When Heidegger deals with death as Dasein's non-relational, ownmost possibility in Being and Time he distinguishes between free selfhood and the they-self. He suggests a way of embracing man's mortality and finitude which avoids the mediocrity of the inauthentic. But what does authentic resoluteness mean? Am I to live according to the destiny of my fate? Is Heidegger implying that we should live our lives as if it were a work of art as interpreted even in the Nietzschean sense?

1 Answer 1


Formally, resoluteness only means being resolute to not flee from the call of Dasein in the Stimmung of Angst. And it is only formal, Heidegger provides no contents.

This is (a.o.) because Sein und Zeit is a preparation for the question to the sense of Being (Sinn von Sein). To do this, you need to be ready (bereit) to hear the call of your own being. Your own being does not only include your fate, but also your possibilities (of which death is the utmost).

Live as a work of art is something only Nietzschean. Remember 'art' means someting different for Nietzsche than for Heidegger:

  • For Nietzsche, art is a creation of the will. Life as a work of art for him means creating and experimenting with new values to find those which allow you to affirm life.
  • For Heidegger, a work of art is an event of truth (Unverborgenheid).

The resoluteness vis-a-vis a work of art in The Origin of the Work of Art is, as he says, a kind of 'knowing'. What can occur in a work of a art that it tears you from the immersion into the world of beings to the openness of Being. It allows you to know Being. 'Standing within' (Inständigkeit) does not mean that you live as the work of art, but to allow yourself to be open to the event of the work of art.

  • Thank you very much, that is helpful. I was associating Nietzsche's "free death" with Heidegger's notion of authenticity. Do you know how this relates to what he says in The Origin of the Work of Art about death and living life tragically, according to fate and our ownmost possibility which becomes a kind of destiny to be fulfilled? I like how you stated he "provides no contents." Very interesting! Appreciate the feedback. Jun 18, 2013 at 12:49
  • @MyronMosesJackson Sure, approx. where in The Origin does he talks about it?
    – jeroenk
    Jun 18, 2013 at 14:52
  • I was referring to the passages toward the end of the section entitled, The Work and Truth. On p. 65 of Heidegger's PLT (trans. Hofstadter), he speaks of resoluteness and "the openness of Being" in reference to Being and Time. I have interpreted this "standing within" and unconcealedness as relating to living as the work by which one's (or a people's) history is determined. Am I reading this correctly or what are some alternative renderings? Thanks for all the help and guidance. Jun 19, 2013 at 1:08
  • @MyronMosesJackson I've updated my answer, I hope this gives you some pointers.
    – jeroenk
    Jun 21, 2013 at 7:23

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .