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Hegel's philosophy of history, however, is not a stand-alone unit of his system, but is derivative of his Logik which, as he says himself, is his systematic ontology:
so ist [es] erstens unmittelbar die Ontologie, an deren Stelle die objektive Logik tritt, - der Teil jener Metaphysik, der die Natur des Ens überhaupt erforschen sollte (LI:61)Secondly, the Logic investigates also the "remaining metaphysics" (übrige Metaphysik; LI:61) that treats "the soul, the world, God" (die Seele, die Welt, Gott; LI:61) insofar as "the determinations of thinking constituted what is essential to the mode of contemplation" (die Bestimmungen des Denkens das Wesentliche der Betrachtungsweise ausmachten; LI:61). Hegel's Logic is thus, in Aristotelean manner, a "thinking of thinking" (Denken des Denkens; W12:93) that reaches as far as an ontology of the soul, the world and God. In fact, the Logic is said to be the "realm of pure thought" (Reich des reinen Gedankens; LI:44) that represents God prior to the creation of the world. The bearer of this pure thinking of being and the world is Geist, and the unfolding of this Geist in historical time is the Weltgeist. "As we know, world history is thus on the whole the laying out of mindful spirit in time, just as the idea as nature lays itself out in space." (Die Weltgeschichte, wissen wir, ist also überhaupt die Auslegung des Geistes in der Zeit, wie die Idee als Natur sich im Raume auslegt. W12:96) To come to terms with Hegel's philosophy of history, requires therefore, in the first place, going back to his ontology to assess how thinking thinks the being of the world, a path all too seldom followed.
Geist is one of those untranslatable German words usually rendered, with capitals, as either Spirit or Mind, because it can mean both. It is also a possible translation of Greek nou=j, one of the major concepts of Greek philosophy. I prefer to render Geist in English as 'spirited mind', 'mindful spirit' or 'thinking spirit' to capture both the intellectual, thinking side and the lively, animated side, and it is indeed spirited mind that imbues each atmospheric, but undeniable 'spirit of the times' in the usual sense, although unbeknowns to those living in those times. For Hegel, it is pure, ontological thinking that shapes the world in its being. Or rather conversely, it is only through ontological thinking that the historical world in how it has been and is can be seen in its essential structures of being. It is spirited mind unfolding in its own element, time, that underlies human history. That is Hegel's claim, and it can only be assessed by thinking through the pure thinking that is supposed to ground the claim, uncovering tacit presuppositions, especially those regarding time, and never by a confrontation with supposedly empirically accessible historical reality, nor by counterposing a 'materialism' to Hegel's idealism for, as Hegel often points out, 'matter' itself is an idea, a concept that cannot escape ontological scrutiny. Materialism is itself a challenge for pure thinking if it is to be more than a vague, plausible prejudice and conviction based on unreflected obviousness.
For today's ontologically blind thinking, talk of 'spirited mind' as the hidden motor of history seems like speculative mysticism. Whereas speculation as the translation of qewri/a was originally the name for insight into beings in their being based on everyday lived experience of the simplest phenomena in the world, today speculation is anti-scientific, for it is prior to and therefore undercuts scientific method. Hence speculation can only be dismissed by the totalizing dogma of modern science and the word 'speculation' employed only in the sense of fanciful conjecture and mere risky guessing.
Spirited mind or Geist is not the title for a mysterious being, but another name for nou=j, lo/goj, Vernunft, reason. Hegel refers to Anaxagoras as the Greek thinker who proposed that nou=j is the principle of the world (W12:23) and says that this Vernunft is "not an intelligence as self-conscious reason, not spirited mind as such" (nicht eine Intelligenz als selbstbewußte Vernunft, nicht ein Geist als solcher; ibid.). Unlike Heidegger, Hegel does not go back to rethink and thus upset lo/goj on the basis of the surviving fragments of Parmenides and Herakleitos as the originary "collectedness of beings standing in themselves" (die in sich stehende Gesammeltheit des Seienden, d.h. das Sein; EiM:100), but proceeds from already collected reason as the essential hallmark of the world and of human being itself. For Hegel, reason, whose element is the lo/goj, accounts for the ontological structure of the world. The lo/goj moves dialectically from one of its categories to the next, thus gaining more conceptual determinations and becoming increasingly concrete in a system of interrelated concepts.
The categories required as prerequisites for understanding world history start with the most basic in the Logik and go as far as the concrete reality of fully developed political states, for Hegel's thesis is that world history is nothing other than the progressive unfolding of human freedom itself in ever freer forms of state: "Free is just this: to know and to will such universal, substantial objects such as right and law and to bring forth a reality in accord with them — the state." (Die Freiheit ist nur das, solche allgemeine substantielle Gegenstände wie das Recht und das Gesetz zu wissen und zu wollen und eine Wirklichkeit hervorzubringen, die ihnen gemäß ist — den Staat. W12:82) The ontological foundation of this thought is the Rechtsphilosophie, itself a part and culmination of Hegel's entire system. Hegel's philosophy of history is hence a derivative and secondary part of his thinking, relying for its grounding on his entire system from the Logic to the Philosophy of Right as brought together in the Encyclopaedia. It is to these that we must turn back when assessing whether his philosophy of history is well-founded.(1) This is where the hard work lies. It is naive empiricism to believe that Hegel's philosophy of history could be checked against the factual, empirical course of 'real' history.
In contrast to the task of appraising the entire ontology of Hegel's system, the thesis of his lectures on the philosophy of history is disarmingly simple, namely, that there are three stages in world history in the development of free states. The first stage is where only one individual is free in the state: Asiatic despotism; the second is where a few are free: ancient Greece and Rome; the third and last is where all members of the state are free: Western (Protestant) Christianity (W12:31). All those regions of the world where states, along with their laws, institutions, cultural works & practices, religion, customs & systems of organized rule over a people, did not arise are for Hegel outside world history. Africa, America and the Pacific region therefore are dealt with only briefly in the introduction in order to justify their exclusion from world history. Today such thinking is correctly, and mostly pejoratively, labelled Eurocentrism, and it is true that any philosophy of history, relying as it must on the lo/goj, no matter how this lo/goj is re-interpreted, will have its roots willy-nilly in Greek philosophy. Any alternative in empirical sciences such as ethnology, anthropology or sociology, will not escape the orbit of Eurocentric thinking, because it will tacitly employ simple fundamental categories, starting with 'subject' and 'object', whose conception has always already been preconceived in philosophical thinking and whose status is today more than questionable.
According to Hegel, world history sweeps across Asia to Europe from East to West. The three stages of world history are accompanied by a tripartite division of geographies: highlands (epitomized by the central Asian steppes), river plains and valleys (e.g. China, Germany), and coastal strips (paradigmatically the Mediterranean). No world history producing state formations, he says, can take place where it is too cold or too hot. The coastal strips are where intercourse, especially commerce, i.e. the freedom of trade, among peoples develops, and these strips tend to separate off from and bring forth a people with a mindful spirit different from the people in the hinterland. Hegel gives two telling examples: Portugal vis-à-vis Spain and the Netherlands vis-à-vis Germany. On the plains and in the valleys of the hinterland, the principle of life is landed property, agriculture, a life rooted in the soil, slow-moving and conservative compared with the life of trading nations that are open to influences from all around the globe and the vicissitudes of trade.
Such trading nations, and coastal and river ports, such as the Hanseatic cities of Germany, are the natural soil for freedom as liberalism which, significantly, does not figure in Hegel's schema for the progress of world spirit toward freedom. Rather, the autochthonic Germans with their state are to be stylized as the acme and end goal of world history because they are the source of the Reformation with its Protestant principle of individual, free conscience that asserted itself against the authoritarian principle of Roman Catholicism, while the British and Dutch were out building trading empires, motivated by the promise of gain. For Hegel, a state is based on a religion, and the Christian religion, in particular, can also attain its philosophical parallel and superelevation in Absolute Knowing, i.e. Hegel's system. Hegel does concede, at least, that those peoples on coastal strips (and islands) are brave in risking their lives on the element of the sea for the sake of commerce and riches. Merchants and entrepreneurs on the coast have the courage to risk venturing onto the unstable, incalculable element of the sea, whereas those rooted in an agrarian or industrial life in the hinterland are interested in setting up stable, secure, calculable, predictable states of affairs guaranteed by institutions of state.
World history for Hegel has a "final purpose" (Endzweck; W12:29) and thus is an unfolding in time of the spirit of freedom that realizes itself in various forms of state. Freedom, that is at first "an sich" or a potential, is realized in "reality" (Wirklichkeit; W12:33). Spirited mind is divine, and so "[t]he state is the divine idea as it exists on Earth" (Der Staat ist die göttliche Idee, wie sie auf Erden vorhanden ist. W12:57), Hegel's Idea being the unity of the concept with concrete reality. The state is therefore "the more closely determined object of world history par excellence wherein freedom obtains its objectivity" (der näher bestimmte Gegenstand der Weltgeschichte überhaupt, worin die Freiheit ihre Objektivität erhält; W12:57).
