Metaphysics of Principle of Reason [198-199]

foresee these originations. One just needs to work continually at factical possibilities, because of Dasein's finitude. Since philosophizing is essentially an affair of finitude, every concretion of factical philosophy must in its tum fall victim to this facticity.

The shortwindedness proper to questioning and thinking cannot be surmounted, but we must take pains not to yield to it unawares. Only rarely are we capable of running the whole gamut of a problem and preserving it in its vitality and potential for transformation. Or, if we can do so, we may then no longer have the strength to draw breath again for other equally important possibilities. Or, if we can do that, then the elaboration required is more difficult, because it is at bottom intrinsically impossible to dissociate the problem from previous ones. And so there is in every case a breaking open of horizons; what is important or essential is always handed over to the future as the real heritage. But what is essential is not what can be refuted and discussed by the times. (If Kant had been merely he whom his contemporaries took him to be, one whom they refuted right and left, he would indeed be in a sorry state.)

The finitude of philosophy consists not in the fact that it comes up against limits and cannot proceed further. It rather consists in this: in the singleness and simplicity of its central problematic, philosophy conceals a richness that again and again demands a renewed awakening.

What must be kept in mind, particularly with regard to fundamental ontology, is that it is precisely the radicality and universality of this central problematic, and it alone, which brings us to realize that these problems are indeed central; but for that very reason they are in their import and essentiality never the sole problems. In other words, fundamental ontology does not exhaust the notion of metaphysics.

Since being is there only insofar as beings are already there [im Da], fundamental ontology has in it the latent tendency toward a primordial, metaphysical transformation which becomes possible only when being is understood in its whole problematic. The intrinsic necessity for ontology to turn back to its point of origin can be clarified by reference to the primal phenomenon of human existence: the being "man" understands being; understanding-of-being effects a distinction between being and beings; being is there only when Dasein understands being. In other words, the possibility that being is there in the understanding presupposes the factical existence of Dasein, and this in tum presupposes the factual extantness of nature. Right within the horizon of the problem