193 I. 5
Being and Time

alternatively, Being. Meaning is that wherein the intelligibility [Verständlichkeit] of something maintains itself. That which can be Articulated in a disclosure by which we understand, we call "meaning". The concept of meaning embraces the formal existential framework of what necessarily belongs to that which an understanding interpretation Articulates. Meaning is the "upon-which" of a projection in terms of which something becomes intelligible as something; it gets its structure from a fore-having, a fore-sight, and a fore-conception .1 In so far as understanding and interpretation make up the existential state of Being of the "there", "meaning" must be conceived as the formal-existential framework of the disclosedness which belongs to understanding. Meaning is an existentiale of Dasein, not a property attaching to entities, lying 'behind' them, or floating somewhere as an 'intermediate domain'. Dasein only 'has' meaning, so far as the disclosedness of Being-in-the-world can be 'filled in' by the entities discoverable in that disclosedness.2 Hence only Dasein can be meaningful [sinnvoll] or meaningless [sinnlos]. That is to say, its own Being and the entities disclosed with its Being can be appropriated in understanding, or can remain relegated to non-understanding.

This Interpretation of the concept of 'meaning' is one which is ontologico-existential [152] in principle; if we adhere to it, then all entities whose kind of Being is of a character other than Dasein's must be conceived as unmeaning [unsinniges], essentially devoid of any meaning at all. Here 'unmeaning' does not signify that we are saying anything about the value of such entities, but it gives expression to an ontological characteristic. And only that which is unmeaning can be absurd [widersinnig]. The present-at-hand, as Dasein encounters it, can, as it were, assault Dasein's Being; natural events, for instance, can break in upon us and destroy us.

And if we are inquiring about the meaning of Being, our investigation does not then become a "deep" one [tiefsinnig], nor does it puzzle out what stands behind Being. It asks about Being itself in so far as Being enters into the intelligibility of Dasein. The meaning of Being can never be

1 ' Sinn ist das durch Vorhabe, Vorsicht und Vorgijf strukturierte Woraufhin des Entwurjs, aus dem her etwas als etwas verständlich wird .' (Notice that our usual translation of 'verständlich', and 'Verständlichkeit' as 'intelligible' and 'intelligibility', fails to show the connection of the words with 'Verständnis', etc. This connection could have been brought out effectively by writing 'understandable,' 'understandability', etc., but only at the cost of awkwardness.)

2 'Sinn "hat" nur das Dasein, sofern die Erschlossenheit des In-der-Welt-seins durch das in ihr entdeckbare Seiende "erftillbar" ist.' The point of this puzzling and ambiguous sentence may become somewhat clearer if the reader recalls that here as elsewhere (see H. 75 above) the verb 'erschliessen' ('disclose') is used in the sense of 'opening something up' so that its contents can be 'discovered'. What thus gets 'opened up' will then be 'filled in' as more and more of its contents get discovered.