The Lonely Soul of Dasein

Topics: Soul, Morality, Psychology Pages: 6 (2388 words) Published: October 8, 1999
This analysis makes no pretences of keeping with the psychological and moral convictions that Heidegger ignored. His structural analysis is simply not complete enough to represent Dasein’s phenomenological orientation in the world without considering some aspects which are inherent to each Dasein such as a psychological history and a moral destination. Although speculation as to the reasons behind his choice to ignore such overwhelming attributes is forever possible, leaving out psychology and morality leaves Dasein with no soul. Dasein then is nothing more than a component of the world through other Dasein. One can only Be when one’s Being is disclosed by Others until the they is escaped in Death. Heidegger doesn’t enjoy the negative connotation of the word escape in the context of relationships with Others, but this seems to be more important as a question of true existence, true realization of the authentic Self. I argue that the soul, the spirit, the essence of Dasein must be explained as well as the phenomena of existence in order to clarify the question “What does it mean to be (Dasein)?” Through the soul, Dasein may bridge the gaps of loneliness that occur in the solitude of single existence amongst Others. Psychology and morality provide excellent headquarters from which to launch this campaign in search of the soul of Dasein…How can one’s soul exhibit both concernful solicitude and care while experiencing existential loneliness in the face of Death? When looking at the temporality of Dasein’s existence, psychology corresponds to Heidegger’s concept of already-being as does morality to being-ahead-of-itself, in relation to the prospect of having a soul. Psychology and morality play such large roles in the creation of both the they-self and the authentic self that some definitions are in order. Psychology explains the relationships between phenomena and both voluntary and involuntary behavior patterns. Behavior is the reaction of the subconscious with the conscious before decisions are made and actions taken. The sum of the behavioral limitations of these reactions, symbolically speaking, equals the finite potential of possibilities after already-being-in-the-world. Thus behavior displays an abundant importance when considering Dasein’s interpretation of events on an authentic as well as an inauthentic level. It seems that Heidegger shies away from psychology because behavior can vary so much from one person to another and creates problems for his strictly structural analysis of being. Morality is also of great concern in a personal view of Heidegger’s Being and Time due to the touchy nature of his use of such terms as conscience and guilt to describe qualities that are present in all Dasein. Even though he attempts to use these words (guilt and conscience) without bringing extra baggage along with them, one cannot resist considering the implications that vernacular semantics suggest about the nature of Dasein. Heidegger explains: “…the concept of moral guilt has been so little clarified ontologically…interpretations of this phenomenon could become prevalent and have remained so” (Blackwell, p. 328). If this is the case, moral guilt should hold a place in the discussion because it is so prevalent. He also uses his own fresher definition of guilt to explain his idea that guilt is merely the lack of something that should and could be. If guilt is the main impetus for authentic Being, then wouldn’t morality be immediately involved in the discussion as a source of guilt, or as the next step above the middle management provided by conscience? For how else could one describe what should be other than in terms of a personal view of integrity towards living towards Others—otherwise stated as morality? Dasein defines what should be by looking forward to the possibility of being self-governed by an...
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