§61 [376-77]

[1.] Captivation is withholding of the possibility of the manifestness of beings, a withholding which is essential and not merely an enduring or temporary one. An animal can only behave [sich . . . benehmen] but can never apprehend [vernehmen] something as something-which is not to deny that the animal sees or even perceives. Yet in a fundamental sense the animal does not have perception.

[2.] The captivation of such behaviour is at the same time a being taken of instinctual activity in which the animal is open in relation to other things. From the perspective of the animal we should never take these other things as beings, though for us it is only possible to approach such things by way of naming through language. But linguistic naming, and all language, always already involves an understanding of beings, although we cannot expand on this here.

[3.] As characterized under [1.] and [2.], captivation is at the same time an absorption in the totality of interacting instinctual drives. The specific selfhood of the animal (taking 'self' here in a purely formal sense) is its being-proper-to-itself, being proper [Eigentum] in all its driven activity. The animal is always driven in a certain way in this activity. That is why its being taken never involves an attending to beings, not even to itself as such. But this drivenness does not occur within a self-enclosed capsule; on the contrary, on the grounds of the being taken of the instinctual drives themselves it is always related to something else. Absorbed as it is into this drivenness, the animal nevertheless always pursues its instinctual activity in being open to that for which it is open.

[4.] With this openness for something else, which is involved in captivation, the animal has an intrinsic encircling ring within which it can be affected by whatever it is that in each case disinhibits its capability for . . . and occasions the redirecting of its instinctual drives.

[5.] This disinhibiting ring is not like a rigid armour plate fitted around the animal, but is something with which the animal encircles itself as long as it lives. It does so in such a way that it struggles with this encircling ring and the absorbed instinctual activity within this ring. More precisely: this struggling [Ringen] with the encircling ring which circumscribes the totality of its instinctual activity is an essential character of life itself. It is nothing other than what we are already acquainted with from our common experience of living beings: self-preservation and maintenance of the species, but grasped now in its structural belonging to the essence of captivation, to animality as such. It is not by accident that Darwinism emphasized the concept of self-preservation, which in this sense grew out of an economic perspective upon man. For this reason, the concept is misleading in many respects and one which has also given rise to misleading questions within biology, as the whole phenomenon of Darwinism shows.

[6.] Captivation as we have characterized it is the condition of the possibility of behaviour. Yet from a methodological point of view that also means that