Thesis of Modern Ontology [236-237]

means that which is, itself—nature, things, and the universe of beings. What this pre-philosophical concept of world designates we call, in philosophical language, the totality of intraworldly beings, which on its part presupposes world in the phenomenological sense that has yet to be defined. Being-in-the-world belongs to the Dasein's existence. A chair does not have being-in-the-world's mode of being; instead it occurs within the intraworldly extant. The chair does not have a world from which it might understand itself and in which it could exist as the being that it is, but rather it is extant. The question arises once again, What is this mystery, the world, and above all, how is it? If the world is not identical with nature and the universe of beings, and if also it is not their re;ult, then in what way is it? Is it a mere fiction, a hypothesis? How shall we give a definitive characterization of the world's own mode of being?

We shall now attempt to define the Dasein in its ontological structure by drawing the moments of the definition itself from the actual phenomenal evidence pertaining to this being. In doing so, we shall be setting out in a certain way, roughly speaking, from the object in order to get to the "subject." We shall see, however, that it is necessary to ponder this mode of departure and that it depends on whether we include within it everything that in any way belongs to it. We have already seen that a being which is given to us is not just a thing that we might or might not think—that in thinking some extant thing we do not really have something that just might possibly stand over against the Dasein. It is also not just a contexture of things that we have. Rather, we say that before the experiencing of beings as extant, world is already understood; that is, we, the Dasein, in apprehending beings, are always already in a world. Being-in-the-world itself belongs to the determination of our own being. In raising the question how the world accosted in being-in-the-world is, we are standing in a position which, like others, carries particular danger for philosophy and in regard to which we could easily evade the real problem in order to procure for ourselves some convenient and initially acceptable solution. The world is not the sum total of extant entities. It is, quite generally, not extant at all. It is a determination of being-in-the-world, a moment in the structure of the Dasein's mode of being. The world is something Dasein-ish, It is not extant like things but it is da, there-here, like the Dasein, the being-da [das Da-seinJ which we ourselves are: that is to say, it exists. We call the mode of being of the being that we ourselves are, of the Dasein, by the name of existence. This implies as a pure matter of terminology that the world is not extant but rather it exists, it has the Dasein's mode of being.

At this place another obstacle that is characteristic for all philosophizing again stands in our way. Our inquiry comes up against phenomena that are not familiar to the common understanding and therefore are for it without