Commentary on Alphonso Lingis’s article, The World as a Whole

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Commentary on Alphonso Lingis’s article, “The World as a Whole”

Martin Heidegger’s work in Being and Time elucidated a phenomenological ontology in which death and anxiety function as the imminent possibility of impossibility, circumscribing Dasein and inscribing weight to Dasein’s temporal existence. He constructs an individual whose ontological whole is made of three fundamental elements that function as a whole; understanding, feeling and action. This being, Dasein (translated as Being There), exists in the world, and Heidegger constructs Dasein’s ontology as being-in-the-world. This is the way Alphonso Lingis predicates his understanding of Heidegerrian phenomenology in an essay from Research in Phenomenology entitled “The World
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Heidegger spoke of Dasein intentionally. He did not want to limit his language to that of Heidegger and speak of just the human, because the limitations this term would imply. Being and Time is a very complex work, this article does a very good job at tackling Heidegger’s project, but it focuses on a few things. Lingis discusses Dasein as being constitutive of “the world”, Dasein is being-in-the-world. Dasein is in the world, and “dwelling is characterized as care”, states Lingis. He shows us how Dasein sees the things in the world as a field of equipment for use, “The practicable field, a layout of relays, is later characterized as openness. This openness is suspended in the abysses of nothingness, death. ” Dasein is thrown into the world, Heidegger shows us how we are born into a world which we have not constructed, which we cannot control. The Others are already-there, we encounter them when we encounter their buildings, their constructions, their language. “The common world precedes and makes possible the perceptual field of any individual. The language, the interpretive system of Das Man precedes and makes possible any singularizing interpretation of one’s own situation. ” Dasein is being-in-the-world-with-others. Dasein’s function is projection, Dasein is temporal, and as we’ve said Dasein has three facets: understanding,

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