In the early twentieth century Phenomenology was considered a vibrant fresh approach to reality, with the power to revitalise human engagement with the world. Martin Heidegger’s rethinking of metaphysics became central to this project. Taking his cue from Nietzsche, Heidegger argued that Western philosophy since Plato had been dogged by an obsession with finding an indubitable foundation for knowledge, and has needed to achieve a radical reorientation of man’s relation to the world – something he tried to achieve in his own work.
In this term’s Readings in Phenomenology we will explore the theme of the critique of metaphysics in Nietzsche, and the Heidegger’s attempt to revive philosophy. We will begin by reading excerpts from Nietzsche’s Twilight of the Idols, and we will then move on to read Heidegger’s Letter on Humanism in which he attempts to move beyond metaphysics after Being and Time, and his poetic essay Building Dwelling Thinking in which he tries to evoke a more authentic and attentive way of ‘dwelling’ in the world.