362 II. 3
Being and Time

definition of "care". This latter phenomenon has enabled us to get a more precise grasp of existence and of its relations to facticity and falling. And defining the structure of care has given us a basis on which to distinguish ontologically between existence and Reality for the first time.vi This has led us to the thesis that the substance of man is existence.vii

Yet even in this formal idea of existence, which is not binding upon us in an existentiell way, there already lurks a definite though unpretentious ontological 'content', which—like the idea of Reality, which has been distinguished from this—'presupposes' an idea of Being in general. Only within the horizon of this idea of Being can the distinction between existence and Reality be accomplished. Surely, in both of them what we have in view is Being.

But if we are to obtain an ontologically clarified idea of Being in general, must we not do so by first working out that understanding-of-Being which belongs to Dasein? This understanding, however, is to be grasped primordially only on the basis of a primordial Interpretation of Dasein, in which we take the idea of existence as our clue. Does it not then become altogether patent in the end that this problem of fundamental ontology which we have broached, is one which moves in a 'circle'?

We have indeed already shown, in analysing the structure of understanding in general, that what gets censured inappropriately as a 'circle', belongs to the essence and to the distinctive character of understanding as such.v111 In spite of this, if the problematic of fundamental ontology is to have its hermeneutical Situation clarified, our investigation must now come back explicitly to this 'circular argument' . When it is objected that the existential Interpretation is 'circular', it is said that we have 'presupposed' the idea of existence and of Being in general, and that Dasein gets Interpreted 'accordingly', so that the idea of Being may be obtained from it. But what does 'presupposition' signify ? In positing the idea of existence, do we also posit some proposition from which we deduce further propositions about the Being of Dasein, in accordance with formal rules of consistency? Or does this pre-supposing have the character of an understanding projection, in such a manner indeed that the Interpretation by which such an understanding gets developed, will let that which is to [315] be interpreted put itself into words for the very first time, so that it may decide of its own accord whether, as the entity which it is, it has that state of Being for which it has been disclosed in the projection with regard to its formal aspects? 1 Is


1 'Oder hat dieses Voraus-setzcn den Charakter des verstehenden Entwerfens, so zwar, class die solches Verstehen ausbildende Interpretation das Auszulegende gerade erst selbst zu Wort kommen lässt, damit es von suh aus entscheide, ob es als dieses Seiende die Seinsverfassung hergibt, auf welche es im Entwurf formalanzeigend erschlossen wurde? ' Here, however, Heidegger may be using the verb 'erschliessen' in the sense of 'infer', in spite of his remarks on H. 75 above (see our note 1, p. 105 ad loc.) and 'Entwurf' in the sense of 'sketch'.


Being and Time (M&R) by Martin Heidegger