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Contents:


  1. Martin Heidegger (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)
  2. See a Problem?
  3. Introduction

He began teaching at Freiburg in Heidegger's philosophical development began when he read Brentano and Aristotle, plus the latter's medieval scholastic interpreters. From this platform he proceeded to engage deeply with Kant, Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, and, perhaps most importantly of all for his subsequent thinking in the s, two further figures: Dilthey whose stress on the role of interpretation and history in the study of human activity profoundly influenced Heidegger and Husserl whose understanding of phenomenology as a science of essences he was destined to reject.

In Husserl took up a post at Freiburg and in Heidegger became his assistant. Heidegger spent a period of reputedly brilliant teaching at the University of Marburg — , but then returned to Freiburg to take up the chair vacated by Husserl on his retirement. Out of such influences, explorations, and critical engagements, Heidegger's magnum opus, Being and Time Sein und Zeit was born. Published in , Being and Time is standardly hailed as one of the most significant texts in the canon of what has come to be called contemporary European or Continental Philosophy. Moreover, Being and Time , and indeed Heidegger's philosophy in general, has been presented and engaged with by thinkers such as Dreyfus e.

A cross-section of broadly analytic reactions to Heidegger positive and negative may be found alongside other responses in Murray Being and Time is discussed in section 2 of this article. In Heidegger joined the Nazi Party and was elected Rector of Freiburg University, where, depending on whose account one believes, he either enthusiastically implemented the Nazi policy of bringing university education into line with Hitler's nauseating political programme Pattison or he allowed that policy to be officially implemented while conducting a partially underground campaign of resistance to some of its details, especially its anti-Semitism see Heidegger's own account in Only a God can Save Us.

During the short period of his rectorship—he resigned in —Heidegger gave a number of public speeches including his inaugural rectoral address; see below in which Nazi images plus occasional declarations of support for Hitler are integrated with the philosophical language of Being and Time. After Heidegger became increasingly distanced from Nazi politics.

Although he didn't leave the Nazi party, he did attract some unwelcome attention from its enthusiasts. After the war, however, a university denazification committee at Freiburg investigated Heidegger and banned him from teaching, a right which he did not get back until One year later he was made professor Emeritus. Against this background of contrary information, one will search in vain through Heidegger's later writings for the sort of total and unambiguous repudiation of National Socialism that one might hope to find. The philosophical character of Heidegger's involvement with Nazism is discussed later in this article.

Exactly when this occurs is a matter of debate, although it is probably safe to say that it is in progress by and largely established by the early s. If dating the turn has its problems, saying exactly what it involves is altogether more challenging. Indeed, Heidegger himself characterized it not as a turn in his own thinking or at least in his thinking alone but as a turn in Being. The core elements of the turn are indicated in what is now considered by many commentators to be Heidegger's second greatest work, Contributions to Philosophy From Enowning , Beitrage zur Philosophie Vom Ereignis.

This uncompromising text was written in —7, but was not published in German until and not in English translation until Section 3 of this article will attempt to navigate the main currents of the turn, and thus of Heidegger's later philosophy, in the light of this increasingly discussed text. Being and Time is a long and complex book. According to this latter gloss, the linguistic constructions concerned—which involve hyphenations, unusual prefixes and uncommon suffixes—reveal the hidden meanings and resonances of ordinary talk.

In any case, for many readers, the initially strange and difficult language of Being and Time is fully vindicated by the realization that Heidegger is struggling to say things for which our conventional terms and linguistic constructions are ultimately inadequate. Viewed from the perspective of Heidegger's own intentions, the work is incomplete.

It was meant to have two parts, each of which was supposed to be divided into three divisions. What we have published under the title of Being and Time are the first two divisions of the intended part one. The reasons for this incompleteness will be explored later in this article. One might reasonably depict the earliest period of Heidegger's philosophical work, in Freiburg —23 and Marburg —6 , before he commenced the writing of Being and Time itself, as the pre-history of that seminal text although for an alternative analysis that stresses not only a back-and-forth movement in Heidegger's earliest thought between theology and philosophy, but also the continuity between that earliest thought and the later philosophy, see van Buren , Viewed in relation to Being and Time , the central philosophical theme in these early years is Heidegger's complex critical relationship with Husserl's transcendental phenomenology—what Crowell , p.

For the young Heidegger, then, it is already the case that phenomenological analysis starts not with Husserlian intentionality the consciousness of objects , but rather with an interpretation of the pre-theoretical conditions for there to be such intentionality. On Heidegger's interpretation see Sheehan , Aristotle holds that since every meaningful appearance of beings involves an event in which a human being takes a being as — as , say, a ship in which one can sail or as a god that one should respect—what unites all the different modes of Being is that they realize some form of presence present-ness to human beings.

Thus the unity of the different modes of Being is grounded in a capacity for taking-as making-present-to that Aristotle argues is the essence of human existence. Heidegger's response, in effect, is to suggest that although Aristotle is on the right track, he has misconceived the deep structure of taking-as.

