and for its situation in worrying itself with the basic things it did. Understanding consists not merely in taking up the past for the sake of a knowledge that merely takes note of it but rather in repeating in an original manner what is understood in the past in terms of and for the sake of one’s very own situation. This understanding happens least when one takes over from the past certain theorems, propositions, basic concepts, and principles and updates them in one way or another. When it uses models from the past, and what is at issue here is itself, it subjects these models from the ground up to the sharpest critique and develops them for the sake of a potentially fruitful opposition. Factical Dasein always is what it is only as one’s own Dasein and never as the Dasein in general of some universal humanity. Expending care on the latter could only ever be an illusory task. Critique of history is always only critique of the present. Such critique should not naively be of the opinion that it is able to calculate for history how it would have happened, if only. . . . Rather, it needs to keep its eye on the present and see to it that it raises questions in accord with the kind of originality it is able to attain. History gets negated not because it is “false,” but because it still remains effective in the present without, however, being able to be an authentically appropriated present.

Establishing the basic historical orientation of interpretation develops from an explication of the sense of philosophical research. We already have defined the object of this research in an indicative manner as factical human Dasein as such. It is from this its object that a concrete sketch of the philosophical problematic needs to be drawn. Thus what becomes necessary here is that we bring into relief in a preliminary fashion the specific characteristics of the object, factical life. And we need to do this not only because factical life is the object of philosophical research, but also because this research itself constitutes a particular how of factical life. As such, it co-temporalizes and helps unfold the concrete and historically particular being of life itself, and it does this in its very actualization and not first through some subsequent “application” to life. The possibility of this co-temporalizing is based on the fact that philosophical research is the explicit actualizing of a basic movement of factical life and constantly maintains itself within it.

In our indication of the hermeneutical situation, the structures of the object “factical life” will not be sketched out concretely and presented in their constitutive interrelation. Rather, by enumerating only the most constitutive elements of facticity, what we mean by this term will be brought into view and made available as a forehaving for such concrete investigation.

The confusing plurivocity of the word “life” and its usages should not be a reason for simply casting it aside. One would thereby forfeit the possibility of pursuing the various directions in the meaning of this word that are proper to it and alone make it possible to reach the respective object meant in each. In this regard, we must basically keep in view the fact that the term zwhv, vita [life], points to a basic phenomenon that the interpretations of human Dasein in Greek thought, the Old Testament, New Testament Christianity, and Graeco-Christian