On Reading Being and Time:

An Explication and Commentary by Roderick Munday



The Interpretation of Dasein in Terms of Temporality
and the Explication of Time as the Transcendental
Horizon of the Question of Being



Being-in-the-World in General as the Fundamental Constitution of Dasein



In this document: "Explication and Commentary 4"


I. The Exposition of the Task of a Preparatory Analysis of Dasein

  12. A Preliminary Sketch of Being-in-the-World in Terms of the
        Orientation toward Being-in as Such

  13. The Exemplification of Being-in in a Founded Mode: Knowing the World


This is an ongoing project, more content will appear here over the next few months.


For the contents of other sections see the main index

There is also an online glossary of terms referred to in this document.

Your comments on this document are welcome. Please make them at my blog site Synthetic Knowledge




February 14 - March 14, 2006


(page 78)





¶ 12. A preliminary sketch of Being-in-the-World, in terms of an Orientation towards Being-in as such

Heidegger's analysis of Being has so far extracted five characteristics of Being. These characteristics (listed below) will continue to shape the path that this investigation will take, but what we will discover is that these characteristics will become more structurally concrete as we progress.

The Five characteristics of Being

1/ Dasein is a Being who understands that it exists, and furthermore more the Being of Dasein is shaped by that understanding.

2/ The above statement can be seen to serves as a working definition of the formal conception of existence,

3/ Dasein exists and moreover Dasein and existence are one. For example, if Dasein is 'the human Being' and existence is 'the world,' then Dasein and the world are one. The consequence of this is that Dasein and existence cannot be separated - even analytically separated.

4/ Dasein is also an entity which I myself am. In other words each one of us (as human Beings) defines existence in terms of our own existence - a concept that Heidegger terms 'Mineness.' Therefore the only way that Being can be understood is as 'My Being.' The concept of Mineness applies even when Being and Dasein are considered generally.

5/ Mineness belongs to any existent Dasein; how I regard 'my Being', creates the conditions that make authenticity and inauthenticity possible.


These are the fundamental concepts of Being. We will now discuss some implications of them. We begin with authenticity and inauthenticity.

Authenticity and Inauthenticity

Authenticity and inauthenticity are what gives Dasein its definite character. Dasein is either Authentic, which, in the sense of my Being, means that I can chose and win myself, or conversely lose and never win myself [ref.¶ 9, Page 68], or Dasein is Inauthentic, which means fleeing in the face of my Being and forgetting that I can chose and win myself [ref.¶ 9, Page 69-70]. Authenticity and inauthenticity do not derive their meaning or value by comparison with anything else: in this sense that they simply are what they are. This means that we cannot speak of them as being determined by any prior considerations or influences, but rather we should think of them as determining these things, since authenticity and inauthenticity are the grounds on which a particular Dasein determines its own possibilies. A person's possibility is how Heidegger actually defines their Being — a particular Dasein is not defined as something that is, but as the sum total of it 'ways to be.' That one can only define a person's Being by taking into account all of her potentials and possibilities over the time-period of a lifetime [ref.¶ 9, Page 67].

Dasein exists, either in the mode of authenticity, or inauthenticity. In fact, in saying this Heidegger is claiming that Dasein cannot properly be described as existing in any other state, although he does concedes that Dasein can be said to be modally undifferentiated.

However in considering this last remark, I want to point out that this 'undifferentiated Dasein' cannot be said to constitute a description of any positive characteristics, since undifferentiated Dasein would not possess any characteristics at all. The key word in Heidegger's above statement is describe. You cannot describe Dasein itself, since Dasein is not a thing that can be pointed at or talked about in the way we can talk about entities which are not Dasein [ref. ¶ 9, page 67]. In order to talk about being at all, we have to talk about structures of Being. For example, you cannot talk about the Being of a particular Dasein, because it is the sum total of all its possibilities, but you can say of Dasein generally, that it is the sum total of its possibilities and potentials (whatever they may be). This statement is structural, because it describes the structures in which Dasein inhabits not Dasein itself. These structures are what we are looking at when we analyse Being.

However, the Authenticity and inauthenticity of Dasein must be seen and understood in this analysis as being a priori (that is as coming before) Dasein's understanding of itself and thus of its understanding of its own existence.


Authenticity and inauthenticity although not determined by anything prior, are themselves grounded upon a state of being Heidegger calls Being-in-the-world. Being-in-the-world is a compound expression, but it names a unitary phenomenon. It underscores the fact that in Heidegger's philosophy 'Being' and 'the world' are not separate entities. In this sense, there is no subject and object , nor is there any division between internal and external. Being-in-the-world must be seen as whole. However , structurally speaking, this does not prevent us from talking about 'Being' and 'the world' separately, since the structure of Being-in-the-world consists of items which actually may be looked at in three distinct ways.

1/ In-the-world = which is defining the notion of "Worldhood ". To examine this part requires us to look into the ontological structure of the world.

(page 79)

2/ Who = that which is inquired into when one asks the question, 'Who?' As Heidegger says of Dasein. The entity which in every case has Being-in-the-world as the way in which it exists is a "who," (This is also in the mode of Dasein's average everydayness [ref. ¶ 9, page 69]).

3/ Finally there is Being-in = This conception looks at the ontological constitution of the "Inhood" of Being-in.

Although we will be structurally examining Being in the world as a triad, and therefore the inquiry will emphasise individual parts of the of the triad in turn, this does not mean that the other parts will be neglected. For the whole phenomenon must never be allowed to drop out of sight at any point.

Being-in-the-world is a state of Dasein which is necessarily a priori, this has been indicated at the start of this section with the claim that, "authenticity and inauthenticity, although not determined by anything prior, are themselves grounded upon the state of Being-in-the-world." However, it should nevertheless be understood that Being-in-the-world is not by itself a sufficient determinate of Dasein's Being. Therefore Being-in-the-world should not be thought of as a defining aspect of Being per se.

In our analysis the three aspects of Being in the world, we will look at the third factor first. That is Being in.

Being-in as inness

From the perspective of our common sense understanding, "Being-in" is a term we usually associate with our involvement in a situation or a context. Thus, "Being in" is not thought about solely in isolation, but in terms of "Being in something or other". For example the sentence "X Being-in the room" uses prepositional sense of the word "in" to convey a sense of context in terms of place. In doing this we are effectively saying that two entities ('X' and 'the room') are existing in space, at a specific location, and both in the same way. Thus we can say that: the water is in the glass, the glass is in the kitchen, the kitchen is in the house, the house is in the village, the village is in the county and so on and so forth until we realise that the glass (and everything else described) are actually located in worldspace. The implication of this is that all the entities whose Being-in is actually the 'Being-in-one-another,' can be thought of as having the same kind of inness. That is the inness of "Being-in-the-world" or to put it more precisely, this inness can be defined as, "the-Being-present-at-hand-as-things-within-the-world".