The ontology of freedom is to be found in Hegel's Philosophy of Right, a final part of his entire system whose grounding is presupposed by the Philosophy of History whose task it is, in turn, to show how freedom has attained progressive realization in three different parts of the world in three major progressive phases of world history. This gives the figure of reconciliation that pervades Hegel's entire philosophy: "Only that insight can reconcile spirited mind with world history and reality, namely, that that which has happened and happens every day, is not only not without God, but the work of Him Himself." (Nur die Einsicht kann den Geist mit der Weltgeschichte und der Wirklichkeit versöhnen, daß das, was geschehen ist und alle Tage geschieht, nicht nur nicht ohne Gott, sondern wesentlich das Werk seiner selbst ist. W12:540) To maintain his assertion that it is the spirit of freedom that realizes itself in and is the 'spiritual' motor of world history, Hegel has to copiously exclude all those "contingencies" (Zufälligkeiten) of finitude that are forever messing up the unity of the concept of freedom with reality. Spirited mind "is not such that it plays around in an extrinsic game of contingencies, but rather it is what is absolutely determining and simply firm against the contingencies of which it makes use and rules." (Er ist nicht ein solcher, der sich in dem äußerlichen Spiel von Zufälligkeiten herumtriebe, sondern er ist vielmehr das absolut Bestimmende und schlechthin fest gegen die Zufälligkeiten, die er zu seinem Gebrauch verwendet und beherrscht. W12:75)
An alternative way of saying this is that, through all the confusion and opaqueness of historical events, the simple contours of an historical ontological formation take shape which require for this shaping-up the use also of the thinking human mind to come to light and firm up in historical time. This emergence of a new ontological formation takes place behind the backs(2) of the human beings living in an age, pursuing their individual and collective interests, and engaged passionately in their struggles with one another. On this very general level, Hegel and Heidegger share the same contestable and highly contested conception of how history is made (history of thinking spirit, on the one hand, and history of being, on the other), albeit with the crucial difference between infinity and finitude, as will be shown in more detail below when interpreting their respective conceptions of time. Marx and Engels ontify the ontological in adopting the conception from Hegel, reformulating it as the Historical Materialist conception of history (cf. Chapter 10), according to which social formations, each based on an historical mode of production, press forward inevitably and 'historico-dialectically' through class struggle toward a higher social formation in which freedom is realized on a higher level based on a consciously socialized mode of production.
Liberal societies such as Britain, the Netherlands, the developing U.S. do not figure on the stage of Hegel's world history because they purportedly do not bring forth the substantial laws and institutions embodying universal ethical life (Sittlichkeit) that is claimed to be essential to a stable state of affairs which the state is supposed to be. A liberal society based on intercourse and trade is for Hegel mere civil society living out its particularity and egoism, and the state for such a society is a mere rump whose raison d'être is the protection of the liberty of property and person. Moreover, such a liberal state is unstable, being infected by the uncertain element of the sea on which trade must rely. Liberal freedom of trade is also wedded to the freedom of movement of peoples, i.e. emigration and immigration, a freedom through which different people and peoples (have to) learn to share the world with each other (cf. Eldred 1997/2010), an aspect wholly neglected by Hegel that has considerable consequences for the conception of a nation state or the state of a people, e.g. das deutsche Volk. The freedom of civil society is not enough for Hegel; he demands in addition subjection and obedience of citizens to the state as the embodiment of the bureaucratically organized and enforced universal. Freedom is thus paired with the necessity of obedience and subjugation, a topos running throughout German political philosophical thinking.
If one is to talk of the ethos of a liberal society, however, then its ethos does not reside first of all in state institutions of rule, but in the atmosphere of an ethos with which those in civil society treat each other. Such an ethical atmosphere permeates civil society in customs of civility, trust, keeping one's word, fair dealing, and the like, all of which are universal, although not in the first place state-prescribed, practices of freedom that go beyond particular self-interest, and are essential for furthering it. The laws enforced by the state are impotent against an ethos of uncivility in civil society, although, conversely, it also has to be said that the atmosphere of an ethos is in itself insufficient to guarantee the reality of free civil relations among its members. Hegel's productive conception of world spirit is fixated on bringing forth a reliable, stable state of affairs that is enforcible by state power to which the citizens submit in a purported act of freedom.
Hegel offers only the consolation of potential individual insight into the necessity of subjugation to the universal institutions of state. Otherwise, for Hegel, freedom is merely contingent, arbitrary, the interplay of naked particularity. The ethical atmosphere that pervades a society, however, is just as essential to the realization of freedom in a living society, and the barometer of freedom in a society is measured more by the ethical atmosphere in civil society (how kindly or unkindly, respectfully or disrespectfully, fairly or unfairly people treat each other) than by the extent and 'reasonableness' of the state's laws and rule. This has yet to be understood and imbibed as an ethical atmosphere in Germany.Chapter 6 and Chapter 7).
It is indeed curious and significant to note that the ontology of space and time in Hegel's Encyclopaedia opens his Philosophy of Nature. How could the first, fundamental categories of nature provide the adequate conception of time for world history? The dialectical sequence at the start of the Philosophy of Nature is space, time, place & movement, and the exposition shows clear parallels to Aristotle's Physics. Given that both time and space for Hegel are natural categories, why should the Idea as nature lay itself out in space, whereas mindful spirit lays itself out in time? Moreover, the concept of movement developed is physical, not 'spiritual', leading first of all to the categories of "matter" and "mechanics", i.e. the movement of matter in the style of Newtonian laws of motion as change of place. How could this mechanical concept of movement be the pertinent one for the movement of realization of spirited mind in historical time?
Heidegger does not note in Sein und Zeit that Hegel's dialectical derivation of space and time reveals not only Aristotelean origins, but exhibits also decidedly Cartesian traits. This is indicated already by the title for the section on space and time, "Wholly abstract apartness" (Das ganz abstrake Außereinander; Enz. II § 253). The abstractness of space and time refers to the homogeneity of space and time in mathematical Cartesian geometry and to the Cartesian determination of physical being as res extensa. Nature is thus the spreading-out, or extension of the Idea into apartness, first of all in an entirely abstract way, abstracted from any spatial content, so that space is the "abstract universality of its [nature's] externality — whose unmediated indifference is space" (die abstrakte Allgemeinheit ihres Außersichseins, — dessen vermittlungslose Gleichgültigkeit, der Raum; § 254). This entirely abstract, indifferent space proceeds to its first determination, or negation, in the point (Punkt; § 256) in space, whose first otherness or negation, in turn, is the line (Linie; § 256). The negation of this negation is the "surface" (Fläche; § 256) which reconstitutes the "spatial totality" (räumliche Totalität; § 256) as "enclosing surface" (umschließende Oberfläche; § 256).
This movement of multiple negation remains within the indifference of spatial apartness, hence regenerating space. The negation that negates space altogether to come to its other is the point as a point in time that posits itself apart from the "tranquil adjacency" (das ruhige Nebeneinander; § 257) of the points in space. The point as a point in time negates all the other points as non-existent. Moreover, the point in time negates itself by vanishing, only to be regenerated by the next point in time arriving from the future. The abstract apartness of space as an indifferent adjacency becomes the "negative unity of externality" (negative Einheit des Außersichseins; § 258) and is therefore the abstract indeterminacy of being that "in that it is, is not, and in that is not, is: intuited becoming" (indem es ist, nicht ist, und indem es nicht ist, ist; das angeschaute Werden; § 258).
This dialectical movement repeats the dialectic of being-nothingness-becoming at the beginning of the Logic, but now in the medium of pure sensuality. Pure, indeterminate, sensuous being is space, and the negation of its negation, i.e. pure, indeterminate, sensuous becoming, is time. Space and time are therefore the "pure form of sensuality or of intuition, the non-sensuous sensuous" (reine Form der Sinnlichkeit oder des Anschauens, das unsinnliche Sinnliche; § 258 Anm.). Space and time as entirely abstract are nevertheless looked at, i.e. intuited, and insofar are seen in a step from pure thinking to the sensuous exteriority and apartness, or extension, of nature. Space and time are, respectively, being and becoming looked at purely sensuously. Pure thinking enters the exteriority of nature first of all by stepping into space and time.
