Friday, June 05, 2015
Your guilty debt in Taylor Carman's Heidegger’s Analytic.
Like his notion of death, Heidegger’s conception of guilt departs widely, but not completely or perversely, from received opinion. Following Aristotle, Heidegger often takes received opinion as his point of departure: “All ontological investigations of phenomena like guilt, conscience, death must begin with what the everyday interpretation of Dasein ‘says’ about them.” But, unlike Aristotle, Heidegger concludes that the true ontological meaning of such phenomena tends to “get perverted by everyday interpretation” (SZ 281). The German word for guilt (Schuld) also means debt, fault, liability. Existential guilt is not debt or responsibility in any ordinary sense, however, since these are all ontic contingencies: Just as you might or might not be biologically or biographically dying, so too you might be indebted to someone, or responsible for something, or you might not be. But just as Dasein is always dying existentially, so too guilt in the existential sense, Heidegger insists, “lies in the being of Dasein as such, so that it is already guilty, just insofar as it factically exists” (SZ 281). Guilt is no accidental occurrence, for “Dasein is as such guilty” (SZ 285). “Dasein is essentially guilty, not sometimes guilty and then sometimes not” (SZ 305).
P. 285
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