Das man and everydayness
a new interpretation
This chapter offers a reinterpretation of Heidegger's conception of the social world (das Man) in order to overcome the tension between its conflicting positive and negative characterisations in Being and Time. Rejecting a purely positive or a purely negative reading of das Man, the chapter follows Stephen Mulhall in carving out a middle ground between the two. The chapter takes seriously Heidegger's claim that it is possible for das Man to undergo an authentic transformation, exploring how best to conceive of this idea. It is argued that the authentic transformation of das Man and the everyday way of being it engenders, is most productively understood with reference to Dasein's relation to das Man and the way Dasein grasps the world as meaningful. Through this reading it is shown how both an authentic and an inauthentic mode of everydayness can be accommodated. The chapter concludes with an examination of the consequences of this interpretation, arguing for the critical and political potential of authenticity as an attentive and engaged mode of being-in-the-world.
Knowles, C. (2017)., Das man and everydayness: a new interpretation, in H. B. Schmid & G. Thonhauser (eds.), From conventionalism to social authenticity, Dordrecht, Springer, pp. 29-52.
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