• John Doe
    167
    You're right that Dasein is an entity. But a super-entity? Dasein is certainly a special kind of entity insofar as it is a clearing, an open-space of revealing, temporal, a sense-maker, a world-disclosure, etc.Dan123

    Yes. Dasein is a formal ontological structure. So a reasonable concern can be made that any formal ontology of the sort being undertaken in B&T implies that Dasein is a Form which each individual Dasein participates in. And my suggestion here is very close to later Heidegger's own critique of his early work.

    But it would be a critical mistake that betrays everything Heidegger was arguing for to say that Dasein is a kind of monolithic metaphysical-thing that is other than us that we each participate in.Dan123

    Monumental mistake how? A misreading of his goals or his execution? Because obviously that's not his goal, but I believe my concern about his method and execution is entirely legitimate. I worry that he slides into a metaphysics of Dasein, which is certainly different from the metaphysics of substance, but still: how can he derive a transhistorical noncultural formal structure of Dasein from within the lived experience of Dasein unless he's merely giving us one particularly fruitful interpretation of what it is to be a human being?

    For Heidegger, 'pure rationality' or a 'purely rationally being' is not possible without a horizon of sense or world of meaning to which one is constitutively immersed-in. So if there were "rational creatures living three galaxies away" they would only be Dasein if they essentially belong to a world of meaning that matters to them that delimits the ways they understand things, themselves, and contextual situations they find themselves in.Dan123

    Exactly. When you strip everything away Heidegger is still arguing that Dasein is the condition of the possibility of rationality. That of course doesn't imply any commitment to the idea that Dasein is a rational subject -- quite the contrary, Heidegger is arguing that quite a lot is necessary to get to any conceptual rationality -- but at the end of the day any concept-using creature will have the form of Dasein, so Heidegger is making a broad formalistic claim about rationality as such.

    So Dasein cannot be deduced from the fact that a being appears or acts rationally, as you do when you sayDan123

    No, I don't say this! I am saying that, on Heidegger's view, the formal structure of Dasein presents the conditions necessary for the emergence of rational concept-application. You guys seem beholden to the notion that if I raise concerns about Heidegger then I must be some arch-rationalist who has not read him carefully enough.

    The existence of any particular cannot be justified by 'the fact that a being is rational', unless you are first presupposing that 'rational' is a way of Being of Dasein. While it is true that yes rationality presupposes Dasein, the fact that a creature acts, behaves, or appears rational does not necessitate that that being or creature is in fact Dasein. So there is a crucial difference between concluding that rational beings are Dasein by way of grounding rationality in Dasein's way of Being vs inferring that a creature of being is Dasein by observing that it acts or behaves rationally. It's difficult to talk about this subject without falling into a Cartesian understandings of having epistemic access to the rational competencies of a inner subject, which should be avoided.Dan123

    This is genuinely interesting. Heidegger distinguishes human from animal life by saying that humans have a world and animals merely have an environment. I take it that language - thus concepts - are necessary for a world, an awareness of one's 'pressing into possibilities', of death, and so forth. This does not mean that when we turn a door-knob this means-end rational activity involves concepts or rational mindedness. Indeed, animals can also exhibit means-end rationality. But what I think you miss is that the capacity for language and concepts play a hugely important role in this whole story. There is no Dasein without language and concepts, just as (due to the formal ontological structure) there can be no language and concepts without Dasein. His anti-Cartesian account of language, concepts, rationality, Zuhanden relation to objects, etc. is interwoven with the whole account.
  • Corvus
    83
    There is no Dasein without language and concepts, just as (due to the formal ontological structure) there can be no language and concepts without Dasein. His anti-Cartesian account of language, concepts, rationality, Zuhanden relation to objects, etc. is interwoven with the whole account.John Doe

    What about then disabled people like deaf and dumb? Do they get excluded from Dasein?
  • Dan123
    53
    There is no Dasein without language and concepts, just as (due to the formal ontological structure) there can be no language and concepts without Dasein. His anti-Cartesian account of language, concepts, rationality, Zuhanden relation to objects, etc. is interwoven with the whole account.
    — John Doe

