Heidegger on ‘Eigentlichkeit’: Re-Contextualizing Authenticity

Document Type : Original Article


Department of Philosophy, Marquette University (Milwaukee, Wisconsin)



The Heideggerian theme of authenticity (Eigentlichkeit) proves crucial to the task of fundamental ontology that Heidegger pursues in Being and Time. Unfortunately, clear and textually based commentary on this notion of authenticity has been sparse. Many prominent readings of authenticity fail to stay true to its purpose in Being and Time, opting instead to render a stronger existentialist reading than is warranted. While such readings of authenticity are truly fascinating as independent conceptions worthy of philosophical attention, they cannot be properly ascribed to Heidegger or the project of Being and Time. The present essay serves as an attempt to correct this course in the scholarship, offering a textually supported account of authenticity that recognizes its role as that which makes manifest the transparency that everyday Dasein lacks—a transparency that can do away with self-concealments and assist Heidegger in his pursuit of an answer to the question of Being qua Being.


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