Heidegger and Classical Thought – Reading Group: Oct 2021 – May 2022

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Weekly reading group face-to-face in London and Online via Zoom. First session 14th Oct 2021, 4–6pm led by Laurence Hemming.

Heidegger and Classical Thought – The Beginning of Western Philosophy: Interpretation of Anaximander and Parmenides – weekly reading group (Oct 2021-May 2022)

The Humanities & Arts Research Institute at Royal Holloway, University of London, is organising a weekly reading group to study Martin Heidegger’s lecture course, delivered in 1932 (five years after the publication of Being and Time), and published in English translation as The Beginning of Western Philosophy: Interpretation of Anaximander and Parmenides. The reading group will take place over the Autumn and Spring semesters of 2021/22.

Heidegger’s thought is often divided into ‘early Heidegger’ and ‘later Heidegger’. The transitional phase between these two periods that takes place in the 1930s is questionably defined as a Kehre (‘turn’ or ‘reversal’) in his thinking. Heidegger himself conceived of this Kehre as an Ergänzung (‘fulfilment’) of the schema he announced (but did not complete) in the pages of Being and Time.

The reading group will examine some little-understood aspects of the underpinnings of Being and Time, especially Heidegger’s reading of Parmenides, the sources of Greek philosophy, and Heidegger’s radical redescriptions of history and historicality to show how the Kehre unfolds in Heidegger’s thought, and the extent to which, from the outset, it was driven by a reading of Aristotle and Plato that relied on examining them in the light of the Greeks who preceded them.

This reading group will be of interest not only to readers of Heidegger, but also classicists interested in Plato, Aristotle, and the Presocratics, and Heidegger’s understanding of truth in its relation with being.

The meetings are open to all master’s level and PhD students, and faculty-level teachers anywhere with an interest in Classical Studies, Philosophy, and any related disciplines. Some working knowledge of Greek is advised (as even in the English translation, the Greek is not transliterated), as is a willingness to work with German terms. Fluency in either language is not required (all key texts exist in translation).

The group will meet for the first time on Thursday 14th October 2021, 4pm–6pm with a special session led by Laurence Hemming (Lancaster University), “Heidegger, the Presocratics, and the Cryptic Sources of Being and Time”, and will then proceed weekly (every Thursday at the same time) through the Autumn and Spring semesters. Meetings will be held at Bedford Square, London, WC1B 3HW (room 0-03). Owing to the overwhelming international response to the initial advertisement, meetings will also be held on Zoom for participants based outside of London.

To indicate your interest in participating in the reading group, please email [email protected] for full details.

Robert Eaglestone (RHUL)
Laurence Hemming (Lancaster)
Aaron Turner (RHUL)