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The issue of everydayness in the book "Being and Time" by Heidegger.


Heidegger, in the book being and Time challenges the preoccupation of the modern philosophy toward questions about epistemology. He does this by the everydayness phenomenology. Everydayness is the closest thing to us, the closest thing to our uncomplicated and normal status and behavior in an environment we find ourselves. In fact, the closest everyday Dasein world is the world around [1]. Everydayness has been traditionally humiliated as a vague and even imaginary thing; at best, the everydayness state is regarded a crude material required in the real episteme, and at worst, it is regarded as a hindrance on the path toward truth. Critical theories, particularly everyday life-related critical theories maintain that value realm of science and morality and art, presumed to be among superior human capacities and capabilities, have arisen from the heart of life, while in modern life links between these value realms and the everyday life are already broken [2].

The most notable of the philosophers in the ancient time were Plato and Descartes in the modern times. The everyday life, for Plato is a plural, varying and transient thing, while life is transcendental good and thought. In the Descartes philosophy, the duality of subject-object is like most of other idealist philosophies, is the main reason for ignoring the everyday life and subsequent emergence of alienation in life. Ignoring the everyday life leads to attention to human experiences and powers, which are rooted in life, and are produced and applied in the everyday life? Hence, the Descartes philosophy which assumes the rational mind, as the agent for recognition, and primarily considers the human common experiences outside of this recognition cannot recognize human experiences, and his capabilities in constructing and changing the social world. The consequence of this idealism philosophy, specifically that of the Descartes is man has to seek the meaning of life, and its recognition either somewhere outside of the actual world of their lives, or to the contrary, to look for it inside their minds, without having connected this inside -of -mind to an actual world of their lives [2].

Everydayness in being and time holds the key for truth secrets, while in the traditional or conventional philosophy, we can through wisdom understand what is more fundamental and recognize what exists appropriately. Heidegger seems to start from a more moderate situation, and considers everydayness for an inquiry of oneself about the meaning of existence as the starting point. We need to start with everydayness, because this is a place where we are. As Heidegger expands his phenomenology about "where we are", or so-called Dasein (being there), it becomes clear being-in -the-world has a complicated structure. Heidegger, in order to avoid Dasein to be disrupted in its most non-distinctive state, i.e. a situation in the world-our being, places emphasis due to everydayness.

Everydayness as a philosophical affair:

Heidegger is very accurate in his styles for introducing existence and time. After asking about existence, he concerns himself with three prejudices hindering the necessity of this question from existence taken more serious [1]. He then prior to investigate a kind of existence, which raises questions, begins to analyze the self- inquiry structure. Here, he is not inclined to enter into a traditional interpretation of what existence a man is, hence, he applies the word Dasein so to refer to anything that becomes existence for which question of existence is an issue. It is a distinct and notable property of Dasein that we always conduct our activities as based on a notion of existence [1]. Though question of existence is rarely formulated, there is implicitly a notion of existence in whatever we do, where existence constitutes the subject matter of the question and existence as meaning existence is existent, and then it is the existent itself that exposes itself as a reference of inquiry on the question of existence. Existent is questioned in terms of its existence, but if existent can reveal to us its existence properties without distortion, then existent should in return be accessible as it exists in itself. Question of existence, according to its reference of its inquiry will engender prior guarantee for an appropriate access to the existent to be achieved. However, we call most things as with different meanings "existent". As Heidegger states, whatever we speak of, whatever we have on mind, whatever we behave against it this way or that way is existent [1]. However, this is a positive phenomenon. Heidegger in average everydayness emphasizes on Dasein as something involved in in its world not as something separated from it. This emphasis is aimed to overturn structures and categories of people which philosophy has imposed by adopting a style of the Dasein existence; a theoretical style and interpretation of anything else in this theoretical framework and without paying attention to a fundamental question of existence [1]. Heidegger considers Descartes as a clear example of that affair, because he provided a starting point with a sentence of "I think, so I am" and addressed an inquiry about "I think" without having had any contemplation over "I am". Contrary to this way of thinking, Heidegger claims that we should choose an approach and a hermeneutic style, where this existence could reveal itself in itself and from itself, and hence, Dasein should be analyzed in its common everydayness. It is imperative to see the common everydayness of Dasein is not an aspect of Dasein, rather it is the most immediate and major non-distinctive feature of it. As the fundamental ontology, as a title of research about the meaning of being should precede positive sciences; positive sciences that focus on some special areas of existence. Thus, an analysis of Dasein, prior to any anthropological, biological and psychological interpretation comes from Dasein. The Heidegger's emphasis on everydayness will involve such a structure of prioritizing that which comes first. That Heidegger deals with questioning existence has a positive impact, such that we (They/Das-man) experience various types of existence, not being reduced to an epistemological framework.

