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One of the most important philosophical works of our time -- a work that has had tremendous influence on philosophy, literature, and psychology, and has literally changed the intellectual map of the modern world.
Basil Blackwell
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l l l~l l l ~l l l l



Translated by
John Macquarrie & Edward Robinson


© in this translation
Basil Blackwell, 1962
First English edition, 1962
Reprinted, 1967, 1973, 1978, 1980, 1983, 1985
Basil Blackwell Publisher Ltd
108 Cowley Road, Oxford OX4 1JF, UK
0 631 10190 X (cased)
0 631 19770 2 (paper)

Translated from the German
Stin und Zeit (seventh edition)
by permission of
Max Niemeyer Verlag, Tubingen

#- ••.


Printed' in Great Britain at
The Camelot Press Ltd, Southampton



marktd 'H' i

'raiL tht flc.g• o'"" ·•f the later German rdilions, 411MfiM in'""
<'Uter J!larg_i,,


Translators' Preface
Author's Preface to the Seventh German
Exposition pf the Qucstim:






the Meaning of Being




H. 2



H. 2
The necessity for explicitly restating the question of
2. The formal structure of the question of Being
H. 5
II. 8
3• The ontological priority of the question of Being
4• The ontical priority of the question pf Being










5· 'The ontological analytic of Dasein as laying bate
t}}e horizon for an Interpretation of the meaning of·
Being in general
H. 15
H. ig
6. The task of Destrpying the history of ontology
7. The phenomenological method of investigation
H. J7
A. The concept of phenomenon
H. 27
B. The concept of the logos
H. j2
c. The preliminary conceptio11 of phenomenology
H. 34
H. gg
8. D11sign of the treatise



Part One
The Interpretation of Dasein in Terms of Tempor~lity, artd the
Explication of Time as the Transcendental Horizon for the
Question of Being
~ ~ DA5EIN
H. 41
9· ThCl theme of the anal; ytic of Dasein
R. 41

Being and TiTM

1 I.


How the analytic of Dasein is to be distinguished
H. 45
from anthropology, psychology, and biology
The existential analytic and the Interpretation of
primitive Das~in. The difficulties of achieving a
'natural conception of the world'
H. 50




A preliminary sketch of Being-in-the-world, in
terms of an orientation towards Being-in as such
I 3· A founded mode in which Being-in is exemplified.
Knowing thl! world










H. 63
14. The idea of the world hood of the world in general H. 63 91
A. Ana{ysis of envi-ron mentality and worldhood in general
H. 66
I 5· The Being of the entities encountered in the environment
H. 66
16. How the w.xldly character of the environment
announces itself in entities within-the-world
H. 72 I02
I 7. Reference and signs
H. 76 I07
18. Involvement and significance: the worldhood of
the world
B. A contrast between our analysis of wurldltood and
H. 8g J22
Descartes' Interpretation of the world
19. The definition of the 'world' as res extensa
H. 89 123
20. Foundations of the ontological definition of the
H. 92 125
2I. Hermeneutical discussion of the Cartesian ontology
H. 95 128
of the 'world'
c. Thearoundness of the environment, and Dasein' s spatiality H. 101 134
!2!2. The spatiality of the ready-to-hand within-the-world H. 102 135
H. 104 138
23. The spatiality of Being-in-the-world
H. I IO I45
!24. Space, and Dasein's spatiality






25. An approach to the existential question of the
"who" of Dasein
26. The Dltliein-with of Others, and everyday Beingwith
27. Everyday Being-one's-Self and the "they"


113 149


117 153

H. 126 163




The task of a thematic analysis of Being-in



3 I.

The existential Constitution of th4 "there"
Being-there as state-of-mind
Fear as a mode of state-of-mind
Being-there as understanding
Understanding and interpretation
As!!ertion as a de_rivative n.ode of interpretation
Being-there and discourse. Language










H. 140

H. I42



The everyday Being of the "there", and the falling

of Dasein

H. IlO

Idle talk
Falling and



39· The question of the primordial totalit·)Da~ein's ~tructural whole
40. The basic state-oC-minc.l of anxiety as a distimtivc way in which P.tsein is disclosed
41. Da~cin's Being as care
42. Confirmation of the existential Interprctatio;; ,.;t·
Dascin as care in terms d' Dasein's pn~-crL'>
logical way of interpreting itself
43· Dasein, worldhood, and Reality
(a) Reality as a problem of Being, and whether
the 'external world' can be proved
(b) Reality as an ontological problem
(c) Reality and care
44· Dasein, disclosedness, and truth
(a) The traditional concepdon of truth, and its
ontological foundations
(b) The primordial phenomenon of truth and
the derivative character of the traditional
conception of truth
(c) The kind of Being which truth possess~:s,
and the presupposition of truth


H. 170
H. 173
H. 175




n. x8o






H. 184








H. 202







H. 211


H. 212


H. 214

25 7

H. 219





Bnng and Time
45·. The outco_me of the preparatory fundamental
analy!is ·of Dasein, and the task of a primordial
existentiai ; ;terpretation of this c" ·:t:

DASEIN'S p,:<~·:.;:

H. 231




;_·. ·-'"BEING-A-WHOLE,,'.".) BEING•

TOWARDS-m:.-:' .


46, The seemi;,;~ ,mpossibility of getting Dasein's
Being-a-who(;:: into our grasp ontologically and
determinin·., ics character
H. 235
47· The possibi:_;,v of experiencing the death of
Others, and :he possibility of getting a whole
Dasein into our grasp
H. 237
48. .That which 1s still outstanding; the end; totality H. 241
49· How the existential analysis of death is distinguished from other possible Interpretations of
this phenomenon
H. 246
50. Preliminary sketch of the existential-ontological
structure of death
H. 1Zf9
51. Being-towards-death and the everydayness of
H. !:15!1
52. Everyday Being-towards-the-end, and the full
existential conception of death
H. 255
53· Existential projection of an authentic Being-toH. 26o












54· The problem of how an authentic existentiell
possibility is attested
55· The existential-ontological foundations of conscience
H. 270
56. The character of conscience as a call
H. 272
57· Conscience as the call of care
H. 274
58. Understanding the appeal, and guilt
H. 280
59· The existential Interpretation of the conscience,
and the way conscience is ordinarily interpreted H, 28g
6o. The existential structure of the authentic potentiality-for-Being which is attested in the conscience












61. A preliminary sketch of the methodological step
from the definition of Dasein's authentic Beinga-whole to the laying-bare of temporality as a
H. 301
62. Anticipatory resoluteness as the way in which
Dasein's potentiality-for-Being-a-whole has
exi.stentiell authenticity
63. The hermeneutical situation at which we have
arrived for Interpreting the meaning of the
Being of care; and the methodologi~al character
of the existential analytic in general
H. 310
64. Care and selfhood
H. 316
65, Temporality as the ontological meaning of care n. 3!l3
66. Dasein's temporality and the tasks arising therefrom of repeating the existential analysis in a
more primordial mariner
H. 331


H. 334
67. The basic content of Dasein's existential constitution, and a preliminary sketch of the
temporal Interpretation of it
R. 334
68. The temporality of disclosedness in general
~· 335
(a) The temporality of understanding
R. 336
(b) The temporality of state-of-mind
H. 339
(c) The temporality of falling
H, 346
(d) The temporality of discourse
H. 349·
69. The temporality of Being-in-the-world and the
problem of the transcendence of the world
H. 350
(a) The temporality of circumspective concern H. 352
(b) The temporal meaning of the way in which
circumspective concern become( modified
into the theoretical discovery of the presentat-hand within-the-world
H. 356
(c) The temporal problem of the transcendence
of the world
70. The temporality of the spatiality that is chatac•
teristic of Dasein
71. The temporal meaning ofDasein'11 everydayness





Being and Time




72. Existential-ontological exposition of the prob·
lem of history
73· The ordinary understanding of .history, and
Dasein's historizing
74· The basic constitution of historicality I
75· Dasein's historicality, and world-history
76. The existential source ofhistoriology in Dasein's
77· The connection of the foregoing exposition of the
problem of historicality with the researches of
Wilhelm Dilthey and the ideas of Count Yorck


H. 372




H. 378
H. 382
H. 387


H. 392


H. 397


















H. 433





78. The incompleteness of the foregoing temporal
analysis of Dasein
79· Dasein's temporality, and our concern with time
So. The time with which we concern ourselves, and
81. Within-time-ness and the genesis of the ordinary
conception of time
82. A comparison of the existential-ontological
connection of temporality, Dasein, and worldtime, with Hegel's way of taking the relation
between time and spirit
(a) Hegel's conception of time
(h) Hegel's Interpretation of the connection
between time and spirit
83. The existential-temporal analytic of Dasein, and
the question of fundamental ontology as to the
meaning of Being in geqeral

Author's .Notts
Glossary of German Terms







MoRE than thirty years have passed since Being and Time first appeared.
and it has now become perhaps the most celebrated philosophical work
which Germany has produced in this century. It is a very difficult book,
even for the German reader, and highly resistant to' translation, so much
so that it has often been called 'untranslatable'. We feel that this is an
Anyone who has struggled with a philosophical work in translation has
constantly found himself asking how the author himself would have
expressed· the ideas which the translator has ascribed to him. In this respect
the 'ideal' translation wouid perhaps be one so constructed that a reader
with reasonable linguistic competence and a key to the translator's Cvll·
ventions should be able to retranslate the new version into the very worda
of the original. Everybody knows that this is- altogether too much to
demand; but the faithful translator must at least keep this ahead of him
as a desirable though impractieable goal. The simplest compromise with
the demands of his own langugage is to present the translation and the
original text on opposite pages; he is then quite free to cl.oose the most
felicitous expressions he can think of, trusting that the reader who is
shrewd enough to wonder what is really happening can look across and
find out. Such a procedurewould add enormously to the expense of a b.Jok
as long as Being and Time, and is impracticable for other reasons. But on
.any page of Heidegger there is a great deal happening, and we have fclt
that we owe it to the reader to let him know what is going on. For the
benefit of the man who already has a copy of the German text, we have
indicated in our margins the pagination of the· later German editions,
which differs only slightly twm that of the earli ..~r ones. All citatiur.:marked with 'H' refer to ihi~ 11agination. But forth.;:; reader who doe:> r.ot
have the Gennan text hal:,>:, we have had to use other devices.
As long as an author i~ ">ing '-":vrds in their ordinary ways, the tral!.~·
lator should not have much trouble in showing wh;,.t he is trying to say.
But Heidegger is constantly usin~. words in ways w: tich are by no means
ordinary, and a great pa:t of his merit lies in the freshness and penetration which his very inno•.~'l~Hls reflect. He tends k discard much of the
traditional philosophical t-. ·•: oolocy, substituting <H elaborate vocabulary of his own. He occask. ,il.I; V'!5 new expreSS' .•ll$ from older roots,
and he takes full advantage_ • :· l . ; .:;c with which · ile German language
lends itself to the forma•;'-' , of new compnunds. ie also uses familiar

Being and Time
expressions in new ways. Adverbs, prepositions, pronouns, conjunctions
;ve made .to do service as nouns; words which have undergone a long
history of semantical change are used afresh in their older senses; specialized modern idioms are generalized far beyond the limits within which
they would ordinarily be applicable. Puns are by no means uncommon
rmd.frequently a key-word may be used in severl\l senses, successively or
ev~n simultaneously. He is especially fond of ringing the changes on
words with a common stem or a common prefix. He tends on the whole
to avo~ personal constructions, and often u~es abstract nouns ('Dasein',
'Zeitlichkeitl, 'Sorge', •tnlder-Welt-sein', and so forth) as subjects of
stntences where a personal subject would ordinarily be found. Like
Aristotl~ or Wittgenstein, he likes to talk about his words, and seldom
makes an innovation without explaining it; but sometimes he will have
used a word in a special sense many times before he gets round to the
explanation; and he may often use it in the ordinary senses as well. In
such cases the reader is surely en~tled to know what word Heidegger is
actually talking about, as welJ as what he says about. it; and he is also
entitled ~o know when and how he actually uses it.
We have tried in thr: m~in to keep our vocabulary under control,
providing a German-English glossary for the more important expressions, and a rather full analytical index which will also serve as an EnglishGerman glossary. We have tried to use as few English terms as possible
to represent the more important German ones, and we have tried not to
tn use these for other purposes than those we have specifically indicated.
Sometimes we have had to coin new terms to correspond to H:eidegger's.
In a number of cases there are two German terms at the author's disposal
''hich he has chosen to differenti~te, even though they may be synonyms ·
hi ordinary German usage; if we hav~ found only one suitable English
term to correspond to them, we have: sometimes adopted the device of
ca,Pitalizing it when it represents the German word to which it is etymologically closer: thus 'auslegen' becomes 'interpret', but 'interpretieren'
becomes 'Interpret', 'gliedern" becOihes 'articulate', but 'artikulieren•
becomes 'Articulate'; 'Ding' becomes 'Thing', but 'thing• represents ·.'
'Sache' and a number of other expressions. In other cases we have coined.'i
a new term. Thus while •tatsachlich' .becomes •factual', we have intro-.
duced 'facti cal' to represent 'faktisch', We have often inserted Germ~tn ·,
expressions in square brackets or, the occllSions of their first appearance
or on that of their officiahldinition. But we have also used bracketed
expressions to call attention ~partures from our usual conventions, or
to bring out etymological connections which might otherwise be over-.


