§30. Uncanniness [399-401]

Fearing for another thus proves to be a distinctive phenomenon of being-with. And it becomes clear that being with one another by way of the world is constitutive of it. The specific relations are as follows: the co-entity in the sense of the one who fears for the others, is with the other precisely when he is not in the other's mode of being; thus either he is not afraid with the other in the true sense of being afraid; or the other is not necessarily afraid when I am in fear about him. This fearing about is in a way an anticipation of fear for the others, without oneself necessarily having to be afraid. I cannot go any further here into the final correlations which are revealed here in regard to the structure of being with one another.

b) Dread and uncanniness

We shall now consider dread as a fourth phenomenon in connection with our analysis of fear. In addition to all of these modifications of fear there is a being afraid which at bottom can no longer be called that. For the of-which of fear can remain indefinite, no longer being this or that worldly thing on hand. Correspondingly, in-being as being-involved-with is no longer affected in a definite way. No real confusion ensues, since the possibility of confusion exists only when a definite orientation of concern gets all mixed up, that is, when the circumspectively disclosed in-being in its definite, factual, environmental possibilities falls into disarray. What threatens is nothing definite and worldly, and yet it is not without the impending approach which characterizes the threatening. Indeed, what threatens in this indefinite way is now quite near and can be so close that it is oppressive. It can be so near and yet not present as this or that, not something fearful, something to be feared by way of a definite reference of the environing world in its meaningfulness. Dread can 'befall' us right in the midst of the most familiar environment. Oftentimes it does not even have to involve the phenomenon of darkness or of being alone which frequently accompanies dread. We then say: one feels uncanny [or in more idiomatic English: "Things look so weird all of a sudden" or "I'm getting this eerie feeling"]. One no longer feels at home in his most familiar environment, the one closest to him; but this does not come about in such a way that a definite region in the hitherto known and familiar world breaks down in its orientation, nor such that one is not at home in the surroundings in which one now finds himself, but instead in other surroundings. On the contrary, in dread, being-in-the-world is totally transformed into a 'not at home' purely and simply.

Being-in-dread-of likewise has its specific of-which. More precisely put, our question is: As what must we define that of which dread is in dread?