For Work / Against Work
Debates on the centrality of work

Being and Time

by Heidegger, Martin (1962)

Key Passage

The answer to the question of the "who" of everyday Dasein is to be obtained by analysing that kind of Being in which Dasein maintains itself proximally and for the most part. Our investigation takes its orientationfrom Being-in-the-world-that basic state of Dasein by which every mode of its Being gets co-determined. If we are correct in saying that by the foregoing explication of the world, the remaining structural items ofBeing-in-the-world have become visible, then this must also have prepared us, in a way, for answering the question of the "who". In our 'description' of that environment which is closest to us-the work-world of the craftsman, for example,-the outcome was that along with the equipment to be found when one is at work [in Arbeit] , those Others for whom the 'work' ["Werk"] is destined are 'encountered too'.  If this is ready-to-hand, then there lies in the kind of Being which belongs to it (that is, in its involvement) an essential assignment or reference to possible wearers, for instance, for whom it should be 'cut to the figure'. Similarly, when material is put to use, we encounter its producer or 'supplier' as one who 'serves' well or badly. When, for example, we walk along the edge of a field but 'outside it', the field shows itself as belonging  to such-and-such a person, and decently kept up by him ; the book we have used was bought at So-and-so's shop and given by such-and-such a person, and so forth. The boat anchored at the shore is assigned in its Being-in-itself to an acquaintance who undertakes voyages with it; but even if it is a 'boat which is strange to us', it still is indicative of Others. (p.153)


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


Being and Time [1927], Heidegger Citations



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