Volume 23, Issue 1 (2016)                   IQBQ 2016, 23(1): 1-26 | Back to browse issues page

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Keikhaee A, Bell S. On the Concept of Anxiety in Heidegger’s Thought. IQBQ. 23 (1) :1-26
URL: http://eijh.modares.ac.ir/article-27-9517-en.html
1- استادیار پژوهشکده علوم انسانی
2- Professor, Department of Political Science, York University, Toronto, Canada
Abstract:   (3716 Views)
The concept of anxiety occupies a crucial position in early Heidegger’s writings. Most prominently, it appears in Being and Time (1927) and “What is Metaphysics?” (1929) as a structurally central concept. After 1920s, Heidegger began to use the term much less frequently, leading some scholars to suggest a change in Heidegger’s view of the significance of the concept of anxiety. In this essay, we argue that central to the understanding of the role of anxiety in Heidegger’s thought is the fundamental difference between Heideggerian and psychological anxiety. This distinction is crucial as it is directly connected to the idea of the ontological difference, i.e., the difference between the ontical and the ontological, between beings and the Being of beings. Psychological descriptions of anxiety remain at the level of the ontical and, therefore, fall short of comprehending the ontological meaning of Heideggerian anxiety, which is one of Dasein’s basic possibilities of Being. Equipped with such an ontological understanding, we argue that the concept of anxiety remained central to Heidegger’s thought, early and late alike. We also suggest that Heidegger’s less frequent use of the term anxiety after “What Is Metaphysics?” could possibly be associated with his recognition that its terminological similarity with psychological anxiety may become a source of misunderstandings. Moreover, in the last section of the essay which functions as an addendum, we engage with Freud’s analysis of the uncanny and examine its relation to Heidegger’s Being-not-at-home. We argue that although Freud’s analysis of the uncanny does, in a sense, open up horizons beyond the reach of empirical psychology, his quasi-scientific quest for causal explanation ultimately remains within the framework of an ontical analysis.    
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Received: 2015/12/11 | Accepted: 2016/09/20 | Published: 2022/04/21

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