A phenomenological diversity of everyday experiences is submerged in a pattern Heidegger calls it present-at-hand and expands his understanding of everydayness through that which he names readiness-to-hand. In fact, this term is nothing special, unless an explicit and clears expression of something that we, experience it every day without explicitly uttering it [3]. We can face objects in the world as present-at-hand or readiness-to hand objects; which is to say we can distance from objects, and have a theoretical approach towards them. Philosophers usually face with objects and the world by way of this theoretical approach. For example, Descartes commences his own philosophical thoughts with a full doubt as pertaining to his relation with the world. He after a mental and prolonged analysis maintains to have found out the existence of the world. However, the world Descartes finds in his own contemplations is a physical- mathematical world, and all the objects there are regarded as extended objects that should be measured. It is correct the theoretical approach and this way of dealing with the objects in the world allow for life, but this is not suggestive of the most fundamental way of dealing with world objects. The theoretical approach to the world, in fact, will lead to the very initial being-in-the world of Dasein to be covered. To Heidegger, our highest encountering with the world objects is encountering with objects as readiness-to-hand and in a practical relation with them [4]. Being-in-the world of Dasein is equivalent to a non-thematic cautionary submergence in references and documents created for readiness-at-hand of a set of tools. Dasein, instead of a separated subject which related with an object being separated is submerged in a meaningful whole in a world experienced. This will allow Heidegger to explain two aspects of everyday activities, i.e." meaningful and contextual nature of the World of Dasein and the relation of Dasein with the world" and the fact "Dasein should not be understood as rational existence at all". However, Heidegger is faced with the risk of making everydayness equivalent to useful activities. For example, when nature is faced with Dasein in a realm of everydayness, nature is not present-at-hand; jungle is a jungle of trees, mountain is a mass of rocks and river is a force of water, while wind is wind in the seas. This interpretation of jungle, mountain, river and wind suffers to be expressed by the term readiness-to-hand. Certainly, the jungle merely there is not a present-at-hand of Dasein, but it cannot either be reduced to trees.

If we move along a little bit more with Heidegger, it becomes clear that this goal will undermine the scientific interpretability of the world as the sole credible world. Heidegger states science is not concerned with an abstract reality of the world such that we normally experience, the herbs of the herbalists are not the plants of the hedgerow [4]. The nature science discovers is not the nature that dominates us [4]. While Heidegger refers to a number of non-theoretical experiences- e.g. he calls an aesthetic-romantic experience of the nature-but he in practice reduces numerous phenomena of everydayness to readiness-to-hand. To respect equity against these multiplicities, we need to consider readiness-to-hand of being to an aspect of everydayness, though a fundamental aspect of everydayness. Stating readiness-to-hand of being is simply an aspect, we say that such phenomena as language, being-with other Daseins and our perceptual awareness of objects is mixed up with something which forms our everyday experience. By raising everydayness and its analysis, Heidegger opens a way for a critique of abstract rationalism.

This understanding by Heidegger in terms of which everydayness plays such a role, along with his inquiry about the meaning of existence guides him to a direction, while seeking an experience more authentic than existence will repeat the heedlessness of the rationalists to everydayness. Being-in-the everyday world of Dasein shows the world as a meaningful, important and comprehensible whole. Rationalism by explaining objects in a natural sciences framework is abstracted from the richness of the everyday experience. The traditional philosophy is appropriately abstract and that which it recaptures as its own subject matter it separates from its structure as aiming to analyze. In fact, man gets separated from everydayness by philosophy and returns to the foundation of things [5]. Despite the fact Heidegger dismisses all the rational understanding of existents, he still thinks of existents, as that which is distinct from meaning and precedes meaning. Existent is still believed so that reality and truth is greater than everydayness, everydayness that in its falling escapes havenless attributes.