Sensuously intuited becoming is hence twofold: the sensuous transition from being to nothingness, i.e. from the present into the future, and from nothingness to being, i.e. from the past to the present. The present in its "singularity" (Einzelheit; § 259) is the point in time, "the present as now" (die Gegenwart als Jetzt; § 259). Only the now properly is; past and future are kinds of sensuous nothingness. Because the now disappears, time does not come "to a persisting difference" (zum bestehenden Unterschiede; § 259 Anm.) of its dimensions, past, present and future. This can only be overcome in "the principle of time" becoming "paralysed" (das Prinzip der Zeit [...] paralysiert; § 259 Anm.) resulting in the "science of space, geometry" (der Wissenschaft des Raums, der Geometrie; § 259 Anm.) which is thus timeless and static.
Hence arithmetized, i.e. Cartesian, geometry is timeless. Nevertheless it is employed in mathematical physics to grasp motion in equations, a contradiction that Hegel draws out only implicitly when he notes that "in the theory of motion, time, too, becomes an object of this science, but applied mathematics is not an immanent science at all" (wird in der Bewegungslehre zwar die Zeit auch ein Gegenstand dieser Wissenschaft, aber die angewandte Mathematik ist überhaupt keine immanente Wissenschaft; § 259 Zus.) precisely because it simply takes up a "given subject matter" and its "determinations" from "experience" (einen gegebenen Stoff and dessen aus der Erfahrung aufgenommene Bestimmungen; § 259 Zus.). In other words, Cartesian-Newtonian mathematical theory of motion fudges time as something with a persisting (geometrical-mathematical) existence.
The unity of the point in space and the point in time is the "place" (Ort; § 260), which is thus a 'here-now' point, as in mathematical physics. Insofar as the place is temporal, however, it must negate and regenerate itself to become another place. The spatial indifference of points to one another in space is thus overcome with a temporal index for a point in motion. This becoming-another-place is "movement" (Bewegung; § 261) which is thus, restrictively, the modern Cartesian-Newtonian concept of movement as change of place, i.e. mere motion or loco-motion. The four kinds of Aristotelean movement are hence truncated to one, and movement is derived dialectically from time, and not conversely, as in Aristotle's Physics, where time results from counting movement. In view of the truncation of kinds of movement, one has to ask even more perplexedly what the movement of spirited mind has to do with movement conceived as mere locomotion.
The same paragraph § 261 includes also the dialectical transition from "ideality to reality" (Idealität zur Realität; § 261 Anm.) Since as place, space and time belong together in a contradictory identity (for space is not time, and time is not space), this immediate identity is a determination of both abstract dimensions to the determinate existence of "matter" (Materie; § 261). This dialectical movement again echoes a transition in the Logic, this time from becoming to determinate existence (Dasein), but now the determinacy is a sensuous, natural one for sensuous "perception" and also in itself "impermeable", offering "resistance" (Wahrnehmung, undurchdringlich, Widerstand; § 261 Anm.). To illustrate the cogency of this transition, Hegel cites the (quantitative Newtonian-Cartesian) examples of levers and momentum. The angular momentum of a lever depends both on the (material, hence real) mass at the end of the lever and the (spatial, hence ideal) distance from the fulcrum. The linear momentum of a physical body is the product, (material) mass times velocity, which latter is the (ideal) ratio of spatial distance divided by time. Hence, in both examples, there is an equivalence (equation) between a sensuous ideal quantity and a sensuous material one. A further example would be the famous Einsteinian equation e = mc2 that encapsulates the equivalence of (potential and actual) motion (e)ne/rgeia) and matter.
One could understand this transition from the ideality of time and space to the reality of matter as the deduction of its very existence from God's thinking of the Idea, so that material reality would be a precipitation of the divine Idea in accordance with reason. This is an ontotheological reading according to which God's thinking fore-casts, pre-casts, the world in its reality. An alternative phenomenological, ontological reading would be that matter shows itself, i.e. shapes up, as matter for an historical ontological thinking that casts matter quantitatively and qualitatively in relation to movement conceived solely as locomotion within an abstract, mathematical Cartesian space-time. The being of natural beings is thus cast, in line with the Aristotelean casting of physical beings as kinou/mena (movables; Phys. A 2;185a13), but with a reductive, quantitative, mathematical twist, so that space and time as ideal sensuous dimensions show up in equations as equivalent to real matter. Even for Hegel himself, this real matter is the idea of matter as real; there is no matter at all without the idea (i.e. concept) or, in another words, matter itself is an idea, and matter does not exist 'nakedly' without an idea, or concept, of it. This is the reason why idealism always is prior to any materialism or realism, the latter having always ineluctably to rely on a conception, an idea of matter and reality, respectively.
To summarize, it has to be concluded that Hegel's situating of world history in time is problematic insofar as his concept of time is entirely physical, indeed mathematical, Cartesian, so that it has to be asked what this abstractly homogeneous, and therefore quantifiable and mathematizable, time has to do with historical time at all in which world spirit is said to unfold itself in its specific kind of 'mindful-spiritual' movement. As far as I can see, the concept of time is not further developed in later parts of the Encyclopaedia,(3) so that it must be concluded that Hegel's concept of time is inadequate to the task of thinking historical time, a crucial issue that will occupy us in more depth below.
If Aristotle characterized the lo/goj as "saying something about something" (le/gein ti\ kata\ tino/j), which provides the classic form of the proposition as a coupling of a subject with a predicate through the copula, 'is', Heidegger points out that, prior to this saying, beings already have to show themselves in the open space he calls Da, 'here', or Lichtung, 'clearing'. Whereas metaphysical philosophy has focused on the being of beings themselves, starting with the category of ou)si/a, substance, Heidegger shifts the focus to the clearing in which beings can show themselves, so that this clearing becomes the locus of truth itself, i.e. a)lh/qeia. The being of beings, i.e. their beingness, is first and foremost their ou)si/a or substance, which shows itself as what the being is in its i)de/a, ei)=doj or 'look'. It is the look that beings present of themselves as what they are that human being (the Da) understands — prior to anything at all being said. Ou)si/a serves also as the u(pokei/menon or subject about which something is predicated in a proposition or lo/goj. As such, this substantial subject persists in the clearing, so that a being not only presents itself as well-defined in its look, but also persists temporally. Those beings that are in the highest degree for Greek thinking are those with a persistent presence in the clearing, namely, the celestial bodies as a)ei\ o)/n, everlasting beings.
Hence Heidegger unearths a temporal sense of being by showing up a sense of ständiger Anwesenheit or standing presence implicitly underlying throughout the Greek understanding of being from which all the categorial determinations derive. In particular, the mode of being kaq" au)to/ or 'of itself' is counterposed by Aristotle to the mode of being kata\ sumbebhko/j or 'incidentally'. Aristotle explicitly excludes those beings that come along (sumbai/nein) incidentally and show themselves only transiently, fleetingly from his Metaphysics, for they do not admit of any stable knowledge. Aristotle's Metaphysics investigates the fourfold of being which consists of i) the categories of what, how, how much, where, in relation to, etc., ii) the distinction between those beings that present themselves of themselves in a standing presence and those that present themselves only fleetingly, iii) the distinction between truth and falsity according to whether the being in question shows itself as what it is or not, as reflected in true or false propositions about the being, and iv) the metaphysical concepts required to conceive beings in movement, which the famous triad, du/namij (potential), e)ne/rgeia (at-work-ness or en-ergy of the potential), e)ntele/xeia (perfected presence of the potential at work). It is from this fourth in the manifold of being that Aristotle then develops his ontology of time in the Physics (cf. Eldred 2009/2011 § 2.9), tacitly assuming all along the lead meaning of being itself as standing presence.
Making the implicit lead understanding of being for the ancient Greeks as standing presence explicit allows Heidegger to break with the metaphysical casting of human being, in order to recast it as exposed ex-sistence (standing-out) in the temporal clearing of truth, the Da. Truth is now not a property of statements, but the disclosedness of beings to Dasein in the clearing. Sein und Zeit therefore grounds the being of Dasein itself in temporality (Zeitlichkeit) which provides the ultimate horizon for Dasein's being here (da) in the world. Dasein itself is temporal i) in casting its self into the future in seizing upon its potential to be (Seinkönnen), ii) having always already been cast into the world from the temporal dimension of beenness (Gewesenheit) and iii) in taking care of matters concerning its existence in the presence. Dasein's existence is shown to have the structure of care (Sorge) whose implicit three-dimensional temporal structure as 'being-ahead-of-itself-in-being-already-with-the-world' is then grounded in an explicit phenomenological unfolding of Dasein's temporality in Division 2. Only after lengthy preparations does Sein und Zeit come finally, in its last chapter (Div. 2 Chaps. 5 & 6), to consider the specific temporality of history, which is the topic of the next chapter.(4) Historical time can never be thought properly on the basis of a physical conception of time derived from Newton-Descartes and ultimately from Aristotle. Chapter 5 of Sein und Zeit's Division 2 is headed "Temporality and Historicity" (Zeitlichkeit und Geschichtlichkeit) which, in turn, includes inter alia § 74 The Basic Constitution of Historicity (Die Grundverfassung der Geschichtlichkeit) and § 75 The Historicity of Dasein and World-History (Die Geschichtlichkeit des Daseins und die Welt-Geschichte), titles that indicate we are now at the nub of our thematic subject. Because Dasein's existence has already been shown to have the structure of care (Sorge) grounded in temporality (Zeitlichkeit), "the interpretation of historicity proves itself to be basically just a more concrete working-out of temporality" (erweist sich im Grunde die Interpretation der Geschichtlichkeit des Daseins nur als eine konkretere Ausarbeitung der Zeitlichkeit; SZ § 74). This tells us that most of the conceptual work has already been done.
