Monday, September 12, 2005

[[IMMERSIVE]] martin heidegger I have just finished the first section of my notes on Heideggers masterwork, Being and Time. If you are at all interested in Heidegger, existentialism and the like you should go there. If you have any comments or questions about the text, please submit them by commenting on this post. Note; this is a work in progress and I will be adding stuff as I go like a bibliography and a fully linked glossary.

link: Heidegger's Being and Time, an explication and commentary


Anonymous said...

I think that you should look into the possibility of authentic existence for Dasein. I know I myself have recently been grappling with this question, and the true solution has been alluding me for quite some time now. I suppose, at this point, based on the texts, and on my own personal inferences, I am of the opinion that Dasein really will never be able to operate under an authentic mode of being. It is angst that is required to reveal authenticity to Dasein, however, Dasein is so comfortably numb in its inauthentic existence that it will not make the move to the authentic, even if it DOES realize that is IS inauthentic. The comfortably numb is easier and less complicated than the uncomfortable harshness of reality....what are your thoughts on this?

RodMunday said...

Firstly thanks for engaging with me on this,

My initial thoughts on this is that in the way Heidegger frames the argument, authenticity probably not a reachable state for Dasein. However I question the authentic/inauthentic distinction really. On a certain level I think any behaviour is authentic for Dasein because that is the very behaviour which characterises it. With the notions of authenticity and inauthenticity and thrownness, I think Heidegger is talking about mediation, the mediation that makes the past and future pressing concerns for Dasein in its being and takes it out of the immediate present.

I know this is not really an answer, but I don't want to say more at present, I am working through "Being and Time" as I write my explication of it and when I get to the section that deals with this I will feel qualified to say more. Be patient please.

Regards. Rod

Travis Burke said...

I went ahead and took the liberty of digging up some commentaries that I thought you may find useful in your journey through Being and Time.

Hubert L. Dreyfus Being In the World. A Commentary on Heidegger's Being and Time, Divison I

Michael Gelvin Commentray on Heidegger's Being and Time Rev ed.

Steven Mulhall Routledge Philosophy Guidebook to Heidegger and Being and Time

I think these might prove helpful through your journey. I am still wading through the book as we speak, and Heidegger can be quite difficult. It is good to see you are so interested in the text.

p.s. what do you think about the "circumspectful heedfulness" of dasein, the "care" or "concern" aspects of dasein. do you think that because dasein has fallen prey to the public world of the "they" that it might only circumspectfully be heedful of the inauthentic tasks at hand, or do you think that this "taking care of" aspect of dasein could propel it to recognize angst, and willfully act on pursuing an authentic mode of being?

RodMunday said...

Thanks Travis, the books seem particularly useful, especially the Dreyfus, given his interest in technology. As for the "circumspectful heedfulness" of dasein, I am again going to request patience. It is my intention to work my way through the whole book in time. I hope people like yourself will at least dip into the journey too, and I hope when I get to the specific sections that you are interested, we can discuss them in detail. Btw, The second part of the introduction will be posted in the next week or so.

Travis E. Burke said...

I just was checking up to see if you ever got all the way through Sein und Zeit. I've just started reading it in German, and it's well, challenging to say the least!

Ali-Al- Omari said...

My dear
At the beginning i am greatly thankful for your effrot in making Heideggar manifested to us in such easy way.
You are realy phenomenologist.
I need your comment on my blog which is inspired by the works of Husserl &Heideggar.
My blog is

RodMunday said...

Unfortunately I have had other things to get on with, like like massive amounts of undergraduate marking. This has meant that I haven't been able to spend anytime on Heidegger or blogging recently, but hopefully that will be changing soon. Good luck with you endevour!

regards, rod

RodMunday said...

Ali-Al- Omari,
Thank you very much for your kind words. I will take a look at you blog when I have time and mail you back my comments.

regards, rod

Cliff said...

