Kant and the Problem of Metaphysics [228-229]

depended, as that over which, for all his culture and technology, he can never become master. Depending upon the being which he is not, man is at the same time not master of the being which he himself is.

With the existence of human beings there occurs an irruption into the totality of beings, so that now the being in itself first becomes manifest, i.e., as being, in varying degrees, according to various levels of clarity, in various degrees of certainty. This prerogative, however, of not just being among other beings which are also at hand without these beings becoming manifest as such to themselves, but rather [of being] in the midst of the beings, of being surrendered to it as such, and itself to have been delivered up as a being—for this prerogative to exist harbors in itself the need to require the understanding of Being.

The human being could not be the thrown being as a self if in general it could not let the being as such be.[9] In order to allow the being to be what and as it is, however, the existing being[10] must already have projected that it is a being on the strength of what has been encountered. Existence means dependency upon the being as such in the submittance to the being as such which is dependent in this way.

As a mode of Being, existence is in itself finitude,b and as such it is only possible on the basis of the understanding of Being. There is and must be something like Being where finitude has come to exist. Thus the understanding of Being which thoroughly dominates human existence, although unknown in its breadth, constancy, indeterminacy, and indisputability, manifests itself as the innermost ground of human finitude.c Compared with many other human peculiarities, the understanding of Being does not have the harmless universality of others which frequently occur. Its "universality" is the originality of the innermost ground of the finitude of Dasein. Only because the understanding of Being is the most finitude in what is finite, can it also make possible the so-called "creative" capacities of the finite human creature. And only because it occurs within the ground of finitude, does it have the breadth and constancy, but also the concealedness, previously characterized.

On the grounds of the understanding of Being, man is the there [das Da],[11] with the Being of which occurs the opening irruption into the being so that it can show itself as such for a self.[12] More original than mand is the finitude of the Dasein in him.

The working-out of the basic question of Metaphysica Generalis, the τί τὸ ὄν, has been thrown back upon the more original idea concerning the inner essence of the understanding of Being, which first and foremost sustains, drives, and directs the explicit questioning concerning the concept of Being.

b. Nothingness of the Nothing [Nichtigkeit des Nichtens]

c. and thus as the essence of this "finitude"

d. ek-sistent

Martin Heidegger (GA 3) Kant and the Problem of Metaphysics