Anxiety and existence behind everydayness:

Assuming Dasein primarily exists in everydayness, a question which arises is how existence is revealed in everyday complexities, so that a meaning of existence is made comprehensible. Does everydayness cover the truth of existence and make it ambiguous? Since, rationalism seeks solutions; Heidegger adopts a state of anxiety, drawing us toward outside of everydayness and towards the essence of existence. Anxiety is a state in which Dasein is faced with an unproved truth of existence as being without foundation, a truth we like to escape from. Heidegger applaud everydayness as to reduce epistemological claims, but this anxiety assumes this positive and very important duty that takes us to beyond of everydayness and also the traditional philosophy and to a third position , i.e. authenticity. Everydayness should remain, because it is defined with a fall that escapes the heavy burden of Dasein's throwness, an escape from itself toward something other than Dasein. Heidegger refers to the anxious attribute of existence like guilt, a guilt that reveals to us nullity, i.e. being-guilty belonging to existence of Dasein, thus implying the existence invalidity of the foundation of being nullity. These two nullities are the possible nature of Dasein in throwness and projection.

Dasein in having potential-for-being has always this or that possibility. Dasein is not constantly other possibilities, and has withdrawn in the throwness of its existence from these possibilities. Not only throwness as something disposed of is defined with nullities of the foundation of being, but also as throwness is inherently destroyed itself (naught). The Heidegger's critique of rationalism is that rationalism ignores being-in-the everyday world of Dasein as the condition for all the understandings either theoretical or non-theoretical. To Heidegger, the issue of the world outside for the Dasein as being-in-the -world is senseless. Heidegger's explanation of everydayness emphasizes on occurrence and context, but he waives this claim that anxiety can reveal what the world really is. It is this style of anxiety that allows us instead of wisdom to be transcended from context and occurrence of everydayness. Heidegger rules out that rationality transcends from being-in-the-world of everyday, but he argues rationalism falls victim to everydayness and cannot transcend from this close and clear but vague aspect of existence.

Being-with and people (They/Das-man):

For Heidegger, being-with, with being-in-the -world has a basis and an origin and hence, it is a part of a more widespread area of the Dasein everydayness. Heidegger claims that a pure subject without world does not at all exist and is never assumed. Thus, an I without the world and others is abstraction that would enclose the full reality and the existence of Dasein as being full. Being -in the-world is a fundamental nature of Dasein that specifies any style of its being. In a practical world others too are encountered, others that action should be done for people, hence existence has a referral present-at-hand towards a social world of Dasein.

For example, Heidegger maintains the others who are encountered in useful things have not been externally added to these things, while they have been placed in the meaning of these things. "With" and "Also" of Dasein should be existentially understood not categorically, i.e. our being-in-the-world is always one being-with. Thus, though Dasein could be alone actually, hence it is always inherently being-with [1]. The relationship of Dasein with the world and others is a fundamental and eternal phenomenon, which is to say this fundamental method of Dasein in being faced in the world, goes back to a point, where the Dasein of a person can be discovered inherently through Dasein's turning away from its being, and from its center of activities, or through never seeing the people. Dasein sees inherently itself in a thing that does, in readiness-to-hand things, where in the world around which inherently pay attention to people [1].

The necessity of being-with is a basis for presuming the possibility of Dasein's existence. It seems the Heidegger's view concerning being-with goes along so much that states a prefabricated disclosures of others along with being-with something will help form significance, i.e. being universal. However Heidegger mentions a preference of negative and incomplete styles of being-with as influence and mistrust, to the contrary, being another person will appear under the veil of being-for-other. For Heidegger, Dasein in being fascinated with the world, attention to other things, i.e. in being-with against others is not itself. Therefore, what is everyday being- with-other. In everydayness, Dasein deals with adulation and flattery of others, existence and possibilities of Dasein have gone outside and are exposed to the public. These others are not a clear and definite group.

