Care and authenticity

Charles E. Scott

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

8 Scopus citations


Let us begin with a story quoted by Heidegger about “Care”: Once when “Care” was crossing a river, she saw some clay; she thoughtfully took a piece and began to shape it. While she was thinking about what she had made, Jupiter came by. “Care” asked him to give it spirit, and this he gladly granted. But when she wanted her name to be bestowed upon it, Jupiter forbade this and demanded that it be given his name instead. While “Care” and Jupiter were arguing, Earth (Tellus) arose, and desired that her name be conferred upon the creature, since she had offered it part of her body. They asked Saturn to be the judge. And Saturn gave them the following decision, which seemed to be just: “Since you, Jupiter, have given its spirit, you should receive that spirit at death; and since you, Earth, have given its body, you shall receive its body. But since “Care” first shaped this creature, she shall possess it as long as it lives. And because there is a dispute among you as to its name, let it be called “homo,” for it is made out of humus (earth). (BTS 184, trans. mod.) Heidegger includes this story in Being and Time in order to show that awareness of the definitive role of Care in human being is ingrained and pre-theoretical in our historical lineage. He is saying in effect that the language of this book might be difficult in its effort to forge a new interpretation of human being, but the basic awareness that guides it was articulated long before philosophy began.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMartin Heidegger
Subtitle of host publicationKey Concepts
PublisherAcumen Publishing Limited
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9781844654475
ISBN (Print)9781844651986
StatePublished - Jan 1 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Arts and Humanities(all)


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