Segments in this Video

Edmund Husserl: Philosophical Approach (02:15)


German philosopher Edmund Husserl's masterpiece if "Logical Investigations" (1900, 1901). Bryan Magee summaries Husserl's philosophy. His School of Phenomenology focused on the systematic analysis of consciousness and its objects.

Martin Heidegger: Fountainhead of Modern Existentialism (01:31)

One of Husserl's followers, Martin Heidegger struck out on his own with his masterpiece, "Being and Time" (1927). Heidegger is considered the master and founder of existentialism. He greatly influenced Jean-Paul Sartre's "Being and Nothingness."

Philosophical Concept of Intentionality (03:11)

Philosopher Herbert Dreyfus expounds on Husserl's basic idea is that the mind is always directed towards objects in some aspect. The mind is capable of directing itself outside of itself--known as "intentionality" in the philosophical tradition.

Heidegger's Reaction Against Husserl (03:06)

Husserl believed he had found the "indubitable" foundation which is the condition of the possibility of an individual's ability to encounter anything at all. Heidegger reacted against the notion of man as a subject confronted by objects.

Cartesian Philosophy and Heidegger's Revolt (03:10)

From Descartes onward, philosophers thought of human beings as subjects related to objects. Philosophers explored such concepts as perception and knowledge. Heidegger argues that these things are not central to the human situation.

Heidegger's Notion of Science and Being (02:18)

Professor Herbert Dreyfus explains Heidegger's different kinds of perception that humans can have about objects. Heidegger professes to have an existential account of science and being.

Heidegger's View of Human Beings (03:50)

The philosopher's view of human beings is radically different from that of traditional philosophers. Professor Herbert Dreyfus explains the philosopher's views.

Heidegger on Human Activity and Temporality (04:01)

Heidegger holds that the activity of human beings ("das Sein") takes the form of a three-fold structure: disposition, discourse, and orientation towards the future (structure of time). This "beingness" is mappable on past, present, and future.

Heidegger: Humans With Other Humans (02:13)

Heidegger takes into account the experience of humans in association with other humans. Cultures encourage shared practices. According to Heidegger, "das Sein" is what one does.

Heidegger's Notion of Anxiety (02:52)

In Heidegger's notion of "das Sein," (the open region or horizon within which we can recognize beings as such), there is always the notion of the unsettling character of "das Sein." To overcome this anxiety, humans may try to conform.

Heidegger on Authenticity (02:38)

Humans can embrace the unsettling character of "das Sein," and thereby be "catapulted" into a different way of being human--authentic activity. Professor Dreyfus discusses various kinds of authentic activity and subsequent liberation.

Why Philosophy Is Difficult to Understand (02:02)

Heidegger's philosophy is difficult to understand for many readers. Why? The whole philosophical tradition has passed over the world, and the usual methods of human coping do not need language. Heidegger makes up a new vocabulary for his philosophical notions.

Early Heidegger vs. Later Heidegger (02:34)

The essence of change in Heidegger's philosophy over time is that he has changed his understanding of "being." He considers the epochs of human beingness and understanding such as the ancient Greeks and the later Christians.

Heidegger on 20th-Century Nihilism (02:21)

In later Heidegger, he expresses a nihilistic understanding of human beings, though he considers the historical importance of culture. Within those epochs of culture, the notion of beingness changes.

Heidegger's "Obsession" With Language (01:11)

Language is a powerful way that humans change human practices, focus them, and add new practices.

Existentialist Philosophers: Sartre and Merleau-Ponty (03:04)

Sartre "fixed-up" Heidegger's philosophy to become more Cartesian. Bryian Magee questions whether Sartre will survive as a philosopher. The great contribution of Merleau-Ponty is to bring in the body as the human way of being in the world.

Philosophical Tradition Today (03:08)

The philosophical tradition of Husserl, Heidegger, Sartre, and Merleau-Ponty is still very much alive today in American and British philosophers.

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Husserl, Heidegger, and Modern Existentialism

Part of the Series : Great Philosophers
DVD Price: $300.00
DVD + 3-Year Streaming Price: $450.00
3-Year Streaming Price: $300.00



In contrast to empiricist and rationalist traditions, existentialism proposes an orderless world, vaguely hostile, where people choose their character and goals, have an obligation only to be "authentic," and may only observe the truth (reality) in moments of anxiety. In this program, world-renowned author and professor Bryan Magee and University of California, Berkeley, philosopher Herbert Dreyfus trace the roots of existentialism from Edmund Husserl’s School of Phenomenology, to his pupil Martin Heidegger’s theories of das Sein, the threefold structure of activity, authenticity, and nihilism. Dreyfus relates the philosophies of both men to present-day schools of thought. A BBC Production. Part of the series Great Philosophers. (48 minutes)

Length: 48 minutes

Item#: BVL7290

ISBN: 978-1-4213-8724-6

Copyright date: ©1987

Closed Captioned

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