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More Original Explication of Dasein [406-408]

being of Dasein. It is the penultimate phenomenon, so to speak, on the way toward the authentic structure of the being of Dasein. Care is the term for the being of Dasein pure and simple. It has the formal structure, an entity for which, intimately involved in its being-in-the-world, this very being is at issue.

In view of this state of affairs in an analysis of Dasein with regard to its being, it is apparent that 'being' is not at all a simple concept, let alone the simplest concept. This is one error made by the tradition, and perhaps the most fateful. It is based on a determination of being which naturally starts from entities taken as a world, formalizes this being of the world or world hood by disregarding every particular world-thing, in order to thus arrive at a formal concept.

The definition of the structure of care already shows that this phenomenon, which thus authentically comprehends being, exhibits a multiple structure. And if Dasein in its being is generally defined by care, then these phenomena must have already been in our sights in the foregoing analyses of Dasein. In fact we dealt with the phenomenon of care in a certain way right from the start, when we spoke of concern as the authentic mode of being-in-the-world. Concern itself is but a mode of being of care, specifically because care is the character of being of an entity which is essentially defined by being-in-the-world. To put it better, care qua structure of Dasein is in-being as concern. Caring as it is in the world is eo ipso concern. The expression which we use in the definition of the formal structure of care, 'being is at issue,' must now be more accurately defined.

'Its own being is the issue for Dasein': This first presupposes that in this Dasein there is something like a being out for something. Dasein is out for its own being; it is out for its very being in order 'to be' its being. As such a being-about care is this being out for the being which this very being-out is. This must be understood in such a way that Dasein as it were anticipates itself there. If the being of Dasein is what is at issue for care, then Dasein has always already held its own being ahead of itself, even if not in the sense of a thematic consciousness of it. The innermost structure of Dasein's caring about its being can be conceived formally as Dasein's being-ahead-of-itself. But we must understand this being-ahead-of-itself of Dasein in the context of the structures which have hitherto already been exhibited. This being-ahead is not a kind of psychological process or a property of a subject, but rather an element of the entity which, in accord with its sense is in the world, that is, in accord with its original character of being, insofar as it is at all, is always already intimately involved in something, namely, in the world. We thus arrive at the overall structure of care in the formal sense: Dasein's being-ahead-of-itself in its always already being involved in something. This formal structure of care applies to every comportment.


Martin Heidegger (GA 20) History of the Concept of Time