ON THE ESSENCE OF GROUND


its potentiality for being-in-the-world - a withdrawal entailed in its being absorbed by beings - first brings those possibilities of world-projection that can "actually" be seized upon toward Dasein as its world. Such withdrawal lends precisely the binding character of what remains projected before uf the power to prevail within the realm of Dasein's existence. Corresponding to these two ways of grounding, transcendence at once exceeds and withdraws. The fact that the ever-excessive projection of world attains its power and becomes our possession only in such withdrawal is at the same time a transcendental testimony to the finitude of Dasein's freedom. And does not the finite essence of freedom in general thereby announce itself?

For the interpretation of the manifold grounding of freedom, what is essential initially is to see the unity of the two ways of grounding we have so far discussed, the unity that comes to light in the way in which excess and withdrawal become transcendentally attuned to one another.

Yet Dasein is a being that not only finds itself in the midst of beings, but also comports itself toward beings and thus also toward itself. Such comportment toward beings is at first and for the most part even equated with transcendence. If this is indeed a failure to recognize the essence of transcendence, then the transcendental possibility of intentional comportment must become a problem. And if intentionality is indeed distinctive of the constitution of Dasein's existence, then an illumination of transcendence cannot pass it over.

The projection of world indeed makes possible - although we cannot show this here - a prior understanding of the being of beings, [64] yet is not itself a relation of Dasein to beings. And our being absorbed, which lets Dasein find itself in the midst of beings and pervasively attuned by them (though never without the unveiling of world), is likewise not a comportment toward beings. Yet presumably both – in their unity as characterized – make intentionality possible transcendentally, and in such a way that, as ways of grounding, they co-temporalize a third manner of grounding: grounding as the grounding of something. In this form of grounding, the transcendence of Dasein assumes the role of making possible the manifestation of beings in themselves, the possibility of ontic truth.

"The grounding of something" should here be taken not in the restricted and derivative sense of proving ontic or theoretical propositions, but in a fundamentally originary meaning. According to this meaning, grounding something means making possible the why-question in general. To make visible the originarily grounding character proper to the grounding of something means, therefore, to illuminate the transcendental origin of the "why" as such. We are not therefore seeking, for instance, something that occasions


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Martin Heidegger (GA 9) Pathmarks