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Paths Towards Philosophy, Søren Kierkegaard's place in Martin Heidegger's first Freiburg period lecture courses (1919-1923)

This thesis investigates Søren Kierkegaard’s place in Martin Heidegger’s first Freiburg period lecture courses.

Karin Kustassoo
20 June 2018

The principal questions asked are: what is Heidegger searching for in his first Freiburg period and where does he turn to Kierkegaard? The point of departure is taken from the question which Heidegger himself raises in these lecture courses: ‘what is philosophy?’ The replies given to this explicitly asked question lead to the central claims of this thesis. First, I claim that Heidegger rethinks philosophy in two directions. On the one hand, philosophy is philosophizing, a mode of access in the living situation. On the other hand, philosophy is about a proper methodology for accessing and expressing its subject matter: it is a mode of investigation. Second, I claim that Kierkegaard appears in one of these directions: when Heidegger considers access in the living situation. In addition, I show that two dominant approaches to Heidegger’s philosophy emphasize either one or the other side of what Heidegger puts forth. This insight, together with the view of how Kierkegaard appears in Heidegger’s path, makes it possible to account for the contradictory takes on Kierkegaard’s role in Heidegger’s philosophy that emerge in the secondary literature.

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