Authentic Existence in Husserl and Heidegger



It is commonly supposed that Heidegger has a great deal to say about the idea of authentic existence whereas Husserl does not. I argue that this is not the case, at least not as it is often supposed to be. I do so by laying out a new approach to the matter. While I do not claim that Husserl should count as an existentialist, I do aim to show that, in his middle and later periods, his work went in a direction that parallels Heidegger’s in significant respects. I begin with a recapitulation of the analysis of authentic existence in Heidegger’s Being and Time. I then examine Husserl’s development of the idea of genuine existence in the late teens and early twenties of the twentieth century. Finally, I compare the two thinkers in order to demonstrate their similarities, but also to note the single most important difference between them, a difference that, I suggest, is the fundamental difference that came to separate them during the 1920s.

Publication Title

Contributions To Phenomenology