das Man--Husserl/authenticity

On 6/6/95 Christopher Rickey wrote:

>Good, now my problem. If das Man is really a category and contains all
>of the possibilities of the set of public life, it also designates a
>particular subset of these possibilities, mainly the covered over,
>average ones. Heidegger opposes the interpretations of death and
>history, for example, offered by das Man to his own (I would presume
>these would be the authentic ones); if there is a difference between
>interpretations (possibilities) given by das Man, and those given in an
>authentic disclosure, I can't see how these second possibilities can be
>part of the first set. In short, he would be using the same term for
>both the full set and a subset of this set, a confusion that, in my
>honest opinion, would go beyond terminological confusion and into
>conceptual confusion.

It seems to me that one could argue that the difference is not "between
interpretations (possibilities) given by das Man, and those given in an
authentic disclosure" but, rather, between inauthentic (or
undifferentiated) and authentic self-understandingings in terms of the SAME
interpretations (possibilities). On this view, when these interpretations
(possibilities) are taken up inauthentically (or undifferentiatedly) they
are levelled, averaged-out, covered-up, etc.. When they are taken up
authentically, however, they are encountered, if you will, in their
original lived form. Although he wasn't addressing this issue, I think Phil
Mill's posting of 6/1/95 sheds some light here:

> There is indeed an "eigen" in "Eigentlichkeit," but it has more to do
>with
>"Aneignung" (appropriation) than with "Eigenschaft" (property). What
>Heidegger is
>trying to get at here is the notion of taking ownership of something, "making
>it one's own"
>(sich zu eigen machen). In authentic existence, I take ownership of
>something that was
>somehow already there, already at work in me, though without being fully
>appropriated.
> Husserl had identified a kind of authenticity to be found in
>theoretical
>life. On his
>analysis, when I merely repeat an assertion I have heard or read, I do
>express a meaning,
>but my meaning intention is empty. To fulfill the empty intention, I must
>bring the things
>themselves, the very things the assertion is about, to intuitive givenness.
> The meaning
>itself is the same in both cases, but my relation to it is different. Only
>by bringing
>fulfilment to my meaning intention can I can take genuine responsibility for
>the truth of
>what I assert. In doing so I cease to merely parrot what I have picked up
>from others. I
>make the meaning my own, so to speak; I become an authentic speaker and
>thinker.
> Heidegger was trying to show that the structures of intentional
>consciousness
>identified by Husserl are in fact derived from analogous but more basic
>structures at work
>in everyday, pretheoretical life. Why is it that theoretical life is
>teleologically oriented
>toward the fulfilment of meaning intentions, toward authentic speaking and
>thinking?
>Ultimately, Heidegger thought, because everyday, pretheoretical life is
>oriented toward
>authentic existence, toward taking ownership of what one somehow already is.
> Originally
>I am not a theoretical subject, but rather an existing individual. When I
>shift to from my
>everyday way of being into a theoretical attitude, my way of comporting
>myself toward
>the world changes, but the structures that define my comportment are somehow
>preserved. Authenticity remains a telos, though it takes on a different
>shape.
> It seems to me that much, maybe all, of Heidegger's existential
>analytic
>needs to be
>understood in this light: as an attempt to identify the original structures
>of pre-theoretical
>life from which the structures of intentional consciousness are derived.

I find these lines to be especially relevent: "To fulfill the empty
intention, I must bring the things themselves, the very things the
assertion is about, to intuitive givenness. The meaning itself is the same
in both cases, but my relation to it is different."

I'm a bit pressed for time, so I'll end here by making a few short
comments. First, it seems to me that Heidegger's treatment of assertion in
_Being and Time_ is generally congruent with Mill's characterization of
Husserl's view.
(I think their chief difference concerns the issue of giveness.) Second, I
think that there is strong support for the argument that I am suggesting in
Heidegger's discussions of "idle talk" and "ambiguity" (sections 35 & 37).
Consider especially the notion of "uprootedness".

Oh, yes. Two questions.

To Christopher Rickey:
You write "that the operative opposition is not between public and
private, but between two types of publicness." What are these "two types of
publicness"? Are you referring to your earlier distinction--"community
versus society"?

To PhilMill (Is this your name?):
Can you direct me to a text by Husserl that captures best the
views you described in your posting?

Chris Hargens




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