May I have misunderstood Heidegger philosophy, and I've melted up it with psycology, but isn't the being-towards-death, with the authentic Dasein, an anxious way of life?

I mean, in the moment in which men realize the fact that they will die, and the only truth of life is death, isn't this what makes them excape from daily homework and their life projects, in a depressive way?

I'm not talking about fear of death like that one of a heart attack or else, but obviously about death in Heidegger conception.

I've usually read which being-towards-death should bring freedom in our life, with that sense of distress and existential anxiety, but I do think which this concept makes worse and meaningless anything we do, since with authenticity we excape from "distractions" and we arrive in front of death.

Please comment and answer this.

1 Answer 1


In my interpretation, the event of death may well end in depression as a consequence of anxiety (or anguish) as a possibility. Its concrete effect is that things in the world in general lose weight, lose importance, and what stands out is the world as such.

But it happens that there is nothing that forces Dasein to remain in that state, and therefore she can resume her old life and fall back into immediate, everyday regularity.

But the event of death also allows Dasein to eventually see beyond his everyday gaze. The dissolution of the values ​​that governed her opens a door to the freedom of being able to reorder her life projects... towards where? For the Heidegger of Being and Time there seems to be a simple answer: towards a way of properly being in the world, as opposed to the alienation of a life that others have thought for us. It is about stopping "doing what everyone else does", to start reordering our activity based on our own history.

I like to think of this in metaphorical terms as walking on the edge of the abyss. Here keeping ourselves appropriating our history means not falling into the abyss (depression) but also not getting too far from it (alienation).

This is a very basic and superficial explanation. To delve into the subject, extra questions would be helpful, if you are interested.

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