Rather and Other than Being      141

And that wonder turns into philosophising, in the sense of explicitly attempting to identify the grounds of disclosing and being. Heidegger claims that


[o]nly when the strangeness of entities oppresses us does it arouse and evoke wonder. Only on the ground of wonder—the manifestness of the nothing—does the ‘why?’ loom before us. Only because the ‘why’ is possible as such can we in a definite way inquire into grounds and ground things. (WM: 95 / GA9: 121)


It is because lēthē is repelling and inaccessible, and so because the whither of thrownness is ultimately concealed, that we wonder at the fact that entities are rather than not—that disclosing is rather than not—and on the basis of that wonder we inquire into grounds. We philosophise because we are ultimately opaque to ourselves and so always capable of surprising ourselves.


23. Rather and Other than Being

I have argued that disclosing’s inability to access what it is rather than—namely, lēthē—conceals it from itself, albeit ultimately rather than wholly. Being unable to access what something is rather than amounts to a concealing because it is a failure to wholly uncover that thing in contrast to what it is not. In this section I argue that being is concealed in just the same way—and in several further, related ways. These together will constitute the self-concealing of being.

Notice, first, that disclosing and being, as third-plank unconcealing, share their rather than. Just as disclosing is rather than lēthē, so too being is rather than lēthē. Lēthē, or what ‘What is Metaphysics?’ calls ‘the nothing’, ‘does not remain the indeterminate opposite of entities but unveils itself as belonging to the being of entities’ (WM: 94/GA9: 120) as its rather than. Since lēthē belongs to being and cannot be brought into the scope of being as unconcealing, its inaccessibility amounts to a concealing of being. In this sense, being is ultimately inaccessible to unconcealing qua disclosing. And since it is the very happening of being that renders its rather than


Heidegger on Being Self-Concealing by Katherine Withy