Objectivity and Reflection in Heidegger’s Theory of Intentionality

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Heidegger claims that Dasein’s capacity for adopting intentional stances toward the world is grounded in the reflective structure of its being, which dictates that Dasein exists for the sake of a possibility of itself. Commentators have glossed this reflective structure in terms of the idea that our subjection to the normative demands of intentionality is grounded in a basic commitment to upholding an identity-concept, such as an occupation or social role. I argue that this gloss has serious adverse implications for Heidegger’s philosophical project and for the internal coherence of his theory of intention. I recommend an alternative gloss on the reflective structure of existence, according to which sustaining a robust claim to openness to the world specifies the universal, formal object of intentional stance-taking. The reflective structure of existence should be understood through the concept of self-maintenance, rather than self-definition.
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Archival date: 2016-01-28
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