Historicity is developed from the temporality of authentic existence (eigentliche Existenz) that has the structure of "running forward and casting oneself onto the unsurpassable possibility of existence, death" (das vorlaufende Sichentwerfen auf die unüberholbare Möglichkeit der Existenz, den Tod; § 74). The existential possibilities onto which Dasein casts its self is the "legacy" (Erbe) that has been handed down and which Dasein "takes on" (übernimmt). In "being free for death" (Freisein für den Tod; § 74), Dasein excludes easy, evasive options for existence and comes back to the "simplicity of its destiny" (Einfachheit seines Schicksals; § 74) which is the "originary happening of Dasein residing in authentic resolute opening-up" (das in der eigentlichen Entschlossenheit liegende ursprüngliche Geschehen des Daseins; § 74) to its potential for existing. It is plain that Heidegger makes intensive use of the etymological connection between Geschichte 'history' and Geschehen 'happening': Dasein's historicity consists in the happenings in which it is caught up in the course of its proper existential destiny, so that historicity resonates with something like 'happeningness'. In taking on its destiny which is also a legacy, Dasein is open to the 'trials and tribulations' of destiny's blows that come from circumstances; but within this storm, Dasein has its compass oriented toward its proper, authentic potential for existing, whereas inauthentic Dasein, absorbed as it is in the ongoing business of its existence in a seamless sequence of occurrences that happen to it, is merely lost to the happenings that hit it. Such lostness to occurrences and occurrents is a hallmark not just of everyday Dasein, but also of modern scientists in general, lost as they are to the scientific method of empiricism in which occurrences occur as data.
Because Dasein is essentially Mitsein, "its happening is shared happening" (ist sein Geschehen ein Mitgeschehen; § 74), i.e. the happenings in which it is caught up in its existence are happenings shared with others of its "generation" (Generation). This "togetherness in the same world" (Miteinandersein in derselben Welt; § 74) is not merely a summation of individual destinies but a shared destiny insofar as the others also cast themselves onto their ownmost potential for existing in the shared world as a shared self-casting offered as a potential for existing in that shared world. Heidegger calls this shared "happening of the community, of the people" (der Gemeinschaft, des Volkes; § 74) "Geschick", a term synonymous with "Schicksal", "destiny". Does he mean this shared happening of the people insofar as it is destinal, which presupposes that the individual existences of the people are already destinal, so that Geschick could be rendered as "shared destiny"? The two formulations for Geschick are not unambiguous. If it is individual, authentic Dasein that has grasped its destiny, it only shares the happenings of the time with its generation, albeit that its authenticity may give it a leadership role for others. I will make a few remarks on Geschick conceived tentatively as the shared destiny of a people consisting of many who exist as authentic selves cast onto a shared fate. Such shared destiny involving the "communication" (Mitteilung) and "struggle" (Kampf) of Dasein "in and with its 'generation' constitutes the full, authentic happening of Dasein" (in und mit seiner 'Generation' macht das volle, eigentliche Geschehen des Daseins aus; § 74).
Such a transition from individual destiny (Schicksal) to shared destiny (Geschick) is more than problematic because authentic existence is conceived first and foremost as individual, free Dasein casting itself onto its ownmost existential option in running forward to its own death, which latter can be shared with nobody. Indeed, after this first mention of Geschick of a people, Heidegger reverts to authentic, individual Dasein in its "death, guilt, conscience, freedom and finitude" (Tod, Schuld, Gewissen, Freiheit und Endlichkeit; § 74). Since Dasein "at first and for the most part" exists inauthentically, absorbed in the daily cares of its business and buffeted hither and thither by what happens along to keep it busy, it is a tall order to suppose anything like a shared authentic existing in the world. Such a supposition amounts to a leap (of blind faith?) from the free singularity of an individual to the universality of a people. Just as authentic existing is only a "modification" of inauthentic existing that happens in the "moment" (Augenblick) when individual Dasein grasps its ownmost possibility for existing as its self, the shared authentic existing of a people is momentary in a far more drastic, transient sense when it comes together in certain seldom, shared historical situations and grasps a possibility for existing in and shaping its shared world.
Authentic Dasein always has to remind itself of its moment in which it cast its self authentically, for the pull of daily cares is strong and it has to correct course depending on circumstances. When a people shares its destiny, the shared happening is presumably political in nature, concerning an issue or issues crucial for the people on which there is an intense focus in the momentary political situation. The political moment is seized when a shared possibility of existing together is grasped, or it slips by, and the shared destinal moment is lost in an ebbing-back into everyday life in which people resume their individual business. With this thought, I have stepped beyond Heidegger's caveat, "What Dasein factually resolves on in each case fundamentally cannot be discussed by the existenzial analysis" (Wozu sich das Dasein je faktisch entschließt, vermag die existenziale Analyse grundsätzlich nicht zu erörtern. § 74). This transgression is necessary to bring to light why it is problematic to switch abruptly from individual Dasein to a people sharing a world destinally in such a way as to presuppose shared, aligned individual destinies.
The historical preparations for a decisive, destinal moment in a people's history can be long. The happenings of the time, for the most part, roll on haphazardly in a bewildering multiplicity of "communication" and "struggle", without anything decisive occurring. Any political movement has to achieve a certain unity of conception about what it is striving for. This conception can only be conceived in drawing upon fundamental, history-shaping ideas (which are themselves a legacy) going right down to the idea of human being itself in its freedom, and how the world shapes up in all its facets for thought in everyday understanding, religion, art and science. A political movement calling for 'civil rights', 'democracy' or 'freedom of the people', for instance, is only possible on the basis of an understanding of political freedom deriving from the legacy of centuries and millennia of thinking on human being, human freedom, civil rights, political freedom and institutions, etc. Such an understanding enables and guides a political movement — indeed, it makes it literally conceivable — and itself remains controversial on a philosophical level. For a people rising up against injustice or a tyrant, whether under the leadership of individual political heroes or not, the idea of freedom must already be there as a beacon in the public mind, communicated to it by individual lead figures who are able to formulate ideas lucidly and powerfully. In the moment of an uprising for freedom, an authentic We of a people grasping its ownmost possibility in facing the insurpassable possibility of death comes about, either attaining its goal or failing to do so, and dissipating and splintering again in the next moment back into everyday busyness as 'people' get on with their lives. For the most part, politics is and must be a realm of inauthenticity.(5) and it is these sendings that send the ontological boundary conditions for how individual Dasein can cast its self authentically in running forward to its own death and being cast back onto its destiny, because these sendings are the disclosure of how a world could 'conceivably' shape up in historical time. Such sendings demand individual recipients who, in taking on such sendings, choose authenticity, for such messages are ultimate and demand a free individual as recipient. Such sendings are not for everybody. Hence there must be certain exceptional individual Dasein who play a leading role in passing historical sendings on to a people living in an age. This supplement must be kept in mind when reading Sein und Zeit on authentic historicity, which is interpreted as "the happening of resolute opening-up [...], the retrieval of the legacy of possibilities in running ahead and giving oneself over to it" (das Geschehen der Entschlossenheit [...], das vorlaufend sich überlieferende Wiederholen des Erbes von Möglichkeiten; § 75).
Only by authentic, singular Dasein's running forward to the unsurpassable, non-transferable possibility of its own death in the future is it thrown back upon its own castness from the temporal dimension of beenness (Gewesenheit). There it "fetches" (holen) "the existenzial potential onto which it casts itself expressly from the understanding of Dasein that has been passed down" (das existenzielle Seinkönnen, darauf es sich entwirft ausdrücklich aus dem überlieferten Daseinsverständnis; § 74). This express "retrieval of a passed-down possibility of existing" (Wiederholung einer überkommenen Existenzmöglichkeit; § 74) from "Dasein as it has been" (dagewesenes Dasein) in which Dasein "chooses its hero" (seinen Helden wählt), is not a mere repetition of the past, nor "a binding back of the 'present' to what has been 'superseded'" (ein Zurückbinden der 'Gegenwart' an das 'Überholte'; § 74), but rather a "response" (Erwiderung) to "existence as it has been" (dagewesene Existenz) that amounts to a "revocation of that which as 'past' still has its effects today" (Widerruf dessen, was im Heute sich als 'Vergangenheit' auswirkt; § 74). Such retrieval thus amounts to a revision and recasting of inherited possibilities of a people's existing. It is possible only through authentic Dasein which, first and foremost, is singular, not collective. However, Heidegger says, "inauthentic existence, too, must be historical" (muß auch das uneigentliche Existieren geschichtlich sein; § 74), but this historicity is associated with another conception of the world and time.
