207 I. 5
Being and Time

and the privative modes of not-hearing, resisting, defying, and turning away.

It is on the basis of this potentiality for hearing, which is existentially primary, that anything like hearkening [Horchen] becomes possible. Hearkening is phenomenally still more primordial than what is defined 'in the first instance' as "hearing" in psychology—the sensing of tones and the perception of sounds. Hearkening too has the kind of Being of the hearing which understands. What we 'first' hear is never noises or complexes of sounds, but the creaking waggon, the motor-cycle. We hear the column on the march, the north wind, the woodpecker tapping, the fire crackling.

It requires a very artificial and complicated frame of mind to 'hear' a [164] 'pure noise'. The fact that motor-cycles and waggons are what we proximally hear is the phenomenal evidence that in every case Dasein, as Being-in-the-world, already dwells alongside what is ready-to-hand within-the-world; it certainly does not dwell proximally alongside 'sensations'; nor would it first have to give shape to the swirl of sensations to provide the springboard from which the subject leaps off and finally arrives at a 'world'. Dasein, as essentially understanding, is proximally alongside what is understood.

Likewise, when we are explicitly hearing the discourse of another, we proximally understand what is said, or-to put it more exactly-we are already with him, in advance, alongside the entity which the discourse is about. On the other hand, what we proximally hear is not what is expressed in the utterance. Even in cases where the speech is indistinct or in a foreign language, what we proximally hear is unintelligible words, and not a multiplicity of tone-data.1

Admittedly, when what the discourse is about is heard 'naturally', we can at the same time hear the 'diction', the way in which it is said [die Weise des Gesagtseins], but only if there is some co-understanding before-hand of what is said-in-the-talk; for only so is there a possibility of estimating whether the way in which it is said is appropriate to what the discourse is about thematically.

In the same way, any answering counter-discourse arises proximally and directly from understanding what the discourse is about, which is already 'shared' in Being-with.

Only where talking and hearing are existentially possible, can anyone hearken. The person who 'cannot hear' and 'must feel'2 may perhaps be one who is able to hearken very well, and precisely because of this. Just

1 Here we follow the reading of the newer editions: '... nicht eine Mannigfaltigkeit von Tondaten.' The older editions have 'reine' instead of 'eine'.

2 The author is here alluding to the German proverb, 'Wer nicht hören kann, muss fühlen.' (I.e. he who cannot heed, must suffer.)

Being and Time (M&R) by Martin Heidegger