Thursday 1 January 2015

Heidegger’s Zollikon Seminars. A 50th-anniversary revaluation. 6. Seminar of 23 and 26 November 1965. Inner Circle Seminar 219 (22 November 2015)

Martin Heidegger
at home in Freiburg

Martin Heidegger and Medard Boss
on the Feldweg south of Messkirch

Heideggers Zollikon Seminars

A 50th-anniversary revaluation

6. Seminar of 23 and 26 November 1965
‘Whence comes the insight that ... the Sein of the Da is ecstatic ...?

Anthony Stadlen
Inner Circle Seminar No. 219
Sunday 22 November 2015
10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Between 1959 and 1969 the German philosopher Martin Heidegger conducted seminars for psychiatrists in the Swiss psychiatrist Medard Bosss house in Zollikon near Zürich. Fifty years later almost to the day, we focus on his seminar of 23 and 26 November 1965, the last of his five seminars that year.

Heidegger says his psychiatrist listeners will have noticed that he doesnt want to make philosophers of them; but, rather, only to help them attend to what unavoidably (unumgänglichconcerns the human being yet is not immediately accessible (zugänglichto him or her. He says: The practice of this attentiveness demands both from you and from me a particular methodological attitude about which we have not spoken until now, because I wanted first to try practising this matter with you in order in due course to speak with you explicitly about the method.

He begins by addressing the criticisms by seminar participants that Daseinsanalysis is anti-scientific, anti-objective and anti-conceptual. He asks what Freud means by analysis. He alleges that Freud nowhere in his writings explains why he chose the word analysis’. He also alleges that Freud intends his analysis’ to provide a reductive causal explanation. We shall see in our own seminar that the first of these two allegations of Heidegger’s is simply false and that the second is itself crudely reductive. We shall also see that the authorised American translation further confuses Heideggers already flawed argument.

Heidegger is then diverted by a participants (possibly prearranged?) question into a lengthy attack on Binswangerpsychiatric Daseinsanalysis’, which, he says (with considerable justification), misunderstands and distorts Heideggers thinking, by redundantly supplementingHeideggers (ontological) carewith Binswanger’s (ontic) love. Heidegger elucidates his own use in Being and Time of the terms Daseinsanalytics and DaseinsanalysisHe gives an interesting account of how Aristotles assertion, ‘Being is said in many ways’, was the lightning-flash that sparked the question Heidegger explored in Being and TimeWhat then is the unity of these manifold meanings of Being? What does Being mean, anyway? This led to the next question: How is Being related to time? And so to the discussion of ‘Da-sein’, human existence, and the insight that ... the Sein of the Da is ecstatic’.

This complex discussion occupies the first of the two evenings of the seminar. On the second evening, Heidegger returns to the criticisms that Daseinsanalysis is anti-scientific, anti-objective and anti-conceptual. He shows that they cannot be addressed without a searching investigation of the meaning of 'science'object and 'concept. Anxiety and fear are not objects. Rigorous science is not necessarily exact science. Exactness is only one form of rigour. To try to calculate the incalculable is unscientific, unobjective, misplaced.

You are cordially invited to participate in our attempt to go over the ground of what is (despite its errors mentioned above) Heideggers carefully reasoned exposition and argument, and to reflect on its practical relevance for our everyday practice as psychotherapists.

Venue:    ‘Oakleigh’, 2A Alexandra AvenueLondon N22 7XE

Cost:    Psychotherapy trainees £120, others £150, some bursaries; coffee, tea, biscuits, mineral water included; payable in advance; no refunds or transfers unless seminar cancelled

Apply to: Anthony Stadlen, ‘Oakleigh’, 2A Alexandra AvenueLondon N22 7XE
Tel: +44 (0) 20 8888 6857     E-mail:

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 colleges.

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