Heidegger takes up the inauthentic historicity of 'people' (das Man) and "world-history" (Welt-Geschichte) in § 75. People exist in a "public togetherness" (öffentliches Miteinander) engaged with things (Zeug, practically useful stuff). Although the "happening of history is the happening of being-in-the-world [...,] along with the existence of historical being-in-the-world, what is to-hand and occurrent is always already also drawn into the history of the world" (Geschehen der Geschichte ist Geschehen des In-der-Welt-seins [...,] [m]it der Existenz des geschichtlichen In-der-Welt-seins ist Zuhandenes und Vorhandenes je schon in die Geschichte der Welt einbezogen; § 75). These things that are drawn into historical happenings are called world-historical things (Welt-Geschichtliches). This gives rise to an understanding of history according to what happens with these world-historical things, including books and also nature in the form of "landscape, settlement area, area for exploitation, as battle field and place of cult worship (Landschaft, Ansiedlungs-, Ausbeutungsgebiet, als Schlachtfeld und Kultstätte; § 75).
What happens with world-historical things, such as a ring (Ring) that is "'passed on' and 'worn'" ('überreicht' und 'getragen'; § 75) is already its own kind of "movement" (Bewegtheit) that is "not simply changes of place" (nicht einfach Ortsveränderungen; § 75). Even "natural catastrophes" (Naturkatastrophen) as world-historical happenings cannot be grasped as the physical movement of change of place, which implies that any attempt to apply the physical-mathematical conception of movement — the only one admitted as 'objectively' valid today by science — can only sail past the phenomena themselves, doing violence to them and making them invisible. 'People', however, are oblivious to the issues surrounding how movements in their various ontological modes are to be conceived and are inclined rather to seek explanations of 'history' in narrative-causal connections between occurrences. They like hearing stories and understand the world preferably through storytelling in all available media, including especially film. In particular, people flee from "the ontological enigma of the movedness of happenings" (das ontologische Rätsel der Bewegtheit des Geschehens; § 75). No genuine question can then arise. All enigmas are suppressed by people with their average understanding, including the enigma of the movement of authentic world history, which is something apart from the happenings with ('objective') world-historical things in their "concatenation" (Verkettung) with (subjective) human experience.
World-history is "experienced and interpreted" by people in terms of "arriving, present and disappearing occurrents" (ankommenden, anwesenden und verschwindenden Vorhandenen erfahren und ausgelegt; § 75). People (including historians, scientists and philosophers) then try to construct a connection (Zusammenhang) among all that happens with these multivarious occurrents, thus construing inauthentic world-history from a sequence of occurrences. They only do this because they are always already "scattered" (zerstreut) into the "disconnection of what has just been 'going on'" (Unzusammenhang des gerade 'Passierten'; § 75) out of which they must "first pull themselves together" (sich erst zusammenholen). The connection they (das Man) construe (erdenken) has nothing to do with the "extended standing" (erstreckte Ständigkeit) of authentic, singular existing from birth to death, which can never be reached from thinking up some narrative from the occurrences with occurrents in the world that people experience. People are not themselves, lacking as they do the resolute openness (Erschlossenheit) to their own death, and it is only this resolute openness that enables Dasein to attain the unity and connection of its "existence in remaining true to its own self" (Treue der Existenz zum eigenen Selbst; § 75). Akin to Hegel's decidedly Protestant conception of individual freedom, Heidegger names the "only authority a free existence can have" (einzige Autorität, die ein freies Existieren haben kann, § 75) as the "retrievable possibilities for existing" (der wiederholbaren Möglichkeiten der Existenz; § 75) that lend an existence its consistent and persistent stand as self through all vicissitudes.
Whereas people in their inauthentic existence are lost to the goings-on of today and yesterday, from which they understand world-history as some kind of narrative strung on the washing-line of time, or other telling that 'explains' today's occurrences, "the temporality of authentic historicity [...] is [...] a depresencing of today and a dehabituation from the everyday conventionality of people" (Die Zeitlichkeit der eigentlichen Geschichtlichkeit [...] ist [...] eine Entgegenwärtigung des Heute und eine Entwöhnung von den Üblichkeiten des Man; § 75).(6) This concept and conception is several steps removed from the "originary time" (originäre Zeit; § 78) of authentic historicity grounded in Dasein's finite temporality (§ 74). The steps in between are (i) the world-historical time arising from inauthentic existence in which Dasein loses itself to occurrences with occurrents in the world (see previous chapter), (ii) dateable time, (iii) world-time and (iv) counted clock-time. I will sketch these transitional steps (ii), (iii) and (iv) on the way from originary time to (v) vulgar now-time.(7)(8)
(ii) Inauthentic existence already understands historicity from happenings with world-historical things in the world. It is absorbed in the cares of its daily business, taking care of it whilst simultaneously reckoning with the time available to it. Expressed in terms of temporality, inauthentic existence is an "expectant-retaining calling-to-presence" (gewärtig-behaltendes Gegenwärtigen; § 79) that plans its business, recalls previous business and undertakes the present task at hand whilst attempting to keep what it has acquired. In doing so it dates its business, saying to itself, 'then, when...', 'now, that...', 'back then, when...' where the temporal reference refers to some happening with things in the world such as 'Now that it's raining...' or 'Then, when it starts raining...' or 'Back then, when the rain started...'. The "dateability" (Datierbarkeit; § 79) of time occurs with reference to mere thingly happenings within inauthentic Dasein's interpretation of its world with regard to the business it takes care of, but is grounded in the originary, three-dimensional, ecstatic temporality of the world, which it takes for granted and to which it is oblivious.
Dateability is employed also to define stretches of time, or time-spans, that inauthentic Dasein also reckons with in saying to itself, 'in the meantime, until...' or 'during this phase...' or 'while that was going on...'. Inauthentic "historical temporality" (geschichtliche Zeitlichkeit; § 79) is thus characterized by "stretchedness" or "extendedness" (Erstrecktheit) and "spannedness" (Gespanntheit). Because inauthentic existing determines its dateable time from happenings with things to-hand and occurrents in the world, instead of casting its self-standing in its very own ec-static, 'out-standing', mortal stretchedness, it takes its time from a public time. The publicness of this time derives from the publicness of the occurrences with occurrents used to date it. Because busy Dasein takes its time from public time, it can also be 'short of time', 'lose time' or 'have no time at all'. The time of authentic existence, by contrast, is free of such public dateability, for its time is granted by the insurpassable possibility of its own death.
(iii) The next step in the modification of the conception of time is that happenings in the world are dated from the course of the sun (Sonnenlauf), moon or stars. Daytime and night-time are special times defined in reference to happenings with the sun, which is a special occurrent appearing in the heavens. Dasein in its busyness then says to itself, 'now, that the sun's rising...' or 'then, when the equinox is passed...' or 'back then, at new moon...'. The happenings with things in the world from which Dasein takes and reckons with its time are then taken to be occurrences with special, natural occurrents, namely, sun, moon and stars in their regular, periodic motion. Because inauthentic Dasein goes about its business with things that are suitable or unsuitable for this or that, inauthentic time itself is also understood in terms of its "suitability or unsuitability" (Geeignetheit bzw. Ungeeignetheit, § 80) for the business at hand. Dasein says to itself, 'now it's time to...' or 'it's not yet time for...', analogously to how it assesses practical things (Zeug) according their being good-for... (Um-zu) or not. The concatenated structure of practical things according to their being-good-for, which was anchored finally in a for-the-sake-of a possibility of Dasein's existence, provided the initial ontological concept of the world in its worldliness as "significance" (Bedeutsamkeit; § 18). This structure is now extended to cover also those practical 'timely things', especially the sun, from which Dasein takes its time, to determine time further as "world-time" (Weltzeit; § 80). (As an aside it is important to note that Heidegger's interpretation of the worldliness of the world as significance in Sein und Zeit and elsewhere expressly omits consideration of sharing the world with others: "We intentionally do not consider togetherness with others, care qua caring-for. [...] These phenomena are intrinsically more difficult[...]" (Wir betrachten absichtlich nicht das Mitsein mit Anderen, Sorge qua Fürsorge. [...] Diese Phänomene sind wesentlich schwieriger[...]; GA21:235). This desideratum remains largely unremedied throughout Heidegger's writings.)
