§20. Temporality [418-419]

We must focus more closely on the concept of the Dasein's transcendence in order to see the connection of the Dasein' s transcendence with the understanding of being, from which alone we can then carry our inquiry back to the temporality of the understanding of being as such.

Functionality is understood in commerce with the beings we encounter in closest proximity—equipment. Everything for which and in which there is a letting-function with something, is what it is within an in-order-to. The relations of the in-order-to, but also those of the purpose-free and purposeless, root either ultimately or initially in the for-the-sake-of-which. They are understood only if the Dasein understands something of the nature of the for-the-sake-of-itself. As existent, the Dasein understands something of the nature of a "for-the-sake-of-itself," because its own being is determined by this: that, as existent, the Dasein is occupied in its own being with its ability to be. Only so far as the for-the-sake-of a can-be is understood can something like an in-order-to (a relation of functionality) be unveiled. That all functional relations are grounded ontologically in a for-the-sake-of in no way decides whether, ontically, all beings are as beings for the sake of the human Dasein. The ontological rooting of the ontological structures of beings and of their possible intelligibility in the for-the-sake-of-which is still extraneous to the ontical assertion that nature was created or exists for the purpose of the human Dasein. The ontical assertion about the purposiveness of the actual world is not posited in the ontological rooting just mentioned. In fact, the latter is presented primarily precisely in order to make evident how the understanding of the being of an entity which is and can be in itself, even without the Dasein existing, is possible only on the basis of the ontological rooting of functionality relations in the for-the-sake-of-which. Only on the basis of the clarified ontological interconnections of the possible ways of understanding being, and thus also of functionality relations, with the for-the-sake-of is it at all decidable whether the question of an ontical teleology of the universe of beings has a legitimate philosophical sense or whether it doesn't rather represent an invasion by common sense into the problems of philosophy. That the ontological structure of in-order-to relations is grounded in a for-the-sake-of-which implies nothing about whether the ontical relations between beings, between nature and the Dasein, exhibit a purposive contexture.

Since the Dasein exists as a being which is occupied in its being with its can-be, it has already understood the like of the "for the sake of itself." Only on the basis of this understanding is existence possible. The Dasein must give its own can-be to itself to be understood. It gives itself the task of signifying how things stand with its can-be. The whole of these relations, everything that belongs to the structure of the totality with which the Dasein can in any way give itself something to be understood, to signify to

Basic Problems of Phenomenology (GA 24) by Martin Heidegger