240 II. I
Being and Time

§ 50. A Preliminary Sketch of the Existential and Ontological Structure of Death

From our considerations of something outstanding, end, and wholeness, the necessity of interpreting the phenomenon of death as being-toward-the-end in terms of the fundamental constitution of Dasein has emerged. Only in this way can it become clear how a wholeness constituted by being-toward-the-end is possible in Dasein itself in accordance with its structure of being. We have seen that care is the fundamental constitution of Dasein. The ontological significance of this expression was expressed in the "definition": being-ahead-of-itself-already-being-in (the world) as being-together-with beings encountered (within the world).7 Thus the fundamental characteristics [250] of the being of Dasein are expressed: in being-ahead-of-itself, existence, in already-being-in ... , facticity, in being-together-with ..., falling prey. Provided that death belongs to the being of Dasein in an eminent sense, it (or being-toward-the-end) must be able to be defined in terms of these characteristics.

First, we must make clear in a preliminary way how the existence, facticity, and falling prey of Dasein reveal themselves in the phenomenon of death.

The interpretation of the not-yet, and thus also of the most extreme not-yet, of the end of Dasein in the sense of something outstanding, was rejected as inappropriate. For it included the ontological distortion of Dasein as something objectively present. Being-at-an-end means existentially being-toward-the-end. The most extreme not-yet has the character of something to which Dasein relates itself. The end is imminent for Dasein. Death is not something not yet objectively present, nor the last outstanding element reduced to a minimum, but rather an imminence [Bevorstand].

However, many things can be imminent for Dasein as being-in-the-world. The character of imminence is not in itself distinctive for death. On the contrary, this interpretation could even make us suspect that death would have to be understood in the sense of an imminent event to be encountered in the surrounding world. For example, a thunderstorm can be imminent, remodeling a house, the arrival of a friend, accordingly, beings which are objectively present, at hand or Dasein-with. Imminent death does not have this kind of being.

But a journey, for example, can also be imminent for Dasein, or a discussion with others, or renouncing something which Dasein itself can be: its own possiblities-of-being which are founded in being-with

7. Cf. § 41.

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