Heidegger was very idiosyncratic. He ind…

Heidegger was very idiosyncratic. He indulged in extended word play, and employed his own spelling, vocabulary and syntax. One famous coining was Dasein: literally “to be there”. Dasein has no essence beyond what it can make itself be — i.e. no fixed nature or inveterate tendency. Man alone has Dasein, and he cannot escape it. Nor is there anything more fundamentally human, to which he can dedicate his life. The world is disclosed to us through and in Dasein: disclosed without mediation by concepts, propositions and inner mental states. Truth is Dasein’s disclosedness. We are “thrown” into the world. Heidegger rejected the correspondence theory of truth, and regarded as a scandal the continual attempt by philosophy to centre knowledge on mental processes.

What is this Dasein? Start with things in the world, said Heidegger: everyday things like tools, materials, workspace. Are they not there for a purpose, to do something? They do not exist in isolation, waiting for the philosopher to extract the essence “tool”, for instance, and then worry about enclosing and defining the term properly. Their complex relationships with other things (people and material objects) is what is most relevant about them, and this cuts across the usual boundaries of objective/subjective, animate/inanimate, or past/present/future. Time is not an abstract entity, something in which we are borne passively along, but an opportunity to do something. Or it is for us human beings who have Dasein (choice) and we therefore owe things in the world a duty of care (Sorge).

But if we continually define ourselves, we also change the way we regard the world. And that in turn redefines us. Nothing is innate, not even Dasein. Other things in the world (Seindes) may be relatively fixed but man is different. Above all he faces conscience, dread, awareness of death, all of which call man back to himself, to question his authenticity. Hence the importance of these in Heidegger’s writings, which he viewed ontologically, not merely matters of psychological or sociological explanation.{3}


Heidegger, Dasein, Being, presence, Tolle, philosophy, embeddedness, relatedness, authenticity,

Author: Roger - Dr Roger Prentice

Now I write, teach and coach mainly about 21stC 'interfaith as inter-spirituality' - and how we can grow closer to our True Self. . As anyone who knows anything about IPF will realize my energy is curtailed - so I am concentrating primarily on 'inter-spirituality'. . In the past I would have said that: . 1) I run courses and give talks at conferences and in universities and colleges in the UK, China, USA, Canada, Scandinavia etc. . 2) I provide materials, outlines and lessons for Schools. . 3) My range of interests include personal development, learning and teaching, photography and film, the arts generally, spirituality and educational practice and theory. . 4) At the same time I continue developing the human-centred studies SunWALK PDS (People Development System) - a whole-person, high-achievement model for individuals, and for use in, NGOs, schools and other organizations. . 5) The key question that continues to animate me and my work remains, "What is it to be fully and positively human?" . Contact me via onesummit AT gmail DOT com (replace At with@ etc.). . All good wishes Roger (Dr Roger Prentice) . For those interested; My first degree is in English and Education. My masters is in Adult and Community Education. My doctorate presented a new holistic meta-model of education called SunWALK.

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