83 I.III
Being and Time

as is the farmstead with all its utensils and neighboring lands. The total relevance itself, however, ultimately leads back to a what-for which no longer has relevance, which itself is not a being of the kind of being of things at hand within a world, but is a being whose being is defined as being-in-the-world, to whose constitution of being worldliness itself belongs. This primary what-for is not just another for-that as a possible factor in relevance. The primary "what-for" is a for-the-sake-of-which. But the for-the-sake-of-which always concerns the being of Dasein which is essentially concerned about this being itself in its being. For the moment we shall not pursue any further the connection indicated which leads from the structure of relevance to the being of Dasein itself as the real and unique for-the-sake-of-which. "Letting something be relevant" first of all requires a clarification which goes far enough to bring the phenomenon of worldliness to the kind of definiteness needed in order to be able to ask questions about it in general.

Ontically, to let something be relevant means to let things at hand be* in such and such a way in factical taking care of things, to let them be as they are and in order that they be such. We grasp the ontic meaning of this "letting be" in a fundamentally ontological way. Thus we [85] interpret the meaning of the previous freeing of innerworldly beings initially at hand. Previously letting "be" does not mean first to bring something to its being and produce it, but rather to discover something that is already a "being" in its handiness and thus let it be encountered as the being of this being. This "a priori" letting something be relevant is the condition of the possibility that things at hand be encountered so that Dasein in its antic dealings with the beings thus encountered can let them be relevant in an antic sense. On the other hand, letting something be relevant, understood in an ontological sense, concerns the freeing of every thing at hand as a thing at hand, whether it is relevant in the antic sense or whether it is such a being which is precisely not relevant ontically. Such a being is one that, initially and for the most part, is taken care of, but which we do not let "be" as the discovered being it is, since we work on it, improve it, destroy it.

To have always already let something be freed for relevance is an a priori perfect characterizing the kind of being of Dasein itself.


* Letting-be (Seyn-lassen). Cf. "On the Essence' of Truth," where letting-be is related in principle and very broadly to every kind of being [Seiende]!

† Thus to let it presence in its truth.

‡ In the same paragraph we speak of "previous freeing"—namely (generally speaking) of being for the possible manifestness of beings: "Previously" in this ontological sense means in Latin a priori, in Greek πρότερον τῇ φύσει (Aristotle, Physics, Α 1). More clearly in Metaphysics E 1025b29—τὸ τί ἦν εἶναι 'what already was—being [sein],' 'What always already presences in advance,' what has-been, the perfect. The Greek verb είναι has no perfect tense; it is named here in ἦν εἶναι. It is not something ontically past, but rather what is always earlier, what we are referred back to in the question of beings as such. Instead of a priori perfect we could also call it ontological or transcendental perfect (cf. Kant's doctrine of the schematism).


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