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Metaphysics of Principle of Reason [220-221]

Partitioning does not eliminate world, but it is itself possible only on the basis of world. (Every "part" of the world is finite.) Heraclitus, Fragment 89: ὁ Ἡρακλειτός φησι τοῖς ἐγρηγορόσιν ἕνα καὶ κοινὸν κόσμον εἶναι, τῶν δὲ κοιμωμένων ἕκαστον εἰς ἴδιον ἀποστρέφεσθαι; a single and common world belongs to the awake, but each of the sleeping turns to his own world. Here world is related to being awake and sleeping, as basic modes proper to factical Dasein. Awakeness is a condition of Dasein in which beings manifest themselves for everyone as one and the same within the same world-character; beings manifest themselves in a thorough-going harmony accessible to everyone and binding for everyone. In sleep, on the contrary, self-manifesting beings have their own peculiar world-character for the individual, in each case a completely different way in which they world.

From these examples we can extract several points: 1) world is a term for the mode of the being of beings (even though the concept of world is not yet expressly an ontological problem); 2) world means the totality, the unification and possible dispersal of beings; 3) each mode of being is either changeable or not; world has a connection with movement, change, and time; 4) world is somehow relative to Dasein and to the mode in which it currently exists and with regard to 5) whether the world is a common world, one and the same, i.e., whether beings are allowed to manifest themselves in the same harmonious mode for all or only for every individual in his own manner-the world of everyman or of the lone self.

Further references will not only confirm these meanings but will refine them even more. As a whole, they will clarify the single main point of this preliminary set of reflections, that the concept "world" has a peculiarly universal character (qua totality relative to dispersion) and yet a character essentially related to human Dasein. This is only preliminary for the genuinely transcendental meaning we will give to this term later, in interpreting transcendence.

At this point it is good to notice, with regard to the foregoing as well as to what follows, that concepts like "world" which express a condition of beings, the how of beings (beings can world in such-and-such a way), easily and often-indeed usually for the most part-are used to describe beings themselves. "Stream," for example, means what flows, this particular stream that flows here. the creek; but "stream" means also the "how" of the being of beings, for example, to flow instead of to roll with waves. The Greek φύσις also means nature in a material and formal sense as the ἀρχή


The Metaphysical Foundations of Logic (GA 26) by Martin Heidegger