This chapter shows how the notion of authenticity central to Heidegger’s early work is built up from Kierkegaard’s thinking of the “own.” As Heidegger reworks Kierkegaard’s religious idea of becoming a self, formalizing it via an ontology of the “proper,” he also draws the ascetic structure of Kierkegaard’s idea into the methodological dimension of phenomenology. Here method describes the way philosophy grows out of and transforms the reflective praxis of everyday life. Questions about the normative character of authenticity, long troublesome to readers of Heidegger, are shown to have missed something: authenticity is an ascetic, not an ethical norm.
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