§12. Transcendence and temporality [254-255]

counter-hold first can and even must hold itself to beings. Now we have the task of understanding temporality with regard to this basic phenomenon of transcendence.

What is temporality itself and how do we begin to analyze it? One can speculate about time in many different ways; one can start somewhere and try to analyze and interpret it. But our problem does not deal with the usual isolated philosophical speculation about time that always aims in some way toward other philosophical problems. Time, as we have shown, has some relation, however obscure it may still be, to the understanding-of-being as such. Time therefore claims a central systematic function in metaphysics as such; the interpretation of time must then be guided primarily by that central function in metaphysics. The pathway to the interpretation of time is not simple. The one I myself have taken is not the only one, but every pathway is long and runs into obstacles. I am choosing another procedure for our purposes. We will try to suggest the essence of time more directly and dogmatically, which means we will put aside the common way of posing the question about time.

I will try to enumerate briefly the main lines of the common conception of time:

1. Time is itself something extant somewhere and somehow, and it is in motion, and it flows away; as we say, "it passes."

2. As transient (to a certain extent the paradigm of transience in general), time is something "in the soul," in the subject, inside consciousness; thus to have time requires an internal consciousness. Consequently, the possibilities of conceiving and interpreting time are essentially dependent on the particular conception of soul, subject, consciousness, Dasein.

3. Time is something passing, which transpires in the soul but does not yet really belong in the center of the soul. For time has long been seen in connection with space. In space, the spatial is what we experience with our senses. This is likewise true of time. Time belongs to our sensibility (still the case also i n the phenomenological conception in Husserl and Scheler). However one may understand sensibility, it remains distinct from mind and reason, which is not itself temporal but outside of time. (One could say without exaggeration that, in Kant, spontaneity as freedom stands immediately alongside of time.)

4. Since Plato, time is frequently distinguished by contrasting it with eternity, and the latter is itself conceived more or less theologically. The temporal then becomes the earthly vis-a-vis the heavenly. From this viewpoint time possesses a certain worldview