With discussion sessions beginning this coming Saturday (9/23), I would be remiss if I did not put out a final call for registration in our Fall seminars. We have three provocative offerings, each of which promises to confront the errors of modernity in radically differing ways.
Rosenstock’s insights have to do above all with speech, time and history – topics infamous for their unpredictability, and fractious in their irreducibility to mere ratiocination or univocal definition. Aristotle, after all, reminds us that, due to the very nature of human events, there will never be a science of history. And yet, with all the ambiguities and surprises, it is in time and history that we live and move and have our being. We use propositions and syllogisms, but they do not provide us with a human dwelling, nor can they console us in our trials.
The term “phenomenology” has received a multitude of meanings over the past several centuries but today refers primarily to the loose collection of approaches initiated by Edmund Husserl with his 1900 (and revised in 1913) Logichse Untersuchungen, or Logical Investigations. Yet these approaches, while all see in phenomenology something foundational about how it is that human beings know, vary widely in their conduct. Prominent among them, and very frequently misunderstood, is the phenomenological approach advocated by Martin Heidegger—who, although perhaps the best-known of Husserl’s students, also perhaps departs the most radically among all the phenomenologists from his one-time teacher.
The importance of habit’s influence on action has been well noted by Saint Thomas and his followers (as, indeed, by all thoughtful followers of Aristotle) with respect to virtue and vice. This influence will be only as it were, however, an incidental object of our study. For, of particular importance in this seminar will be not only a consideration of habits as developing the individual, but as constituting the intersubjective reality of environment, community, and culture: of habits not only as they cause a coalescence of actuality in the human being (secundum se) but between human beings and the world (ad aliud).
Put otherwise, if we are to understand the full importance of habit, we cannot see it merely as something within ourselves as individuals but must recognize its influence on how we relate amongst ourselves.
Phenomenology, a term rich with various meanings through history, is now commonly recognized as a collection of intellectual pathways pioneered by Edmund Husserl in his seminal work, Logische Untersuchungen or Logical Investigations (1900, revised in 1913 to coincide with the more-developed Ideas Pertaining to a Pure Phenomenology and Phenomenological Philosophy). These philosophical explorations, all grounded in the foundational study of human understanding, are as diverse as they are profound. One remarkable and often misunderstood approach within this tradition is that of Martin Heidegger: a distinguished student of Husserl, but one whose interpretations diverge sharply from those of his mentor.
Join us for this eight-week seminar (the first of two) that delves into the complexities of Heidegger’s phenomenological method. Beginning with a contrast to the background that shaped his thinking, followed by an examination of Heidegger’s own conceptualization of his method, and culminating in a rigorous exploration of his groundbreaking work, Being and Time (Sein und Zeit), this course offers a comprehensive study of Heideggerian phenomenology. A focused consideration of his thought-provoking essay, “On the Essence of Truth” (Vom Wesen der Wahrheit), will reveal both the merits and shortcomings of Heidegger’s approach.
Phenomenological Method: Discover the unique manner in which Heidegger conducts his own phenomenology—or “fundamental ontology”—by reading his most important works.
The Question of Being: Learn how Heidegger reinvigorated the question of being and opened new avenues for philosophical understanding across traditions.
World and Meaning: Investigate the structures of the World (Welt) and Meaning (Sinn and Bedeutung) through Heidegger’s philosophy.
Method & Structure
The seminar, designed for those familiar with the Western philosophical tradition, consists of:
Weekly Recorded Lectures: 40-60+ minute lectures expositing the work of Heidegger and attempting to make it more clearly intelligible.
Discussion Sessions: Participants and the instructor gather to discuss weekly readings and lecture every Saturday at 3:00-4:00 pm ET.
Reading: The primary text is Heidegger’s Being and Time with additional readings provided in PDF.
Time Commitment: Expect 8-10 hours per week for reading, lectures, and discussion.
Auditing or Completing: Participants who write an essay may “Complete” the seminar (and be considered for publication in Reality).
What distinguishes this seminar is its focus on demystifying the often-obscure thoughts of one of the most influential philosophers of the 20th century. Under the instructor’s guidance, participants will navigate the intricate terrains of phenomenology and the question of being, gaining insights that resonate deeply with human existence and intellectual curiosity.
