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Heidegger and his Critics


Admission requirements

Admission to this course is restricted to:

  • BA students in Philosophy, who have successfully completed their first year, and who have also completed at least 10 EC’s of the mandatory components of their second year, including Philosophy of Mind, or Concepts of Selfhood.

  • Pre-master’s students in Philosophy who are in possession of an admission statement, and for whom this course is part of their programme.


This course examines Martin Heidegger’s question into the meaning of Being as developed in the famous and influential work Sein und Zeit (1927). We will first focus on Heidegger’s understanding of the question of time, the influence of Husserlian phenomenology and the notions of inauthenticity and authenticity. Close attention will be given to Heidegger’s account of the history of philosophy and the necessity for its ‘destruction.’ These topics will give us a comprehension of Dasein and the ontological difference. In closing, we will assess some essays by Emmanuel Levinas, who criticizes Heidegger’s thinking. Levinas finds that Heideggerian thinking is an egology and has no place for ethics.

Course objectives

This course aims to provide students not only with an insight in Heidegger’s thought, but also with knowledge of his place within the history of philosophy and his questioning of this very history.
Students who successfully complete the course will have a good understanding of:

  • some of the key aims and terms Heidegger developed in Sein und Zeit, as well as the thoughts and ideas of some of his critics;

  • Heidegger’s position in the history of philosophy;

Students who successfully complete the course will be able to:

  • describe and interpret his thinking both in writing and orally.


The timetables are available through My Timetable.

Mode of instruction

  • Seminars

Class attendance is required.

Assessment method


  • Midterm paper

  • Final research paper


The final mark for the course is established by the weighted average of the subtests:

  • Midterm paper: 20%

  • Final research paper: 80%

Class attendance is required – without sufficient attendance students will be excluded from submitting a final paper.


The resit will consist of a research paper. The mark for the resit will replace all previously earned marks for subtests. No separate resits will be offered for mid-term tests.
Class participation and completion of practical assignments such as the oral presentation is a mandatory requirement for taking the resit. Students who have obtained a satisfactory grade for the first examination cannot take the resit.

Inspection and feedback

How and when an exam review will take place will be disclosed together with the publication of the exam results at the latest. If a student requests a review within 30 days after publication of the exam results, an exam review will have to be organized.

Reading list

  • Heidegger, M. Sein und Zeit, 2005: Niemeyer Verlag, and/or the translated version (as Being and Time) by Joan Stambaugh (SUNY, 2010)


Enrolment through uSis for this course is not possible. Students are requested to submit their preferences for the third-year electives by means of an online registration form. They will receive the instruction and online registration form by email (uMail account); in June for courses scheduled in semester 1, and in December for courses scheduled in semester 2. Registration in uSis will be taken care of by the Education Administration Office.

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Not applicable.


  • For substantive questions, contact the lecturer listed in the information bar at the right hand side of the page.

  • For questions about enrolment, admission, etc., contact the Education Administration Office Huizinga


Not applicable.