Dasein and Possibilities

Heidegger

Phenomenlogist Martin Heidegger (1889-1976 CE) explains that:

Dasein does not simply understand its environment as one might understand an alient text or culture from which one is entirely disengaged.  It understands it as presenting to it a range of possibilities.  If it did not understand it in this way it could not understand its environment as ‘significant’…’as long as it is, Dasein always has understood itself and always will understand itself in terms of possibilities’ (Being and Time, 145)…Dasein is ‘constantly more than it factually is’ (BT, 145), always (unless it is asleep) poised between alternative possible ways of continuing.  Man is not a passive creature, roused to activity only by external stimuli; he is constantly up to something. (Inwood, 45)

Sources

Heidegger, Martin.  Being and Time.  Translated by John Macquarrie and Edward Robinson.  Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1962.  Quoted by Inwood in Heidegger.

Inwood, Michael.  Heidegger: A Very Short Introduction.  New York: Oxford University Press, 2000.

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