The “Hermeneutical” Dimension of the Phenomenological Movement

Seminar in Phenomenology

A seminar in Phenomenology must at this late date choose a area within the vast intellectual and literary domain which the Phenomenological movement has become in order to have a subject matter manageable within one semester.  This semester I have chosen to concentrate on the "hermeneutical" dimension of the Phenomenological Movement, which has arisen out of Heidegger's Being and Time.  This dimension remains "phenomenological" in that it purports to clarify the essences of human experiences and their objects, but it relativizes those essences to human history and rejects the strongly realistic position of Husserl and the early Phenomenological Movement.  This is similar to the retreat from realism and the power of mind to transcend its own states and flow that occurs in Twentieth Century Anglo-American philosophy, as Kantianism metamorphoses to reincarnate itself in the pragmatisms, positivisms and "ordinary language" philosophies which replaced the realism of Moore, Russell and the American New Realists.

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The “Hermeneutical” Dimension of the Phenomenological Movement

A seminar in Phenomenology must at this late date choose a area within the vast intellectual and literary domain which the Phenomenological movement has become in order to have a subject matter manageable within one semester.  This semester I have chosen to concentrate on the "hermeneutical" dimension of the Phenomenological Movement, which has arisen out of Heidegger's Being and Time.  This dimension remains "phenomenological" in that it purports to clarify the essences of human experiences and their objects, but it relativizes those essences to human history and rejects the strongly realistic position of Husserl and the early Phenomenological Movement.  This is similar to the retreat from realism and the power of mind to transcend its own states and flow that occurs in Twentieth Century Anglo-American philosophy, as Kantianism metamorphoses to reincarnate itself in the pragmatisms, positivisms and "ordinary language" philosophies which replaced the realism of Moore, Russell and the American New Realists.

After an introduction to Husserl's views, the semester will be devoted to reading major texts from Heidegger, Gadamer and Derrida.  The emphasis will be on discovery and evaluation of their accounts of consciousness and its objects.

TEXTS:
        1. Husserl, Ideas I (Boyce-Gibson transl., paperback)
        2. Heidegger, Being and Time
        3. Dreyfus, Being-In-The-World
        4. Gadamer, Truth and Method
        5. Derrida, Edmund Husserl's ORIGIN OF GEOMETRY: An Introduction
        6. Derrida, Speech and Phenomena

 

Topics include:

  • A statement of Husserl's phenomenology (problems, results, method) sufficiently comprehensive, clear and textually based, to allow entrance into the Hermeneutic phase of the phenomenological movement (Heidegger and after).
  • The four main projects of Husserl's Ideas I.
  • Noema as "meaning."
  • Being and reason. Being and time. Being in the world.
  • Worldhood or "Worldliness"
  • The basic line or pattern of argumentation in Heidegger's thought.
  • Dasein structure elements
  • Temporality.
  • Romantic hermeneutics (Schliermacher)
  • Heidegger's "hermeneutical circle."
  • Understanding and language. The relation between written words, spoken words, mental experiences (thoughts) and their objective correlates.
  • The centrality of repeatability to deconstruction.

 

Click the "Download" link for the complete 20-page syllabus.

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