385 II. 4
Being and Time

falling, and discourse. Every understanding has its mood. Every stateof- mind is one in which one understands. The understanding which one has in such a state-of-mind has the character of falling. The understanding which has its mood attuned in falling, Articulates itself with relation to its intelligibility in discourse. The current temporal Constitution of these phenomena leads back in each case to that one kind of temporality which serves as such to guarantee the possibility that understanding, state-of-mind, falling, and discourse, are united in their structure.1


(a) The Temporality of Understanding11

With the term "understanding" we have in mind a fundamental existentiale, which is neither a definite species of cognition distinguished, let us say, from explaining and conceiving, nor any cognition at all in the sense of grasping something thematically. Understanding constitutes rather the Being of the "there" in such a way that, on the basis of such understanding, a Dasein can, in existing, develop the different possibilities of sight, of looking around [Sichumsehens], and of just looking. In all explanation one uncovers understandingly that which one cannot understand; and all explanation is thus rooted in Dasein's primary understanding.

If the term "understanding" is taken in a way which is primordially existential, it means to be projecting2 towards a potentiality-for-Being for the sake of which any Dasein exists. In understanding, one's own potentiality-for-Being is disclosed in such a way that one's Dasein always knows understandingly what it is capable of. It 'knows' this, however, not by having discovered some fact, but by maintaining itself in an existentiell possibility. The kind of ignorance which corresponds to this, does not consist in an absence or cessation of understanding, but must be regarded as a deficient mode of the projectedness of one's potentiality-for-Being. Existence can be questionable. If it is to be possible for something 'to be in question' [das "In-Frage-stehen"], a disclosedness is needed. When one understands oneself projectively in an existentiell possibility, the future underlies this understanding, and it 'does so as a coming-towards-oneself out of that current possibility as which one's Dasein exists. The future makes ontologically possible an entity which is in such a way that it exists understandingly in its potentiality-for-Being. Projection is basically futural; it does not primarily grasp the projected possibility thematically


1 'Die jeweilige zeitliche Konstitution der genannten Phänomene führt je auf die eine Zeitlichkeit zurück, als welche sie die mögliche Struktureinheit von Verstehen, Befindlichkeit, Verfallen und Rede verbürgt.' The older editions omit the pronoun 'sie'.

2 '... entwerfend-sein ...' The older editions have '... entwerfend Sein