Dasein, Mineness, Authenticity and Authority – the Origin of Existential Decisionism


Dasein is not of the mode of vorhanden because it is not something that we ‘come across’ as we go about (BT, 69), but rather it is close to us, and is well known because it is inseparable from ourselves, but it is little understood in everyday experience because it is very close to us (BT, 69). In addition, Dasein is not zuhanden because it exists but is not for the purpose of effecting something.”

Heidegger introduces the idea of ‘mineness’ as a quality that belongs to Dasein, as being that which is the true nature of Dasein”

Mineness, indeed replaces “an entity’ as the mode of Dasein’s authentic encounterability. However Dasein in fact is encounterable in an ‘inauthentic’ but primordial’ manner through the idea of ‘das Man’, or the “they”, the “one”.

Authenticity and inauthenticity = decisionism – the “they” as consensus, liberalism, against authenticity/authority, the “discourse of Mastery” as per Derrida. Authenticity in Heidegger’s early sense only comes with en-ownment of the Master by the en-slaved. The early sense hence not primordial. The ‘Lord’ is master by virtue of en-ownment by the en-slaved bondsman, therefore reducible. The en-slaved as not reducible. ‘Lord’ is Master only in a relative sense, in relation to the specifically en-slaved. En-slavement by en-framing (technology as techne) as ultimate reductio ad absurdum of Lordship to the en-grasping of the con-cept (Be-griff … “griff” grip or handle, old German). Origin of Heidegger’s transgression – the crucial philosophical mistake of favouring the Lord over the bondsman. C.f. the re-estimation of Being as Ereignis in terms of the mastery of the last god in “vom Ereignis.” Dasein is only encounterable as “mineness” by the Lord after a dialectical sublation, “not-mineness” is primordial.

The possibility of seeing Dasein as either vorhanden or zuhanden results from the fact that in ‘being-in-the-world’ Dasein is constructed of stuff like the world and could be mistaken. Such a mistaking of Dasein for one of the other kinds of being would result in inappropriate relations and behaviour because it would reduce people to being either equipment or mere objects.”

Inappropriate relations or appropriative relations? c.f. the “event of appropriation”. Appropriating as the bringing into what is most proper, das eigen., “own”, ownhood, en-owning.

Previous western views of humanity regarded people as either bipartite, body and soul, or tripartite, body, soul and spirit, and lead to the assumption that a person is a synthesis of the parts, but in Heidegger’s view Dasein is existence, not a synthesis of separately existing parts (BT, 153). Thus, Heidegger argues for regarding Dasein as a complete and indivisible being that enters into relations and intrinsically is a complete, unified, entity. There are multiple Dasein, which necessarily have some kind of relation to each other, whether warm and friendly or hermitic or otherwise, and these relations are characterized by Heidegger as ‘Being-with’ (BT, 160).”

Dasein is not the knowing Subject of Descartes but the unitary facticity of existence as disclosed. “Disclosedness” also involves “being-with” and allows truth to appear and be known as shared truth. “Eternal truth” depends on eternity, something we are entirely unsure about in a finite universe. “Objective” truth depends on the separation of subject/object, but the implicit intent of these notions – shared truth, or truth outside the individual existing human, is validated by Heidegger in the concept of disclosedness. “Truth” may only be disclosed to Dasein, but it “is” disclosed to, not determined by, the particular Dasein. Without requiring the basis in absolute knowledge of Hegel (only valid for beings within metaphysics) Heidegger offers support for the idea of shared truth about facticity.


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