By Heidegger, Martin; O'Brien, Mahon
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Extra resources for Heidegger on language and death : the intrinsic connection in human existence
If the Interpretation of Dasein’s Being is to become primordial, as a foundation for working out the basic question of ontology, then it must first have brought to light existentially the Being of Dasein in its possibilities of authenticity and totality. (BT, 276) The notion of authenticity can only be reached following the existential analysis which pointed from care to what was still outstanding such that we could put human beings in their entirety into sharper relief. The move to authenticity then helps to complete an incomplete picture; it does not destroy the old one!
Heidegger will look to show then that the various components of our actual existence are derivative versions, to a certain extent debased in the contemporary world, of underlying aspects of our ontological constitution which can then be used to get some purchase on the question concerning the meaning of being. That is not to say that the derivations in general are to be condemned. Publicness per se is a necessary part of human existence. It can even be conceived of in a positive way by Heidegger’s own reckoning as part of an account of genuine intersubjectivity.
5 This passage obviously echoes the observations we cited from Löwith essay above. Marcuse suggests that it is easy to perceive “indications and anticipations” of Heidegger’s Nazi tendencies within the account of human existence “ex post”. I would argue however that there are major problems even with this aspect of the interview. First of all, retrospectives and hindsight in such matters are already themselves delicate and perilous undertakings. But even the interpretative parameters offered by Marcuse here are dubious: what kinds of “indications” were he and the nameless other ‘comrades’ looking for?