Temporal Finitude and Finitude of Possibility: The Double Meaning of Death in Being and Time

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The confusion surrounding Heidegger’s account of death in Being and Time
has led to severe criticisms, some of which dismiss his analysis as incoherent
and obtuse. I argue that Heidegger’s critics err by equating Heidegger’s
concept of death with our ordinary concept. As I show, Heidegger’s concept
of death is not the same as the ordinary meaning of the term, namely, the
event that ends life. But nor does this concept merely denote the finitude of
Dasein’s possibilities or the groundlessness of existence, as William Blattner
and Hubert Dreyfus have suggested. Rather, I argue, the concept of death has
to be understood both as temporal finitude and as finitude of possibility. I
show how this reading addresses the criticisms directed at Heidegger’s death
analysis as well as solving textual problems generated by more limited interpretations of the concept.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)541-556
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of Philosophical Studies
Volume15
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2007

Structured keywords

  • Centre for Humanities Health and Science

Keywords

  • Heidegger. death, being towards death, authenticity, demise, Philipse

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