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Thesis of Modern Ontology [247-248]

have brought before our eyes the fundamental problems resulting from the fact that since Descartes and above all in German idealism the ontological constitution of the person, the ego, the subject, is determined by way of self-consciousness. It is not sufficient to take the concept of self-consciousness in the formal sense of reflection on the ego. Rather, it is necessary to exhibit diverse forms of the Dasein's self-understanding. This leads to the insight that self-understanding is always determined by way of the Dasein's mode of being, by way of the authenticity and inauthenticity of existence. From this emerges the need for putting the question in the reverse direction. We cannot define the Dasein's ontological constitution with the aid of self-consciousness, but, to the contrary, we have to clarify the diverse possibilities of self-understanding by way of an adequately clarified structure of existence.

In order to mark out the path of such an examination, let us give more particular consideration to reflection in the sense of self-understanding by way of the things themselves. This reflection in the sense of a mirroring-back of the self from things, which was at first so puzzling, became clearer for us when we asked: In what sense are the things of the environing world to be grasped? What ontological character do they have and what is presupposed for their apprehension? They have the character of functionality [the mode of deployment of the in-order-to]. They stand in a functionality-totality, which is understandable only if and when something like world is unveiled for us. This led us to the concept of the world. We tried to make clear that world is nothing that occurs within the realm of the extant but belongs to the "subject," is something "subjective" in the well-understood sense, so that the mode of being of the Dasein is at the same time determined by way of the phenomenon of the world. We fixed being-in-the-world as the basic determination of existence. This structure has to be differentiated from being within the world, intraworldliness, which is a possible determination of nature. It is not necessary, however, that nature be uncovered, that it should occur within the world of a Dasein.

The constitution of the Dasein's existence as being-in-the-world emerged as a peculiar transposition of the subject which makes up the phenomenon which we shall yet more particularly define as the Dasein's transcendence.

With his monadological interpretation of beings, Leibniz already had in view, in a certain sense, this peculiar phenomenon of the world, but without fixing it as such. He says that every being, in its possibility, reflects the universe of beings in conformity with the various degrees of wakefulness of its representing. Each monad, each individual being for itself, is characterized by representation, the possibility of mirroring the whole of the world. The monads need no window: they have the intrinsic possibility of cognizing the whole of the world. However great may be the difficulties of his