102 I. III
Being and Time

... δῆλον γὰρ ὡς ὑμεῖς μὲν ταῦτα [τί ποτε βούλεσθε σημαίνειν ὁπόταν ὂν φθέγγησθε] πάλαι γιγνώσκετε, ἡμεῖς δὲ πρὸ τοῦ μὲν ᾠόμεθα, νῦν δ' ἠπορήκαμεν ... [1]

[Plato, Sophist 244a]

"For manifestly you have long been aware of what you mean when you use the expression 'being' ['seiend']. We, however, who used to think we understood it, have now become perplexed."

Do we in our time have an answer to the question of what we really mean by the word 'being' ['seiend']? Not at all. So it is fitting that we should raise anew the question of the meaning of being [Sein]. But are we nowadays even perplexed at our inability to understand the' expression 'being' ['Sein']? Not at all. So first of all we must reawaken an understanding for the meaning of this question. The aim of the following treatise is to work out the question of the meaning of "being" ["Sein"] and to do so concretely. The provisional aim is the interpretation of time as the possible horizon for any understanding whatsoever of being.

But the reasons for making this our aim, the investigations which such a purpose requires, and the path to its achievement, call for some introductory remarks.


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