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The Genesis of Heidegger’s Being and Time

Kisiel (1995:315-319) – Prelúdio a "Conceito de Tempo" (GA64)

The Diltehy Draft: "The Concept of Time" (1924)

sexta-feira 18 de janeiro de 2019, por Cardoso de Castro

The core idea   of BT as we know it receives its first “oral publication” in the public address entitled “The Concept of Time” presented to the Marburg Theologians’ Society on July 25, 1924. Gadamer   aptly calls it the “Urform” of BT. Not   yet a draft of BT, it is nevertheless the first major and quite public step toward the extant book BT, by elaborating its core structure, which in retrospect finds its seminal roots in the 1922 Introduction. For in that Einleitung (cf. chap. 5), Heidegger for the very first time juxtaposes the deliberate seizure of my certain death, through which the very being of life becomes visible, with the countermovement of falling through absorption in the averageness of the public “one.” Death’s peculiar sight into the very being of life therefore provides a unique ontological access to the temporality properly belonging to human being, and so also to its historicality. This polar space of interrelationships between life’s movement and its countermovement first unveiled in the Einleitung receives its first full-fledged development in July 1924 in terms of two basically different ways of “being temporal  ” (Zeitlichsein).

But something peculiar has happened terminologically between 1922 and 1924. For precisely at this point of staking out the polar space of countervailing movements in his Einleitung, Heidegger for the very first time also formally introduces the term “existence” to define the authentic way of temporalizing one’s facticity. For this authenticating is always an “existentiell” (i.e., individual) possibility and choice by which to counteract the tendency to lapse in life. And in SS 1923   (GA 63:16), interpreting one’s facticity in terms of this ownmost possibility of “existence” generates those conceptual explicata or categories which may be called “existentialia.” [316] But in his public address of 1924 (and in the ensuing drafts of BT save the very last  ), Heidegger diligently avoids this “existentialist” vocabulary, even though the main thrust of the lecture is to show that “Dasein   is authentically with itself, it is truly existent” (BZ   18),1 by persistently forerunning the certain possibility of its “being gone” (das Vorbei). Why this diligent evasion of a vocabulary which Heidegger began to develop in his early Freiburg period and which will eventually inundate BT itself? The reasons are obscure, but one reason that can be gleaned from Heidegger’s correspondence at this time is a strong aversion, which he apparently developed upon first arriving in Lutheran Marburg, to the “Kierkegaardism” then in vogue in theological circles.2 Given this burgeoning antipathy, the Marburg Theologians’ Society was the last place for him to wax “existential”!

Of course, two other key terms central to this old polar constellation are also not explicitly used. 1) But the countermovement of “falling” does appear implicitly in the lecture in the “flight from goneness” (BZ 20) opposing the “run forward” which anticipates this uttermost possibility of being gone; and the addictive “pendency” (Verhängnis: cf. chap. 5, p. 256) of falling is suggested when Heidegger writes, “Dasein flees before the How and attaches itself to (hängt sich an) whatever What is present at the time” (BZ 21). 2) The old standby, “facticity,” also never appears, but instead is replaced by its more temporally charged counterpart, the Jeweiligkeit   (eachness, temporal particularity) of the “I am.” It was first introduced as the “more precise expression” of facticity in SS 1923 (GA 63:7), and plays perhaps the central role in this public lecture as a backdrop for distinguishing two ways of being temporal, “there,” particular and individual, “in each case mine.” Moreover, Heidegger in SS 1924 had discovered a new way of talking about facticity through his gloss of Aristotle  ’s Rhetoric and loses no time in applying it. Augustine   had already seen that the self experiences time immediately in an “affective disposition” (Befindlichkeit  : BZ II), and this immediate self-experience is the way in which “Dasein has itself” and “finds itself with itself” (BZ 14) without reflection. “The primary relation to Dasein is not contemplation or observation, but the ‘being it.’ Experiencing or encountering oneself, like speaking about oneself, or self-interpretation  , is only one particular and distinctive way in which Dasein in each case has itself” (BZ 14).

Fresh from his course on Aristotle’s Rhetoric, Heidegger is here taking the first, albeit quite imperfect steps toward articulating the immediacy of human experience in terms of three equiprimordial ways of “being in.” As Aristotle already knew, “the being-in-the-world of human being takes place primarily in speaking. . . . How Dasein in its world speaks about its way of getting along with its world equally yields a self-interpretation of Dasein. It asserts how Dasein in each such case understands [317] itself, as what it takes itself’ (BZ 13). This still quite nascent phase in the discussion of In-Sein  , the equiprimordial constellation of involvement with the world and self through affective disposition, understanding, and discourse, is here still being articulated without the aletheic vocabulary of “truth” also developing out of Aristotle, or the kinetics of “thrown project” unique to BT itself. This constellation will be a major topic of concern in the forthcoming drafts. It will also be one of the very last chapters to find its “true” voice in BT as we have come to know it.