With respect to "idle talk"? Would it be useful (accurate) to state that a discussion informed by apophantic statements would be largely authentic, while a phatic conversation (v. Malinowski)would illustrate Heidegger's notion of idle talk?

RodMunday said...

I'll tell you what I think when I get there. Part of the motivation for doing this site (and one that helps me to really get to grips with the text) is that I am publising the results of my inquiry online. In other words I had better try my best to be accurate because I am being judged for it. in this sense I am adhering to the Greek (and Heidegger's) notion of truth, i.e. declaring my thoughts to be the truth in front of witnesses by offereing them up to public scrutiny.

MD said...

I think you're doing a fine job, in general, and I hope you finish it, both for yourself and your online commentary.

As for authenticity, I've always thought Heidegger has involved himself in a contradiction, if we read his analysis on this point as ontological and not merely ethical or moral. I understand, and I believe Heidegger understands, his usage of the term "authentic" to be ontological and not merely ethical or evaluative. Thus, it is an ontological feature of Dasein that it can, or it cannot, "own" itself as itself, and if it fails in this ownership, or in this "mineness," it is "inauthentic."

However, on the other hand, as I read Heidegger, Dasein is incapable of being inauthentic; if it were, phenomenology would flounder at the outset, for it could not distinguish between actual constitutive elements of Dasein and those that are not constitutive, for "inauthenticity" would interfere with the observation and consideration of the phenomena under consideration. How could a phenomenologist possibly know, from the position of his own Dasein, if other Daseins owned, or did not own, their own Dasein, without involving the hermeneutic in subjective judgment?

It's difficult, in any case, to conceive of being (Dasein or otherwise) as inauthentic, unless one says, as I believe Heidegger does, that inauthenticity is an authentic mode of being -- that is, constitutive -- for Dasein. To this extent, it's just a tautology that can't be disputed, so the analysis is this: Inauthenticity for Dasein -- it's refusal to own itself as itself -- is authentic for Dasein.

Thus, it's constitutive for being that it will not own itself as being. Or, as Heidegger might say, being just likes to hide, even from itself.

The other possibility is simply that Heidegger at this point has simply smuggled in a category that isn't ontological. However, Heidegger is too smart for that.

MD said...

One footnote to the above post.

The corollary is this:

It's inauthentic for Dasein to be authentic.

That is, being will not own itself, and if it did constitutively, it wouldn't be being.

If being owned itself constitutively, we wouldn't need Heidegger to find it for us.

MD said...

One more point, with respect to your reaction to Heidegger's use of the word "primitive," as in "primitive peoples," which you quickly translate as "tribal peoples."

I wouldn't be so quick. Heidegger was a philosophical and ontological elitist, who believed several things that we might find peculiar, such as that the German and Greek languages were simpatico in a way other European languages were not, that German Dasien was peculiarly situated to do philosophy, that the combination of German-ness and the German language favored the philosophic tradition and efforts of German philosophers, etc. I don't think Heidegger thought the English were even capable of doing philosophy, as he conceived of the discipline.

When Heidegger refers to "primitive peoples," he may as well be referring to the French or the Italians as to any image we may hold of "tribal peoples." We may find that fantastic, but a lot about Heidegger is fantastic.

As noted by Babette Babich:

"What is problematic here is the implicit barb, the intended and effective slight to be heard in the [Heidegger] claim of the "inner affinity" between German and Greek just where ancient Greece continues to have the preeminence it does have in Western culture, as a reserve uttered against all other peoples and languages within the same Western, Greek heritage. One would have to be half-deaf in heart and spirit not to hear the implicit condescension and insult in Heidegger's pronouncement of impossibility of philosophizing in languages that are not Greek or German."

RodMunday said...

