After the world of Das Mann lose its significance and becomes meaningless, one falls in anxiety and he's able to embrace other possibilities.

But this anxiety is converted automatically into certain manifestations:

This anxiety cannot be located. As Rollo May says, "it attacks us from all sides at once." A fear that can neither be understood nor located cannot be confronted and becomes more terrible still: it begets a feeling of helplessness which invariably generates further anxiety. (Freud felt that anxiety was a reaction to helplessness; anxiety, he wrote, "is a signal which announces that there is danger" and the individual is "expecting a situation of helplessness to set in." How can we combat anxiety? By displacing it from nothing to something. This is what Kierkegaard meant by "the nothing which is the object of dread becomes, as it were, more and more a something."

(Existential psychotherapy, p43)

These manifestations can be phobias and obsessions:

Thus, neurotic symptoms serve to reduce and narrow—to magically transform the world so that he may be distracted from the concerns of death, guilt, and meaninglessness.

(Humanistic psychiatry: from oppression to choice, pp. 123)


(A) Unlike Nietzsche and his self-creation, does Heidegger want us to remain at anxiety and not choose to become anything even a self-created self?

So that if man came to terms with anxiety and its manifestations, he avoids the extra guilt of neurosis, but nevertheless still suffers from anxiety and its manifestations.

But what's the outcome to man from his suffering of anxiety?

(B) Or, does he want us to abandon anxiety and become ourselves instead of Das Mann, but if so, i can't find a difference between being ourselves or Das Mann: both of them seem inauthentic modes of being as they hinder of us of considering other possibilities of what we can be.

  • I see a paradox in Heidegger's, so i said it might be something in my reading. – Themobisback Oct 20 '18 at 20:35
  • 1
    In not letting Das Mann determine you, and being yourself, you may find that yourself is nothing but the free play of possibilities itself. Without any cultural form or idea of yourself you subscribe to, you are free to actually be that self unmediated by concept. I think the point may be that by subscribing to a self definition offered by your culture, you limit your possibilities for experience and being. – Ethan NOPE Oct 20 '18 at 21:28
  • @EthanNOPE but being yourself is the same as being the culture's self in terms of inauthenticity, because both of them are lies that make man deny his mortality. – Themobisback Oct 20 '18 at 22:47
  • Not (B), sure. Authenticity should accept the prospect of Anxiety. Note, however, (i) that doesn't mean we must want Anxiety, (ii) or that we are able to stay authentic all the time. – ttnphns Oct 21 '18 at 8:42
  • Besides, in your question you are citing mostlly Rollo May who isn't strictly a heideggerian; only "das man" term in the question signifies the presence of Heidegger. Are you after Heidegger or after other "existentialists" too? – ttnphns Oct 21 '18 at 8:48

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.