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Fundamental Concepts of Metaphysics [431-32]

intrinsically present at hand structure of Dasein either. We can never look upon the phenomenon of world directly. It is true that even here we could extract some content from a given interpretation of the phenomenon of world without reference to its indicative character, and set it out in an objective definition which could then be passed on. But this would deprive the interpre­tation of all its reliable power, since whoever seeks to understand would not then be heeding the directive that lies in every philosophical concept.


b) The second misinterpretation: the false interconnection of
philosophical concepts, and their isolation from one another.


On account of this failure, philosophical speculation proceeded to establish­—and this is the second aspect of misinterpretation—a false interconnection be­tween philosophical concepts. We all know that since Kant laid the foundations for metaphysics the tendency toward system has made itself felt within Western philosophy to a previously unheard of degree. This is a remarkable phenom­enon, the reasons for which have still not been explained. It has to do with the fact that the conceptuality of philosophy, considered in accordance with its inner essence, reveals a tendency to refer one concept to another, and this suggests that we should look for an immanent interconnection between the concepts themselves. But since all formally indicative concepts and contexts of interpretation address whoever is trying to understand with respect to his or her Dasein, a properly unique interconnection of these concepts is also given at the same time. This interconnection does not consist in the relations that can be obtained by dialectically playing off such concepts against one another without reference to their indicative character or by thinking up something like a system of Dasein, for example. On the contrary, the one and only originary interconnection of concepts is already established through Dasein itself. The vitality of this interconnection depends upon the extent to which Dasein in each case comes to itself (and this is not the same as the degree of subjective reflection involved). The interconnection is intrinsically historical and is con­cealed within the history of Dasein. Consequently there is no system of Dasein for the metaphysical interpretation of Dasein. Rather the intrinsic conceptual interconnection is that of the history of Dasein itself, something which, as history, transforms itself. This is why formally indicative concepts and espe­cially fundamental concepts can in an exemplary sense never be taken in isolation. The historicity of Dasein refuses, even more than any system does, any isolation or isolated consideration of individual concepts. This temptation also lies within ordinary understanding, where it is coupled in a peculiar fashion with the tendency to take everything encountered as something present at hand. We shall give an example of this as well, though not, let it be

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