Introduction

For Heidegger, taking-as is grounded not in multiple modes of presence, but rather in a more fundamental temporal unity remember, it's Being and time, more on this later that characterizes Being-in-the-world care. For more on Heidegger's pre- Being-and-Time period, see e. For more on the philosophical relationship between Husserl and Heidegger, see e. Let's back up in order to bring Heidegger's central concern into better view. Consider some philosophical problems that will be familiar from introductory metaphysics classes: Does the table that I think I see before me exist? Does God exist?

Does mind, conceived as an entity distinct from body, exist? We typically don't even notice this presupposition. This is one way of asking what Heidegger calls the question of the meaning of Being, and Being and Time is an investigation into that question. The question of the meaning of Being is concerned with what it is that makes beings intelligible as beings, and whatever that factor Being is, it is seemingly not itself simply another being among beings. But to think of Being in this way would be to commit the very mistake that the capitalization is supposed to help us avoid.

For while Being is always the Being of some entity, Being is not itself some kind of higher-order being waiting to be discovered. As long as we remain alert to this worry, we can follow the otherwise helpful path of capitalization. Heidegger means by this that the history of Western thought has failed to heed the ontological difference, and so has articulated Being precisely as a kind of ultimate being, as evidenced by a series of namings of Being, for example as idea, energeia, substance, monad or will to power.

In this way Being as such has been forgotten. So Heidegger sets himself the task of recovering the question of the meaning of Being. In this context he draws two distinctions between different kinds of inquiry.

The first, which is just another way of expressing the ontological difference, is between the ontical and the ontological, where the former is concerned with facts about entities and the latter is concerned with the meaning of Being, with how entities are intelligible as entities. The second distinction between different kinds of inquiry, drawn within the category of the ontological, is between regional ontology and fundamental ontology, where the former is concerned with the ontologies of particular domains, say biology or banking, and the latter is concerned with the a priori, transcendental conditions that make possible particular modes of Being i.

For Heidegger, the ontical presupposes the regional-ontological, which in turn presupposes the fundamental-ontological. As he puts it:. The question of Being aims… at ascertaining the a priori conditions not only for the possibility of the sciences which examine beings as beings of such and such a type, and, in doing so, already operate with an understanding of Being, but also for the possibility of those ontologies themselves which are prior to the ontical sciences and which provide their foundations. Basically, all ontology, no matter how rich and firmly compacted a system of categories it has at its disposal, remains blind and perverted from its ownmost aim, if it has not first adequately clarified the meaning of Being, and conceived this clarification as its fundamental task.

So how do we carry out fundamental ontology, and thus answer the question of the meaning of Being? It is here that Heidegger introduces the notion of Dasein Da-sein: there-being. Haugeland , complains that this interpretation clashes unhelpfully with Heidegger's identification of care as the Being of Dasein, given Heidegger's prior stipulation that Being is always the Being of some possible entity.

This fits with many of Heidegger's explicit characterizations of Dasein see e. That said, one needs to be careful about precisely what sort of entity we are talking about here. As Haugeland notes, there is an analogy here, one that Heidegger himself draws, with the way in which we might think of a language existing as an entity, that is, as a communally shared way of speaking.

This appeal to the community will assume a distinctive philosophical shape as the argument of Being and Time progresses. The foregoing considerations bring an important question to the fore: what, according to Heidegger, is so special about human beings as such? Here there are broadly speaking two routes that one might take through the text of Being and Time. The first unfolds as follows.

If we look around at beings in general—from particles to planets, ants to apes—it is human beings alone who are able to encounter the question of what it means to be e. More specifically, it is human beings alone who a operate in their everyday activities with an understanding of Being although, as we shall see, one which is pre -ontological, in that it is implicit and vague and b are able to reflect upon what it means to be. Mulhall, who tends to pursue this way of characterizing Dasein, develops the idea by explaining that while inanimate objects merely persist through time and while plants and non-human animals have their lives determined entirely by the demands of survival and reproduction, human beings lead their lives Mulhall , This gives us a sense of human freedom, one that will be unpacked more carefully below.

This can all sound terribly inward-looking, but that is not Heidegger's intention. In a way that is about to become clearer, Dasein's projects and possibilities are essentially bound up with the ways in which other entities may become intelligible. So perhaps Mulhall's point that human beings are distinctive in that they lead their lives would be better expressed as the observation that human beings are the nuclei of lives laying themselves out.

The second route to an understanding of Dasein, and thus of what is special about human beings as such, emphasizes the link with the taking-as structure highlighted earlier. Sheehan develops just such a line of exegesis by combining two insights. These dual insights lead to a characterization of Dasein as the having-to-be-open.


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In other words, Dasein and so human beings as such cannot but be open: it is a necessary characteristic of human beings an a priori structure of our existential constitution, not an exercise of our wills that we operate with the sense-making capacity to take-other-beings-as. And this helps us to grasp the meaning of Heidegger's otherwise opaque claim that Dasein, and indeed only Dasein, exists , where existence is understood via etymological considerations as ek-sistence , that is, as a standing out.

