So much philosophical intelligence hinges on comprehending the inescapable reality of facticity as disclosed via phenomenological encounter. Being is prior to knowing, and our corporeal relations with-in the world afford a primordial condition for ontological intimacy. Thus, we are always already at home in the universe. 

The term is first used by German philosopher Johann Gottlieb Fichte (1762-1814) and has a variety of meanings. It can refer to facts and factuality, as in nineteenth-century positivism, but comes to mean that which resists explanation and interpretation in Wilhelm Dilthey and Neo-Kantianism. The Neo-Kantians contrasted facticity with ideality, as does Jürgen Habermas in Between Facts and Norms (Faktizität und Geltung). 

German philosopher Martin Heidegger (1889-1976) discusses facticity as the “thrownness” (Geworfenheit) of individual existence, which is to say we are “thrown into the world.” By this, he is not only referring to a brute fact, or the factuality of a concrete historical situation, e.g., “born in the ’80s.” Facticity is something that already informs and has been taken up in existence, even if it is unnoticed or left unattended. As such, facticity is not something we come across and directly behold. In moods, for example, facticity has an enigmatic appearance, which involves both turning toward and away from it. For Heidegger, moods are conditions of thinking and willing to which they must in some way respond. The thrownness of human existence (or Dasein) is accordingly disclosed through moods. [wikipedia]

We are well past the point where a shift in frames necessitates discussion about the ecology of know-ing, rather than the supposed solidity of know-ledge. Human knowing is a material and ecological process generated within particular structural and expressive matrices – never fully consumated nor completely detached from the facticity of its activities. Both ‘matters of fact’ (factuality) and ‘matterns of concern’ (Latour) are rooted in facticity. It is corporeal intra-action all the way down.. 

Dasein is always marked by facticity. It does not exist as an independent thing hovering in a void, but always finds itself in a particular situation with highly specific possibilities. For the most part, this facticity does not take the form of knowledge. Too many philosophers have constructed their model of human being by imagining humans as entities that know the world. Heidegger sees that knowing is only a rare special case of the way that we deal with our environment… Knowledge is not primary, because it arises from out of the world. Dasein somehow has to rise above its usual interaction with the world in order to gain anything resembling knowledge. Dasein and world are bound together closely from the start. If this seems to eliminate the traditional problem in philosophy of how human beings can know a world lying outside of them, then so much the better. For Heidegger as for Husserl, this is a false problem that never should have existed in the first place. (Harman, Heidegger Explained, 2007:62 )

“The bad dialectic is that which thinks it recomposes being by a thetic thought, by an assemblage of statements, by thesis, antithesis, and synthesis; the good dialectic is that which is conscious of the fact that every thesis is an idealization, that Being is not made up of idealizations or of things said.” (Merleau-Ponty, The Visible and the Invisible, p.94)

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