193
§46 [284-86]

and philosophical interpretation of the recent theory of life. But we cannot do so at this juncture, especially since the main thrust of our considerations does not rest upon a thematic metaphysics of life (of animals and plants).

We have placed our thesis that the animal is poor in world between the other two, which assert that the stone is worldless and that man is world-forming. If we now consider the second thesis in relation to the third, then it immediately becomes clear why we have done so. Poor in world implies poverty as opposed to richness; poverty implies less as opposed to more. The animal is poor in world, it somehow possesses less. But less of what? Less in respect of what is accessible to it, of whatever as an animal it can deal with, of whatever it can be affected by as an animal, of whatever it can relate to as a living being. Less as against more, namely as against the richness of all those relationships that human Dasein has at its disposal. The bee, for example, has its hive, its cells, the blossoms it seeks out, and the other bees of the swarm. The bee's world is limited to a specific domain and is strictly circumscribed. And this is also true of the world of the frog, the world of the chaffinch and so on. But it is not merely the world of each particular animal that is limited in range-the extent and manner in which an animal is able to penetrate whatever is accessible to it is also limited. The worker bee is familiar with the blossoms it frequents, along with their colour and scent, but it does not know the stamens of these blossoms as stamens, it knows nothing about the roots of the plant and it cannot know anything about the number of stamens or leaves, for example. As against this, the world of man is a rich one, greater in range, far more extensive in its penetrability, constantly extendable not only in its range (we can always bring more and more beings into consideration) but also in respect to the manner in which we can penetrate ever more deeply in this penetrability. Consequently we can characterize the relation man possesses to the world by referring to the extendability of everything that he relates to. This is why we speak of man as world-forming.

If we now look more closely at the distinction between poverty in world and world-formation in this form, this distinction reveals itself as one of degree in terms of levels of completeness with respect to the accessibility of beings in each case. And this immediately supplies us with a concept of world: world initially signifies the sum total of beings accessible to man or animals alike, variable as it is in range and depth of penetrability. Thus 'poor in world' is inferior with respect to the greater value of 'world-forming'. This is all so obvious that there is no need to discuss it any further. We have long been familiar with such self-evident observations, so much so that we do not understand what all the commotion is about or what this distinction is supposed to contribute to determining the essence of the animality of the animal. It looks as if we are simply tampering with the problem by introducing specific terms like world and environmental world into the discussion.


Martin Heidegger (GA 29/30) The Fundamental Concepts of Metaphysics