Ontology and Agency: Martin Heidegger and the Problem of Reification

  • Author / Creator
    Morris, Connor B
  • This thesis explores the potential for interpreting the work of Martin Heidegger as a resource for social and critical philosophy. I begin by intervening in the debate between Axel Honneth and Raymond Geuss on the usefulness of Heidegger in the recent re-activation of the problem of ‘reification.’ According to Honneth’s reading Being and Time critiques the epistemological model of subjectivity at the root of reification and provides a positive account of a more primordial way of being. I am skeptical of whether or not Being and Time should be understood this way, but nevertheless affirm that the anthropological implications of Heidegger’s ontology can benefit social and critical philosophy. I argue that Heidegger’s description of the way in which the world is first disclosed through pre-reflective practical activity implies how it can be that a human agent is both limited by its worldly conditions and yet still able to modify them.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Fall 2014
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Master of Arts
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
  • Language
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
  • Department
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Heyes, Cressida (Political Science)
    • Morin, Marie-Eve (Philosophy)
    • Nichols, Robert (Philosophy)