Volume 1, 2010
Selected Essays from Asia and Pacific
Patočka’s Appropriation of Arendt
In order to show a different understanding of what it means to be human, in this paper, I will present Jan Patočka’s discussion of human existence. For Patočka, human existence is essentially historical and situational. His reflections proceed from Martin Heidegger’s explanation of the structure of human existence in Sein und Zeit, which Heidegger calls Da-Sein. According to Patočka, Heidegger’s exposition is predicated on a negative human relation to the world; we are originally inauthentic. Yet he forgets to take into account that Da-Sein is a doublet: animal rationale. Patočka appropriates Arendt’s phenomenological account of the human condition in order to critique Heidegger’s account of Da-sein in Being and Time to develop his own understanding of human existence.