CFS Lecture by Jo-Jo Koo: "Heidegger's Underdeveloped Conception of the Undistinguishedness of Everyday Human Existence"

Lecture by Jo-Jo Koo, Department of Philosophy, Mount Holyoke College, USA.

Standard existentialist interpretations of Heidegger’s Being and Time discern, understandably, only two specific modes of human existence: “inauthenticity” (Uneigentlichkeit) and “authenticity” (Eigentlichkeit). Furthermore, they invariably identify the everyday existence of human beings (Dasein) as “inauthentic” and conceive the potential of human beings for “authentic” existence with the extent to which human beings break away or deviate from the “inauthenticity” of everyday life. I argue in this talk that such interpretations overlook to their detriment the presence and import of the third specific mode of human existence that is implicitly described in Being and Time: namely, undistinguishedness (Indifferenz). More specifically, I offer an interpretation of the distinctiveness of undistinguishedness from the other two specific modes of human existence, reply to a few likely objections to this interpretation, and end the talk by briefly sketching the significance of undistinguishedness for questions in social philosophy that trace back to how we should conceive the relation of self and others.