In the penultimate part of his 7-part blog, Critchley suggests that far from being morbid, Heidegger’s conception of living in the knowledge of death is a liberating one.
“For human beings, time comes to an end with our death. Therefore, if we want to understand what it means to be an authentic human being, then it is essential that we constantly project our lives onto the horizon of our death. This is what Heidegger famously calls “being-towards-death”. If our being is finite, then an authentic human life can only be found by confronting finitude and trying to make a meaning out of the fact of our death. Heidegger subscribes to the ancient maxim that “to philosophise is to learn how to die”. Mortality is that in relation to which we shape and fashion our selfhood.”
Read the full article here on Comment is Free.
Simon Critchley’s Ethics–Politics–Subjectivity: Derrida, Levinas, and Contemporary French Thought is out now as part of Radical Thinkers Set 4.