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Admission requirements

  • Students in the BA programme Philosophy: first year BA has been successfully completed.

  • Prerequisites for students from other departments (including contractstudenten): first year BA has been successfully completed as well as the following course(s) in philosophy: Ethics, History of Modern Philosophy.

This course has a limited number of places available for students from other departments.


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.

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.


See Collegeroosters Wijsbegeerte 2014-2015, BA Wijsbegeerte (BA Plus-traject or Standaardtraject), derde jaar.
See Timetables Philosophy 2014-2015 , Timetable Undergraduate Courses in English.

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

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


Please register for this course on uSis.
See Inschrijven voor cursussen en tentamens
See Registration for courses and examinations

Students are strongly advised to register in uSis through the activity number which can be found in the collegerooster in the column under the heading “”.

Exchange students and Study Abroad students, please see the Study in Leiden website for information on how to apply.

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Registration Contractonderwijs
Registration Studeren à la carte: not applicable


Dr. Rozemund Uljée