From Division I Chapter 5 (and Further) of Being and Time (1927)

Being_and_Time_(German_edition) (1)

Upon entering Chapter 5 of Division One, particularly after establishing the basic state of Dasein as “being-in-the-world,” Heidegger contends that “our first aim is to bring into relief phenomenally the unitary primordial structure of Dasein’s Being, in terms of which its possibilities and the ways for it ‘to be’ are ontologically determined.” What Heidegger’s “first aim” is, then, is to address what “being-there” means, which, as he proposes, is just as much predicated on “being-ness” as it is on “there-ness.” In the former, “being-there” must a clearing for itself, since its Being is its most immediate issue. Because of this, for the latter, the “there-ness” of Dasein is unfolded in its situation—being-there” must be situated, first, through an understanding of “da” as a conceptualization of both “here” and “there.” The German “Da” of Dasein does not differentiate “here” from “there,” but, rather, expresses the duality of there-ness, as “there-ness” is unconcealed in the clearing. To consider what the “there-ness” of Dasein is means considering the way in which “being-there” “is” in the world—Heidegger’s argues that “care” is the fundamental functionality of Dasein as “being-in as such.”

The notion of “being-in as such” is contingent on the activity of understanding, especially as a means to grasp the possible and be aware of a world of possibilities. “Being-there” as understanding is a “state of mind” that is constituted by three basic traits: mood, understanding and interpretation, and speech acts/discourse. All of these traits are grounded in “fallen-ness”—it is the extent to which fallen-ness (verfallenheit), or “thrownness” is, as Heidegger offers, neither an unfinished fact, nor a settled Fact (223). This notion of falling is the essential “as-structure” (fundamental ontological) of Dasein itself, particularly if grasping Dasein, its “being-ness” and “there-ness” in light of everydayness.

In effect, the possibility of Dasein as “being-in-the-world” is ontologically construed through the intersectionality of truth (aletheia, or “unconcealment” in Parmenides), care, and reality. This intersectionality meets at the notion of anxiety—this approach to anxiety itself is, on one hand, an extension of Soren Kierkegaard’s concept of anxiety (in Concept of Anxiety) as subjective and objective in relation to original sin, and on the other, interpreted as a kind of anguish by Jean-Paul Sartre towards the possibility of nothingness positioning itself between the Self and temporality (in Being and Nothingness). For Heidegger however, anxiety—or angst—“provides the phenomenal basis for explicitly grasping Dasein’s primordial totality of Being” (227). Totality is the key word here. Heidegger’s aim is to conceive of Being as a totality—that is, Being of the totality—that brings about a structural whole—in itself, to proceed in this manner means proceeding towards “care” as a reinterpretation of Husserl’s concept of “intentionality.” Another way to consider “care” is as “concern” or, as Paul Tillich denotes in his Heideggerian-influenced Systematic Theology, as humanity’s “ultimate concern.” Nevertheless, “care” is an immensely important ontological term with respect to unifying “being-there” as a structural whole of relations and intersectionality that consists of “thrownness” (in the past tense) and “fallenness” (in the present tense).

But, in order to conceptualize the meaning of “care,” we must contend with temporality—in this regard, “care” is grounded in temporality. The meaning of Being, as a structural whole, is confronted by temporality, especially truth, care, and reality—it is the sense that reality poses a problem of Being just as much as truth becomes equally problematic when derived from an external world that may not be definitively proved. That is, as Heidegger puts it, though Being may not be explained through entities, particularly because this Reality—as an ontological problem—is possible only in the understanding of Being. So, essentially, “Reality” is an ontological problem—particularly as a traditional ontological problem—when Reality consists of the Being of entities present-at-hand within-the-world to the point that, as Heidegger concludes, “entities within-the-world are ontologically conceivable only if the phenomenon of within-the-world-ness has been clarified” (228).

To say that entities are “conceivable” means that they are meaning-making constructions and, then, have an ability to disclose “a truth” about themselves in disclosedness. With this in mind, as Heidegger rightly asserts, “Being does indeed go together with truth.” In following this, Dasein is in the truth (aletheia)—Heidegger highlights this with four essential tenets: disclosedness in general, thrownness, projection, and falling. What these essentialist tenets do is constitute the “Being of truth” as fundamentally about DaseinDasein is about disclosedness as it occurs within temporality. The intersectionality of truth (aletheia), care (Tillich’s ultimate concern), and reality unfolds in Heidegger’s discussion of “authenticity” in Division Two’s Chapters 2-4 as the “potentiality-for-Being-one’s-Self.” Or, “Self” as selfhood. For Heidegger, selfhood arises through Dasein as the character of conscience as a “call” and the role of guilt and a connectedness with care’s ontological meaning in temporality—but, also, the explication of selfhood through the temporality of disclosedness and everydayness.

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