Wednesday, 1 January 2020

Heidegger’s ‘Lost’ Zollikon Seminar: Anthony Stadlen conducts Inner Circle Seminar 257 (3 May 2020)

HeideggerLost Zollikon Seminar
(3-5 February 1960)
A 60th-anniversary examination

‘The inappropriate idea – that I feel-in – transpose “myself ” (who am I?) into the others...  This attempt always comes too late. Because I am already with the others – (you” – thou) in the same world...
[From Martin Heideggers notes for the lost seminar of 3-5 February 1960
Translation by A. Stadlen]
Anthony Stadlen
Inner Circle Seminar No. 257
Sunday 3 May 2020
10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Martin Heidegger

Today’s seminar explores thlost Zollikon seminar. We are trying to retrace, sixty years later, the path the philosopher Martin Heidegger took in his Zollikon seminars in the 1960s. There are abundant insights, real insights, of immediate practical significance for psychotherapists, to be gleaned by carefully going over these seminars. Last November, we looked at the first seminar, of 4 November 1959, which was held not in Zollikon but in the Burghölzli psychiatric hospital lecture theatre.

But we now know (from the new German edition of Zollikoner Seminare) that there was a second seminar, the first part on 3 February 1960 in the Burghölzli, and the second part, on 5 May 1960, in the more intimate setting, preferred and adopted by Heidegger from then on, of the Zollikon home of his friend the psychotherapist Medard Boss. Neither part of the seminar is mentioned or reported in the first edition of Zollikoner Seminare or its American translation, so the seminar as a whole is truly the lost (but now, happily, found) Zollikon Seminar.

The new edition of the book contains no fewer than forty-four pages of newly discovered (by Professor Friedrich-Wilhelm von Hermann) terse, scrappy, elliptical, but extraordinarily intriguing and revealing notes Heidegger made for himself, evidently both in preparation for this seminar and as a reminder of it. It is clearer here than from any other source that Heidegger has been making a serious study of Freud, rethinking in a daseinsanalytic way such notions as the unconscious’; slips of the tongue, of memory, and of hearing; and the so-called problem of ‘other minds’. He stresses at the outset that there is to be no polemic, e.g., against Freud’. He is, he says, not criticising Freud’. It is true that Boss reported that Heidegger on first reading Freud expressed astonishment and disappointment that ‘such a clever man’ could write such nonsense’. But it is crucial to realise what he meant by this. Neither Heidegger nor Boss was dismissing or disrespecting Freud in the way that has been standard among existential therapists for thirty years. On the contrary, they intended that Daseinsanalysis should preserve Freud’s phenomenological findings and his practice of psychoanalysis but rescue them from the pseudo-natural-scientific, philosophically confused theory and metapsychology’ in which he felt compelled to dress them. It is primarily existential therapy, not Boss’s Daseinsanalysis, that has promoted a disastrous and ignorant split with psychoanalysis.

In particular, Heidegger discusses the nature of our being-in-the-world-with-others. It is not, he insists, like ‘tea with sugar’. Nor, he implies, is it working out that the other has a mind’ by ‘analogy’, as Freud put it. (Nor, we can be sure, would he have approved the present-day idea of ‘mentalisation’.) Nor is it the ‘intersubjectivity’ that existential therapists and some psychoanalysts like to talk about. Heideggers central insight is of the human being as Da-sein: not as a subject. There can be intersubjectivity only where there are subjects. That is a degenerate way of being-with, in Heideggers view. And it follows, as he points out, that the concept of empathy is also degenerate. As he put it in a scrappy note for the ‘lost seminarit [empathy’] always comes too late, because I am already with the others – (you – thouin the same world.’ [Translation by A. Stadlen]

The present COVID-19 crisis also provides an opportunity to discuss how Heideggerthinking of being-with, and his understanding of psychotherapy in the light of it, together with his radically original thinking on technology, illuminates what is happening when therapy and seminars are conducted by Skype, Zoom, and similar technologies.

Anthony Stadlen is a Daseinsanalyst, the UK Independent Effective Member of the International Federation of Daseinsanalysis. He will offer his translations of some of Heideggerfragmentary notes for, from, and on this hitherto lost seminar as a starting-point for our own discussion. Your contribution will be warmly welcomed.

This will be an online seminar, using Zoom.

Cost: Psychotherapy trainees £132, others £165, some bursaries; payment must be made in advance by bank transfer; a ZOOM invitation and instructions will then be sent; no refunds or transfers unless seminar cancelled
Apply to: Anthony Stadlen, ‘Oakleigh’, 2A Alexandra AvenueLondon N22 7XE
Tel: +44 (0) 20 8888 6857  iPhone: 07809 433 250
E-mail:  or:
For further information on seminars, visit:

The Inner Circle Seminars were founded by Anthony Stadlen in 1996 as an ethical, existential, phenomenological search for truth in psychotherapy. They have been kindly described by Thomas Szasz as ‘Institute for Advanced Studies in the Moral Foundations of Human Decency and Helpfulness’. But they are independent of all institutes, schools and universities.

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