Embark on this philosophical adventure with the Lyceum Institute, and unravel the mysteries of Being through the eyes of Heidegger. Whether you are a seasoned scholar of phenomenology or simply eager to explore these profound questions, this seminar offers a rare opportunity to engage with the complex landscape of modern philosophy. Register today and join a community dedicated to rigorous intellectual pursuit and enlightening discussion.
The Phenomenological Background » Lecture: Distinction and Methodological Outline Readings: » Required: Selections from Heidegger. » Kemple, “Heidegger’s Roots”.
The Concept of Being » Lecture: The Seinsfrage Readings: » Required: Being and Time, Introduction (21-64). » Supplement: Sheehan, “Phenomenology and the Formulation of the Question”.
Being Re-Situated » Lecture: Dasein Readings: » Required: Being and Time, 67-90. » Supplement: Kemple, “Phenomenology as Fundamental Ontology”.
Constitution of the World » Lecture: Welt Readings: » Required: Being and Time, 91-148. » Supplement: Kemple, “Phenomenology as Fundamental Ontology”.
The Da of Dasein » Lecture: Being-With and Being-In Readings: » Required: Being and Time, 149-179. » Supplement: Kemple, “Phenomenology as Fundamental Ontology”.
Cognitive Unfolding of Dasein » Lecture: The Hermeneutic Circle Readings: » Required: Being and Time, 179-224. » Supplement: Kemple, “Sein and Knowledge”.
The Sein of Dasein » Lecture: Reality and the Reference to Care Readings: » Required: Being and Time, 225-278. » Supplement: Kemple, “Sein and Knowledge”.
Fundament of the Truth Relation » Lecture: Truth as Unconcealment Readings: » Required: “On the Essence of Truth”. » Supplement: Capobianco, “Reaffirming the ‘Truth of Being’”.
Lyceum Institute seminar costs are structured on a principle of financial subsidiarity. There are three payment levels, priced according to likely levels of income. If you wish to take a seminar but cannot afford the suggested rate, it is acceptable to sign up at a less-expensive level. The idea is: pay what you can. Those who can pay more, should, so that those who cannot pay as much, need not. Lyceum Institute members receive a further discount (see here for details).
One payment covers all 8 weeks.
If you prefer an alternative payment method (i.e., not PayPal), use our contact form and state whether you prefer to pay as a Participant, Patron, or Benefactor, and an invoice will be emailed to you.
[2023 Fall] Phenomenology: Heidegger’s Method I – Public Benefactor
Upper-tier payment. Recommended for those with full-time employment in well-paying professions and sufficient resources to provide a little more.
[2023 Fall] Phenomenology: Heidegger’s Method I – Public Patron
Middle-tier payment. Recommended for those with full-time employment and children, or for those in professions that do not pay as well as they ought, such as clergy and teachers.
[2023 Fall] Phenomenology: Heidegger’s Method I – Public Participant
Basic payment. Recommended for those who are currently students, with part-time employment, or who cannot afford to pay more at the moment.
The year 2022 saw the Lyceum offer a spate of diverse and fascinating seminars. so how can we top this wonderful past year of seminars? Why, with a new year of wonderful seminars, of course! We are covering a broad range of thinkers and ideas this year: Aristotle, Aquinas, John Henry Newman, John Poinsot, Yves Simon, Edmund Husserl, Edith Stein, Martin Heidegger, Eugen Rosenstock-Huessy—and more. Introducing our seminar catalog for 2023:
» Semiotics: The Tractatus de Signis of John Poinsot
» Dr. Brian Kemple
S U M M E R (JUNE—SEPTEMBER)
» Phenomenology: an Introduction
» Drs. Daniel Wagner and Brian Kemple
» Politics: A Thomistic Defense of Democracy
» Dr. Francisco Plaza
» Ethics: The Moral Noetic of the Natural Law
» Dr. Matthew Minerd
» Quaestiones disputatae de Veritate – Part II
» Dr. Kirk Kanzelberger
F A L L (SEPTEMBER—NOVEMBER)
» Thomistic Psychology: Habits and World
» Dr. Brian Kemple
» Phenomenology: The Contribution of Eugen Rosenstock-Huessy
» Dr. Scott Randall Paine
» Phenomenology: Heidegger’s Method – Part I
» Dr. Brian Kemple
These seminars are open to the public, but enrolled members of the Lyceum Institute are offered discounted fees. Each lasts 8 weeks and includes the opportunity for an in-depth engagement with important philosophical questions. Anyone with a serious commitment to the truth is welcome. Our instructors are among the very best and bring decades of insight, wisdom, and experience in teaching. Download the Seminar Catalog for full descriptions of each seminar.