Dasein stands out in two senses, each of which corresponds to one of the two dimensions of our proposed interpretation. Second, Dasein stands out in an openness to and an opening of Being see e. As we have seen, it is an essential characteristic of Dasein that, in its ordinary ways of engaging with other entities, it operates with a preontological understanding of Being, that is, with a distorted or buried grasp of the a priori conditions that, by underpinning the taking-as structure, make possible particular modes of Being. Heidegger puts it like this:.

Being and Time 3: 33—4. This resistance towards any unpalatable anti-realism is an issue to which we shall return. But what sort of philosophical method is appropriate for the ensuing examination? Famously, Heidegger's adopted method is a species of phenomenology.

In the Heideggerian framework, however, phenomenology is not to be understood as it sometimes is as the study of how things merely appear in experience. Presupposed by ordinary experience, these structures must in some sense be present with that experience, but they are not simply available to be read off from its surface, hence the need for disciplined and careful phenomenological analysis to reveal them as they are.

So far so good. But, in a departure from the established Husserlian position, one that demonstrates the influence of Dilthey, Heidegger claims that phenomenology is not just transcendental, it is hermeneutic for discussion, see e. In other words, its goal is always to deliver an interpretation of Being, an interpretation that, on the one hand, is guided by certain historically embedded ways of thinking ways of taking-as reflected in Dasein's preontological understanding of Being that the philosopher as Dasein and as interpreter brings to the task, and, on the other hand, is ceaselessly open to revision, enhancement and replacement.

For Heidegger, this hermeneutic structure is not a limitation on understanding, but a precondition of it, and philosophical understanding conceived as fundamental ontology is no exception. Thus Being and Time itself has a spiral structure in which a sequence of reinterpretations produces an ever more illuminating comprehension of Being. As Heidegger puts it later in the text:. What is decisive is not to get out of the circle but to come into it the right way… In the circle is hidden a positive possibility of the most primordial kind of knowing.

To be sure, we genuinely take hold of this possibility only when, in our interpretation, we have understood that our first, last and constant task is never to allow our fore-having, fore-sight and fore-conception to be presented to us by fancies and popular conceptions, but rather to make the scientific theme secure by working out these fore-structures in terms of the things themselves.

Being and Time And this is a tension that, it seems fair to say, is never fully resolved within the pages of Being and Time. The best we can do is note that, by the end of the text, the transcendental has itself become historically embedded. More on that below. What is also true is that there is something of a divide in certain areas of contemporary Heidegger scholarship over whether one should emphasize the transcendental dimension of Heidegger's phenomenology e.

How, then, does the existential analytic unfold? Heidegger argues that we ordinarily encounter entities as what he calls equipment , that is, as being for certain sorts of tasks cooking, writing, hair-care, and so on. Indeed we achieve our most primordial closest relationship with equipment not by looking at the entity in question, or by some detached intellectual or theoretical study of it, but rather by skillfully manipulating it in a hitch-free manner. Entities so encountered have their own distinctive kind of Being that Heidegger famously calls readiness-to-hand.

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The less we just stare at the hammer-thing, and the more we seize hold of it and use it, the more primordial does our relationship to it become, and the more unveiledly is it encountered as that which it is—as equipment. Readiness-to-hand has a distinctive phenomenological signature. While engaged in hitch-free skilled activity, Dasein has no conscious experience of the items of equipment in use as independent objects i.

Thus, while engaged in trouble-free hammering, the skilled carpenter has no conscious recognition of the hammer, the nails, or the work-bench, in the way that one would if one simply stood back and thought about them. Tools-in-use become phenomenologically transparent. Moreover, Heidegger claims, not only are the hammer, nails, and work-bench in this way not part of the engaged carpenter's phenomenal world, neither, in a sense, is the carpenter.

The carpenter becomes absorbed in his activity in such a way that he has no awareness of himself as a subject over and against a world of objects. Crucially, it does not follow from this analysis that Dasein's behaviour in such contexts is automatic, in the sense of there being no awareness present at all, but rather that the awareness that is present what Heidegger calls circumspection is non-subject-object in form. Phenomenologically speaking, then, there are no subjects and no objects; there is only the experience of the ongoing task e. Heidegger, then, denies that the categories of subject and object characterize our most basic way of encountering entities.

He maintains, however, that they apply to a derivative kind of encounter. When Dasein engages in, for example, the practices of natural science, when sensing takes place purely in the service of reflective or philosophical contemplation, or when philosophers claim to have identified certain context-free metaphysical building blocks of the universe e. With this phenomenological transformation in the mode of Being of entities comes a corresponding transformation in the mode of Being of Dasein. Dasein becomes a subject, one whose project is to explain and predict the behaviour of an independent, objective universe.

Encounters with the present-at-hand are thus fundamentally subject-object in structure. The final phenomenological category identified during the first phase of the existential analytic is what Heidegger calls un-readiness-to-hand. This mode of Being of entities emerges when skilled practical activity is disturbed by broken or malfunctioning equipment, discovered-to-be-missing equipment, or in-the-way equipment. When encountered as un-ready-to-hand, entities are no longer phenomenologically transparent.

