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Episteme

Abstract

Being and Time may be read as calling the reader to overcome her tendency to avoid recognizing nothingness and our pending death. Most commentators believe that Heidegger prevents an existential crisis from being a possible impetus to the essential confrontation. Contrary to that understanding, the author here posits that it is possible and consistent with Heidegger’s thought to hold that certain existential crises are happenings to our world, not just within our world. Falling in love pulls the ground out from under us and is really something that alters the axis of meaning for our world. The same goes for the experience of losing the beloved other. To the extent that such experiences dismantle our ontological assumptions (i.e. are not repressed), we can encounter nothingness and our not being. Angst is not the only route to take.

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