Below is an extract from my BA dissertation in which I attempted to explain human being to a non philosphical audience. It may have some relevence to the post below

” Dasein: “We are ourselves the entities to be analysed…the essence of Dasein lies in its existence” (Heidegger 1962: 67). Therefore Dasein is equated with being human. The structures to be investigated are those of human beings.

Present-at-hand and Ready-to-hand: “ The things Dasein encounters are usable, employable in the pursuit of its purposes: in Heidegger’s terms, they are not just present-to-hand, the object of theoretical contemplation, but handy or ready-to-hand. That is the way in which Dasein encounters them when it looks after something or makes use of it, accomplishes something or leaves something undone” (Mulhall 2005: 41).

Being-in-the-world: The state in which human beings exist, Dasein itself literally means ‘being-there’ (Mulhall 2005: 40). Dasein’s Being-in-the-world is a unitary and holistic experience (Heidegger 1962: 78, Mulhall 2005: 36) therefore its everyday experience, is not an inner mental state and then an outer world. Being in should not be confused with Being-in, that is humans are not ‘in’ the world like water is in a glass (Heidegger 1962: 79). “

Bibliography:

Heidegger, m. 1962 Being and Time Oxford: Blackwell

Mulhall, S. 2005 Heidegger and Being and Time: Second edition London: Routledge

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