208 I. 5
Being and Time

hearing something "all around" [Das Nur-herum-hören] is a privation of the hearing which understands. Both talking and hearing are based upon understanding. And understanding arises neither through talking at length [vieles Reden] nor through busily hearing something "all around". Only he who already understands can listen [zuhören] .

Keeping silent is another essential possibility of discourse, and it has the same existential foundation. In talking with one another, the person who keeps silent can 'make one understand' (that is, he can develop an understanding), and he can do so more authentically than the person who is never short of words. Speaking at length [Viel-sprechen] about something does not offer the slightest guarantee that thereby understanding is advanced. On the contrary, talking extensively about something, covers it up and brings what is understood to a sham clarity—the unintelligibility of the trivial. But to keep silent does not mean to be dumb. On the contrary, if a man is dumb, he still has a tendency to [165] 'speak'. Such a person has not proved that he can keep silence; indeed, he entirely lacks the possibility of proving anything of the sort. And the person who is accustomed by Nature to speak little is no better able to show that he is keeping silent or that he is the sort of person who can do so. He who never says anything cannot keep silent at any given moment. Keeping silent authentically is possible only in genuine discoursing. To be able to keep silent, Dasein must have something to say—that is, it must have at its disposal an authentic and rich disclosedness of itself. In that case one's reticence [Verschwiegenheit] makes something manifest, and does away with 'idle talk' ["Gerede"]. As a mode of discoursing, reticence Articulates the intelligibility of Dasein in so primordial a manner that it gives rise to a potentiality-for-hearing which is genuine, and to a Being-with-one-another which is transparent.

Because discourse is constitutive for the Being of the "there" (that is, for states-of-mind and understanding), while "Dasein" means Being-in-the-world, Dasein as discursive Being-in, has already expressed itself Dasein has language. Among the Greeks, their everyday existing was largely diverted into talking with one another, but at the same time they 'had eyes' to see. Is it an accident that in both their pre-philosophical and their philosophical ways of interpreting Dasein, they defined the essence of man as ζῷον λόγον ἔχον? The later way of interpreting this definition of man in the sense of the animal rationale, 'something living which has reason', is not indeed 'false', but it covers up the phenomenal basis for this definition of "Dasein". Man shows himself as the entity which talks. This does not signify that the possibility of vocal utterance is peculiar to him, but rather that he is the entity which is such as to discover the world and

Being and Time (M&R) by Martin Heidegger page 208