Categories of Being-in

This present-at-hand type of 'Being-in' can be further isolated into "Being-present-at-hand-along-with". This sense here is that the Being-present-at-hand describes a definite relationship of location, where something exists with something else; both having the same kind of Being. This sense of 'Being-in' thus can be used as a way to describe patterns of existence and is therefore an example of a characteristic in our way of looking at things that we have previously named "categorical" [ref.¶ 9, page 70].

A Category is not an Existentiale

Note here that because of Heidegger's use of category, only applies to entities in the world it is ontical, however if we were to apply this understanding to Dasein our inquiry would be ontological, so we would have to use existentiale instead of categories [ref. ¶ 9, page 70]). This underscores the point that we cannot conceive of Dasein's "Being-present-at-hand" as some corporeal thing (in the way that we normally conceive, say, a human body as being in the room for example). Nor does the term "Being-in' suggest…

(page 80)

…a spatial relationship of the "in-one-anotherness" of things present at hand, anymore than Heidegger's use of the word "primordially" signifies a spatial relationship. As a reminder, Primordial signifies a closeness to the essential nature of Being [ref. ¶ 3, page 30], but this closeness does not designate nearness, in the sense of connoting distance, this case the word 'close' is used to signify a grasping which is essential to the understanding.

Distinguishing Existentiale from Category

According to Heidegger's research into linguistics, notably his consultation of Jacob Grimm's Kleine Schriften (Small writings) [LINK http://www.lg.fukuoka-u.ac.jp/~ynagata/jg_kleinereschriften1.html]. The word "in" derives its meaning from the English word "inn" which means 'to dwell'. Grimm discusses both the word "in" and the phrase "in und bei" and goes on to compare a number of archaic German words that take their meaning from domus (the Latin root of the English word 'domicile', or 'dwelling'). Heidegger notes that all these words are similar in form to the old English word "Inn" and claim that "in" therefore derived its primordial signification not from a preposition, but from a verb. The verb in question is "innan," which in old German meant 'to reside', and whose meaning is therefore also similar to the Latin habitare which means "to dwell". In English we still retain this sense of "inn" to mean "a place of rest", for example, the Holiday Inn chain of hotels. Heidegger now examines the meaning of the word "An". This word is derived from the German "ann" (again discussed in Grimm). Ann is from the Latin colo, which also means habitare - in other words "an" has a similar meaning to "inn". Ontologically speaking, habitare stands for "being accustomed" in the sense of "I am familiarity with" and "I look after.... something'. An thus "in" has the same meaning.

The Meaning of Being-in as an Existentiale

This mini detour into etymology is important because Heidegger uses it as evidential support for this claims that the verbal form of in, meaning to reside is the form to which "Being-in" also belongs. The first person conjugation of the very "to be" is "am" as in "I am", in terms of Heidegger's ontology "am" means "dwell alongside," or "I reside," when expressed as and existentiale. In the context of 'Being-in,' the way that this 'alongside' is meant is in the sense of, "I reside alongside the world." The "world" here connotes both 'familiarity with' and 'concern for' the things that I reside alongside with. The "I" in these significations has the characteristic of "I myself am". Thus "Being-in" stands for those things which are familiar to me.

Therefore "Being", as the infinitive of "I am", signifies "to reside alongside".

The Formal Understanding of Being

Let us not miss the significance of this statement for we have just answered the question "What is Being?" in its general signification, in other words its structural sense - don't forget that Heidegger has already said that Being-in-the-world is not by itself a sufficient determinate of Dasein's Being. However, the fact that the general answer to the question "What is Being?" has been given. Being is an "I reside alongside", perhaps strikes us as rather strange since I reside alongside seems like a very particular expression, and the temptation is to cut the "I" completely out of the formulation and talk in terms of Being as a general residing alongsideness. However in Heidegger's formulation of Being the "I" represents the wholeness of Being and therefore 'I' is a general term. This is a paradox of Heidegger's philosophy (in the literally sense of the Greek word paradox as meaning against opinion). The paradox is that the pronoun "I" is not to be thought of as designating a singular or particular entity. This is because everything is grounded on the wholeness of Being and general, and therefore general ontological structures are described in the seemingly particular terms of mineness. In order to grasp this we must set aside all associations between the "I" of 'minenss' and the "I" of Cartesian subjectivity.

The infinitive of "I am" signifies "to reside alongside" and in this sense Heidegger conceives of Being as standing for "to be familiar with." Therefore the formal expression for the Being of Dasein is "I reside alongside myself" or "I myself am." This formal understanding has Being-in—the-world as its essential state. Although we must again remind ourselves that looking at the structure of Being is not the same thing as looking at Being itself.

What does this mean in terms of implications?

1/ That the wholeness of Being is manifestly to be found in Being-in-the-world. This is why Being cannot be discussed in terms of subject and object, for if Being is fundamentally in the world, it can only be understood in terms of highlighting how being and the world not only work in concert, but are in fact the same thing. I = "I myself am" Being = "I reside alongside".

2/ Notice when we apply this understanding as a critique of traditional philosophy how it undermines traditional techniques of philosophical analysis, which exile Being (as subject) from the world (as predicate). Based on that understanding, it seems natural for the subject to cut up the world into categories, transforming us all into the unwitting coroners in a kind of post mortem procedure, where existence itself is the corpse under examination. How inadequate then this technique must seem to Heidegger, whose concern has all along been with preserving the living Being!

3/ What may have been seen as Heidegger's dogmatic obscurantism in respect of eschewing the traditional techniques of philosophical analysis (and also his idiosyncratic use of grammar), can now be seen as a kind of detox programme: the necessary breaking of the bad habits of philosophical orthodoxy. Heidegger deliberately challenges us to think differently about ourselves and the world. He does this at first by disorientating us. So that instead of learning this new language of thought through a process of translation, Heidegger he shoves us right in there and it is a case of sink or swim.

The Formal Understanding of Being (Continued)

Being-alongside-the-world can be understood in the sense of "Being absorbed in the world" (which describes the sensation of a person's consciousness being focussed on worldly things)…

(page 81)

…This Being-alongside-the-world is actually an existentiale founded upon "Being-in". (Although this sense of Being in still calls for closer interpretation ). The main point to get across at this juncture that of the importance of our uncovering of the primordial structure of Dasein's Being, that is the I reside alongside, For this is the structure we will be using from now on to articulate the concepts of Being; and it is also the existentiale with which we can hopefully answer the question, "What is Being?"