    What about then disabled people like deaf and dumb? Do they get excluded from Dasein?
    Corvus

    I'd say no. For Heidegger, language is not 'the totality of words or utterances that belong to a standard way of verbally communicating.' Language obviously gets interpreted as such a way, but this is a 'deworlded' interpretation. The Word-Things (specific words) of a 'language' are already embedded within the world as ready-to-hand significations, rather than terms used to denote mental pictures or ideas that may or may not correspond to their real or ideal thing beyond one's perception. This latter way of understanding word-things is a possible kind of interpretation though, but it is a deworlded, presence-at-hand way of relating/Being/understanding.

    Language as such (and more broadly, Discourse) is the way an already operative field of significance gets "Articualted" or "expressed" as Dasein navigates life. But meaning can get articulated in many, many ways, depending on the context (or milieu of meaning to which Daseins co-consitituve belong to). For example, silence, in a sense, speaks. It means something to be silent in given situations. Hand-shakes, yelling, ways of speaking, enunciations, laughter, ways of dressing, cleaning, supporting a friend, stopping at a red light etc,etc,etc, are all ways of navigating and expressing meaning. This, rather than being-able-to-verbally-or-coherently-speak-a-language, is constitutive of Dasein. So, since the "dumb and deaf" person navigates life through meaning and the possibilities in terms of which meaning is given, the disabled person is Dasein despite it's lack of ability to verbally and coherently speak a language such as french or english. T

    Though I am not sure that every person with a psychological disorder is Dasein. That would be a big topic though. I'm not trying to go down that path here.
  • Corvus
    83
    Mr PhiOsophy is banned? Why? I wasn't aware of it.
    His B&T chapter summaries were very good.

    Perhaps someone else should take up the task?
    And the reading B&T should be continued to the end in this thread?
    So we could keep asking questions and debating based on the B&T?
  • Corvus
    83
    What I feel about MH's being is that, even if he does Ontology, Phenomenology and Metaphysics, they are totally different nature from that of Descartes, Husserl and Plato and Kant.

    MH's being is based on everyday lived existence, and that's where his Ontology, Phenomenology and Metaphysics is based, which is unique?

    But I feel that Everyday Lived Existence is totally different mode of existence from Metaphysical mode. I am not sure how one lives daily ordinary life, and be able to think in metaphysical, phenomenological and ontological way.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MqkLrQMhZVk
  • Dan123
    53
    Is their a reading schedule that everyone here is following?
  • John Doe
    167
    Mr PhiOsophy is banned? Why? I wasn't aware of it.Corvus

    Is their a reading schedule that everyone here is following?Dan123

    There was a reading schedule until Mr. PhilOsophy asked a moderator to ban him because he was spending too much time on this site. Three cheers for Mr. Phil, wherever he is -- we appreciate your service, buddy. :party:

    I think that anyone who feels competent enough to take up a reading schedule and summaries should feel free to do so. Although the thread does seem to be dying out, and I have a ton of work that limits my ability to post regularly, so it might be better to let sleeping dogs lie, or convert this into a general discussion thread, or something.
  • John Doe
    167
    What about then disabled people like deaf and dumb? Do they get excluded from Dasein?Corvus

    I'm not sure what the intellectual threshold is for Dasein, though it is a question worth asking, especially (sorry to say folks) given his Nazi affiliation and the horrible things they were doing to the mentally challenged. (We know from the Black Notebooks that he put the notion of "worldhood" to work as a noxious justification of his anti-semitism; justifying his anti-semitism by calling jews "wordless".)

    But I think that what I meant by "concepts" being integral to Dasein is at the level of world, not at the individual level. Concepts and Present-at-Hand conceptual knowledge of the universe are necessary to create, say, an IPhone, which is then reintegrated into our worldly dealings as ready-to-hand use-objects (not that Heidegger is a great fan of technology). I can then in certain circumstances sit and ponder a thing, in this case an IPhone, conceptually and rationally from a scientific viewpoint, in other circumstances I can integrate it into my life and use it as a tool nonconceptually.
  • Corvus
    83
    I was looking for any reference to linguistic capabilities for condition or qualification of Dasein in BT, but could not spot them. Maybe it will be there in later parts of BT?

