327 II. 2
Being and Time

has been called in the call. What has been called must first be conceptualized if we are to understand what the call of 'Guilty !' means, and why and how it becomes perverted in its signification by the everyday way of interpreting it.

Everyday common sense first takes 'Being-guilty' in the sense of 'owing', of 'having something due on account'.1 One is to give back to the Other something to which the latter has a claim. This 'Being-guilty' as 'having debts' ["Schulden haben"] is a way of Being with Others in the field of concern, as in providing something or bringing it along. Other modes of such concern are: depriving, borrowing, withholding, taking, stealing—failing to satisfy, in some way or other, the claims which Others have made as to their possessions. This kind of Being-guilty is related to [282] that with which one can concern oneself.

"Being-guilty" also has the signification of 'being responsible for' ["schuld sein an"]—that is, being the cause or author of something, or even 'being the occasion' for something. In this sense of 'having responsibility' for something, one can 'be guilty' of something without 'owing' anything to someone else or coming to 'owe' him. On the other hand, one can owe something to another without being responsible for it oneself. Another person can 'incur debts' with Others 'for me'.2

These ordinary significations of "Being-guilty" as 'having debts to someone' and 'having responsibility for something' can go together and define a kind of behaviour which we call 'making oneself responsible'; that is, by having the responsibility for having a debt, one may break a law and make oneself punishable.3 Yet the requirement which one fails to satisfy need not necessarily be related to anyone's possessions; it can regulate the very manner in which we are with one other publicly. ' Making oneself responsible' by breaking a law, as we have thus defined it, can indeed also have the character of 'coming to owe something to Others'.4 This does not happen merely through law-breaking as such, but rather through my having the responsibility for the Other's becoming endangered in his existence, led astray, or even ruined. This way of coming to owe something


1 'Die alltägliche Verständigkeit nimmt das "Schuldigsein" zunachst im Sinne von "schulden", "bei einem etwas an Brett haben".' While this represents a very familiar usage of the German 'Schuldigsein', it of course does not represent a 'common-sense' usage of the English 'Being-guilty', which comes from an entirely different stern.

2 'Im Sinne dieses "Schuld habens" an etwas kann man "schuldig sein", ohne einem Andern etwas zu "schulden" oder "schuldig" zu werden. Urngekehrt kann man einem Andern etwas schulden, ohne selbst schuld daran zu sein. Ein Anderer kann bei Anderen "für mich" "Schulden machen".' On '"schuldig" zu werden', Cf. our note 1, p. 334, H. 287 below.

3 '... das wir nennen "sich schuldig machen", das heisst durch das Schuldhaben an einem Schuldenhaben ein Recht verletzen und sich strafbar rnachen.'

4 '... eines "Schuldigwerdens an Anderen".'


Being and Time (M&R) by Martin Heidegger