"Everyday" and "Resolute" Dasein: Heidegger's Account of Human Beings in "Being and Time"

Dissertation, University of California, San Diego (1996)

Mariana Ortega
Pennsylvania State University
The overall aim of this project is to provide an explanation of Dasein that takes into account both Dasein's social and individual characters as well as both Division I and II of Being and Time. Chapter 1 provides an exposition of the existentialia of Dasein which illustrate the difference between Heidegger's characterization of human beings as Dasein and the traditional Cartesian epistemic subject. Chapter 2 analyzes the roles of das Man and Mitsein, the existential structures that are key in explaining Dasein's social character. Furthermore, this chapter provides an account of what the individual character of Dasein amounts to, given that Dasein is an entity that has both das Man and Mitsein as part of its existential make-up. Chapter 3 concentrates on the important notion of authenticity or what Heidegger calls resoluteness. It addresses Heidegger's puzzling claims that authentic Being-one's-Self is a modification of das Man and that the das Man self is an existentiell modification of the authentic self. Lastly, Chapter 4 studies the role that the notion of choice plays in Heidegger's existential analytic as well as the relationship that an authentic Dasein has to history. ;In conclusion, this work shows that recent interpretations which portray Dasein as a being that is primarily social and that is completely defined by the norms of its community do not do justice to the fact that Dasein has an individual character which is a key element in its ontological make-up as well as in its ontic involvements, more specifically, in the ways in which, as authentic, it can appropriate the history of its community. In the end, we are left with a picture in which Dasein cannot be seen as wholly dominated by its sociality or as completely individualistic, but as an entity whose existential structure involves a social as well as an individual character, both of which contribute to its being-in-the-world
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