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Being and Time

own character as the kind of entity it is, and it does so in every case in terms of a possibility which it itself is and which it understands.1

Can Dasein also understand authentically its ownmost possibility, which is non-relational and not to be outstripped, which is certain and, as such, [260] indefinite? That is, can Dasein maintain itself in an authentic Being-towards-its-end? As long as this authentic Being-towards-death has not been set forth and ontologically defined, there is something essentially lacking in our existential Interpretation of Being-towards-the-end.

Authentic Being-towards-death signifies an existentiell possibility of Dasein. This ontical potentiality-for-Being must, in turn, be ontologically possible. What are the existential conditions of this possibility? How are they themselves to become accessible?


53· Existential Projection of an Authentic Being-towards-death

Factically, Dasein maintains itself proximally and for the most part in an inauthentic Being-towards-death. How is the ontological possibility of an authentic Being-towards-death to be characterized 'Objectively', if, in the end, Dasein never comports itself authentically towards its end, or if, in accordance with its very meaning, this authentic Being must remain hidden from the Others? Is it not a fanciful undertaking, to project the existential possibility of so questionable an existentiell potentiality-forBeing ? What is needed, if such a projection is to go beyond a merely fictitious arbitrary construction ? Does Dasein itself give us any instructions for carrying it out? And can any grounds for its phenomenal legitimacy be taken from Dasein itself? Can our analysis of Dasein up to this point give us any prescriptions for the ontological task we have now set ourselves, so that what we have before us may be kept on a road of which we can be sure?

The existential conception of death has been established ; and therewith we have also established what it is that an authentic Being-towards-the-end should be able to comport itself towards. We have also characterized inauthentic Being-towards-death, and thus we have prescribed in a negative way [prohibitiv] how it is possible for authentic Being-towards-death not to be. It is with these positive and prohibitive instructions that the existential edifice of an authentic Being-towards-death must let itself be projected.

Dasein is constituted by disclosedness—that is, by an understanding with a state-of-mind. Authentic Being-towards-death can not evade its ownmost non-relational possibility, or cover up this possibility by thus fleeing


1 'Weil das Dasein existiert, bestimmt es sich als Seiendes, wie es ist, je aus einer Möglichkeit, die es selbst ist und versteht.'


Being and Time (M&R) by Martin Heidegger