The Question of the Essence of Being

We have undertaken a study of the expression “to be” in order to penetrate the fact under discussion, and so to put it in the place where it belongs. We do not want to accept this fact blindly, as if it were the fact that there are dogs and cats. We want to establish a position regarding this fact itself. We want this, even at the risk that our “will” to do so may create the appearance of stubbornness, and may seem to be an unworldly befuddlement that mistakes what is peripheral and unreal for something real, and gets obsessed with dissecting mere words. We want to illuminate the fact thoroughly. Our investigation has determined that in the course of its development, language constructs “infinitives,” for instance “to be,” and that over time, language has brought about a worn-down, indefinite meaning of this word. This simply is so. Instead of thoroughly illuminating the fact, we have just set another fact of linguistic history next to it or behind it.

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