Being and Time
In many cases bracketing is insufficient, and we have introduced footr.otes of our own, discussing some of the more important tenns on the
occasion of their first appearance. We have not hesitated to quott German J
sentences at length when they have been ambiguous or obscure; while we
have sometimes taken pains to show where the ambiguity lies, we have
more often left this to the reader to puzzle out for himself. We have often
quoted passages with verbal subtleties which would otherwise be lost in
translation. We have aiso called attention to a number of significant
differences between the ear.lier and later editions of Heidegger's work.
The entire book was reset for the seventh edition; while revisions were by
no means exte~sive, they went beyond the simple changes ·in punctuation
and citation which Heidegger mentions in his preface. We have chosen the
third edition (1931) as typical of the earlier editions, and the eighth
(1957) as typical of the later ones. In general we have preferred the readingsof the eighth edition, and our marginal numbering and cross-references
follow its pagination. Heidegger's very valuable footnotes" have been
renumbered with roman numerals and placed at the .end of the text
where we trust they will be given the attention they deserve. Hoping that
our own notes will be of immediate use to the reader, we have placed
them at the bottoms of pages for easy reference, indicat,ing them wi~
arabic numerals.
In general we have tried to stick to the text as closely as we can without
sacrificing intelligibility; but we have made numerous concessions to the
reader at the expense of making Heidegger H¢ideggerian. We have,
for instance, frequeJ?.tly used personal constructions where Heidegger has
avoided them. We have also tried to he reason<;Lbly flexible in dealing with
hyphenated expressions. Heidegger does not seem to be especially consistent in his use of quotation marks, though in certain expressions (for
instance, the word 'Welt') they are very deliberately employed. Except in
a few footnote references and ·some of the quotation~ from Hegel and
Count Yorck in the two concluding chapters, our single quotation MarkS
represent Heidegger's double ones. But we have felt free to introduce
double ones of our own wherever we feel that they may be helpful to
the reader. We have followed a similar policy with regard to italicization.
When Heidegger uses italics in the later editions (or spaced type in the
earlier ones), we have generally used italics; but in the relatively kw cases
where we have felt that some emphasis of our own is needed, we have
resorted to wide spacing. We have not followed Heidegger in the use of
italics for proper names or for definite articles used demonstrativdy to
introduce restrictive relative clauses. But we have followel! the usual
practice ofitalicizing words and phrases frnm languages other t l;:•r• C1g-lish

and Gennan, and have italicized titles c,f books, regardless of Heidegger's
·we have receivc:P. help from several sources. Miss Marjorie Ward baa
collated the third and eighth editions, and made an extremely careful
study Or Heid~ger's vocabulary and ·ours, which has saved w from
innumerable incon,istencies and many downright mistakes; there is hardly
a page which ~not profited by her assistance. We are also indebted
to several pei'JODs who have helped us in various ways: Z. Adamczewski,
.Hannah Arendt,J. A. Burzle, C. A. Campbell, G. M. George, Fritz Heider,
Ed.ith Kern, Nor~rt Raymond, Eva Schaper, Martin Scheerer, John
.Wild. If any serio'I.IS errors remain, they are probably due to our failure
to exploit tht!! time and good nature of these friends and colleagues more
umnerc:ifqlly. We ~e particularly indebted to Professor R. Gn:gor..5mith
who brought us together in the first place, and who, perhaps more than
anyone else, has made it possible for this translation to be presented to
the .public. We also wish to express our appreciation to our publis!1ers
and to Mp. Niemeyer Verlag, holders of the German copyright, who have
shown extra,Q((iinary patience in putting up with the long delay in the
preparation of our manuscript.
We are Mrticularly grateful to the University of Kansas for geaerow
research gr~ts over a period of three years, and to the University of
Kansas End()Wlj,.ent Association for enabling us to work together in
Scotland~ ·

THIS treatise fint appeared in the spring of 1927 in the Jahrbuch ftJr
PhiinomtTIIJlogie und phlinomenologische Forschung edited by Edmund Husser!,
and was published simultaneously in a special printing.
The present reprint, which appears as the seventh edition, is unchanged
in the text, but has been newly revised with regard to quotations and
punctuation. The page-numbers of this reprint agree with those of the
earlier editions except for minor deviations.l
While the previous editions have borne the designation 'First Half',
this has now been deleted. After a quarter of a century, the second half··
could no longer be added unless the first were to he presented anew. Yet
the road it has taken remains even today a necessary one, if our Dasein is
to be stirred by the question of Being.
' For the elucidation of this question the reader may refer to my EinftJhrung
mdU Metap19sik; which is appearing simultaneously with this reprinting
under the same publishers. 1 This work presents the text of a course of
lectures delivered in the summer s~mester of 1935·

1See Translators' Preface, p. 1:;.

1 Max Niemeyer Verlag, Tdbmgen, 1953· English translation by Ralph Manheim,
Yale University Press and Oxford University Press, 1959·



&;JA.ov yap ws I)}Uis plv Ta.Gra (n 1ron {JQI$A..u8• C1'f/P.o.l"~""<UI ov
rp81YY'Iufk) 1rc;( ')'L')"'WU.ICETE, 7}JuLS & 1rpd 'f'OV ,U., ~OJU8a., vVIf 8' "Yj'lrop"lj.ICO.}Ull • • •

'For manifestly you have long been aware of what you mean when you
use the expression "being". We, however, who used to think we understood it, have now become perplexed.' 1
Do we in our time have an answer to the question of what we really
mean. by the word 'being' ?1 Not at all. So it is fitting that we should
raise anew 1M question of th8 meaning1 of Being. But are we· nowadays even
perplexed at our inability to understand the expression 'Being'? Not at
all. So first of all we must reawaken an understanding for the meaning of
this question. Our aim in the following treatise is to work out the question
of the meaning of Being and to do so concretely. Our provisional aim
is the Interpretation 3 of time as the possible horizon for any understanding
w\latsoever of Being.'
But the reasons for making this our aim, the investigations which such
a purpose requires, and the path to its achievement, call for some introductory remarks.
I 'seiend'. Heidegger tro£nslates Plato's preaent participle &v by this preaent participle
of the verb 'sein' ('to be'). We accordingly translate 'seiend' hen: and in a number of
later passages by the present participle 'being'; where such a trllnslatidn is inconvenient
we shall resort to other constructions, usually subjoining the German word in brackets or
in a footnote. The participle 'seiend' must be distinguished from the infinitive 'scin',
which we shall usually translate either by the infinitive 'to be' or by the gerund 'being'.
It must also be distinguished from the important substantive 'Sein' (always capitalized),
which we shall translate as 'Being' (capitalized), and from the equally important substantive 'Sciendes', which is directly derived from •seiend', and which we shall usually
translate as 'entity' or 'entities'. (See our note 6, H. 3 below.) .
ll'Sinn.' In view of the importance of the dilltinction between .'Sinn' and 'Bedeutung'
in German writers as diverse as Dilthey, Husser!, Frege and Schlick, we shall t~anslate
'Sinn' by 'meaning' or 'sense', depending on the context, and keep '..ignification' and
'signify' for 'Bedeutung' and 'bedeuten'. (The verb 'mean' will occasionally be used to
translate such verbs as 'l>esagen', 'sagen', ·'heisaen' and 'meinen', but the noun 'meaning'
will be reserved for 'Sinn'.) On 'Sinn', see H: 151, 3114; on 'Bedeutung', etc., see H. 87,
and our note 47 ad loc.
a Heidegger uses two words which might wel~ be translated as 'interpretation': ',\lulegung' and 'Interpretation'. Though in many cases these may be r~arded as synony~ns,
their connotations are not quite the same. 'Auslegung' se~tms to be used in a broad sense
to covet any activity in which we interpret 10mething 'as' som11thing, whereas 'Interpretation' seems to apply to inte~etations which are more theoretical or systematic, as
1n the exegesis of at~. See espectally H. 148 ff. and 199 f. We &hall preserve this distinction by writing 'interpretation' for 'Auslegung', but 'InterpretAtion' for Heidegger't
'Interpretation', followmg similar conventions for the verbs 'auslegen' and 'interpretieren'.
• ' ..• als des moglichen Horizontes eines jeden Seinsverstli.ndnisaes ilberhaupt .• .'
Thi-oughout this work the wotd 'horizon' is used with a connotation somewhat different
froth. that to which the English-speaking reader is likely to be ac:cuStolm!d. We tend to
think of a horizon as something which we may widen or extend or go beyond; Heidegger,
hawever, seems to think of it rather as something which we ean neither widen nor go
be)'ond, but which provides the limits for certain intellectual activities performed 'within' it.


~ r.

The N~cessity for. Explicitly Restating the Questior1 of Being

THIS question has today been forgotten. Even though in our time we
deem it progressive to give our approval to 'metaphysics' ag~in, it is held
that we have been exempted from the exertions of a newly rekindled
i'''YO.I'TOfLO.Xla 1TEp~ rij!j ovala!j. Yet the question weare touching upon is not just
any question. It is one which provided a stimulus for the researches of
Plato and Aristotle, only to subside from then on as a theme for actual
investigation. 1 What these two men achieved was to persist through many
alterations and 'retouchings' down to the 'logic' of Hegel. And what
they wrested with the utmost intellectual effort from the phenomena,
fragmentary and incipient though it was, has long since become
Not only that. On the basis of the Greeks' initial contributions towards
an Interpretation of Being, a dogma has been developed which not only
declares the question about the meaning of Being to be superfluous, but
sanctions its complete neglect. It is said that 'Being' is the most universal
and the emptiest of concepts. As such it resists every attempt at definition.
Nor does this most universal and hence indefinable concept require any
definition, for everyone uses it constantly and already understands what
he means by it. In this way, that which tlv. ancient philosophers found
continually disturbing as something obscure and hidden has taken on a
clarity and self-evidence such that if anyone continues to ask about it he
is charged with an error of method.
At the beginning of our investigation it is not possible to give a detailed
1 ' ••• als thematische Frage wirklicher Untersw:hung'. When Heidegger speaks of a question
as 'thematisch', he thinks of it as one which is taken seriously and studied in a systematic
manner. While we shall often translate this adjenive by its cognate, 'thematic', we may
sometimes find it convenient to choose more flexible expressions involving the word
'theme'. (Heidcgger gives a fuller discussion on H. 363.)

