Visual Thinking reading notes

Visual Thinking

Reading 1

The Invisible Realm

The meaning of being is tool-being

The goal of Martin Heidegger’s career was to identify and to attack the notion of reality as something present-at-hand.

Equipment becomes invisible when serving remote human purposes.

The world is an infrastructure of equipment already at work, of tool-beings unleashing their forces upon us just as savagely or flirtatiously as they duel on another.

We take our brains and our blood cells for granted.

At each moment, the world is geography of objects, whether these objects are made of the latest plastics or were born at the dawn of time.

A tool exists in the manner of enacting itself; only derivatively can it be discussed or otherwise mulled over. Try as hard as we might to capture the hidden execution of equipment, we will always lag behind. There is no gaze of capable of seizing it, despite Heidegger’s claims to the contrary.

We know ontically that most equipment has enduring substantial parts that can be separated and removed; we do not yet have a legitimate way of importing this fact into Heidegger’s ontology.

The key is not to argue that there are independent objects that mean different things “depending on context”, which could be to slip once more into the naturalistic error we have encountered.

The world of tools is an invisible realm from which the visible structure of the universe emerges.



The term “tool-being” was first suggested in Apri of 1992 by Raven Zachary of Dallas, Texas.

It is not enough to say that what is at stake is “transcendence” rather than a primacy of practical reason. For even this view follows Heidegger’s words too closely, and repeats in central mistake by interpreting this transcendence as a property of human Dasein rather than objects themselves.

To think the ‘difference’ only as being itself…[and] no longer as the being of beings. But also “that being never comes to presence without beings…

A chair does not have the mode of being of being-in-the-world; instead it occurs within the intraworldly present-at-hand.

Heidegger contradicts the most interesting result of analysis of equipment.

“Thus, the human being is….a creature of distance” (Vom Wesen des Grundes)

It becomes increasingly clear that Heidegger is simple enough to be taught rapidly to intelligent teenagers. The waters are only muddies when dueling scholars quarrel excessively over shoptalk.

“It has been objected to this thought experiment that I ask the reader to “imagine” something, and that since Heidegger argues Kant and the problem of metaphysics that imagination is inherently temporal, my experiment fails. But this I like trying to defend materialism by saying that idealists cannot object to materialism without using their brain or blood cells: a textbook case of begging the question”


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Year 1 Level 4 student at Cardiff Metropolitan University, studying BA (hons) Illustration A blog to reflect on my progress

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