Notes

  • 1. Heidegger—like most writers placed into this category—would have resisted such labelling. See Existentialism: A Beginner’s Guide by Thomas Wartenberg (London: OneWorld Publications, 2008) for a good introduction to existentialist philosophy.
  • 2. Heidegger uses the term Das Man, meaning a generic self, the One, the they-self. This indeterminate yet powerful collective guides our actions and thoughts in often unconscious ways. When we pronounce, “One simply does not do that,” we can see the influence of this unnamed force.
  • 3. Mood (Stimmung) contributes to our understanding and meaning of the world. Befindlichkeit, attunement, refers to a fundamental state of existence that grounds our moods.
  • 4. Mark J.P. Wolf, ed., LEGO Studies: Examining the Building Blocks of a Transmedial Phenomenon (London: Routledge, 2014), 212.
  • 5. Martin Heidegger, “Question Concerning Technology,” in The Question Concerning Technology and Other Essays (New York: Harper and Row, 1977).
  • 6. Heidegger’s term for this is Bestand, often translated as “standing reserve.” No longer are entities understood even as objects separate from human subjects. We have transformed them even more into “holdings,” “assets” always available for human use and consumption.
  • 7. He does also use art, especially Dichtung, in a narrow sense. However, his broader understandings are especially helpful for our encounters with LEGO toys as art.
  • 8. Martin Heidegger, “Building, Dwelling, Thinking,” in Poetry, Language, Thought (New York: HarperCollins, 1975).
  • 9. Lawrence Hatab, Ethics and Finitude: Heideggerian Contributions to Moral Philosophy (Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2000), 67.
  • 10. I appreciate the helpful suggestions (and Lego creations) I received on earlier versions of this paper from Rowan University faculty and students. I would also like to thank the participants at Towson University’s Geo-Aesthetics Conference.
 
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