Philosophy Group @ Ipswich Institute

Poetry, Language, Thought

This is a five-week summer course to be conducted via Zoom. Zoom details will be emailed to participants. The course is a reading group.

The book: Martin Heidegger, Poetry, Language, Thought. The book collects essays from the 1930s, ‘40s and ‘50s. We will be reading – at least – these three of its essays: ‘The Origin of the Work of Art’; ‘Building Dwelling Thinking’; ‘The Thing’. In part, those pieces are about (alleged) deep interrelations between people, practices, and various types of non human entity. One topic we can consider is overlap with Adorno. Another is how far Heidegger rejects modernity and the merits or otherwise or so doing. At the end of the course we could attempt a practical whereby we investigate whether various er, things, in Ipswich – including a public house or two – do indeed exhibit some ‘thinging of the thing’ and possess a ‘worlding being’, as Heidegger claims that things (‘things’ in an emphatic sense) do. Or perhaps we will find that, in line with another idea of Heidegger’s, ‘the thing has been annihilated’ and that we are left with what Albert Borgmann calls ‘devices’.

Editions. The current edition is by Harper Publishers; ISBN (for the paperback) 9780060937287. The translation is by Hofstadter (though it is hard to discover that fact via the web). An older edition by Harper & Row – indeed, perhaps the only older English edition – has the same translator. Either of those editions would be fine (and indeed the pagination might be the same; there is also a German version).

In our first week I will give some introduction to Heidegger and to the book and we will discuss the first half of ‘The Origin of the World of Art’. (Details to be given nearer the time.) We will be reading some thirty pages each week.

Secondary literature. (For the keen.) Good and relevant secondary literature includes: parts of chapter 5 of Polt, Heidegger: An Introduction (which is the best introduction to Heidegger ever written, at least in English); Wrathall, How to Read Heidegger, chs. 7–10; Pattison, The Later Heidegger, ch. 4 (and ch. 3); Cooper, Heidegger (chs. 5 and 6; out of print). See also: ‘Albert Borgmann on Taming Technology: An Interview’, The Christian Century (August 23, 2003, pp. 22–5; online at <>). Julian Young’s Heidegger, Philosophy, Nazism is relevant too.

TUTOR Dr Nicholas Joll.

DATES June 17th – July 15th, 2021. (Five sessions.)

DAY & TIME Thursdays, 2–4pm (with a break in the middle of each session).


COST £27 (twenty-seven pounds), payable to the Institute by via the Shopify store link below.

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