Heidegger and the Essence of Man

By Michel Haar
Translated by William McNeill
Foreword by Herbert L. Dreyfus

Subjects: Continental Philosophy
Series: SUNY series in Contemporary Continental Philosophy
Paperback : 9780791415566, 195 pages, September 1993
Hardcover : 9780791415559, 195 pages, September 1993

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Table of contents

A Note on Three Capitals: Being, History, Earth

Translator's Note

Foreword by Hubert L. Dreyfus


Part One. The Self-Enabling of Dasein and Its Limits

1. Being-Towards-Death and the Limits to Totalizing One's Own Potentiality for Being


Running Ahead and Freedom
A Critique of Being-Towards-Death


2. The Call of Conscience, or the Limits of Dasein's Self-Appropriation of Its Possibilites

3. The Limits of Resoluteness and the Initially Latent, Then Explicit Primacy of Originary Temporality over Authentic Temporality


Situating Authentic and Resolute Temporality Relative to the "Spontaneity" of Originary Temporality
The Originary Future as Distinct from Its Two Modes
Originary Present, "Instant" and Inauthentic Making-Present
Originary Past (Birth and Thrownness), Repetition and Forgetting
Anxiety and Resolute Existence
"Originary Anxiety" or Anxiety with Respect to Being


Part Two. The Poverty of Homo Humanus, or Man Without Faculties

The False Symmetry of the Double Relation Between Man and Being

4. Man's Relation to Being


Relation and Connection: A Glance at Heidegger and Hegel
Thinking as the Essence of Man, and the Question of the "Physical" in Man: The Treatment of Perception
The Deconstruction of the "Rational Animal" and the Subject
The Dissolution of the Subject in Technology; Politics and Subjectivity
The Acts of Thought
Thought and Language
Thinking and Questioning


5. Being's Relation to Man


The Possible, or the Relation of Shared Desire
Freedom as a Property Little Shared by Being
Necessity, or the "Maintaining" of Man by Being
The Limit of the Requisitioning of Man: The Absence of Distress
The Role of Man: "The Freedom of Sacrifice" Alone Can Overcome "the Misfortune of Reflection"


6. Historical Figures of Human Being


Greek Man
Planetary Man
The Historiality and Nonhistoriality of Man


Works Cited



Michel Haar argues that Heidegger went too far in transferring all traditional properties of man to being. Haar examines what is left, after this displacement, not only of human identity, but perhaps more importantly, of nature, life, embodiment—of the flesh of human existence. This sensitive yet critical reading of Heidegger raises such issues in relation to questions of language, technology, human freedom, and history. In doing so, it provides a compelling argument for the need to rethink what it means to be human.

Michael Haar is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Paris, Sorbonne.