PHILOSOPHICAL SERIES-Heidegger’s Ontological Structure of Being

Heidegger is known in the world of philosophy through his spectacular categorical framework that is the angle from which he approached philosophy; this categorical framework is what he called the ‘dasein’.  His philosophy therefore revolves around this catchword.  This resulted due to the influence of the works of Aristotle and st. Augustine confessions. Aristotle had noted that philosophers have always been negligent of being; this led Heidegger to raise the question of being and to use being as his categorical framework, which he designated with the term Dasein. Heidegger would later talk of time based on st. Augustine’s question on time, when Augustine talked about the past, present and the future time. It was thus from these two themes that Heidegger wrote his work ‘Being and Time’.

Heidegger divided time into two; the objective time and the subjective time.

OBJECTIVE TIME: This is equally known as the quantitative time. It denotes the movement of events or the sequence by which events or things happen, thus it is quantitative,

SUBJECTIVE TIME: This is what Heidegger referred to as existential time or qualitative time. This time he opined is found in the nature of being, thus it a time that is very much peculiar to being.

Heidegger opines that to understand the historicity of being or the history of being, one needs to probe into the nature of being, which is the ontology of being, that is discourse on the existence of being. It was in a bid to xray the nature of being that he defined the ontological structures of being, that is, the structures that make up being.

Ontological Structures of Being

The Dasein is made up of three structures: facticity, falleness and existentiality.

FACTICITY:  This refers to the past of the dasein or being which he has no power over, that is to say he cannot change it no matter he tries, He may actually improve on it, but he cannot obliterate the fact that that is his past. This is what Heidegger called  the throwness of the dasein or being into the world. By this he meant that without prior information that the  dasein just finds himself enmeshed  in something or situation which he cannot change, thus pointing t5o the utter powerlessness of the Dasein before these realities. It is part of the existential structure of the dasein which is not susceptible to the freedom of the dasein or simply beyond his control. For instance death, ones place of birth, race etc. thus the facticity of a being are those things which define ones being as one thrown into the world, for the aforementioned existentialities  obviously seem the being is thrown into t6hem and  he actually has no power to choose. Those in the facticity of the dasein responsibility is detached, he cannot be praised nor blamed because of his facticity, because it waqs never a conscious decision.

EXISTENTIALITY: this represents the future of the dasein, in other words the infinite possibilities of the dasein, things that he is yet to do. Here the onus falls on the Dasein. This is because he is not thrown into his future and all that happens here are his own conscious decision due to the freedom he has to make and unmake. Due to the freedom attached to his existentiality the Dasein can be blamed or praised. It is here that the dasein can choose to be either authentic or inauthentic. When the dasein is inauthentic, that is when he is swept along by opinions without actually making his own choice, this is known as the the existentiality of the dasein, he projects himself and make decision.

FALLENESS: This is the now of the dasein, that is his present.  The presnt condition of the dasein is torn between his facticity and his existentiality. Sometimes his facticity limits him and at other times his existentiality projects him. It is here actually that the possibilities of the dasein is laid bare before him, here like in his existentiality he has the power to chose and its actually his decision in his falleness that goes to a long length in determining his existentiality. So the fallenness of the dasein are the things that constitute his present condition, which can project or limit the daseins infinite possibilities. For instance, laws, fears, community etc. it is here equally that the dasein can be alienated

 Implications Of Heideggars Ontological Structures Of Being

The world today have known the ravages of war, hatred, negative stereotypes, hate speeches and more. Most times we are quick to judge others; we are quick to cast the first stone when it comes to issues pertaining to others. Most times we are very quick to calibrate others because of their place of birth, race, family, country or town, and most times we end up telling a single story of others, Heidegger’s ontological structures of being highlight the fact that theres more to reality than that which meets the eye, that appearance is not reality. When we look at the facticity of being, thaqt is the past of a being, the things he thrown into just by the virtue of being man, which is quite beyond his control, because actually he has no power to do so. Most times people who come from what the modern world calls a poor race like the blacks are denigrated.

But is it any fault of theirs to be born blacks, neither is it the right of the others to be born white, these are simply things we do not have control over but which we have to accept. Sometimes we see people who from birth are already disfigured or handicapped, this shouldn’t make us feel any better or think we are better than thes people and thus begin to maltreat them, no, rather it should be a call for empathy, a recognition of grace and how privileged we are. When we are conscious of the facticity of someone. It can save us from harmful judgments. This therefore calls for a more tolerable environment that doesn’t over presume, and equally calls for the need for a paradigm shift in our way of thinking. It therefore calls us for more understanding. Hence, before we judge a person these three strands must be taken into account and not in isolation, so as to give a balanced judgments.


In the existentiality and fallenness of a being, that is the future and the present, we see the power of man to make and unmake,  to be authentic or inauthentic because he has the freedom. Here we notice that man is actually a bundle of infinite possibility, and the choices or the conscious decision he makes determines his life. One may not be blamed when it comes to facticity due to the absence of freedom, but one can be blamed in existentiality and falleness because he is able to respond to situations. It is these tripartite structures that make up the historicality of the dasein. Thus to pass judgment or blame or praise, the actions of the dasein or a community, these three strands must be studied, as the three are intertwined. The historicity of the dasein has the capability of bringing up his past in his present and then both unite in making his future

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