• Is he what he appears to be, that is to say an individual subject related to its inside “I”?
• Or is he rather a mode of operation determined to behave like others, like the “They”?
• If the latter is true, one can suppose that the consequences are outstanding regarding Daseinand its relation to its action: If he acts like others do, we can wonder if Dasein still is responsible for his action.
The “everyday self” is not what it obviously seems to be (“me”, “I”, “a subject”).
I am Dasein. I am myself. I belong to me. Awareness is mine. I can think that I am unique, surrounded by an environment that is outside, distinct from me. I am who I am and I do what I doregarding to my own past, to my personal experiences and to my choices. What if I was wrongly aware of my everyday Self? It may not be as tight to me as it appears? Maybe it belongs to the Others, it is part of them, and it is determined by them?
“It could be that the “who” of everyday Dasein just is not the I myself” (page 150)
Heidegger explains that the everyday Self is blind in the worldbecause it is fascinated by it. “A bare subject without a world never Is” (page 152). In other words: we are because we are in a world. We start in a world, we are so thoroughly embedded in it that we become this world and we cannot see the edges of it. Thus we understand what we understand through the world that leads our awareness astray: In everyday world, Dasein is worried, preoccupied. Myawareness is busy. My being is somehow out of myself. It seems that Dasein is not in each case mine. It can remain concealed from me. For the most part my awareness is absorbed in whatever I am doing and “when Dasein is absorbed in the world of concern, it is not itself”. Heidegger’s idea is that the “reflective awareness of the I” (page 151) is not present in the everyday Self because it has beenstolen by the Others while Dasein was focusing on daily actions.
The “They” is “the realest subject of everydayness” (page 166). Our everyday Self is what we all have in common; it is the “They”. Dasein has been dispersed into the “They”. I am the Others and my way is theirs. As a result the everyday Self rather than a subject is more a mode of operation determined by the Others. My authentic Self,because it is covered by the “They”, forgets about its “I”, its “myself”.
But if Dasein is an absorption of the “They”, without any definite contours, is he capable of doing things in its own way? The answer seems to be no. He seems to follow the main stream as every Dasein does; that is why:
We do every thing “as they do”.
We are determined to act like others. “The Others already arethere with us” (page 152). The everyday self manifests itself by belonging to patterns, by doing things in common because values are already in him. Even if it seems that the others do not matter to me (I can pass by others with a great indifference), this so-called “inconsideration” still relates me to Others: Each of my simple gesture, each of my practices are influenced by the others because Iam concerned by their presence. The Others are already there. The Others have always been there. I don’t know the world without them. My everyday mode takes account of the Others and in some point the Others act in me. I cannot stand out of the sameness.
Heiddegger refers to this phenomenon as “the real dictatorship of the They” (page 164) because “Dasein’s everyday possibilities of Being arefor the Others to dispose as they please”. I do what they do, what they want. I am at the same level as everyone else. There is no exception; there is only norm.
Dasein is gently submitted to this indistinguishable and implicit force. With its subtle and discreet strength, the “They” puts pressure on Dasein; it has an underlying hold over it: When Dasein acts he is alienated but this...