Death Essay

344 WordsNov 7, 20132 Pages
As is well known the concept of anxiety plays a central role in Heidegger’s particular phenomenology and it is this---the “ courage of anxiety”---(Heidegger, 1962, p. 298),rather than fear, which he considers to be the appropriate existential response to what hecalls the “uttermost possibility” of death. Death, for Heidegger, is certain but indefinite and it is this duality that causes anxiety as the authentic experience of nothingness: onethat is solitary, or “non-relational” as Heidegger expresses it. Fear, the “falling” awayfrom death and anxiety, is always collective because it is into the “they” that the fearfulrun. For the “they” it is not you or I who die but “one” who dies, the “nobody”(ibid. p.297) dies in “the sometime” (ibid. p. 299 ), only that is certain.So why should fear be re-admitted into the virile pantheon of philosophy? Well, the crudeanswer is that the evasion of authentic and resolute Being-towards-death, the evasivenessof being-in-the-world more generally, the evasiveness of the “they” is, whether we like itor not, most certainly something that will need to be engaged with when it comes toactual experiences of dying; real death events.If, as is not normally done, we take Heidegger at his word and accept for the sake of argument that notions of the “they”, “idle talk”, “falling”, “inauthenticity”, “evasion”,“tranquillisation”…and so on are not critical or pejorative but, rather, neutral componentsof his phenomenological investigation of Dasein, then it may not be necessary to overleapfear in an effort to promote or embrace an anxiety that, Heidegger would claim, alone brings authenticity. Heidegger’s thought is not teleological or dialectical, it is possible tothink the authentic and the inauthentic, evasiveness and resoluteness, together. In this regard we both die amongst others and we die alone, an inauthentic and

More about Death Essay

Open Document