143 I. 3
Being and Time

Dasein is essentially de-severance-that is, it is spatial. It cannot wander about within the. current range of its de-severances; it can never do more than change them. Dasein is spatial in that it discovers space circumspectively, so that indeed it constantly comports itself de-severantly* towards the entities thus spatially encountered.

As de-severant Being-in, Dasein has likewise the character of directionality. Every bringing-close [Naherung] has already taken in advance a direction towards a region out of which what is de-severed brings itself close [sich nahert], so that one can come across it with regard to its place. Circumspective concern is de-severing which gives directionality. In this concern—that is, in the Being-in-the-world of Dasein itself—a supply of 'signs' is presented. Signs, as equipment, take over the giving of directions in a way which is explicit and easily manipulable. They keep explicitly open those regions which have been used circumspectively—the particular "whithers" to which something belongs or goes, or gets brought or fetched. If Dasein is, it already has, as directing and desevering, its own discovered region. Both directionality and de-severance, as modes of Being-in-the-world, are guided beforehand by the circumspection of concern.

Out of this directionality arise the fixed directions of right and left. Dasein constantly takes these directions along with it, just as it does its de-severances. Dasein's spatialization in its 'bodily nature' is likewise marked out in accordance with these directions. (This 'bodily nature' hides a whole problematic of its own, though we shall not treat it here.) Thus things which are ready-to-hand and used for the body-like gloves, for example, which are to move with the hands-must be given directionality towards right and left. A craftsman's tools, however, which are held [109] in the hand and are moved with it, do not share the hand's specifically 'manual' ["handliche"] movements. So although hammers are handled just as much with the hand as gloves are, there are no right- or left-handed hammers.

One must notice, however, that the directionality which belongs to de-severance is founded upon Being-in-the-world. Left and right are not something 'subjective' for which the subject has a feeling; they are directions of one's directedness into a world that is ready-to-hand already. 'By the mere feeling of a difference between my two sides'xxi I could never find my way about in a world. The subject with a 'mere feeling' of this difference is a construct posited in disregard of the state that is truly constitutive for any subject-namely, that whenever Dasein has such a 'mere feeling', it is in a world already and must be in it to be able to orient itself at all. This becomes plain from the example with which Kant tries to clarify the phenomenon of orientation.


Being and Time (M&R) by Martin Heidegger