Theses Doctoral

Authenticity and Death in Being and Time

Shaw, Beau Carmel

My dissertation offers a critique of the concept of authenticity that Martin Heidegger develops in Being and Time. The concept of authenticity has been critiqued for many reasons--mainly for political, moral, and ideological reasons. My dissertation develops, on the other hand, a conceptual critique: I argue that the concept of authenticity is a paradoxical concept.

I argue, more precisely, that it is paradoxical, as the concept of authenticity proposes, for a person to confront, transparently and determinedly, his or her own death, while, at the same time, being able to be an individual--understanding him or herself as an individual, and making autonomous choices. In offering this critique, I provide interpretations of some of the basic concepts in Being and Time that break from conventional interpretations or are new. For example, I interpret the concept of inauthenticity from the perspective of the psychoanalytic idea of mania. Ultimately, however, I provide philosophical, or conceptual reasons to resist a concept with clearly problematic moral and political implications.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Thesis Advisors
Carman, Taylor
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
September 12, 2012