PATHMARKS


with . . . the Dasein of others, and being toward . . . itself. Dasein is able to be in relation to itself as itself in this manner only if it surpasses "itself" in this "for the sake of" [Umwillen]. This surpassing that occurs "for the sake of" does so only in a "will" ["Willen"] that as such projects itself upon possibilities of itself. This will that essentially casts the "for the sake of itself" over and thereby before Dasein cannot therefore be a particular willing, an "act of will" as distinct from other forms of comportment (such as representing, judging, or enjoyment). All forms of comportment are rooted in transcendence. The "will" in question, however, must first "form" the "for-the-sake-of" itself as and in a surpassing. Yet whatever, in accordance with its essence, casts something like the "for the sake of" projectively before it, ·rather than simply producing it as an occasional and additional accomplishment, is that which we call freedom. Surpassing in the direction of world is freedom itself. Accordingly, transcendence does not merely come upon the "for the sake of" as anything like a value or end that would be present at hand in itself; rather, freedom holds the "for the sake of" toward itself, and does so as freedom. In this transcending that holds the "for the sake of" toward itself there occurs the Dasein in human beings,• such that in the essence of their existence they can be obligated to themselves, i.e., be free selves. In this, however, freedom simultaneously unveils itself as making possible [60] something binding, indeed obligation in general. Freedom alone can let a world prevail and let it world for Dasein. World never is, but worlds.

In this interpretation of freedom arrived at in terms of transcendence there ultimately lies a more originary characterization of the essence of freedom than that which determines it as spontaneity, i.e., as a kind of causality. The beginning of something by itself provides only the negative characterization of freedom according to which there is no determinative cause lying further back. This characterization, however, overlooks above all the fact that it speaks in an ontologically undifferentiated manner of "beginnings" and "occurrences," without explicitly characterizing what it means to be a cause in terms of the specific manner of being pertaining to the being that is in this way, namely, Dasein. Accordingly, if spontaneity ("beginning by oneself") is to be capable of serving as an essential characterization of the "subject," then two things are first required: ( 1 ) Selfhood must be clarified ontologically for any possible appropriate conception of what is meant by this "by oneself"; (2) precisely the same clarification of selfhood must provide us in advance with an indication of the way in which


a First edition, 1929: The reverse: Dasein withstands the prevailing [Walten], or bener the e.o;sential unfolding [Wesen], of truth and thus grounds the possibility of being human as being human in Dasein!


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Martin Heidegger (GA 9) On the Essence of Ground