Using the existentiale we may discern some notable patterns in the manifold impressions of Being. These patterns can be articulated into principles with which we can define (broadly) the phenomenological manifestations of Being. This is systematising and in this sense the existentiale is a conceptual tool which allows us to form of certain hypotheses which also have a legislative function qua Being. In other words, these hypotheses concerning the structure of Being in general can be used to make predictions.

Thus, the functions of the existentiale (both systematising and legislative) are similar to the functions of the traditional category in philosophy. Where they differ however is in the philosophical assumptions one has to take on board before one applies them. The use of categories is predicated on the assumption that reality is made up of discreet objects that can be studied. Moreover these objects can be further dismantled or cut up into their component parts. This cutting up is not seen as a bad thing to do (except in the romantic traditions). This is because in the traditional philosophical paradigm, the 'wholeness of reality', is regarded as a mystery that needs to be taken apart and analysed in order to be unlock its secrets. In addition one also has to bear in mind that the violence of cutting up objects for study in this way in no way effects the person who is studying them. Since this person, as a subject, is detached from the objects of study. This attitude of self-detachment is actually what is meant by 'objectivity'.

However in Heidegger's ontological paradigm, such dichotomous distinctions collapse and therefore the assumptions upon which they are based also collapse. This is why the term category cannot be applied to the analysis of the Being of Dasein. Even if it seems superficially that existentiale and category do much the same thing, the point to be made here, and it is also why Heidegger uses the term existentiale instead of category, is that the patterns uncovered in the analysis of Being are only distinct in the sense that they can be made to stand out from the wholeness of Being itself. The radicalness of this approach can now be stated:

The existentiale of Dasein implies that multiple entities are understood particularly, whilst a singular Being is understood generally.

This conception of singular and multiple is the converse of the way these things are understood in logic, where singular = particular and multiple = general. This reversal is exemplified when Heidegger described the general applicability of the very particular sounding "I reside alongside" as standing for a structural understanding of Being per se.

How one looks at things

If this still seems confusing, perhaps it is because we are too wedded to a certain way of looking at things. In other words we habitually understand the map as being the territory. What is needed therefore is a different way of looking at things: perhaps a different metaphor with which we can to explain Heidegger's way of looking.

An 'Epistemology Engine'

This is where the work of the philosopher of technology, Don Ihde may be helpful. Ihde is interested in uncovering the link between embodiment in situated knowledges, and how the body is hidden in epistemologies that attempted to present a disembodied subject. His claim is that certain technological devices help to create our models of looking at the world — the paradigmatic metaphors for understanding. He called these devices epistemology engines.

The first epistemology engine, Ihde identifies is the "Camera Obscura." He claims that this device played a paradigmatic role in the epistemology of early modernity. The camera obscura is "dark room" with a tiny hole drilled into one wall and a white piece of cloth on the opposite wall. The hole acts to restrict the amount of light rays which can enter the room, so that in appropriate lighting conditions an inverted image of the scene outside is cast upon the white cloth. The camera obscura was used by Descartes who described it in La Dioptrique (The Optics):

The [camera obscura] room represents the eye; the hole the pupil; the lens, the crystalline humour-or rather, all the refracting parts of the eye; and the cloth, the lining membrane, composed of the optic nerve-endings.'

But Idhe claims that Descartes also adds another analogue, that of the mind or 'mental substance', through which the modern subject is conceived of as Being inside the camera. Ihde quotes Lee Bailey who pointed out that the camera obscura offered a way of picturing the Cartesian inside as cogito and outside as extensio. Ihde argues that the images from the the camera obscura shifted from a suggestive experimental analogy in Cartesian thinking to a concealed methodological paradigm, Bailey termed this — the skull's dark room.' In short, Ihde concludes that the modern subject is the homunculus inside the camera obscura. (Ihde 2002, 70 — 72)

A Heideggerain Epistemology Engine

So is there an epistemology engine that can help us picture Heidegger's conception of Being? I suggest that the answer comes from a very unlikely place. It is one of those computer generated "Magic Eye" images. Magic Eye images, also called auto-stereograms, allowed people to see 3D images by focusing on 2D patterns which at first glance appeared to be a meaningless confusion of colour (Wikipedia, URL = http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magic_Eye). However if you look at these images in a certain way, that is by allowing your eyes to defocus slightly, you can make out a three dimensional image within the swirling patterns - for example the shape of a sunken treasure boat, or a ying and yang symbol, or jumping dolphins, etc. The novelty of Magic Eye images is that these hidden objects actually appear to be three dimensional, in the sense that when you move your head from side to side, there is an effect of motion parallax in the image. However if you try to focus harder on these shapes, you are liable to find that they disappear completely and your eyes snap back to attend to the two dimension meaningless shapes of the picture again.

I think the usefulness of the Magic Eye comparison is that is shows that there is nothing mystical in developing a technique of allowing certain aspects of a whole to stand out without disrupting the wholeness. This is why they can serve as an epistemology engine with regards to Heidegger's philosophy. This does not mean that I think Heidegger himself would have approved of the analogy. I fact he is probably spinning in his grave right now. But the usefulness of magic eye images is that they show you how to look, how the surface phenomenon does not necessarily become clearer your scrutinise it. Therefore you have to de-program yourself in order to see these images in the same way you have to deprogram yourself to appreciate Heidegger's ontological paradigm. The comparison with Magic Eye images is therefore offered as a very concrete analogy of the analytical techniques of Being that Heidegger is trying to describe.

The Formal Understanding of Being (Continued)

The Being-alongside must now be examined more closely. We shall again look at this structurally, using the existentiale in much the same way as we would a category, but of course standing for something quite different ontologically speaking. A necessary step in our ontological education involves discussing that which, conventionally speaking, seems to be self evident. The danger of overlooking the self evident - even if we run the risk of tedium - is that if we don't discuss the obvious we might overlook what is most important to the analysis. And indeed that is what always tends to happen. Here Heidegger is warning us that we still have much to do before we really understand Being. For as yet not even the structure of Being is solidly enough rendered in our minds to be a useful ontological tool.

