More Original Explication of Dasein [417-419]

philosophy at all—, but is suggested simply by the analysis of the matters themselves. Nothing is being read into the matters (in this case Dasein); instead, everything is drawn from them (it); Dasein itself is a self-interpreting, self-articulating entity. It was seven years ago, while I was investigating these structures in conjunction with my attempts to arrive at the ontological foundations of Augustinian anthropology, that I first came across the phenomenon of care. Of course, Augustine and ancient Christian anthropology in general did not know the phenomenon explicitly, nor even directly as a term, although cura, care, already played a role in Seneca as well as in the New Testament, as is well-known. Later, however, I came across a self-interpretation of Dasein in an old fable, in which Dasein sees itself as care. Such interpretations have the primary advantage of being drawn from an originally naive view of Dasein itself and so of playing a particularly positive role for all interpretation, as Aristotle already knew.

This old fable is to be found among the fables of Hyginus. It is the 220th fable and bears the title Cura. I would like to share it with you:

Cura cum fluvium transiret, videt cretosum lutum
sustulitque cogitabunda atque coepit fingere.
dum deliberat quid iam fecisset, Jovis intervenit.
rogat eum Cura ut det illi spiritum, et facile impetrat.
cui cum vellet Cura nomen ex sese ipsa imponere,
Jovis prohibuit suumque nomen ei dandum esse dictitat.
dum Cura etJovis disceptant, Tellus surrexit simul
suumque nomen esse volt cui corpus praebuerit suum.
sumpserunt Saturnum iudicem, is sic aecus iudicat:
"tu Jovis quia spiritum dedisti, in morte spiritum,
tuque Tellus, quia dedisti corpus, corpus recipito,
Cura enim quia prima finxit, teneat quamdiu vixerit.
sed quae nunc de nomine eius vobis controversia est,
homo vocetur, quia videtur esse factus ex humo."

In the translation:

Once when 'Care' was crossing a river, she saw some clay. Thoughtfully, she took up a piece and began to shape it. While she was meditating on what she had made, Jupiter came by. 'Care' asked him to give it spirit, and this he gladly granted. But when she wanted her name to be bestowed upon it, he forbade this, and demanded that it be given his name instead. As they were arguing, Earth arose and requested that her name be conferred on the creature, since she had given it a part of her body. They asked Saturn to be the judge, and he made the following seemingly just decision: "Since you,Jupiter, gave it spirit, you shall have that spirit at its death. Since you, Earth, gave it the gift of a body, you shall receive its body. But since 'Care' first shaped this creature, she

Martin Heidegger (GA 20) History of the Concept of Time