Mental Disorder and the Finitude of Being-There

  • Petr Kouba
Part of the Contributions To Phenomenology book series (CTPH, volume 75)


In order to overcome the limits given by the understanding of the finitude, which determines the ontological structure of the existence presented in Sein und Zeit, without leaving the context of Heidegger’s thought, it is possible to look on his Beiträge zur Philosophie, where we can find a radicalized exposition of the finitude. In this respect, Heidegger introduces the concept of being-away (Weg-sein) that functions as an internal opposite to being-there (Da-sein). Being-away which is closely related to the finitude of being-there includes not only the possibility of physical death, but also the possibility of mental burn-out. Being-away that is accompanied by a complete destruction of the self can thus throw some light on extreme states which mentally ill people try to evade at all costs. From the perspective of being-away, we can understand not only the dark regions of psychoses, but all the lifesaving maneuvers with the help of which the mentally ill react at the fundamental peril of the total self-disintegration.


Mental disorder Finitude Being-there Being-away 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Petr Kouba
    • 1
  1. 1.Philosophical Institute of the Czech Academy of SciencesCharles UniversityPragueCzech Republic

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