As an existentiale, Being-alongside-the-world does not mean the same thing as the-Being-present-at-hand-together-of-things-that-occur. "There is no such thing as the side-by-sideness of an entity called 'Dasein' with another entity called 'World,' for that would imply that they were separate "things". Of course when speaking ontically about two things, a kind of side-by-sidedness applies; we can say for instance that "the table touches the door" or " The chair touches the wall" because the two things in those examples can be present-at-hand together alongside one another . Although the word 'touch' is problematic in these instances for two reasons"

1/ because in actual fact separate things cannot 'touch' at all, because a minute space exists between them, even if that space is perceived to be nothing.

2/ because the usage of the word 'touch' connotes a sense belonging to Dasein. Entities present-at-hand within the world cannot touch, or be touched, and since Dasein's "Being alongside" can only exists with its "Being-there*." To be able to touch something, a Being must have something like the world is already in mind, so that another entity can manifest itself in the touching from out of that world.

* Note that when Heidegger says "Being-there", it is significant for the German expression of Being there is "Da sein," which is the source (and literal meaning) of Heidegger's term Dasein.


Two entities which are merely present-at-hand are worldless. The term worldless here stands for the unthinking existence that mere entities have.

(page 82)

However if we are talking about entities that have awareness of their own existence (Dasein in other words), the clause 'furthermore are worldless' must not be left out. This is because Dasein are present-at-hand 'in' the world, or more exactly can, with some right and within certain limits, be taken as merely present-at-hand.

The Ontological Paradox

So just when we thought we were getting the distinction between category and existentiale and between ontical and ontological understandings, Heidegger seems to throw a spanner in the works by talking about Dasein's worldlessness. A term that we have just learnt denotes things that are not Dasein. So how are we to make sense of this? The answer from Heidegger will follow, but it's worth noting here that some clues to have already been left for us. For example, when Heidegger says "the clause 'furthermore are worldless' must not be left out. This is because Dasein are present-at-hand 'in' the world." Note that he is using Dasein in the plural with the construction "Dasein are"--(confusingly the plural of Dasein has an identical form to the singular). However, I surmise that, with Dasein we can say the singular is general and the plural is particular. This is the ontological paradox because it reverses the logical rule that multiples are general and singular is particular. In other words, to understand being we must unthink logic, but to understand it logically we must unthink Being — [ref. ¶1, p 24].

To think of Dasein as merely present-at-hand, one must either completely disregard, or just not see the existential state of Being-in. But there is no law which compels us to see Being in this way. For Dasein can be taken as something which is just present-at-hand. However, regarding Dasein (plural) as present at hand should not to be confused with a certain way of presence-at-hand which Dasein (singular) has as its own present-at-handness. For this is presence at handness of an altogether different kind, and therefore it should not be seen as being accessible only if one disregards Dasein's specific structures, but rather by understanding them in advance.


Entities present-at-hand within the world are understood ontically and their characteristics can be arranged into categories. Dasein on the other hand is understood ontologically and its characteristics are arranged into existentiale. The difference between existentiale and category is not so much in the way that they are used but in the paradigmatic assumptions underpinning them [ref. see the note on page 81].

There are three kinds of presence-at-hand identified so far:

1/ There is presence-at-hand pertaining to entities within the world which is understood ontically as a category.

2/ There is presence-at-hand pertaining to Dasein (plural) and therefore understood ontically as a 'quasi-object', Although to see it in this way we must ignore the concept of Being-in.

3/ There is presence-at-hand pertaining to a pre-ontological understanding of Dasein which a particular Dasein has. This is understood onto-ontologically and does not ignore the concept of Being-in.

regarding the third point we can say that Dasein thinks of its existence in a certain sense as an existent thing. This is something that Heidegger will now examine in more detail

The Presence-at -hand of Dasein's Facticity

An understanding of specific structures in advance comes from Dasein understanding of its Being, in the sense of regarding that as a certain 'factual Being-present-at-hand.' In other words Dasein understands its existence as a fact. And yet this kind of fact has quite a different ontology from the factual occurrence of some thing - for instance like the existence of a type of a mineral in the ground. As we have learnt, things present at hand exist in worldspace but are nevertheless worldless, thus we can talk about them ontically and arrange them into categories. However whenever Dasein "is", it is as a Fact; and the factuality of that Fact is what Heidegger is terming Dasein's facticity . We will not explore what this means in more detail.

A Definition of Facticity

Facticity is a term which stands for a definite way of Being, and it has a complicated structure which cannot even be grasped as such by those with a naive understanding. The concept of "facticity" implies that an entity 'within-the world' has Being-in-the-world so that it can understand itself and its Being-in. That is it understands itself, as if it is bound up in its 'destiny' with the Being of those entities which it encounters within the world.

The facticity of facts like the Beingness of Being underscores the point that there is a reflexive component to existence - our understanding of ourselves is always framed en abyme (a frame within a frame). Interpretation points to the existence of an interpreter, "myself," who is bound up in the apprehending of both the world and the self.

In traditional philosophy the adoption of the paradigm of objectivism misses the fact that the interpreter (subject) and interpreted (object) are bound up together in their Beingness. Thus the objective paradigm denigrates the role of the interpreter, describing it as "merely subjective".

In Heidegger's ontological paradigm, the subject as a descrete category does not exist and therefore there cannot be any subjectivity either. However, this is not to say that what is though by Dasein is necessarily the truth, for that would deny the facticity of the world and also its capacity to surprise. Rather, what Heidegger's "complex definition" of facticity does makes clear, is that there are no facts that exist independent of people perceiving them as such. And no doubt in the ontological paradigm there are different ways of sorting out facts from fictions, than postulating a dichotomy between the false poles of objectivity and subjectivity.

The Difference between Existentiale and Category in Application

In the first instance it is enough to see the ontological difference between "Being-in" as an existentiale and Being-in as category.


The existentiale concerns Dasein's residing alongside the world and its involvement with those things expresses in terms of "concern" or "care". Thus the "in" of "Being in" as an existentiale takes on a verbal form of "innan" which means "to reside". This is the ontological understanding of Being-in.


The application of categories is grounded an ontical understanding which conceives of the "in" of "Being-in" in the prepositional sense of in.

However by using the existentiale and designating the Being in of Dasein in the sense of to "I reside alongside," we are only denying it is a category, which means that we are not denying every kind of 'spatiality' to Dasein. On the contrary, Dasein itself has a 'Being-in-space' of its own kind. But this kind of spatiality is possible only on the basis of Being-in-the-world generally, and not on the basis of "inness". In other words the prepositional "in" itself is grounded on the form of "Being-in" as an existentiale.

