The Situatedness of the Seeker: Toward a Heideggerian Understanding of Information Seeking

David Tkach


While recent scholarship in library and information studies, such as the work of John M. Budd and Ronald E. Day, explores how the thought of philosopher Martin Heidegger may provide a model for understanding the nature of information, none of this scholarship has yet addressed how Heidegger’s thought can be used specifically to conceptualize the process of information seeking. In my paper, I argue, first, that several representative models of information seeking are philosophically inadequate in light of the consequences of what Day calls the conduit metaphor. Second, I argue that the concept of Dasein, a phenomenological description of human experience found in Heidegger’s book Being and Time, can be used to develop an information-seeking model that avoids instantiating the conduit metaphor. Instead, my analysis shows how Dasein permits a new conception of the information seeker, whose situatedness provides a new understanding of the activity of information seeking and the concept of information more broadly.


information-seeking behaviour; Martin Heidegger; philosophy of information; phenomenology; Ronald E. Day

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Copyright (c) 2017 David Tkach. CC BY-NC-SA

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