Dasein as Transcendence in Heidegger and the Critique …

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Published in 1927, Being and Time is standardly hailed asone of the most significant texts in the canon of (what has come to becalled) contemporary European (or Continental) Philosophy. Itcatapulted Heidegger to a position of international intellectualvisibility and provided the philosophical impetus for a number of laterprogrammes and ideas in the contemporary European tradition, includingSartre's existentialism, Gadamer's philosophicalhermeneutics, and Derrida's notion of‘deconstruction’. Moreover, Being and Time, and indeedHeidegger's philosophy in general, has been presented and engagedwith by thinkers such as Dreyfus (e.g., 1990) and Rorty (e.g., 1991a, b)who work somewhere near the interface between the contemporary European and the analytic traditions. Across-section of broadly analytic reactions to Heidegger (positive andnegative) may be found alongside other responses in (Murray 1978).Being and Time is discussed in of this article.

Heidegger and East-Asian thought have traditionally been strongly correlated

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Heidegger, then, denies that the categories of subject and objectcharacterize our most basic way of encountering entities. He maintains,however, that they apply to a derivative kind of encounter. When Daseinengages in, for example, the practices of natural science, when sensingtakes place purely in the service of reflective or philosophicalcontemplation, or when philosophers claim to have identified certaincontext-free metaphysical building blocks of the universe (e.g., pointsof pure extension, monads), the entities under study arephenomenologically removed from the settings of everyday equipmentalpractice and are thereby revealed as fully fledged independent objects,that is, as the bearers of certain context-general determinate ormeasurable properties (size in metres, weight in kilos etc.). Heideggercalls this mode of Being presence-at-hand, and he sometimesrefers to present-at-hand entities as ‘Things’. With thisphenomenological transformation in the mode of Being of entities comesa corresponding transformation in the mode of Being of Dasein. Daseinbecomes a subject, one whose project is to explain and predict thebehaviour of an independent, objective universe. Encounters with thepresent-at-hand are thus fundamentally subject-object in structure.

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In addition, Carman (2003: 295)argues that Heidegger's notion of conscience can help us furtherillustrate his account of authenticity and shows how the “callof conscience” may be interpreted as expressive responsivenessto one's own particularity.Published in 1943, Sartre's opus magnum, Being andNothingness: A Phenomenological Essay on Ontology, had asignificant influence on philosophical thought and intellectual lifein the second half of the twentieth century.

The Influence of Heidegger on Sartre’s Existential Psychoanalysis


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. In that work, Jean-Paul Sartre attempts tostraighten out a question that had eluded Descartes, Kant and Leibniz,and to a lesser extent Heidegger and Bergson: What is the relation ofbeing to its nothingness? Bergson, for example' posited the act ofduration, in which organization is melodic, involving a multiplicityof interpretations. Anyone who has been in a meetings, knows there arealways competing perspectives and interpretations of events. Sartre, however, points out that if we talk of "temporality"then duration, as a multiplicity of interpretations, must presuppose"an organizing act" (Sartre, 1956: 135). Kant, in contrastto Bergson, did not see a synthesis in a multiplicity and theorganizing act. At issue, for organization theory, is the terrain of"collective memory." For Bergson, the pastinterpretations cling to those of the present, penetrating the presentin the form of memory, which is "ekstatically in the Past."What is ekstatic? For, Sartre's theory of temporality and organizing,ekstatic is not one, but three dimensions. And this is one of manycontributions he makes in Being and Nothingness. To understandekstatic, you will need a bit of vocabulary. I will work through anexample of being David, not being Dave, and the nothingness of Daveand David. Believe it or not, Sartre speaks to the soul of humanbeings, to our habits of drinking, work, and dress, to the fashioningof our life style. Anyone who has experienced divorce, alcoholism, orworkaholism can understand Sartre without translation. In thefollowing vocabulary, I will point this out, and end with organizingand managing examples, for what is said about Being and Nothingnessfor Dave and David, can also be said of organizing and managing, andorganization studies.

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At root Heidegger's later philosophy shares the deep concernsof Being and Time, in that it is driven by the samepreoccupation with Being and our relationship with it that propelledthe earlier work. In a fundamental sense, then, the question of Beingremains the question. However, Being and Timeaddresses the question of Being via an investigation of Dasein, thekind of being whose Being is an issue for it. As we have seen, thisinvestigation takes the form of a transcendental hermeneuticphenomenology that begins with ordinary human experience. It isarguable that, in at least one important sense, it is thisphilosophical methodology that the later Heidegger is rejecting when hetalks of his abandonment of subjectivity. Of course, as conceptualizedin Being and Time, Dasein is not a Cartesian subject, so theabandonment of subjectivity is not as simple as a shift of attentionaway from Dasein and towards some other route to Being. Neverthelessthe later Heidegger does seem to think that his earlier focus on Daseinbears the stain of a subjectivity that ultimately blocks the path to anunderstanding of Being. This is not to say that the later thinkingturns away altogether from the project of transcendental hermeneuticphenomenology. The project of illuminating the a priori conditions onthe basis of which entities show up as intelligible to us is still atthe heart of things. What the later thinking involves is areorientation of the basic project so that, as we shall see, the pointof departure is no longer a detailed description of ordinary humanexperience. (For an analysis of ‘the turn’ that identifiesa number of different senses of the term at work in Heidegger'sthinking, and which in some ways departs from the brief treatment givenhere, see Sheehan 2010.)