In fact, any Dasein belongs with the power of others, being placed in the trenches of others. Heidegger defines the everyday being0with-iother of Dasein as people, an indefinite totality, which for Heidegger is in the general word of transference, papers and social habits. We do work as people do, our distinct possibilities become in line with an average determined by people in their governments. Heidegger may think he has similarities to pragmatism, to the contrary he makes vague the generality of everything and hence, he claims that which is hidden is something being familiar and is in access for all. People move aside all the responsibilities, and things happen [6].

For Heidegger, people are everydayness, the Dasein everydayness, per se is people themselves that we distinguish it from the authentic itself. Dasein is in essence and in the beginning the people. It is by removing ambiguities and veils and by breaking up covers which Dasein can separate itself from itself. That everydayness is in essence unauthentic is explicitly expressed in Heidegger's papers, where he writes we understand ourselves by an everyday method, or we formulate ourselves idiomatically. We do exist in everydayness. Heidegger claims that which is inherent for Dasein is in authenticity too, and that which is unauthentic, like others, is also authentic. Heidegger reaches a wonderful conclusion, because it is Dasein of his everyday life which loses its existence, and in return he understands himself in a framework of that which is the closest. Prior to this, Heidegger claimed everydayness to have been the closest thing ever that we are heedless of it and that this was the mistake by Descartes who ignored the phenomenology of the world.

Thus, Heidegger, by critiquing the present-at-hand method of understanding the world through revealing our everyday involvements, mention this involvement as an explanation for all the present-at-hand existents.

Collapse and instability of everydayness:

Everydayness is a non-distinct style of being, and Heidegger sees everydayness as the sole most intermediate layer of being. Heidegger has presumed three possible styles of existence for Dasein where everydayness in line with two styles of authenticity and in authenticity, is the third style of it. These styles should be understood as a relation of Dasein with its possibilities. Dasein has itself selected that possibility, or has entrusted itself with it [7]. The first style is authenticity; the second is in authenticity while the third is the everydayness style by which Dasein is developed in a current general interpretation of the world. Everydayness has a close relationship with being-in-the world, because it is the ontological presumption of all the understandings of Dasein and its possibilities. There is no escape from everydayness. All understanding, interpretation and true connections, all the renewed discoveries, are formed in it, and by way of it and in contrary to it [1].

Dasein, in the first stage and mostly by its world is abducted. This being-in-the world is interesting which guides Dasein to a false interpretation of itself, because Dasein in the first stage recaptures an ontological understanding of itself from the existents which are not people, while in its world it is faced with people. An existence the existent other tan Dasein possesses is present-at -hand existence [7]. Everydayness in Being and Time by Heidegger has a very ambiguous situation. Everydayness is fundamental and plural, however it is an explicit improvement, i.e. a clear understanding of everydayness will allow us to flee the wrong understanding of traditional philosophy. However, the very explicit understanding is to blame for those misunderstanding. Everydayness is both inauthentic and a basis for authenticity, as Heidegger writes authentic existence is not something that is suspended over a falling everydayness, rather in terms of existence; it is only a modified tuition of this everydayness. He claims an ontological analysis is not authenticated by promoting itself from everydayness, everydayness is the starting point for any ontological inquiry and hence, we should pay attention to the primary meaning. However, this primary meaning promotes itself over everydayness, such that it claims to attain the meaning of existence as the accurate meaning of the word and its possibilities. Thus, it moves beyond the meaning of the world and being-with itself. In spite of Heidegger's tendency to see everydayness as that which in essence is doubtful in terms of ontology, however, everydayness should reach the phenomenon of pre-existentialism. He also claims when Dasein is authentic, the present-at-hand world does not differ in terms of content, and the circle of others will not become a new circle. In fact, that which is different is people, in terms of their special potentiality is defined for a being-oneself. Thus, authentic disclosedness is nothing except for authenticity in the world of being [8].

Dasein fails to hear itself in the deafening voice of people, it is the call of conscience passing through this voice and calling Dasein to itself, to its most peculiar possibilities. Here, we have a contradiction between authentic individuality and being with our own everydayness. Clearly, conscience calls Dasein from getting lost among people [8]. Dasein is called to its specific possibilities than to any minor possibility. Though the call of conscience is form of speech, it is a constant style of remaining silent. This call is of Dasein and beyond Dasein, Heidegger needs this beyond so to solve the crisis that how Dasein will comprehend its own loss while getting lost among other Daseins and call itself beyond this loss. Maybe this beyond could be found in the same nullity (naught).

Of other main discussions by Heidegger's being-towards-death is I can alone face with my death, and Heidegger has long emphasized on its own. In the end, authenticity is a being-it, man's facing with his special possibilities, authenticity is person's breaking apart from others so to find himself. The being-towards-death will make Dasein an individual, preparing him for being authentic. An authentic being-itself should be achieved from the personal resources, anything else will transfer the personal responsibility to others and hence, it is lost in people. Heidegger's analysis of everydayness shows to us we are faced with reality as something that remains united in a combination of internal communications. Although he never claims to provide a systematic or full analysis of everydayness, he speaks weakly of being styles as the structures of being Dasein. Everydayness in one place gives us the power to criticize rational metaphysics; however, it leads to less important traditional role and an ambiguous cover that would hide a more profound truth of existence.


Everydayness is distinct in being non-distinctive. Everydayness is a place we primarily find ourselves, it is a fundamental layer of human experience that lacks special concentration and is technically advanced. Everydayness can be described from several angles, i.e. biological description, which is to say en environment in which we find ourselves; perceptual description, which is a worthy touching of things and conditions by ourselves in our awareness of ourselves, others and the world; it is our power of distinction and thought that would get us engaged in a social and historical graph of language, communications, and exchange of fundamental needs and order in the society. In fact, everydayness is related with style of being (existentialism), conscious confrontation styles (epistemology), responsibility styles (morality) and being human styles (anthropology). Heidegger's explanation of everydayness provides a strong basis for the critique, given to philosophy by rationalists. Despite this, Heidegger is still seeking a truth which is not a complex subject of the human experience, while giving us a fundamental insight towards the meaning of existence.

A state of anxiety plays in a role emptied by wisdom. The state of anxiety is linked with a call of conscience coming from inside of Dasein and beyond it, calling us to towards a more fundamental life against poverty of everydayness. Thus, authenticity stands in a special situation towards everydayness, where being-with of Dasein is also caught by people. The scheme of dealing with the meaning of existence is compounded by an ontological explanation for making rich our awareness of the world and seeks to find unity on the back of everydayness which is of course inside everydayness.


Article history:

Received 4 September 2014

Received in revised form 24 November 2014

Accepted 1 December 2014

Available online 25 December 2014


[1] Heidegger, M., 1962. Being and Time. Trans, by Abdolkari Rashidian. Tehran: Nei publication.

[2] Lajavardi, H., 2003. Everyday life in modern Iran. Tehran: Sales publication.

[3] Bimel, W., 2008. An intellectual investigation of Martin Heidegger's thoughts, Trans, by Bizhan Abdiolkrimi. Tehran: Soroosh publications.

[4] Johanson, P.A., 2008. Heidegger. Trans, by Bizhan Abdiolkrimi. Tehran: Elm publications.

[5] Ahmadi, B., 2003. Heidegger and the fundamental question. Tehran: Markaz publication.

[6] Heidegger, M., 1982. Basic problems of phenomenology. Trans, by Albert Hosstadrete, Indiana University Press.

[7] Heidegger, M., 1988. Being and Time. Trans, by John Macquarie and Edward Robinson, London: Basil Blackwell.

[8] Heidegger, M., 2013. Basic problems of phenomenology. Trans, by Parviz Zya Shahabi. Tehran: Monoye Khord publication.

(1) Mohammad Khairy and (2) Ali Asghar Mosleh

(1) Phd Student of philosophy, Department of philosophy, Science and Research Branch, Islamic Azad University (IAU), Tehran, IRAN

(2) Associate professor, Department of philosophy, Allameh Tabataba'i University, Tehran, IRAN

Corresponding Author: Mohammad Khairy, Department of philosophy, Science and Research Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran.

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Author:Khairy, Mohammad; Mosleh, Ali Asghar
Publication:Advances in Environmental Biology
Article Type:Critical essay
Geographic Code:7IRAN
Date:Oct 1, 2014
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