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Admission requirements

Admission to this course is restricted to MA students in Philosophy.


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 Heidegger’s reinterpretation of phenomenology as ontology and Merleau-Ponty’s existential phenomenology and finally Levinas’s understanding of phenomenology in the service of ethics. 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, Heidegger, Merleau-Ponty and Levinas. Students will be expected to demonstrate the ability to compare, contrast and critically analyse the main arguments both written and orally. In addition, MA 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.


See Timetables Philosophy 2014-2015 , Timetables MA Philosophy 60 EC/120 EC.

Mode of instruction

  • Lectures and seminars

Class attendance is required.

Course Load

Total course load: 280 hours.

  • Attending lectures and seminars: 42 hours.

  • Time for studying the compulsory literature: 80 hours.

  • Time for preparation of presentation: 22 hours.

  • Time to write a paper (including reading / research): 136 hours.

Assessment method

  • Presentation (20% of the final mark)

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

One resit will be offered, consisting of the final paper. Any student who did not take the first examination cannot take the resit.


Blackboard will be used for announcements and course information.

Reading list

A course syllabus will be made available through Readeronline.

There is no requirement to study literature before the start of the course.


Please register for this course on uSis.
See Registration for courses and examinations

Students are strongly advised to register in uSis through the activity number which can be found in the timetable for courses in the column under the heading “Act.nbr”.

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Not applicable.


Dr. Rozemund Uljée