Introduction to Heidegger (Began 22nd June 2012)

Heidegger is an incredibly difficult philosopher (for reasons that will become clear upon sustained study). He quite simply thought like no other. The aim of this class is to allay the initial difficulties encountered when approaching Heidegger for the first time. I aim to help readers towards finding an understanding of the basics of Heidegger's thinking, beginning with Being and Time.

  1. Notes & Readings #1 (On The Question of Being and Dasein)

    The first notes to help you with the first readings can be downloaded here.

    Your first readings will be Chapter 1 (The Exposition of the Task of a Preparatory Analysis of Dasein) and Chapter 2 (Being-in-the-World in General as the Fundamental Constitution of Dasein).

    As this will no doubt be quite a lot to take in initially, we'll allow two weeks for the completion of these readings - though I strongly advise you begin early!

    As ever, feel free to email me with any questions at j.adshead@ureddit.com

    Good luck, and we'll convene for a live discussion on the 13th July 2012, medium yet to be decided.

    • Study Questions for Notes & Readings #1 (On The Question of Being and Dasein)

      As promised, study questions based on the first readings are now available. I will not be looking at any answers (though if you want help with any of the questions, once again do not hesitate to ask) though it will certainly aid your comprehension if you fill them out and spend some time thinking about them.

      The questions can be downloaded here.


        Hello Class!

        Live discussion will take place as planned at 5pm (GMT) on Friday the 13th of July. Please allow up to an hour for the session as I'm sure you all have many questions you want to ask!

        The discussion will be hosted on IRC. If you do not have IRC you can download the client here:

        Windows: http://www.mirc.com/get.html Mac: http://www.irchelp.org/irchelp/mac/

        Upon joining, connect to irc.efnet.org and join #uRedditHeidegger.

        See you there!

        • Notes & Readings #2 (Being-in-the-World I (The World))

          The readings for the next two weeks are as follows (read this message carefully!):

          Chapter Three: The Worldliness of the World, Sections A and B. So to clarify, you're reading everything in Chapter Three, Division I except the section on spatiality.

          The second notes to assist with the second block of readings can be downloaded here. Notes on the critique of Descartes you can find on my blog here.

          If you have not yet read chapters one and two of Division I you must do so as soon as possible. There's a lot of reading to get through in this "block" so again make sure you start early!

          Live discussion will take place on Thursday the 2nd of August at a time to be negotiated with our friends from the US.

          Enjoy the readings!

          • Notes & Readings #3 (Being-in-the-World II (Being-In))

            The reading for the next block is Chapter Five, Division One "Being-In as Such".

            The notes to assist you with the reading can be downoaded here.

            Again, if you would like to discuss the material please email me at j.adshead@ureddit.com to acquire the MSN address. As I said in the mass message, arranging discussion with such a large group has been very problematic, especially due to time zone differences. Once you've added me on MSN we can discuss the text at any time! If I happen not to be online when you have a question, you can offline message me no problem.

            Once again, enjoy the readings!

            • Final Part

              Dear Class!

              Notes for the final part of the course will be made available this coming weekend. Have a nice week!

              • Jordan

              • Notes & Readings #4 (Truth)

                Again, apologies for the delay. The final reading will be Chapter Six, Section 44. Notes for this final section can be found here:


                Thanks for participating in the course. I hope you have found the materials useful as an introduction.

                I'd love to hear any feedback you might have about the course, and as ever am open to discuss it with anyone.


                Access to a copy of Being and Time is essential. I would recommend the 2010 revised Stambaugh translation (SUNY Press) as it would be beneficial if we were all working with the same text. I have a copy of the Macquarrie & Robinson translation myself, however a few of the terms in that version are poorly translated and it is by far the more difficult translation to read.

                It would also be beneficial for you (though not necessary for this class) to have copies of Hubert Dreyfus’ “Being-in-the-World” commentary and/or Magda King’s “Guide to Heidegger's Being and Time”.


                I cannot lay claim to years and years of expertise with Heidegger like you would receive from a professor of philosophy, however I can help you overcome the initial obstacles to understanding and guide you through your first readings of the text. As this is an introductory class you ought to see it as an opportunity to find your feet so you can keep walking. The aim is a successful first step. To this end I will be producing notes on certain salient issues in order to aid your comprehension and spur us on to further thinking. We’ll tackle the course in four ‘blocks’ in the following order:

                (1) The Question of Being & Dasein

                (2) Being-in-the-World I (The World)

                (3) Being-in-the-World II (Being-In)

                (4) Truth

                As we have the luxury of being an online class, we can linger on a topic if it requires additional time - though we’ll make it our provisional aim to cover everything in around eight to ten weeks.

                Additional information

                It's essential that you first download and carefully read the introductory .pdf found here

                Teacher qualifications

                BA Philosophy (First Class Honours, University of Leeds)

                Latest Update
                Being-in-the-World I Discussion (MSN) (2012-08-15 18:36:17)

                "Hey Class!

                I'm happy to announce that I've been able to finish study notes for the third block earlier than I expected. I will be hosting ad hoc discussion sessions on MSN Messenger on Thursday (tomorrow) and beyond. If you want to chat to me directly please contact me via email (j.adshead@ureddit.com) to grab my MSN details. I'll dispatch the third set of notes to everyone on Saturday, however those who contact me via MSN can get them earlier.

                Thank you!

                • Jordan"