Interpreting Heidegger on Das man

Inquiry 38 (4):423 – 430 (1995)
Abstract
In their debate over my interpretation of Heidegger's account of das Man in Being and Time, Frederick Olafson and Taylor Carman agree that Heidegger's various characterizations of das Man are inconsistent. Olafson champions an existentialist/ontic account of das Man as a distorted mode of being?with. Carman defends a Wittgensteinian/ontological account of das Man as Heidegger's name for the social norms that make possible everyday intelligibility. For Olafson, then, das Man is a privative mode of Dasein, while for Carman it makes up an important aspect of Dasein's positive constitution. Neither interpreter takes seriously the other's account, though both acknowledge both readings are possible. How should one choose between these two interpretations? I suggest that we choose the interpretation that identifies the phenomenon the work is examining, gives the most internally consistent account of that phenomenon, and shows the compatibility of this account with the rest of the work
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