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Blattner (1999:39-42) – possibilidades (habilidades) e projeção [Entwurf]

quinta-feira 30 de novembro de 2023, por Cardoso de Castro


Vimos que para o Dasein   ser (propriamente) A, tem de se compreender ele mesmo como A. Agora, o que é que está envolvido em compreender-se como A? Heidegger responde a esta questão introduzindo a sua noção de projeção (Entwurf  ). A palavra alemã "Entwurf" não tem todos os significados que a palavra inglesa "projection" tem. O seu sentido central é o de um plano, esboço ou projeto. No entanto, Heidegger esforça-se por indicar que, com "projeção", não tem em mente algo tão explícito e pensado como um plano: "Projetar não tem nada a ver com comportar-se em relação a um plano pensado, de acordo com o qual o Dasein organiza o seu ser" (SZ  :145). O que pretende Heidegger com a linguagem da "projeção"? Ele também joga com a construção da palavra alemã para "projeção": "ent-werfen" é atirar ou lançar para fora (ver Caputo   1986a). Parece antes querer enfatizar esta metáfora. Assim, no início do parágrafo em que introduz a projeção, escreve,

Porque é que a compreensão, de acordo com todas as dimensões essenciais do que nela pode ser revelado, avança sempre para as possibilidades [dringt … in …]? Porque a compreensão tem em si a estrutura existencial a que chamamos projeção. (SZ:145)


We have seen that for Dasein (properly) to be A, it must understand itself as A. Now, what is involved in understanding oneself as A ? Heidegger answers this question by introducing his notion of projection (Entwurf). The German word “Entwurf” does not   have all the meanings that the English word “projection” has. Its central sense is that of a plan, sketch, or blueprint. However, Heidegger goes out of his way to indicate that by “projection” he does not have in mind anything so explicit and thought-out as a blueprint: “Projecting has nothing to do with comporting oneself towards a thought out plan, in accordance with which Dasein arranges its being” (SZ:145). What is Heidegger after with the language of “projection”? He also plays upon the construction of the German word for “projection”: “ent-werfen” is to throw or cast forth (see Caputo 1986a). He seems rather to want to emphasize this metaphor. Thus, at the beginning of the paragraph in which he introduces projection, he writes,

Why does understanding, in accordance with all essential dimensions of what can be disclosed in it, always press ahead into [dringt … in . . .] possibilities? Because understanding has in itself the existential structure that we call projection. (SZ:145)

We can see why Heidegger makes these claims, if we bear the Ability Thesis in mind.

[40] Does Dasein relate to its abilities as to thought-out plans? Imagine that after finishing her college degree in German, Jones decides to become a simultaneous interpreter. She sketches out a plan for becoming one: she will go to Georgetown University’s Faculty of Languages and Linguistics to learn the craft and then apply for an apprenticeship at the United Nations. That is a plan for being a simultaneous interpreter, is it not? It is a plan for the project of becoming a simultaneous interpreter. It is not a plan for or blueprint of the ability to be a simultaneous interpreter. And note that being a simultaneous interpreter is an ability: one has to know how to be one. There is no sketch, plan, or blueprint for being this ability. [1] In understanding herself as a simultaneous interpreter, Jones does not sketch out a plan of the project of becoming one; rather, she works at and exercises the ability to be one. While learning how to be a simultaneous interpreter, [2] she understands herself as a student of simultaneous interpretation  , and, indeed, she is able to be such a student. To understand oneself as something is to have and exercise the ability to be one. And this is what Heidegger means by “pressing ahead into” a possibility, an ability.

