Heidegger advice

Let’s say that I was planning on reading a few of Heidegger’s seminars from around the time he was composing Being and Time over the next year, primarily with the hopes of finding some more lucid presentations of his ideas that I can then deploy pedagogically. Which of those seminars would you recommend I prioritize?

9 thoughts on “Heidegger advice

  1. Strictly seminars or his lectures too? His Freiburg lecture courses from just prior to SZ are amongst his best work: History of the Concept of Time (GA20) and Basic Problems (GA24). The logic and ancient philosophy courses from that time are less interesting wrt SZ (unless you really want to tease out the Aristotle in SZ). In History of the Concept of Time you also get a nice quasi-historical explanation of what phenomenology is and what distinguishes his version from others. The Kant courses will likely prove too difficult for students (GA25), but might appeal to you since Kant is the topic of his only other published work a few years later. I’d likely go all the way back to 1923 in terms of students: Ontology: The Hermeneutics of Facticity (GA 63) which is a kind of rough version of SZ and quite ‘existential.’ There is also The Concept of Time – which is sort of advertised as the ‘first draft of SZ – and is an easy read. There are two English translations, but the newer one is much better even if the older one does have dual English-German text: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/144110562X/ereignis/

    I really think the opening chapters of History of the Concept of Time and Basic Problems are the clearest early Heidegger we have when it comes to method. When it comes to the existential, quite Heideggerian moments they first seem to appear in Ontology: Hermeneutics of Facticity and The Concept of Time.

  2. Thanks! Lecture courses are fine, too. To clarify, I’m not planning on assigning the additional Heidegger texts (though I ultimately might), just looking for some clarifications that I can throw out in discussion.

  3. Adam,

    Are you aware of Theodore Kiesel’s The Genesis of Heidegger’s Being and Time? It might be helpful, though it is minutely detailed and long. It’s bibliography and such discussion might be helpful.

  4. The first inklings of what is to come can certainly be touched on in Metaphysical Foundations of Logic, but I would be worried that it might distract from an understanding of the Heidegger of SZ (the one that is still, in many ways, *relatively* restrained). Plus it has a very distinct focus on Leibniz and the PSR. I personally consider it one of his least interesting courses. I can see why it would turn up in a theology journal since it is where he we see the first bits of his critique of onto-theology, but I am not sure it will be of much appeal to your students (but it should appeal to you personally)

  5. History of the Concept of Time (GA 20), hands down. You’d also find Phenomenology of Religious Life (GA 60) relevant: you get the theological roots for the concepts that get “formalized” in SZ (ruination, fallenness, idle talk, etc. etc.). Sein-zum-tode was birthed from reading Paul on the parousia.


  6. I’m with Jamie. You might also want to look at: Phenomenological Interpretations of Aristotle (GA 61). Kisiel and Van Buren’s The Young Heidegger are worth the read.

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