Being-in-the-World: A Commentary on Heidegger's Being and Time, Division I

Being-in-the-World: A Commentary on Heidegger's Being and Time, Division I - Hubert L. Dreyfus I bought this book used. I noticed that only the first 10 pages or so had underlining or highlights in it. That's too bad. I love reading other peoples notes while I read a book. It also means that at least one person started the book and couldn't finish it. My guess is this book can act as a stand alone replacement to the book "Being and Time". The author does a good job at appropriating the Heideggerian neologisms and putting a context around them, and repeating their meanings so that with a detailed reading of this book you really get to understand why Heidegger is worth mastering.

There is no Truth that underlines our being. Dasein is that which takes a stand on its own being, and our Worldliness (for-the-sake-of-which, toward-which, purpose) does not arise from the deep reflection that the 2500 year old philosophical tradition as expressed by Descarte and the tradition that followed him would say it does. This book will put all that and more into understandable prose. We are thrown in to the world, our care creates who we are, our coping allows us to understand with our falling and affectedness, and most of all 'the they' (i.e. others, people society, norms, or as this author says, 'the one') gives us our Daseining (being human). Idle chatter, curiosity and ambiguity leads towards our uprootedness and cut off from our authentic selves. Cultural relativism is not a possibility within Heidegger because of the universality of Dasein and its interaction to the one (a hammer is a tool with no reflection or a door knob is for opening a door until there is a breakdown of some kind).

The last chapter, chapter 15 tells the reader why Heidegger is so important. It read as if it was a summary of two chapters from "Philosophy of Science" edited by Kurd since it used the same concepts as expoused in some of those essays.

The appendix of this book, summarizes Division II (temporality). Now I know why I stumbled my way through that section in B&T. Heidegger borrows heavily from Kierkegaard, and later on in life Heidegger backs away from his meaning and importance of anxiety in developing authentic Dasein because he knows it was not the right way to think about authentic Dasein. Both those things are not obvious when you read B&T.

I want to be explicit in my recommendation for this book. One can read this book and never read B&T itself and understand what it is all about and really won't be cheated. Though, I definitely would recommend that all people should suffer through B&T at least once in life. I was going to re-read this book, but after I had finished it I would skim a section and realized that I pretty much understood what the author was saying.