But there is a difficulty in developing the concept of projection. [3] When Heidegger introduces the language of projection, he makes two claims about its relation to Dasein’s possibilities. First, he writes, “. . . in casting, projection casts the possibility as possibility before itself and lets it be as such” (SZ:145). So projection constitutes possibility or “lets it be.” Second, “Understanding is, as projection, the sort of being of Dasein in which it wits possibilities as possibilities” (SZ:145). Thus, in virtue of projection, Dasein is its possibilities. It would seem that these two statements stand   in tension. On the one hand  , projection seemingly has as its object all the possible ways in which Dasein could be. If this were so, then Jones — who now confronts a range of possible ways to be, including being a doctoral student in German, being a simultaneous interpreter, being a commercial translator — thus projects all of these possibilities. After all, one would think, they are all possibilities for her, and it is projection that lets them be. On the other hand, it would seem that projection has as its object that (those) definite possibility(ies) for the sake of which Jones is now acting, her “for-the-sake(s)-of-which.” [41] Heidegger says that Jones is her possibilities. [4] She is the possibility of being a simultaneous interpreter, because she is currently pressing ahead into that possibility. She is not the possibility of being a German doctoral student, because she is not currently pressing ahead into that one. She is her for-the-sake(s)-of-which and not the other possibilities that she forgoes. Thus, there are two functions here: opening up the range of possibilities, and pressing ahead into one of them; Heidegger seems to subsume both of them under the notion of projection.

There is good reason to believe, however, that projection refers only to the second phenomenon, namely, determining oneself as someone by pressing ahead into a possible way to be. Recall that Heidegger explains why understanding always presses ahead into possibilities by pointing to projection:

Why does understanding, in accordance with all essential dimensions of what can be disclosed in it, always press ahead into possibilities? Because understanding has in itself the existential structure that we call projection. (SZ:145)

Understanding presses ahead into possibilities, precisely because projection makes up understanding, and projection just is pressing ahead into some possibility. Further support for this claim can be found in chapter 2 of division 2. In his treatment of what he calls “guilt,” Heidegger briefly explores Dasein’s inability to be two different possibilities at once. He writes,

as able-to-be [seinkönnend  ], it [Dasein] stands in each case in the one possibility or the other; it is constantly not some other possibility and has given it up in its existentiell projection. (SZ:285)

If projection were the opening up of possibilities as possible, simply as such, then Dasein would not have to give up one possibility in virtue of projecting a different one. Since, however, in projecting the possibility of being a simultaneous interpreter, Jones presses ahead into that possibility, she must give up being a doctoral student. Although she could open up both possibilities, she cannot press ahead into both of them. Therefore, to project oneself upon some possibility is to press ahead into it.

But how is this conclusion consistent with Heidegger’s claim that it is projection that lets possibilities be? After all, if Jones can only project [42] herself upon one of the possibilities under consideration, then it would seem — if the preceding argument is correct — that the others are not possible for her. But that is a strange conclusion at best. The solution to this worry lies in recalling that Heidegger uses the term “possibility,” when applied to Dasein, to refer to abilities, not simply to ways in which one could be. Although it is possible for Jones to be a doctoral student in German — she could pursue that way of life — she has not set out to do so, she has not developed any of the requisite skills, and she is not in any way pressing ahead into that possibility. Although she has the potential to be a doctoral student, she is not (currently) able to be one. [5]

I shall return (in my discussion of death and anxiety) to some of the consequences of this claim, but now I want to explore a significant qualification on Heidegger’s Ability Thesis  , one that will bring into focus the second central element of what comes to be called the “care-structure,” namely, facticity.

Ver online : William Blattner

BLATTNER, W. D. Heidegger’s temporal idealism. Cambridge, U.K. ; New York: Cambridge University Press, 1999.

[1This is one of the principal burdens of chapters 4-6 of Dreyfus (1991).

[2For a detailed account of ability acquisition that is consistent with Heidegger’s thinking, see Dreyfus and Dreyfus (1986).

[3I was first made aware of this difficulty by Ted Schatzki, who objected to my taking

[4But why would Heidegger then use the plural “possibilities” when describing this function of projection? Because Dasein is never just one for-the-sake-of-which, but rather several or many of them at once. Jones is a simultaneous interpreter, a loyal sister, a conscientious employee, etc.

[5This contrast makes plain what is wrong with Macquarrie and Robinson’s translation of “Seinkönnen” as “potentiality-for-Being,” rather than as “ability-to-be.”