319 II. 2
Being and Time

becoming authentically understood, it gets drawn by the they-self into a soliloquy in which causes get pleaded, and it becomes perverted in its tendency to disclose.

One must keep in mind that when we designate the conscience as a "call", this call is an appeal to the they-self in its Self; as such an appeal, it summons the Self to its potentiality-for-Being-its-Self, and thus calls Dasein forth to its possibilities.

But we shall not obtain an ontologically adequate Interpretation of the conscience until it can be made plain not only who is called by the call but also who does the calling, how the one to whom the appeal is made is related to the one who calls, and how this 'relationship' must be taken ontologically as a way in which these are interconnected in their Being.


57. Conscience as the Call of Care

Conscience summons Dasein's Self from its lostness in the "they". The Self to which the appeal is made remains indefinite and empty in its "what". When Dasein interprets itself in terms of that with which it concerns itself, the call passes over what Dasein, proximally and for the most part, understands itself a s. And yet the Self has been reached, unequivocally and unmistakably. Not only is the call meant for him to whom the appeal is made 'without regard for persons', but even the caller maintains itself in conspicuous indefiniteness. If the caller is asked about its name, status, origin, or repute, it not only refuses to answer, but does not even leave the slightest possibility of one's making it into something with which one can be familiar when one's understanding of Dasein has a 'worldly' orientation. On the other hand, it by no means disguises itself in the call. That which calls the call, simply holds itself aloof from any way of becoming well-known, and this belongs to its phenomenal character. To let itself be drawn into getting considered and talked about, [275] goes against its kind of Being.1 The peculiar indefiniteness of the caller and the impossibility of making more definite what this caller is, are not just nothing; they are distinctive for it in a positive way. They make known to us that the caller is solely absorbed in summoning us to something, that it is heard only as such, and furthermore that it will not let itself be coaxed. But if so, is it not quite appropriate to the phenomenon to leave unasked the question of what the caller is? Yes indeed, when it comes to listening to the factical call of conscience in an existentiell way, but not when it comes to analysing existentially the facticity of the calling and the existentiality of the hearing.


1 'Es geht wider die Art seines Seins, sich in ein Betrachten und Bereden ziehen zu lassen.'


Being and Time (M&R) by Martin Heidegger