(iv) Already with the world-time of 'sun-time', time becomes measurable with reference to the motion of the sun (moon and stars). A day, for example, is measured by the return of a fixed star (or the sun) to the same angular position in the firmament. The division of the day can be accomplished further by subdividing movements of the sun's shadow cast by an upright stake or angles through which stars move in the night sky. The regular motion of the sun, moon and stars can be mimicked (synchronized) by artificial motions construed by human ingenuity. Such mimicking, regular, periodic artifices are clocks. World-time comes to be defined with reference to a special thingly happening in the world: the motion of the hands of a clock across the clock's dial, the word 'dial' itself deriving from L. 'dies' for 'day', the original dial being the graduated surface of the sun-dial onto which the sun cast its shadow. The passing of time can be watched by staring at a dial, as if time itself were located there in the clock. If world-time still had a reference to happenings in the world, so that it could be 'time-to...' or 'not-time-for...', with clock-time, time seems to be located in a regular natural or artificial motion itself.
(v) The regular periodicity of sun-time and clock-time gives rise to countable time. The motion of the sun or a clock-hand across its subdivisions is counted. Hence the Aristotelean determination of time itself as a mere number (a)riqmo/j) counted with respect to earlier and later (cf. Eldred 2009/2011 § 2.9). Heidegger quotes Aristotele's famous definition from the Physics 219b1 and notes that this counted time tacitly presupposes "that presencing comes about in the ecstatic unity with the retention and expectant preparing-for that are horizontally open toward earlier and later" (daß sich das Gegenwärtigen in der ekstatischen Einheit mit dem nach dem Früher und Später horizontal offenen Behalten und Gewärtigen zeitigt; § 81). Aristotle thus makes do with a conception of counted clock-time that culminates in the extreme of now-time, both of which are derivative of and far removed from originary temporality, which never comes to light in his thinking. The same can said of Hegel.(9)
Countable time is such by counting the now-instants passing through the present, and time is conceived as nothing other than "a sequence of continually 'occurrent' and simultaneously transient and arriving nows [...], as the 'flow' of nows, as the 'course of time'" (eine Folge von ständig 'vorhandenen', zugleich vergehenden und ankommenden Jetzt [...], als 'Fluß' der Jetzt, als 'Lauf der Zeit'; § 81). This flow of time is only actually occurrent in the now-instant that just as instantly passes into the non-existence of no longer, whereas the now-instant that has yet to arrive is not yet. The "now-time" (Jetzt-Zeit) loses all connection with any sort of happening in the world, even with the ticking motion of a clock, and therefore has neither "significance" (Bedeutsamkeit) nor "dateability" (Datierbarkeit). Rather, "these structures necessarily remain covered up" (diese Strukturen bleiben notwendig verdeckt; § 81). Because the nows recur and are "continually present as the same" (ständig als Selbiges anwesend; § 81), they have a "standing presence" (ständige Anwesenheit) which Plato calls "the image of eternity" (das Abbild der Ewigkeit; § 81 with a reference to Timaios 37d5-7).
Now-time as a continual succession of nows is endless, "uninterrupted" (ununterbrochen) and "seamless" (lückenlos), thus giving rise to "the problem of the continuity of time, or rather, here one leaves the aporia untouched" (das Problem der Kontinuität der Zeit, bzw. man läßt hier die Aporie stehen; § 81 cf. Eldred 2009/2011 § 2.8.1). From the finite, discrete counting of nows that depends at least on some sort of artifice, 'one' has arrived at an ideal, continuous, eternal flow of nows, a "pure succession" (pures Nacheinander) having both a standing presence and a fleeting one. Hegel, however, steps back out of this ambiguity: "Time as time is its concept, but this concept itself, like any concept at all, is eternity and therefore also absolute presence" (die Zeit als Zeit ist ihr Begriff, dieser aber selbst, wie jeder Begriff überhaupt, das Ewige und darum auch absolute Gegenwart; Enz. II § 258 Zus.).
This vulgar concept of time is cut off from the world in its finitude and as such is eternal, 'timeless', the extreme opposite to the finite temporality of authentic Dasein running forward with resolute openness toward its own death and being cast back onto its castness from the temporal dimension of beenness, from which it retrieves and takes on the legacy of its ownmost possibility for existing. Instead, now-time is, as an endless flow of time that both is and is not, but as concept, simply is, i.e. present. When, according to Hegel, "the development of history falls into time" (fällt die Entwicklung der Geschichte in die Zeit; Hegel 1917 S. 133 cited in SZ § 82), it is only that which falls that is finite, temporal. The concept of time itself is prior to this falling into change and finitude, and it is this eternal concept of time that God's thinking thinks prior to creation in pure, timeless presence that is mirrored in the endless regeneration of now as a standing presence from the nows arriving from the future. Now-time rescues its eternity in this seamless, endless regeneration, whilst endlessly also consuming each fleeting now and everything finite that falls into time; it is "Chronos, that gives birth to and destroys all its offspring" (der alles gebärende und seine Geburten zerstörende Kronos. Enz. II § 258 Anm.).
It is not merely accidental that, along with space, time is the very first concept of sensuality in the Philosophy of Nature that arises in the transition from the Logic, which is thus literally prior to time, timeless, i.e. altogether atemporal.(10) The world history that Hegel conceives and unfolds on the basis of this timeless, vulgar concept of now-time must bear the same unworldly traits of descent from eternity. Time is, in the first place, as concept for God (the Absolute, Reason), and is realized in nature as the abstract, endless dimension of a succession of nows that envelops finite human life. By contrast, in Heidegger's recasting of time as three-dimensional, ecstatic time, time is, or rather, temporizes (zeitigen) in modes of both presence and absence only for Dasein that stands out into time-space, and is therefore, like Dasein itself, finite. Heidegger thus cuts down time to finite, human size. Being and time are primordially coupled in finitude, not separated as they are in Hegel's system, where being as pure indeterminacy opens the Logic and time (along with space) opens the Philosophy of Nature.
In both the Jena Logic and the Encyclopaedia, Hegel conceives time as now-time, so that the future is thought merely negatively as not-yet-now and the past likewise as no-longer-now. In the Jena Logic, the now is thought as being superseded by the succeeding now arriving from the future, so that "the present is future that has become" (die Gegenwart ist gewordene Zunkunft; GA21:264), and Heidegger cites Hegel's statement that "The future is the essence of the present" (Die Zukunft ist das Wesen der Gegenwart. GA21:264). This statement Heidegger then marks off from his own phenomenology of ecstatic time according to which "the sense of temporality is the future". (Der Sinn der Zeitlichkeit ist die Zukunft. GA21:265) For Hegel, time is an incessant flow of nows arriving from the future to vanish into the past which, citing Hegel, is "time returned to itself" (in sich selbst zurückgekehrte Zeit; GA21:265). This move, Heidegger then claims, removes Hegel "as far as conceivably possible from the authentic sense of time " (vom eigentlichen Sinn der Zeit so weit weg als es überhaupt möglich ist; GA21:265).
Heidegger's return to reappraise Hegel and Bergson is in the context of preparing the way for working out "The Temporality of Care" (§ 18), which is a counter-casting of time to that of traditional now-time. Heidegger says that now-time has its justification and necessity in everyday life but this conception of time has also determined and misled philosophical thinking on time from the outset. Dasein's "care" (Sorge) is already determined as "being-ahead-of-itself-already-with-its-world" (Sich-selbst-vorweg-schon-bei-seiner-Welt-sein; GA21:235). With the "ahead-of" and the "already" there are clearly temporal references, but of what kind? Instead of explicating the temporality of Dasein, as he does in-depth in Sein und Zeit, in § 18 Heidegger first interprets these temporal indications in the traditional sense, adducing such expressions as 'earlier', 'later', 'no longer', 'not yet', 'just now', 'immediately', etc. All these ways of referring to time take 'now' as the point of reference and function as ways of temporally positioning that which 'crops up' (auftauchen; GA21:240) in the world. What 'crops up', however, "has the mode of being of an occurrent" (die Seinsart des Vorhandenen; GA21:240). Occurrents occur in the world, and being itself is tacitly understood as occurrence (Vorhandenheit).
The term 'vorhanden' is difficult to render in English as a term of Heidegger's thinking because its most 'natural' translation would be 'exist', but this possibility is already occupied by Dasein's 'existence' that precisely does not have the mode of being of Vorhandenes. In the Heidegger literature, 'vorhanden' is usually translated as 'present-at-hand' or similar, which transports the 'hand' and is supposed to contrast with the mode of being of practical, useful things as 'zuhanden', i.e. 'to-hand', but 'present-at-hand' is nevertheless unnatural in English and therefore misses the proper connotation when Heidegger's text employs 'vorhanden' in the usual everyday German sense: something is 'vorhanden' means then that it is 'there', 'existent', 'available', 'occurrent', i.e. that it simply 'occurs' in the world as something 'existent'. Here I will render 'vorhanden', etc. with 'occurrent' and modifications thereof.
