Cosmos and History: The Journal of Natural and Social Philosophy, Vol 16, No 1 (2020)

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On Being, Nothingness and Ontological Homelessness: An Heideggerian Inquiry into Authenticity

Prashan Ranasinghe

Abstract


This article claims that Martin Heidegger places significant importance on the ontological homelessness of beings, by which he means that beings are distanced and separated from their very essence and thus live inauthentic lives. Heidegger views this as more concerning than ontic homelessness, the condition of being without housing in the material sense. To explicate this, the article examines the fundamental attunements of profound boredom and anxiety and illustrates the way Heidegger relies upon them to underline the meaning of existence as nothingness. The article explicates the way Heidegger thinks about nothingness as a feeling or sense that things are not quite right and articulates how this not-quite-rightness is, in turn, read as the homelessness of being. The article reads the condition of being homeful (of having a home and being fulfilled) alongside and against the condition of ontic homelessness (via the example of contemporary homelessness,) to draw attention to the meaning of existence and to underline insights about being that can be culled from the condition of contemporary homelessness, insights, the article argues, the homeful would do well to pay heed to.


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