81 I. 2
Being and Time

In these analyses the issue is one of seeing a primordial structure of Dasein's Being—a structure in accordance with whose phenomenal content the concepts of Being must be Articulated; because of this, and because this structure is in principle one which cannot be grasped by the traditional ontological categories, this 'being-alongside' [55] must be examined still more closely. We shall again choose the method of contrasting it with a relationship of Being which is essentially different ontologically—viz. categorial—but which we express by the same linguistic means. Fundamental ontological distinctions are easily obliterated; and if they are to be envisaged phenomenally in this way, this must be done explicitly, even at the risk of discussing the 'obvious'. The status of the ontological analytic shows, however, that we have been far from interpreting these obvious matters with an adequate 'grasp', still less with regard for the meaning of their Being; and we are even farther from possessing a stable coinage for the appropriate structural concepts.

As an existentiale, 'Being alongside' the world never means anything like the Being-present-at-hand-together of Things that occur. There is no such thing as the 'side-by-side-ness' of an entity called 'Dasein' with another entity called 'world'. Of course when two things are present-at-hand together alongside one another,1 we are accustomed to express this occasionally by something like 'The table stands "by" ['bei'] the door' or 'The chair "touches" ['berührt'] the wall'. Taken strictly, 'touching' is never what we are talking about in such cases, not because accurate reexamination will always eventually establish that there is a space between the chair and the wall, but because in principle the chair can never touch the wall, even if the space between them should be equal to zero. If the chair could touch the wall, this would presuppose that the wall is the sort of thing 'for' which a chair would be encounterable.2 An entity present-athand within the world can be touched by another entity only if by its very nature the latter entity has Being-in as its own kind of Being—only if, with its Being-there [Da-sein], something like the world is already revealed to it, so that from out of that world another entity can manifest itself in touching, and thus become accessible in its Being-present-at-hand. When two entities are present-at-hand within the world, and furthermore are worldless in themselves, they can never 'touch' each other, nor can either of them 'be' 'alongside' the other.


1 'Das Beisammen zweier Vorhandener ...'

2 'Voraussetzung dafür wäre, dass die Wand "für" den Stuhl begegnen könnte.' (Cf. also H. 97 below.)