63 INT. II
Being and Time

Higher than actuality stands possibility. We can understand phenomenology only by seizing upon it as a possibility.

With regard to the awkwardness and 'inelegance' of expression in the analyses to come, we may remark that it is one thing to give a report in which we tell about entities, but another to grasp entities in their Being. [39] For the latter task we lack not only most of the words but, above all, the 'grammar'. If we may allude to some earlier researchers on the analysis of Being, incomparable on their own level, we may compare the ontological sections of Plato's Parmenides or the fourth chapter of the seventh book of Aristotle's Metaphysics with a narrative section from Thucydides; we can then see the altogether unprecedented character of those formulations which were imposed upon the Greeks by their philosophers. And where our powers are essentially weaker, and where moreover the area of Being to be disclosed is ontologically far more difficult than that which was presented to the Greeks, the harshness of our expression will be enhanced, and so will the minuteness of detail with which our concepts are formed.

¶ 8. Design of the Treatise

The question of the meaning of Being is the most universal and the emptiest of questions, but at the same time it is possible to individualize it very precisely for any particular Dasein. If we are to arrive at the basic concept of 'Being' and to outline the ontological conceptions which it requires and the variations which it necessarily undergoes, we need a clue which is concrete. We shall proceed towards the concept of Being by way of an Interpretation of a certain special entity, Dasein, in which we shall arrive at the horizon for the understanding of Being and for the possibility of interpreting it; the universality of the concept of Being is not belied by the relatively 'special' character of our investigation. But this very entity, Dasein, is in itself 'historical', so that its ownmost ontological elucidation necessarily becomes an 'historiological' Interpretation.

Accordingly our treatment of the question of Being branches out into two distinct tasks, and our treatise will thus have two parts:

Part One: the Interpretation of Dasein in terms of temporality, and the explication of time as the transcendental horizon for the question of Being.

Part Two: basic features of a phenomenological destruction of the history of ontology, with the problematic of Temporality as our clue.

Being and Time (M&R) by Martin Heidegger