Being-in-the-world: A Commentary on Heidegger's Being and Time, Division I
by Dreyfus, Hubert L (1991)
Being-in-the-World is a guide to one of the most influential philosophical works ofthis century: Division I of Part One of Being and Time, where Martin Heidegger works out an originaland powerful account of being-in-the-world which he then uses to ground a profound critique oftraditional ontology and epistemology. Hubert Dreyfus's commentary opens the way for a newappreciation of this difficult philosopher, revealing a rigorous and illuminating vocabulary that isindispensable for talking about the phenomenon of world.The publication of Being and Time in 1927turned the academic world on its head. Since then it has become a touchstone for philosophers asdiverse as Marcuse, Sartre, Foucault, and Derrida who seek an alternative to the rationalist Cartesian tradition of western philosophy. But Heidegger's text is notoriously dense, and hislanguage seems to consist of unnecessarily barbaric neologisms; to the neophyte and even to thoseschooled in Heidegger thought, the result is often incomprehensible.Dreyfus's approach to thisdaunting book is straightforward and pragmatic. He explains the text by frequent examples drawn fromeveryday life, and he skillfully relates Heidegger's ideas to the questions about being and mindthat have preoccupied a generation of cognitive scientists and philosophers of mind.Hubert L.Dreyfus is Professor of Philosophy at the University of California, Berkeley.
Although he concentrates on the special case of breakdown, Heidegger's basic point should be that mental content arises whenever the situation requires deliberate attention. As Searle puts it when discussing the place of intentional content, "Intentionality rises to the level of skill." The switch to deliberation is evoked by any situation in which absorbed coping is no longer possible-any situation that, as Heidegger puts it, requires "a more precise kind of circumspection, such as 'inspecting,' checking up on what has been attained, [etc.]" (409) . Deliberate attention and thus thematic intentional consciousness can also be present, for example, in curiosity, reading instruments, repairing equipment and in designing and testing new equipment. (p.70)
KeywordsHeidegger, Skill, Technology, Space, Dasein
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