WHAT IS METAPHYSICS?


away from ourselves. At bottom therefore it is not as though "you" or "I" feel uncanny; rather, it is this way for some "one." In the altogether unsettling experience of this hovering where there is nothing to hold on to, pure Da-sein" is all that is still there.

Anxiety robs us of speech. Because beings as a whole slip away, so that precisely the nothing crowds around, all utterance of the "is" falls silent in the face of the nothing. That in the uncanniness [10] of anxiety we often try to shatter the vacant stillness with compulsive talk only proves the presence of the nothing. That anxiety unveils the nothing is immediately demonstrated by human beings themselves when anxiety has dissolved. In the lucid vision sustained by fresh remembrance we must say that that in the face of which and concerning which we were anxious was "properly" — nothing. Indeed, the nothing itself — as such — was there.b

With the fundamental attunement of anxiety we have arrived at that occurrence in Dasein in which the nothing is manifest and from which it must be interrogated.

How is it with the nothing?



THE RESPONSE TO THE QUESTION


We have already won the answer that for our purposes is at least at first the only essential one when we take heed that the question of the nothing remains actually posed. This requires that we actively complete the transformation of the human beingc into the Da-sein that every instance of anxiety occasions in us, in order to get a grip on the nothing announcedd there as it makes itself known. At the same time this demands that we expressly hold at a distance those designations of the nothing that do not result from its claims.

The nothing unveils itself in anxiety - but not as a being. Just as little is it given as an object. Anxiety is no kind of grasping of the nothing. All the same, the nothing becomes manifest in and through anxiety, although, to repeat, not in such a way that the nothing becomes manifest in our uncanninesse quite "apart from" beings as a whole. Rather, we said that in


a Fifth edition, 1949: The Da-sein "in" the human being.

b Fifth edition, 1949: Which means: it unveiled itself; revealing and attunement.

c Fifth edition, 1949: As subject! But Da-sein is already experienced thoughtfully here in a preliminary way, and only for this reason has it become possible to pose the question "What is metaphysics?" here.

d Fifth edition, 1949: Revealing.

e Fifth edition, 1949: Uncanniness and unconcealment.


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Martin Heidegger (GA 9) What Is Metaphysics? - Pathmarks