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The Self as Resolution: Heidegger, Derrida and the Intimacy of the Question of the Meaning of Being

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image of Research in Phenomenology

Because Dasein, as conceived by Heidegger, is inherently temporal, the "who" of Dasein can never be defined simply in terms of a (self-)present identity but must have the character of what Derrida calls "différance." Dasein 's authenticity, then, must be an embracing of this, its character as différance. This means that the "self" is "neither a substance nor a subject" but a resolution. The anticipatory resoluteness of authenticity, however, is a unique kind of resolve: it is the resolve to be open to transformation. For that reason, Dasein's proper self-appropriation—authenticity—is found precisely in its inherent inappropriability. Because Dasein is always being-in-the-world, the openness of its own "who" is equally an openness of being's "what." Dasein 's authenticity is nothing other than the enactment of the question of the meaning of being.

Affiliations: 1: University of Guelph


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