However, they are not yet the fully fledged objects of the present-at-hand, since their broken, malfunctioning, missing or obstructive status is defined relative to a particular equipmental context. The combination of two key passages illuminates this point: First:. The damage to the equipment is still not a mere alteration of a Thing—not a change of properties which just occurs in something present-at-hand.
When something cannot be used—when, for instance, a tool definitely refuses to work—it can be conspicuous only in and for dealings in which something is manipulated. Thus a driver does not encounter a punctured tyre as a lump of rubber of measurable mass; she encounters it as a damaged item of equipment, that is, as the cause of a temporary interruption to her driving activity. With such disturbances to skilled activity, Dasein emerges as a practical problem solver whose context-embedded actions are directed at restoring smooth skilled activity.
Possibilidade e ação na ontologia fundamental de Martin Heidegger
Much of the time Dasein's practical problem solving will involve recovery strategies e. In the limit, however e. With this spectrum of cases in view, it is possible to glimpse a potential worry for Heidegger's account. Cappuccio and Wheeler ; see also Wheeler , argue that the situation of wholly transparent readiness-to-hand is something of an ideal state. Skilled activity is never or very rarely perfectly smooth. Moreover, minimal subjective activity such as a nonconceptual awareness of certain spatially situated movements by my body produces a background noise that never really disappears.
Thus a distinction between Dasein and its environment is, to some extent, preserved, and this distinction arguably manifests the kind of minimal subject-object dichotomy that is characteristic of those cases of un-readiness-to-hand that lie closest to readiness-to-hand. On the interpretation of Heidegger just given, Dasein's access to the world is only intermittently that of a representing subject.
An alternative reading, according to which Dasein always exists as a subject relating to the world via representations, is defended by Christensen , Christensen targets Dreyfus as a prominent and influential exponent of the intermittent-subject view. Among other criticisms , Christensen accuses Dreyfus of mistakenly hearing Heidegger's clear rejection of the thought that Dasein's access to the world is always theoretical or theory-like in character as being, at the same time, a rejection of the thought that Dasein's access to the world is always in the mode of a representing subject; but, argues Christensen, there may be non-theoretical forms of the subject-world relation, so the claim that Heidegger advocated the second rejection is not established by pointing out that he advocated the first.
Let's assume that Christensen is right about this. The supporter of the intermittent-subject view might still argue that although Heidegger holds that Dasein sometimes emerges as a subject whose access to the world is non-theoretical plausibly, in certain cases of un-readiness-to-hand , there is other textual evidence, beyond that which indicates the non-theoretical character of hitch-free skilled activity, to suggest that readiness-to-hand must remain non-subject-object in form.
Whether or not there is such evidence would then need to be settled. What the existential analytic has given us so far is a phenomenological description of Dasein's within-the-world encounters with entities. The next clarification concerns the notion of world and the associated within-ness of Dasein. Famously, Heidegger writes of Dasein as Being-in-the-world. In effect, then, the notion of Being-in-the-world provides us with a reinterpretation of the activity of existing Dreyfus , 40 , where existence is given the narrow reading ek-sistence identified earlier. Understood as a unitary phenomenon as opposed to a contingent, additive, tripartite combination of Being, in-ness, and the world , Being-in-the-world is an essential characteristic of Dasein.
As Heidegger explains:. Taking up relationships towards the world is possible only because Dasein, as Being-in-the-world, is as it is. This state of Being does not arise just because some entity is present-at-hand outside of Dasein and meets up with it.
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As this passage makes clear, the Being-in dimension of Being-in-the-world cannot be thought of as a merely spatial relation in some sense that might be determined by a GPS device, since Dasein is never just present-at-hand within the world in the way demanded by that sort of spatial in-ness.
Heidegger sometimes uses the term dwelling to capture the distinctive manner in which Dasein is in the world. To dwell in a house is not merely to be inside it spatially in the sense just canvassed. Rather, it is to belong there, to have a familiar place there. It is in this sense that Dasein is essentially in the world. Heidegger will later introduce an existential notion of spatiality that does help to illuminate the sense in which Dasein is in the world. So now, what is the world such that Dasein essentially dwells in it? The German term Bewandtnis is extremely difficult to translate in a way that captures all its native nuances for discussion, see Tugendhat ; thanks to a reviewer for emphasizing this point.