Being and Tame



account of the presuppositions and prejudices which are constantly
reimplanting and fostering the belief that an inquiry into Being is unnecessary. They are rooted in ancient ontology itself, and it will not be possible
to interpret .that ontology adequately until the question of Being has been
clarified and answered and taken as a clue-at least, if we are to have
regard for the soil from which the basic ontological concepts developed,
and if we are to see whether the categories have been demonstrated in a
way that is appropriate and complete. We shall therefore carry the discussion of these pfCSuppositions only to the point at which the necessity
for restating the question about· the meaning o,f Being become plain.
There are three I1U;h piesuppositions.
1. First, it h8i beeii maintained that 'Being' is the 'most univenal'
concept: TO &.ltrn ft.GNAov l'itAumt .,.me,.,.• Illu.d quod p'rimo cfzdit sub
appreheiuione est ·ms, alia intellectru includilur in omnilnu, quatt:utnque quis
apprelrnulit. 'An undentanding of aeing is already included ip conceiving
anything which one apprehends as an entity.' 1 ·u But the 'univefSality' of
'Being' is not that of a class or genus. The term 'Being' does not define that
realm of entities which is uppermost when these are Articulated conceptually according to genus and spe~es: o1fu 'T~ 011 ,&Oi".Ut The 'universality' ofBeing 'lransunds' any universality of genus. In medieval ontology
'Being' is designated as a 'transcmdms'. Aristotle himself knew the unity of
this transcendental 'univenal' as a uni~ of analogy in contz:ast to the
multiplicity of the highest geneHc concepts applicable to things. With
this discovery, in spite of his dependence on the way in which the
ontological question had been formulated by Plato, he put the problem
of Being on what was, in principle, a new basis. To be sure, even Aristotle
failed to clear away the darknes' of these categorial interconnections. In
medieval ontology this problem was widely discussed, especially in the
Thomis~ and Scotist schools, without reaching clarity as to principles.
And when Hegel at last defines 'Being" as the 'indeterminate immediate'
and makes this definition basic for all the further categorial explications
of his 'logic', he keeps looking in the same direction as ancient ontology,
t • " ••• was einer am Seienden erlasst" '. The word 'Seiendes·, which Heidegger us_es
in his paraphrue, is one of the moet im~rtant words in the book. The substantive 'das
Seiende' is derived from the ~iciple aeiend' (see note t 1 p. 19), and means literally
'that which is'; 'ein Seiendes means 'something which it'. There is much to be said for
translating 'Seiendes' by the noun 'being' or 'beings' (for it is often wed in a collective
sense). We feel, however, that it ia smoother and less confusing to write 'entity' or 'entities'. We are well aware that in recent Britiab and American philosophy the tenn
'entity' has been wed more generally to apply to almost anything whatsoever, no matter
what its ontological status. In this tnmlation, however, it willltlean aimply 'something
which i.s'. An alternative translation of the 'Latin quotation ia given by the English
Dominican Fathen, Sur~~m~~ Thtologi&G, Thoma Baker, London, 1915: 'For that which,
before aught else, falla under apprehenaion, is britt, the notion of which is included in all
things whatsoever a man apprehends.'




Being and Ti1114

except that he no longer pays heed to Aristotle's problem of the unity of
Being as over against the multiplicity of 'categories' applicable to
things. So if it is said that 'Being' is tbe most universal concept, this
cannot mean that it is the one which is clear(·st or that it needs no further
Ji~cussion. It is rather the · ··kcs1. of all.
2. It has been maintait. :-:d secondl~· ',at the concept of 'Being' is
indefin<.tble. This is dedu(~ed from its Slif.n:mc universality,!" .md rightly
.;;o, if dejinitio fit per genus proximum et diff::rentiam specificam. 'Being' cannot
indeed be conceived as an entity; enti nun additur aliqua natura: nor can it
acquire such a character as to have the term "entity" applied ·to it.
"Being" cannot be derived from higher concepts by definition, nor can
it be presented through lower ones. l3<1t does this imply that 'Being' no
longer offers a problem? Not at all. We t·.a.n infer only that 'Being' ca,nnot
have the character of an entity. Thus we cannot apply t9 Being the concept
of'definition' as presented in traditional logic, which itself has its ftiundations in ancient ontology and which, within certain limits, provides a
quite justifiable way of defining "entities". The indefinability of Being
does not eliminate the question of its meaning; it demands that we look
that question in the face.
3· Thirdly, it is held that 'Being' is of all concepts the one that is selfevident. Whenever one cognizes anything or makes an assertion, whenever
one comports oneself towards entities, even tc?wards pneself, 1 some use
is made of 'Being'; and this expresaion is held to be intelligible 'without
further ado',just as everyone understands "The sky is blue', 'I am merry',
and .the like. But here we have an average kind of intelligibility, which
merely demonstrates that this is unintelligible. It makes manifest that in
any way of comporting oneself towards entities as entities---i:ven in any
BeiiJJ towards entities as entities-there lies a priori an enigma. 1 The very
fact that we already live in an understanding of Being and that the meaning of Being is still veiled in darkness proves tha~ it is necessary in principle
to raise this question again.
Within therangeofbasicphilosophical concepts-especiallywhen we come
to the concept of' Being'-it is a dubious procedure to invoke self·evidence,
evenifthe'self-evident' (Kant's 'covert judgment~ of the common reason') 3
1 •.• , in jedem Verhalten iu Seiendem, in jedem Sich-zu-tichoaelbst-verhalten .•. '
The verb 'verhalten' can refer to any kind of behaviour or -y of conducting oneself,
even to the way in which one relates oneself to something else, or to the way one refrains
or hold.t oneself back. We shall tranlllate it in various ways.
• 'Sie macht offenbar, das.s in jedem Verhalten und Sein zu Seiendem ala Seiendem a
priori ein Ra!Selliegt.' The phrase 'Sein zu Seiendem' is typical of many aimilar expressions
m which the substantive 'Sein' is followed by the prepmitiCin 'zu•. In such expressions
we sh.all usually translate 'zu' as 'towards': for ~mple, 'Being-towardl-death, 'Being
towards Others', 'Being towards entities within-the-world'.
• • "die geheimen Urteile del' gemeinen, Vetnunft" '.



Being and Timt
is to become the sole explicit and abiding theme for one's analytic'the business of philosophers'.
By considering these prejudices, however, we have made plain not only
that the question of Being lacks an answer, but that the question itself is
obscure and without direction. So if it is to be revived, this means that
we must first work out an adequate way ofjormulaling it.


The Formal Structure cif the Question of Being
The question of the meaning of Being must be formulated. If it is a
fundamental question, or indeed the fundamental question, it must be
made transparent, and in an appropriate way. 1 We must therefore
explain briefly what belongs to any question whatsoever, so that from this
standpoint the question of Being can be made visible as a very special one
with its own distinctive character.
Every inquiry is a seeking [Suchen]. Every seeking gets guided beforehand by what is sought. Inquiry is a cognizant seeking for an entity both
with regard to the fact that it is and with regard to its Being as it is. 2
This cognizant seeking can take the form of' investigating' ["U ntersuchen"],
in which one lays bare that which the que~tion is about and ascertains its
character. Any inquiry, as an inquiry ahout something, has that which is
asked about [sein Gifragtes]. But all inquiry about something is somehow a
questioning of something [Anfragen bei , .. ]. So in addition to what is
asked about, an inquiry has that which is interrogated [ein Bejragtes]. In
investigative questions-that is, in questions which are specifically theoretical-what is asked about is determined and conceptualized. Furthermore, in what is asked about there lies also that which is to be found out by
the asking [das Erfragte]; this is what is really intended: 3 with this the
inquiry reaches its goal. Inquiry itself is the behaviour of a questioner, and
therefore of an entity, and as such has its own character of Being. When one
makes an inquiry one may do so 'just casually' or one may formulate the
~ 2.

1 • • • . dann bedarf solches Fragen der angemessenen Durchsichtigkeit'. The adjective
'durchsichtig' is one of Heidegger's favourite expressions, and means simply 'transparent',
'p<'rspicuous', something that one can 'see through'. We shall ordinarily translate it •by
'transparent'. See H. 146 for further discussion.
11 ' ••• in seinem Dass- und Sosein'.
3 ' ••• das eigentlich Intendierte •. .'The adverb 'eigentlich' occurs very often in this
work. It may be used informally where one might write 'really' or 'on its part', or in a
much stronger sense, where something like 'genuinely' or 'authentically' would be more
appropriate. It is not always possible to tell which meaning Heidegger hu in mind. In the
contexts which seem relatively informal we shall write 'really'; in the more technical
passages we shall write 'authentically', reserving 'genuinely' for 'genuin' or 'echt'. The
reader must not confuse this kind of 'authenticity' with the kind, which belongs to an
'authentic text' or an 'authentic account'. See H. 4~ for further discussion. In the present
passage, the verb 'intendieren' is presumably used in the medieval sense of 'intending', as
adapted and modified by Brentano and Husser).


Being and Time
question explicitly. The latter case is peculiar in that the inquiry does not
become transparent to itself until all these constitutive factors of the
question have themselves become transparent.
The question about the meaning of Being is to beformulated. We must
therefore discuss it with an eye to these structural items.
Inquiry, as a kind of seeking, must be guided beforehand by what is
sought. So the meaning of Being must already be available to us in some
way. As we have; intimated, we always conduct our activities in an'understanding ofBeing. Out of this understanding arise both the explicit question of the meaning of Being and the tendency that leads us towards its
conception. We do not know what 'Being'· means. But even if we ask,
'What is "Being"?', we keep within an understanding of the 'is', though
we are unable to fix conceptionally what that 'is' signifies. We do not
even know the horizon in terms of which. that meaning is to be grasped
and fixed. But this vague average understanding 'aj Being is still a Fact.
However much this understanding of Being (an understanding which is
already available to us) may fluctuate and grow dim, and border on mere
acquaintance with a word, its very indefiniteness is itself a positive phenomenon which needs to be clarified. An investigation of the meaning of
Being cannot be expected to give this clarification at the out~et. If we are
to obtain the clue we need for Interpreting this average understanding of
Being, we must firsf develop .the concept of Being. In the light of this
concept and the ways in which it may be explicitly understood, we can
make out what this obscured or still unillumined understanding of Being
means, and what kinds of obscuration-or hindrance to an explicit
illumination-of the meaning of Being are possible and even inevitable.
Further, this vague average understanding of Being may be so infiltrated with traditional theories and opinions about Being that these
remain hidden as sources of the way in which it is prevalently understood.
What we seek when we inquire into Being is not something entirely
unfamiliar, even if proximally 1 we cannot grasp it at all.
In the question which we are to work out, what is aiked about is Beingthat which determines entities as entities, that on the basis of which
1 'zunichst'. This word is of very frequent occurrence in Heidegger, and he will
discuss his use of it on H. :no below. In ordinary German usage the word may mean 'at
lint', 'to begin with', or 'in the fint instance', and we shall often translate it in such ways.
The word is, however, cognate with the adjective 'nab' and its superlative 'niichst',
which we shall usually translate as 'close' and 'closest' respectively; and Heidegger often
uses 'zuniichst' in the sense of 'most closely', when he is describing the most 'natural' 1411d
'obvious' experiences which we have at an uncritical and pre-philosophical level. We
have ventured to translate this Heideggerian sense of 'zunachst' as 'proximally', but there
are many border-line cases where it is not clear whether Hl"idegger has in mind this
special sense or one of the more general usages, and in such cases we have chosen whatever
expression seems stylistically preferable.


