Heidegger and the Being-Toward-Death

heidegger death

In Being and Time, the philosopher Martin Heidegger described man (being) as a being-toward-death, i.e his ultimate project.

Introduction to the Dasein structure by Heidegger

To understand Heidegger’s reflection on being-toward-death (Sein zum Tode), this theory should be put in the basic analytic of this philosopher, and his understanding of being by redefining concepts that we will be useful later for Sein zum Tode articulate with the being-for-the-martyr of the Christian.

Heidegger attempts to renew the question of “sense of the being”, providing a new fundamental ontology. Its starting point is the man, seized conceptually as “being there,” Dasein, because his being, referring to being, is itself characterized by its understanding or apprehension of the whole being .

For this study, we will retain the key concepts of:

– Facticity or dereliction (Geworfenheit, a term often translated as: being-thrown).

– The strangeness-the-world (Unheimlickeit) that results.

– The lack of authenticity and anonymity reassuring “On” (das Man)

– Authenticity. (Entschlossenheit)

– Finally, being-toward-death (Sein zum Tode)

Dereliction (Geworfenheit) is marked in that Dasein is always already there, below its own original, always already thrown into existence without having chosen it. It is here, ex-posed, thrown into an existence (Existenz), which can not but wonder about this being in the world (In-der-Welt-Sein), which exist in nature is “comprehensive” (Verstehen), in search of meaning held by the project (Entwurf) self in the future.

This search for meaning is concern (Besorgen), as given paramount concern. And it will open the Dasein of two fundamental existential options:

1. Or it is the mode of “On” (das Man), of inauthenticity, anxious only to distract from its real possibilities of what “it” is, of what “they” think of what “it” is, of what “we” feeling. Dasein hides behind while reassuring the universality of anonymity and refused the full commitment of freedom, of its possibilities. He lives in inauthenticity, to impose its choice of leaving the outside. Rahner, we will return, said the concept as denial of freedom, “the man can hate freedom. He may not want to possess it, pretend it did not exist. It can be carried away, is considered cowardly and guilty as the simple product of his environment. ”

2. Or Dasein is in the mode of authenticity (Entschlossenheit), resolved that there is to say assumed, fully realized, and that is to exist according to their possibilities and irreducible. This is it, we shall see, that only leads to the acceptance of being clear-to-death (Sein zum Tode), because death is the ultimate and decisive action.

Everything starts in the inauthentic Dasein and, generally, remains there. But it can and must win the authenticity, conquest inevitably precarious and constantly challenged. “Shepherd of being”, it can not assume and do not question him, and the inauthenticity of das Man is still a leak, a resignation, an unstable equilibrium.

[Finally, it should be noted that after 1930, the thought of Heidegger will experience a turning point (Kehre): being himself makes possible the understanding of being, depending on how it is given. The ek-sistence of man, then, means to keep the fact in the “thinning” of being more open to men, less hermetic. Concealment, inauthenticity becomes deeper.

In Conclusion:

In existentialism philosophy Death is at the heart of life. Once a man is born, he is old enough to die. Death is all the more the foundation of the individuality that it is impossible to share his death. Every death is solitary and unique. The authentic life is one that always knows the death and promised to accept courageously and honestly. We must track down everything that drives us to bury our dead.

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