Thanks MD for the long and considered post. I really appreciate this kind of feedback. Some of your points are addressed in more detain in the forthcoming part I division II, authenticity and inauthenticity are existentalia. They are characteristics of Dasein which may be revealed in an analysis of Dasein's 'existence-structure,' Note that this kind of analysis is not the same thing as an analysis of Dasein itself, because as Heidegger points out Dasein is not a thing that can be analysed in this way

Dasein in terms the Being of Dasein is neither authentic or inauthentic in itself. You cannot say anything constitutive about the Being of Dasein because it exists in the sum of its potentials not in its actuality. However, when talking about its existence structure you can draw out some existentiale, in other words the analysis of Dasein in a general sense allows us to point out some characteristics of Dasein per se.

I think you are confusing the characteristic with Dasein itself? Authenticity and inauthenticity are the grounding characteristics of Dasein. Therefore Dasein in general structural terms can chose and win itself, or conversely lose never win itself, or perhaps only seem to do so, or even flee in the face of its Being. However every particular Dasein always has a choice. And that choice is what in fact determines every other subsequent choice Dasein makes. However authenticity and inauthenticity are themselves grounded on a state of Being--which is discussed in Part II div II. This is Being-in-the-World

On your point that Being will not own itself as being. Or, as Heidegger might say, being just likes to hide, even from itself, I don't think Being can do this, but people do it all the time of course. This is the aforementioned Dasein fleeing in the face of its Being.

Finally the stress on anthropology makes me think that Heidegger is talking about tribal peoples. Even he can't think the French should be studies anthropologically, can he?

Regards, Rod

MD said...

Thanks for your response on a difficult issue.

You write:

"You cannot say anything constitutive about the Being of Dasein because it exists in the sum of its potentials not in its actuality."

Then, you use terms like the "characteristics" of Dasein, or the "potential" of Dasein, or a "state of being."

I suppose my issue at this point is partly method and partly terminological. I will think on that.

One question I have: Can Dasein relate to itself as the "sum of its potentials," and if so how does Heidegger describe this relationship? Does the issue of "authenticity" fall within this larger question of relationship?

Anonymous said...

The undifferentiated (i.e., unreflective) self sees the values and practices of the they self as transparent. However, this passive mode of existence is almost certainly temporary given the contradictions/paradoxes of the modern world. Thus, one no longer feels at home and must choose, as Berlin stated, "to be or not to be." But the conscious choice to be a doctor, beach comber, priest, etc. is probably not authentic, since all modes are closely governed by the One. That is, if Dasein accepts the mores, dress codes, jargon, and so on of a given profession/life style as intrinsically good, right, and true one's existence is not essentially owned, but directed by the they.One must recognize/renounce the fallen self and its corresponding practices like gossip, ambiguity,idle curiosity in order to choose a unique way of being. Dasein, of course, does not arrive at and become authentic permanently. An authentic existence requires a constant holistic mode of caring for tools, the world, and the other, while resolutely facing mortality.


RodMunday said...

>>MD wrote
One question I have: Can Dasein relate to itself as the "sum of its potentials," and if so how does Heidegger describe this relationship? Does the issue of "authenticity" fall within this larger question of relationship?<<

Dasein can't really relate to itself as a sum of potentials, except in the most general sense. This is actually what makes answering the question "what is Being? so challenging. However, the general examination of Dasein's existence structure can yield important insights, like for instance the importance of authenticity/inauthenticity as a grounding characteristic of Being, rather then the way these are usually conceived of as a posterior as judgements.

So, to address you second question, authenticity does fall into that relationship, but only when taken in a general sense.

Finally I wonder if Dasein can relate to itself, for example, at the end of a long life when the potential for Being has be all but exhausted. I wonder then if a particular Dasein can answer the question "what is Being?" as pertaining to their own life.?

Regards, Rod

RodMunday said...

I have just posted the latest update, Part 1 Division II. Enjoy!

regards, Rod

Anonymous said...

Good piece.
I am working on interpreting drama
through the Heideggean concept of Historicality and Temporality.
How do you suggest I cite your work and have you further idea that might be of help?


RodMunday said...