However, they are not yet the fully fledged objects of the present-at-hand, since their broken, malfunctioning, missing or obstructive status is defined relative to a particular equipmental context. The combination of two key passages illuminates this point: First:. The damage to the equipment is still not a mere alteration of a Thing—not a change of properties which just occurs in something present-at-hand. When something cannot be used—when, for instance, a tool definitely refuses to work—it can be conspicuous only in and for dealings in which something is manipulated.

Thus a driver does not encounter a punctured tyre as a lump of rubber of measurable mass; she encounters it as a damaged item of equipment, that is, as the cause of a temporary interruption to her driving activity. With such disturbances to skilled activity, Dasein emerges as a practical problem solver whose context-embedded actions are directed at restoring smooth skilled activity.

Much of the time Dasein's practical problem solving will involve recovery strategies e. In the limit, however e. With this spectrum of cases in view, it is possible to glimpse a potential worry for Heidegger's account. Cappuccio and Wheeler ; see also Wheeler , argue that the situation of wholly transparent readiness-to-hand is something of an ideal state. Skilled activity is never or very rarely perfectly smooth. Moreover, minimal subjective activity such as a nonconceptual awareness of certain spatially situated movements by my body produces a background noise that never really disappears.

Thus a distinction between Dasein and its environment is, to some extent, preserved, and this distinction arguably manifests the kind of minimal subject-object dichotomy that is characteristic of those cases of un-readiness-to-hand that lie closest to readiness-to-hand. On the interpretation of Heidegger just given, Dasein's access to the world is only intermittently that of a representing subject. An alternative reading, according to which Dasein always exists as a subject relating to the world via representations, is defended by Christensen , Christensen targets Dreyfus as a prominent and influential exponent of the intermittent-subject view.

Among other criticisms , Christensen accuses Dreyfus of mistakenly hearing Heidegger's clear rejection of the thought that Dasein's access to the world is always theoretical or theory-like in character as being, at the same time, a rejection of the thought that Dasein's access to the world is always in the mode of a representing subject; but, argues Christensen, there may be non-theoretical forms of the subject-world relation, so the claim that Heidegger advocated the second rejection is not established by pointing out that he advocated the first.

Let's assume that Christensen is right about this. The supporter of the intermittent-subject view might still argue that although Heidegger holds that Dasein sometimes emerges as a subject whose access to the world is non-theoretical plausibly, in certain cases of un-readiness-to-hand , there is other textual evidence, beyond that which indicates the non-theoretical character of hitch-free skilled activity, to suggest that readiness-to-hand must remain non-subject-object in form.

Whether or not there is such evidence would then need to be settled. What the existential analytic has given us so far is a phenomenological description of Dasein's within-the-world encounters with entities. The next clarification concerns the notion of world and the associated within-ness of Dasein. Famously, Heidegger writes of Dasein as Being-in-the-world. In effect, then, the notion of Being-in-the-world provides us with a reinterpretation of the activity of existing Dreyfus , 40 , where existence is given the narrow reading ek-sistence identified earlier.

Understood as a unitary phenomenon as opposed to a contingent, additive, tripartite combination of Being, in-ness, and the world , Being-in-the-world is an essential characteristic of Dasein. As Heidegger explains:. Taking up relationships towards the world is possible only because Dasein, as Being-in-the-world, is as it is.

This state of Being does not arise just because some entity is present-at-hand outside of Dasein and meets up with it. As this passage makes clear, the Being-in dimension of Being-in-the-world cannot be thought of as a merely spatial relation in some sense that might be determined by a GPS device, since Dasein is never just present-at-hand within the world in the way demanded by that sort of spatial in-ness.

Heidegger sometimes uses the term dwelling to capture the distinctive manner in which Dasein is in the world. To dwell in a house is not merely to be inside it spatially in the sense just canvassed. Rather, it is to belong there, to have a familiar place there. It is in this sense that Dasein is essentially in the world. Heidegger will later introduce an existential notion of spatiality that does help to illuminate the sense in which Dasein is in the world.

So now, what is the world such that Dasein essentially dwells in it? The German term Bewandtnis is extremely difficult to translate in a way that captures all its native nuances for discussion, see Tugendhat ; thanks to a reviewer for emphasizing this point. Crucially, for Heidegger, an involvement is not a stand-alone structure, but rather a link in a network of intelligibility that he calls a totality of involvements.


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  • Take the stock Heideggerian example: the hammer is involved in an act of hammering; that hammering is involved in making something fast; and that making something fast is involved in protecting the human agent against bad weather. Such totalities of involvements are the contexts of everyday equipmental practice. As such, they define equipmental entities, so the hammer is intelligible as what it is only with respect to the shelter and, indeed, all the other items of equipment to which it meaningfully relates in Dasein's everyday practices.

    And this radical holism spreads, because once one begins to trace a path through a network of involvements, one will inevitably traverse vast regions of involvement-space. Thus links will be traced not only from hammers to hammering to making fast to protection against the weather, but also from hammers to pulling out nails to dismantling wardrobes to moving house. This behaviour will refer back to many other behaviours packing, van-driving and thus to many other items of equipment large boxes, removal vans , and so on.