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Crucially, for Heidegger, an involvement is not a stand-alone structure, but rather a link in a network of intelligibility that he calls a totality of involvements. Take the stock Heideggerian example: the hammer is involved in an act of hammering; that hammering is involved in making something fast; and that making something fast is involved in protecting the human agent against bad weather.
Such totalities of involvements are the contexts of everyday equipmental practice. As such, they define equipmental entities, so the hammer is intelligible as what it is only with respect to the shelter and, indeed, all the other items of equipment to which it meaningfully relates in Dasein's everyday practices.
And this radical holism spreads, because once one begins to trace a path through a network of involvements, one will inevitably traverse vast regions of involvement-space. Thus links will be traced not only from hammers to hammering to making fast to protection against the weather, but also from hammers to pulling out nails to dismantling wardrobes to moving house. This behaviour will refer back to many other behaviours packing, van-driving and thus to many other items of equipment large boxes, removal vans , and so on.
The result is a large-scale holistic network of interconnected relational significance. Such networks constitute worlds, in one of Heidegger's key senses of the term—an ontical sense that he describes as having a pre-ontological signification Being and Time Before a second key sense of the Heideggerian notion of world is revealed, some important detail can be added to the emerging picture. Heidegger points out that involvements are not uniform structures.
Thus I am currently working with a computer a with-which , in the practical context of my office an in-which , in order to write this encyclopedia entry an in-order-to , which is aimed towards presenting an introduction to Heidegger's philosophy a towards-this , for the sake of my academic work, that is, for the sake of my being an academic a for-the-sake-of-which. The final involvement here, the for-the-sake-of-which, is crucial, because according to Heidegger all totalities of involvements have a link of this type at their base.
This forges a connection between i the idea that each moment in Dasein's existence constitutes a branch-point at which it chooses a way to be, and ii the claim that Dasein's projects and possibilities are essentially bound up with the ways in which other entities may become intelligible. This is because every for-the-sake-of-which is the base structure of an equipment-defining totality of involvements and reflects a possible way for Dasein to be an academic, a carpenter, a parent, or whatever. Moreover, given that entities are intelligible only within contexts of activity that, so to speak, arrive with Dasein, this helps to explain Heidegger's claim Being and Time that, in encounters with entities, the world is something with which Dasein is always already familiar.
Finally, it puts further flesh on the phenomenological category of the un-ready-to-hand. Thus when I am absorbed in trouble-free typing, the computer and the role that it plays in my academic activity are transparent aspects of my experience. But if the computer crashes, I become aware of it as an entity with which I was working in the practical context of my office, in order to write an encyclopedia entry aimed towards presenting an introduction to Heidegger's philosophy.
And I become aware of the fact that my behaviour is being organized for the sake of my being an academic. So disturbances have the effect of exposing totalities of involvements and, therefore, worlds. At this point in the existential analytic, worldhood is usefully identified as the abstract network mode of organizational configuration that is shared by all concrete totalities of involvements.
We shall see, however, that as the hermeneutic spiral of the text unfolds, the notion of worldhood is subject to a series of reinterpretations until, finally, its deep structure gets played out in terms of temporality. Having completed what we might think of as the first phase of the existential analytic, Heidegger uses its results to launch an attack on one of the front-line representatives of the tradition, namely Descartes. This is the only worked-through example in Being and Time itself of what Heidegger calls the destruction Destruktion of the Western philosophical tradition, a process that was supposed to be a prominent theme in the ultimately unwritten second part of the text.
In stark contrast, Heidegger's own view is that Dasein is in primary epistemic contact not with context-independent present-at-hand primitives e. What is perhaps Heidegger's best statement of this opposition comes later in Being and Time. Dasein, as essentially understanding, is proximally alongside what is understood. For Heidegger, then, we start not with the present-at-hand, moving to the ready-to-hand by adding value-predicates, but with the ready-to-hand, moving to the present-at-hand by stripping away the holistic networks of everyday equipmental meaning.