How Ontology Becomes Metaphysics

Taking a category to stand for an existentiale is something that Heidegger argues is actually the basis of metaphysics. For example in the metaphysical paradigm, when conceiving of existence in terms of "inness," the body takes precedence over the mind and "Being-in" is considered only in a psychological sense. Consequently it appears in metaphysics to be incorporeal and therefore somewhat nebulous. In more religious paradigms this sense is elevated to something 'holy', but even then it does not lose its non-corporeality because in this case a spiritual property is attached to it. Thus, in metaphysics the categorisation of inness when it pertains to human Beings, becomes, in practice, a category which stands for the body, the flesh, whereas the inness of Being is conceived of as a psychological inner voice, or in religion it would be our spiritual essence.

Heidegger argues the presence of Being cannot be accounted for in terms of "inness" since the bodily connotations are too strong in that paradigm (corporeality = reality), and therefore the Being connotations are too weak (non corporeality = non real, or supernatural) therefore Being either becomes relegated to something merely psychological, or elevated into something mystical, depending on your particular metaphysical point of view, and thus the metaphysician ends up emphasising the Cartesian duality of mind and body, or the Platonic duality of the transcendental and the worldly, or some other binary conception of ideas and matter.

Avoiding Metaphysics

Here again we are faced with the analytical fracturing of Being into a Being-present-at-hand of some such spiritual Thing along with a corporeal Thing. And what we have to appreciate is that the Being of the entity, thus compounded, actually grows in obscurity and mystery.

(page 83)

We will not be able to discern the fine details of Dasein's existential spatiality until we have brought Being-in-the-world into focus as an essential structure of Dasein. If we do this we will be able to avoid either failing to see this structure beforehand, or trying to cancel it out afterwards. This latter tendency Heidegger regards as being 'metaphysically' motivated . The naive metaphysical supposition, "that man is a spiritual Thing", is therefore to be eschewed in his analysis of Being. For the reason that it leads to all sorts of supernatural and mystical hypotheses that lead us away from the essential truth of Being: namely that Being is an actual fact.


Dasein's facticity is such that its Being-in-the-world has always dispersed itself into definite ways of Being-in. This is evident in the following list of everyday phrases, which all have concern as their core component: "having to do with something", "producing something", "attending to something and looking after it", "making use of something", "giving something up and letting something go", "undertaking", "accomplishing", "evincing", "interrogating", "considering", "discussing", "determining". . . All of these phrases illustrate ways of "Being-in" and they are rooted in concern. On the over hand, "leaving undone", "neglecting", "renouncing", "taking a rest," etc., are also ways in which we show concern; albeit in a deficient mode. This can be defined as where the possibilities of Being-in are kept to a 'bare minimum'.'

Consider how these aspects of "pure" and degenerate concern intersect with the notions of authentic and inauthentic Being. Authentic which means Dasein can chose and win itself [ref.¶ 9, Page 68], and inauthentic which means Dasein fleeing in the face of its Being and forgetting thereof[ref.¶ 9, Page 69-70]. I think it is obvious that these notions are grounded on the notion of Being in the world, conceived of as concern.

What is concern?

Concern is a kind of Being which we have yet to characterise ontologically in detail. As we have seen. The ontical meaning of concern comes in three colloquial significations:

1/ 'to carry something out,' or 'to get it done' - this conceives of concern as a task performed on something by someone.

2/ 'to provide oneself with something' - this conceives of concern as a task which is internal rather than external.

3/ 'to be concerned about the success of the undertaking' - this conceives of concern to mean something like apprehensiveness.

Concern Ontologically Defined

In contrast to these ontical significations, the ontological expression 'concern' designates - the Being of a possible way of Being-in-the-world. Thus concern is an existentiale and the term has been chosen because it allows us to make visible the Being of Dasein as Care.

(page 84)


In making the Being of Dasein visible as care, care itself must be taken as an ontological structural concept. In this sense, care has nothing to do with its everyday significations of "trials and tribulations", "feelings of melancholy", "looking careworn", or "being bound up in the 'cares of life'." Although, it is true that ontically we can come across these aspects of care in every Dasein. And, like the opposite state of 'gaiety'-- which in its true signification means 'a freedom from care'--they are only possible because Dasein is synonymous with care when understood ontologically.

Dasein is Synonymous with Care

Dasein is synonymous with care because Being-in-the-world belongs essentially to Dasein. In actual fact this is what is meant by the meaning of Being conceived of as "I reside alongside." Dasein's Being towards the world is therefore essentially manifested in concern. And the ontological conception of Being-in as the "alongsidedness of things," suggests both their close proximity to Dasein, and also their intimate intertwining with Dasein.

Being-in Is Not a Choice

It is important to note here that 'Being-in' is not a 'property' of Dasein, because conceiving of it in that way would also imply that Dasein could also do without its alongsidedness with the world. From what we have been saying so far it should be clear that this is not the case. Man does not exist by herself with a relationship-of-Being towards the 'world' thrown in as an optional extra. Dasein is never without Being-in, because taking up relationships towards the world is not a matter of choice or even obligation. Being-in-the-world simply exists because Dasein exists. This state of Being that we call the world does not arise ex nihilo from phenomena which are external to Dasein, and which Dasein merely encounters during the course of its existence. Neither does the world impress itself upon Dasein a posterori through experience. The "Being-in of Dasein and the world are a reality a priori.

A Critique of the Biologist Conception of Being as Environmentalism

Heidegger takes a short detour here to consider, and reject, the notion that ecology, when taken as a "web of life," is in any way comparable with his notion of Being-in-the-world. The concept of Ecology (although it does not go by that name in Being and Time) was known to Heidegger through the work of the embryologist Karl von Baer. Baer, in his philosophical writings, saw nature as a whole, and viewed the development of organisms and the cosmos in the same light (Source: Oppenheimer, Encyclopaedia Britannica). Nevertheless, Heidegger views this ecologically minded philosophy as a form of 'biologism' which he rejects because it does not cast any light on ontology [ref. ¶ 10, page 72]. The notion of 'the environment,' Heidegger argues is a structure that cannot be defined by biology, but it is rather what the science of biology is in fact premised upon. Yet even as an a priori condition for the objects which biology takes for its theme, the structure of the environment could be not explained philosophically unless it were conceived as a structure of Dasein's Being — that is, taken as the 'Being-in' conceived of in terms of care.

