Being, Nothingness and Anxiety

  • Mahon O’BrienEmail author
Part of the Philosophers in Depth book series (PID)


This chapter re-examines Heidegger’s analysis of moods in Being and Time against the backdrop of his famous 1929 inaugural lecture (‘What Is Metaphysics?’) and his 1940s retrospectives on the same lecture along with some related discussions in his 1935 lecture course—Introduction to Metaphysics. The chapter argues that Heidegger’s major concern in his early account of moods is best understood as an attempt to identify the role that absence plays in Dasein’s barest affective states which testify once more to the constant interplay of presence and absence in terms of what it means for anything to be. Though Heidegger looks to clarify his position in later writings, his account of moods is frequently misunderstood by commentators who see Heidegger’s early work as existentialist, humanist and/or anthropological in ways that fail to appreciate how his discussions in the existential analytic and the subsequent account of authenticity are, in fact, fledgling attempts to begin to sketch out the possibility of moving beyond the metaphysics of presence.


Angst Anxiety Metaphysics Nothingness Authenticity 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of SussexBrightonUK

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