Especially the prereflective immediacy of “finding oneself with oneself” so that one finds oneself “disposed,” this “primary relation” to one’s situation   (Dasein) such that “I am it” (BZ 14: “It” is the old KNS   experience), provides a latent key to the recurring leitmotiv of the lecture: Dasein is its time, I am my time. The secret dimension of disposition — the “uncanniness” of angst   surfaces but once (BZ 18) — gives concrete substance to the fulcrum statement, “Time is the how” (BZ 27), which allows Heidegger to transform the opening question of the lecture, “What is time?,” into a concluding litany of new questions: “Who is time? More precisely: Are we ourselves time? Or still more precisely: Am I my time?” (BZ 27). Thus, after arriving at the “answer” that “Dasein is time” and not merely “in time,” experienced as a how rather than a what, Heidegger in the end questions even this, his one seemingly central point reinforced through reiteration, suggesting that there is more to come. What is waiting in the wings, beyond the concept of time which is the one topic of the lecture, is precisely the concept of being itself, and therefrom a more radical sense of time “itself.”

How close does Heidegger come in this lecture to confronting his newly won concept of time with the classical concept of being, let alone the need to “repeat” (and so to review and revise) it in view of this new concept of time? The armature of the lecture, from its proper starting point in the temporal particularity of the “I am” (BZ 11) to its thus virtually tautological conclusion of “I am my time” (“time is in each case mine”: BZ 26), operates strictly on the level of the question of the being of Dasein, which is in each case mine. And yet the very last question in the series seeking “to repeat temporally” the what-question, “Am I my time?” (BZ 27), invites us to question even this conclusion, and to question Dasein itself. But is it clear that Heidegger is thus inviting us to question Dasein at the more fundamental level of being itself? To make this step beyond Dasein to being itself in the concluding context outlined here by Heidegger, I see only one possible direction of questioning: How am I my time? Is my time ultimately really mine, if I first and always necessarily “find myself with myself’ (BZ 14)? The concluding summary of the lecture thus begins to restore the notes of receptive acceptance of the one-and-only factic conditions of life out of which the more active forerunning [318] springs, which are at once the conditions toward which it aims. Attainment of the time proper to me is governed by a principium   individuationis “from out of which Dasein in its temporal particularity is. .. . In forerunning, Dasein becomes visible in its unique here-and-now and the once-and-for-all of its unique destiny in the possibility of its one-and-only goneness” (BZ 26f.). This individuating encounter with death, the ultimate facticity, “makes all equal.”

And yet Heidegger had just finished saying that at this level of encounter “the Being of temporality means unequal reality” (BZ 26). Through this rather abrupt juxtaposition of sameness and difference, he is thus raising the problem of a reality which belongs at once to each and to all, a problem common to the temporal particularity (Je-weiligkeit) of Dasein and to the distributive universality of being itself. And even earlier, he raises another paradox: “Dasein is time, time is temporal. Dasein is not time but rather temporality. The basic statement, Time is temporal, is accordingly the most proper determination” (BZ 26). I both am and am not my time, because time itself is temporal: it is the same relationship that he discovered in KNS 1919, at the interface of factic immediacy, between me and my life, a life which is given to me before I assume it as mine. And this “before” of not-mine provides the space of transcendence, beyond the phenomenological ontology of Dasein which dominates the lecture, to a more fundamental ontology of being, which comprehends Dasein.

But even though the lecture abounds with the ontological concerns evident since 1921 for the “being of Dasein” and the “being of time” (BZ 10), and closes by raising the issue of the “being of temporality” (BZ 26), Heidegger does not make the reverse move to the genitive subjective “temporality of being” which would have completed the ontological destructuring, and so never overtly poses the question of being as such. For this we must wait for WS 1924-25, which will examine the question of being as such more overtly by way of Plato  ’s Sophist. But the unspoken possibility of this question was already present from the beginning in the phenomenological goal “to understand time out of time” (BZ 6) itself and not from the theological starting point of eternity. This solus ipse looms large in the end in the ultimately centering statement of the lecture, “time is temporal” (BZ 26), the seemingly tautological fruit of such a phenomenological return to the matter itself, a “reflexive” return which inevitably raises the question of being within phenomenology. “Time is temporal” takes a step closer to but is not quite identical with “It temporalizes” (Es zeitigt, “It times”), the ontological strategy of the impersonal sentence already in use as early as KNS 1919 as a way to get to the level of being itself. Thus, the public lecture of 1924 only intimates the turn from Dasein to being, to the “being of [T]emporality” (BZ 26) of the [319] famous Third Division of BT. Muted and thoroughly undeveloped as it is, such intimations feed Gadamer’s declaration that this deceptively simple lecture, teeming with “ordinary language” statements more than the formal   language of ontology, is the “Urform” of BT, if we understand this in the sense of a nascent and incipient “primitive form.” It thus marks the zero-point for the coming development of the concept of being out of the filigree of the concept of time, and vice versa. But it is a task which the lecture itself, as an occasional piece, a single evening lecture on “The Concept of Time,” from the start overtly states it will not do, namely “to question back behind time into its connection with other categories” (BZ 6). The lecture is a deliberately truncated treatment of the concept of time which is not even supposed to be philosophical. It would thus have been improper to interject the one concept proper to philosophy, being, into this context. The lecture is therefore not really a draft of BT, even though it contains virtually, albeit in very unequal proportions, all the major elements of the Second Division of BT on “Dasein and Temporality,” as Heidegger himself notes at one point in BT (SZ   268n). We have already suggested above how incomplete, diffuse, and even chaotic the treatment of the themes of the First Division is in this talk. (1995, p. 315-319)

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