    The result is a large-scale holistic network of interconnected relational significance. Such networks constitute worlds, in one of Heidegger's key senses of the term—an ontical sense that he describes as having a pre-ontological signification Being and Time Before a second key sense of the Heideggerian notion of world is revealed, some important detail can be added to the emerging picture.

    Heidegger points out that involvements are not uniform structures. Thus I am currently working with a computer a with-which , in the practical context of my office an in-which , in order to write this encyclopedia entry an in-order-to , which is aimed towards presenting an introduction to Heidegger's philosophy a towards-this , for the sake of my academic work, that is, for the sake of my being an academic a for-the-sake-of-which.

    The final involvement here, the for-the-sake-of-which, is crucial, because according to Heidegger all totalities of involvements have a link of this type at their base. This forges a connection between i the idea that each moment in Dasein's existence constitutes a branch-point at which it chooses a way to be, and ii the claim that Dasein's projects and possibilities are essentially bound up with the ways in which other entities may become intelligible. This is because every for-the-sake-of-which is the base structure of an equipment-defining totality of involvements and reflects a possible way for Dasein to be an academic, a carpenter, a parent, or whatever.

    Moreover, given that entities are intelligible only within contexts of activity that, so to speak, arrive with Dasein, this helps to explain Heidegger's claim Being and Time that, in encounters with entities, the world is something with which Dasein is always already familiar. Finally, it puts further flesh on the phenomenological category of the un-ready-to-hand. Thus when I am absorbed in trouble-free typing, the computer and the role that it plays in my academic activity are transparent aspects of my experience.

    But if the computer crashes, I become aware of it as an entity with which I was working in the practical context of my office, in order to write an encyclopedia entry aimed towards presenting an introduction to Heidegger's philosophy. And I become aware of the fact that my behaviour is being organized for the sake of my being an academic. So disturbances have the effect of exposing totalities of involvements and, therefore, worlds. At this point in the existential analytic, worldhood is usefully identified as the abstract network mode of organizational configuration that is shared by all concrete totalities of involvements.

    We shall see, however, that as the hermeneutic spiral of the text unfolds, the notion of worldhood is subject to a series of reinterpretations until, finally, its deep structure gets played out in terms of temporality. Having completed what we might think of as the first phase of the existential analytic, Heidegger uses its results to launch an attack on one of the front-line representatives of the tradition, namely Descartes. This is the only worked-through example in Being and Time itself of what Heidegger calls the destruction Destruktion of the Western philosophical tradition, a process that was supposed to be a prominent theme in the ultimately unwritten second part of the text.

    In stark contrast, Heidegger's own view is that Dasein is in primary epistemic contact not with context-independent present-at-hand primitives e. What is perhaps Heidegger's best statement of this opposition comes later in Being and Time. Dasein, as essentially understanding, is proximally alongside what is understood.

    For Heidegger, then, we start not with the present-at-hand, moving to the ready-to-hand by adding value-predicates, but with the ready-to-hand, moving to the present-at-hand by stripping away the holistic networks of everyday equipmental meaning. It seems clear, then, that our two positions are diametrically opposed to each other, but why should we favour Heidegger's framework over Descartes'? Heidegger's flagship argument here is that the systematic addition of value-predicates to present-at-hand primitives cannot transform our encounters with those objects into encounters with equipment.

    In other words, once we have assumed that we begin with the present-at-hand, values must take the form of determinate features of objects, and therefore constitute nothing but more present-at-hand structures. And if you add more present-at-hand structures to some existing present-at-hand structures, what you end up with is not equipmental meaning totalities of involvements but merely a larger number of present-at-hand structures.

    Heidegger's argument here is at best incomplete for discussion, see Dreyfus , Wheeler The defender of Cartesianism might concede that present-at-hand entities have determinate properties, but wonder why the fact that an entity has determinate properties is necessarily an indication of presence-at-hand. On this view, having determinate properties is necessary but not sufficient for an entity to be present-at-hand. More specifically, she might wonder why involvements cannot be thought of as determinate features that entities possess just when they are embedded in certain contexts of use.

    Consider for example the various involvements specified in the academic writing context described earlier. They certainly seem to be determinate, albeit context-relative, properties of the computer. Of course, the massively holistic character of totalities of involvements would make the task of specifying the necessary value-predicates say, as sets of internal representations incredibly hard, but it is unclear that it makes that task impossible. So it seems as if Heidegger doesn't really develop his case in sufficient detail.

    However, Dreyfus pursues a response that Heidegger might have given, one that draws on the familiar philosophical distinction between knowing-how and knowing-that. It seems that value-predicates constitute a form of knowing-that i. Given the plausible although not universally held assumption that knowing-how cannot be reduced to knowledge-that, this would explain why value-predicates are simply the wrong sort of structures to capture the phenomenon of world-embeddedness.

    In the wake of his critique of Cartesianism, Heidegger turns his attention to spatiality. He argues that Dasein dwells in the world in a spatial manner, but that the spatiality in question—Dasein's existential spatiality—cannot be a matter of Dasein being located at a particular co-ordinate in physical, Cartesian space. That would be to conceive of Dasein as present-at-hand, and presence-at-hand is a mode of Being that can belong only to entities other than Dasein.

