Don’t tell me you were never bored. Don’t tell me you were never anxious. Don’t me you’ve never thought of your own death. Don’t tell me you don’t want to know what time is.
Martin Heidegger’s Being and Time (1927) landed on the philosophical community like a bomb, and changed the philosophical landscape forever. It is a long, difficult, and incomplete book. Yet it continues to fascinate. That is because its central, simple thesis is also revolutionary: time, Heidegger claims, is the phenomenon that is presupposed in all we do, and in our experience of the world. It underpins our most concrete, mundane tasks, as well as our basic moods and our most abstract, theoretical enterprises. Were it not for time, the world wouldn’t make sense for us. In fact, were it not for time, there would be no world.
But time is also the most elusive of phenomena: as soon as we try to pin it down, it disappears, or becomes something else, a mere thing. As soon as we way: “time is…” we’ve turned it into an object. We need to read Heidegger to lift the enigma of time, and understand what it means to exist.
Timing and CATS
This module runs in the Spring Term of the 2016/17 academic year and is worth 15 CATS.