Professor: Craig DeLancey
Reading and assignment: read sections 28-30 of chapter 5
of Being and Time. I'll post some questions for you on
is pretty good. Give it a watch.
Tentative assignments (these will be revised)
Reading: read sections 31-32 of chapter 5 of Being and Time.
Read sections 35-38.
Read B&T sections 39-41, 43 intro, 43a, 43c, and 44b and 44c.
Practice! Write a brief description of an instance of
idle talk in your own life; and of curiosity (in Heidegger's
sense of inauthentic greed for the new) in your own life.
How do they arise from a they-self, das Man?
Read B&T Division II, sections 45 and 50.
An assignment due at the beginning of class. This
should only take a page or two. It should be typed. Write
in complete sentences. This one is tough! It will require
you to do some serious phenomenology. Do your best.
Heidegger argues in section 29 that "state-of-mind" (much
better translation is Stambaugh's "attunement") is something
Dasein always has. In 30 he gives an ontical analysis of the
attunement of fear. An attunement has three features: it
discloses (shows to you) your thrownness; it discloses
being-in-the-world as a whole; and it allows for things to
"matter" to you.
You must pick another attunement (anger, boredom,
confusion -- you be the judge). In a page or two,
write up how it discloses your thrownness and your
being-in-the-world; and how it allows something to
matter to you. Hand this in at the beginning of
Read B&T Division II, sections 51-53.
Read B&T Division II, sections 54-58, 60.
Practice: Let's pressure test Heidegger. Spend half
an hour thinking about your death. You'll be sore tempted to
think about it for five minutes, but really try to think hard
and long. Imagine ceasing to exist, the world continuing
(perhaps) after you, and your projects now abandoned. How
does it make you feel about your projects, your purposes? Do
you feel like resoluteness towards death is possible? Write
up your response in a page or so.
BTW: note that in section 60, the paragraph that falls over
pages 343-344 (297 in the German) is a paragraph summarizing
what Dasein is.
Midterm. Heidegger and Nietzsche. Most of the test will
require short answers. You may bring and use your copy
of Being and Time and The Untimely Meditations.
You may not use class notes or any secondary sources (such as
the Dreyfus book or the Holt book).
Topics will include but not be limited to (and so you'll be
expected to be able explain accurately but to an intelligent
- Nietzsche's response to nihilism
- World, Being-in-the-world
- Circumspection (involvement)
- ontic vs ontological
- Towards-which and for-the-sake-of-which
- What it means to say Dasein is: being-in, being-in-the-world,
fallen, a they-self.
- Das Man
- Attunement ("State-of-mind")
- Idle talk, curiosity, ambiguity (which together constitute fallenness)
- Angst ("anxiety")
- Existence, potentiality-for-being
- What it means that Dasein must die alone
- Authentic and inauthentic ways of being for Dasein
Read "Existentialism is a Humanism." This is ubiquitous, but
a free online translation is available at:
This is our first non-technical reading, so you should be
able to understand it pretty well before we sit down to
discuss it. While reading, ask yourself:
Practice. Write this up, wordprocessed. It should take a
page or more. You will interpret events in your own life
using Sartre's version of existential features. (1) What
is an example of anguish in your life? (2) What is an
example of abandonment in your life? (3) What is an example
of despair in your life? I mean, find everyday examples
that illustrate this in your own experience.
- What are the criticisms that Sartre sets
out to answer?
- What does Sartre really suspect causes
critics to dislike existentialism?
- What are the two kinds of existentialists,
according to Sartre?
- What does Sartre say all existentialists
have in common? That is, how does he define
- How does Sartre interpret and explain
"anguish" (which is a common translation for
angst and anxiety), "abandonment" and "despair"
- Why can existentialism allow a moral
- What does he mean when he says that
existentialism is a humanism? That is, what
sense of "humanisim" is he ruling out, and what
sense is he intending?
NOTE: We'll start class with a discussion of the "Heidegger
problem." This might push us a bit off schedule; we'll