At first and for the most part, then, time is experienced as when occurrents occur in the world with respect to now, and this provides the cue for all Western thinking on time up until Heidegger's recasting of being itself as ecstatically temporal. Time is then the time-line for sequencing occurring occurrents that "fall" (fallen) into the world; it is like a washing-line for hanging up occurrences in the proper sequence. The now that is not yet arrives from the future and pushes out the present now which, in turn, is pushed back into the past which continually grows by cumulating occurrences that have past their allotted now into the past. This temporal index is attached also to the occurrents that occur. They, too, arise from the future as 'not yet', come to presence in the now, and vanish fleetingly into the past that is 'no longer'; they, too, are caught in the ceaseless flow of time, and do not have time's advantage of ceaselessly regenerating itself in the now, but simply cumulate in the past. The passing of time itself, as well as occurrents, through the present can be counted, which is the origin of Aristotle's ontology of time as a)riqmo/j kinh/sewj. Occurrents 'are' properly only for the present instant of the 'now'. The transience of fleeting occurrences is contrasted to the standing presence of that which persists in the now, which provides the model of eternity as that which is in the highest sense: timelessly infinite as opposed to finite, temporal, transient, fleeting.
This sense of temporality of occurrents occurring on the time-line of now-time is wholly inappropriate for capturing the temporal sense of Dasein's care as "being-ahead-of-itself-already-with-its-world". Dasein's "being-ahead-of-itself" does not mean it is 'not yet', and Dasein's being "already-with-its-world" does not mean that it was already with its world in the past. Dasein is not a being that falls into time somewhere on the time-line in relation to a now, but is itself a mode of being. This mode of being in its peculiar temporality — or, more precisely, as temporality — requires clarification. Heidegger does not undertake this in § 18; here he is only preparing the ground. The following 160 pages of GA21 are devoted to the "history of the philosophical interpretation of the concept of time" in Hegel, Bergson and, for the most part, in Kant. Only very briefly, in the final § 37 at the close of his lectures, does Heidegger return to consider the temporality of the structure of Dasein's care, which is unfolded in extenso in Sein und Zeit.
Heidegger's recasting of being as time and human being itself as temporal is world-shattering in the philosophical sense of casting the world in an alternative light. The traditional casting of time as the time-line of now-time goes hand in hand with the conception of genuine being as infinite, eternal presence. The Absolute is absolute above all in the sense that it is not relative to time, i.e. timeless, not subject to the consuming tyranny of the fleeting now. Truth in its highest sense is true only if it is absolute, i.e. not relative to time, everlasting, unchangeable. God as the Absolute being can exist only in eternity, outside time, whereas human being itself 'falls' into the flow of time as an imperfect, finite occurrent that must seek its salvation through a relation to the absolute, timeless God. If, however, being itself is cast as temporal and human being itself is cast in line with the finite temporal phenomena that show themselves of themselves, and are therefore knowable, then being loses its timeless eternity and infinitude, to become coupled with time, and truth itself becomes disclosure within the finite temporality of Dasein itself. Absolute, timeless truth thus becomes relative, temporal, but not in a trivial, matter-of-course sense. The recasting of human being as temporally finite Dasein is therefore itself not an absolute truth, as Heidegger lucidly formulates:
... ich will nicht so absolut dogmatisch sein und behaupten, man könnte Sein nur aus der Zeit verstehen, vielleicht entdeckt morgen einer eine neue Möglichkeit. Deshalb kann man nie sagen: Raum oder Natur oder irgendein anderes Seiendes ist Zeit. Strenggenommen auch nicht: Das Sein ist Zeit, sondern: Das Sein dieses Seienden besagt Zeit, oder noch genauer: Menschliches Verstehen, ich betone: menschliches Verstehen des Seienden ist möglich aus der Zeit. Ich betone 'menschliches', weil wir uns in der Philosophie abgewöhnen müssen, uns mit dem lieben Gott zu verwechseln, wie das bei Hegel Prinzip ist. GA21:267.Confusion results from our believing we can see more than we truly can see, i.e. beyond the phenomena that show themselves of themselves. Hence Heidegger's strict separation of faith from thinking, of theology from philosophy. Of its own admission, faith is a not-knowing, i.e. agnosticism.
The conception of time as a linear flow from the future through the now into the past has to be recast. That is Heidegger's major project that attains a consummation in laying out the existenzial structures of temporality in Sein und Zeit, as prepared by his various lecture courses leading up to 1927. The point of entry to the analysis of temporality is Dasein's care (Sorge) structure, which is implicitly temporal in some sense. But in what sense? In § 37 of GA21, care is presented as not just determined by time, but "it is time itself" ([...] sie selbst Zeit [...] ist; GA21:409). And further: "Temporality is the ground of possibility of these structures of care itself." (Zeitlichkeit ist der Grund der Möglichkeit dieser Strukturen der Sorge selbst; GA21:410). Temporality is thus presented as the "ground of possibility" "that there is something resembling being (not beings)" (daß es so etwas wie Sein (nicht Seiendes) gibt; GA21:410). This means that, strictly speaking, it cannot be said that time 'is', since time is itself being's ground and hence prior to it. Instead, says Heidegger, "time temporizes" (Zeit zeitigt; GA21:410). 'Temporize' is chosen here to translate 'zeitigen' which normally means 'to bring forth', 'to produce'; accordingly, 'temporize' does not bear its dictionary signification here of 'to adapt oneself or conform to the time' or 'to negotiate', but 'to bring about', 'to come about' or 'to generate'. Time temporizes in bringing itself about as Dasein's care.
Because time 'is' not, but temporizes, all statements about time are not the "showing of an occurrent" (Aufweisung eines Vorhandenen; GA21:410) by 'logically' coupling a subject with a predicate by means of the copula, 'is', but an "indication" (Anzeige; GA21:410) that formally 'points to'; "they merely point to Dasein" (sie indizieren nur Dasein; GA21:410). With this move, the hegemony of metaphysical thinking since Aristotle is broken, for now being is understood from the temporizing of Dasein rather than, conversely, time itself being understood from being as standing presence. Time can no longer be conceived from the 'being' of nows and negations thereof, according to which the future is "nows that are not yet occurring, but are coming" (Jetzt, die noch nicht vorhanden sind, aber kommen; GA21:411) and the past is "the no longer occurring now" (das nicht mehr vorhandene Jetzt; GA21:414). Mere negation must be given a phenomenally positive sense as a specific kind of absence to bring the sense of temporality to light.
The 'future' (Zukunft) is now an entirely inappropriate word, signifying as it does an 'arriving'. Rather the corresponding dimension of Dasein's being 'ahead of itself' is "Gewärtigen", whose dictionary meaning is 'to expect' or 'to prepare for'. In such expectant preparing-for there is the temporizing or coming-about of time itself in and as the Da of Dasein. Such expectant preparing-for is directed at a "possible presencing" (mögliches Gegenwärtigen; GA21:412) and is thus a "letting-come-toward-oneself" (Auf-sich-zukommenlassen; GA21:412). At first and for the most part, however, this expectant preparing-for is directed at "the surrounding world to hand that is taken care of" (die zuhanden besorgte Umwelt; GA21:412) and is therefore inauthentic. Dasein's "potential for being" (Seinkönnen) is thus restricted to merely expectantly "ordering, making available, taking into possession and keeping" (Bestellen, Verfügbarmachen, In-Besitz-nehmen und Behalten; GA21:412). From here it can be seen how such expectant preparing-for can degenerate further into understanding the future as the arriving of not-yet-occurrents in the present, thus skipping over the prior ecstatic temporizing dimension of Dasein's being ahead of itself. Authentic Dasein, by contrast, is not out for things to be acquired and taken into possession, but out to resolutely seize its ownmost potential for being.
The "keeping" (Behalten) in inauthentic Dasein's losing itself to taking care of things in its world is a "not-letting-slip-way" (Nichtentgleitenlassen; GA21:413) that in turn gives way to privative modes of "not-being-able to keep, letting-slip, no-longer-caring-about what is to-hand, forgetting, renouncing" (des Nichtbehaltenkönnens, des Entgleitenlassens, des Sichnichtmehrkümmerns um Zuhandenes, des Vergessens, des Verzichtens; GA21:413). These, too, are modes of Dasein's temporality in its "beenness" (Gewesenheit; GA21:413). Again, the word "past" (Vergangenheit; GA21:413) is inappropriate for this temporal dimension because even inauthentic Dasein's care is this temporizing of its own has-beenness (a mode of absent being), whereas the past is composed of ceaselessly cumulating occurrences of occurrents that 'are no longer'.