(page 85)

Care Defined In Negative Terms

At this point Heidegger is prompted to remark of his own analysis that, so far, he has conceived of Care purely in negative terms, for instance when he remarked that: "Man does not exist by himself with a relationship-of-Being towards the 'world' as an optional extra, " or, "Dasein is never free from Being-in, " or, "Taking up relationships towards the world is not a matter of choice or even obligation." Thus Heidegger admits that he has only really talked about what 'care 'and 'Being-in' are not in these instances. Heidegger argues that this is actually not surprising, because human Beings find it very difficult to disguise what they really are, which means that traditional philosophers had a great deal of trouble trying to cover over the concept of care (which of course does not fit in with their dominant philosophical paradigm of objectivity). So, rather than trying to disguise care as something else, traditional philosophy simply overlooked it. Except that care is so important to the human condition that it makes its presence known in all these negative definitions. Their function, according to Heidegger, is to outline, as it were, a "care shaped hole".

Filling the "Care Shaped Hole"

Dasein's state of Being is such that it gets its ontological understanding of itself in the first instance from those entities which Dasein is not, but which it encounters 'within its world. To define this more precisely we can say that Dasein's understanding of things comes from the Being which they possess. This point is equally true of Dasein's understanding of its own Being-in-the-world (as a fact).

The state of Being is always in some way familiar to us. This is what Heidegger meant when he spoke about our pre-ontological understanding. But if Being-in is also to become known to Dasein explicitly, the 'knowing' which such a task implies, must itself be taken as the chief exemplification of the 'soul's' relationship to the world.

Odd at this juncture that Heidegger should chose to describe the 'Knowing' Being as "the soul", since he has spend some time in the previous section eschewing the metaphysics of Being as "spirit". So what is the difference between these two terms?

I think we have to understand the word "soul" without any if its spiritual connotations, or rather we should place these in parenthesis. This prompts the question what other meanings could the word "soul" possibly have? I think the answer is that "the soul" articulates a certain kind of thinking towards Being which can be regarded as a personification. In religion, one of the functions of the soul is to personify the Being which knows as the voice of my conscience. Although this conscience does not make itself known just in the confessional. In this sense perhaps it can be likened to the Freudian concept of the super ego. Heidegger would be rolling his eyes at this point!

The soul signifies something of the facticity of Being, in terms of articulating our pre-ontological understanding of Being ontically. This is manifest in the way that the soul is conceived of as "my soul" and thus represented in much the same way that Being is "my Being"

Knowing the world

'Knowing the world', in the sense of: (1) grasping it, and (2) discoursing about it, are the two primary modes of Being-in-the-world. Both these modes of Being are manifested in Dasein and for it. There are two main reasons why this is so:

1/ Because the structure of Being remains ontologically inaccessible, yet it is experienced ontically as a 'relationship' between one entity (the world) and another (the soul),

2/ Because I proximally understand 'my Being' by first of all taking entities as entities within-the-world for as my ontological foothold.

(Page 86)

However what we are outlining here is only the meaning of the Being of grasping and discoursing, when conceived of ontically in terms of the Being-present-at-hand. And eventhough Being-in-the-world is something of which I have both a pre-phenomenological experience of and acquaintance with, it nevertheless becomes invisible if I interpret Being-in-the-world in a way that is ontologically inappropriate.

Steering clear of Metaphysics (Part 2)

This state of Dasein's Being is now one with which we are barely acquainted, and indeed if we argue that it appears in the light of what Heidegger has written as something obvious, it is perhaps only because it bears the stamp of "inappropriate interpretation." So Heidegger is warning us here that we must be careful, and not jump to conclusions too quickly. At this point we can very easily jump to the wrong conclusions by focussing upon the superficial aspects of Being--the map rather than the territory--and neglect to keep in mind an appreciation of they way the structures of Being uncover something of the nature of Being itself. The failure to keep this in mind is, according to Heidegger, the origin of all the wrong turns of philosophy. For the stamp of Being all too easily becomes axiomatically the evident point of departure for considering of all the problems of epistemology, in other words it becomes the basis for a 'metaphysics of knowledge'.

What is Knowledge?

Heidegger asks somewhat tongue in cheek, what is more obvious and self evident than 'subject' relationship to an 'Object' and vice versa? When one thinks about this, it is almost as is the 'subject/Object-relationship' must be presupposed. However, while this presupposition is unimpeachable in terms of its facticity, it is entirely inappropriate ontologically for precisely the same reason. For if we are to illuminate the problem of Being ontologically, we cannot speak of it in terms of 'knowing', since knowing so much concerned with the knowing of things, and therefore we move quickly from the consideration of how we know things about the world to how we also know things about existence, which is where the error begins.

Therefore we can say that knowing is always ontical in nature; and never ontological. This has some important implications for our inquiry. For example it means that the grounding assumption behind all epistemological inquiries, is the cutting up of Being and the world into subject/object categories. Now we have to appreciate that Being has been traditionally represented almost exclusively in terms of 'knowing the world.' This has meant that in our understanding of the Being, 'knowing' has been led astray. To correct this error, 'Being-in-the-world itself 'must be exhibited as a kind of 'Being related to knowing the world'. And furthermore, "knowing the world" must conversely be made visible as an existential, that is itself a kind of Being-in.

This sounds confusing, but if we conceive of the Being of knowing as the soul - or that voice in our head which tells us things, Heidegger will show in the following section how if we try to know knowing in the way that we are supposed to know the world, it leads to some particularly insoluble problems, which have largely been ignored by traditional philosoply.


¶ 13. A Founded Mode in which Being-in is Exemplified.' Knowing the World.

If Being-in-the-world is a basic state of Dasein, and Dasein operates pre-eminently in the mode of everydayness, then Being must also be something which has always been experienced ontically as a part of our everyday existence. For if Being-in-the-world had remained totally veiled from view it would be altogether unintelligible. As we know, one of the defining aspects of Dasein is that it has an understanding of its own Being. And by extension, we can say that this means that, no matter how indefinitely this understanding may be manifested, or indeed may function, Dasein must be aware of its Being-in-the-world.

The problem then is not that Being-in-the-world is totally obscure, but that it has been habitually overlooked. This begs the question, why was it overlooked in the first place? Heidegger answers because as soon as the phenomenon of 'knowing the world' was grasped, Being-in-the-world was hidden behind it, or rather Being-in-the-world was interpreted by 'knowing the world' in a "superficially formal manner". In traditional epistemology this tended to happen in three main ways:

(page 87)

Traditional epistemology problem 1/ How it answers the question: "What is Knowing?"

Knowing is conceived as a 'relation between subject and Object'--the subject examines the object and the object is examined by the subject–and such a relationship assumes that there is no intermingling of either entity.

