Being in the World Manifests Dasein’s Original Transcendence

  • Burt C. Hopkins
Part of the Contributions to Phenomenology book series (CTPH, volume 11)


According to Heidegger, “being-in-the-world is the basic composition (Grundverfassung) of Dasein” (MFL, 169/217). As such, it belongs to the essence (Wesen) of Dasein that insofar as “Dasein factically (faktisch) exists, then its existence has the structure of being-in-the-world” (MFL, 169/217). This means that being-in-the-world is not something which structures Dasein’s existence only on certain occasions, but rather that “it must always already have been ontically experienced” (BT, 86/59). The pertinent question that Heidegger asks with respect to this structure is whether knowing (erkennen) the world, in the sense of the perception of natural entities, is phenomenally sufficient to establish being-in-the-world as the basic composition of Dasein? More precisely put, the question is one of whether the “already being-alongside-theworld (Schon-bei-der-Welt)” (BT, 88/61) constitutive of Dasein’s Being is phenomenally manifested as “just a fixed staring at something that is purely present-at-hand” (Ibid)?


Phenomenal Character Meaningful Relation Phenomenological Account Fundamental Ontology Existential Structure 
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  1. 1.
    Emad, op. cit., p. 158.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
  3. 3.
    The issue of whether Heidegger’s critique of Husserl’s notion of Wesensschau is sufficiently attendant to the distinctions made by Husserl, regarding the phenomenal non-equivalence of categorical intuition and essential seeing per se (see especially §§ 15-20 above), will be discussed in detail below (see § 101).Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Cf. B T, p.186/ 146 and § 66 above.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Heidegger apparently postponed this analysis indefinitely. All of his discussions of the hermeneutical character of understanding in the second half of BT appeal, for their phenomenal substantiation, to these analyses. For example, the discussion of the ‘hermeneutical situation’ of ontological investigation in § 45 refers explicitly to § 32. And I am not aware of any phenomenological analysis, of the understanding’s projective understanding of the ‘for-the-sake-of-which’, in any of the published lectures courses which preceded or followed BT.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    See § 41 above; cf. also MFL,p. 140/177.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    In my view, it is within the context of this complex relationship between the ontological need for phenomenology’s methodological mediation, and the ontological ‘insight’ required by such a method if it is to be a genuine method, that Heidegger’s analysis of Dasein’s own capacity-for-being works out the problem of attesting (Bezeugung) Dasein’s own existentiell capacity-for-being in the second half of BT.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Emad, op. cit., p. 27.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Ibid., p. 27.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Ibid., p. 39.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Ibid., p. 28.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
  13. 13.
    I am not familiar with any discussion in the literature of the methodical and/or ontological significance of these “two” hermeneutical circles for Heidegger’s phenomenological formulation of the project of fundamental ontology. Both of these issues will be considered in detail below (§§ 105106) in my thematized discussion of the Husserlian and Heideggerian ‘prerogatives’.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Burt C. Hopkins
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PhilosophySeattle UniversityUSA

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