the factical irruption of the why-question in Dasein, but are inquiring concerning the transcendental possibility of the "why" in general. For this reason, we must interrogate transcendence itself insofar as we have determined it via the two ways of grounding discussed thus far. Grounding as establishing sets forth possibilities of existence in its projection of world. Existing always means: comporting oneself toward beings — toward those not having the character of Dasein, and toward oneself and those like oneself — in finding oneself in the midst of beings, and doing so in such a way that in this comportment in which one finds oneself, the potentiality for being of Dasein itself is at stake. In the projection of world an excess of possibility is given with respect to which, in our being pervaded by those (actual) beings that press around us as we find ourselves, the "why" springs forth.

Yet because the first two ways of grounding belong together in transcendence, the springing forth of the "why" is transcendentally necessary. The "why" even becomes manifold at its very origin. Its [65 {GA 9 169}] fundamental forms are: Why in this way and not otherwise? Why this and not that? Why something at all and not nothing? In this "why," in whatever manner it is expressed, there also lies already a preunderstanding, albeit a preconceptual one, of what-being, how-being, and being (nothing) in general. This understanding of being first makes possible the "why." This means, however, that it already contains the ultimate and primordial originary answer to all questioning. As altogether the most antecedent answer, our understanding of being provides the ultimate and primary grounding of things. In such understanding of being, transcendence as such grounds things. Because being and the constitution of being are unveiled therein, the transcendental grounding of something may be called ontological truth.]

Such grounding of things lies "at the ground" of all comportment toward beings, and in such a way that only in the illumination granted by our understanding of being can beings become manifest in themselves (i.e., as the beings they are and in the way they are). Yet because such grounding of something prevails transcendentally from the outset throughout all becoming-manifest of beings (ontic truth), all ontic discovery and disclosing must in its way be a "grounding of something"; i.e., it must account for itself. In such accounting, what occurs is the referral to a being that then makes itself known, for example, as "cause" or as the "motivational grounds" (motive) for an already manifest nexus of beings. This referral is in each case demanded by the what-being and how-being of the relevant

a First edition, The essence of this answer: The relation of beyng, as beyng, to the human essence. The extent to which the proper thinking of beyng is not a questioning.


Martin Heidegger (GA 9) On the Essence of Ground