Being tWJ Tmw
INT. 1
[woraufhin] entities are already understood, however we may discuss
the~ in detail. The Being of entities 'is' not itself an entity. If we are to
understand the problem of Being, our first philosophical step consists in
not p.G6ov T&va. 8t"l'YE~a8cu,v iu not 'telling a story'---that is to say, in not
defining entities as ~ndiit~ h ·.r:tcing them back in their origin to some
other entities, as if Beiug haC: ::.~ ch«:-acter of~·.. ,.,,. p• ,:;:c;ible entitv. Hence
Being, a!$ that which is asked ab.:1ut, must be;;t(~d in a way nf !ts ~nvn,
r:~sentially different from the way in which cnt.i,ic~ .·uf' discovered. Accordingly, wlral is to be found out ~Y the asking-the meaning of Being-also
demands that it be conceived in a way of its own, essential1y contrasting
with the concepts in which entities acquire their determinate signification.
In so far as Being constitutes what is asked about, and "Being" means
the Being of entities, then entities themselves turn out to be what is interrogated. These arc, so to speak, questioned as regards their Being. But if
the characteristics of their Being can be yielded without falsifi<:ation, then
these entities must, on their part, have become accessible as they aro in
themselves. Wheq we come to what is to be interrogated, the question of
Being requires that the right way of access to entities shall have b~
obtained and secured in advan~;e. But there are many things which we
designate as 'being' ["seiend"], and we do so in various senses. Everything
we talk about, everything we haVe in view, everything towards which we
7 comport ourselves in any way, is being; what we are is being, and so is
how we are.l$eing lies in the fact that something is, and in its Being as it is;
in Reality; in·hand; in subsistence; in Vfllidity; in Dasein;
in the 'there is'. 1 In whi&h entities is the meaning of Being to be discerned?
From which entities is the discl6sure of Being to take its departure? Is
the starting-point optional, or does some particular entity have ,Priority.
when we come to work out the question of Being? Which entity shall we·
take for our example, and in what sense doeJ it have priority?
If the question .about Being is to be ~plicitly fonnulated and carried
through in such a manner as to be completely transparent to itself, then
any treatment of it in line with the elucidations we have given requires
us to explain how Being is to be looked at, how its meaning is to be understood and conceptually grasped; it requires us to prepare the way for
choosing the right entity for our example, and to work out the genuine
· way of access to it .. LOO'king at something, understanding and conceiving it,
choosing, access to it-:-all these ways of behaving are constituti'le for our
inquiry, and therefore are modes of Being for those particular entities
'Sein lief lm Dass- und Sosein, in Realitit, Vorhandenhcit, Bestand, Geltung,
ea gibt"! On 'Vorhandenhcit' ('praence-at-harid') 1ee note J, p. 48, H. 25.
On Dasem, ~ee note l, p. 27.

D~in, ~ ,'



Bnng anti Ti,

which we, the inquirers, are ourselves. Thus to work out the qllestion of
Being adequately, we must make an entity-the inquirer,........,tranap~t in
his own Being. The very ~ of this question is an en~ty·s mQI!e of
Being; and as such it gets its essential character from what is inquired
about-namely, Being. This entity which each of us is himself and which
includes inquiring as one of the possibilities of its Being, we shall denote
by the term "Dasein". 1 If we ara to formulate our question explicitly Uul
transparently, we must first give a proper explication of an entity {Dasein},
with regard to its Being.
Is dtere not, however, a manifest circularity in such an undertaking?
If we ntust fint define an entity in its· Blihg, and if we want to foJ'IIlulate
the question of Being only on this basis, what is this but going in a circle?
In working out our question, have we not 'presupposed' something which
only the answer can bring? Formal objections such as the argument
about 'circular reasoning\ which can eaally be cited at any time in the
study of first principles, are always sterile when one is considering
concrete ways of investigating, When it comes to understanding the matter
at hand, they carry no weight and keep ua from penetrating into the field
of study.
But factically 1 there is no eire¥- a~ all in formulating our question as
we have described. One can determine the nature of entities in their Being
without necessarily having the explicit concept of the meaning of Being
at one's disposal. Otherwisa the:re could have been no ontological knowledge heretofore. On\! would hardly deny that factically there has been
such knowledge •• or course 'Being' has been presupposed in all ontology
up till now, but not as a cotJ&tpt at one's diSposal-not as the sort of thing
'ftC are seeking. This 'presupposing' of Being has r"ther tht character of
taking a look at it beforehand, so that in the light of it the entities pre.
sented to us get provisionally Articulated ill their Being. This guiding
t The word 'Duein' plays 10 importmt a role in this work and is already so familiar
to the Engliah-spealdba l'alder who hal read about Reid~, that it acema simpler to
leave it untra~~~lated elcr;ept in tbc reladvdy· nre puaaa In which Heidegger hinu>elf
bn::ab it up with a ~ ('D..,.m') to abow ill etymoJorical construction: literally
'llcinll·thcri:'. ThouP in traditional Geiman philosophy it may be used quite generally to
itantf for almolt any tmd of BeiDt or 'ex.iatcace' wlalCh we can say thi.t something has
{the 'ex.iatenc:e' of God, ror example}, Ql ~y usap it tends to be used more narrowly
to atand for the kind of Being that beloaas to,.._,, Heidegpr follows the everyday wage
Ia this~. but Fe~IO!IIeWbat ft.uotlier in that be often uses it to stand for any fJirsrm
wbo bas aUcb .BeiDg, aad who is thus an 'entity' himself; See H. 11 belaw.
• 'faktisch'. Wbilo this word c:an oftaD be translated limply as 'in fact' or 'as a matter of
ract•I it ii1JSCIII both .. an IMljective and u an .dw:rb and ia 10 characteristic of Heidegp'• atyle that We m.t1 u a rul'e translate It either u 'f&l)tical' or as 'factically', thus
preserYrDg its CCII!.Del:ti:lo with the im~t noun 'FUtizitit' ~facticity'), and fr~ing it
diatinct from 'ta~ch' ('factual') and 'wirk!ich' ('actual'). See the of
"Tatlilcblichkeit' and 'FaktiZltit' in Sectioru 1 !I and l29 below (H. ,s6, 135).
I •••• deren f'akdlc:hen Beltand man wohl oicht leupen wird'.


activity of taking a look at Being arises from the average undentanding
of Being in which we always operate and which in the eiul belongs to t/u
essential constitution 1 of Da.rein itself. Such 'presupposing' has nothing to do
with laying down an axiom from which a sequence of propositions is
deductively derived. It is quite impossible for there to be any 'circular
argument' in formulating the question about the meaning of Bring; for
in answering this question, the issue is not one of grounding something
by such a derivation; it is rather one of laying bare the grounds for it
and exhibiting them. 2
In the question of the meaning of Being there is no 'circular reasoning'
but rather a remarkable 'relatedness backward or forward' which what
we are asking about (Being) bears to the inquiry itself as a mode of Being
of an entity. Here what is asked about has an essential pertinence to the
inquiry itself, and this belongo; to the ownmost meaning [eigensten Sinn]
of the question of Being. This only means, however, that there is a wayperhaps even a very special ~me-in ~hich entities with the character of
Dasein are related to the question of Being. But have we not thus demonstrated that a certain kind of entity has a priority with regard to its Being?
And have we not thus presented that entity which shall serve as the
primary example to be interrogated in the question of Being? So far our
discussion has not demonstrated Dasein's priority, nor has it shown
decisively whether Dasein may possibly or even necessarily serve as the
primary entity to be interrogated. But indeed something like a priority of
Dasein has announced itself.

4[ 3· The Ontological Priority of the Question of Being
When we pointed out the characteristics of the question of Being,
taking as our clue the formal structure of the question as such, we made it
1 'Wesensverfassung'. 'Verfassung' is the standard word for the 'constitution' of a
nation or any political organization, but it is aiao used for the 'condition' or 'state' in
which a person may find himself. Heidegger seldom uses the word in either of these senses;
but he does use it in ways which are somewhat analogous. In one sense Dasein's 'Verfassung' is its 'constitution', the way it is constituted, 'sa condition hiU7IIlinl'. In another
sense Dasein may have several 'Verfassungen' as constitutive 'states' or factors which
enter into its 'constitution'. We shall, in general, translate 'Verfassung' as 'constitution' or
'constitutive state' according to the context; 'but in passages where 'constitutive state'
would be cumbersome and there is little danger of ambiguity, we shall simply write
'state'. These states, however, must always be thought of as constitutive and essential,
not as temporary or transitory stages like the 'state' of one's health or the 'state of the
nation'. When Heidegger uses the word 'Konstitution', we shall usually indicate this by
ca~italizing 'Constitution'.
' ... weil es in der Beantwortung der Frage nicht urn eine ableitende Begriindung,
sondern urn aufweisende Grund-Freilegung geht.' Expressions of the form 'es geht .•.
um-' appear very often in this work. We shall usually translate them by variants on
'-is an issue for .. .',

Being and Time
clear that this question is a peculiar one, in that a series of fundamental
considerations is required for working it out, not to mention for solving
it. But its distinctive features will come fully to light only when we have
delimited it adequately with regard to its function, its aim, and its
Hitherto our arguments for showing that the question must be res~ted
have been motivated in part by its venerable origin but chiefly by the lack 9
of a definite answer and even by the absence of any satisfactory formulation of the question itself. One may, however, ask what purpose this question is supposed to serve. Does it simply remain-or is it at all-a mere
matter for soaring speculation about the most general of generalities, or
is it ratM, of all questions, both the most basic and tM most et~n&rlte?
Being is always the Being of an entity. The totality of entities can, in
accordance with its various domains, become a field for laying bare
and delimiting certain definite areas of subject-matter. These areas, on
their part (for instance, history, Nature, space, life, Duem, language,
and the like), can serve_ as objects which corresponding ~eientific
investigations may take as their respective themes. Scientific retearch
accomplishes, roughly and naively, the demarcation and initial .&zing of
the areas of subject-matter. The basic structures of any such area have
already been worked out after a fashion in our pre-scientific ways of
experiencing and interpreting that domain of Being in which the ~ of
subject-matter is itself confined. The 'basic concepts' which thus a~
remain our proximal clues for disclosing this area concretely for the firit ·
time. And although research may always lean towards this positive
approach, its real progress comes not so much from collecting results and
storing them away in 'manu$' as from inquiring into the ways in which
each particular area is basically constituted [Grundverfasaungen]-en
inquiry to which we have been driven mostly by reacting against j\llt
such an increase in information.
The real 'movement' of the sciences takes place when their basif;: concepts undergo a more or less radical revision which is transparent to'·itself.
The level which a science has reached is determined by how tat it is
capable of a crisis in its basic concepts. In such immanent crises the very
relationship between positively investigative inquiry and th01e thing&
themselves that are under interrogation comes to a point where it begins
to totter. Among the various disciplines everywhere today there are
freshly awakened tendencies to put research on new foundations.
Mathematics, which is seemingly the most rigorous and most firmly
constructed of the sciences, has reached a crisis in its 'foundations'. In
the controversy between the formalists and the intuitionists, the issue .is

