Anxiety and Identity: Beyond Husserl and Heidegger

Yaron Senderowicz*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


In this paper I claim that the individualizing role that Heidegger assigned to ‘anxiety’ reveals his attempt to resolve a fundamental problem related to Husserl’s transcendental ‘I.’ I show that Husserl’s problem consists in the impossibility of distinguishing between the individual essence of a particular pure ego and the eidos ‘pure ego’ on the basis of the available phenomenological procedures. I suggest that anxiety, attests to this failure. Yet in contrast to the pure ‘I,’ anxiety is not a representation of a self. Rather, it is a practical mode of self-awareness rooted in care that uncovers one’s own authentic ability-to-be. Nevertheless, I clarify why, given the conceptual background that Husserl and Heidegger share, the appeal to anxiety and authentic ability-to-be cannot escape the need to posit a representation of the self that has features similar to those of the pure ‘I.’

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPhilosophy's Moods
Subtitle of host publicationThe Affective Grounds of Thinking
EditorsHagi Kenaan, Ilit Ferber
Place of PublicationDordrecht
Number of pages16
ISBN (Print)9789400715035, 940071503X
StatePublished - 2011

Publication series

NameContributions To Phenomenology
ISSN (Print)0923-9545
ISSN (Electronic)2215-1915


  • Cartesian Meditation
  • Individual Essence
  • Intentional Experience
  • Logical Investigation
  • Perceptual Object


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