Sunday, August 30, 2009

Husserl and Heidegger - Dichter und Denker in Freiburg

Husserl and Heidegger are two important names in philosophy I have run into time and again, but never been able to get a sufficient grip on, in order to at least have a general idea what they are about. My colleague blogger Baxter Wood, has recently written a post (Heidegger, all too Heidegger) that points to several audio and video sources on-line that may be of help. Berkeley's Philosophy 185 by the incomparable Hubert Dreyfus, John Drabinski's lectures on audio and a BBC program with Hubert Dreyfuss on YouTube.

While I was trying these out and getting confused as happens so frequently in philosophy, I went on to search some more and found a very charming and insightful lecture. I recommend it to all you seekers, but must warn in advance: it is in German. Günter Figal speaks at the University of Freiburg in a podcast lecture series 'Dichter und Denker in Freiburg' (feed). His is the lecture 'Husserl und Heidegger' (video-stream) among others around the theme of poets and thinkers in Freiburg.

Dr. Figal relates the history in which Husserl comes first and Heidegger becomes his student. Husserl founds the philosophical stream of Phenomenology and Heidegger takes it on to a level where Husserl no longer agrees and the two fall out. Figal attempts to take away the idea, Heidegger overtook his master and made him obsolete. In Figal's view, both thinkers have different contributions to Phenomenology and he points to a strong French line of thinkers (such as Sartre and Levinas) who have taken the two further and who can only be understood if one will not leave Husserl out.
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