DASEIN AND NOWHERE MAN THE QUEST FOR AUTHENTIC EXISTENCE IN JOHN LENNON

NICOLO M. MASAKAYAN
MA PHILOSOPHY (SEPTEMBER 2009)
Department of Philosophy


Abstract

The inauthentic side of Heidegger’s Dasein and the “Nowhere Man” character developed by John Lennon share interesting parallelisms. This study discussed how the concepts of authentic existence and critical examination of one’s being can be used as philosophical prisms that give meaningful insight into John Lennon’s sings. The use of these concepts reveal that there is a lot more “philosophicality” going on underneath John Lennon’s songs than is usually assumed. Lennon shows an aversion to Das Man culture that he perceives as an affront to one’s individuality and authentic existence. Through his sarcastic wit, he satirizes a society founded upon misguided notions of truth, values, and happiness. At the same time, Lennon promotes a program that exhibits not just Heideggerian, but Eastern undertones as well. After coming to grips with the philosophical depth found in Lennon’s socially critical songs, this thesis presented Lennon as a quintessential philosophical thinker, endlessly questioning beliefs and forever in a struggle to make sense of one’s existence.