ICS Calendar Title: Truth and Authenticity: Heidegger’s Being and Time 

ICS Course Code: ICS 220706 W13

Instructor: Dr. Lambert Zuidervaart

Term and Year: Mondays, 9:30 - 12:30, Winter 2013

Last Updated: November 20, 2012  Note: This is not the final version for this syllabus.


1. Seminar Description

2. Seminar Requirements and Weighting of Elements to be Evaluated

3. Required Readings

4. Recommended Readings

5. Assignments: Presentations and Research Paper

6. Seminar Schedule

1. Seminar Description

Martin Heidegger’s Being and Time proposes a holistic conception of truth that can reconnect epistemology with cultural practices and social institutions. Yet his conception seems to make personal or communal “authenticity” the key to attaining truth. The seminar develops a constructive critique of Heidegger’s conception of truth by examining its internal logic and its hermeneutical role.


This is a research course in systematic philosophy at the Institute for Christian Studies (ICS). It falls under the general rubric “The Postmodern Condition” and under the more specific theme “Truth after Metaphysics.” It is listed at ICS as ICS220706, at the University of Toronto as PHL2088S, and at the Toronto School of Theology as ICT5760HS.


The seminar has three learning goals:

2. Seminar Requirements and Weighting of Elements to be Evaluated

Seminar participants are expected to:


The approximate weight assigned each component for the course mark is as follows:


Please feel free to talk to me about creating favorable conditions for your work in the seminar. I welcome spontaneous visits during my office hours (Mondays, 12:30 – 2:00 pm). You will need to make an appointment if you want to meet at some other time.

3. Required Readings (* = ordered at UT Bookstore)

4. Recommended Readings (* = ordered at UT Bookstore)

Supplementary readings come from the following list.

5. Assignments: Presentations and Research Paper

5.1 Presentations


Individual: Each seminar participant will introduce at least one required reading in class. Your introduction will last about 20 minutes, depending on the number of presenters. It will summarize the reading, identify important issues in it, and state your position on these issues. You should also hand out two typed questions for us to discuss. They will help us think about the issues the reading raises. You should explain why you ask these questions and how the reading prompts them. Please keep your presentation succinct and lively, using the blackboard, photocopied handouts, computer projector, or other equipment where appropriate. Criteria for evaluation will include organization, clarity, perceptiveness, and scope.


Group: Alternatively, if you choose to, you may team up with one or two other seminar participants to prepare a group presentation. One member of the group will serve as the group’s coordinator, in consultation with the instructor. In the three-hour session for which your group is responsible, the group will present an introduction to the assigned readings (about 50-60 minutes altogether, although it may occur in smaller segments). This introduction should provide historical context for the readings, identify important issues in the readings, state your individual or collective positions on these issues, and indicate why these issues are worth discussing. After your introduction, your group will lead the rest of us in a discussion of the readings and the issues you have raised. The group’s presentation should reflect careful thought on the topics you choose. This does not mean that everyone in your group has to agree on every point—sometimes a presentation of disagreements is more interesting. Your group should give the rest of us topics to discuss: theses you wish to try out; questions you are wondering about; your criticism of positions or arguments in the assigned readings; etc. Please keep your presentation succinct and lively, using the blackboard, photocopied handouts, computer projector, or other equipment where appropriate. Criteria for evaluation will include organization, clarity, perceptiveness, and scope.

5.2 Research Paper (due Friday, May 24, 2013)


Format: The research paper will be typed double-spaced, include footnotes or endnotes and a bibliography, and contain approximately 4000 words; papers by doctoral students will contain approximately 5000-7000 words. A typed one-page proposal will be handed in during class on February 25. The proposal should include a brief bibliography that lists the key sources for your research. Papers are due May 24. Be sure to make consistent use of one of the following styles for format and documentation: either The MLA Style Manual or Kate L. Turabian’s A Manual for Writers (based on The Chicago Manual of Style). On the title page of your paper, please identify the style used.


Approach: The paper will state, explain, and defend your position on one question, puzzle, or problem pertaining to accounts of either truth or authenticity (or both) in contemporary philosophy. To accomplish this you will need to examine what other philosophers have said on your topic. Rather than simply report what others say, however, you should use their writings to develop your own position. In general, the more specific your focus, the stronger your paper will be.