    But even for your example of iphone, there might be some indigenous people or tribes in jungle somewhere, who have never seen or heard iphone. Maybe the universal concept of the design is not relevant to them for being Daseins?
  • Dan123
    53
    ↪John Doe I was looking for any reference to linguistic capabilities for condition or qualification of Dasein in BT, but could not spot them. Maybe it will be there in later parts of BT?

    Heidegger thematizes language in §33 and §34. His analysis in these sections builds from his ideas from the previous sections. Heidegger does not claim that "Dasein necessarily speaks a language," nor does he say that "Dasein necessarily has the ability to verbalize coherent and complete linguistic utterances." Dasein is not necessarily a language user. Heidegger's analysis, for the most part, leaves enough theoretical room to include death, mute, and disabled Dasein, I think. Dasein is able-to-navigate-and-express-meaning, which does not necessarily mean that Dasein must be able to speak a language, though being-embedded-in-meaning is a condition of the possibility for any language-user to be able speak language in any meaningful way. Dasein is fundamentally a meaning-dweller, not a language-user. Though many Daseins do navigate meaning with language/vocal utterances/words/etc. I think.
    Corvus
  • Dan123
    53
    deaf* not death
  • Corvus
    83
    Dasein is fundamentally a meaning-dweller, not a language-user. Though many Daseins do navigate meaning with language/vocal utterances/words/etc. I think.Dan123

    I agree.

    Isn't then Language supposed to be Logos, rather than speech in BT? Logos to articulate Dasein in the world, and to comprehend, dispose and disclose itself?
  • bloodninja
    298
    Could I paraphrase you as saying: The foreground is made meaningful only on the basis of a background? So for example the present at hand (abstract conceptual thinking and dealing with break down experiences) is meaningful only on the basis of our ready to hand understandings and this "know-how" (e.g. our everyday dealings, involvements, competencies, pre-reflective uses and understandings of languages, cultural practices, etc.) is in turn made meaningful on the basis of our ways of being dasein.

    This leads to the question, on the basis of what is dasein meaningful? Or what is the meaning of the being of dasein? Which leads us to the opening pages of Being and Time. A question of being rather than one of justification.

    But it also takes us to the end of the book where he calls the being of dasein care and claims that temporality is the ontological meaning of care. This is from page 370:

    "What are we seeking ontologically with the meaning of care ? What does "meaning" signify ? In our investigation, we have encountered this phenomenon in connection with the analysis of understanding and interpretation. According to that analysis, meaning is that wherein the
    understandability [Verstehbarkeit] of something maintains itself-even that of something which does not come into view explicitly and thematically. "Meaning" signifies the "upon-which" [das Woraufhin] of a primary projection in terms of which something can be conceived in its possibility
    as that which it is. Projecting discloses possibilities-that is to say, it discloses the sort of thing that makes possible."

    "To lay bare the "upon-which" of a projection, amounts to disclosing that which makes possible what has been projected. 1 To lay it bare in this way requires methodologically that we study the projection (usually a tacit one) which underlies an interpretation, and that we do so in such a
    way that what has been projected in the projecting can be disclosed and grasped with regard to its "upon-which". To set forth the meaning of care means, then, to follow up the projection which guides and underlies the primordial existential Interpretation of Dasein, and to follow it up in
    such a way that in what is here projected, its "upon-which" may be seen. What has been projected is the Being of Dasein, and it is disclosed in what constitutes that Being as an authentic potentiality-for-Being-a-whole. 2 That upon which the Being which has been disclosed and is thus constituted has been projected, is that which itself makes possible this Constitution
    of Being as care. When we inquire about the meaning of care, we are asking what makes possible the totality of the articulated structural whole of care, in the unity of its articulation as we have unfolded it."
  • Dan123
    53
    Isn't then Language supposed to be Logos, rather than speech in BT? Logos to articulate Dasein in the world, and to comprehend, dispose and disclose itself?Corvus

    In §34, Heidegger says "the existential-ontological foundation of language is discourse." This is to say that discourse is constitutive of the structure of world-immersion. Dasein is in the world disc[o]urs[e]-ive-ly. As discursive being-in, discourse lies prior to and makes possible language qua 'the speech act' and qua 'any meaningful (or unintelligible (but not non-intelligible)) verbal utterance.'

