In keeping with a view now prevalent, let us designate the realm in which the spiritual and creative activity of man is carried out with the name "culture." As part of culture, we count science, together with its cultivation and organization. Thus science is ranked among the values which man prizes and toward which, out of a variety of motives, he directs his attention.
But so long as we take science only in this cultural sense, we will never be able to gauge the scope of its essence.2
1. "Reflection" is the translation of the noun Besinnung, which means recollection, reflection, consideration, deliberation. The corresponding reflexive verb, sich besinnen, means to recollect, to remember, to call to mind, to think on, to hit upon. Although "reflection" serves the needs of translation best in this and other essays in this volume, the word has serious inadequacies. Most importantly, reflection-from Latin reflectere, to bend back-intrinsically carries connotations uncomfortably close to those in Heidegger's use of vorstellen, to represent or set before, and could suggest the mind's observing of itself. Moreover, reflection, like the other nouns available as translations of Besinnung, lacks any marked connotation of directionality, of following after. The reader should therefore endeavor to hear in "reflection" fresh meaning. For Heidegger Besinnung is a recollecting thinking-on that, as though scenting it out, follows after what is thought. It involves itself with sense (Sinn) and meaning, and is at the same time a "calm, self-possessed surrender to that which is worthy of questioning." See below, pp. 180 ff; d. What Is Called Thinking?, trans. Fred D. Wieck and J. Glenn Gray (New York : Harper & Row, 1968), pp. 207 ff.
2. "Essence" will be the usual translation in this essay for the noun Wesen. Occasionally Wesen will be translated with "coming to presence." The main argument of the essay is centrally concerned with the "essence" of science. In following the discussion, the reader should keep firmly in mind that for Heidegger the Wesen of science—as of anything whatever—is not simply what science is, but rather the manner in which it pursues its course through time, the manner in which i t comports itself in its enduring as present. See 3QT n. 1.