A Ground for Ethics in Heidegger's Being and Time
Journal of the British Society for Phenomenology 38 (3):261-79 (2007)
In this essay I suggest that Heidegger’s Being and Time provides a ground for ethics in the notion of Dasein’s ‘Being-guilty.’ Being-guilty is not a ground for ethics in the sense of a demonstration of the moral ‘ought’ or a refutation of moral skepticism. Rather, Being-guilty serves as a foundation for ethical life in a way uniquely suited to a phenomenological form of ethics, a way that clarifies, from a phenomenological point of view, why the traditional approach to ethics is misguided. The traditional attempt to ground ethics through demonstration or refutation depends upon a misunderstanding of obligation as an imposition that is distinct from, and inflicted upon, the subject in a way that is in need of justification. Heidegger’s conception of Being-guilty, on the contrary, identifies the basis of moral obligation in a form of primary selfobligation that is constitutive of human nature, rather than an imposition upon it. Although primordial guilt or self-obligation does not justify ethical obligation, it does ‘ground’ ethics. For it is the primary source and support of our ethical activity in two distinct senses. First, it serves as the condition for the possibility of our indebtedness to others—it enables us to be morally obligated. It enables moral obligation towards others by determining Dasein as ontologically indebted to care for its own being—a being which is, in turn, ontologically determined as care for others. Second, Being-guilty provides a criterion for distinguishing what we call ethical and unethical behavior. Ethical behavior is distinguished according to the appropriateness of one’s care for the other according to proper recognition of the nature of the Other’s Being as Dasein.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
The Virtue of Burden and Limits of Gelassenheit.Brendan Mahoney - 2016 - Environmental Philosophy 13 (2):269-298.
The Inner Violence of Reason: Re‐Reading Heidegger Via Education.Vasco D'Agnese - 2015 - Journal of Philosophy of Education 49 (3):435-455.
Similar books and articles
Relation, Virtue, and Relational Virtue: Three Concepts of Caring.Shirong Luo - 2007 - Hypatia 22 (3):92-110.
Feminist Ethics as Moral Grounding for Stakeholder Theory.Craig P. Dunn - 1996 - Business Ethics Quarterly 6 (2):133-147.
Rethinking Care Theory: The Practice of Caring and the Obligation to Care.Daniel Engster - 2005 - Hypatia 20 (3):50-74.
Of Spirit: Heidegger and Derrida on Metaphysics, Ethics, and National Socialism.David Ross Fryer - 1996 - Inquiry 39 (1):21 – 44.
When Conscience Calls, Will Dasein Answer? Heideggerian Authenticity and the Possibility of Ethical Life.Mariana Ortega - 2005 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 13 (1):15 – 34.
Toward a Metaphysical Freedom: Heidegger's Project of a Metaphysics of Dasein.François Jaran - 2010 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 18 (2):205-227.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads58 ( #89,799 of 2,163,615 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #348,037 of 2,163,615 )
How can I increase my downloads?