In this lecture we shall return
to a topic that was the subject of our second
lecture on Heidegger, ‘being-in’. The first time that we treated
this topic we were only interested in this phenomenon in terms of the structure
of the world and the everydayness of Dasein. But even these phenomenon
refer to a fundamental way of ‘being-in’ which we so far have said nothing
Let us remind ourselves of how we
already have spoken of the ‘being-in’ of Dasein. If we remind ourselves,
Heidegger argues that the ‘being in’ of Dasein is not same ‘in’
of the water in the glass, or the chair in the room. The ‘being in’ of
Dasein is not to be understood in terms of spatiality, but as lived,
as when, for example, I speak of being in love with someone. The notion
of the existential ‘in’ as opposed to the categorical, speaks of familiarity
This notion of ‘in’
‘The entity which is essentiallyWe must again be careful of not understanding
this ‘there’ in terms of categorical space; that is to say, as the there
of an object, when for example we speak of a table being over ‘there’ near
the door. Dasein is its there, in the way that we could never say
that a table is. Rather, Heidegger says, the ‘there’ of Dasein is
to be understood as ‘disclosure’ (Erschlossenheit). How are we to
understand this notion of disclosure as the ‘there being’ of Dasein?
Heidegger says that disclosure must be understood in two ways, one of which
we have already met in the last lecture on anxiety: through moods and the
understanding. Heidegger writes: In Understanding and Moods, we shall
see the two constitutive ways of being the ‘there’ [BT 133].
Let us first look at
‘How one is’ is what one is
In having a mood, Dasein is always disclosed moodwise as that entity to which it has been delivered over in its Being; and in this way it has delivered over to the Being which, in existing, it has to be [BT 134].We should not, however, understand this
disclosure of what one is in terms of cognition, that now one knows what
one is. Dasein confronts itself not as some kind of object that,
but as that which is made manifest in a mood and moods reveal just as much
as they conceal. In cognition, Dasein might have some rational plan
about its life, but a mood reveal the ‘fact’ of one’s live in a very different
way. A mood reveals the ‘there’ of Dasein, the world in which it
exists as an enigma, and one that cannot be solved. What moods reveal is
that Dasein is thrown, and for the most part it relates to
its thrownness evasively. Take for example the case of a bad mood. Such
a mood reveals the ‘thereness’ of my being more fundamentally than any
cognition, but at the same time it covers over my world in its heavy presence.
What the mood reveals is the world as a whole, not something in the world,
but my attunement or lack of attunement to my world, but none the less
this world, precisely because it is not an object of cognition, remains
an enigma. This is despite the fact that moods are primarily the way that
Dasein encounters the world. The world first of all must matter
to me, before I can seek to know it. We cannot separate, in an abstract
manner, taking an interest in something and representing something, as
though thought and feeling were separate faculties – we would not think
if we did not feel, and thinking always involves feeling, even it tries
to conceal it.
Dasein, as essentiallyThe world is not disclosed as an object
that stands outside with this or that properties or attributes, but as
having possibilities which are already given. The understanding throws
itself forward into these possibilities. This being a head of oneself in
the possible, Heidegger calls projection (Entwurf). Again ‘projection’
is not to be understood cognitively as some kind of plan which one has
rationally decided, rather ontologically and existentially speaking, every
Dasein is already ahead of itself in what is possible, and this
is how it understands itself, and it is only from this ‘understanding’
that something like a plan could be made. This is why Dasein is
always ‘more’ that what it factually is. Dasein lives or exists
in its future possibilities, but precisely as something possible and not
something that is actual or factual.
If understanding is a
Whenever something is interpretedWhat Heidegger is trying to displace
here is the idea that it is assertion or judgement that reveals
first of all the truth of something. Rather, Heidegger argues, assertion must
be seen as a derivative mode of interpretation. In itself, assertion
must be thought as having three forms:
in our involvement in the world. We interpret the world in relation to
this practical existence. If we make an assertion about something then
this changes. It becomes something present-to-hand, rather than something
ready-to-hand. We talks about it as a ‘what’ with so many attributes, but
it ceases to part of the environment of everyday involvement with the things.
The latter, Heidegger describes as belonging to the hermeneutical ‘as’;
that is to say, it belong to interpretation is grounded in the understanding,
whereas the former belongs merely to the apophantic ‘as’ of logical
statements. In the Western tradition, the latter has been seen as the primary
way into the truth of things, but ontologically speaking it must be secondary.
For I first of all live in a world whose understanding I interpret and
only then can I make statements about it.
All this means that the
The phenomenon of truthAgain we normally think about truth
in terms of judgement. Is such and such a statement true or not. But this
idea of judgement, Heidegger argues, is actually dependent on a more primordial
notion of truth that is a kind of showing or manifesting. The essence of
the traditional notion of truth as judgement lies is adequation or correspondence.
Truth is the agreement between a statement and a state of affairs. Heidegger
does not disagree with this, rather he ask a different question. Not what
is the form of a true statement, but what is the ontological condition
of making such statements? Heidegger takes the example of a man who has
his back turned to the wall and who makes the true assertion that ‘the
picture on the wall is hanging askew.’ [BT 217]. The truth of this statement
is verified when the man turns around and the picture really is askew.
Truth then is a relation to things and the demonstration or proof
is that the thing shows itself as it is. The two ontological conditions
for the making of judgements, therefore, is that things show themselves
and that there is a being that relates to things.
There is truth only in soThis of course is also true of the question
of being. The meaning of Being is not something that lies outside of Dasein as some kind of mysterious phenomenon behind things, rather
it belongs to the very way that Dasein understands these beings.
Being is Dasein’s understanding.