encountered in it. It is precisely this inconspicuousness of comportment and of its corresponding way of having the world which must be secured in order to see in it the specific presence of the world.
We speak of a priority of the presence [Präsenz] of the referential totality and of the references over the things which show themselves in these references. This peculiar priority of the referential totality over the things themselves becomes immediately apparent when we point out how things within the environing world become present [gegenwärtig] in an emphatic sense. This occurs when an entity of the character of 'serving to' breaks down in its serviceability, becomes unusable, is damaged.
When a thing in the world around us becomes unusable, it becomes conspicuous. The natural course of concern is brought to a halt by this unusability. The continuity of reference and thus the referential totality undergoes a distinctive disturbance which forces us to pause. When a tool is damaged and useless, its defect actually causes it to be present, conspicuous, so that it now forces itself into the foreground of the environing world in an emphatic sense. This dwelling on such a conspicuous thing of the environing world is however not that of a staring and scrutinizing but has and retains the mode of being of concern. Being held up in the mode of concern has the sense of restoring order, repairing, and the like. The disturbance is not present as a pure alteration of a thing but as a break in the familiar totality of references. Every alteration in the world, up to reversal and the simple turnover from something to something, is first experienced through this kind of encounter.
In order to give a more accurate portrayal of the phenomenal structure of the world as it shows itself in everyday preoccupation, it must be noted that what matters in this preoccupation with the world is not so much anyone's own particular world, but that right in our natural preoccupation with the world we are moving in a common totality of surroundings. 'One' moves in a world with which 'one' is familiar without thereby being conversant with the particular environing world of the individual and being able to move in his world.
Even the workshop of a craftsman whose craft is totally unfamiliar to us is in no way first encountered as a mere conglomerate of things scattered in disarray. Manifest in the immediate orientation of preoccupation are hand tools, material, manufactured finished pieces, unfinished items in process. What we primarily experience is the world in which the man lives. Even though it is strange, it is still experienced as a world, as a closed totality of references.
When something within the world is encountered in the character of being 'obstructive,' 'in the way,' that is, lying in the way of concern, this 'it doesn't belong here' is possible only on the basis of the specific presence of the world as a fixed, familiar totality of references. There