Feb 11, 2010

Roy Hornsby: What Heidegger Means by Being-in-the-World

Martin Heidegger’s main interest was to raise the issue of Being, that is, to make sense of our capacity to make sense of things. Additionally he wished to rekindle the notion that although difficult to understand, this issue was of utmost importance (Dreyfus 1991). Heidegger’s study, however, was of a specific type of Being, the human being, referred to by Heidegger as ‘Dasein’, which literally means ‘Being-there’ (Solomon 1972). By using the expression Dasein, Heidegger called attention to the fact that a human being cannot be taken into account except as being an existent in the middle of a world amongst other things (Warnock 1970), that Dasein is ‘to be there’ and ‘there’ is the world. To be human is to be fixed, embedded and immersed in the physical, literal, tangible day to day world (Steiner 1978). The purpose of this paper is to offer an explanation of what Heidegger meant by ‘Being-in-the-world’.

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