environmental studies, philosophy of science, architecture, and theology, among others. Michel Foucault, for example, explicitly stated that his “entire philosophical development was determined by [his] reading of Heidegger.”

In this introductory course, we will explore Heidegger's intellectual legacy as we seek to decipher the enigmatic layers of his intricate philosophy and discover the perspectives that continue to shape modern philosophical discourse. Together, we will engage in a close and patient reading of select sections of Being and Time, notoriously abstruse due to its idiosyncratic syntax and its difficult vocabulary, as Heidegger formulates provocative insights into topics such as the nature of human existence, truth and understanding, conscience and authenticity, language, and time. By the end of the course, students will have gained insight into Heidegger’s “hermeneutic phenomenology” and why his “existentialism” is so important and groundbreaking. They will also understand the enduring significance of Being and Time for contemporary thought and beyond.

Professor of Rhetoric, Emeritus, UC Berkeley

Frederick M. Dolan’s interests include political and moral philosophy, theories of interpretation, and aesthetics and the philosophy of art. He received a PhD from Princeton.

Textbooks for this course:

(Required) Martin Heidegger, Being and Time (ISBN 978-0061575594)