Science and Reflection

This sojourning is constantly a historical sojourning—i.e., one allotted to us—no matter whether we represent, analyze, and classify it historiographically or whether we believe that we can artificially detach ourselves from history by means of a merely voluntary turning away from historiography.

How and by what means our historical sojourn adds to and enlarges the dwelling proper to it33—about this, reflection can decide nothing directly.

The age of intellectual cultivation is coming to an end, not because the uncultured are gaining the ascendancy, but because the signs are appearing of a world-age in which that which is worthy of questioning will someday again open the door that leads to what is essential in all things and in all destinings.

We will respond to the claim from afar, to the claim of the prevailing demeanor [des Verhaltens] of that world age, when we begin to reflect by venturing onto the only already taken by that state of affairs [SachverhaltJ which shows itself to us in the essence of science—though not only there.

Nevertheless, reflection remains more provisional, more forbearing and poorer in relation to its age than is the the intellectual cultivation that was fostered earlier. Still, the poverty of reflection is the promise of a wealth whose treasures glow in the resplendence of that uselessness which can never be included in any reckoning.

The ways of reflection constantly change, ever according to the place on the way at which a path begins, ever according to the portion of the way that it traverses, ever according to the distant view that opens along the way into that which is worthy of questioning.

Even if the sciences, precisely in following their ways and using their means, can never press forward to the essence of science, still every researcher and teacher of the sciences, every man pursuing a way through a science, can move, as a thinking being,34 on various levels of reflection and can keep reflection vigilant.

33. sein wohnen an- und ausbaut. Like the verb bilden (to form) used above, bauen (to build) has as one of its meanings to cultivate, In using bauen in these compounds (anbaut, "adds to"; ausbaut, "enlarges") in the midst of his juxtaposing of intellectual cultivation and reflection, Heidegger undoubtedly intends that bauen point up that contrast—an intention that has been impossible to preserve in the translation.

34. als den ken den Wesen.