    What role does Discourse play in Dasein's Being-in-the-world? Just to structure and make possible languages-in-action such as english-as-spoken, braille-as-grasped, or sign-language-practiced? - Far from it. "Discourse is the Articulation of intelligibility." In other words, "the intelligibility of Being-in-the-world.. expresses itself as discourse." "Discoursing... is the way in which we articulate 'significantly' the intelligibility of Being-in-the-world."(my emphasis) "Dasein as discursive Being-in, has already expressed itself." Any way of communicating (and I would say comportment as well), intentional or not, is an expression of an understanding (or meaning).

    ^What does this mean? It means that Discourse is an always-already operative disclosure. We never start from a neutral, discouse-less way of apprehending only to step into one. We always-already find ourselves discoursing, articulating meaning as we comport ourselves so as to reveal entities in their beingness (or meaning). Different ways of comporting express meaning in different ways, discourse lets entities be available and graspable. In comporting - as orienting ourselves within the meaningful situations to which we are thrown into - entities are revealed in terms of the horizon of meaning through which we are situated.

    So insofar as language is discourse, and logos is the revealing of entities or the 'letting entities be disclosed or discoverable (or meaningful) to Dasein, Language is logos. So yes you are right, I think.
  • Dan123
    53
    This leads to the question, on the basis of what is dasein meaningful? Or what is the meaning of the being of dasein? Which leads us to the opening pages of Being and Time. A question of being rather than one of justification.bloodninja

    Dasein is thrown. This does not just mean that Dasein is thrown into a particular meaningful situation rather than others; it also means that Dasein is thrown into being-a-sense-maker. At every moment of Dasein's life, Dasein is thrown. We never start from a neutral starting-point so as to 'see' or grasp why or how we are sense-makers. That would be to transcend the horizon that structures intelligibility as such, an impossibility for Heidegger. This is why Heidegger says the "whence" (the from-which) of our thrownness is "obscure". We can't look behind ourselves, any attempt to look-behind' would have to presuppose the very thing we are looking-behind for. We cannot encounter that which grounds my situatedness. It is a (brute?) fact of Dasein's existence that it is how it is. Dasein is a sense-maker because that is how it is. Though this sounds unsatisfying.

    My question is this: Why does meaning as such obscure or veil our ability to get-behind meaning, even though we are able to grasp the structure of meaning in its concrete particularity and its general structure? The answer lies with hermeneutics in some sense, I think, but I'm not sure what it is.
  • bloodninja
    298
    Great point! I don't think I expressed myself very well and didn't express thrownness at all. Reading it back it sounds like what I wrote was an ontification of dasein if that makes any sense haha. Nevertheless..

    We can't look behind ourselves, any attempt to look-behind' would have to presuppose the very thing we are looking-behind for. We cannot encounter that which grounds my situatedness. It is a (brute?) fact of Dasein's existence that it is how it is. Dasein is a sense-maker because that is how it is. Though this sounds unsatisfying.Dan123

    So how do you understand temporality's role in providing the ontological meaning of care? I get that it is a ontical mistake to look for the meaning of our being in another entity. (And I wasn't doing that even though it seemed like I was.) But Temporality is not another entity. Temporality is an existential-ontological interpretation of care? What do you think? Am I on the right track? How do you understand it?
  • Dan123
    53
    how do you understand temporality's role in providing the ontological meaning of care?bloodninja

    Temporality is "ec-static" qua horizonal. As temporal beings, we are finite - delimited by our thrownness. There is no 'beyond' temporality. Temporality is what Dasein essentially is as a world-discloser, I think.

    I really can't give you much more than that; I don't quite understand temporality either. The last four section of Division Two of Being and Time are somewhat of a mystery to me. Still trying to make sense of them.
  • Corvus
    83
    I wonder if everyone is reading B&T translated by John Macquarrie. That's the one I am reading.
    But I saw some other B&T translated by different people, and looked like more recent publication of B&T.

