Thoughts on ‘Fairness’ after the MAsT Meeting

“Heidegger proposes the thesis that Dasein (human being) is, in itself, ‘essentially Being-with’ (BT, p. 120)”

“(Man) operates with an objectifying conception of what it is to be human. This is the conception of the ‘subject’ character of a living human being which I have called the metaphysics of the subject.”

“Heidegger characterises humanist anthropology as that tradition in which what is called ‘man’ is defined by setting it off as one kind of entity present among others. Of course, human beings are not then simply equated with mere things or even with other living creatures. On the contrary, ‘man’ is accorded a specific and special difference: ‘man’ is the animal endowed with the power of reason or language” and then ‘this insufficient definition of man’s essence [can] be overcome or offset by outfitting man with an immortal soul’ or by ‘adjoining a soul to the human body, a mind to the soul . . . and then louder than before singing the praises of the mind.’ (LH, pp. 228–9).

‘Heidegger’s alternative begins with the complete rejection of the idea that something like ‘access to the world’ is merely a fortunate, secondary supplement, a supplementary benefit, to our existence: for the entity that we are, ‘being in a world is something that belongs essentially’ (BT, p. 13).’

He calls this phenomenon ‘being-in-the-world’ in order to stress, as a compound word, that this is a unitary phenomenon and not a relation between two things, i.e. a part of man intrinsically.

He then additionally coins the compound word Mitsein, or ‘being-with’ to underscore that one’s being with others is not an accidental relation between two daseins, but a part of each. As a result ‘being-with’ is non relational in its basis.

In the usual subject – subject relation, then, we are positing 3 things as present, each subject along with the relation. In opposition to this Heidegger posits that being-with is part of each dasein, thereby omitting the relation. As mitsein progresses to mitdasein (being-there-with) the space in which one is joins, as a result each dasein becomes a part of one thing.

At the end, then, what we refer to as a ‘relationship’ is essentially non-relational. This sharing of spatiality involves also a sharing of worldview. Instead of being spatial in oneself, the important issue becomes ‘place’. And in terms of place appropriateness becomes key. Heidegger terms this as Ereignis, or the “event of appropriation’, intending appropriation as both a ‘taking’ and a ‘putting in a proper place’.


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