The subject is therefore understood as being quite separate from the object - and vice versa. This separation becomes the grounding assumption of objectivity. The crux of the problem of objectivity is that one cannot 'know' Being ontologically, since the notions of ‘subject’ and ‘Object’ do not coincide neatly with the ontological notions of ‘Dasein’ and ‘the world.' Even if it were feasible to give an ontological definition of "Being-in," primarily in terms of "a Being-in-the-world-which-knows," before we could say anything about this knowing-Being, or use the concept productively, we would still need to show that this knowing has the phenomenal character of a Being, which is both 'in' and 'towards' the world at exactly the same time... A bit of a problem if your grounding epistemological assumption is the absolute separation of the 'Being-subject' and the 'world-object'.

Traditional epistemology problem 2/ How it conceives of "objects as 'Nature'"

In the knowing paradigm, if one reflects upon the relationship of "Being" and "the world", an entity called 'Nature' emerges.

This entity Nature is given proximally as "that which becomes 'known'." But what needs to be noticed here, is that the process of 'knowing' is never to be met in the products of knowledge. In fact there is considered to be no 'knowing' object. And if such a knowing ever existed in traditional epistemology, it was for the most part effectively buried. So much so that, if knowing has a Being at all, we can only generally ascribe it to those entities which 'know'. But even in this case, to those entities (human-Things) knowing is not something present-at-hand, in the sense of being externally ascertainable or verifiable, in the way that, say, bodily properties are.

Traditional epistemology problem 3/ "Knowing is Inside"

Inasmuch as it belongs to "human things, " knowing is not conceived of as something external to us.

So we conclude that it must therefore be 'inside' and furthermore must have a different kind of Being to those entities which are outside. And what are we to conclude then? That the essence of knowing is psychical and not physical? Probably yes–but then we are back with metaphysics again.

Considering 'knowing' in this way prompts the question, "what is knowledge?" For knowledge never appears to be a "thing" of any kind, although we can talk about sharing and possessing knowledge as if it were a thing. This is the metaphorical and thus the metaphysical slight of hand that Heidegger is trying to uncover here.

Conclusion - The Problem of Knowing in a Nutshell

If one believes that one is making headway in answering the question, "what is the essence of knowledge?" It is only because one has perhaps presumed too much and inquired too little. The so called clarity which knowing brings to phenomena through the relationship of subject and Object, gets muddied as soon as we turn the same analytical techniques of knowing upon the problem of knowing itself.

The Ontology Of Knowing — Or How We Really Know What Knowing Is

In terms of Being, we will only really 'know' knowing when we abandon the subject/Object dichotomy. This becomes a necessary first step to really setting about the task of addressing the problem of how one must think of the so called 'object,' in order that the so called 'subject' can know it - that is if we don't want to venture into another metaphorical sphere.

There is problem of knowing that Heidegger merely touches upon here. In the so called metaphysical sphere of knowing, the existence of subject and object are taken as objective facts in themselves. The question here becomes, how can the knowing subject guarantee a one to one correspondents between the representation of a "known" object in her head and the object itself? Indeed is there any connection between the mind inside and the world outside? The problem here is that, if real things are considered to be external and thought things to be internal, then what guarantees the correspondence of real things to our mental pictures of them? This is a well cited problem in philosophy. Consider the case of the Cartesian Demon denying the reality of everything that could be experienced [ref. My note in Introduction 2, page, 45]. Descartes' solution to the problem was that God guaranteed the correspondence between thought and objects. This is what Donna Hathaway called "the god trick" of epistemology - [ref. Ihde (2002), p 74.]

Of course we are sometimes assured that we are certainly not to think of the subject's "inside" and its 'inner sphere' as a sort of 'box' or 'cabinet. But silence reigns when we ask either of these two questions:

1/ What is the positive signification of this "'inside' of immanence in which knowing is proximally enclosed?

2/ How this 'Being inside' (which knowing possesses as its own character of Being) grounded in the kind of Being which belongs to the subject?

What question 1/ is asking is there any proof of the existence of Descartes' 'God of epistemology?'

What Question 2/ is asking is for a description of the Being who is characterised as the knowing "voice in your head." In other words asking for the identity of Heidegger's soul, that knowing Being who Peirce referred to as 'your deeper self' when he said that, "all thinking is dialogic in form… your self of one instant appeals to your deeper self for his assent" (Peirce: CP 6.338)

The Argument Against Traditional Epistemology

Heidegger concludes that of any of the numerous in ways which this problem of knowing has been addressed philosophically; crucial questions pertaining to the kind of Being which belongs to this 'knowing subject' are left entirely unasked. Although, whenever the problem of the knowing subject is addressed in traditional epistemology, what we find inevitably is that the Being of this knowing subject is implicitly included in the argument.

It therefore becomes evident that a conceptualising of 'knowing' that leads to such enigmas will remain problematic unless we have at least clarified what this knowing is. For example, howdoes knowing makes its way out of its 'inner sphere’? And indeed, how it is that I can know things beyond that sphere? These questions need to be answered before any fresh epistemological inquiries are embarked upon, for otherwise they will proceed on a very unstable footing.

(page 88)

Heidegger asserts that with the traditional epistemological approach, the subject/Object distinction imputes a false dichotomy into knowing, and therefore the inquirer remains blind to what is already tacitly implied when she takes the phenomenon of knowing as her theme - even in the most provisional manner. Namely, that knowing is a mode of Being of Dasein as Being-in-the-world, and is founded ontically upon this state of Being. This then is the answer to the question "What is knowing?".

An Epistemological Objection

But it might be objected that with such an interpretation of knowing the problem of knowledge is effectively nullified. For what is left to be inquired about, if one presupposes in advance that knowing is already 'alongside' its world? In this case, are not all inquires conducted in vain? As it seems futile to inquire if we already know the answer. So what is the point of education, or experience, or any of the other commonly cited benefits of knowing as it is traditionally conceived. So the question that really needs to be asked here is,

"How can knowing reach the world, except by working its way out of the inner sphere of the self?"

Heidegger's Answer

First of all he points out that , in asking this question the constructivist 'standpoint 'comes to the fore.

Rather than conceiving of knowing as "I think therefore I am", with constructivism there is the assumption that all thoughts originate outside of one's head in the world, although this is not to say the world represents a real reality either. The world is because our mental perceptual faculties experience tell us that it is that way. This means that which we call reality is merely a kind of schema we apply to understanding our world. This schema can be defined of in terms of the metaphorical systems that we utilise to explain things to ourselves and others. However Heidegger is not giving his automatic assent to such thinking,

Heidegger argues that he will not enter into the constructivist debate, since constructivism has not been phenomenally demonstrated. Instead he asks, what right does epistemological thinking have to set itself up as the higher court which decides whether there is to be any problem of knowledge other than that of the phenomenon of knowing as such? And indeed who legislates upon and ascribes necessary limits to the kind of Being which belongs to the knower?

