The Intensity of Lived-Experience in Martin Heidegger’s Basic Problems of Phenomenology : A Comparison to Being and Time [Book Review]

Human Studies 42 (4):581-599 (2019)
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The following essay compares and contrasts Martin Heidegger’s Being and Time with an earlier lecture course that he delivered in the Winter Semester of 1919/2020 entitled Basic Problems of Phenomenology. Heidegger says explicitly that the pre-phenomenal basis for his analysis in Being and Time is “entities” in their equipmental totality. He calls these the “preliminary theme” for his analysis of Dasein. While the analytic of Dasein is the first step in posing the question of Being, the pre-phenomenal basis for the analytic of Dasein is, he says, “entitities” or “equipment”. I argue that this can lead to certain misunderstandings, especially when he talks about nature and human relationships. In Basic Problems, Heidegger’s focus is not on “entities” or “equipment” but rather on experiences. In this earlier work, he is trying to develop a language that can capture the intensity of lived-experience, suggesting an experiential vibrancy to Dasein that is implicit but not thematized in Being and Time. I aim to show that while Heidegger turns away from the term “life” in Being and Time, his understanding of Dasein can still draw on the intensity and immediacy of experience so prominent in this early lecture course.



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