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Lecture 6

Man and Death


1. Life from the Viewpoint of Death
Martin Heideggers Phenomenology of Death by Manny Dy
Outline:
1. The Being of Man as Desein (Being-There)
a. Dasein: Being There
i. Situatedness
ii. Being-in-the-World
iii. Concern, Solicitude
b. Fundamental Structure of Dasein: Care
i. Existentiality
ii. Facticity
iii. Fallenness
2. Man as Being-Toward-Death
a. Existentiality
b. Facticity
c. Falleness
3. Two Modes of Being-Toward-Death
a. Inauthentic Being-Toward-Death
b. Authentic Being-Toward-Death
1. The Being of Man as Desein (Being-There)

1. Dasein: Being There


- the being of man is a mode of being distinct, different from other beings:
- Absolute: Pure Spirit, Pure Subjectivity
- Things: Purely Material, No Subjectivity
- Mans being is dasein:
- sein: being; da: there
- being there
- Dasein means: situatedness, being-in-the-world which consists in
concern, solicitude
i.

Dasein as Situatedness
- to say that mans being is dasein is to say:
- man exists, is thrown into a situation which he himself did not create
- he does not simply exist but exists in something other than himself
- exist: thrown outside
- finds himself outside of himself
- surrounded by things other than himself

ii. Dasein as Being-in-the-world


- This being of man as dasein, as thrown into a situation other than himself
could be characterized as being-in-the-world
- Man is thrown into a situation, into the world not like a cigarette in put on
a table, in a box.
- A cigarette could still be a cigarette with a table, without a box
- The table or the box is not constitutive of the cigarette
- Table could still be table, box could still be box without cigarette
- The cigarette is constitutive of the being of table, of the being of
box
- Cigarette has not consciousness of the table, box.
- It could not be present to a table, box in a way a man is present
to a table or box; the box or table could not present to a cigarette
in a way that the box or table could be present to man.
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Man is being-in-the-world
- The world is constitutive of the being of man
- Man could not exist, could not be a man without the world
- Man could not realize himself without the world, without relating
with the world.
- Without man, world is not a world but only a brute fact.
- World as spatio-temporal dimension
- World as totality of being, integrated whole, not just discreet
facts, atomistic units.
- World of meaning and purpose
- World:
- World as common sphere of activity. E.g.: World of Sports
- World as the Socio-Historical Conditions:
- World as Mental Universe

iii. Mans being-in-the-world consists in concern/solicitude


- Concern:
- Being alongside other things which are constituted by other persons
- Solicitude:
- being alongside other persons
- being with others
2. Fundamental Structure of Dasein: Care
- there are elements in the structure of dasein
- these three elements as inseparable and forming a unity are what
Heidegger calls: Care
i. Existentiality: Not yet, potentialities, transcendence of man
- As mans potentialities and possibilities
- What he may be in the future
- That which is still to be realized in him
- Power of becoming what he may be in the future
- As project, as transcendence
- Reaching beyond what he is now to what he may be in the future
- His very being consists in reaching in aiming at what he is not yet.
- Man is a being-who-is-always-ahead-of-himself
- As he realizes his possibilities, he goes ahead of what he is at the
moment, goes beyond himself.
ii. Facticity: givenness, determined, already
- He realizes his project, possibility, he transcends himself within the
facticity, the situatedness in which he already finds himself.
- His projection never outruns the boundaries/determinations of the world
that has been given to him
- What he may be in the future is real possibility only when they are
already contained in the facticity, present givenness as its possibility
though not yet realized.
- The possibility becomes real in the future only when they are being
realized within the present givenness.
iii. Fallenness: Inauthenticity/Forfeiture
- Man as transcendent/existentiality and facticity (i.e. realizing and
transcending himself within the givenness of the world in which he finds
himself) could forfeit/forget/fall from this very structure of his being.
- Man, relating with world in order to realize himself, will be
disturbed/distracted with everyday cares of things and peoples that
surround him and forgets his task of realizing/transcending himself.
- In this way, he becomes a:
- They-self
- Public Self
- Anonymous Crowd
- Das Man
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This kind of self is a live in the world, with and for the other in alienation
from the central task of realizing and transcending himself.

