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Heidegger and his Critics


Admission requirements

Admission to this course is restricted to:

  • BA students in Filosofie, who have successfully completed at least 70 ECTS credits of the mandatory components of the first and second year of their bachelor’s programme, including History of Modern Philosophy, Cultuurfilosofie, Continentale filosofie, Philosophy of Mind.

  • BA students in Philosophy: Global and Comparative Perspectives, who have successfully completed at least 70 ECTS credits of the mandatory components of the first and second year of their bachelor’s programme, including World Philosophies: Modern Europe, Philosophy of Culture, Concepts of Selfhood, and at least one of the courses World Philosophies: China, World Philosophies: India, World Philosophies: Africa, World Philosophies: Middle East.

  • Pre-master’s students in Philosophy who are in possession of an admission statement and who have to complete an advanced seminar, to be selected from package A.


Martin Heidegger's Being and Time (Sein und Zeit, 1927) is one of the most influential books of 20th century philosophy. Especially in continental philosophy, very many later philosophers build on its ideas – also when they turn against Heidegger. In this lecture course we will examine the fundamental philosophical ideas Heidegger develops in Being and Time, especially his thinking of human existence in terms of authenticity and inauthenticity, his thinking of time and historicity, and the question of being. Special attention will be paid to Heidegger's method, which consists of "destruction" of the history of philosophy and of reformulation of phenomenology.

The course will also show how Heidegger's thinking has been criticized by important later philosophers, especially Emmanuel Levinas, Jacques Derrida, and their successors. We will see how the best critique is a dialogue in which contrasting positions get clarified.

Course objectives

This course aims to provide students an insight in Heidegger’s thought and a knowledge of the principal debates it has given rise to. The course also aims to explain Heidegger's place within the history of philosophy and his questioning of this very history.

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

  • some of the key aims and terms Heidegger developed in Sein und Zeit, as well as the thoughts and ideas of some of his critics;

  • Heidegger’s position in the history of philosophy.

Students who successfully complete the course will be able to:

  • describe, interpret and question Heidegger's thinking.


The timetables are available through MyTimetable.

Mode of instruction

  • Seminars

Class attendance is required.

Assessment method


  • Active participation in class

  • Class presentation: pass/fail, required to pass the course

  • Written examination with essay questions


  • Written examination (100%)


Written examination with essay questions.

Attendance and active participation in class is required for admission to 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

  • Heidegger, M. Sein und Zeit, 2005: Niemeyer Verlag, and/or the translated version (as Being and Time) by Joan Stambaugh (SUNY, 2010)


Enrolment through MyStudymap is not possible for this course. Students are requested to submit their preferences for the third-year electives by means of an online registration form. They will receive the instruction and online registration form by email (uMail account); in June for courses scheduled in semester 1, and in December for courses scheduled in semester 2. Registration in uSis will be taken care of by the Education Administration Office.


  • For substantive questions, contact the lecturer listed in the right information bar.

  • For questions about enrolment, admission, etc, contact the Education Administration Office: Huizinga


Not applicable.