Fundamental Concepts of Metaphysics [289-92]

§47. The thesis that 'the animal is poor in world ' in relation to the thesis that 'the stone is worldless'. Worldlessness as not having access to beings. Provisional characterization of world as the accessibility of beings.

Now that we have defined the concept of poverty more precisely as a kind of deprivation in some sense, we can begin to take another step toward understanding what the poverty in world of the animal signifies. If poverty implies deprivation then the thesis that 'the animal is poor in world' means something like 'the animal is deprived of world', 'the animal has no world'. This step also helps to define our second thesis in relation to the third, according to which man is world-forming. For man does have a world.

But then the relation between the second thesis and the first, according to which the stone is worldless, instantly becomes problematic because there no longer seems to be any distinction between them. The stone is worldless, it is without world, it has no world. Neither the stone nor the animal has world. But this not-having of world is not to be understood in the same sense in each case. The different expressions worldlessness and poverty in world already indicate that there is indeed a distinction here. But if the animal is thus brought into such proximity to the stone, then we immediately find ourselves confronted by the decisive question as to the distinction between the way in which the stone has no world and the way in which the animal does not have a world. Being worldless and being poor in world both represent a kind of not-having of world. Poverty in world implies a deprivation of world. Worldlessness on the other hand is constitutive of the stone in the sense that the stone cannot even be deprived of something like world. Merely not having world is insufficient here. The possibility of being deprived of world requires further conditions. What do we mean, then, when we say that the stone cannot even be deprived of world? We must initially clarify this point at the present stage of our investigation.

Let us provisionally define world as those beings which are in each case accessible and may be dealt with, accessible in such a way that dealing with such beings is possible or necessary for the kind of being pertaining to a particular being. The stone is without world. The stone is lying on the path, for example. We can say that the stone is exerting a certain pressure upon the surface of the earth. It is 'touching' the earth. But what we call 'touching' here is not a form of touching at all in the stronger sense of the word. It is not at all like that relationship which the lizard has to the stone on.which it lies basking in the sun. And the touching implied in both these cases is above all not the same as that touch which we experience when we rest our hand upon the head of another human being. The lying upon . . . , the touching