2. Man as Being-Toward-Death
- Death is what happens to mans being (dasein)
- As such, death has to be understood in the fundamental structure of mans
being (dasein) which consists of the organic unity of existentiality, facticity
and falllenness. As organic unity of mans being, we call them as CARE.
a. Existentiality: Death as the Utmost Possibility
i. it is the utmost possibility among the many possibilities of man
- man has many possibilities; one of these possibilities is death
- but death is not like any other possibilities of man
- it is the utmost possibility
- it is the upper limit, uttermost limit of what he may be in the future
- the ultimate not yet, possibility
- possibility of his absolute impossibility, of his no longer being
possible, his no longer able to be there, of being-there
- in short, is the possibility of the end of his dasein: of his being-in-theworld; it is the possibility of his not-being, of ceasing to be.
ii. This utmost possibility is not something that man can outstrip, outrun
- inevitable, invincible possibility of all men and women
- a possibility that will necessarily be realized in all men and women
- a possibility that no man can escape.
iii. This utmost possibility is something disclosed to man
- man, is the only being whose possibility of his absolute impossibility is
disclosed
- he can know, be aware, be conscious of his utmost possibility
- When the utmost possibility is disclosed to me, I experience dread,
angst
- Fear: definite object; I fear this or that.
- Dread: no definite object, I fear my non-being, my nothingness
- He also can make decision as to what attitude he can take with regards
to his utmost possibility
iv. In death, man may not arrive at his fulfillment
- While he still exists, man lacks wholeness, totality, he is not yet
complete, finished because there are always the not yet, the possibilities,
project that are still to be realized, that can be realized. Nevertheless, the
wholeness, integrity is something accessible to him now as a possibility
to be realized but not a something already realized.
The woods are lovely, dark and deep
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to be before I sleep,
And Miles to go before I sleep.
Robert Frost.
- The lack of totality comes to an end with death
- In death, man can attain the wholeness, integrity, totality; he will be
complete, finished, fully realized since there will be no more
possibilities, not yet, projects that are still to be realized and can be
realized after death.
- Only in death, man could consider himself as finished, complete, in
the totality, wholeness of his possibilities.
- Nevertheless, at the end of my dasein (in death), I may or may not arrive
the fulfillment, complete realization of my being.
- Difference between the ripeness of fruit and the death of man:
- With the fruit, the ripeness is the fulfillment of its being.
- With man, his death may or may not be the fulfillment of its being.
- What is unfortunate according to Heidegger is that so little is it the case
that Dasein comes to its ripeness only with death, that Dasein may will
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have passed its ripeness before the end. For the most part, Dasein ends
in unfillment.
b. Facticity: Death as already present, as given, as the possibility already
immediately contained in the present
- death of man (his end as man as dasein, his utmost possibility, the possibility
of his absolute impossibility) comes not like: we come at the end of a road,
coming of a storm, car or arrival of a friend. In what ways are they unlike,
different:
1. Coming of the storm, arrival of a end, coming at the end of the road are
totally outside of the present, of the now.
- There is some distance, remoteness between these future events
and the present.
- as long a friend is still coming/arriving, he is not yet present
- as long as the storm is still coming, one thing for sure the storm has
not yet arrived.
2. They are events that are external to me
- they are possibilities that lie outside of myself, my existence though
related to me.
- Unlike coming of the storm, arrival of a end, coming at the end of the road,
death of man is
1. A possibility already contained in the present
- death is not a possibility that is remote/distant from my present, from
what is now.
- As long as man lives, he is already old enough to die. I could die in
any second, in any millisecond.
- The immediacy of the possibility in the present is far immediate than
any immediate impending external event.
- I could die now, at this very moment, at this very instance.
2. Death is not a possibility external to me; the utmost possibility is my
ownmost possibility
- Death is the very possibility of my existence, inherent possibility and
dynamism of my existence. I die because of me, my existence.
- It is not a possibility dependent, proceeding from something external:
I die because of others.
- Death is not what others do to you; death is what happens to you, in
you.
- My existence is a being-toward-death.
c. Fallenness: Falling Away from this very dynamism and structure of my beingtoward-death
- Forfeiture of, fallenness from his task fully realizing, completely fulfilling
himself in death.
- Engrossed with everyday concern and absorbed with his they-self, he
becomes ignorant of his utmost possibility or/and flees away from his utmost
possibility
3. Two Modes of being-toward-death
a. Inauthentic Mode:
- Man does not authentically live my existence as being-toward death when he
escapes/falls from his Utmost and Ownmost Possibility, from his own death.
How does he escape? When he sees and lives as if death were:
i. Something that will not inevitably happen to me.
- He denies his utmost and ownmost possibility of his absolute
impossibility.
- He denies and does not want to face that there is a possibility that he
will absolutely cease to be.

Thus, when he sees a dying man, he tries to console himself, saying


that death is something that happens to this person and absolutely
not to him. And he goes to his everyday life as if he would not die.
ii. Something that happens to others but not to me.
- Death happens constantly: read on the newspaper, heard from
neighbors, friends, relatives, visiting wakes and funerals.
- But it is the death of anybody but not mine
- I talk about death but it is death of anyone except me, in the
sense that I do not realize and accept my own death.
- People die but it has nothing to do with me.
iii. Something that will happen to me but not right now.
- though I may realize and accept that I will die, but I do see as a
remote possibility that will happen to me ten years from now, twenty
years from. Certainly, not two seconds from now, one millisecond
from now, not now, not at this very moment, instance.
By escaping from his utmost possibility of his absolute impossibility (death),
he fails to completely realize his unique self-project, unique possibility (at
least to make a serious effort or to make it as his fundamental task).
-

b. Authentic Mode:
- How does man as dasein live authentically his being-toward-death:
i.

Face the possibility of his death as his own utmost and ownmost possibility
of as already present and inevitable possibility
- He never tries to escape from, deny, conceal his utmost possibility of his
absolute possibility
- This utmost possibility is his; death is something what will inevitably
happen to him
- Death as already present, that he will/can die at any moment, at this very
moment.

ii. How does his face his death as his own...?


- NOT BY ACTUALIZATION
- Not by actualizing it himself; not that he himself brings death to
happen: Suicide
- Suicide is not authentic mode of being-toward-death because it
annihilates/demolishes all his potentialities, instead of bringing them
to a totality, full realization, complete fulfillment in the face of his
utmost possibility.
- Rather, he faces death by ANTICIPATION, EXPECTATION
- He lives his everyday life in anticipation, in the light of his utmost and
ownmost possibility of his absolute impossibility.
- In view of his utmost and ownmost possibility of ceasing to be,
- he comes to realize his ultimate project, what he really wants to
be in life at the end, what his life to be at the end when
everything comes to a conclusion, to a closure.
- Then, he tries to realize this in his everyday life, hoping, trusting
that in the end he may fully realize, completely fulfill his ultimate
project, his totality, his integrity.
- In short, with the consciousness that he will die any time, he tries to
live his life to the fullest.