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Admission requirements

Admission to one of the following programmes is required:

  • MA Philosophy 60 EC: specialisation Modern European Philosophy

  • MA Philosophy 120 EC: specialisation Philosophy of Humanities


This course will offer an historical exposition as well as a critical assessment of the central texts of the phenomenological tradition as it evolved in the Twentieth Century. Phenomenology, as the study of the structures of experience, has undergone many transformations. It will be our aim to trace the development of phenomenology: we will begin with the transcendental phenomenology of Husserl; move on to Stein's thinking regarding empathy, continue with Heidegger’s reinterpretation of phenomenology as ontology and Merleau-Ponty’s existential phenomenology, Levinas’s understanding of phenomenology in the service of ethics, and finally Derrida's thought on the limits of phenomenology. We will read and study classical texts in phenomenology by aforementioned authors. Themes that will be covered include: consciousness, intentionality, perception, epoche and reduction, the nature of existence (as Dasein), freedom, embodiment and intersubjectivity.

Course objectives

This course aims to investigate the philosophical movement called phenomenology as developed by its key thinkers. Students will read texts from Husserl, Stein, Heidegger, Merleau-Ponty, Levinas and Derrida. Students will be expected to demonstrate the ability to compare, contrast and critically analyse the main arguments both written and orally. In addition, students will be expected to demonstrate the ability to use close readings to critically interpret the assigned texts and to place these texts in a broader philosophical context, going beyond the assigned readings where necessary.

Students who successfully complete the course will have a good understanding of:

  • the key texts in phenomenology and the relations between them.

Students who successfully complete the course will be able to:

  • give a critical discussion of the ideas as developed by thinkers in the phenomenological tradition;

  • formulate a reasoned argumentation of their position in the topics covered in this course;

  • present their ideas both orally and in writing;

  • place the standpoints of phenomenologists in a broader philosophical context;

  • find, analyse and discuss relevant literature beyond the prescribed texts.


Visit MyTimetable.

Mode of instruction

  • Seminars

Class attendance is required.

Assessment method


  • Presentation (20% of the final mark)

  • Final research paper (80% of the final mark)

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


The final mark for the course is established by determination of the weighted average of the subtests (presentation, paper).


The resit consists of one examination, consisting of a research paper. The mark for the resit replaces all previously earned marks for subtests.

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

A course syllabus will be made available through Brightspace.


Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.
General information about uSis is available on the website

Students are strongly advised to register in uSis through the activity number, which can be found in the timetables for courses and exams.

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Not applicable.


Dr. R. Uljée


Not applicable.