itself as something which has failed to hear itself, and which fails to hear in that it listens away to the "they".1 This listening-away must get broken off; in other words, the possibility of another kind of hearing which will interrupt it, must be given by Dasein itself.2 The possibility of its thus getting broken off lies in its being appealed to without mediation. Dasein fails to hear itself, and listens away to the "they"; and this listening-away gets broken by the call if that call, in accordance with its character as such, arouses another kind of hearing, which, in relationship to the hearing that is lost,3 has a character in every way opposite. If in this lost hearing, one has been fascinated with the 'hubbub' of the manifold ambiguity which idle talk possesses in its everyday 'newness', then the call must do its calling without any hubbub and unambiguously, leaving no foothold for curiosity. That which, by calling in this manner, gives us to understand, is the conscience.
We take calling as a mode of discourse. Discourse articulates intelligibility. Characterizing conscience as a call is not just giving a 'picture', like the Kantian representation of the conscience as a court of justice. Vocal utterance, however, is not essential for discourse, and therefore not for the call either; this must not be overlooked. Discourse is already presupposed in any expressing or 'proclaiming' ["Ausrufen"]. If the everyday interpretation knows a 'voice' of conscience, then one is not so much thinking of an utterance (for this is something which factically one never comes across); the 'voice' is taken rather as a giving-to-understand. In the tendency to disclosure which belongs to the call, lies the momentum of a push—of an abrupt arousal. The call is from afar unto afar. It reaches him who wants to be brought back.
But by this characterization of the conscience we have only traced the phenomenal horizon for analysing its existential structure. We are not
1 '... sich selbst, das sich überhört hat und überhört im Hinhören auf das Man.' In this passage, Heidegger has been exploiting three variations on the verb 'hören': 'hören auf ...' (our 'listen to ...'), 'überhören' ('fail to hear'), and 'hinhören' ('listen away'). The verb 'überhören' has two quite distinct uses. It may mean the 'hearing' which a teacher does when he 'hears' a pupil recite his lesson; but it may also mean to 'fail to hear', even to 'ignore' what one hears. This is the meaning which Heidegger seems to have uppermost in mind; but perhaps he is also suggesting that when one is lost in the "they", one 'hears' one's own Self only in the manner of a perfunctory teacher who 'hears' a recitation without 'really listening to it'. In ordinary German the verb 'hinhören' means hardly more than to 'listen'; but Heidegger is emphasizing the prefix 'hin-', which suggests that one is listening to something other than oneself-listening away, in this case listening to the "they". On other verbs of hearing and listening, see Section 34 above, especially H. 163 ff.
2 'Dieses Hinhören muss gebrochen, das heisst es muss vom Dasein selbst die Möglichkeit eines Hörens gegeben werden, das jenes unterbricht.'
3 '... zum verlorenen Hören ...' One might suspect that the 'lost hearing' is the hearing which one 'loses' by 'failing to hear'; but Heidegger may mean rather the kind of hearing one does when one is lost in the "they"—'Überhören' of one's own Self and 'Hinhören' to the 'they'.