Twentieth-Century Philosophy:
Existentialism, Phenomenology, and Hermeneutics


Dr Cullan Joyce (coordinator)
Not offered in 2020

Thought about God has re-emerged as a fundamental interest for contemporary continental philosophy.  Is it possible to think about God at all?  If so, in what way?  This unit examines developments in twentieth-century continental philosophy that establish the framework for contemporary thought about metaphysics, God and faith.  Particular attention will be given to major texts covering nihilism, existentialism, phenomenology, hermeneutics, and postmodern thought.


  • second level: 36 points of philosophy at first level
  • third level: 36 points of philosophy at second level


face-to-face 3-hour weekly classes in semester


second level
  • two 500-word seminar papers 2 x 20%
  • one 2,000-word essay 40%
  • one 1-hour written examination (1,000 words) 20%
third level
  • two 750-word seminar papers 2 x 20%
  • one 2,500-word essay 40%
  • one 1-hour written examination (1,000 words) 20% 


  • Critchley, Simon, and William Schroeder. A Companion to Continental Philosophy. Blackwell Companions to Philosophy. Oxford: Blackwell, 1998.
  • Cutrofello, Andrew. Continental Philosophy: A Contemporary Introduction. Routledge Contemporary Introductions to Philosophy. London: Routledge, 2005.
  • Gadamer, Hans-Georg. Truth and Method. Translated by William Glen-Doepel. Translation revised by Joel Weinsheimer and Donald G. Marshall. 2nd ed. New York: Crossroad, 1992.
  • Heidegger, Martin. Being and Time: A Translation of “Sein und Zeit”. Translated by Joan Stambaugh. Revised by Dennis J. Schmidt. State University of New York Series in Contemporary Continental Philosophy. Albany: State University of New York Press, 2010. 
  • Husserl, Edmund. Collected Works. Vol. 8, The Idea of Phenomenology. Translated by Lee Hardy. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic, 1999.
  • Levinas, Emmanuel. “Philosophy and the Idea of Infinity.” In Collected Philosophical Papers, translated by Alphonso Lingis, 47–59. Pittsburgh: Duquesne University Press, 1998.
  • Sokolowski, Robert. Introduction to Phenomenology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000.
  • Teichman, Jenny, and Graham White, eds. An Introduction to Modern European Philosophy. 2nd ed. London: Macmillan, 1998.
  • West, David. Continental Philosophy: An Introduction. New ed. Cambridge: Polity Press, 2010. 
  • Young, Julian. German Philosophy in the Twentieth Century: Weber to Habermas. New York: Routledge, 2018.