Dear Mayowa,
Thanks for the kind words. I think Heidegger has many fruitful insights that can be used for interpreting drama. I will try to email you again if I think of anything that I consider especially relevant. My citation suggestion would be:

Munday, Roderick (2007) "Being and Time an Explication and Commentary," html document,

best, Rod

Anonymous said...

Just a big thanks. Your commentary along with Dreyfus are my key supports for my study of Heidegger.

Thank you so much. Your thoughts are really helpful


Anonymous said...

HI, I am an Undergraduate trying to struggle my way through Heidegger. I found your blog sight and just wanted to say that by reading the interactive dialogue between yourself and others, it has really helped me to understand Heidegger's philosophy of Dasein. Thanks for having the blog and keep up the good work. I will be reading your updates daily.

Anonymous said...

Question: Do you think I. Kant influenced Heidegger's discovery about the nature of Da-sein? I am reading both Heidegger and Kant's Critique of Pure Reason and would like to know your thoughts on the subject. Thanks

Anonymous said...

In regards to my previous entry: I apologize if my questions or comments seem elementary but I am a novice in the scope of phenomenology and am just trying to wrap my head around the concept of Dasein. I know that Heidegger was influenced by Kant, if nothing else but in answer to Kant's Critique...It is in my struggle to understand Heidegger that I posed my question. Thanks

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Gail said...

I am a postgrad student of fine art, currently exploring "This Place" (a place of lost meaning and why am I thinking about why am I here?). I am already fixated in an every decreasing Hermeneutic Circle on Heidegger's concepts of Being and Dasein as interpreted through visual art - mostly moving-image/video. Primarily I am interested in the visual phenomena of light in relation to time and architecture/domestic interior. I've just found your site and wonder if you would mind if I used some of yours/others discussions and textual interpretations in my documentation of the process?
Your article and this blog have been a God-send. Thanks. Gail

D.N Andrews said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
D.N Andrews said...

Hello, Thank you for posting all your notes on Being and Time. It's been very helpful as I read through the text. Is the page discussing worldhood of the world through Cartesian Ontology represent the last page completed in your project? I ask because I sometimes get lost with many links and may have overlooked the next page. If it is the last page well then that's that I suppose. I guess I'm on my own from now on. Thanks again!!

Troy said...

I want to express my gratitude to you for making available a glossary of Heideggerian terminology in addition to your commentary on Being and Time. I have taken a keen interest in Heidegger as providing an epistemology for existential psychology. For any one else interested in this subject, I suggest exploring Heidegger's relationship with the existential analyst Medard Boss, esp. as described in the Zollikon Seminars.

Anonymous said...

I think you should finish it!

Anonymous said...

Heidegger is not an existential philosopher, he is a phenomenological philosopher, there is a big difference.

Anonymous said...

Good Lord above, thank you for publishing your reading of Being and Time. Any more would be welcome.

Anonymous said...

At "Deseverance" you write:
"De-severance, as an existentiale, means discovering remoteness as a determinate, categorical characteristic of entities whose are not Dasein and making that remoteness disappear, bringing it close."

Is something missing around "whose"? whose what?

Black Forest Elf said...

Recent scholarship has discovered a here-to-fore unknown Heideggerian existentiale:


Kevin Kane said...

Thank you for the work you have done. I am struggle with it all, but have been wondering to myself, and writing, about some applications in the common world, mostly in terms of art, abstraction and the articulation of ideals... I am trying to read here carefully and I find myself largely overwhelmed, and then a rush of clarity seems to be almost available - I am getting closer - and then it pulls back, but I'm going to keep at it, your commentary helps a lot, all very tantalizing stuff. Kevin Kane

Anonymous said...

At one point when explaining involvement in section 18 of part 1 division 3 you say, "The way an entity is involved is the "towards which" of serviceability, (assignment) and the "for-which" of usability (reference)"." I think you switched the conventions of assignment and reference here as you previously defined them with the helpful mnemonic of "Equipment = assignment = the 'for which of a usability' / Sign = reference = the 'towards which of a serviceability'."