162 I. 4
Being and Time

This phenomenon, which is none too happily designated as 'empathy' ["Einfühlung"], is then supposed, as it were, to provide the first ontological bridge from one's own subject, which is given proximally as alone, to the other subject, which is proximally quite closed off.

Of course Being towards Others is ontologically different from Being towards Things which are present-at-hand. The entity which is 'other' has itself the same kind of Being as Dasein. In Being with and towards Others, there is thus a relationship ofBeing [Seinsverhältnis] from Dasein to Dasein. But it might be said that this relationship is already constitutive for one's own Dasein, which, in its own right, has an understanding of Being, and which thus relates itself1 towards Dasein. The relationship-ofBeing which one has towards Others would then become a Projection2 of one's own Being-towards-oneself 'into something else'. The Other would be a duplicate of the Self.

But while these deliberations seem obvious enough, it is easy to see that they have little ground to stand on. The presupposition which this argument demands—that Dasein's Being towards an Other is its Being towards itself—fails to hold. As long as the legitimacy of this presupposition has not turned out to be evident, one may still be puzzled as to how Dasein's relationship to itself is thus to be disclosed to the Other as Other.

Not only is Being towards Others an autonomous, irreducible relationship of Being: this relationship, as Being-with, is one which, with Dasein's Being, already is.3 Of course it is indisputable that a lively mutual acquaintanceship on the basis of Being-with, often depends upon how far one's own Dasein has understood itself at the time; but this means that it depends only upon how far one's essential Being with Others has made itself transparent and has not disguised itself.4 And that is possible only if Dasein, as Being-in-the-world, already is with Others. 'Empathy' does not first constitute Being-with; only on the basis of Being-with does 'empathy' become possible: it gets its motivation from the unsociability of the dominant modes of Being-with.5


1 '... sich ... verhält ...' We have often translated this expression as 'comports' itself', compromising between two other possible meanings: 'relates itself' and 'behaves or 'conducts itself'. In this passage, however, and in many others where this expression is tied up with 'Verhältnis' ('relationship') rather than with 'Verhalten' ('behaviour or 'conduct'), only 'relates itself' seems appropriate.

2 'Projektion'. Here we are dealing with 'projection' in the familiar psychological sense, not in the sense which would be expressed by 'Entwurf'. See H. 145 ff.

3 'Das Sein zu Anderen ist nicht nur ein eigenständiger, irreduktibler Seinsbezug, er ist als Mitsein mit dem Sein des Daseins schon seiend.'

4 '... wie weit es das wesenhafte Mitsein mit anderen sich durchsichtig gemacht und nicht verstellt hat ...' (The older editions have '... sich nicht undurchsichtig gemacht und verstellt hat ...' .)

5 '"Einfühlung" konstituiert nicht erst das Mitsein, sondem ist auf dessen Grunde erst möglich und durch die vorherrschenden defizienten Modi des Mitseins in ihrer Unumgänglichkeit motiviert.'


Being and Time (M&R) by Martin Heidegger