    Which one would be the best translation of B&T? Because I find one by John Macquarrie hard going trying to get grips with it.
  • Dan123
    53
    I wonder if everyone is reading B&T translated by John Macquarrie. That's the one I am reading.
    But I saw some other B&T translated by different people, and looked like more recent publication of B&T.

    Which one would be the best translation of B&T? Because I find one by John Macquarrie hard going trying to get grips with it.
    Corvus

    I use the Macquarrie translation as well.
  • bloodninja
    298
    Temporality is "ec-static" qua horizonal. As temporal beings, we are finite - delimited by our thrownness.Dan123

    Yes I agree but we are also finite, or limited, by our ownmost projection. I.e. death. I think we can interpret this death, not biologically, or as demise, but hermeneutically and/or ontologically as a limit on sense making similarly to thrownness. However while thrownness gets at our limit of always already being in a situation (i.e. past or what he calls 'has-been'), anticipating death, as the possibility of impossibility, is a limit on sense making with regard to the future (or what he calls being-ahead-of-itself). Dasein is doubly finite as a thrown-projection.

    I'm kind of thinking aloud here. Hope I'm making sense.

    It seems like temporality is the unification of the separately considered aspects of care.

    For example this is a quote from of 371 I think, which I mentioned above.

    When we inquire about the meaning of care, we are asking what makes possible the totality of the articulated structural whole of care, in the unity of its articulation as we have unfolded it.bloodninja

    A future and a past that unifies the being of dasein... I think that is what he is getting at here...The temporality Heidegger is thinking of is obviously not the kind of time that we ordinarily consider time to be, which is an endless succession of "nows".
  • Dan123
    53
    Yes I agree but we are also finite, or limited, by our ownmost projection. I.e. death. I think we can interpret this death, not biologically, or as demise, but hermeneutically and/or ontologically as a limit on sense making similarly to thrownness. However while thrownness gets at our limit of always already being in a situation (i.e. past or what he calls 'has-been'), anticipating death, as the possibility of impossibility, is a limit on sense making with regard to the future (or what he calls being-ahead-of-itself). Dasein is doubly finite as a thrown-projection.bloodninja

    I would say that to be thrown into a situation is to be always-already in a situation in terms of projected possibilities. So yes, thrownness and projection together constitute one's finitude.

    I'm not sure that authentic Being-towards-death/anticipating death is a "limit on sense making". Though it is a way of 'making sense'.

    It seems like temporality is the unification of the separately considered aspects of care.

    For example this is a quote from of 371 I think, which I mentioned above.

    When we inquire about the meaning of care, we are asking what makes possible the totality of the articulated structural whole of care, in the unity of its articulation as we have unfolded it.
    — bloodninja
    bloodninja

    I think Care (thrownness + projection + (inauthentic or authentic) discourse) is already unified without reference to its temporal ground. Heidegger says "we are asking what makes possible the totality of the articulated structural whole of care." He is not saying that temporality is what unifies care. Temporality is what makes possible the unified structural whole of care.
  • bloodninja
    298
    I think Care (thrownness + projection + (inauthentic or authentic) discourse) is already unified without reference to its temporal ground. Heidegger says "we are asking what makes possible the totality of the articulated structural whole of care." He is not saying that temporality is what unifies care. Temporality is what makes possible the unified structural whole of care.Dan123

    I have to disagree. But perhaps I didn't express myself very clearly. I'm not interpreting temporality as something added to care which then unifies it. Rather, how I see it is that care is temporality, and because it is temporality it is unified. In other words temporality is internal to care.

    In this quote he is talking about the ecstatic characteristic of originary temporality/care, that each aspect of originary temporality temporalises as unified or whole with the other aspects. Please see the bold text which I am using to support my interpretation, which is better expressed as "the unity of care is grounded in ecstatic temporality".

