For an audience of one: Why "Being and Time" is not a self-help manual
This essay critically investigates Martin Heidegger's concept of authenticity as it appears in Being and Time. The essay focuses on showing that authenticity is not a normative state, given Heidegger's analysis of the human Dasein in everyday living. The investigation begins with a critical assessment of two other interpretations and then it turns to a close reading of the appropriate sections of Being and Time. In the course of this explication of Being and Time several significant ideas surface that are important for understanding how the 'authentic moment' manifests itself for Dasein. In conjunction with these notions, the state of authenticity shows itself to be a condition in Dasein that can only be anticipated by resolutely confronting the future. The conclusion then uncovers why it is not even in Dasein's general nature to exist authentically. The investigation reveals that a state of authenticity is incongruous with everyday living.