(1) entities do not manifest themselves as things (Latin:
(2) the entities with which we deal with manifest
themselves as ‘tools’ in the wide sense of the Greek “pragmata”
The question now becomes ‘what is the Being of this pragmata’?
This is the present task.
The clue for answering this
question lies in our understanding ‘tools’ as equipment (Zeug),
in our understanding “equipmentality.”
the structure of equipment:
(1) there can be no such expression as ‘an’ equipment — a piece
of equipment is place within a totality, it is bound to an equipmental totality.
(2) Equipment is essentially
‘something in order to…’ e.g., a hammer is used in order to hammer
a nail, this, in turn, in order to build a shed — in order to
provide shelter etc.
This indicates that 3) Equipment is involved in references and
assignments i.e., it is always involved in certain contexts:
e.g., a pen is involved in the context of ink-wells, pads, a desk,
lamp, being near a window etc.[Note that in our dealings with this equipmental totality our
primary relation is one of use [using equipment ‘in order
And this provides the key for understanding the Being
of entities in this context —
They (entities as tools)
manifest themselves as ready-to-hand.
This is the
primary ontological category ascribed to entities dealt
with in the everyday world of our environment: Zuhandenheit
Heidegger notes that
our peculiar manner in which we deal with these entities is
circumspection and with this he indicates that
Dasein’s active comportment to this categorical structure is one of circumspective concern (more of this later).
then proceeds to look further into this way in which we deal with
The Analysis deals with the notion of
A reflection on the sense of “work” fills out
the notion of environment and the ‘in order to…’
‘towards which’ indicates the work to be produced e.g., a shoe, a
shed, etc. This, in turn, points beyond the immediate work
environment to the larger context of materials — this, in turn,
involves the ‘wider’ environment of animals (and those who raise
them) and nature etc.
(2) the ‘where of’: the
purpose of the work (e.g., the purpose of making a shoe, a traffic
This, in turn, points beyond the immediate work
environment to the user of the product and its material — whether it
be one’s own Dasein, or other Daseins, or the public world (a road
sign, etc.). Again, these notions tend to expand and make clear the
sense of the environment (Umwelt).
All of this goes to make
up the Unwelt — and in this is located our relation to entities
which Heidegger has characterized as our dealings with things in
circumspective concern —
And the Being (i.e., the
ontological-categorical structure) of entities so involved is termed
But this has yet to become
explicit: For when we are caught up in our dealings, e.g., in using a
pen in order to write a paper for the purpose of giving a lecture,
one is not aware of the ontological structures underlying this work.