Thursday, January 31, 2008

Winter, Week 3 Meeting - Part III

I.V: Thrownness (§29)

Dasein is thrown into the there. We read the introduction of thrownness on SZ 135, and saw that talk of dasein's thrownness "is meant to suggest the facticity of its being delivered over." Delivered over to what? Starting with the difference between being raised on a farm and moving to a farm later in life, we suggested several different levels, or scopes, of thrownness: in each case, dasein is thrown into dealing with the entities that are there (e.g. the chairs that are in the classroom, the chalk that is here and the eraser that isn't), thrown into a particular body (e.g. one that's too short for the NBA), thrown into a particular point in its life (e.g. being a 20-something college student), thrown into a particular time, place and tradition (e.g. 21st Century America), and ultimately thrown into being a case of dasein at all – being the kind of entity for which things are meaningful. We saw that it is a consequence of thrownness that some things are possible for us (e.g. being a college student) and some things are not possible (e.g. being a Samurai warrior). Finally, we noticed that Heidegger describes the 'whence' and 'whither' of the throw as obscure, and suggested that this obscurity is manifest in questions like, 'why am I here?', 'what is the meaning of life?', and 'where do I come from?', the answers to which seem ‘enigmatic’ and ‘shrouded in mystery.’

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