Sunday, April 5, 2009

Item for Old Business: The Nature of Authenticity

We have said that Heidegger's fundamental ontology argues that Being is such that we become who we are by participating in it. Or, as Richardson puts it on p. 28, ". . .[M]an is not a being like other beings, but enjoys a prerogative all his own by reason of which his own Being is not from the beginning a fait accompli but something he himself must achieve, a task in which he can default." One of the most significant possibilities of our Being on which we can default, according to Heidegger, is "authenticity." Somehow, I think we all know (more or less) whether or not we're being authentic, which means we all already know, at some level, what it means to be authentic. What do you think about this? I'd like to discuss the question of authenticity first thing on Tuesday by way of giving us deeper insight into Dasein's "circle of understanding."

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