Part I

in the lived world, when I apprehend and understand something, I have always already gone further ahead14 than the thing that is given (in an extreme sense) “directly” to me. I am always already further ahead by understanding the end-for-which and the what-as in terms of which I am taking the thing that is given and encountered at the moment. And only from the what-as and end-for-which (in terms of which the thing in question can serve)—only from this end-for-which, where in fact I always already am—do I return to the thing that I encounter.

Thus the direct understanding of something that is given in the lived world in the most natural way is constantly a returning to what I encounter, a constant return that is necessary because my own authentic being, as concernful-dealing-with-things-in-the-world, has the property of always-already-being-ahead-with-something [Immerschon-vorweg-sein-bei-etwas]. Because my being is such that I am out ahead of myself, I must, in order to understand something I encounter, come back from this being-out-ahead to the thing I encounter.

Here we can already see an immanent structure of direct understanding qua as-structured comportment, and on closer analysis it turns out to be time. And this being-ahead-of-myself as a returning is a peculiar kind of movement that time itself constantly makes, if I may put it this way.15 So when I simply understand the most natural things that I deal with without thematically understanding them, I do not see, for example, a white thing that, by a some kind of manipulations I then figure out is chalk. Instead, from the outset I already live in connections that are related to the end-for-which, I am held out into a specific lived world that is oriented to specific kinds of behavior and concern, and from these behaviors and concerns [148] I understand this thing as chalk.

Even if my sense organs and sense perception possessed the most highly developed and refined sensibility, so that I had a greatly enhanced sense for receiving such things; and even if my understanding had the richest store of concepts for such data, it would remain forever incomprehensible how I might happen to see, simply and directly, a piece of chalk. That is, it would be incomprehensible until I include this basic behavior of existence (dealing-with as a form of concern-about) in my interpretation, along with the as-structure we just discussed.

Therefore we see that the as-structure is bound up with a primary human comportment, and we see that this sense-making behavior is a way of being that we may briefly characterize as: “Always already

14. In principle, I meet usable things in terms of a world.

15. [GA 21 (p. 147.24–25) has “eine eigentümliche Bewegung, wenn ich so sagen darf, die das Dasein selbst ständig macht,” whereas Moser (p. 315.15) reads “die Zeit” instead of “Dasein”: “die die Zeit ständig macht.” Weiss (p. 76.10) confirms Moser’s record here.]