Details (dates, times, syllabi, required books, and in-depth descriptions) and registration for each seminar will be posted approximately one month before they begin. Keep your eyes here for news about Ethics: Virtue and Aquinas’ Cosmological Vision this weekend—and consider enrolling!
Within current philosophy, David Clarke has made a belated attempted to define semiotic itself in the restrictive terms already established as proper to semiology: an “attempt to extend analogically features initially arrived at by examining language use to more primitive signs, with logical features of language becoming the archetype on which analysis of these latter signs is developed”. It is simply a misnomer to title a book based on such a thesis Principles of Semiotic. To try to reduce semiotic to the status of a subalternate discipline within the dimensions of current linguistic philosophy already evinces adherence to the modern perspectives of idealism which semiotics points beyond.
Among modern philosophers, the one who struggled most against the coils of idealism and in the direction of a semiotic, was Martin Heidegger. His failure to free himself from the modern logocentrism is, to be sure, a testimony to its pervasiveness in modern culture, and to the scale of the task semiotic in its fullest possibilities has to face. Yet in the debate between realism and idealism, he is the one who perhaps most clearly brough tot he fore the fact that, whatever its drawbacks and “no matter how contrary and untenable it may be in its results”, idealism “has an advantage in principle” over realism. That advantage lies in the simple fact that whenever we observe anything that observation already presupposes and rests within a semiosis whereby the object observed came to exist as object—that is to say, as perceived, experienced, or known—in the first place.
No one, including Heidegger, realizes this fact better than the semiotician. Indeed, at the heart of semiotics is the realization that the whole of human experience, without exception, is an interpretive structure mediated and sustained by signs. So it is perhaps not surprising that much of the original semiotic development in our time has taken place along the tracks and lines of a classical idealism in the modern sense, an environment and climate of thought within which the structuralist analysis of texts and narratives is particularly comfortable.
Yet we are entitled to wonder if such a perspective is enough to allow for the full development of the possibilities inherent in the notion of a doctrine of signs—to wonder if the “way of signs” does not lead outside of and well beyond the classical “way of ideas” of which Locke also spoke. We are entitled to wonder if what we need is not rather, as the recent collaborative monograph by Anderson et al. calls for, “a semiotics which provides the human sciences with a context for reconceptualizing foundations and for moving along a path which, demonstrably, avoids crashing headlong into the philosophical roadblock thrown up by forced choices between realism and idealism, as though this exclusive dichotomy were also exhaustive of the possibilities of interpreting human experience”.
Such a development seems to be what is taking place in the tradition of semiotic. This tradition, in fact, given its name by Locke, had reached the level of explicit thematic consciousness and systematically unified expression only very late—as far as we currently know, not before the Tractatus de Signis essay in 1632 by the Iberian philosophy of Portuguese birth, John Poinsot.
On 30 April 2022, at 11am ET (check event times around the world here), Rocco Gangle will present on “Signs and Being: the Role of Semiotics in Heidegger’s Thought”. Prof. Gangle is the author of several books, including Diagrammatic Immanence: Category Theory and Philosophy (Edinburgh University Press 2016). His research focuses on semiotics, diagrammatic logic, French phenomenology and post-structuralism, and the work of Francois Laruelle. He is Professor of Philosophy at Endicott College, USA and Distinguished Research Fellow with GCAS College Dublin, Ireland.
Commentary will be provided by Mafalda Blanc, Associate Professor in the Department of Philosophy of the Faculty of Letters of the University of Lisbon, since 1980.
2022 International Open Seminar on Semiotics (IO2S) | Website
This collaborative international open scientific initiative and celebration is jointly organized by the Institute for Philosophical Studies of the Faculty of Arts and Humanities of the University of Coimbra, the Lyceum Institute, the Deely Project, Saint Vincent College, the Iranian Society for Phenomenology at the Iranian Political Science Association, the International Association for Semiotics of Space and Time, the Institute for Scientific Information on Social Sciences of the Russian Academy of Sciences, the Semiotic Society of America, the American Maritain Association, the International Association for Semiotic Studies, the International Society for Biosemiotic Studies and the Mansarda Acesa with the support of the FCT – Foundation for Science and Technology, I.P., of the Ministry of Science, Technology and Higher Education of the Government of Portugal under the UID/FIL/00010/2020 project.