Authenticity and DeathJames Watt (Deakin University)
C2.05 Burwood Campus. ic2.108 Waurn Ponds. *VMP 522 39354
221 Burwood Highway
Contemporary perspectives on the self often emphasise its relational characteristics, such as the role of intersubjectivity in constituting oneself. The dominant picture of authenticity today is thus one that is unavoidably mediated by others. This seems far removed from Heidegger in Being and Time, where being-towards-death is what wrenches us from our everyday preoccupations and towards authentic being. Here I seek to appropriate early Heideggerian insights about the relationship between authenticity and death within a relational understanding of the self. In particular, I think that the being-towards-death of another – within a second-person stance – can do similar work in drawing out authenticity, perhaps more clearly than the non-relational being-towards-death found in early Heidegger.
James Watt is a PhD candidate at Deakin University. He teaches philosophy at the Virtual School, Victoria
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