For Work / Against Work
Debates on the centrality of work

Being and Time

by Heidegger, Martin (1962)

Key Passage

With the "towards-which" of serviceability there can again be an involvement: with this thing, for instance, which is ready-to-hand, and which we accordingly call a "hammer", there is an involvement in hammering;with hammering, there is an involvement in making something fast; with making something fast, there is an involvement in protection against bad weather ; and this protection 'is' for the sake of [ um-willen] providingshelter for Dasein-that is to say, for the sake of a possibility of Dasein's Being. Whenever something ready-to-hand has an involvement with it, what involvement this is, has in each case been outlined in advance interms of the totality of such involvements. In a workshop, for example, the totality of involvements which is constitutive for the ready-to-hand in its readiness-to-hand, is 'earlier' than any single item of equipment ; so toofor the farmstead with all its utensils and outlying lands. But the totality of involvements itself goes back ultimately to a "towards-which" in which there is no further involvement : this "towards-which" is not anentity with the kind of Being that belongs to what is ready-to-hand within a world ; it is rather an entity whose Being is defined as Being-in-the world, and to whose state of Being, worldhood itself belongs. This primary"towards-which" is not just another "towards-this" as something in which an involvement is possible. The primary 'towards-which' is a "for-thesake- of-which" . (p.116)


Heidegger, Skills, Meaning, Twentieth Century, Dasein, Being, Phenomenology


Being and Time [1927], Heidegger Citations



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