75 I. 1
Being and Time

The two sources which are relevant for the traditional anthropology—the Greek definition and the clue which theology has provided—indicate that over and above the attempt to determine the essence of 'man' as an entity, the question of his Being has remained forgotten, and that this Being is rather conceived as something obvious or 'self-evident' in the sense of the Being-present-at-hand of other created Things. These two clues become intertwined in the anthropology of modem times, where the res cogitans, consciousness, and the interconnectedness of Experience serve as the point of departure for methodical study. But since even the cogitationes are either left ontologically undetermined, or get tacitly assumed as something 'self-evidently' 'given' whose 'Being' is not to be questioned, the decisive ontological foundations of anthropological problematics remain undetermined.

This is no less true of 'psychology', whose anthropological tendencies are today unmistakable. Nor can we compensate for the absence of ontological foundations by taking anthropology and psychology and building them into the framework of a general biology. In the order which any possible comprehension and interpretation must follow, biology as a 'science of life' is founded upon the ontology of Dasein, even if not entirely. [50] Life, in its own right, is a kind of Being; but essentially it is accessible only in Dasein. The ontology of life is accomplished by way of a privative Interpretation; it determines what must be the case if there can be anything like mere-aliveness [Nur-noch-leben]. Life is not a mere Being-present-at-hand, nor is it Dasein. In tum, Dasein is never to be defined ontologically by regarding it as life (in an ontologically indefinite manner) plus something else.

In suggesting that anthropology, psychology, and biology all' fail to give an unequivocal and ontologically adequate answer to the question about the kind of Being which belongs to those entities which we ourselves are, we are not passing judgment on the positive work of these disciplines. We must always bear in mind, however, that these ontological foundations can never be disclosed by subsequent hypotheses derived from empirical material, but that they are always 'there' already, even when that empirical material simply gets collected. If positive research fails to see these foundations and holds them to be self-evident, this by no means proves that they are not basic or that they are not problematic in a more radical sense than any thesis of positive science can ever be.x