Our next Philosophical Happy Hour continues our discussion of modernity. We turn to the topics of tradition and nostalgia, with a focus on the potential role of nostalgia in the increasing number of “return to tradition” and “create a new tradition” movements arising within contemporary societies.
Though “modernity” is a difficult term to define, it is uncontroversial to claim that modernity has a “tradition” of being in tension with tradition. As many of us have encountered, any reference to the topic of tradition (or traditions) is likely to spark some degree of controversy. For instance:
Some think tradition to be a necessary good which advances the wellbeing of both individuals and society; others think it to be a loathsome vice which is used to suppress individual freedom(s); others yet accept tradition more neutrally as a practical necessity used to prevent cultural decay and disarray.
Some think tradition to be an affirmation of truth, while others think it a mere cultural construct.
Among those who think tradition to be a good (or at least an acceptable necessity), there remain disagreements about which tradition(s) to follow. Moreover, ought we acceptreadily our tradition(s) as presented, or ought we introducereforms, whether minor or extreme?
Some are keen to distinguish an appreciation of existing tradition(s) from the adopted ideology of “traditionalism.” Moreover: some think traditionalism to be a needed mindset to correct the errors of our age, while others think it to be a reductive, seductive means of control.
Some may laud the tradition(s) of one or more disciplines—theology, politics, education, the fine arts, to name a few—yet demand progress in others, or vice versa.
Regardless of our views of tradition, it is also uncontroversial to note that ours is increasingly an “age of nostalgia.” We commonly encounter appeals to nostalgia not only in advertising and the arts, but also in political and religious messaging, especially with the goal of rekindling a sense of the wholesome, “good old days.” So too, this appeal to nostalgia is common in defenses for tradition(s), especially traditionalist movements. As with tradition, we may ask some questions about nostalgia:
What is nostalgia? Is it a mere emotion, or perhaps more of a mindset?
How do we distinguish when nostalgia is a helpful rather than harmful inspiration?
Is there a particularly “modern” notion of nostalgia, in contrast to that of our predecessors?
Is nostalgia a legitimate justification for a return to tradition? Conversely, is a lack of nostalgia a legitimate cause to reject tradition?
Join us this evening (9/20/2023, 5:45-7:15 pm ET) as we explore these questions and themes, with particular reference to the thought of Yves Congar, Hans-Georg Gadamer, Alasdair MacIntyre, Jaroslav Pelikan, and Josef Pieper.
Philosophical Happy Hour
Come join us for drinks (adult or otherwise) and a meaningful conversation. Open to the public! Held every Wednesday from 5:45–7:15pm ET.
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.