Posts Tagged 'dasein'

Heidegger’s Being and Time and Phenomenology

Heidegger, Martin

Paul Gorner writes:

[A] question…could be asked about all claims that Heidegger makes in Being and Time.  Ontological claims are to be established not by argument but phenomenologically.  So ultimately it is a matter of seeing that things…are so.  In the philosophical sense phenomenology is the letting be seen of being-which primarily and for the most part does not show itself but must be made to show itself.  The only kind of verification of which ontological claims are capable is phenomenological.  This must be borne in mind throughout one’s reading of Being and Time.  It is not just a matter of reading these words and understanding them.  The words are intended to let die Sache [things] be seen.  In reading the words we have ourselves to engage in phenomenological seeing.  (Gorner, 67)


Gorner, Paul.  Heidegger’s Being and Time: An Introduction.  New York: Cambridge University Press, 2007.


Heidegger at work.

Dasein is the:

central notion of Heidegger‘s philosophy as detailed in his major work, Being and Time (1927).  Dasein refers to the essential situatedness of a person in the world, his being-in-the-world.  For Dasein, to be and to be situated are one and the same.  The most common translation of ‘Dasein’ from the German is ‘being-there’.  However, although ‘sein’ certainly means ‘being’, ‘Da’ does not always mean ‘there’.  ‘Da’ can mean ‘neither here nor there, but somewhere in between’.  The essential indeterminacy of Dasein is temporal.  The being of Dasein in the world is to be a temporal movement away from the past towards teh future…Sartre was heavily influenced by Heidegger.  Sartre’s central notion of being-for-itself relates closely to Heidegger’s central notion of Dasein. (Cox, 56)


Cox, Gary.  The Sartre Dictionary.  New York: Continuum, 2008.

Dasein and Possibilities


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)


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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