Being and Time
one of obtaining and securing the priniary way of acce1;s to what are
supposedly the objects of this science. The relativity :~ :ory of p~siu
arises from the"tendency to exhibit the interconnectedne:.~ or:i..;ature as
it is 'in itself'. As a theo.")" of the conditions under which we hav~ access
to Nature itself, it seeks td preserve the changelessness of the laws of
motiOn by ascertaining all relativities, and thus comes up against the
question of the structure of its own giveri area of study-the problem of
matte~. In biology there is an awakenin( tendency to mquire beyo~d the
definitio~ which mechanism and vitalism ~ve given foF "life" and
ccorganism", and to define anew the kind of Being which belongs to the
living as such. In those lrunum4 sciences winch are lristoriological in clraroeter, 1
the urge towards historical actuality itSelf has been s~gthened in the
course of time by tradition and by the way tradition has been presented
and handed doWn: the history of literature is to become the history of
problems. Tl_uology is seeking a more primordial mterpretation of' man's
Bemg towards God, preseribed. by the meaning offaith itself and reniaining
withm it. It _is slowly beginning to understand once more Luther's insight
that the 'foundation' on which its system of dogma rests has n~ arisen
from an in9.uiry in which faith is primary, and that co~ceptuallt~ this
'foundation' not only is madequate for the problematic of theology, but
cOnceals and distorts it.
&sic co~cepts dete~e the way m which we gei: an tmderstandmg
beforehand of the area of subject-matter underl~ all the olijects a
scienee takes as its theme, and all positive investigation is guided by this
underitandmg. Only after the area itself has been eiplored beforehand
In a corr~spondmg manner do these concepts become genuinely demonstrated and 'grounded'. But since· every such area is itself obtained from
the domain of entities themselves, this preliniinary research," from which
the basic ooncepts are drawn; signifies nothing else than an mterpretation
of those entities with regard to their basic state of Bemg. Such research
must ,run ahead of the positive sciences, and it can. Here· the work of Plato
and Aristotle is evidence enough. Laying the fo~nda~ons for the sciences
in this way is different m principle frQm the kind of 'logic' which limps
along after, investigating the status of some science as it chances to find
• it, in order to discov~r its 'method'. Laying the foundations, as
described it, is rather a productive logic-m the sense thatit leaps ahead,




l'ID: den Aiflllrldm C.U~ftm,, ~· Hcideger makea.mucb of the diltinction
between 'Histbrie' and 'GGChichte' and th~ corrcapondiug adj.cctiva 'historisch' and
'aeschicbtlicll•. 'Hiltorie•: atanda' for wiiat Heidegger calla a 'science; of history'. (Sec
11. :ns, 378.) 'Ge.c:hicJlle' UIU&lly •talldli for the kind of'historv• dwt actually~· We
shall u a rule translate tbeae respectively 114 'bistoriotosr• and 'fd.Jtory~, following similar
c:oD.ventions in bancttin~e
the two adjectives. see. especially Sections 6 and 76 below.


Being and Timl
. - . 31
as it were, into some area·-of~. diSc:1osea. it for the first thne ·in ·the·
c~nstitution of its Being, and, after -thus arriving at the structures withm
it, makes these available to the positive sciences. -as transparent assl:gi1·
trients- for .their. inquiry. 1 To give· an example, wha"t ia philosophically
ptirriacy is neither~ theory of the concept-formation ~ol'.
the .theory of historiologica( iriowledge-, ·nor yet the theotjt bf hisfuty as
the ()bject of historiology; what- .is primary is rather the lntetpretati,ort (?'f
autlientically h~torical entities as regards their ·historitlllty.'\ Sirrularl_y
'the .,asitive outcoriie ~f Kant's Critiqw of Pure Reason li~ in ,'what it has
~ontributed towarc;ls .the working out of what belongs ·to any Natute
what~v~~ not iii a 'theory' of knowledge. His trariscendehtal 1tWt: is aik
a Priori logic for the subject-matter ofthat area ofBeiJilg called .''Nature••,
But such ·an inquiry itself-ontology taken in the Widest sense without
favouring ariy particular 'ontological directions or tendencies--o...r-~qulres a
further clue. o.ntolbgicat inqUTy is indeed more primordial, at ove~ ag.inst
the ontic~11 inquirY of the positive sciences. But it remains its'elfnaiVt and
opaque if in its ~esem:ches into the Being of entities it faits to cijsc\iss the
meaning of Betng .in general. And even the ontological taak of cQnitruct•
ing a non..deduttive ~n~lok}' _of the different possilile \.vays o( Belng.
requires that we fir:st ~meW, _an ~nderstanding o~ 'what wt: really m~*­
by this exprtssion "Beir\g" .\
· \ .. '
The question of Beink amis thtr~ore at ascertaining the a priori ~rtdt­
tions not only for the pc)ssiDility o£ the sciences which exan>-fue. entities
'as entities of such and such a ·type, and, in so doing, already o~te
with an understanding. of Being, but also for. the possibility of those
on._tologies themseives which are prior to the ontical sciences and which
provide their fou;tdations. Basically, all ·ontology, no mtltter how nell 'and
firmly compacted a -9'Stmi of catego'rw it Juu t.Jt its disposal, remains blind and /Mr•
verted from its ownmost llim, if it. has not first adeqUtJtely Clarified tlr4 meaning
of Being, and conceived this clarification as its fontlammlal task.
Ontological research itself, .~hen- properly undersiood, giVes to the
question of Being an ontological priority which ·goes beydnd mere resumption of a: venerable tradition and advancement with a problem that has
hitherto been opaque. But this objectively 'sCientific priority is not the
only one.
als durchsichtige Anwel.sungen des Fragens ••. '
sondem die Intepretation des ~gentlich geschiehtlich Seienden auf seine Geschichtlichkeit'. We'~ tram.late t~e &eq~,tently occurring term 'Oeschichtlichkeit' as
'historicality'. Hf'id
very occaaiooally useS the term 'Historizitit', as on H. 110 below,
and this will be translated as 'historici~. .
a While the terms 'ontisch' ('ontical') and 'ontoJ.OsUch' ('ontological') are not explicitly
defined, their meanings will emerge rather dearly. Ontological inquiry is concerned
primarily with /king; ontical inquiry il concerned primarily with mtities and the facts
about them.
1 ' •••
B ' •••



Being and Time
~ 4· Tlte Ontical Priority of the Question of Being
Science in general may be defined as the totality established through an
interconnection of true propositions. 1 T:tis definition is not complete, nor
does it reach the meaning of s~ience. As ways in which man behaves,
sciences have the manner of Being which this entity-man himself- possesses. This entity we denote by the term "Dasein". Scientific research is
not the only manner of Being which this entity can have, nor is it the
one which lies closest. Moreover, Dasein itself has a special distinctiveness
as compared with other entities, and it is worth our while to bring this to
view in a provisional way. Here our discussion must anticipate later
analyses, in which our results will be authentically exhibited for the fir.;t time.
Duein is an entity which does not just occur among other entities.
Rather it is ontically. distinguished by the fact that, in its very Being,
that Being is an issue for it. But in that case, this is a constitutive state of
Dasein's Being, and this implies th::\t Dasein, in its Being, has a relationship towards that Being-a reb.tiomhip which itself is one ofBeing. 2 And
this means further that there .is Sf"lH' way in which Dasein understands
itself in its Being, and that to some degree it does so explicitly. It is peculiar to this entity that with and through its Being, thi:; Being is disclosed
to it. Understanding of Being is itself a definite characteristic of Dasein's Being.
Dasein is ontically distinctive in that it is ontological. 3
Here "Being-ontological" is not yet tantamount to "developing an
ontology... So if we should reserve the tenn "ontology" for that theoretical inquiry which is explicitly devoted to the meaning of entities, then what
we have had in mind in speaking of Dasein's "Being-ontological" is to be
designated as something "pre-ontological". It does not signify simply
"being-ontical", however, but rather "being in such a way that one has
an understanding of Being".
That kind of Being towards which Dasein can comport itself in one
way or another, and always does comport itself somehow, we call "exislenee" [Existm,c]. And because we cannot define Dasein's essence by citing
a "what" of the kind that pertains to a subject-matter [eines sachhaltigen
Was], and because its essence lies rather in the fact that in each case it
1', ••

das Ganze eines Begrundungszusammenhanges wahrer Satze •• .'See H. 357

I 'Zu dieser Seinsverfassung des Daseins gehort aber dann, dass es in seinem Sein zu
diesem Sein ein Seinsverhaltnis hat.' This passage is ambiguous and might also be read
as: •••. and tbia implies that Dasein, in its Being towards this Being, has a relationship of

1 •••. dasa es ontologisch ist'. flu 'ontologiseh' may be either an adjective or an
adverb, we mis'ht also write: ' ... that it is ontologically'. A similar ambigUity occurs in
the two following sentences, where we read 'Ontologisch-sein' and 'ontisch-seiend'


Being and Time
has its Being to be, and has it as its own, we kave chosen to designate
this entity as "Dasein", a term which is purely an expressi(•n of its Being
[als reiner Semsausdruck].
Dasein always understands itself in terms of irs existence-in t~rms of a
possibility of itself: to he itself or not itself. Dasein has either chosen these
possibilities itself, or got itself into them, or grown up .in them alr~ady.
Only the partic11lar Dasein decides .its existence, whether it does so by
taking hold or by neglecting. The question 0fl"xistenc:e never gets straight·
ened out except through existing itself. The und,.rstanding of oneself which
leads along this .vay lVC call "exi.;tentieil".: The question of existence is one
of Dasein's. ontical 'affairs'. This does not require that the ontological
structure of existence should be theoretically transparent. The question
about that structure aims at the analysis [Auseinanderlegung] of what
constitutes existence. The context [Zusammenhang] of such structures we
call "existentiality". Its analytic has the character of an unders~anding
which is not existentiell, but rather existential. The task of an existential
analytic of Dasf"in has been dclinea ted in advance, as regards both its
possibility and its necessity, in Dasein's ontical constitution.
So far as existence is the determining character of Dasein, the onto~
logicai analytic of this entity always requires that existentiality be con~
sidered heforeh<~.nd. By "existentiality" we understand the state of Being
that is constitutive for those entities that exist. But in the idea of such a
constitutive state of Being, the idea of Being is already included. And thus
even the possibility of carrying through the analytic of Dasein depends on
working out beforehand the question about the meaning of Being in general.
Sciences are ways of Being in which Dasein comports itself towards
entities which it need not be itself. But to Dasein, Being in a world is
something that belongs essentially. Thus Dasein's understanding of Being
pertains with equal primordiality both to an understanding of something
like a 'world', and to the understanding of the Being of those entities
which become accessible within the world.~ So whenever an ontology
takes for its theme entities whose character of Being is other than that of
Dasein, it has its own foundation and motivation in Dasein's own ontical
structure, in which a pre-ontological understanding of Being is comprised
as a definite characteristic.


1 ' . . . dass t"S je sein Sein als seinigt"S zu scin hat .. .'
B We shall translate 'existenziell' bv 'existentic!J.'. and

'existenzial' bv 'existential'
There seems to be little reason for resorting to the more eiaborate neologisms proposed by
other writers.
a'... innerhalb der Welt . . .' Heidegger uses at least three expressions which
might be translated as 'in the world': 'innerhalb der Welt', 'in der Welt', and the adjective
(or adverb} 'innerweltlich'. We shall translate these respectively by 'within the world',
'in the·world', and 'within-the-world'.



