GA 63

Ontologie. Hermeneutik der Faktizität

Ontology: The Hermeneutics of Facticity

This Summer Semester 1923 lecture course is an important step on the way to Being and Time. As the title indicates, Heidegger characterizes his ontology as a hermeneutics of facticity. Facticity is the being of our own being-there. Here, Heidegger describes being-there for the first time as a formal indication of the central phenomenon of phenomenology. It indicates the particular whileness that each of us is and has. After a historical overview of the history of hermeneutics, Heidegger interprets hermeneutics not as a science of interpretation, but as explicating communication. Its goal is the self-understanding of being-there. Since interpretation is an outstanding possibility of the being of factual life itself, hermeneutics is an essential possibility of facticity. In order to keep the term being-there ontologically neutral, we must dismantle the traditional concepts of human being such as rational animal and person. Existence is being-there’s most unique and most intense possibility. It is being-there’s ability to hold itself awake and be alert to itself in its ultimate possibility. After a discussion of the contemporary state of philosophy, Heidegger comes to his phenomenological analysis of being-there.

The being of being-there is determined as being in a world. In order to characterize the everyday world and to develop the formal indication of being-there as being-in-the-world, Heidegger formulates the trio of questions, which we also find in Being and Time: (1) What does a world mean? (2) What does “in” a world imply? (3) How does being in a world appear? Only the first question is worked out in any detail in the course. We encounter world in three different ways as environment, with-world, and self-world. Environment is a meaningful context that discloses the being of entities as equipment. Our everyday openness toward entities is made possible by the fundamental phenomenon of care. Because in the everydayness of our lives we are first and foremost concerned with entities, the potential individuation and ownedness of our being-there is at the same time concealed. Heidegger calls this potential ownedness discovery. In Being and Time, the meaning of disclosedness and discovery will be reversed.