37 INT. II
Being and Time

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 ontologically 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 shortcomings 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 remains 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 together. Existentiell interpretation can demand an existential analytic, if indeed we conceive of philosophical cognition as something possible and necessary. Only when the basic structures of Dasein have been adequately worked out with explicit orientation towards the problem of Being itself, will what we have hitherto gained in interpreting Dasein get its existential justification.

Thus an analytic of Dasein must remain our first requirement in the question of Being. But in that case the problem of obtaining and securing the kind of access which will lead to Dasein, becomes even more a burning one. To put it negatively, we have no right to resort to dogmatic constructions and to apply just any idea of Being and actuality to this entity, no matter how 'self-evident' that idea may be; nor may any of the 'categories' which such an idea prescribes be forced upon Dasein without proper ontological consideration. We must rather choose such a way of access and such a kind of interpretation that this entity can show itself in itself and from itself [an ihm selbst von ihm selbst her]. And this means that it is to be shown as it is proximally and for the most part—in its average everydayness.1


1 'Und zwar soll sie das Seiende in dem zeigen, wie es zunächst und zumeist ist, in seiner durchschnittlichen Alltäglichkeit.' The phrase 'zunachst und zumeist' is one that occurs many times, though Heidegger does not explain it until Section 71 (H. 370 below), where 'Alltäglichkeit' too gets explained. On 'zunachst' see our note 1, p. 25, H. 6.


Being and Time (M&R) by Martin Heidegger page 376