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Is There a Puzzle About How Authentic Dasein Can Act?: A Critique of Dreyfus and Rubin on Being and Time , Division II

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Dreyfus and Rubin's commentary on Division II of Being and Time raises three closely related puzzles about the possibility of authenticity: (i) how could Dasein ever choose to become authentic, (ii) how could authentic Dasein ever choose to take up any particular possibility, and (iii) how could anything matter to authentic Dasein? They argue that Heidegger has a convincing answer to the first two puzzles, but they find his answer to the third “indirect and not totally convincing” (D&R, p. 332). I argue that they should find Heidegger's answer to the third puzzle far worse than “not totally convincing”, given their interpretation of his account of anxiety, and that the answers they claim he has in response to the first two puzzles are not supported by the text. I then show that the puzzles arise from distortions in Dreyfus and Rubin's interpretation of Heidegger's account of anxiety. The puzzles dissolve once the distortions are identified.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: University of California, Riverside

Publication date: December 1, 2005

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