13 INT. I
Being and Time

being [das Seiende]. The "soul" which coristitutes the being of human being discovers in its ways to be—αἲσθησις and νόησις—all beings with regard to their thatness and whatness, that is to say, always also in their being [Sein]. Thomas Aquinas discussed this statement-which refers back to Parmenides' ontological thesis—in a manner characteristic of him. Thomas is engaged in the task of deriving the "transcendentals," the characteristics of being that lie beyond every possible generic determination of a being in its material content, every modus specialis entis, and that are necessary attributes of every something, whatever it might be. For him the verum too is to be demonstrated as being such a transcendens. This is to be accomplished by appealing to a being which, in conformity with its kind of being, is suited to "come together," that is to agree with any being whatsoever. This distinctive being, the ens, quad natum est convenire cum omni ente [the being whose nature it is to meet with all other beings], is the soul (anima).7 The priority of "Dasein" over and above all other beings, which emerges here without being ontologically clarified, obviously has nothing in common with a vapid subjectivizing of the totality of beings.

The demonstration of the ontic-ontological distinctiveness of the question of being is grounded in the preliminary indication of the ontic-ontological priority of Dasein. But the analysis of the structure of the question of being as such (§ 2) came up against the distinctive function of this being within the formulation of that very question. Dasein revealed itself to be that being which must first be elaborated in a sufficiently ontological manner if the inquiry is to become transparent. But now it has become evident that the ontological analysis of Dasein in general constitutes fundamental ontology, that Dasein consequently functions as the being that is to be interrogated fundamentally in advance with respect to its being.

If the interpretation of the meaning of being is to become a task, Dasein is not only the primary being to be interrogated; in addition to [15] that it is the being that always already in its being is related to what is sought in this question. But then the question of being is nothing else than the radicalization of an essential tendency of being that belongs to Dasein itself, namely, of the pre-ontological understanding of being.


7. Quaestiones de veritate, qu. 1, a. le; cf. the occasionally stricter exposition, which deviates from what was cited, of a "deduction" of the transcendentals in the brief work De natura generis.


Martin Heidegger (GA 2) Being & Time (S&S)