chapter  9
Authenticity and the Absence of Death
WithDaniel O. Dahlstrom
Pages 17

This chapter focuses on the relationship between Heidegger's analyses of death and authenticity. Heidegger identifies several distinct investigations of death in the sense of Dasein's demise: biological-physiological, medical, psychological, biographical-historical, ethnological, and theological. Heidegger's interpretation of the detachment involved in death-anticipating resoluteness probably does not entail the 'meta-stable' existence of ironists who must reconcile themselves to a split between their private and public lives. For the individual who is dying, and that, Heidegger reminds us, includes all of us, death's absence is like no other. In an attempt to make precise the primacy and irreducibility of being-here, relative to other manners of being, Heidegger appeals to a particular conception of existence. Heidegger accordingly dubs the operative self-understanding here 'existentiell'. He labels the complex of structures involved in this self-understanding 'existentiality' and its analysis the 'existential analysis' of being-here.