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PH955 - Origins of Phenomenology

  • Module code: PH955
  • Module name: Origins of Phenomenology
  • Department: Philosophy
  • Credit: 20, 30

Content and teaching | Assessment | Availability

Module content and teaching

Principal aims

Much of 20th century ‘continental’ philosophy arose either from Husserlian phenomenology or from a critical confrontation with it. In either case, the relevant concerns and methods are bound to remain largely inaccessible or misunderstood without an adequate knowledge of the phenomenological background. This module will in the first instance offer an introduction to central aspects of Husserl’s ‘classical’ phenomenology. Due to the wide range of issues treated in Husserl’s writings a selection will need to be made. Topics will include: the phenomenological reduction as a method; the concept of intentionality; pre-predicative experience and judgement; time consciousness as the basis of intentional object constitution; Husserl’s analysis of ‘absolute’ pre-objective subjectivity; the role of intersubjectivity. In the second half of the module we will explore Heidegger’s transformation of phenomenology, beginning with his critique, in the 1925 lectures on the concept of time, of the phenomenological reduction and of Husserl’s concept of consciousness. We will then move on to an exploration of selected aspects of Heidegger’s analysis of human being in the world in Being and Time (1927), partly in relation to the themes addressed earlier, but also giving due weight to those Heideggerian concerns, foregrounded especially in Division 2, which have no clear counterpart in Husserl.

Principal learning outcomes

By the end of the module students will have gained an advanced understanding of central works of two influential phenomenological philosophers, Edmund Husserl and Martin Heidegger. Students will have acquired an ability critically to assess the arguments of these philosophers, and to articulate philosophical views and arguments on the basis of the methods studied in the module

Timetabled teaching activities

1 hour lecture and 1 hour seminar per week

Departmental link

Module assessment

Assessment group Assessment name Percentage
20 CATS (Module code: PH955-20)
A (Assessed work only) Assessed Course Work 100%
Assessed Course Work 100%
30 CATS (Module code: PH955-30)
A (Assessed work only) Assessed Course Work 100%
Assessed Course Work 100%

Module availability

This module is available on the following courses:



Optional Core
  • Postgraduate Taught Continental Philosophy (V7P2) - Year 2
  • Postgraduate Taught Philosophy and Literature (V7P7) - Year 2
  • Postgraduate Taught Philosophy (V7PL) - Year 2
  • Postgraduate Taught Philosophy (V7PM) - Year 2