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(2017) From conventionalism to social authenticity, Dordrecht, Springer.

Authenticity and plurality

from Heidegger's "anyone" to Arendt's "common sense" and back again

Ileana Borţun

pp. 133-156

This paper challenges the Arendt-inspired view that Dasein's individualization amounts to a radical separation from the world shared with others and ruled by "the anyone" (das Man), a withdrawal from human plurality which enables Dasein to devote itself exclusively to becoming itself, irrespective of any ethical and political norms. Although Arendt's critique does not hold (because resoluteness does not actually detach Dasein from its being-in-the-world with others), it prompts us to rethink the relation between the anyone and individualization and to see whether Dasein's authenticity can be connected to plurality more explicitly than Heidegger does. By comparing "the anyone" with Arendt's "common sense," we can reach a neutral interpretation of the shared character of understanding, which appears in Being and Time (§34) as "co-understanding" (Mitverstehen), as the existential interdependence of being-with (Mitsein) and understanding (Verstehen), articulated by discourse. I argue that the existential of co-understanding plays the same role as Arendt's "common sense," fitting the individual into human plurality. The anyone is the primordial tendency of co-understanding to become concrete as the average shared understanding in which everyday Dasein is immersed. Therefore, resoluteness entails a detachment only from averageness, being an authentic disclosure of what has been averagely co-understood with others, namely of the plurality of Dasein's ownmost possibilities and of the plurality of others, to whom Dasein, as being-with, is indebted for these possibilities. Given this indebtedness, I argue that resolute Dasein is bound to exist ethically and politically, i.e. to care for the plurality of others, with whom it co-exists.

Publication details

DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-56865-2_8

Full citation:

Borţun, I. (2017)., Authenticity and plurality: from Heidegger's "anyone" to Arendt's "common sense" and back again, in H. B. Schmid & G. Thonhauser (eds.), From conventionalism to social authenticity, Dordrecht, Springer, pp. 133-156.

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