Heidegger Being Towards Death: Part 2

As we mentioned in the first post, RPE has moved its teaching, as many universities have, online during the lockdown. Part of this teaching is video essays, which are a good way of communicating difficult philosophical ideas visually and replacing what would have been face to face lectures. This is the second video essay explaining Heidegger’s analysis of being towards death in Being and Time. It is part of the Philosophy as a Way of Life module, where we explore philosophy as one way of making sense of our lives (perhaps quite relevant at the moment). It is Heidegger’s argument that it is in facing our morality that we can give significance to our lives.

In this video essay, I explain that the key to understanding Heidegger’s analysis is the difference between death as a possibility and death as an actuality or an event. When Heidegger is describing death as being towards death, he is not describing death as an event that happens at the end of life, but death as a permanent possibility that surrounds every moment of life. This difference between death as a possibility and death as an actuality is crucial to understanding how being towards death is central to choosing one’s own life and becoming who you are, which will be the topic of the next video essay.

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