McAnulty College and Graduate School of Liberal Arts
This dissertation represents an attempt to understand the self, what it is, what it means, and how it provides subjective identity. These concerns are situated within a personal narrative that describes the loss of self and its rediscovery subsequent to that loss. In critically examining the work of both Soren Kierkegaard and Martin Heidegger on the concept of authenticity, I have attempted to come to terms with my experience of the loss of selfhood as well as the conditions of possibility for its return. I argue that Kierkegaard’s construction of the self, while problematically religious, convincingly describes the experience of authentic selfhood but does not escape the problems of representationalism, leaving us with an elegant but impractical notion of subjectivity. As a remedy, I argue Heidegger’s concept of authenticity escapes this problem and offers a rigorous theory of socially embedded authentic selfhood. Taking both Kierkegaard and Heidegger together, I propose, allows us to understand what the self is, what it means, and how it makes us who we are.
Tighe, J. (2020). The In/Authentic Subject: Kierkegaard, Heidegger, and Selfhood (Doctoral dissertation, Duquesne University). Retrieved from https://dsc.duq.edu/etd/1869