On Heidegger’s Mode of Being as Basic Way of Knowing

Heidegger’s understanding of fore-understanding is worthy of our understanding. He believes “human understanding takes its direction from the fore-understanding deriving from its particular existential situation, and this fore-understanding makes out the thematic framework and parameters of every interpretation.” Heidegger calls this fore-structure (or, fore-understanding) existential “because it is a way of existing, a fundamental mode of being, by the power of which we deal with and try to find our way around in the world. Understanding means less a ‘kind of knowledge’ than a ‘knowing one’s way around.’… This everyday understanding almost always remains implicit. As a ‘mode of being’ it is not consciously thematized. We live too much within it for it to need to be made explicit. Nevertheless, all the ‘things’ and events that we deal with in our life-world are pre-interpreted by this anticipatory understanding.” Hmm, a “mode of being” (an implicit, not-consciously-thematized, lived-in, pre-interpreted way of existing) as the basic way of knowing – anything and everything. Interesting.


Quotes taken from: Jean Grodin, Introduction to Philosophical Hermeneutics (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1994) 93-94.
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