It seems clear, then, that our two positions are diametrically opposed to each other, but why should we favour Heidegger's framework over Descartes'? Heidegger's flagship argument here is that the systematic addition of value-predicates to present-at-hand primitives cannot transform our encounters with those objects into encounters with equipment. In other words, once we have assumed that we begin with the present-at-hand, values must take the form of determinate features of objects, and therefore constitute nothing but more present-at-hand structures. And if you add more present-at-hand structures to some existing present-at-hand structures, what you end up with is not equipmental meaning totalities of involvements but merely a larger number of present-at-hand structures.
Heidegger's argument here is at best incomplete for discussion, see Dreyfus , Wheeler The defender of Cartesianism might concede that present-at-hand entities have determinate properties, but wonder why the fact that an entity has determinate properties is necessarily an indication of presence-at-hand. On this view, having determinate properties is necessary but not sufficient for an entity to be present-at-hand.
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More specifically, she might wonder why involvements cannot be thought of as determinate features that entities possess just when they are embedded in certain contexts of use. Consider for example the various involvements specified in the academic writing context described earlier. They certainly seem to be determinate, albeit context-relative, properties of the computer. Of course, the massively holistic character of totalities of involvements would make the task of specifying the necessary value-predicates say, as sets of internal representations incredibly hard, but it is unclear that it makes that task impossible.
So it seems as if Heidegger doesn't really develop his case in sufficient detail. However, Dreyfus pursues a response that Heidegger might have given, one that draws on the familiar philosophical distinction between knowing-how and knowing-that. It seems that value-predicates constitute a form of knowing-that i.
Given the plausible although not universally held assumption that knowing-how cannot be reduced to knowledge-that, this would explain why value-predicates are simply the wrong sort of structures to capture the phenomenon of world-embeddedness. In the wake of his critique of Cartesianism, Heidegger turns his attention to spatiality. He argues that Dasein dwells in the world in a spatial manner, but that the spatiality in question—Dasein's existential spatiality—cannot be a matter of Dasein being located at a particular co-ordinate in physical, Cartesian space.
That would be to conceive of Dasein as present-at-hand, and presence-at-hand is a mode of Being that can belong only to entities other than Dasein. According to Heidegger, the existential spatiality of Dasein is characterized most fundamentally by what he calls de-severance , a bringing close. This is of course not a bringing close in the sense of reducing physical distance, although it may involve that.
Heidegger's proposal is that spatiality as de-severance is in some way exactly how is a matter of subtle interpretation; see e. Given the Dasein-world relationship highlighted above, the implication drawn explicitly by Heidegger, see Being and Time is that the spatiality distinctive of equipmental entities, and thus of the world, is not equivalent to physical, Cartesian space.
Equipmental space is a matter of pragmatically determined regions of functional places, defined by Dasein-centred totalities of involvements e.
For Heidegger, physical, Cartesian space is possible as something meaningful for Dasein only because Dasein has de-severance as one of its existential characteristics. Given the intertwining of de-severance and equipmental space, this licenses the radical view one that is consistent with Heidegger's prior treatment of Cartesianism that physical, Cartesian space as something that we can find intelligible presupposes equipmental space; the former is the present-at-hand phenomenon that is revealed if we strip away the worldhood from the latter.
Malpas forthcoming rejects the account of spatiality given in Being and Time. According to Malpas, then, equipmental space a space ordered in terms of practical activity and within which an agent acts presupposes a more fundamental notion of space as a complex unity with objective, intersubjective and subjective dimensions. If this is right, then of course equipmental space cannot itself explain the spatial.
A further problem, as Malpas also notes, is that the whole issue of spatiality brings into sharp focus the awkward relationship that Heidegger has with the body in Being and Time. Indeed, at times, Heidegger might be interpreted as linking embodiment with Thinghood. Here one might plausibly contain the spread of presence-at-hand by appealing to a distinction between material present-at-hand and lived existential ways in which Dasein is embodied.