Home > finitude, Martin Heidegger, temporaalsus, Uncategorized > Stephan Käufer “Temporality as the Ontological Sense of Care”

Stephan Käufer “Temporality as the Ontological Sense of Care”

Käufer, Stephan 2013. Temporality as the Ontological Sense of Care. – Wrathall, Mark A. (ed). The Cambridge Companion to Heidegger’s Being and Time. New York: Cambridge University Press, 338-359.

[…] temporality is the transcendental condition of existence, that it unifies the various aspects of existence, and that it constitutes the structure of the self. (339)

[…] the sense, the „upon which“ Heidegger wants to make explicit in paragraph 65 is not the sense of this or that type of entity, but the sense of the understanding of being in general. (341)

[…] the question about the „sense of care“ is about Dasein’s self-understanding. (341)

Inauthentic Dasein identifies itself with a role or profession (college professor), while authentic Dasein identifies itself entirely as being-possible. So authentic existence comprises a thoroughgoing self-identification with being-possible. (342)

Nevertheless, Heidegger does not reject the notion of the self altogether. His point in paragraph 64 is that the self is not a substrate, but that selfhood is already implicit in the care-structure. To understand the self, we must interpret the care structure more carefully: „Fully understood, the care structure includes the phenomenon of selfhood within it.“ (343)

This phenomenon of being your beenness Heidegger calls the originary past. And, finally, resolute being-amidst entities is only possible in making present or „enpresenting“ these entities. This enpresenting is the originary present. With coming-toward, having-been, and enpresenting, Heidegger thus points out three aspects of originary temporality. He calls these the temporal „ecstases“, in order to emphasize their character of „standing beyond“. Together they form the „unitary phenomenon“ of temporality. (345)

[…] Heidegger spells out two consequences of his conception of originary temporality: first, that the future has priority over the past and present; and second that originary temporality is finite. Both of these highlight a more basic claim, that originary temporality is not to be conceived in terms of ordinary notions of time as a flow or sequence of moments. In the ordinary conception, time is infinite, and the future does not have priority. Although Heidegger calls the originary ecstatic unity „temporality“, he is quite explicit that he does not mean time in any straightforward sense. Time as we ordinarily think of it is not originary because it is derivative from, that is, arises out of, orignary temporality. (345)

The transcendental claim is that any comportment toward particular, factical possibilities (compare: empirical synthesis) presupposes the general ability (compare: pure synthesis) to disclose possibilities as possibilities and constitute them within a horizon of possible Mirzugehörigkeit, that is, disclose them as possibly mine. This general ability is originary temporality. (351)

Here is a good way to characterize Heidegger’s transcendental claim in analogy to Kant. For Kant, the empirical synthesis provide us with determinate representations. These are made possible by the pure temporal order in which representations can have their determinacy. For Heidegger, care discloses the world as meaningful, constituted by solicitations and purposes. These are made possible by the temporal ecstases that first constitute you as a discloser in such a way that the possibilities can be yours and the solicitations have a grip on you. (352)

[…] Heidegger analyzes the self as an existential structure that is already implicit in care, that is, a self that consists of ability-to-be and disposedness. (354)

Part of the concept of a self is that it stands in a relation to itself in which it identifies itself as itself. In Kant and in most of the philosophical tradition, this self-relation is cognitive. In fact, Kant claims that there are two types of self-identification. On the one hand, „through inner sense we intuit ourselves only as we are internally affected by out selves, i.e. as far as inner intuition is concerned we cognize our own subject only as appearance but not in accordance with what it is in itself“. On the other hand, „in the synthetic unity of apperceptionm I am conscious of myself not as I appear to myself, nor as I am in myself, but only that I am. This is a thinking, not an intuiting.“ So we know ourselves both as we appear to ourselves in intuition and as the subject of thinking the unifies experience. This doubling of self-consciousness is a special case of the transcendental idealism that underlies Kant’s analysis of cognition in general. (355)

In contrast to Kant and the tradition, Heidegger argues that self-identification is not a cognitive but an existential one: „The self must be able to identify itself as existing. It must be able to understand itself in every concrete instance as the self-same futural-having-been, uniting the resolve to a possibility and the commitment to the past. This displacing-yourself-into-yourself (Sich-in-sich-versetzen), extending into all dimensions of temporality, makes up the real concept, the existential concept of self-identification.“ (355; Heidegger, 395)

The only possibility that is unavoidably yours is this paradoxical one – that you exist as being-possible, as projecting and pressing into possibilities, without being able to safely be any one of the possibilities you disclose. This is death, the „unsurpassable“ and „ownmost“ possibility. In disclosing possibilities, you also understand this „nullity“ that you cannot safely be any of your possibilities. Originary temporality is finite because you come toward yourself against the background of the limit or impossibility of your existence. „The originary and authentic future is the toward-yourself, toward your self, existing as the unsurpassable possibility of nullity.“ (357)

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