Being-in-the-World: Selected Papers of Ludwig Binswanger

By Ludwig Binswanger; Jacob Needleman | Go to book overview

Conclusion

Power and Powerlessness
(Macht und Ohnmacht)

The foregoing comparison of Binswanger and Sartre made within the confines of the question as to constitutive function need not blind us to one of Binswanger's most vital themes: that also the denial of certain possibilities bestows upon the Dasein its power over against its world. It is this theme that I should like to serve as the concluding note.

The leitmotiv of this study has been what I have termed Binswanger's notion of the Existential A Priori, a notion that expresses the Dasein's dominating contribution to the experienced phenomena of its world. It has been pointed out that Binswanger's Daseinsanalyse is the effort to ascertain in each individual that which makes his experience and the phenomena of his world possible. Binswanger employs the phenomenological, rather than the reductive, explanatory method to this end—to ascertain the essential structures of the individual's world as it is experienced by that individual. The diagram of the circles was introduced in order to illustrate the manner in which systematic explanation, in particular scientific explanation, transforms the phenomena it encounters and subsequently explains. In this respect science can be viewed as a world-design, as rooted in a human orientation toward phenomena much in the way that the individual Dasein is viewed by Binswanger as constituting its world via the meaning-matrix of the Existential A Priori.

The reader has doubtless noticed the parallel here between

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