33 INT. II
Being and Time

of indication and explication, and that constitutes the conceptuality this research requires, is called "phenomenological."

Because phenomenon in the phenomenological understanding is always just what constitutes being, and furthermore because being is always the being of beings, we must first of all bring beings themselves forward in the right way if we are to have any prospect of exposing being. These beings must likewise show themselves in the way of access that genuinely belongs to them. Thus the vulgar concept of phenomenon becomes phenomenologically relevant. The preliminary task of "phenomenologically" securing that being which is to serve as our example, as the point of departure for the analysis proper, is always already prescribed by the goal of this analysis.

As far as content goes, phenomenology is the science of the being of beings—ontology. In our elucidation of the task of ontology the necessity arose for a fundamental ontology which would have as its theme that being which is ontologically and ontically distinctive, namely, Dasein. This must be done in such a way that our ontology confronts the cardinal problem, the question of the meaning of being in general.* From the investigation itself we shall see that the methodological meaning of phenomenological description is interpretation. The λόγος of the phenomenology of Dasein has the character of ἑρμηνεύειν, through which the proper meaning of being and the basic structures of the very being of Dasein are made known to the understanding of being that belongs to Dasein itself. Phenomenology of Dasein is hermeneutics in the original signification of that word, which designates the work of interpretation. But since the discovery of the meaning of being and of the basic structures of Dasein in general exhibits the horizon for every further ontological research into beings unlike Dasein, the present hermeneutic is at the same time "hermeneutics" in the sense that it works out the conditions of the possibility of every ontological investigation. Finally, insofar as Dasein has ontological priority over all other beings—as a being in the possibility of existence [38] [Existenz]—hermeneutics, as the interpretation of the being of Dasein, receives the third specific and, philosophically understood, primary meaning of an analysis of the existentiality of existence. To the extent that this hermeneutic elaborates the historicity of Dasein ontologically as the antic condition of the possibility of the discipline of history, it contains the roots of what can be called "hermeneutics" only in a derivative sense: the methodology of the historical humanistic disciplines.

As the fundamental theme of philosophy, being is not a genus of beings; yet it pertains to every being. Its "universality" must be


* being—not a genus, not being for beings generally; the "in general" = καθόλου = as the whole of: being of beings; meaning of difference.


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