§22. Being and Beings [462-463]

by a time-determination, the earlier, because in this a priori nothing of time is supposed to be present, hence lucus a non lucendo? Believe it if you wish.

On the other hand, it is also characteristic of the state of philosophical inquiry today and has been for a long time that, while there has been extensive controversy about whether or not the a priori can be known, it has never occurred to the protagonists to ask first what could really have been meant by the fact that a time-determination turns up here and why it must turn up at all. To be sure, as long as we orient ourselves toward the common concept of time we are at an impasse, and negatively it is no less than consistent to deny dogmatically that the a priori has anything to do with time. However. time in the sense commonly understood, which is our topic here. is indeed only one derivative, even if legitimate, of the original time, on which the Dasein's ontological constitution is based. It is only by means of the Temporality of the understanding of being that it can be explain why the ontological determinations of being have the character of apriority. We shall attempt to sketch this briefly. so far as it permits of being done along general lines.

We have seen that all comportment toward beings already understands being, and not just incidentally: being must necessarily be understood precursorily (pre-cedently). The possibility of comportment toward beings demands a precursory understanding of being, and the possibility of the understanding of being demands in its tum a precursory projection upon time. But where is the final stage of this demand for ever further precursory conditions? It is temporality itself as the basic constitution of the Dasein. Temporality, due to its horizonal-ecstatic nature, makes possible at once the understanding of being and comportment toward beings; therefore, that which does the enabling as well as the enablings themselves, that is, the possibilities in the Kantian sense, are "temporal." that is to say, Temporal, in their specific interconnection. Because the original determinant of possibility, origin of possibility itself. is time, time temporalizes itself as the absolutely earliest. Time is earlier than any possible earlier of whatever sort, because it is the basic condition for an earlier as such. And because time as the source of all enablings (possibilities) is the earliest, all possibilities as such in their possibility-making function have the character of the earlier. That is to say. they are a priori. But, from the fact that time is the earliest in the sense of being the possibility of every earlier and of every a priori foundational ordering, it does not follow that time is ontically the first being; nor does it follow that time is forever and eternal, quite apart from the impropriety of calling time a being at all.

We have heard that the Dasein dwells daily and first and for the most part solely with beings. even though it must already have understood being in that very process and in order to accomplish it. However, because the