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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 60 EC: specialisation Global and Comparative Philosophy

  • MA Philosophy 120 EC: specialisation Philosophy of Humanities

  • MA Philosophy 120 EC: specialisation Philosophy in World Traditions

  • MA Philosophy 120 EC: specialisation Philosophy of Psychology


This course will give a comprehensive picture of the principal formulations of phenomenology in the light of contemporary questions. The history of phenomenology is articulated into three phases, the first one centered on Husserl, the second one on Heidegger and the third one on the contemporary French phenomenology. This historical material will be investigated in the light of contemporary questions.

The first investigation addresses the question of the subject of phenomenological inquiry. Husserl's transcendental ego and Heidegger's Dasein were radical reformulations of the classical subject of philosophy. However, in later philosophy they have been critized especially for the forgetfulness of human plurality (Hannah Arendt to Jean-Luc Nancy and Giorgio Agamben), of corporeity (Maurice Merleau-Ponty to Jean-Luc Nancy) and recently for "correlationism" (Quentin Meillassoux). Are these criticisms justified and what is the form of subjectivity that takes form in their place?

The second investigation addresses the question of phenomenological ontology. If the opening of the question of being by Heidegger was already a twisting of the original Husserlian "epoche" of the being of phenomena, what happens when the question of being develops further into the thinking of the event? What are the consequences of the theological undertones of the event (Levinas to Janicaud and Marion)? Can phenomenological ontology be an ontology of nature (Merleau-Ponty to Derrida)?

Course objectives

The aim of the course is to familiarize oneself with the history of phenomenology in the light of its contemporary developments.

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

  • contemporary key questions of phenomenology.

Students who successfully complete the course will be able to:

  • develop a phenomenological investigation;

  • interpret a difficult phenomenological text in the light of a personal question.


The timetables are available through My Timetable.

Mode of instruction

  • Lectures

  • Seminars

The sessions will take the form of lectures by the instructor, student presentations, and seminar discussions of key texts. Class attendance is required.

Assessment method


Graded assessment

  • Final essay of 4,000 words (100%)

Non-graded exercises

  • Mid-term take-home exercise: research project in preparation of the final essay

  • Each student has to make a presentation of a piece of literature and discuss it with the group; this exercise can also be done in pairs.

The non-graded exercises are required for getting admission to the final exam (paper).


  • Final essay (100%)

Class participation is a mandatory requirement for submitting the final paper.


Papers that fail will need to be rewritten in line with instructor’s comments.
Students who have obtained a satisfactory grade for the first examination cannot take the resit.

Inspection and feedback

Discussion of the paper is by appointment after publication of the final grade.

Reading list

Elements for a course bibliogaphy. A complete reading list will be published on Brightspace in the beginning of the course.

  • Edmund Husserl, Ideas Pertaining to a Pure Phenomenology and to a Phenomenological Philosophy (Nijhoff 1982).

  • Edmund Husserl, The Crisis of European Sciences and Transcendental Phenomenology (Northwestern 1970).

  • Martin Heidegger, Being and Time (Sein und Zeit).

  • Martin Heidegger, Contributions to Philosophy (Beiträge der Philosophie (Vom Ereignis) (1936-1938).

  • Martin Heidegger, On Time and Being (Zur Sache des Denkens, 1962-1964).

  • Maurice Merleau-Ponty: Phenomenology of Perception (Phénoménologie de la perception, 1945).

  • Maurice Merleau-Ponty: The Visible and the Invisible (Le visible et l'invisible, 1964).

  • Emmanuel Levinas, Totality and Infinity (Totalité et infini, 1961).

  • Emmanuel Levinas, Otherwise than Being or Beyond Essence (Autrement qu’être ou au-delà de l’essence, 1974).

  • Jacques Derrida, Voice and Phenomenon (La Voix et le phénomène, 1967).

  • Jacques Derrida, Given Time: 1. Counterfeit Money (Donner le temps: 1. La fausse monnaie, 1991).

  • Jean-Luc Nancy, Singular Plural Being (Être singulier pluriel, 1996).

  • Jean-Luc Marion, Dieu sans l'être, 1982.

  • Dominique Janidaud, Le Tournant théologique de la phénoménologie française, 1991.

  • Bernhard Waldenfels, Bruchlinien der Erfahrung (Suhrkamp 2002).

  • Hans-Dieter Gondek und Lazló Tengelyi, Neue Phänomenologie in Frankreich (Suhrkamp 2011).


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.


  • 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.