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Lecture 6

IV. Man and Death

A. Life from the Viewpoint of Death

“Martin Heidegger’s Phenomenology of Death” by Manny Dy

1. The Being of Man as Desein (Being-There)
a. Dasein: Being There
i. Situatedness
ii. Being-in-the-World
iii. Concern, Solicitude
b. Fundamental Structure of Dasein: Care
i. Existentiality
ii. Facticity
iii. Fallenness
2. Man as Being-Toward-Death
a. Existentiality
b. Facticity
c. Falleness
3. Two Modes of Being-Toward-Death
a. Inauthentic Being-Toward-Death
b. Authentic Being-Toward-Death

1. The Being of Man as Desein (Being-There)

1. Dasein: Being There
- the being of man is a mode of being distinct, different from other beings:
- Absolute: Pure Spirit, Pure Subjectivity
- Things: Purely Material, No Subjectivity
- Man’s being is dasein:
- sein: being; da: there
- being there
- Dasein means: situatedness, being-in-the-world which consists in concern,

i. Dasein as Situatedness
- to say that man’s being is dasein is to say:
- man exists, is thrown into a situation which he himself did not create
- he does not simply exist but exists in something other than himself
- “exist”: thrown outside
- finds himself outside of himself
- surrounded by things other than himself

ii. Dasein as Being-in-the-world

- This being of man as dasein, as thrown into a situation other than himself could
be characterized as being-in-the-world
- Man is thrown into a situation, into the world not like a cigarette in put on a
table, in a box.
- A cigarette could still be a cigarette with a table, without a box
- The table or the box is not constitutive of the cigarette
- Table could still be table, box could still be box without cigarette
- The cigarette is constitutive of the being of table, of the being of
- Cigarette has not consciousness of the table, box.
- It could not be present to a table, box in a way a man is present to a
table or box; the box or table could not present to a cigarette in a way that
the box or table could be present to man.
- Man is being-in-the-world
- The world is constitutive of the being of man
- Man could not exist, could not be a man without the world
- Man could not realize himself without the world, without relating
with the world.
- Without man, world is not a world but only a brute fact.
- World as spatio-temporal dimension

- World as totality of being, integrated whole, not just discreet facts,
atomistic units.
- World of meaning and purpose
- World:
- World as common sphere of activity. E.g.: World of Sports
- World as the Socio-Historical Conditions:
- World as Mental Universe

iii. Man’s being-in-the-world consists in concern/solicitude

- Concern:
- Being alongside other things which are constituted by other persons
- Solicitude:
- being alongside other persons
- being with others

2. Fundamental Structure of Dasein: Care

- there are elements in the structure of dasein
- these three elements as inseparable and forming a unity are what Heidegger
calls: Care
i. Existentiality: Not yet, potentialities, transcendence of man
- As man’s potentialities and possibilities
- What he may be in the future
- That which is still to be realized in him
- Power of becoming what he may be in the future
- As project, as transcendence
- Reaching beyond what he is now to what he may be in the future
- His very being consists in reaching in aiming at what he is not yet.
- Man is a being-who-is-always-ahead-of-himself
- As he realizes his possibilities, he goes ahead of what he is at the moment, goes
beyond himself.
ii. Facticity: givenness, determined, already
- He realizes his project, possibility, he transcends himself within the facticity, the
situatedness in which he already finds himself.
- His projection never outruns the boundaries/determinations of the world that has
been given to him
- What he may be in the future is real possibility only when they are already
contained in the facticity, present givenness as its possibility though not yet
- The possibility becomes real in the future only when they are being realized
within the present givenness.
iii. Fallenness: Inauthenticity/Forfeiture
- Man as transcendent/existentiality and facticity (i.e. realizing and transcending
himself within the givenness of the world in which he finds himself) could
forfeit/forget/fall from this very structure of his being.
- Man, relating with world in order to realize himself, will be disturbed/distracted
with everyday cares of things and peoples that surround him and forgets his task of
realizing/transcending himself.
- In this way, he becomes a:
- They-self
- Public Self
- Anonymous Crowd
- Das Man
- This kind of self is a live in the world, with and for the other in alienation from
the central task of realizing and transcending himself.

2. Man as Being-Toward-Death
- Death is what happens to man’s being (dasein)
- As such, death has to be understood in the fundamental structure of man’s being
(dasein) which consists of the organic unity of existentiality, facticity and falllenness. As
organic unity of man’s being, we call them as CARE.
a. Existentiality: Death as the Utmost Possibility
i. it is the utmost possibility among the many possibilities of man
- man has many possibilities; one of these possibilities is death
- but death is not like any other possibilities of man

- it is the utmost possibility
- it is the upper limit, uttermost limit of what he may be in the future
- the ultimate not yet, possibility
- possibility of his absolute impossibility, of his no longer being possible, his no
longer able to be there, of being-there
- in short, is the possibility of the end of his dasein: of his being-in-the-world; it is
the possibility of his not-being, of ceasing to be.

