Heidegger and Authenticity

  • Peter Lucas
Part of the Library of Ethics and Applied Philosophy book series (LOET, volume 26)


The Hegelian concept of recognition ties the ethics of self-interpretation to an ethic of self-realisation. However, it rests on essentialist claims about the nature and possibility of self-knowledge that are unlikely to be sympathetically viewed in the generally liberal and anti-essentialist atmosphere of contemporary applied and professional ethics. This chapter aims to show how a non-essentialistic alternative might be developed, which preserves some key features of Hegel’s model, on the basis of Heidegger’s account of authenticity. Heidegger can be said to take a sceptical essentialist view of human nature. Just as knowledge remains an issue for the epistemological sceptic, even while he rejects it, so Heidegger’s approach to the question of what it is to be human acknowledges that our own being never ceases to be an issue for us, while recognising that to embrace any of the (ultimately instrumentally derived) self-conceptions that are available to us would be inauthentic.


Human Nature Intentional Object Mere Means Instrumental Complex Categorial Element 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Education and Social Sciences, University of Central LancashirePreston, LancashireUK

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