The Mania of Existence: Klein, Winnicott, and Heidegger's Concept of Inauthenticity

Journal of the British Society for Phenomenology 46 (1):48-60 (2015)
  Copy   BIBTEX


This paper offers a new interpretation of Heidegger's concept of inauthenticity (Uneigentlichkeit) in Being and Time. It breaks from the “conformity interpretation” of inauthenticity, according to which the anonymity of the inauthentic person is due to her conformity to das Man. Rather, it argues that the anonymity of the inauthentic person is due to “existential mania” – a state in which a person denies her death and anxiety, understands her abilities to be limitless, and is perpetually active. It shows how this existential mania – and the anonymity to which it gives rise – is analogous to the mania described by the object relations psychoanalyst Melanie Klein. Finally, drawing on D. W. Winnicott's discussion of mania, it shows how both the inauthentic person's conformity to das Man, and her existential mania, give rise to anonymity.



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 83,890

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Authenticity in Heidegger: A response to Dreyfus.Elizabeth Ewing - 1995 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 38 (4):469 – 487.
Love, and death: Kierkegaard and Heidegger on authentic and inauthentic human existence.Harrison Hall - 1984 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 27 (1-4):179 – 197.
Heidegger: A Very Short Introduction.Michael Inwood - 2000 - New York: Oxford University Press.
The Ambiguity of Facticity in Heidegger’s Early Work.Leslie MacAvoy - 2013 - Comparative and Continental Philosophy 5 (1):99-106.
On Heidegger's Being and time.Reiner Schürmann - 2008 - New York: Routledge. Edited by Simon Critchley & Steven Levine.
On Heidegger's Being and time.Simon Critchley - 2008 - New York: Routledge. Edited by Reiner Schürmann & Steven Levine.
Building a Heideggerian Ethic.Kelly Ann Burns - 2003 - Dissertation, Marquette University
Liu Jishan and Heidegger in Encounter.Wing–Cheuk Chan - 2014 - Journal of Chinese Philosophy 41 (3-4):442-453.


Added to PP

13 (#804,683)

6 months
4 (#198,578)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Beau Shaw
New York University

Citations of this work

No citations found.

Add more citations