Revealing and Acting: Anxiety and Courage in Heidegger and Arendt

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Virginia Tech Publishing


In Martin Heidegger’s concept of care, he explains the process of becoming as an intersubjective relation that extends beyond mere spatial proximity of one being to an other. Through this common and basic experience of care, anxiety is an ontological revealing of self, perpetually leaving behind remnants of prior self-constitution(s). It is through anxiety that being is lifted out of the average everydayness of our human condition. Anxiety, then for Heidegger, is critical, as it confronts nothingness on route to an authentic existence where being finds grounding in Being. We find in the work of Hannah Arendt, therefore, a conceptual continuation of Heidegger’s conception of anxiety through her understanding of courage. For Heidegger, anxiety suggests transcendence as a possibility whereas for Arendt courage via action is transcending. By reading Heidegger’s concept of anxiety through an Arendtian lens we can therefore arrive at a political project shaped by both theory and practice.




Caivano, D. and Murphy, H., 2017. Revealing and Acting: Anxiety and Courage in Heidegger and Arendt. Spectra, 6(1). DOI: