Continental Philosophy

Martin Heidegger

What was Martin Heidegger’s theory of space?

Dasein creates space by assigning proximity or distance to objects in the world with which it is concerned. And the space that results from existence in this way does not necessarily line up with abstract dimensions and distances. The eyeglasses on a person’s nose, for example, are farther away to the wearer than the picture hanging on the wall that he or she looks through the glasses to see.

Objects in space acquire a characteristic of being “ready-to-hand”—they are things that we use and manipulate. The ready-to-hand, although literally in space, has its real meaning through human action over time. For example, if you pick up a hammer, you intend to do something with it in the next few minutes, and you are doing that to achieve a goal after that, such as hanging a picture on the wall.


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