Therefore fimdammtal onlology, from which alon~ all other ontologies
can take their rise, must be sought in the emtmiW analytie of Dasrin.
Dasein accordingly takes priority over all other ~tities in several ways.
The first priority is an onti&al one: Dasein is an enqty whose Being has the
determinate r. haracter of e·:· ·tence. The second priority is an ontological
one: Dasein i~ in ~tself'c:intol: ~:~al', because existence is thus determinative
for it. But wir:, equal primr.·,:dity Dasein also possesses--as co,nstitutive
for its under;·,-,mding of ~J .. ·~I"I.:.e--ah understanding of the Being c...t'
entities of a character othe: han its own. Dasein has therefore a third
priority as prdfidlng- the ontico-ontological condition for the poslibility
of any ontoiogies. Thus. Dasein has turned out to be, more than anY other
entity, the one which,nmst ftrst ~e interrogated ontologically.
·But the- roots- of the existential analytic, .on ita· part, are ultimate!}
. uistmtiell; that is~,ontiall•. Only if the inquiiy of philosophical research i:
itself seized upon in ail ilcistentieU manner as a poSsibility of the Bein~
of each existing Dasein; ·doeS; it ~me at' all possible to disclose L.~c
existe'ntiality of existence and to Jll\dertake an adequately founded ontological p~blematic. But With thiS, the ontical priority of the question o
being has ~lso become plairL
Dasein's ontico-ontologi<:al priority was seen quite early, thougl
Dllsein itsdfwas not grasped i~ its genuine ontological stnicture, and dk
not ~ven become a problem .in which this structure was sought. Aristotle
says: ,; 1/Jvx-'1 !4 ~,.,.a. ,t!J~ la1'w,v1 "Man's soul is, in a certain way
entities.h The 'soul' which makes up the Being of man has a.:a9.)cns anc
~~~a'~ among its ways of Being, an'd in these it discovers all entities, botl:
in the fact that they are, and in their Bemg as they are-that is, ~waYI
in their Being. AriStotle's principle, :Which .points back to the ontologicaJ
thesis of Parmenides, is one which Thomas: Aquinas has taken up in a
characteristic distussion. Thomas .is -,engaged in the task o{ deriving the
'ITanscendentia' -those eharacten of Being which lie beyond every possible
way in which an entit)> may be classified as coming under some generic
kind of subject-matter (every modus sptcialis tntis), and which belong
necessarily to allything; whatever it may be. Thomas has to demonstrate
that the verum is such a transcendens. He does this bY invoking an entity
which, in accordance with its ·very manner of Being, is properly suited
to 'come together with' entitie$ of any sort whatever. This distinctive
entity, ~he ens quod natum est convenire cum o'IMi mtl, is the soul (animtz} •.t~
Here the priority of 'Dasein' over all other entities emerges, although it
has not been ontologically clarifie<t. This priori!}' ~ obviously nothing
in common with a vicious subjectivizing of the totality of el'ltities. ·
By indicating Dasein's ontico-ontological priority in this provisional


. If

B~ing and TirM
mariner, we have grqunded our demon~tration that the question of Being
is ontico-ontologically distinctive. But when we analysed the structure of
this question as such (Section 2), we came up against a distinctive way
in which this entity functions in the very formulation of that question.
Dasein then revealed itself as that entity which must first be worked out
in ail ontologically adequate manner, if the inquiry is to become a transparent one. But now it has been shown that the ontological analytic of
Dasein in general is what makes up fundamental ontology, so that Dasein
functions as that entity which in principle is to be interrogated beforehand
as io its Being.
If to Interpret the meahing of Being becomes our task, Dasein is not
only the primary entity to be interrogated; it is also that entity which
already comparts itself, in its Being, towards what we are asking about
w?e~ we ask this question. But in that case the question of Being is nothing
other than the radicalization of an essential tendency-of-Being which
belongs to Dasein itself-the pre-ontological understanding of Being.



5· The Ontological Anarytic of Dasein as Laying Bare the Hori;:on for an
Interpretation of the Meaning of Being in General
IN designating the tasks of 'formulating' the question of Being, we have
shown not only that we must establish which entity is to serve as our
primary object of interrogation, but also that the right way of access to this
entity is one which we must explicitly make our own and hGld secure. We
have already discussed which entity takes over the principal role within
~e question of Being. But how are we, as it were, to set our sights towards
this entity, Dasein, both as something accessible to us and as something
to be understood and i~1terpreted ·?
In demonstrating that Dasein in ontico-ontologically prior, we may
have misled the reader into supposin~~ that this entity must also be what
is given as ontico-ontologically primary not only in the sense that it can
itself be grasped 'immediately', but also in that the kind of Being which
it possesses is presented just as 'immediately'. Ontically, of course, Dasein
is not only close to us--even that which is closest: we are it, each of us,
we ourselves. In spite of this, or rather for just this reason, it is ontologically
that which is farthest. To be sure, its ownmost Being is such that it has
an understanding of that Being, and already maintains itself in each case
as if its Being has been interpreted in some manner. But we are certainly
not saying that when Dasein's own Being is thus interpreted pre-ontologically in the way which lies closest, this interpretation can be taken over
as an appropriate clue, as if this way of understanding Being is what must
emerge when one's ownmost state of Being is considered 1 as an ontological theme. The kind of Being which belongs to Dasein is rather such
that, in understanding its own Being, it has a tendency to do so in terms
of that entity towards which it comports itself proximally and in a way
which is essentially constant-in terms of the 'world'. In Dascin itself,
and thf-refore in its own understanding of .Being, rhe way the world is


'Besinnung'. The earliest editions have 'Bestimmung' imtead.



Bsing and Time


understood is, as we shall show, reflected back ontologically upon the way 16
in which Dasein itself gets interpreted.
Thus because Dasein is ontico-ontologically prior, its own specific state
of Being (if we understand this in the sense of Dasein's 'categorial
structure') remains concealed from it. Dasein is ontically 'closest' to itself
and ontologi~ally farthest; but pre-ontologically it is surely not a stranger.
Here we have merely indicated provisionally that an Interpretation of
this entity is confronted with peculiar difficulties grounded in the kind of
Being which belongs to the object taken as our theme and to the very
behaviour of so taking it. These difficulties are not grounded in any short•
comings of the cognitive powers with which we are endowed, or in the
lack of a suitable way of conceiving-a lack which seemingly would not
be hard to remedy.
Not only, however, does an understanding of Being belong to Dasein,
but this understanding develops or decays along with whatever kind of
Being Dasein may possess at the time; accordingly there are many ways in
which it has been interpreted, and these are all at Dasein's disposal.
Dasein's ways of behaviour, its capacities, powers, possibilities, and vicissitudes, have been studied with varying extent in philosophical psychology,
in anthropology, ethics, and 'political science', in poetry, biography, and
the writing of history, each in a different fashion. But the question remain!!
whether these interpretations of Dasein have been carried through with
a primordial existentiality comparable to whatever existentiell primordiality they may have possessed. Neither of these excludes the
other but they do not necessarily go tog-ether. Existentiell interpretation can demand an existential analytif.. if indeed we conct-ive of
philosophical cognition as something p(•ssib!e and necc:.sary. Only when
the basic structures of Dasein have 1. · ··r; ,dequate ·· ., rked out with
explicit orientation towards the proL: .,; "r Being i.o·.~H: will what we
have hitherto gained in interpreting D.: :;jn get its existential justification.
Thus an analytic of Dasein must runain our first requirement in the
question of Being. But in that case the prohicm of obtaining anr 1 securing
the kind of access which will lead to L~: •. i" .... eco;;,es even more burning
one. To put it negatively, we have IF · 'b: ~o n:surt \n dogmati-. :onstructions and to apply just any idea of B.· .. ' ; ~nd actu;ti· ··; to this 1tity, no
matter how 'self-evident' that idea ...,. . ~.J' : u;:;; 1!'. .'' any of ,,le 'categories' which ~-uch an idea prescrib<: H: ~Pocn\ u:•,m Dasei •. without
proper ontolog-xcal cnnsideration. \Vc :.1u;,, . -•th·:: ,.: '•t·::e sud· a way of
<,ccess and such a kitd of interpretatic.n. tha
: .· can sh<. · itself in
itself and from it~df (an ihm selbst von •.• n. ,,~;f,>t her]. And, this
means that it is ·to be shown as it is proxzmal~~ aud for ths most part-


Being and Time
J '7


in it!' average ewrydayness. 1 In this everydayness there are certain structures
which we shall exhibit-not just any accidental structures, but essential
ones which, in every kind of Being that factical Dasein may possess,
persist as determinative for the character of its Being. Thus by having
regard for the basic state ofDasein's everydayness, we shall bring out the
Being of this entity in a preparatory fashion.
When taken in this way, the analytic of Dasein remains wholly o~entec
towards the guiding task of working out the question of Being. Its limiLs
are thus determined. It cannot attempt to provide a complete or.~ology of
Dasein, which assuredly must be constructed if anything like a '?hilosoph;cal' anthropology is to have a philosophically adequate basis. 1
)f o~,;r pHrpose is to make such an anthropology possible, or to hy its
ontological foundations, our Interpretation will provide only some of the
'i)iece:~', even though they are by no means messential ones. Our
analysis of Dasein, however, is not only incomplete, it is also, in the first
instance, prrn isi,mal. It merely brings out the Bein:; '.:lf this entity, without
Interpreting its meaning. !t is rather a prepa.ratc.ry procedure by whic~
the horizon for the most primordial way of interpreting Being mny be
laid bare. One-~ we havf~ <:>.rrivt:d at that horizon, r} i;> ureparatory analytic
of D:.~.~eit~ will have to b·~ repeated ·,)n a higher ;ur~ <luther.tically onto·
log~caJ bisis.
\>!.-:~:;.ali point to lemlwrali(}':; as the meani.l'/ ·:_,t '"~ :i3emg of that entily
,;rhic!l ·we ·3all ''Da~e~n''. If this is to be de<';:'nS'.<:~· :.1. thuse structures v!"
L'.:;,s..:in ';'~<·hich we shall pro•JiSi0!1«.li:: exhibit r<H 1 ~t :·:~ Int•:rp.rded •w:.:r
;\>~.:,:c. :.,s mode:. of~emporalir.y. :i'c. thus inter;,retir:~ ~");.·:ei<l as krlp;;ralit::,
;l ·\. ,. , ._:;, v.-e :>:1all not tf.vr. the answer to t•ur kzC ·· ··! quest:un as to t}1c
L....:;u. :,_~ oi' L-::~ag :n ger;.:~raL But the grou d wit!,,,,_., bc!(il pn.:;~~:r;;d 10r
\_)~;~;~~ in;n~ _;uch an ans\".~cr.
.v~~r ~c-H
~::· . rc .-:; .::~•.1.!:.::\cn

·. -=,. • ---~:·,. ·:·. t-. i:~ -=..-_!!':.~;,:; 'Ja!: f.·:··'"\de in d·~.n ::eigen~ ·!e es ~·m ·.
Aiita·g!ich!:til.' The phrast:" 'zun . chst •.s~:: .: ..-~·-:.:···~·-+ .) .•;~,.: th.:.t ·:·--:~c..!rs
,,, ;. ,· '-n•: .. , ,:;o•.l.\;h Heidegser does not e.'plain it, ".1til s.~c";;.' .' ~ .,i:L )}O t--:!o·(\o ):- wh~re
·, ·:;~· · ~.,:·.• ~!hl ger..• c.:·~pla.ined. On 'Zt 1J'l2.t:!1~~·
·~ c·~.!~· ·:~.:
::•. .!. -~~ f-t ~~
.. : ~ ~ .... ·.. ;" . ~ .
· "•·. · ··h.~ pronon'i·· ,· ·
. ; ! :··
.• :
. ~:: ·-.;l~;~ i~~ f ..
-~· .:l (. \
_., !.'. ~~ ,; .
;:,, · · :··•·' ··: phw,. .
.... ·., ...: ·idest~: ... , ...



an•h"f'r.·,r :,_~-tt-::-·:: j,._•' · 1. ·~

~ ~s


t:>b· . .':,' .

.. ·:'l''





,. ; ·: .

.... ,·.:


.:,1~'1.::: ~:·c",.,··.,







.:.:·.~~ ·:;,•.,:

~ .• '.,-

. -~'.! 1 I ':'

o'li~,:.:rai~ in :~ wns~ whtch he ·Niif t'!;l:,_::.ia.i.n late: (H. 19)- \v~~ Sf!all t.r.w"l:i.n~~;,; t:~~~~ -""!
'>.'esn~ty' and 'Temporal', wit.h initial capitals. ·



Being and

We have already intimated that Dasein has a pre-ontological Being as
its ontically constitutive state. Dasein is in such a way as to be something which understands something like Being. 1 Keeping this interconnection firmly in mind, we shall show that whenever Dasein tacitly
understands and interprets something like Being, it does so with
time as its standpoint. Time must be brought to light-and genuinely
conceived-as the horizon for all understanding of Being and for any
way of interpreting it. In order for us to discern this, time needs to be
uplieated primurdialf:J ar tlu hori ~on for tlu understanding of Being, and in terms
of kmporality as tlu Being of Dasein, which undmtands Being. This task as a
whole requires that the conception of time thus obtained shall be distinguished from the way in which it is ordinarily understood. This
ordinary way of understanding it has become explicit in an interpretation
precipitated in the traditional concept of time, which has persisted from
Aristotle to Bergson and even later. Here we must make clear that this
conception of time and, in g1;neral, the ordinary way ofunderstanding it,
have sprun:? fro:n temporality, and we must show how this has come
about. We shall thereby restore to the ordinary conception the autonomy
which is it3 rightful due, as against Bergson's thesis that the time one has
in mind in this conception is space.
'TiJ-rJ•!' \n-: long functioned as an ontological--or rather an ontical-crit~rion for naively discriminating various realms of entities. A distim·tion ha•, ~.l•'cn made between 'temporal' entities (natural processes and
h!~'<•rira! >:q:;penings) and 'n0r,-{t!mpora1' entities (spatial and numerical
~{·ht,onsh\p~~'· We are acr.ustGmo:d to contr2,~ting the 't!meless' meaning
c·fll~·opo::i'k".> with the 'temr•"lr~J' course of propositional assertions. :lr is
al::o hdd th<•r. is ·.a 'ck:.vage' br:tween 't.r-mi>:>ral' er~tities and tilt~
'sulJra-tem.p,;ral' eternal, and elfor~s are :!llad-e to bridge this over. Here
'temporal' aiways means simply being [seiet:d] '.in jime'-a designation
which, aclmitt('dlv, is still pr~tty obscure. Tht~ }.•act remains that time~ in
the ~~(:l,se (Jf'be;<·g [.~ein] in time', functions as a ..;rit-:rion lor di!ltinguishi..<g
realms oLBdng-. Hitherto no one has asked or troubkd to investigate how
tililf! ·;:~i.U.! (:~"-:~::~.~ '{•) ~lal:e ~his

·:~,--· ~··:· .. .:~:;..r·he-:-·t:r
-~·. ~.-i ·.. :,::·.· ···.::·; .~ ·:~,:~~:t.t ·~~·;r.:;.~~





.:"·~·.)~i..t~.1~ re~~-:-v::l:-:·;: ..~




