198 I. 5
Being and Time

something is the case [Wissen] or merely an acquaintance with something [Kennen]) always has the entity itself in view and does not 'give assent' to some 'valid meaning' which has been passed around. Even hearsay is a Being-in-the-world, and a Being towards what is heard.

There is prevalent today a theory of 'judgment' which is oriented to the phenomenon of 'validity'.1 We shall not give an extensive discussion of it here. It will be sufficient to allude to the very questionable character of this phenomenon of 'validity', though since the time of Lotze people have been fond of passing this off as a 'primal phenomenon' which cannot be traced back any further. The fact that it can play this role is due only to its ontologically unclarified character. The 'problematic' which has [156] established itself round this idolized word is no less opaque. In the first place, validity is viewed as the 'form' of actuality which goes with the content of the judgment, in so far as that content remains unchanged as opposed to the changeable 'psychical' process of judgment. Considering how the status of the question of Being in general has been characterized in the introduction to this treatise, we would scarcely venture to expect that 'validity' as 'ideal Being' is distinguished by special ontological clarity. In the second place, "validity" means at the same time the validity of the meaning of the judgment, which is valid of the 'Object' it has in view; and thus it attains the signification of an 'Objectively valid character' and of Objectivity in general. In the third place, the meaning which is thus 'valid' of an entity, and which is valid 'timelessly' in itself, is said to be 'valid' also in the sense of being valid for everyone who judges rationally. "Validity" now means a bindingness, or 'universally valid' character.2 Even if one were to advocate a 'critical' epistemological theory, according to which the subject does not 'really' 'come out' to the Object, then this valid character, as the validity of an Object (Objectivity), is grounded upon that stock of true (!) meaning which is itself valid. The three significations of 'being valid' which we have set forth—the way of Being of the ideal, Objectivity, and bindingness—not only are opaque in themselves but constandy get confused with one another. Methodological fore-sight

1 Heidegger uses three words which might conveniently be translated as 'validity': 'Geltung' (our 'validity'), 'Gültigkeit' (our 'valid character'), and 'Gelten' (our 'being valid', etc.). The reader who has studied logic in English and who accordingly thinks of 'validity' as merely a property of arguments in which the premises imply the conclusion, must remember that in German the verb 'gel ten' and its derivatives are used much more broadly, so as to apply to almost anything that is commonly (or even privately) accepted, so that one can speak of the 'validity' of legal tender, the 'validity' of a ticket for so many weeks or months, the 'validity' of that which 'holds' for me or for you, the 'validity' of anything that is the case. While Heidegger's discussion does not cover as many of these meanings as will be listed in any good German dictionary, he goes well beyond the narrower usage of the English-speaking logician. Of course, we shall often translate 'gelten' in other ways.

2 '... Verbindlichkeit, "Allgemeingültigkeit".'