Exceptions: Exceptions to the recommended approach should be discussed with the instructor well before the paper’s due date. For example, you may wish to explore the implications of a controversy in contemporary psychology or cultural anthropology for a philosophical approach to the topics considered in class. This might be acceptable, but only after we have discussed your proposal.


Evaluation: I shall assess your paper according to four criteria, each of which has similar weight: research, writing, reasoning, and scope. A paper that has been properly researched will demonstrate familiarity with relevant sources and will make strategic use of these sources. A well-written paper will be free from errors of spelling, punctuation, and grammar; it will be clear, concise, imaginative, and persuasive; and it will use gender-inclusive language. A well-reasoned paper will use valid and sound arguments; it will also be open and fair to alternative positions—not one-sided or small-minded. A paper with sufficient scope will be thorough, and it will probe beneath the surface of its subject matter.


Policies on Course Work: According to ICS policy, the due date for course papers falls between the third and the sixth week after the semester’s end. I have set the paper’s due date on the last day of that period. Since this occurs after the deadline at U of T for the submission of grades, U of T students will need to complete petitions for extensions.


ICS policy gives the instructor discretion to refuse extensions for late work by ICS Junior Members, and also to penalize late work. I have five reasons to resist granting extensions beyond the due date:

  1. Unlike fine wines, seminar papers rarely improve with age.
  2. It is more fair to all seminar participants for everyone to observe the same deadline.
  3. Late papers impede finishing other course work and completing your degree program.
  4. I lose motivation to grade papers the longer it takes to receive them, and that could have a negative impact on how your paper is evaluated.
  5. Grading late papers disrupts my work as an instructor and research scholar.


So aim to get your paper in on time, and talk with me right away if you are running stuck.

6. Seminar Schedule



Readings, Required and Supplementary


January 07

N. A.


January 14

BT xv-xxix, 1-35 (SZ § 1-8; pp. 1-40)

Supp: Dreyfus 1-39

Supp: Carman 1-52


January 21


BT 39-75 (SZ § 9-16; pp. 41-76)

Supp: Dreyfus 40-87

Supp: Carman 53-100


January 28


BT 76-110 (SZ § 17-24; pp. 76-113)

Supp: Dreyfus 88-140

Supp: Carman 101-154


February 04


BT 111-138 (SZ § 25-30; pp. 113-42)

Supp: Dreyfus 141-83

Supp: Dahlstrom xv-47


February 11

BT 138-73 (SZ § 31-38; pp. 142-80)

Supp: Dreyfus 184-237

Supp: Dahlstrom 48-103


February 25


BT 175-204 (SZ § 39-43; pp. 180-212)

Supp: Dreyfus 238-81

Supp: Dahlstrom 103-174


March 04

BT 204-228 (SZ § 44-46; pp. 212-37)

Supp: Zuidervaart, Artistic Truth 77-100

Supp: Dahlstrom 175-222


March 11


BT 229-69 (SZ § 47-57; pp. 237-80)

Supp: Zuidervaart, Social Phil. 77-106

Supp: Carman 204-263


March 18


BT 269-302 (SZ § 58-63; pp. 280-316)

Supp: Carman 264-313

Supp: Dahlstrom 223-88


March 25


BT 302-340 (SZ § 64-69a; pp. 316-56)

Supp: Dahlstrom 288-325


April 01

BT 340-77 (SZ § 69b-76; pp. 356-97)

Supp: Dahlstrom 325-84


April 08

BT 377-415 (SZ § 77-83; pp. 397-437)

Supp: Dahlstrom 385-456


Zuidervaart (§ 81-83)


Notes: JM = Junior Member(s)/Student(s). Supp = Supplementary reading. Abbreviations of book titles stem from the list of readings. The numbers indicate pagination, unless the symbol for section numbers appears (§). Only the readings in bold are required, but the others are strongly recommended. There is no class session on February 18, because of the Reading Recess. Please remember that your one-page paper proposal is due in class on February 25.

Copyright, Institute for Christian Studies. All Rights Reserved.