2
ON TIME AND BEING

that are far removed from any useful, practical wisdom. It might be that a kind of thinking has become necessary which must give thought to matters from which even the painting and the poetry which we have mentioned and the theory of mathematical physics receive their determination. Here, too, we should then have to abandon any claim to immediate intelligibility. However, we should still have to· listen, because we must think what is inevitable, but preliminary.

Therefore, we must be neither surprised nor amazed if the majority of the audience objects to the lecture. Whether a few will, now or later, be prompted by the lecture to think further on such matters, cannot be foreseen. We want to say something· about the attempt to think Being without regard to its being grounded in terms of beings. The attempt to think Being without beings becomes necessary because otherwise, it seems to me, there is no longer any possibility of explicitly bringing into view the Being of what is today all over the earth, let alone of adequately determining the relation of man to what has been called "Being" up to now.

Let me give a little hint on how to listen. The point is not to listen to a series of propositions, but rather to follow the movement of showing.


What prompts us to name time and Being together? From the dawn of Western-European thinking until today, Being means the same as presencing. Presencing, presence speaks of the present. According to current representations, the present, together with past and future, forms the character of time. Being is determined as presence by time. That this is so could in itself be sufficient to introduce a relentless disquiet into thinking. This disquiet increases as soon as we set out to think through in what respect there is such a determination of Being by time.

In what respect? Why, in what manner and from what source does something like time have a voice in Being? Every attempt to think adequately the relation of Being and time with the help of the current and imprecise representations of time and Being immediately


On Time and Being (GA 14) by Martin Heidegger