Towards an ontological definition of Knowing

If we are to ask what shows itself phenomenological in knowing, we must first keep in mind that knowing is itself grounded beforehand in a Being-already-alongside-the-world. This Being is essentially constitutive for Dasein's Being.' There are some important points to make about this

1/ Proximally, this Being-already-alongside is not just a fixed or passive staring at something that is purely present-at-hand. But rather, 'Being-in-the-world 'when conceived of as concern, is actively fascinated by the world.

2/ If knowing is to be a possible way of determining the nature of the present-at-hand by observation, then this implies that there must be a deficiency in our having-to-do with the world concernfully.

3/ When concern holds back from producing any kind of interpretation of what it sees, it puts itself into a mode of Being-in, which Heidegger terms the just tarrying alongside. Tarrying alongside is the kind of Being towards the world which lets us encounter entities within-the-world purely in term of the way they look.

Meeting the constructivist objection

Our first attempt at meeting the constructivist objection is by stating that looking at what we encounter in the world is only possible on the basis of concern: looking at something in terms of concern is a definite way of taking up a direction towards something. This means that Dasein enters the…

(page 89)

…mode of dwelling autonomously alongside entities within-the-world. This kind of 'dwelling' is not a tarrying along, because knowing is not holds back from any desire to influence the entity it perceives. Although on the other hand it is not pre-judging an entity in terms of ideas one might have about it either. Instead knowing allows itself to be, as it were, filled up with the Being of the entity, so that the entities Being enters the Being of the Knowing. In this sense perception is 'consummated'.

Consummating Perception

Perception is consummated when one addresses oneself to something, as something, and discusses it as such. In other words, we are talking about the phenomenological understanding of both grasping [ref. ¶ 6, page 48] and discourse [ref. ¶ 7, page 56]. Consummation amounts to interpretation, in the broadest sense. And, on the basis of consummation, perception becomes an act of making determinate. This means that what is perceived and also what is made determinate can be expressed by the knowing Being in the form of propositions.

Knowledge Through Grasping is Not Epistemology

Grasping and discourse as the preservation of perception is not to be interpreted in an epistemological way, for then it would be, "a 'procedure;' i.e., something done by someone to something. This way of conceiving of knowledge would create the problem of the aforementioned "god tricks" that is the problem of how the inside and outside 'agree' on an interpretation.

The Being of Dasein is Outside

When Dasein directs itself towards something and grasps it, it does not somehow first get out of an inner sphere in which it has been proximally encapsulated, This is because Dasein's primary kind of Being is already 'outside.' Rather than being conceived of as 'an inside', ontologically speaking Dasein's Being is alongside entities which it encounters and therefore belongs to a world which is already discovered. In saying this Heidegger does not mean to imply that the inside is therefore abandoned completely. Dasein's dwelling alongside the entity in order to determines its character, is done totally externally. What Heidegger is rejecting is therefore not the notions of inside and outside, but that there exists dichotomy between them: it is the subject and object that has no real relevance here not the inside and outside. For even when it is in the mode of 'Being-outside' alongside the object, Dasein is still 'inside' as well as outside - if we understand this in the correct ontological sense of 'inside,' as standing for a Being-in-the-world which knows.

And furthermore, the perceiving of 'what is known' is not a process of returning with one's booty to the 'cabinet' of consciousness after one has gone out and grasped it. In the grasping, we are also retaining and preserving that part of Dasein which knows and which remains forever outside. But again the notion of inside and outside do not have the same urgency in this understanding, since Dasein always dwells in both:

If I think about way in which the Being of entities is interconnected, I am no less of a Being because of it.

(page 90)

On Forgetting and Delusion and Error

It might be objected here that Heidegger is ignoring the fact that we forget things. For doesn't forgetting undermine his contention that Being always is alongside the world? For if things were really this way, how could the world, as it were, fade from view in the forgetting. Heidegger answer is that forgetting is something which actually happens when the relationship of Being towards a something which one formerly knew has seemingly been obliterated. But in this sense even forgetting must be conceived of as a modification of the primordial Being-in. In the sense that when you forget something, you also forget yourself in relation to that thing. And that rule holds also for every delusion and for every error. So for instance if you mistake something, you also in a sense mistake yourself in relation to that thing.

Our primordial Being-in is therefore continually being shaped by the world, as the world is being shaped by our primordial Being-in. This reciprocity means that the world and Being has changed when when certain things are forgotten, the world is in error when certain things are erred upon. Hence forgetfulness and error and knowing itself are all seen as modifications of our primordial Being-in. Even forgetting in this sense is knowledge, but not necessarily of a positive kind. Note how Heidegger described inauthenticity, as a "fleeing in the face of its Being and forgetting thereof"[ref.¶ 9, Page 69-70].


Ontologically speaking, Knowing is neither out there or in here. In knowing, Dasein achieves a new status of Being towards a world, but that world has already been discovered in Dasein itself. This new possibility of Being can develop itself autonomously. For example it can become a task to be accomplished, and when knowing is systematised as scientific knowledge, it can take over the guidance for Being-in-the-world. But a commercium* of the subject with a world does not get created for the first time by the mere act of knowing, nor does it arise from the way in which the world acts upon a subject. Knowing is simply a mode of Dasein founded upon Being-in-the-world. Thus Being-in-the-world, as a basic state, must be interpreted before we can say what knowing is.


* An Explanation of Commercium from The Critique of Pure Reason

The word community has two meanings in (German), and contains the two notions conveyed in the Latin communio and commercium. We employ it in this place in the latter sense- that of a dynamical community, without which even the community of place (communio spatii) could not be empirically cognized. In our experiences it is easy to observe that it is only the continuous influences in all parts of space that can conduct our senses from one object to another. That the light which plays between our eyes and the heavenly bodies produces a mediating community between them and us, and thereby evidences their coexistence with us... That we cannot empirically change our position (perceive this change), unless the existence of matter throughout the whole of space rendered possible the perception of the positions we occupy.(Kant 1993, 187)


Additional References

Ihde, Don (2002), Bodies In Technology, Minneapolis, University of Minnesota Press.

Kant, Immanuel (1993),, Critique of Pure Reason, Translated by J. M. D. Meiklejohn, London: Everyman.


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This is the fourth part of my explication and commentary of Being in Time, tor contents of previous sections see the main index

There is also an online glossary of terms referred to in this document.

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