~~~.i1 '-sf~~~- ··'":·=,:c~t~··;t

:f·...- ·:~-!~

-,.- . . . :·:{.1




~:: por;~it···.~

....:;_..· ~~·:.r~.•y:::;_;;:..;:~.t r. :r:Ja:~~·

<~-=~·rJ·y:.~ . .~~~~ ·:·>n~~:~i~"t1

~._.. f ·.~...



Being and Time


In contrast to all this, our treatment of the que$tion vf the meaning of
Being must enable us to show that the central IJroblemati& of all ontology is
rooted in the phenomenon of time, if rightly seen and right[y e:~tplained, and we
must show how this is the case.
If Being is to be conceived in terms of time, and if, indeed, its various
modes and derivatives are .to become intelligible in their respective
modifications and derivations by taking time into consideration, then
Beiag itself (and not merely entities, let us say, as entities 'in time') is
thus made visible in its 'temporal' character. But in that case, 'temporal'
can no longer mean simply 'being in time'. Even the 'non-temporal' and
the 'supra-temporal' are 'temporal' with regard to their Being, and not
just privatively by contrast with. something 'temporal' as an entity 'in
time', but in a positive sense, though it is one which we must first explain.
In both pre-philosophical and philoeophic:al usage the expression 'temporal' has been pre-empted by the lignification we have cited; in the
following investigations, however, we shall employ it for another signification. Thus the way in which Being and its modes and characteristics have
their meaning determined primordially in terms of time, is what we shall
call its "Tnnporal" determinateness. I Thus the fundamental ontological
task of Interpreting Being as such indudoworking out the Tnnporality of
Being. In the exposition of the problematic of Temporality the question
of the meaning of Being will first be concretely answered.
Because Being cannot be grasped except by taking time into consideration, the answer to the question of Being cannot lie in any proposition that
is blind and isolated. The aJUWer is not properly conceived if what it
asserts propositionally is jult passed along, especially if it gets. circulated
as a free-floating readt, ·.0. that we merely get informed about a
'standpoint' which
perhaps dift'er from the way this has hitherto
been treated. Whether the antWtt il a •new• one remains quite superficial
and .is of no importaDQe~ Ia positive character must lie in its being ancWnl
enough for us to 1eam to conceive the posaibilitiea which the 'Ancients'
have made ready for us. In its ownmoat meaning this answer t~ us that
concrete ontological research must begin with an inVestigative inquiry
which keeps within the horizon we have laid bare; and this ia aU~ it
tells UJ.
If, then, the answer to the question of Being is to provide the clues Cor
our research, it cannot be adequate until it brings us the insight that the
specific kind of Being of ontology hitherto, and the vicissitudes of its
inquiries, its findings, and its failures, have been necessitated in. the very
character of Dasein.


1 '~Cine

,_,.,.. BatiuuD.theic'. See our note s. p.

sS. H. 17


B1ing and Time


1f 6. Th4 Task of Destroying tlu History of Ontology
· All research-and not least that which operates within the range of the
central question of Being-is an ontical possibility of Dasein. Dasein's
Being find• ifl meaning in temporality. But temporality is also the condition which makes historicality possible as a temporal kind of Being
which Dasein itself possesses, regardless of whether or how Dasein is an
entity 'in time'. Historicality, as a determinate character, is prior to what
is called "hiltory" (world-historical historizing). 1
.. Historicality" stands for the state of Being that is constitutive for
Dasein's 'historizing' as such; only on the basis of such 'historizing' is
anything like 'world-history' possible or can anything belong historically
to world-history. In its factical Being, any Dasein is as it already was, and
it is 'what' it already was. It is its past, whether explicitly or not. And this
is so not only in that its past is, as it were, pushing itself along 'behind' it,
and that Dasein possesses what is past as a property which is still presentat-hand and which sometimes has after-effects upon it: Dasein 'is' its past
in the way of its own Being, which, to put it roughly, 'historizes' out of its
future on each occasion.• Whatever the way of being it may have at the
time, and thus with whatevu understanding of Being it may possess,
Dasein has grown up both in to P!ld in a traditional way of interpreting
itself: in terms of this it understands itselfproximally and, within a certain
range, constantly. By this understanding, the possibilities of its Being are
disclosed and regulated. Its own past-and this always means the past of
its 'generation'-is not something which follows along after Dasein, but
something which already goes ahead of it.
This elemental historicality of Dasein may remain hidden from Dasein
itself. But there is a way by which it can be discovered and given proper
attemion. Dasein can discover tradition, preserve it, and study i·: Pxplicitly.
The discovery of tradition and the disclosure of what it 'tnH.-..n~its' and
how rhis is transmitted, can be taken hold of as a task in its o•,·;~ right. In
thi; way Dasein brings itself into the kind of Being which :c-nsists in
hiscc. iological inquiry and research. But historiology--or mor ..: i !recisely
hi,·.uricity 3--is possible as a kind ofBeing which the inquiring f', .·.'in may

··.dtgechichtliches Gescbehen". While the verb 'geschehcn' ordin:,, + me<ms to

'h;;;:;>er:', and will often be so translated, Heidegger stresses its etymological ;..:insl1ip to:>
'G .i· :chtt" or 'history'. To bring out this connection, we have coined the=- ver ~-· 'historize',

•..,..,; .. ,. rnight be paraphnued as to 'happen in a historical way'; we shall usu.. ii~· translate
·r;~.ct.t'i>m' thi, way incontexu wbtn: ru.tory is being dacussed. \Ve tr.l.ic tl--.t the reader
wili k"c::: in mind that such 'hiatnrizint( is characteristic of all historical er,•;•.o::<, and is not
th< ·0•·< ·.Jf thing that h done priu1arily by hist.o~rians (as 'phi: "''';':,;zit•£' .';·~ i.ustance,
is c·> :·: by philco<'f,'hers). {On 'wodd-hiatorical' o;ce H. 3B l fr:
~ 'Das Dalein 'ist" seine Verga.DJ~t in dcr Weise se.,,.s Scins, da•, roh geagt,
jewcils aus seiner Zukunft her "getebiebt".'
J 'Historizitiit'. Cf. note 2, p. 31. H. 10 above.



Being and TiTM


possess, only because hi!ltoricality is a determining characteristic for
Dasein in the very basis of its Being. If this histolicality rem<.> ins hidden
from Dasein, and as long as it so remains, Dasein is also denied the
possibility of historiological inquiry or the discovery of history. If historiology is wanting, this is not evidence against Dasein's historicality; on
the contrary, as a deficient mode 1 of this state of Being, it is evidence for
it. Only because it is 'historical' can an era be unhistoriological.
On the other hand, if Dasein has seized upon its latent possibility not ,
only of making its own existence transparent to itself but also of inquiring
into the meaning of existentiality itself (that is to say, of previously
inquiring into the meaning of Being in ·general), and if by such inquiry
its eyes have been opened to its own essential historicality, then one cannot
fail to ace that the inquiry into Being (the ontico-ontological necessity of
which we have already indicated) is itself characterized by historicality.
The ownmost meaning of Being which belongs to the inqu..ry imo Being
as an historical inquiry, gives us the assignment [Anweisu.<"lg] C'f inquiring
into the history of that inquiry itself, that is, of bccomjng historiological.
In working out the question of Being, we must heed this assignment, so
that by positively making the past our {•wn, we may bring ourseives into
full possession of the owrunost possibilitie!: of such inquiry'. Tbe question
of the meaning of Being L1:ist be can·ied ~ .:wt:gh by o:p'i•.;:a Lng Dasein
beforehand in its temporality and historic.outy: tile r;ut~~~:ioo .1u:< lJring,
itself to the point where it understands itself as histo:.idnr.;~;:;:o ;,
Our prepamtory Interpretation of the fundamental ~;tr, ..;· un::; 0f
D:t:>ein with 1·egard to the average ld11d of Being which is chJ'>(~,::;_ to iz
(a kind of Bci..,g in which it is :!I~refore proximally histo•·ic.1l a:; ..,,,eli),
v;:JJ make manifest, however, n·.:-t (·.nly that Da;;ei:n is inclined to fall back
upon i:s world_(the world in which it is) and to interpret itsdfi:u tem!S of
that world by its reflected light, but alr.o t.hat Dasein simulta:urously fa.l1s
prey to the tradition of which it has more or less txplidtly tr.ken hoid.1
This tradition keeps it from providing its own gui ..i~r·c~, y-;1d...;er in
~ 'defi.~~~ente.r M~xius~.




