Fundamental Concepts of Metaphysics [514-15]

enmeshing and intertwining of the rings that encircle animals, rings that in turn are incorporated in a peculiar way into the human world. The formally so-called manifold of beings requires quite specific conditions in order to become manifest as such. It does not at all merely require the possibility of being able to distinguish the various specific ways of being, as though these were simply lined up alongside one another in a vacuum. The interweaving of the distinctions themselves, and the way in which this interweaving oppresses and sustains us, is, as this prevailing, the primordial lawfulness out of which we first comprehend the specific constitution of being pertaining to those beings standing before us or even those beings that have been made the object of scientific theory. To give a concrete example: When, in the Critique of Pure Reason, Kant inquires about the intrinsic possibility of nature in the sense of those beings that are at hand, this whole way of questioning-radical though it is with respect to what has gone before-has failed to comprehend something essential and central, namely that the material beings talked about here have the character of worldlessness. However negative this determination may be, with respect to the metaphysical determination of the essence of nature it is something positive. The problematic of the Kantian question in the Critique of Pure Reason can be placed upon its metaphysical ground only when we comprehend that so-called regions of being are not arrayed alongside one another or above or behind one another, but are what they are only within and out of a prevailing of world.

This 'as a whole' that constantly surrounds us, and which has nothing to do with any pantheism, must, however, also be what brings with it that undifferentiatedness of the manifestness of beings within which we commonly move. And yet, however undifferentiated the specific manner of being of one particular being may initially be for us with respect to that of another (for example, the manner of being of a human being or of a process), and in particular with respect to any conceptual articulation, our factical comportment toward beings is, after all, correspondingly varied in each case, i.e., different. To the peculiarly undifferentiated character of knowing and understanding there corresponds a quite distinct difference in our comportment toward the relevant beings and in the way we are tuned in to them. Yet this manifold and differentiated comportment toward beings is maintained, after all, on the background of that undifferentiatedness which entails that everything is manifest, in whatever way, i.e., is precisely a being. Such is everything that is there and that is in such and such a way. To be a being—every being agrees with every other in this; this is the most undifferentiated, universal, and general thing we can say concerning beings. Here there is no difference anymore. The fact that every being is such and such, the way it is in each case, whether it is or is not, whether it ought to be or not—this is what concerns us, not only regarding those beings that we ourselves are not, but also with

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