Heidegger believed from early in his career that the key question in philosophy concerns the fundamental nature of being itself and its relationship to time. He believed that philosophers hitherto had neglected this area. He argued that the answer to his question ‘What does Being mean?’ depends upon the way the question is posed, to what and to whom. The act of being should be considered from ‘in’ the world and ‘of’ the world. Heidegger referred to this being-ness as Dasein (‘there-being’ or ‘existing’) – a self conscious mode of existence experienced by people.
He used the sense of being that Aristotle subscribed to as “presence”. This un-concealment, and the resultant presence, relate to a particular moment in time. Hence his view, that being and time were integrally linked. Thus the anchoring concepts of Being in Time are ‘being’ and ‘disclosure’.
My reason for choosing to write about Heidegger at this point is that I believe his thinking has a bearing on my photographic practice. I have spoken about my search for the essence of Skye on a number of occasions, and the many hours spent in the landscape waiting for Skye to reveal itself to me. In doing so, and at the point of the disclosure, my camera is sometimes able to capture this moment in time. On these occasions, I produce an image that has resonance with those that live on the Island and view my work. They recognise the essence of Skye – an aspect of its being – Dasein.
GRAYLING, A C. 2019. The History of Philosophy. London: Viking.