ii. This utmost possibility is not something that man can outstrip, outrun
- inevitable, invincible possibility of all men and women
- a possibility that will necessarily be realized in all men and women
- a possibility that no man can escape.
iii. This utmost possibility is something disclosed to man
- man, is the only being whose possibility of his absolute impossibility is disclosed
- he can know, be aware, be conscious of his utmost possibility
- When the utmost possibility is disclosed to me, I experience dread, angst
- Fear: definite object; I fear this or that.
- Dread: no definite object, I fear my non-being, my nothingness
- He also can make decision as to what attitude he can take with regards to his
utmost possibility
iv. In death, man may not arrive at his fulfillment
- While he still exists, man lacks wholeness, totality, he is not yet complete,
finished because there are always the not yet, the possibilities, project that are still to
be realized, that can be realized. Nevertheless, the wholeness, integrity is something
accessible to him now as a possibility to be realized but not a something already
The woods are lovely, dark and deep
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to be before I sleep,
And Miles to go before I sleep.
Robert Frost.
- The lack of totality comes to an end with death
- In death, man can attain the wholeness, integrity, totality; he will be complete,
finished, fully realized since there will be no more possibilities, not yet, projects
that are still to be realized and can be realized after death.
- Only in death, man could consider himself as finished, complete, in the totality,
wholeness of his possibilities.
- Nevertheless, at the end of my dasein (in death), I may or may not arrive the
fulfillment, complete realization of my being.
- Difference between the ripeness of fruit and the death of man:
- With the fruit, the ripeness is the fulfillment of its being.
- With man, his death may or may not be the fulfillment of its being.
- What is unfortunate according to Heidegger is that “so little is it the case that
Dasein comes to its ripeness only with death, that Dasein may will have passed its
ripeness before the end. For the most part, Dasein ends in unfillment.”
b. Facticity: Death as already present, as given, as the possibility already immediately
contained in the present
- death of man (his end as man as dasein, his utmost possibility, the possibility of
his absolute impossibility) comes not like: we come at the end of a road, coming of a
storm, car or arrival of a friend. In what ways are they unlike, different:
1. Coming of the storm, arrival of a end, coming at the end of the road are totally
outside of the present, of the now.
- There is some distance, remoteness between these future events and the present.
- as long a friend is still coming/arriving, he is not yet present
- as long as the storm is still coming, one thing for sure the storm has not yet
2. They are events that are external to me
- they are possibilities that lie outside of myself, my existence though related to
- Unlike coming of the storm, arrival of a end, coming at the end of the road, death
of man is
1. A possibility already contained in the present
- death is not a possibility that is remote/distant from my present, from what is
- As long as man lives, he is already old enough to die. I could die in any second,
in any millisecond.
- The immediacy of the possibility in the present is far immediate than any
immediate impending external event.
- I could die now, at this very moment, at this very instance.
2. Death is not a possibility external to me; the utmost possibility is my “ownmost”
- Death is the very possibility of my existence, inherent possibility and dynamism
of my existence. I die because of me, my existence.
- It is not a possibility dependent, proceeding from something external: I die
because of others.
- Death is not what others do to you; death is what happens to you, in you.
- My existence is a being-toward-death.

c. Fallenness: Falling Away from this very dynamism and structure of my being-toward-death
- Forfeiture of, fallenness from his task fully realizing, completely fulfilling
himself in death.
- Engrossed with everyday concern and absorbed with his they-self, he becomes
ignorant of his utmost possibility or/and flees away from his utmost possibility

3. Two Modes of being-toward-death

a. Inauthentic Mode:
- Man does not authentically live my existence as being-toward death when he
escapes/falls from his Utmost and Ownmost Possibility, from his own death. How does
he escape? When he sees and lives as if death were:
i. Something that will not inevitably happen to me.
- He denies his utmost and ownmost possibility of his absolute impossibility.
- He denies and does not want to face that there is a possibility that he will
absolutely cease to be.
- Thus, when he sees a dying man, he tries to console himself, saying that death is
something that happens to this person and absolutely not to him. And he goes to
his everyday life as if he would not die.
ii. Something that happens to others but not to me.
- Death happens constantly: read on the newspaper, heard from neighbors, friends,
relatives, visiting wakes and funerals.
- But it is the death of anybody but not mine
- I talk about death but it is death of anyone except me, in the sense
that I do not realize and accept my own death.
- People die but it has nothing to do with me.
iii. Something that will happen to me but not right now.
- though I may realize and accept that I will die, but I do see as a remote
possibility that will happen to me ten years from now, twenty years from.
Certainly, not two seconds from now, one millisecond from now, not now, not at
this very moment, instance.
- By escaping from his utmost possibility of his absolute impossibility (death), he
fails to completely realize his unique self-project, unique possibility (at least to make a
serious effort or to make it as his fundamental task).

b. Authentic Mode:
- How does man as dasein live authentically his being-toward-death:

i. Face the possibility of his death as his own utmost and ownmost possibility of as
already present and inevitable possibility
- He never tries to escape from, deny, conceal his utmost possibility of his
absolute possibility
- This utmost possibility is his; death is something what will inevitably happen to
- Death as already present, that he will/can die at any moment, at this very

ii. How does his face his death as his own...?

- Not by actualizing it himself; not that he himself brings death to happen: Suicide
- Suicide is not authentic mode of being-toward-death because it
annihilates/demolishes all his potentialities, instead of bringing them to a totality,
full realization, complete fulfillment in the face of his utmost possibility.

- Rather, he faces death by ANTICIPATION, EXPECTATION
- He lives his everyday life in anticipation, in the light of his utmost and ownmost
possibility of his absolute impossibility.
- In view of his utmost and ownmost possibility of ceasing to be,
- he comes to realize his ultimate project, what he really wants to be
in life at the end, what his life to be at the end when everything comes to a
conclusion, to a closure.
- Then, he tries to realize this in his everyday life, hoping, trusting
that in the end he may fully realize, completely fulfill his ultimate project,
his totality, his integrity.
- In short, with the consciousness that he will die any time, he tries to live his life
to the fullest.