Carleton Christensen
Australian National University
Current interpretations of Heidegger's notion of das Man are caught in a dilemma: either they cannot accommodate the ontological status Heidegger accords it or they cannot explain his negative evaluation of it, in which it is treated as ontic. This paper uses Simmel's agonistic account of human sociality to integrate the ontological and the ontic, indeed perjorative aspects of Heidegger's account. Section I introduces the general problem, breaks the exclusive link of Heidegger's account to Kierkegaard and delineates the general form of a solution. Section II then sketches Simmel's conception of sociology and sociality. Section III determines what Heidegger is trying to do in Chapter Four of Division I in Being and Time in order to formulate a strictly ontological account of das Man. Section IV uses Simmel's account of sociality to build into this ontological account an inherent tendency to display the negative features Heidegger ascribes to das Man. In conclusion, section V points to how the proposed account of das Man intimates the character of fundamental ontology as nascently a form of critical theory. It also explains the extent to which Heidegger's perjorative characterisations of das Man and the Man-selbst are legitimate.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1080/0020174x.2012.678605
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 60,949
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Meaning.Stephen Schiffer - 1972 - Oxford, Clarendon Press.

View all 30 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

‘As One Does’: Understanding Heidegger's Account Ofdas Man.Tucker McKinney - 2018 - European Journal of Philosophy 26 (1):430-448.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Heidegger's Aesthetics.Iain Thomson - 2010 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
The Violence in Learning.Robert Keith Shaw - 2010 - Analysis and Metaphysics 9:76-100.
Interpreting Heidegger on Das Man.Hubert L. Dreyfus - 1995 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 38 (4):423 – 430.
Haugeland's Heidegger and the Metaphysics of Normativity.Katherine Withy - 2017 - European Journal of Philosophy 25 (2):463-484.
The Ontic and the Ontological in Heidegger's Philosophy of Technology: Response to Thomson.Andrew Feenberg - 2000 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 43 (4):445 – 450.
What Does (the Young) Heidegger Mean by the Seinsfrage?Carleton B. Christensen - 1999 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 42 (3-4):411 – 437.
Interactive, Inclusive Substance Dualism.Jeff Engelhardt - 2017 - Philosophia 45 (3):1149-1165.
Saving Earth.Jochem Zwier & Vincent Blok - 2017 - Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology 21 (2/3):222-242.
Heidegger, Sociality, and Human Agency.B. Scot Rousse - 2016 - European Journal of Philosophy 24 (2):417-451.


Added to PP index

Total views
35 ( #302,800 of 2,439,372 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #433,984 of 2,439,372 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes