American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly

Volume 88, Issue 3, Summer 2014

Anthony D. Traylor
Pages 439-464

Vorhandenheit and Heidegger’s Predicament over Being-In-Itself

For a number of years now, commentators have tried to make sense of Heidegger’s claim in § 43 of Being and Time that being is dependent on Dasein by interpreting this to mean that, for Heidegger, being is equivalent to Dasein’s “understanding” of being or the act of rendering beings “accessible.” I argue that such idealist readings fail and that a more plausible alternative is available. My interpretation centers on a phenomenological retrieval of the notion of Vorhandenheit or presence-at-hand as the unspoken presupposition of both Heidegger’s account of the being of entities independent of Dasein and that of the being of Dasein itself. I enlist key passages from Heidegger’s early lecture courses in support of my reading of Heidegger as not only a realist when it comes to beings but being as well.