Background Practices: Essays on the Understanding of Being

ISBN : 9780198796220

Hubert L. Dreyfus; Mark A. Wrathall
272 ページ
153 x 234 mm

This volume presents a selection of Hubert Dreyfus's pioneering work in bringing phenomenology and existentialism to bear on the philosophical and scientific study of the mind. Each of the thirteen essays interprets, develops, and extends the insights of his predecessors working in the European philosophical tradition. One of Dreyfus' central contributions to reading the historical canon of philosophy comes from his recognition that great philosophers help us to understand the "background practices" of a culture - the practices that shape and embody our most basic understanding of ourselves and the things and situations we encounter in our world. Background practices are all too often overlooked completely, or else their importance is misunderstood. Each chapter in this volume shows in one way or another how a broad range of philosophical topics can only be properly understood when we recognize how they are grounded in the background practices that shape our lives and give meaning to our activities, our tasks, our normative commitments, our aims and our goals.


Mark A. Wrathall: Introduction: Background Practices and Understandings of Being

Part I. Authenticity and Everydayness
1 Interpreting Heidegger on Das Man (1995)
2 Could anything be more intelligible than everyday intelligibility? Reinterpreting Division I of Being and Time in the light of Division II (2000)
3 Forward to Time and Death (2005)

Part II. Hermeneutic Realism
4 Defending the Difference: The Geistes/Naturwissenschaften Distinction Revisited (1991)
5 Heidegger's Hermeneutic Realism (1991)
6 How Heidegger defends the possibility of a correspondence theory of truth with respect to the entities of natural science (2001)

Part III. Historical Worlds
7 On the Ordering of Things: Being and Power in Heidegger and Foucault (1989)
8 Heidegger's Ontology of Art (2005)
9 Between Techne and Technology: The Ambiguous Place of Equipment in Being and Time (1984)

Part IV. Nihilism and the Technological Age
10 Heidegger on the Connection between Nihilism, Technology, Art and Politics (1992)
11 Hubert L. Dreyfus and Charles Spinosa: Highway Bridges and Feasts: Heidegger and Borgmann on How to Affirm Technology (1997)
12 Nihilism on the Information Highway: Anonymity versus Commitment in the Present Age (2004)
13 Christianity without onto-theology: Kierkegaard's account of the self's movement from despair to bliss (2003)


Hubert L. Dreyfus is Professor of Philosophy in the Graduate School at the University of California, Berkeley. His research bridges the Analytic and Continental traditions in philosophy. His major interests are phenomenology, existentialism, philosophy of psychology, philosophy of literature, and philosophical implications of artificial intelligence. He is the author of Skillful Coping: Essays on the Phenomenology of Everyday Perception and Action (OUP, 2014), Retrieving Realism (with Charles Taylor, Harvard University Press), and All Things Shining (with Sean Kelly, Simon & Schuster).; Mark Wrathall is Professor of Philosophy and Chair of the Philosophy Department at the University of California, Riverside. He works in the phenomenological tradition of philosophy, and is interested in issues surrounding selfhood, responsibility, authenticity, temporality, and the phenomenology of religious life. He is the author of Heidegger and Unconcealment: Truth, Language, and History (CUP) and How to Read Heidegger (W.W. Norton). He has edited a number of volumes, including Skillful Coping: Essays on the Phenomenology of Everyday Perception and Action (OUP, 2014) and The Cambridge Companion to Heidegger's Being and Time (CUP).