The Everlasting Guest on relevance of cotton candy
[C]onsider the following example: walking through a busy Christmas market you see a child aimlessly striding towards you with some candy floss. Without thought you immediately perceive the child as threatening the sugarless and unsticky status of your clothes and step aside to avoid getting the candy floss on you. How is it that the candy floss was understood with respect to its being a threat? A typical account might insist that at some point we identified the fact that candy floss is sticky. Inferring from the stickiness of candy floss and the desire not to be sticky we arrive at the resolution to step aside. Sounds plausible, but what this account misses is the original phenomenon in which the candy floss was first of all able to demonstrate itself - the phenomenon of being-in-the-world.
How does the candy floss come to be understood as "sticky"? It is not that stickiness is directly intelligible by any means! In fact, taken outside of this lived context the candy floss is merely an object with no other meaning (even its being identified as an object depends upon this meaningful context in which it is initially encountered). How, then, does it demonstrate its nature? Our concernful engagement allowed the stickiness of the candy floss to come forward and reveal itself as a threat to our otherwise clean and dry clothes. Through its being relevant to our concern it becomes significant. It's significance is its meaning, what it is in the situation.