329 II. 2
Being and Time

however, means not-Being-present-at-hand. A lack, as the not-Being-present-at-hand of something which ought to be, is a definite sort of Being which goes with the present-at-hand. In this sense it is essential that in existence there can be nothing lacking, not because it would then be perfect, but because its character of Being remains distinct from any presence-at-hand.

Nevertheless, in the idea of 'Guilty!' there lies the character of the "not". If the 'Guilty!' is something that can definitely apply to existence, then this raises the ontological problem of clarifying existentially the character of this "not" as a "not". Moreover, to the idea of 'Guilty !' belongs what is expressed without further differentiation in the conception of guilt as 'having responsibility for'—that is, as Being-the basis for . . . Hence we define the formally existential idea of the 'Guilty!' as "Being-the-basis for a Being which has been defined by a 'not' "—that is to say, as "Being-the-basis of a nullity".1 The idea of the "not" which lies in the concept of guilt as understood existentially, excludes relatedness to anything present-at-hand which is possible or which may have been required; furthermore, Dasein is altogether incommensurable with anything present-at-hand or generally accepted [Geltenden] which is not it itself, or which is not in the way Dasein is—namely, existing; so any possibility that, with regard to Being-the-basis for a lack, the entity which is itself such a basis might be reckoned up as 'lacking in some manner', is a possibility which drops out. If a lack, such as failure to fulfil some requirement, has been 'caused' in a manner characteristic of Dasein, we cannot simply reckon back to there [284] being something lacking [Mangelhaftigkeit] in the 'cause'. Being-the-basis-for-something need not have the same "not"-character as the privativum which is based upon it and which arises from it. The basis need not acquire a nullity of its own from that for which it is the basis [seinem Begriindeten]. This implies, however, that Being-guilty does not first result from an indebtedness [Verschuldung], but that, on the contrary, indebtedness becomes possible only 'on the basis' of a primordial Being-guilty. Can something like this be exhibited in Dasein's Being, and how is it at all possible existentially?

Dasein's Being is care. It comprises in itself facticity (thrownness), existence (projection), and falling. As being, Dasein is something that has been thrown; it has been brought into its "there", but not of its own accord. As being, it has taken the definite form of a potentiality-for-Being which

1 '. . . Grundsein für ein durch ein Nicht bestimmtes Sein—das heisst Grundsein einer Nichtigkeit'. The noun 'Nichtigkeit' which might well be translated here as 'notness', may be used in legal contexts where something has been declared 'null and void', and can be used more generally to apply to almost anything that is vacuous, trifling, ephemeral, or 'nil'. Heidegger will rule out some of these connotations on H. 285.

Being and Time (M&R) by Martin Heidegger