Semester of Graduation

Spring 2020


Master of Arts (MA)


Philosophy and Religious Studies

Document Type



In this work, I show Martin Heidegger’s development of the phenomenological method from 1919 to 1929 as his main approach to all philosophical inquiry. In Chapter 1: Phenomenology as the Hermeneutics of Factical Life, I first show how Heidegger begins his philosophical career in 1919 with lectures that describe phenomenology as an ‘original science’ that seeks to study the structural character of life in itself. Through the four sub-sections of Chapter 1, I show how Heidegger continues to formulate distinct stages of phenomenological methodology through these early lectures that aid in his task to continue the explication of life through the specific character of facticity. In this manner, the phenomenological method appears in these early lectures of the 1920’s to progress from the original science of life in itself to what Heidegger calls the hermeneutics of facticity – a critical method of interpretation aimed at exposing the structures of facticity as the being of life and the being of human Dasein. Here, I likewise show how Heidegger’s understanding of phenomenology changes through these lectures, providing radically new shifts and insights to his approach to philosophy that uncover the ontological task of phenomenology.

Following these lectures, I then show in what sense Heidegger’s understanding of phenomenology becomes properly thematized in its ontological import in Chapter 2: Phenomenology as the Method of Ontology. Here, I begin with the 1927 publication of Heidegger’s masterwork Sein und Zeit where the question of the meaning of being and the being of Dasein become critical matters of phenomenological investigation. It is here that I show in what sense Sein und Zeit marks a new stage in Heidegger’s phenomenological thinking as developed through his previous lectures. In this manner, through the four sub-sections of Chapter 2, I likewise show how Heidegger proceeds from the analysis of the being of Dasein to the problematization of a purely ontological thinking of being itself through various lectures following Sein und Zeit. Here, through a radicalization of metaphysics as the study ‘beyond beings,’ Heidegger provides a new understanding of phenomenology as the path to the thinking of being in its pure possibility.



Committee Chair

Raffoul, François Raffoul

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