chapter  10
Anxiety, Choice and Responsibility in Heidegger’s Account of Authenticity
WithDenis McManus
Pages 23

This chapter offers an interpretation of the role that anxiety plays in Heidegger's discussion of authenticity. It illustrates Heideggerian reflections, and explores some ways in which one might solve the serious problems that that view raises. A widely held interpretation of Heidegger's discussion of anxiety/death takes the following form: In 'being-towards-death' Dasein recognizes, for the first time, that its normal or everyday practical context is simply one possibility among others, one which is thereby subject to its own free choice. Anxiety also plays a role in revealing, in some way, the possibility of authenticity: in anxiety there lies the possibility of a disclosure which is quite distinctive; for anxiety individualises. The chapter presents view points to a quite different understanding of the role those notions of responsibility, 'choosing to choose' and 'choosing oneself play here, as well as to a quite different understanding of the challenge that being authentic is.