“People are just as wonderful as sunsets if you let them be. When I look at a sunset, I don't find myself saying, "Soften the orange a bit on the right hand corner." I don't try to control a sunset. I watch with awe as it unfolds.” (Carl Rogers)

Digging Heidegger

This page offers a few short-cuts, accessible ways in to Heidegger's compelling philosophy that I found useful and that you may, too. I dig Heidegger because he made it clear to me how I might/should live my life authentically. His thinking isn't easy, but it is potentially world-changing. Anyway, our being isn't easy, so have a look and see what you find...

First, two real quick video overviews of the main concepts:

Obviously, you have to work at this at some point, so you might start with Basic Writings - a concise single-volume anthology of the work of Martin Heidegger, with contextual discussion.

Rick Roderick's lecture on Heidegger's rejection of humanism (part of his "Self Under Siege - Philosophy in the 20th Century" series) is both informative and entertaining. With the concept of Dasein, Heidegger rejected the language of 'self' to give a new account of the human subject - but it's not another method, but rather a story - hermeneutics - and Heidegger just starts writing (in the same way as our Dasein just starts existing, mid-narrative, already in a story). This story is of 'self' as a structure of being - defined especially by 'care' - and the structure is past (of beings thrown, already in the world, our having-been), present (care reveals us as trying to be at home in the world) and future (we always run ahead of ourselves in our being-toward-death). 'Mood' is important to us - and anxiety is the mood that will reveal the existential character of Dasein. Anxiety is that before the fear of nothingness, of death. We are abandoned to the They, we are thrown, and this is how we learn. However, we can also fill our lives with busyness instead of facing death, we flee from the present. These are the deep structures of the self. We choose a project knowing that being is being-toward-death, so we had better make it mean something, it better be a story worth telling. The critique of Heidegger is that authenticity is not enough - there are authentic swine in the world!

If you are really prepared to put the work in, I found this guided open educational resource invaluable (just click on Unit 5): Phil304: Existentialism

Downloadable podcast discussion of Being and Time from 'A Partially Examined Life' - I discovered these guys from Phil304 above, and they are engaged, caring and authentic, Dasein baby!

Hubert Dreyfus is THE Heidegger expert (Dreydegger!) and this series of interviews is a great way in to some beautifully clear expositions on Heidegger (in 5 10 minute sections):

This link gives you a search on 'Heidegger' from this blog, which includes a whole range of ways in to Heidegger, including terminology and summaries of the Dreyfus interview.

"Being in the World" is a 2010 documentary film which takes us on a journey around the world to meet philosophers influenced by the thought of Martin Heidegger, as well as experts in the fields of sports, music, craft, and cooking, in a celebration of human being. Here's the trailer (the whole film was online but is now subject to a 'copyright' claim):

Heidegger on teaching: The key texts

Sturm (2011) has helpfully put together some key texts on Heidegger and education:
  1. “The Age of the World Picture”. In Off the Beaten Track (2002c, pp. 57-85). 
  2. Being and Truth (2010).
  3. “Heidegger on the Art of Teaching” (2002b). 
  4. Introduction to Phenomenological Research (2005).
  5. “Modern Science, Metaphysics and Mathematics”. In Basic Writings (1982, pp. 247-282). An excerpt from What Is a Thing? (1967, pp. 66-108).
  6. “Die Deutsche Universität” [The German University]. In Gesamtausgabe: I. Abteilung: Veröffentlichte Schriften 1910-1976. (2000a, pp. 285-307).
  7. “Plato’s Doctrine of Truth”. In Pathmarks (1998a, pp. 155-182).
  8. “Science and University Reform: On the Nature of the University and Academic Study”. In Towards the Definition of Philosophy (2000b, pp. 3-5, 173-181).
  9. “The Thinker as Poet”. In Poetry, Language, Thought (1971, pp. 1-14) and Martin Heidegger: Philosophical and Political Writings (2003, pp. 19-23).
  10.  “Toward a Philosophical Orientation for Academics”. In Becoming Heidegger: On the Trail of His Early Occasional Writings, 1910-1927 (2007, pp. 14-16).
  11. “Traditional Language and Technological Language” (1998b).
  12. What Is a Thing? (1967).
  13. What Is Called Thinking? (1968).
  14. “What Is Called, What Calls for Thinking?” In Martin Heidegger: Philosophical and Political Writings (2003, pp. 80-96).

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