196 I. 5
Being and Time

present context, we shall give an explicit analysis of assertion, and this analysis will serve several purposes.

For one thing, it can be demonstrated, by considering assertion, in what ways the structure of the 'as', which is constitutive for understanding and interpretation, can be modified. When this has been done, both understanding and interpretation will be brought more sharply into view. For another thing, the analysis of assertion has a special position in the problematic of fundamental ontology, because in the decisive period when ancient ontology was beginning, the λόγος functioned as the only clue for obtaining access to that which authentically is [zum eigentlich Seienden], and for defining the Being of such entities. Finally assertion has been accepted from ancient times as the primary and authentic 'locus' of truth. The phenomenon of truth is so thoroughly coupled with the problem of Being that our investigation, as it proceeds further, will necessarily come up against the problem of truth; and it already lies within the dimensions of that problem, though not explicitly. The analysis of assertion will at the same time prepare the way for this latter problematic.

In what follows, we give three significations to the term "assertion". These are drawn from the phenomenon which is thus designated, they are connected among themselves, and in their unity they encompass the full structure of assertion.

1. The primary signification of"assertion" is "pointing out" [Aufzeigen]. In this we adhere to the primordial meaning of λόγος as ἀπόφανσις—letting an entity be seen from itself. In the assertion 'The hammer is too heavy', what is discovered for sight is not a 'meaning', but an entity in the way that it is ready-to-hand. Even if this entity is not close enough to be grasped and 'seen', the pointing-out has in view the entity itself and not, let us say, a mere "representation'' [Vorstellung] of it—neither something 'merely represented' nor the psychical condition in which the person who makes the assertion "represents" it.

2. "Assertion" means no less than "predication". We 'assert' a 'predicate' of a 'subject', and the 'subject' is given a definite character [bestimmt] by the 'predicate'. In this signification of "assertion", that which is put forward in the assertion [Das Ausgesagte] is not the predicate, but 'the hammer itself'. On the other hand, that which does the asserting [Das Aussagende] (in other words, that which gives something a definite character) lies in the 'too heavy'. That which is put forward in the assertion in the second signification of "assertion" (that which is given a [155] definite character, as such) has undergone a narrowing of content as compared with what is put forward in the assertion in the first signification