    "Understanding is grounded primarily in the future (whether in anticipation or in awaiting) . States-of-mind temporalize themselves primarily in having been (whether in repetition or in having forgotten) . Falling has its temporal roots primarily in the Present (whether in making-present or in the moment of vision). All the same, understanding is in every case a Present which 'is in the process of having been'. All the same, one's state-of-mind temporalizes itself as a future which is 'making present'. And all the same, the Present 'leaps away' from a future that is in the process of having been, or else it is held on to by such a future. Thus we can see that in every ecstasis, temporality temporalizes itself as a whole; and this means that in the ecstatical unity with which temporality has fully temporalized itself currently, is grounded the totality of the structural whole of existence, facticity, and falling-that is, the unity of the care-structure." (B&T pg.401)

    I would say that to be thrown into a situation is to be always-already in a situation in terms of projected possibilities. So yes, thrownness and projection together constitute one's finitude.Dan123

    This is very nice! And it aligns nicely with temporality's ecstatic character.

    I'm not sure that authentic Being-towards-death/anticipating death is a "limit on sense making". Though it is a way of 'making sense'.Dan123

    Fair enough. He does suggest that death is a basically limit-situation in the death chapter (a concept he borrowed from Jaspers). But a limit of or on what? Because he is discussing death to draw out the "originary future", this future must be limited in some sense. And given that he said in the quote above that "Understanding is grounded primarily in the future", it seems that understanding (or what amounts in my view to the same thing, sense making) must, by way of finite ecstatic temporality, be limited. Death is a hard topic...
  • Dan123
    53
    care is temporalitybloodninja

    Yea that is how I read it is as well. Temporality is basically what Care really is. I think.

    Fair enough. He does suggest that death is a basically limit-situation in the death chapter (a concept he borrowed from Jaspers). But a limit of or on what? Because he is discussing death to draw out the "originary future", this future must be limited in some sense. And given that he said in the quote above that "Understanding is grounded primarily in the future", it seems that understanding (or what amounts in my view to the same thing, sense making) must, by way of finite ecstatic temporality, be limited.bloodninja

    So I think the key is that temporality as such is the structure of sense-making. As temporal, sense-making is, rather than limited, de-limited or "finite". Temporality - in its situated particularity - is a horizon of sense that limits and allows for both particular ways-of-world-immersion (rather than others) and particular modes of world-entry or entity disclosure (rather than others). As Dasein, there is no 'going-beyond' my finitude. Nor can I trace my history back to a time where I was non-contextual before stepping into being 'situated somewhere'. I have been, am, and will be for as long as I am, thrown. I am inexorably constrained, yet allowed to be such and such, by my thrown, finite contextual situation. The possibilities I project or take on as I press-ahead into my life emerge from my constrained situation. I think, it is in sense that Dasein is "finite".

    Now I am with you. I don't quite grasp the sense in which death is a "limit". Nor do I understand on what basis Dasein "chooses" or "projects upon" certain possibilities (including the possibility-of-my-impossibility qua death) rather than others. Is this basis Dasein's 'free choice'. I don't think so because Dasein is thrown, and a free choice implies an a kind of non-embeddedness that precedes the situation. So, on the one hand, it seems that one could say that the projection upon possibilities discloses a situation, as if both the possibilites available to be chosen and Dasein's seizing upon possibilities transcend thrownness. On the other hand, it seems that one could say that Dasein is first situated, and then on that basis, seizes possibilities. So does the situation lie prior to projected possibilites, or vice versa? Or are they equiprimordial? And what would that look like?
  • John Doe
    167
    Could I paraphrase you as saying: The foreground is made meaningful only on the basis of a background? So for example the present at hand (abstract conceptual thinking and dealing with break down experiences) is meaningful only on the basis of our ready to hand understandings and this "know-how" (e.g. our everyday dealings, involvements, competencies, pre-reflective uses and understandings of languages, cultural practices, etc.) is in turn made meaningful on the basis of our ways of being dasein.bloodninja

    Yes, good paraphrase, thank you. I'll just quibble with the end here: I don't think that anything is made meaningful; I suspect -- though I am not a great reader here -- that the different ways of Being for Dasein simply are varieties of meaningfulness. The meaningfulness is that which is antecedent to Dasein and is cultivated by a culture.

