313 II. 2
Being and Time

Dasein has lost itself in inauthenticity. When Dasein thus brings itself back [Das Sichzurückholen] from the "they", the they-self is modified in an existentiell manner so that it becomes authentic Being-one's-Self. This must be accomplished by making up for not choosing [Nachholen einer Wahl]. But "making up" for not choosing signifies choosing to make this choice—deciding for a potentiality-for-Being, and making this decision from one's own Self. In choosing to make this choice, Dasein makes possible, first and foremost, its authentic potentiality-for-Being.

But because Dasein is lost in the "they", it must first find itself. In order to find itself at all, it must be 'shown' to itself in its possible authenticity. In terms of its possibility, Dasein is already a potentiality-for-Being-its-Self, but it needs to have this potentiality attested.

In the following Interpretation we shall claim that this potentiality is attested by that which, in Dasein's everyday interpretation of itself, is familiar to us as the "voice of conscience" [Stimme des Gewissens].iii That the very 'fact' of conscience has been disputed, that its function as a higher court for Dasein's existence has been variously assessed, and that 'what conscience says' has been interpreted in manifold ways—all this might only mislead us into dismissing this phenomenon if the very 'doubtfulness' of this Fact—or of the way in which it has been interpreted—did not prove that here a primordial phenomenon ofDasein lies before us. In the following analysis conscience will be taken as something which we have in advance theoretically, and it will be investigated in a purely existential mannner, with fundamental ontology as our aim.

We shall first trace conscience back to its existential foundations and structures and make it visible as a phenomenon of Dasein, holding fast 269 to what we have hitherto arrived at as that entity's state of Being. The, ontological analysis of conscience on which we are thus embarking, is prior to any description and classification of Experiences of conscience, and likewise lies outside of any biological 'explanation' of this phenomenon (which would mean its dissolution) . But it is no less distant from a theological exegesis of conscience or any employment of this phenomenon for proofs of God or for establishing an 'immediate' consciousness of God.

Nevertheless, even when our investigation of conscience is thus restricted, we must neither exaggerate its outcome nor make perverse claims about it and lessen its worth. As a phenomenon of Dasein, conscience is not just a fact which occurs and is occasionally present-at-hand. It 'is' only in Dasein's kind of Being, and it makes itself known as a Fact only with factical existence and in it. The demand that an 'inductive empirical proof' should be given for the 'factuality' of conscience and for the legitimacy of its 'voice', rests upon an ontological perversion of the