Centre for Continuing Education

Philosophy Course: Heidegger

Philosophy. Study the fundamental nature of knowledge, reality and existence.

For Heidegger “we ourselves are the entities to be analyzed” and this is both a rational, objective task and a subjective introspection on ourselves. His phenomenology of ‘lived experience’ is a corrective to the enlightenment idea of reason: “Thinking begins only when we have come to know that reason, glorified for centuries, is the stiff-necked adversary of thought”.

This course will approach Heidegger’s profound and challenging philosophy thematically, drawing from all of his works on issues of human existence; our relation to ourselves and others; the nature of time; technology; language; literature; truth and poetry. The essential text however will be his opus work: Being and Time.


By the end of this course, you should be able to:

  • identify the main ideas in Heidegger’s works
  • describe Heidegger’s theory of human nature
  • describe Heidegger’s theory of technology, literature and the visual arts
  • apply Heidegger’s theory to the everyday life that we as humans must live
  • apply Heidegger’s ideas to contemporary political life
  • identify Heidegger’s relation to National Socialism.



Heidegger’s central question is: What is the nature of Human Existence? But first he asks: Do all things exist in the same way? Is a dog present in the same way as the dog’s act of running is present? Is a myth present as an atom is present?


“Being-alone is a deficient mode of being-with; its possibility is a proof for the later”.

Being-with-yourself: Care and authenticity

Who you are, is both what you ‘care’ about, but also what you ‘tend’ to: “to dwell is to garden”.


“Time is not a thing, yet it remains constant in its passing away”. Time is the essential feature of Heidegger’s philosophy; it constructs every aspect of human existence.

Phenomenology of time

In ‘everydayness’, the past and future matter to us only in relation to the present and our projects. I do not keep track of time primarily by using numbers: I keep track of time primarily in terms of what it means to my activities.


“Man acts as though he were the shaper and master of language, while in fact language remains the master of man”.


Heidegger’s philosophy of technology is complex. He proposes firstly that our essential human state is that we use ‘technology’, but he also warns against how this may enslave us: “Everywhere we remain unfree and chained to technology, whether we passionately affirm or deny it”.

Heidegger on truth

What kind of ‘truth’ is possible for a species whose very nature is ‘concealment’?

Art and poetry

What is the role of art in human existence? Heidegger proposes that unlike pragmatic or technological activities, art can reveal a ‘truth’ about existence if we are open to it.

Heidegger, National Socialism and the German people

Delivery style



Handouts are provided in class.


  • Expert trainers
  • Central locations
  • Free, expert advice
  • Course materials – yours to keep
  • CCE Statement of Completion