72 I. 1
Being and Time

analytic raises the ontological question of the Being of the "sum". Not until the nature of this Being has been determined can we grasp the kind of Being which belongs to cogitationes.

At the same time it is of course misleading to exemplify the aim of our analytic historiologically in this way. One of our first tasks will be to prove that if we posit an "I" or subject as that which is proximally given, we shall completely miss the phenomenal content [Bestand] of Dasein. Ontologically, every idea of a 'subject'—unless refined by a previous ontological determination of its basic character—still posits the subjectum (ὑποκείμενον) along with it, no matter how vigorous one's ontical protestations against the 'soul substance' or the 'reification of consciousness'. The Thinghood itself which such reification implies must have its ontological origin demonstrated if we are to be in a position to ask what we are to understand positively when we think of the unreified Being of the subject, the soul, the consciousness, the spirit, the person. All these terms refer to definite phenomenal domains which can be 'given form' ["ausformbare"]: but they are never used without a notable failure to see the need for inquiring about the Being of the entities thus designated. So we are not being terminologically arbitrary when we avoid these terms—or such expressions as 'life' and 'man'—in designating those entities which we are ourselves.

On the other hand, if we understand it rightly, in any serious and scientifically-minded 'philosophy of life' (this expression says about as much as "the botany of plants") there lies an unexpressed tendency towards an understanding of Dasein's Being. What is conspicuous in such a philosophy (and here it is d􀈥fective in principle) is that here 'life' itself as a kind of Being does not become ontologically a problem.

The researches of Wilhelm Dilthey were stimulated by the perennial question of 'life'. Starting from 'life' itself as a whole, he tried to understand its 'Experiences'1 in their structural and developmental inter-connections. His 'geisteswissenschoftliche Psychologic' is one which no longer seeks to be oriented towards psychical elements and atoms or to piece the life of the soul together, but aims rather at 'Gestalten' and 'life as a whole'. Its philosophical relevance, however, is not to be sought here, but rather in the fact that in all this he was, above all, on his way towards the question [47] of 'life'. To be sure, we can also see here very plainly how limited were both his problematic and the set of concepts with which it had to be put into words.

1 'Die "Erlebnisse" dieses "Lebens" ...' The connection between 'Leben' ('life') and 'Erlebnisse' ('Experiences') is lost in translation. An 'Erlebnis' is not just any 'experience' ('Erfahrung'), but one which we feel deeply and 'live through'. We shall translate 'Erlebnis' and 'erleben' by 'Experience' with a capital 'E', reserving 'experience' for 'Erfahrung' and 'erfahren'.