    According to Heidegger, the existential spatiality of Dasein is characterized most fundamentally by what he calls de-severance , a bringing close. This is of course not a bringing close in the sense of reducing physical distance, although it may involve that. Heidegger's proposal is that spatiality as de-severance is in some way exactly how is a matter of subtle interpretation; see e.

    Given the Dasein-world relationship highlighted above, the implication drawn explicitly by Heidegger, see Being and Time is that the spatiality distinctive of equipmental entities, and thus of the world, is not equivalent to physical, Cartesian space. Equipmental space is a matter of pragmatically determined regions of functional places, defined by Dasein-centred totalities of involvements e.

    For Heidegger, physical, Cartesian space is possible as something meaningful for Dasein only because Dasein has de-severance as one of its existential characteristics. Given the intertwining of de-severance and equipmental space, this licenses the radical view one that is consistent with Heidegger's prior treatment of Cartesianism that physical, Cartesian space as something that we can find intelligible presupposes equipmental space; the former is the present-at-hand phenomenon that is revealed if we strip away the worldhood from the latter.

    Malpas forthcoming rejects the account of spatiality given in Being and Time. According to Malpas, then, equipmental space a space ordered in terms of practical activity and within which an agent acts presupposes a more fundamental notion of space as a complex unity with objective, intersubjective and subjective dimensions. If this is right, then of course equipmental space cannot itself explain the spatial. A further problem, as Malpas also notes, is that the whole issue of spatiality brings into sharp focus the awkward relationship that Heidegger has with the body in Being and Time.

    Indeed, at times, Heidegger might be interpreted as linking embodiment with Thinghood. Here one might plausibly contain the spread of presence-at-hand by appealing to a distinction between material present-at-hand and lived existential ways in which Dasein is embodied. Unfortunately this distinction isn't made in Being and Time a point noted by Ricoeur , , although Heidegger does adopt it in the much later Seminar in Le Thor see Malpas forthcoming, 5.

    What seems clear, however, is that while the Heidegger of Being and Time seems to hold that Dasein's embodiment somehow depends on its existential spatiality see e. Before leaving this issue, it is worth noting briefly that space reappears later in Being and Time —21 , where Heidegger argues that existential space is derived from temporality. This makes sense within Heidegger's overall project, because, as we shall see, the deep structure of totalities of involvements and thus of equipmental space is finally understood in terms of temporality.

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    Martin Heidegger (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)

    Nevertheless, and although the distinctive character of Heidegger's concept of temporality needs to be recognized, there is reason to think that the dependency here may well travel in the opposite direction. The worry, as Malpas forthcoming, 26 again points out, has a Kantian origin. If this is right, and if we can generalize appropriately, then the temporality that matters to Heidegger will be dependent on existential spatiality, and not the other way round.

    All in all, one is tempted to conclude that Heidegger's treatment of spatiality in Being and Time , and relatedly his treatment or lack of it of the body, face serious difficulties. In searching for an alternative answer, Heidegger observes that equipment is often revealed to us as being for the sake of the lives and projects of other Dasein. One's immediate response to this might be that it is just false. After all, ordinary experience establishes that each of us is often alone. But of course Heidegger is thinking in an ontological register.

    Being-with Mitsein is thus the a priori transcendental condition that makes it possible that Dasein can discover equipment in this Other-related fashion. And it's because Dasein has Being-with as one of its essential modes of Being that everyday Dasein can experience being alone. Being-with is thus the a priori transcendental condition for loneliness.

    He explains:. They are rather those from whom, for the most part, one does not distinguish oneself—those among whom one is too… By reason of this with-like Being-in-the-world, the world is always the one that I share with Others. Being and Time —5. A piece of data cited by Dreyfus helps to illuminate this idea.

    Each society seems to have its own sense of what counts as an appropriate distance to stand from someone during verbal communication, and this varies depending on whether the other person is a lover, a friend, a colleague, or a business acquaintance, and on whether communication is taking place in noisy or quiet circumstances.

    Such standing-distance practices are of course normative, in that they involve a sense of what one should and shouldn't do. And the norms in question are culturally specific. This explains the following striking remark. This all throws important light on the phenomenon of world, since we can now see that the crucial for-the-sake-of-which structure that stands at the base of each totality of involvements is culturally and historically conditioned. The specific ways in which I behave for the sake of being an academic are what one does if one wants to be considered a good academic, at this particular time, in this particular historically embedded culture carrying out research, tutoring students, giving lectures, and so on.

    Worlds the referential context of significance, networks of involvements are then culturally and historically conditioned, from which several things seem to follow. First, Dasein's everyday world is, in the first instance, and of its very essence, a shared world. Second, Being-with and Being-in-the-world are, if not equivalent, deeply intertwined. And third, the sense in which worlds are Dasein-dependent involves some sort of cultural relativism, although, as we shall see later, this final issue is one that needs careful interpretative handling.

