Questioning the Meaning of Authenticity in Martin Heidegger's Being and Time
The purpose of this thesis is to clarify the meaning of authenticity in Martin Heidegger's Being and Time. This is done first by situating the meaning of authenticity within the project as a whole, second through an exegesis of key parts of the text, and third, through an evaluation of certain scholarly commentaries. The ultimate aim is to argue against an interpretation of authenticity that carries an overly subjectivistic-individualistic connotation.
The second chapter seeks to provide the necessary context for the meaning of authenticity within the project of Being and Time as a whole. The goal is to make transparent the situation that Heidegger finds himself in when he conceives of the necessity for the concept of authenticity. Towards this end, it is necessary to highlight those commitments to phenomenology and hermeneutics that informs Heidegger's effort.
The third chapter first introduces the various characterizations of authenticity that Heidegger offers in Being and Time and the problematic meaning they suggest. Subsequently, the third chapter aims at creating a context for the meaning of those characterizations through an exegesis of the existentials of every existentiell disclosure of Dasein's being-in-the-world. By examining what it means for Dasein to be in the world in general, the goal is to narrow the scope of what authenticity can and cannot mean.
The fourth chapter surveys certain commentaries on authenticity that argue in favor of a subjectivistic-individualistic emphasis for the meaning of authenticity. The goal is to isolate the key points in Being and Time that are used in support of these interpretations, and subsequently to use the frameworks created in Chapters II and III to articulate why such commentaries are incorrect. Finally, Chapter IV gestures towards the right meaning of those descriptions of authenticity that carry a subjectivistic-individualistic connotation in order to place them in the right context.
The thesis concludes by suggesting that a non subjectivistic-individualistic interpretation fits more holistically with the other social-historical parts of the text, and that a subjectivistic-individualistic interpretation remains within the provenance of the kind of metaphysics that Heidegger wishes to distance himself from.