Friday 1 November 2013

Bryan Richard's Thesis Defence

Bryan Richard successfully defended his thesis this month, earning his MA. Bryan's mentor Shannon Hoff had this to say

The idea for Bryan’s thesis, like the best projects, had deeply existential origins. His goal was to reconcile two ideas that seem to lie in tension with each other: the idea that the responsibility for living one’s life lies only in oneself, such that to live honestly and authentically means owning up to one’s status as an individual, and the idea that our lives are essentially and primordially immersed in the lives of others and a social world, such that living honestly and authentically requires us to own up to our indebtedness to this broader world. He finds a worthy interlocutor in Martin Heidegger, and Heidegger finds an eloquent defender in Bryan, who shows that there are indeed insights of ethical and political import in Heidegger’s thinking. The thesis—“Ow(n)ing Existence: Human Meaning, Identity and Responsibility in Heidegger’s Being and Time”—is impressive in many ways: Bryan has become an excellent scholar, competent with the technicalities of Heidegger’s thinking, but also an excellent communicator, devoted to making Heidegger’s dense and difficult philosophy clear and concrete. Bryan has accomplished much in this time at ICS, both philosophically and personally, and has shown through his experience the possibilities of personal transformation that lie in the process of doing philosophy. We warmly congratulate him both for facing the difficult challenges involved in completing the thesis and for being accepted into the Ph.D. program at the University of Guelph.