    Critics of the manner in which Heidegger develops the notion of Being-with have often focussed, albeit in different ways, on the thought that Heidegger either ignores or misconceives the fundamental character of our social existence by passing over its grounding in direct interpersonal interaction see e. From this perspective, the equipmentally mediated discovery of others that Heidegger sometimes describes see above is at best a secondary process that reveals other people only to the extent that they are relevant to Dasein's practical projects.

    Moreover, Olafson argues that although Heidegger's account clearly involves the idea that Dasein discovers socially shared equipmental meaning which then presumably supports the discovery of other Dasein along with equipment , that account fails to explain why this must be the case. Processes of direct interpersonal contact e. The obvious move for Heidegger to make here is to claim that the processes that the critics find to be missing from his account, although genuine, are not a priori, transcendental structures of Dasein.

    If not, then Heidegger's notion of Being-with is at best an incomplete account of our social Being. In effect, this is a reformulation of the point that Dasein is the having-to-be-open , i. Dasein's existence ek-sistence is thus now to be understood by way of an interconnected pair of three-dimensional unitary structures: thrownness-projection-fallen-ness and disposedness-understanding-fascination. As Dasein, I ineluctably find myself in a world that matters to me in some way or another.

    This is what Heidegger calls thrownness Geworfenheit , a having-been-thrown into the world. To make things less abstract, we can note that disposedness is the a priori transcendental condition for, and thus shows up pre-ontologically in, the everyday phenomenon of mood Stimmung. According to Heidegger's analysis, I am always in some mood or other. Thus say I'm depressed, such that the world opens up is disclosed to me as a sombre and gloomy place.

    I might be able to shift myself out of that mood, but only to enter a different one, say euphoria or lethargy, a mood that will open up the world to me in a different way. For Heidegger, moods and disposedness are aspects of what it means to be in a world at all, not subjective additions to that in-ness. Here it is worth noting that some aspects of our ordinary linguistic usage reflect this anti-subjectivist reading. Thus we talk of being in a mood rather than a mood being in us, and we have no problem making sense of the idea of public moods e.

    In noting these features of moods we must be careful, however. It would be a mistake to conclude from them that moods are external, rather than internal, states. Nevertheless, the idea that moods have a social character does point us towards a striking implication of Heidegger's overall framework: with Being-in-the-world identified previously as a kind of cultural co-embeddedness, it follows that the repertoire of world-disclosing moods in which I might find myself will itself be culturally conditioned.

    Dasein confronts every concrete situation in which it finds itself into which it has been thrown as a range of possibilities for acting onto which it may project itself. Insofar as some of these possibilities are actualized, others will not be, meaning that there is a sense in which not-Being a set of unactualized possibilities of Being is a structural component of Dasein's Being. Out of this dynamic interplay, Dasein emerges as a delicate balance of determination thrownness and freedom projection.

    See a Problem?

    The projective possibilities available to Dasein are delineated by totalities of involvements, structures that, as we have seen, embody the culturally conditioned ways in which Dasein may inhabit the world. Understanding is the process by which Dasein projects itself onto such possibilities.

    Crucially, understanding as projection is not conceived, by Heidegger, as involving, in any fundamental way, conscious or deliberate forward-planning. The primary realization of understanding is as skilled activity in the domain of the ready-to-hand, but it can be manifested as interpretation, when Dasein explicitly takes something as something e. NB: assertion of the sort indicated here is of course just one linguistic practice among many; it does not in any way exhaust the phenomenon of language or its ontological contribution. Another way of putting the point that culturally conditioned totalities of involvements define the space of Dasein's projection onto possibilities is to say that such totalities constitute the fore-structures of Dasein's practices of understanding and interpretation, practices that, as we have just seen, are projectively oriented manifestations of the taking-as activity that forms the existential core of Dasein's Being.

    Thrownness and projection provide two of the three dimensions of care. The third is fallen-ness. Such fallen-ness into the world is manifested in idle talk roughly, conversing in a critically unexamined and unexamining way about facts and information while failing to use language to reveal their relevance , curiosity a search for novelty and endless stimulation rather than belonging or dwelling , and ambiguity a loss of any sensitivity to the distinction between genuine understanding and superficial chatter.

    Each of these aspects of fallen-ness involves a closing off or covering up of the world more precisely, of any real understanding of the world through a fascination with it. Here, in dramatic language, is how he makes the point. In utilizing public means of transport and in making use of information services such as the newspaper, every Other is like the next.

    This analysis opens up a path to Heidegger's distinction between the authentic self and its inauthentic counterpart. Moreover, as a mode of the self, fallen-ness is not an accidental feature of Dasein, but rather part of Dasein's existential constitution. It is a dimension of care, which is the Being of Dasein.

    So, in the specific sense that fallen-ness the they-self is an essential part of our Being, we are ultimately each to blame for our own inauthenticity Sheehan So authenticity is not about being isolated from others, but rather about finding a different way of relating to others such that one is not lost to the they-self. It is in Division 2 of Being and Time that authenticity, so understood, becomes a central theme. As the argument of Being and Time continues its ever-widening hermeneutic spiral into Division 2 of the text, Heidegger announces a twofold transition in the analysis.

