John Richardson

in Existential Epistemology

Published in print March 1991 | ISBN: 9780198239222
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191598319 | DOI:

Series: Clarendon Paperbacks


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The second chapter examines the special theoretical attitude by which Heidegger thinks philosophy and science have traditionally tried to advance beyond that everyday understanding. This attitude involves ‘suspending’ those pragmatic projects and grasping ourselves and things ‘objectively’, which is to treat them not as ready‐to‐hand equipment, but as present‐at‐hand objects. But, Heidegger argues, our (Dasein's) own condition cannot be grasped as present‐at‐hand, because of the way it is crucially projecting ahead towards its ends— i.e. because of its temporal character. This limitation in the attitude is most exposed by the traditional effort of epistemology, best represented in Descartes. Its inability ever to ground its knowledge claims reflects its temporal limit in the present.

Keywords: Dasein; Descartes; epistemology; Heidegger; objects

Chapter.  27190 words. 

Subjects: History of Western Philosophy

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