    This leads to the question, on the basis of what is dasein meaningful?bloodninja

    I know that this sort of transcendental reading of Heidegger has become really popular in the last 15 years or so -- especially in Theology departments -- but are you sure this question leads from the previous paragraph? Does there have to be a ground of meaning for "Dasein"? For example, if we take the individualistic reading of Dasein proposed by Dan then we have to say that the world is permeated with meaning in a way that precedes the thrownness of my own Dasein and continues after my own death. So my care is shot through from beginning to end with meaning which is not derived from or projected onto the world but is simply that which is inherent to the structure of being a Dasein.
  • Dan123
    53
    I don't think that anything is made meaningful; I suspect -- though I am not a great reader here -- that the different ways of Being for Dasein simply are varieties of meaningfulnessJohn Doe

    I think this is correct.

    The meaningfulness is that which is antecedent to Dasein and is cultivated by a cultureJohn Doe

    if we take the individualistic reading of Dasein proposed by Dan then we have to say that the world is permeated with meaning in a way that precedes the thrownness of my own Dasein and continues after my own death.John Doe


    Rather than "antecedent", I think meaningfulness and Dasein are equiprimordial. I think Heidegger's point is that we cannot get behind or beyond ourselves to say anything about anything. That would run up against the limits of our sense-making as we try to reach for what is unintelligible.

    So my care is shot through from beginning to end with meaning which is not derived from or projected onto the world but is simply that which is inherent to the structure of being a Dasein.John Doe

    Yes I think this is true. But that doesn't mean meaning comes before or after Dasein.

    Many consider this to be a huge problem for Heidegger.
  • John Doe
    167
    Yes I think this is true. But that doesn't mean meaning comes before or after Dasein.

    Many consider this to be a huge problem for Heidegger.
    Dan123

    Thanks for the informative comments. I think that this probably gets to the heart of our earlier disagreement about Dasein. I agree with you that meaning is not antecedent to what I have called "metaphysical" Dasein but it certainly is to my individual Dasein. That's why I think, although Heidegger doesn't like it, he's doing a sort of metaphysics.

    So if I qua Dasein show up in an historical world where Samurai culture still thrives, then I can commit Harakiri in a certain sort of meaningful way. But I, as a Dasein today in the 21st century, cannot meaningfully commit Harakiri. So surely meaning is antecedent to my individual Dasein. But then I agree with you that it doesn't make sense to call meaning antecedent to Dasein in the formal sense.

    At least, that's what I see as the tension at the heart of Being & Time, corrected by later Heidegger's movement towards an anthropological approach.
  • Corvus
    83
    Great explanation. Thank you.
  • bloodninja
    298
    I'll just quibble with the end here: I don't think that anything is made meaningfulJohn Doe

    Yeah I think I got muddled there. Instead of
    is in turn made meaningful on the basis of our ways of being daseinbloodninja
    I should have said on the basis of our existential-ontological structure, or something similar. Because our ways of being dasein are just how we act out that structure...

    I think that this probably gets to the heart of our earlier disagreement about Dasein. I agree with you that meaning is not antecedent to what I have called "metaphysical" Dasein but it certainly is to my individual Dasein. That's why I think, although Heidegger doesn't like it, he's doing a sort of metaphysics.John Doe

    I have not read all of yours and dan's prior posts so I might be on the wrong track here, but from what I've read, I'm thinking you might be interpreting dasein and meaning in terms of a present at hand ontology/ordinary conception of time (time as an endless succession of nows) when you ask about whether or not meaning is antecedent to dasein. Rather, meaning is an existential concept which he characterises thus:

    "...meaning is that wherein the understandability [Verstehbarkeit] of something maintains itself-even that of something which does not come into view explicitly and thematically. "Meaning" signifies the "upon-which" [das Woraufhin] of a primary projection in terms of which something can be conceived in its possibility as that which it is." (pg. 370)

    So I don't think it makes much sense to ask if meaning is antecedent to dasein. There seems to be an ontological confusion in such questioning. The world, similarly, is an existential concept so the same would apply to questioning about whether the world was there before dasein. But perhaps I have missed what your disagreement is over?