    He argues that we should i pay proper heed to the thought that to understand Dasein we need to understand Dasein's existence as a whole , and ii shift the main focus of our attention from the inauthentic self the they-self to the authentic self the mine-self Being and Time Both of these transitions figure in Heidegger's discussion of death.

    So far, Dasein's existence has been understood as thrown projection plus falling. The projective aspect of this phenomenon means that, at each moment of its life, Dasein is Being-ahead-of-itself, oriented towards the realm of its possibilities, and is thus incomplete. Death completes Dasein's existence. Therefore, an understanding of Dasein's relation to death would make an essential contribution to our understanding of Dasein as a whole. But now a problem immediately presents itself: since one cannot experience one's own death, it seems that the kind of phenomenological analysis that has hitherto driven the argument of Being and Time breaks down, right at the crucial moment.

    One possible response to this worry, canvassed explicitly by Heidegger, is to suggest that Dasein understands death through experiencing the death of others. However, the sense in which we experience the death of others falls short of what is needed. We mourn departed others and miss their presence in the world.

    But that is to experience Being-with them as dead, which is a mode of our continued existence. The greater the phenomenal appropriateness with which we take the no-longer-Dasein of the deceased, the more plainly is it shown that in such Being-with the dead, the authentic Being-come-to-an-end of the deceased is precisely the sort of thing which we do not experience. Death does indeed reveal itself as a loss, but a loss such as is experienced by those who remain.

    What we don't have, then, is phenomenological access to the loss of Being that the dead person has suffered. But that, it seems, is precisely what we would need in order to carry through the favoured analysis. So another response is called for. Heidegger's move is to suggest that although Dasein cannot experience its own death as actual, it can relate towards its own death as a possibility that is always before it—always before it in the sense that Dasein's own death is inevitable.

    Peculiarly among Dasein's possibilities, the possibility of Dasein's own death must remain only a possibility, since once it becomes actual, Dasein is no longer. And it is this awareness of death as an omnipresent possibility that cannot become actual that stops the phenomenological analysis from breaking down. The detail here is crucial. My death is mine in a radical sense; it is the moment at which all my relations to others disappear.

    When I take on board the possibility of my own not-Being, my own being-able-to-Be is brought into proper view. Hence my awareness of my own death as an omnipresent possibility discloses the authentic self a self that is mine. Moreover, the very same awareness engages the first of the aforementioned transitions too: there is a sense in which the possibility of my not existing encompasses the whole of my existence Hinman , , and my awareness of that possibility illuminates me, qua Dasein, in my totality. Indeed, my own death is revealed to me as inevitable, meaning that Dasein is essentially finite.

    Care is now interpreted in terms of Being-towards-death, meaning that Dasein has an internal relation to the nothing i. As one might expect, Heidegger argues that Being-towards-death not only has the three-dimensional character of care, but is realized in authentic and inauthentic modes.

    Let's begin with the authentic mode. We can think of the aforementioned individualizing effect of Dasein's awareness of the possibility of its own not-Being an awareness that illuminates its own being-able-to-Be as an event in which Dasein projects onto a possible way to be, in the technical sense of such possibilities introduced earlier in Being and Time. It is thus an event in which Dasein projects onto a for-the-sake-of-which, a possible way to be. More particularly, given the authentic character of the phenomenon, it is an event in which Dasein projects onto a for-the-sake-of- itself.

    Heidegger now coins the term anticipation to express the form of projection in which one looks forward to a possible way to be. Given the analysis of death as a possibility, the authentic form of projection in the case of death is anticipation. Indeed Heidegger often uses the term anticipation in a narrow way, simply to mean being aware of death as a possibility. But death is disclosed authentically not only in projection the first dimension of care but also in thrownness the second dimension.

    The key phenomenon here is the mode of disposedness that Heidegger calls anxiety. Anxiety, at least in the form in which Heidegger is interested, is not directed towards some specific object, but rather opens up the world to me in a certain distinctive way. When I am anxious I am no longer at home in the world. I fail to find the world intelligible. Thus there is an ontological sense one to do with intelligibility in which I am not in the world, and the possibility of a world without me the possibility of my not-Being-in-the-world is revealed to me.

    Heidegger has now reinterpreted two of the three dimensions of care, in the light of Dasein's essential finitude. Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Reflective Analysis , please sign up. Lists with This Book. This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Community Reviews. Showing Rating details. Sort order. Jul 05, Alexandru Jr. A useful introduction to the phenomenological method. In contrast to other introductory texts, Embree here is more interested in showing how to think phenomenologically rather than to inundate the reader with the technical terminology of the field.

    Introduction

    The examples he uses are invariably mundane, but then that's probably the point: even the most quotidian of experiences imply a host of phenomenologically interesting processes. So if you're interested in how one forms an intentional stance towards an A useful introduction to the phenomenological method. So if you're interested in how one forms an intentional stance towards an open door, or how to eidetically deconstruct the phenomenonal experience of an armchair, this could be the book for you! Apr 09, Laura rated it liked it.

    While the book offers helpful descriptions and tools for reflective analysis a very good trait, considering the title , the writing style was cumbersome for me. There are no discussion topics on this book yet. About Lester E. Lester E.