A Phenomenological Approach to Contemporary Politics

  • Rachel N Atkinson

Student thesis: Master's ThesisMaster of Philosophy (MPhil)


Contemporary British politics seems to be rife with confusion, conflict, and complexities. In the sphere of politics, the way we communicate with one another; and the way we gain information is becoming more and more challenged. With the right approach we can begin to understand not only our engagement within politics but also our relationships with others within this complex domain. Despite the many, and varied, approaches to politics, I find there to be something missing. A new perspective is needed, one that can enable us to get to the heart of the problem. This fresh approach will be phenomenological in nature and will adhere to Heidegger’s phenomenology as portrayed in Being and Time. In spite of the concern surrounding Heidegger’s own participation in politics, I believe that Being and Time still contains much that can be employed in this project. By framing intersubjective relationships in terms of authenticity it will become clear just how damaging our interactions with others have become, including within the realm of British politics. I intend to explore Heidegger’s concept of authenticity, specifically authentic Mitsein, and then supplement it with an amalgamation of Lawrence Vogel’s and Werner Marx’s reconstructions of Mitsein; and Lauren Freeman’s account of Heideggerian recognition. All of which will help me establish a refreshing Heideggerian approach to contemporary politics.
Date of Award23 Jan 2020
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Bristol
SupervisorD S Morgan (Supervisor) & Havi Hannah Carel (Supervisor)

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