Does Heidegger, or any Heidegderian, say that my "ownmost" has Being? Obviously, that term often means "death", and I'm guessing Heidegger says death has no Being. But perhaps he doesn't, or maybe my ownmost is not just death? Especially if we agree that what makes me most myself is already potentially me when I have Being.

I'm asking because it would be neat for me, not because I need to believe in God or an afterlife, but because life should be my measure, in my opinion.

2 Answers 2


Drawing from a loose assembly of quotes below: "Ownmost" is Dasein's essence or meaningfulness. Death is part of its journey, and until it ends Dasein's journey is incomplete. Death completes Dasein's meaning - determines it. The story concluded.

Wikipedia - Dasein

it is essential to have a clear understanding of the term ‘ownmost’. It is the English rendering of the German ‘wesen’ translated usually as ‘essence’ (the whatness). The verbal form of German term ‘wesen’ comes closer to the Indian root ‘vasati’ which means dwelling, living, growing, maturing, moving etc. Thus, this verbal dynamic character implied in the word ‘wesen’ is to be kept in mind to understand the nuance of the Heideggerian usage of ‘existence’. ...

to differentiate strictly, what is ownmost to Dasein from that of other modes of beings that Heidegger uses the term ‘existence’ for the being of man. For what is ownmost to other modes of beings, he uses the term present-at-hand.

Wikipedia - Being-towards-death

For Heidegger, death is Dasein's ownmost (it is what makes Dasein individual), it is non-relational (nobody can take one's death away from one, or die in one's place, and we can not understand our own death through the death of other Dasein), and it is not to be outstripped. The "not-yet" of life is always already a part of Dasein: "as soon as man comes to life, he is at once old enough to die." The threefold condition of death is thus simultaneously one's "ownmost potentiality-for-being, non-relational, and not to be out-stripped".

A Heidegger Dictionary, death and dying

'But death is, as pertaining to Dasein, only in an existentiell being towards death' (BT, 234). Heidegger calls this 'dying': 'Let Sterben be the term for the mode of being [Seinsweise] in which Dasein is towards its death [...] Dasein does not first die, or does not really die at all, with and in the experience of factical demise' (BT, 247). What matters is not physical demise, but one's attitude to one's death during life.

The same line (BT, 247) again, from another translation.

Being and Time - via Google Books

Thus we can say that Dasein never perishes. Dasein can only demise as long as it dies.


Temporal Finitude, limit and death is related to philiosophical transcendental anthropology

From the Book of Handbook of Death and Dying De Clifton D. Bryant

Heidegger incorporates human finitude, the death of human person, into the life of Dasein( Heidegger's term for human being), by making death integral to authentic human existance and wholeness. In fact Dasein become authentic when it resolves to endorse and make its own the choice of its possibilities on the basis of its own thrownness.

The encounter of Dasein with its own finitude is an indespensable element of authenticity

Heidegger1962 -294 said, if I respond to the experience of anxiety then I find myself facing the possibility which is one's ownmost, which is non-relational and which is not to be outstripped, this is my own upcomming death.

For Heidegger, being free from one's ownmost possibilities also always means being free from one's uttermost possibility, the possibility of death and for the existential anxiety that discloses it.

In the Book of Martin Heidegger, what is the methaphysics, say so deeply in Dasein penetrated by finitization that our ownmost and most profound finitude refuses to give in to our freedom.

1956, Jean-Paul Sartre Being and Nothingness, 2001

"Finitude: To be carefully distinguished from "mortality." Finitude refers not to the fact that man dies but to the fact that as a free choice of his own project of being, he makes himself finite by excluding other possibilities each time he chooses the one which he prefers. Man would thus, because of his facticity, be finite even if immortal."

Socrates said death either it is a state of nothingness and utter unconsciousness, or, as some people say, it is merely a migration from this world to another.

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