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Un-readiness-to-hand

Workshop

Welcome the wild.

Un-readiness-to-hand

Mark Douglas

In somebody's everyday dealings the ready-to-hand is conceptually further away than the present-at-hand due to withdrawal. Things like eyeglasses sitting on our nose are ontically very near to somebody, since they are not taken up consciously and perceptually, they are conceptually far away. "That which is ontically closest and well known, is ontologically the farthest and not known at all; and its ontological signification is constantly overlooked." The ontic (revealed) realm is on the surface like the tip of the iceberg while the ontological (veiled) lies in the depths.

In trying to explicate the fourfold structure, I have characterized the four dimensions as an interplay of cover and stance; interplay between veiled and revealed on one hand, and between subsistence and consistence on the other. What is the realm that lies in the flickering? That is, is there a way to characterize those moments of flickering that Wittgenstein noted in On Certainty (sec. 141) to be the gradual dawning of light over the whole? Is there conceptual ground on which to understand both the single and whole propositional space? Previously my claim was that the present-at-hand is raised to the foreground in breakdown. That was mistaken. The present-at-hand is the realm of the sensual. It is the realm of properties as a categorization of attributes. It is the quantitative realm. Studying the design of the y key is considering its presence-at-hand. And still, what of the flickering of the y key as it is neither withdrawn in involvement nor examined in exclusion?

The central square signifies the involved veiled withdrawal of the y key in the ready-to-hand and the unveiled flickering existence of it in the un-ready-to-hand (Image credit: Space Balls).

The central square signifies the involved veiled withdrawal of the y key in the ready-to-hand and the unveiled flickering existence of it in the un-ready-to-hand (Image credit: Space Balls).

The unveiled (not veiled and not revealed) is neither the ontic nor the ontological. The unveiled is the preontological. What would it mean to have a preontological understanding? According to the lectures of Kelly, it means an understanding of and familiarity with entities and their ways of being that is acted out but not articulated or thematized such that it is has an existential character. That character is the character of possibilities in flux as the gathered contiguity of a moment. The pre-ontological is that by which the veiled is taken account of and in terms of which anything at all is intelligible. The flickering of unveiling is a lighting (Lichtung ) such that in virtue of the clearance it grants gives way to existence (being) and allows something to show itself in itself as it truly exists. 

Lichtung is the pre-ontological clearing in which things light up, are unveiled and exist. It is the flickering between veiling and revealing across subsisting and consisting (image credit: fs.FOTOGRAFIE).

Lichtung is the pre-ontological clearing in which things light up, are unveiled and exist. It is the flickering between veiling and revealing across subsisting and consisting (image credit: fs.FOTOGRAFIE).

Is there a manner by which the lighting is perceptually glanced? Heidegger covers this in Section 16 of Division I of Being and Time . He begins by asking the same question, "does not Dasein have an understanding of the world--a pre-ontological understanding. ...Do we not have a pre-phenomenological glimpse of this phenomenon?" (BT, p. 102). He is asking if there is some way somebody has of dealing with gear that makes that gear intelligible to us so that we can discern what its ontological structural features are. The aim of this pre-phenomenological glance is highlighting the in-order-to relations of worldhood. 

We are searching for certain "modes of concern" by which "the worldly character of what is within-the-world comes to the fore" (BT, p. 102). What we are after is the worldy character of the Umwelt . This mode of concern is un-readiness-to-hand. Un-readiness-to-hand is the way that gear makes itself intelligible in the event of some kind of disturbance such that the gear does not present itself in the mode of complete transparent and and skillful resonance to somebody's attunement. The three kinds of disturbance are 1) conspicuousness; 2) obstrusiveness; and 3) obstinancy. 

Conspicuousness happens when somebody intends to engage gear and finds that the gear is out of order. Obstrusiveness happens when somebody intends to engage gear and finds the gear absent. Obstinancy happens when somebody intends to reach a goal and finds gear in the way of (blocking) that goal. Heidegger uses un-readiness-to-hand as an introduction to understanding assignment or reference. 

The central  ◌  is the real object and the its perip   heral lines are real qualities. The outer O is the sensual object with peripheral lines of sensual qualities (image credit: Patakk).

The central  is the real object and the its perip heral lines are real qualities. The outer O is the sensual object with peripheral lines of sensual qualities (image credit: Patakk).

Let's lastly turn back again to the fourfold structure of and use the animation above to strengthen understanding. The smaller central ◌ is the real object in Object Oriented Ontology. As it withdraws into the involvement of the ready-to-hand its real qualities spring into action striking chords in resonant signals which ripple out from the inner real object. The object itself is veiled subsistence. The lines emanating from ◌ signify its real qualities that are in contraction and veiled consistence. The outer O is the sensual object. With the real object (◌) withdrawn, the sensual qualities (outermost lines) flow inward signaling that the involved withdrawal of the real object flares from the depths and not on the surface. When the sensual object is taken into consideration, that is, when the outer O appears to recede into the survey of observation, only then do its sensual qualities as properties flare out into revealed consistence. The flickering existence of un-readiness-to-hand happens when we circumspectly break up the process and catch a glimpse of things in the simultaneous modes of duplicity and sincerity (Harman, 2011).