432 II. 5
Being and Time

Manifestly these 'Things' have altered. The gear has become fragile or worm-eaten 'in the course of time'. But that specific character of the past which makes it something historical, does not lie in this transience,1 which continues even during the Being-present-at-hand of the equipment in the museum. What, then, is past in this equipment? What were these 'Things' which today they are no longer? They are still definite items of equipment for use; but they are out of use. Suppose, however, that they were still in use today, like many a household heirloom; would they then be not yet historical? All the same, whether they are in use or out of use, they are no longer what they were. What is 'past'? Nothing else than that world within which they belonged to a context of equipment and were encountered as ready-to-hand and used by a concernful Dasein who was-in-the-world. That world is no longer. But what was formerly within-the-world with respect to that world is still present-at-hand. As equipment belonging to a world, that which is now still present-at-hand can belong nevertheless to the 'past'. But what do we signify by saying of a world that it is no longer? A world is only in the manner of existing Dasein, which factically is as Being-in-the-world.2

Thus the historical character of the antiquities that are still preserved is grounded in the 'past' of that Dasein to whose world they belonged. But according to this, only 'past' Dasein would be historical, not Dasein 'in the present'. However, can Dasein be past at all, if we define 'past' as 'now no longer either present-at-hand or ready-to-hand'? Manifestly, Dasein can never be past, not because Dasein is non-transient, but because it essentially can never be present-at-hand. Rather, if it is, it exists. A Dasein which no longer exists, however, is not past, in the ontologically strict sense; it is rather "having-been-there" [da-gewesen] . The antiquities which are still present-at-hand have a character of 'the past' and of history by reason of [381] the fact that they have belonged as equipment to a world that has been—the world of a Dasein that has been there—and that they have been derived from that world. This Dasein is what is primarily historical. But does Dasein first become historical in that it is no longer there? Or is it not historical precisely in so far as it factically exists? Is Dasein just something that "has been" in the sense of "having been there", or has it been as something futural which is making present-that is to say, in the temporalizing of its temporality?

From this provisional analysis of equipment which belongs to history and which is still present-at-hand though somehow 'past', it becomes plain that such entities are historical only by reason of their belonging to the world. But the world has an historical kind of Being because it makes


1 'Vergänglichkeit'. Cf. 'vergehen' ('to pass away') and 'Vergangenheit' ('the past').

2 'Welt ist nur in der Weise des existierenden Daseins, das als In-der-Welt-sein faktisch ist.'