~Jati'.)'!.:~ \\'~\Y3 -~~~: •!n~-:.k:;~, :.'f'UOT!.![ , ....hh;l:

to ·J-.:i,,!·• of ~·~n t:lJan.-:'!'e:d~tiCJ ~..!-: ~~c~
~e ;nc~! ,.J.:d .::"C:i:l~!': ~-:\}1 !1 of'•;·· · ~..::-~.!.!.-ring


~-~;l~~&:~g~~;:~·;.:;~:~;-,~!~~~~w~~~!~;;. -:~~;~
~:~ ··.:!.:"':-:.:~ ,.,;11 ·~.: ...~ :·f::_--~~,:

. ""C



~--:~~~ ;~it:~~{;;~{~~--~-:


.,~,~··:•. ···:

.·, ...

· ;:_,;··

;j .. ·.·• ~.':.;:·,!~




'~:: ··.;~~,~~. ~.-::~<~·

:.ntr.~='"~~t: ~! :::~ -,>;.


:!'.:: _;:~~·~. L~:·~~- -~~;·~;i,~--~~~



..... ,

~ ·~~i~;<t

1.:.2.~.<, ·;~;

~f.' · ~-.:~··




···.:,d. bt-- nllSJe;.aci~.~i~ ,;_Jr 0 i"".l! • .. :~~- .,_,.•::: .. ..;.( 1 ;1 • :::!.r-.:~ ,.:},JUgh '"!:a..:t.._ t-.;· ~::-::. (.t .....~ · .;.. .:,·; ·dt'-''Cil·n,:..s
:.:.-,:·H ~;•t:J: •..Ca (:0 Wt:::: ~J:~: .-~;·:. ;,;!~' "._.
~!·.· :J.·:'.~~-';:; ·'. ·C~-t.~f ::~:·~~--· . .:..~ ·:~:··: .-:.~~ :;~~.1. ,!_'1:) ·;t(',


Being and Time



inquiring or in choosing. This holds true-and by no means least-for that
understanding which is rooted in Dasein's ownmost Being, and for the
possibility of developing it-namely, for ontological understanding.
When tradition thus becomes master, it does so in such a way that what
it 'transmits' is made so inaccessible, proximally and for the most part,
that it rather becomes concealed. Tradition takes what has come down to
us and delivers it over to self-evidence; it blocks our access to those
primordial 'sources' from which the categories and concepts handed down
to us have been i.n part quite genuinely drawn. 1 Indeed it makes us forget
that they have had such an origin, and makes us suppose that the necessity of going back to these sources is something which we need not even
understand. Dascin has had its historicality so thoroughly uprooted by
tradition that it conrines its interest to the multiformity of possible types,
directions, and standpoints of philosophical activity in the most exotic
and alicr:. of cultures;. and by this very interest it seeks to veil the fact that
it has no ground of it:> own to stand on. Consequently, despite all its
historiological interests and all its zeal for an Interpretation which is
phiio!Jgically 'objective' ["sachiichr!"], Dasein no longer understands the
most elementary cond1tions which would alone enable it to go back to
the I; in a positive manner awl make it productively its own.
W·:; ha>'t: shown <!t da: outset (S:-:.:tion 1) nut only that the question of
•he me:n:ing of Being is Pne thii· na~ .not been attended to and one that
!l:~s been ir.adcquate:y inrmulatf], :)l:t tha[ it has become quite forgotten
:n ~p!tc :)f dJ our intcrc~t m 'me: .u!·:ysics'. Greek ontology and its histcr:;
-whi:-:1, in their .11:li;!;;crous fjJi·;.t;~JJ-!5 ~nd d~ston:icns, determine the CU)·
-:cp:u:1i character 01. philosoph~ ~ve!1. tcday-provc that when Dasciu
?<:~\ds either .it~:Ii or. Bt::i!,·~ m general .• it doc.<: so in ~erms of th.·
'woxhf, J.nd that the ontology· ', 1~ ich has thus arisen has de;:eriorate:,
[ vczi\h~ to a ;;·adition in which it :-~ct:: reduced to somcthi!lg self-evident
-me:-(·i.~- ~"t'a:erial f()r :-eworkin!(. ;. · ·r was fi.)r Hegel. In tht! :Middle Agcr.
;h.;~.·· ;::.··,,:.~.·1 (~:·eek ontology bee•:
:~ fi.x~d ix>d.y ofdcc·u·ine. Its s~~k·
m<-:Ht;!•. ::'h\ ·.:ver. :.; !::>v no means a "::ere jcining together of trad.ition.::i
--.:~~\~f 1 :_' ·:· ""rt·~nl:z.:·· ~--~ b~.:>:c conception~':~ .Being ~;,-4:-: ·
::::.ticali~_.-· 1!'(:~··.i ~:-· :- -~.. ~~~c~~s_, a grear ..-,.~~:.1.1 of t!n.~
... ' . . ... ·..
~·q c;:.·:rtied .)n ..'· :.~:<1L:r . . vithin these h.tT:..its. 'YViti·
:.·':.C · ·:,:,;h the Sc.1n~.•.;,~;,-: ::~·:,;·c! :r. Cr~ek onto!.O~' h~.~.


..·: ; .;. ~-· ...

.. :


·. ··

·. ..-. ~r.:: t:-:-t,.~.lTi.:>· ;~ . ._~,.~.·-.~~.~·.•·.u~~-. ·.·

··~~·;;r"<~--J~·.:.J:~.: .. t".:·
.. ~:;·.~·i,,;, .·.··~"·-t~·-~ .- .-· ·~ ,i.:~.:.=
\~what nas co~llt! o.own t') u!,'); i.i.Le.dieter~!;\:' ~>.)~:ldc:d. dO'.folll !o us~).

· . a . ...

Being and Time
'logic'. In the course of this history certain distinctive domains of Being
have come into view and have served as the primary guides for subsequent
problematics: the ego cogito of Descartes, the subject, the "I", reason,
spirit, person. But these all remain uninterrogated as to their Being and
its structure, in accordance with the thoroughgoing way in which the
question of Being has been neglected. It is rather the case that the categorial content of the traditional ontology has been carried over to these
entities with corresponding formalizations and purely negative restrictions, or else dialectic has been called in for the purpose of Interpreting
the substantiality of the subject ontologically.
If the question of Being is to· have its own history made transparent,
then this hardened tradition must be loosened up, and the concealments
which it has brought about 1 must be dissolved. We understand this task
as one in which by taking 1114 question of Being as our clru, we are to tkstroy
the traditional content of ancient ontology until we arrive at those primordial experjences in which we achieved our first ways of detennining the
nature of Being-the ways which have guided us ever since.
In thus demonstrating the origin of our basic ontological concepts by
an investigation in which their 'birth certificate' is displayed, we have
nothing to do with a vicious relativizing of ontological standpoints. But
this destruction is just as far from having the negative sense of shaking off
the ontological tradition. We must, on the contrary, stake out the positive
possibilities of that tradition, and this always means keeping it within its
limits; these in tum are given factically in the way the question is formulated at the time, and in the way the pouible field fOr investigation is
thus bounded off. On its negative side_. this destruction does not relate
itself towards the past; its criticism is aimed at 'today' and at the prevalent
way of treating the history of ontology, whether it is headed towards
doxography, towards intellectual history, or towards a history of problems.
But to bury the past in nullity [N:::!1tigkeit] is not the purpose of this
destruction; its aim is positive; its nn;ative function remains unexpressed
and indirect.
The destruction of the history of ontology is essentially bound up with
the way the question of Being is formulated, and it is possible only within
such a formulaticn. In the framework of our treatise, which aims at working
out that questi;>;: in principle, we c:m carry out this destruction only with
regard to stagr:;: of that history whicn are in principle decisive.
In line with the !JOSitive t~:'nd..:1:r.ies of this destruction, we must in
the first instar.ce raise the q',;.e~:IOL whether and to what extent the



1 ' • . . der durch sie gezeitigten Verdeckungen.' The verb 'zeitigen' will appear frequently in later chapten. See H. 304 and our note ad loc.

Being and Tim4
Interpretation of Being and the phenomenon of time have been brought
together thematically in the
of the history of ontology, and whether
the problematic of Temporality required for this has ever been worked
out in principle or ever could have been. The first and only person who
has gone any stretch of the way towards investigating the dimension of
Temporality or has even let himself be drawn hither by the coercion of
the phenomena themselves is Kant. Only when we have established the
problematic of Temporality, can we 'Succeed in casting light on the
obscurity of his doctrine of the schematism. But this will also show us
why this area is one which had to remain closed off to him in its real
dimensions and its central ontological function. Kant himself was aware
that he was venturing into an area of obscurity: 'This schematism of our
understanding as regards appearances and their mere form is an art
hidden in the depths of the human soul, the true devices of which are
hardly ever to be divined from Nature and laid uncovered before our
eyes.' 1 Here Kant shrinks back, as it were, in the.face of something which
must be brought to light as a theme and a principle if the expression
"Being"· is to have any. demt>nstrable meaning. Iu the end, those very
phenomena which will be exhibited under the heading of 'Temporality'
in our analysis, are precisely those most covert judgments of the 'common
reason' for which Kant says it is the 'business of philosophers' to provide
an analytic.
In pursuing this task of destruction with the problematic ofTemporali ty
as our clue, we shall try to Interpret the chapter on the schematism and
the Kantian doctrine of time, taking that chapter as our point of departure. At the same time we shall show why Kant could never achieve an
insight into the problematic of Temporality. There were two things that
stood in his way: in the first place, he altogether neglected the problem
of Being; and, in connection with this, he failed to provide an ontology
with Dasein as its theme or (to put this in Kantian language) to give a
preliminary ontological analytic of the subjectivity of the subject. Instead
of this, Kant took over Descartes' position quite dogmatically, notwithstandifl~'it all the essential respects in which he had gone beyond him.
Furthermore, in spite of the fact that he was bringing the phenomenon
of time back into the subject again, his analysis of it remained oriented
towards the traditional way in which time had been ordinarily understood; in the long run this kept him from working out the phenomenon
of a 'transcendental determination of time' in its own structure and function. Because of this double effect of tradition the decisive connection
between time and the '/think' was shrouded in utter darkness; it did not
even become a problem.




Being and Time
In taking over Descartes' ontological position Kant made an essential
omission; he failed to provide an ontology of Dasein. This omission was
a decisive one in the spirit [im Sinne] of Descartes' ownmost Tendencies.
With the 'cogito sum' Descartes had claimed that he was putting philosoph¥ on a new and firm footing. But what he left undetermined when he
began in this 'radical' way, was the kind of Being which belongs to the
res cogitans, or-more precisely~the ~aning of the Being of the 'sum'. 1 By
working out the unexpressed ontological foundations of the 'cogito sum', we
shall complete our sojourn at the second station along the path of our
destructive retrospect of the history of ontology~ Our Interpretation will
not only prove that Descartes had to neglect th~ question of Being altogether; it will also show why he came to suppose that the absolute 'Beingcertain' ["Gewisssein"] of the cogilo exempted him from raising the question of the meaning of the Being which this entity possesses.
Yet Descartes not only continued to neglect this and thus to accept a
completely indefinite ontological status for the rts cogitans sive mens sive
animus ['the thing which cognizes, whether it be a mind or spirit']: he
regarded this entity as ajundo.mentum incorrcrusum, and applied the medieval
ontology to it in carrying through the fundamental considerations of his
Meditationes. He defined the res cogitans ontologically as an ens; and in the
medieval ontology the meaning of Being for such an ens had been fixed
by understanding it as an ens creatum. God, as ens infinitum, was the ens
i ncr e a tum. But createdness [Geschaffenheit] in the widest sense of
something's. having been produced [Hergestelltheit], was an essential
item in the structure of the ancient conception of Being. The seemingly
new beginning which Descartes proposed for philosophizing has revealed
itself as the implantation of a baleful prejudice, which has kept later
generations from making any thematic ontological analytic of the 'mind'
["Gemiites"] such as would· take· the question of Being as a