Heidegger’s Being and Time

Heidegger’s Being and Time
Project description
PHIL 121T: Historical Studies in Existentialism
Expository Writing Assignment #2
Altogether, your typed, double-spaced response to the following prompts should total 3-4
pages. An electronic copy of your assignment is due on TurnItIn before the start of class
on Thursday, February 20. Please also bring a hard copy to class.
1. Explicate the following passage by addressing the questions given below:
Now it is certain that indicating differs in principle from reference as constitutive of equipment; it
is just as incontestable that the sign in its turn is related in a peculiar and even distinctive way to
the kind of Being which belongs to whatever equipmental totality may be ready-to-hand in the
environment, and to its worldly character. In our concernful dealings, sign-equipment gets used in
a very special way” (79/109-110; translation modified).
(a) What does Heidegger mean when he says “indicating differs in principle from
reference as constitutive of equipment”? (Remember, here, that ‘reference’
translates the term M & R also translate as ‘assignment’.)
(b) What does Heidegger mean when he says “[i]n our concernful dealings,
equipment for indicating gets used in a very special way”? Explain how
Heidegger’s example of using a turn-signal illustrates what he takes to be
“special” about our use of sign-equipment.
(c) What does Heidegger mean when he says “the sign…is related in a peculiar and
distinctive way to the kind of Being which belongs to whatever equipmental
totality may be ready-to-hand in the environment, and to its worldly character”?
Note: If you find it easier to do so, you may address (c) in the context of your
response to (b).
2. Explicate the following passage by addressing the questions given below:
Dasein is for the sake of the “Anyone” in an everyday manner, and the “Anyone” Articulates the
referential context of significance (129/167; translation modified).
(a) What does Heidegger mean when he says that for everyday Dasein ‘the “Anyone”
Articulates the referential context of significance’? Explain this by exploiting the
fact that assignments (references, referrals) can be expressed as norms for “what
one does”.
(b) What does Heidegger mean when he says that everyday Dasein is ‘for the sake of
the “Anyone”’? Explain what this means by describing an example of your own
everyday dealing with entities where you are existing ‘for the sake of the
“Anyone”’.
Note: To address (b), you will need to explain what Heidegger means by a “for the
sake of”. For help with this, consult Heidegger’s discussion of this concept in
§18 (84/116-117) as well as your class notes.