§176 [300-301]

The question of who the human being is possesses now for the tIrst time the openness of a path which nevertheless runs amid the unprotected and upon which the storm of beyng is thus allowed to rage.

176. Da-sein.
Clarification of the word

This word [Da-sein], in the particular sense given it essentially and first in Being and Time, cannot be translated; i.e., it resists the viewpoints of the previous ways of thinking and speaking in Western history as expressed in the term Da sein ["existence," "being there"].

In the usual sense, this term means "having arrived" and "being present": e.g., the chair "is there" ["ist da"] the uncle "is there"; accordingly, présence.

Da-sein signii1es a "being" itself and not a mode of being in the sense just mentioned. Yet it does mean the mode of being in a distinctive and unique case, namely insofar as the mode of being determines the quiddity, the what-ness, precisely as who-ness, selfhood.

"The being" at issue, however, is not the "human being," and Da-sein is not simply the human mode of being (still very easily misunderstood in Being and Time). Instead, this being is Da-sein as the ground of a determinate future being of the human being, not the ground of "the" human being as such. There, too, insufi1cient clarity in Being and Time.

The talk of "human Dasein" (in Being and Time) is misleading insofar as it suggests that there might also be animal and plant "Dasein."

"Human Dasein" -here "human" does not indicate a specitIc difference that would merely particularize the genus "Dasein" (as objective presence). Rather, "human Dasein" signifies the uniqueness of that being, the human being, to whom alone Da-sein is proper. How so?

Da-sein-the mode of being that is distinctive of humans in their possibility; thus it is no longer at all necessary to add "human" [to the term "Da-sein"]. In which possibility? In the highest one of humans, namely the possibility of grounding and preserving truth itself.

Da-sein-that which at once grounds under the human being and surmounts the human being. Hence we speak of the Da-sein in the human being as the coming to pass of that grounding.

But we could also speak of the human being in Da-sein. The Dasein "of" the human being.

Everything said in this regard is vulnerable and liable to be misinterpreted if it does not enjoy the favor of those who participate in the questioning, who carry it out to some essential extent, and from there-only