Fundamental Concepts of Metaphysics [307-09]

we say that we make the self-evident presupposition that such self-transposition into animals is possible? This cannot mean that we tacitly come to concur with one another about this possibility, or even that we somehow come to agree that this assumption is justified. On the contrary, we already comport ourselves in this way. In our existence as a whole we comport ourselves toward animals, and in a certain manner toward plants too, in such a way that we are already aware of being transposed in a certain sense-in such a way that a certain ability to go along with the beings concerned is already an unquestioned possibility for us from the start.

Let us consider the case of domestic animals as a striking example. We do not describe them as such simply because they turn up in the house but because they belong to the house, i.e., they serve the house in a certain sense. Yet they do not belong to the house in the way in which the roof belongs to the house as protection against storms. We keep domestic pets in the house with us, they 'live' with us. But we do not live with them if living means: being in an animal kind of way. Yet we are with them nonetheless. But this being-with is not an existing-with, because a dog does not exist but merely lives. Through this being with animals we enable them to move within our world. We say that the dog is lying underneath the table or is running up the stairs and so on. Yet when we consider the dog itself--does it comport itself toward the table as table, toward the stairs as stairs? All the same, it does go up the stairs with us. It feeds with us-and yet, we do not really 'feed'. It eats with us-and yet, it does not really 'eat'. Nevertheless, it is with us! A going along with . . . , a transposedness, and yet not.

However, if an original transposedness on man's part in relation to the animal is possible, this surely implies that the animal also has its world. Or is this going too far? Is it precisely this 'going too far' that we constantly misunderstand? And why do we do so? Transposedness into the animal can belong to the essence of man without this necessarily meaning that we transpose ourselves into an animal's world or that the animal in general has a world. And now our question becomes more incisive: In this transposedness into the animal, where is it that we are transposed to? What is it we are going along with, and what does this 'with' mean? What sort of going is involved here? Or, from the perspective of the animal, what is it about the animal which allows and invites human transposedness into it, even while refusing man the possibility of going along with the animal? From the side of the animal, what is it that grants the possibility of transposedness and necessarily refuses any going along with? What is this having and yet not having? The possibility of not having, of refusing, is only present when in a certain sense a having and a potentiality for having and for granting is possible. Earlier we expressed this situation in a purely formalistic way when we claimed that in a certain sense the animal has and yet does not have world. This now reveals itself as a