Steven Conway and Andrew Trevillian on becoming vorhanden
Heidegger's term for the human being, Dasein, 'being-there'
(often summarised as being-in-the-world), emphasises the embodied,
situated nature of cognition. Building on this,
Heidegger offers two primary modes of interaction with equipment
(defined as tools oriented towards a particular end):
(present-at-hand). When, due to my competence at being-there, I act through an object that withdraws from conscious circumspection, yet mediates myaction, it is zuhanden. Yet if the object fills my intentionality, it is vorhanden. For example in typing asentence the keyboard is zuhanden; I am not aware of each individual keystroke as I type, my fingershave a proprioceptive intelligence and locate the appropriate keys without conscious effort. Yet inwriting
sentence a key jams; the keyboard is now
and I am beset by aporia.