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existence (Heidegger)

Subject Philosophy

People Heidegger, Martin

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405106795.2004.x


M odern european philosophy Etymologically, existence ( existere ) means “standing out” or “standing outside.” On this basis, Heidegger claimed that not all actual entities can be said to exist. Existence is not, as traditionally conceived, something one simply encounters or comes across in the world (what Heidegger called presence-at-hand). Rather, it is the mode of being of Dasein (human existence), for only Dasein can stand out from its own occurrence in the world and reflect on itself. For Heidegger, existence is Dasein 's awareness that it is. Dasein 's essence lies in its existence because we make ourselves be what we are in the course of living out our possibilities. For Heidegger, existence in this sense is also the ground of presence , that is, the mode of being of the world. “That kind of Being towards which Dasein can comport itself in one way or another, and always does comport itself somehow, we call ‘existence’ [ Existenz ].” Heidegger, Being and Time ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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