    "Dasein is its world existingly. We have defined Dasein's Being as "care". The ontological meaning of
    "care" is temporality. We have shown that temporality constitutes the disclosedness of the "there", and we have shown how it does so. In the disclosedness of the "there" the world is disclosed along with it. The unity of significance-that is, the ontological constitution of the world must then likewise be grounded in temporality. The existential-temporal condition for the possibility of the world lies in the fact that temporality, as an ecstatical unity, has something like a horizon..." (pg. 416)
  • John Doe
    167
    I'm sorry to say that I don't know what to make of your post, either in its seeming diagnosis and rejection of my concerns or in its query about my disagreement with Dan. It's not for me to say, but I don't think that I have any issues with a "present at hand" conception of temporality, and one general concern I have with discussing Heidegger is that his terminology and trenchant critiques make it easy for the true believer to devolve into a scholastic mindset where any concern raised is treated simply as a misreading to be diagnosed by the introduction of more terminology.

    In any case, the problem I am raising is more or less this: Any attempt at a philosophical explanation of our experience, life and world (using these words in the ordinary sense) from the perspective of articulating a formal ontological structure leads us into metaphysics and its attendant problems. So the book raises no issues if Heidegger is engaged in a certain sort of interpretation of what it is to be a human being, which is anthropological in the sense that his interpretation aims only at a description which will ultimately fit more or less well, and in different ways, for human beings going about their lives in various historical and cultural circumstances. (As later Heidegger realized.) But insofar as Dasein is put forth as a formal ontological structure, then there's no real way around the fact that Dasein is a certain sort of abstract entity which can be distinguished from any given individual Dasein. And philosophical questions about e.g. meaning will have different bearings for Dasein as abstract entity and Dasein as an individual Dasein pressing into possibilities.

    It seems to me that, having read Being & Time, I ought to still be able to maintain two notions about my own life: (1) I am Dasein pressing into possibilities. (2) The world is rich and full of meaning in a way that does not depend on anything like my subjectivity or projection. If I slip on the stairs and die tomorrow the world will go on being a rich and meaningful.

    The only way to get out of the schism between Dasein qua abstract entity and Dasein qua Individual is an extreme sort of Idealism that smashes the two together by either denying anyone else in the world the status of Dasein or lacks any interest or purport beyond my own Care.
  • waarala
    11



    As we know, Dasein's care (= Being of Dasein) has the structure of thrownness (already in) - falling (being along) - ahead of itself (not yet, yet to be). That is, past-presence-future. Thus the meaning of care (the meaning of Being) is temporality. Now, Heidegger has the distinction between "vulgar" (traditional) and non-vulgar conception of time. Both these conceptions experiences temporality differently. Average Dasein's (almost mechanical or pre-conditioned) "functionality" in the world(hood) (Dan has described it very well) seems to follow the vulgar conception of time. Ready-to-hand has as its ground a "functional system" experienced as constantly present. Average Dasein functioning in ready-to-hand-Being (in the world) has its ground in the metaphysics of presence.

    This kind of thoughts came to mind when I was recently reading Heidegger's lectures from 1925. There H. talks about how the Work-world (Werk Welt) is present (präsent). So the translation of Vorhandenheit as presence-at-hands is somewhat misleading? Because being as ready-to-hand is also present (Being as Anwesen includes "functional relations" or meaningful wholes too)? Ready-to-hand doesn't necessarily belong to any more "authentic" temporality than presence-at-hands? Dasein has fallen to ready-to-hand where it expects something to happen next as it has always been happened in the same way. Dasein forgetfully waits the same in the now. As "real" possibilities are experienced only those which are present as functional possibilities. Thus there is no genuine change or historicity in Dasein's work or life world.

    The "Work world" is as real in its effects as natural world. It is not nothing but something "real". But this "reality" (of meaningful relations) is all the same founded on certain understanding of being where something as now-present is experienced as "really" real. Therefore such possibilities are not genuinely real possibilities which are not functionally present (in some as present experienced world). e.g. hammer has its strictly defined possibilities. Hammer has its own "ideal" reality (maintained) in relation to some as present experienced functional system.
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