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§12. The basic structure of λόγoς

When the chalkboard is perceived in its character as the subject matter of the statement, our having-it-present includes an experiential knowledge of its current suitability-for. The thing’s suitability-for is uncovered insofar as we already live in a disclosure of it.

As regards its basic meaning for us as a concerned being-unto-the-world, use is only a more accessible form of meaning. Existence is, in itself and by its very nature, world-open, open for the world; and corresponding to that, the world is dis-closed, opened-up. The primary form of that disclosedness is the opening up of whatever thing is being questioned. [144] Every form of speaking about things is, as an ontological comportment of existence, already grounded in existence as world-open. That is, all speech speaks about something that is somehow already disclosed.

Speaking indicatively about something—“this table here,” “that window over there,” “the chalk,” “the door”—already entails [their prior] disclosure. What does this disclosure consist in? Answer: the thing we encounter is uncovered in terms of the end-for-which of its serviceability. It is already posited in meaning—it already makes sense [be-deutet]. Do not understand this to mean that we were first given a something that is free of meaning, and then a meaning gets attached to it. Rather, what is first of all “given”—and we still have to determine what that word means—is the “for-writing,” the “for-entering-and-exiting,” the “for-illuminating,” the “for-sitting.” That is, writing, entering-exiting, sitting, and the like are what we are a priori involved with. What we know and learn when we “know our way around” are these uses-for-which we understand it.11

Every act of having things before our eyes, every act of perceiving them, is held within this [prior] disclosure of those things, a disclosure that things get from a primary making-sense-of-things in terms of their what-they’re-for. Every act of having something before our eyes and perceiving it, is in and of itself a matter of “having” something as something.12 Our directional being-unto-things-and-people functions within this structure of “something as something.” In short, it has the as-structure. However, this as-structure is not necessarily re-


11. A chalkboard, if it were unintelligible, would, as such, not be present here. Unless it were understood as for-writing-on, it would be hidden. The same with a door unless it is understood as for-entering-and-existing. These things are intelligible because we ourselves move among and operate with them, although we do so in such a taken-for-granted way that we forget this state of affairs in its basic structure as constituting these things. [GA 21 takes this footnote from Heidegger’s twentieth lecture on Tuesday, 8 December 1925 (cf. Moser, p. 307.19), and inserts it at this point in the nineteenth lecture of Monday, 7 December.]

12. This “having” is not a matter of merely observing. It is meant entirely in the sense of our everyday dealing with things.

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