Baudrillard Beyond and Towards Heidegger: The Real, The Self, and The Social in the Epoch of Obscenity

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Philosophy



First Advisor

Agustin Martin G. Rodriguez, PhD


This work revolves around a single theme: obscenity. More specifically, it claims that after the epoch of modern technology, which Heidegger had suggested to be the apogee of humanity’s oblivion of Being, a succeeding epoch has begun and that this new age no longer exclusively grounds itself upon the traditional metaphysical alienation between subject and object, true and false, reality and fiction, that ushered in the great forgetfulness. This new epoch is grounded upon implosion—the negation of difference and distance by way of absolute exposure and infinite reproduction by the operations of hyperreality. It is an epoch devoid of secrets, mystery, and illusion where the incessant magnification, reproduction, simulation, and proliferation of the real through digital information and communication brings forth a strangely disturbing permutation of the real, the self, and the social. While this work maintains that Heidegger’s phenomenological, historical, existential, and ontological ruminations about the epochal withdrawal of Being remain invaluable, this work proposes that complementing it with a critical phenomenological account of the current ontic permutations of humanity’s relation to Being through the works of Baudrillard can shed new light into events of current history that seem to defy traditional logical explanation. The question of this work is thus: If we are to presuppose that the age of modern technology has begun to transition to the epoch of obscenity, how can we re- contextualize and re-think e the fundamental questions of, “What does it mean to be?”, “What does it mean to be me?”, and “What does it mean to be with others?” These questions are the pillars of philosophical thinking in every epoch since the time of the Greeks, the Medievals, and the Moderns. This work hopes to contribute to these on- going discourses by contextualizing these questions within the ambit of the current historical age which I shall call the epoch of the obscene.

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