“Ways—not works” is the motto that Martin Heidegger wrote down in his own hand, along with the title page for his complete edition of the last hand [Gesamtausgabe letzter Hand], a few days before his death. In February of the same year, he had composed the dedication to his spouse, Elfride Heidegger (née Petri). “Her fervent support on the long path” began with their engagement in 1915 and lasted for over sixty years. The title page, motto, and dedication are reproduced as facsimiles.*

Martin Heidegger had intended to include a foreword in volume 1 of his complete edition explaining the sense and task of this edition, which was personally sketched out and begun by him. The swift death, whose portent the philosopher clearly perceived in the final days of his earthly existence, no longer left him the time to carry out his plan. Instead of the foreword, which never advanced beyond preliminary drafts, he composed the motto.

From the surviving notes for the foreword, two texts clarifying the edition’s motto, which were written down on separate sheets, may be shared.

The complete edition should reveal in different ways a being-underway in the itinerant field of the dynamically changing questioning of the equivocal question of being. The complete edition should thereby instruct one to take up the question, to join in questioning and, above all, thereafter, to question more questioningly. To question more questioningly—that is, to enact the step back;



Martin Heidegger (GA 1) Duns Scotus's Doctrine of Categories and Meaning