The "already" (Schon; GA21:414) in Dasein's temporizing care-structure indicates the a priori nature of Dasein's factual potential for being on which it has to "decide" (entscheiden; GA21:413), even if privatively, in renouncing the possibility of such an authentic decision. In existing already with its world, Dasein is always already cast before the possibilities of its potential for being, has always already decided or failed to decide on its potential for being, and is, in this temporal direction of beenness, the temporizing, i.e. the generative coming-about, of its 'already' as that upon which it is cast back.
Time is hence the temporizing of Dasein's three-dimensional ecstatic Da which is the post-metaphysical site for being itself — being 'is' time.
Derrida spends no time tracing and appraising the five steps (see above Chapter 6) given in Sein und Zeit between Heidegger's development of the structure of Dasein's care, its grounding, especially in authentic temporality, and the phenomenal graduations between this authentic temporality and vulgar now-time. Instead he suggests that the distinction between an authentic temporality as an 'originary time' and a 'fallen' now-time is a merely metaphysical, indeed, ontotheological, textual gesture. There is therefore no discussion whatsoever of the three-dimensional ecstatic temporality of Dasein, that can only come into view by looking at everyday phenomena, but instead there is the rabbinical fixation on certain words in certain philosophical texts.(11)
Derrida asserts with respect to the now-time subjected to critique by Heidegger as "vulgar":
How could one think Being and time otherwise than on the basis of the present, in the form of the present, to wit a certain now in general from which no experience, by definition, can ever depart? The experience of thought and the thought of experience have never dealt with anything but presence. Thus, for Heidegger it is not a question of proposing that we think otherwise, if this means to think some other thing. Rather, it is thinking that which could not have been, nor thought, otherwise. There is produced in the thought of the impossibility of the otherwise, in this not otherwise, a certain difference, a certain trembling, a certain decentering that is not the position an other center. (Derrida 1982 p. 38)This assertion overlooks that Heidegger has already proposed "that we think otherwise", viz. by showing in a careful phenomenological interpretation of everyday phenomena that and how the existenzial-ontological structure of human being itself, as Dasein, can be characterized as care (Sorge) which contains within itself already the germ of the temporal structure of ecstatic time that in no way can be equated with now-time. Not a word from Derrida on this, just a bald assertion that now-time cannot be replaced without simply positing "an other center" which "would be another now" (ibid.). From this purported "decentering" without replacement, Derrida even infers that:
it is the tie between truth and presence that must be thought, in a thought that henceforth may no longer need to be either true or present, and for which the meaning and value of truth are put into question in a way impossible for any intraphilosophical moment... (ibid.)The writing that Derrida proposes is outside philosophy, destructing the very possibility of truth. Note that the "now" at the core of the conception of traditional metaphysical conception of time starting with Aristotle has been replaced by the "present", as if they were synonymous. What of Heidegger's efforts over many years to shift the meaning of truth from the correctness of the proposition (lo/goj), and from the Hegelian dialectical-speculative unfolding of thinking of pure thinking, to the unconcealment of that which shows itself of itself in the clearing of a)lh/qeia? The play of concealment and unconcealment, and with it, the temporal play of presencing and two distinct modes of absencing, is accessible only to a phenomenological thinking, not to a writing on writing fixated on traditional philosophical texts. Such writing on writing obliterates the phenomena themselves, resulting instead in a cobweb of textual interconnections claimed to be 'still' metaphysical, because 'still' making pretensions to 'truth'.
Derrida questions the sense of posing the question concerning the sense or "meaning of being" (ibid. p. 52), and, by implication, questions Heidegger's project of unearthing a hitherto unthought temporal meaning of being. Citing Bataille, he asserts that "the question of meaning, the project of preserving meaning, is 'vulgar'." (ibid.) After questioning the very sense of asking for the sense of being, as Heidegger does, Derrida then proceeds to confuse both himself and the reader by returning to the question concerning "the meaning of time" (ibid.):
it tells us what time is (nonbeing as 'no longer' or as 'not yet'), but can do so only in order to let itself be said, by means of a concept implicit in the relation between time and Being: that time could be only a (in) being, that is, following this present participle, only a present. (ibid.)This represents a relapse into Aristotle Physics IV which Derrida has been recounting, and has nothing to do with Heidegger's tradition-shattering interpretation of time as ecstatic, existential temporality. Indeed, Derrida is not the first to point out the circularity in the interpretation of time in the Physics: time is interpreted from the now as that which properly is, i.e. is present, as largely non-being, thus tacitly assuming the meaning of being as presence, which is, in turn, itself a temporal determination. It is precisely Heidegger who has worked out the far-reaching implications of the implicit meaning of being as standing presence taken for granted in Greek philosophy.
Derrida would have been well advised not to merely retrace, after Heidegger, the interpretations of Aristotle's, Hegel's and Kant's treatments of time, and instead focus on the Heideggerian alternative in which the ecstasies of time in the future and beenness attain their own positive conceptual determinations as modes of absence in their own right, rather than being dealt with metaphysically as mere negations of presence (not yet and no longer). Once being itself is recast as having an ecstatic temporal meaning, modes of absence are not deficient in being, but are modes of being sui generis in their own right. Derrida treats Heidegger as having merely repeated Kant in his reinterpretation of time:
This profound metaphysical fidelity is organized and arranged along with the break that recognizes time as the condition for the possibility of the appearance of beings in (finite) experience, i.e., also along with that in Kant which will be repeated by Heidegger. (ibid. p. 48, italics in the original)Accordingly, for Derrida, Heidegger remains trapped within (subjectivist) metaphysics by association with Kant, but this can by no means be accepted as an adequate critique of Heidegger who is precisely the thinker who questions the subject-object split on which Kantian philosophy is founded and which it attempts to straddle. Heidegger also sees clearly that Kant is near, but yet so far, with his conception of time:
...diese große Intuition [Kants] geht im Grunde wieder verloren. Trotzdem ist dieses erste Vordringen zur transzendentalen Einbildungskraft, die für ihn [Kant] im dunklen Zusammenhang mit der Zeit steht, in der Geschichte der Philosophie der erste Augenblick, in dem die Metaphysik versucht, sich aus der Logik zu befreien... (GA26:272)Derrida criticizes Heidegger also with regard to his locating Hegel's concept of time in the philosophy of nature, claiming that
every affirmation [...] according to which a concept [...] belongs to [...] a determined, particular site of the Hegelian text [...] a priori is of limited pertinence due to the relevant (cf. aufheben) structure of the relations between nature and non-nature in speculative dialectics. (ibid. p. 46)In the case in point, the temporal dimensions of the future and the past are relegated by Hegel, and also by Aristotle, whom Hegel is 'copying' (cf. Aristotle 449b27ff), to the realm of "subjective imagination, in memory and in fear and hope." (subjektiven Vorstellung, in der Erinnerung und in der Furcht und Hoffnung; ibid. p. 46 cf. GA21:261 citing Hegel Enz. II § 259 Anm.) This case shows, however, the opposite of what Derrida wants to say, since, for Hegel, time is properly only in nature, namely, as the now, whereas future and past do not exist but rather, "they are necessarily merely in subjective imagination" (sie sind notwendig nur in der subjektiven Vorstellung; Enz. II § 259 Anm.), and this does not change 'dialectically' when subjective thinking spirit comes to be treated later in the Philosophy of Thinking Spirit.
In the final section of his essay, Derrida hazards to aver that "an other concept of time cannot be opposed to" (Derrida 1982 p. 63) the vulgar concept of now-time "since time in general belongs to metaphysical conceptuality" (ibid.). Any alternative conception of time "is constructed out of other metaphysical or ontotheological predicates" (ibid.). Hence "Sein und Zeit still remains within the grammar and lexicon of metaphysics" (ibid.), namely, "that which separates the authentic from the inauthentic and, in the very last analysis, primordial from fallen temporality" (ibid.). When Heidegger interprets Hegel in Sein und Zeit as saying that "thinking spirit falls into time" (SZ § 82), Derrida objects that such a fall "from a nontime, or an atemporal eternity [...] has no meaning for Hegel" (Derrida 1982 p. 63) which is odd, considering that, according to Hegel, "thinking spirit is above time because suchlike is the concept of time itself" (der Geist ist über der Zeit, weil solches der Begriff der Zeit sebst ist; Enz. II § 258 Zus.). What is "above time" can fall into time as natural and thus become subjected to time's finitude.
It is hardly adequate, in order to dismiss the distinction between primordial and vulgar time, merely to suggest that the distinction is "ontotheological", especially considering that it is precisely primordial or originary time that is radically finite, so that the "falling" takes place, perversely, from finitude into a supposed never-ending, infinite flow of nows passing through presence — hardly an ontotheological direction. Nor is the distinction an "ethical preoccupation" (Derrida 1982 p. 63) but shows up an existential possibility, a Seinkönnen. As already noted, Derrida does not bother to appraise and criticize the phenomenology of originary time as presented in Sein und Zeit.
Derrida appends to his objection to the employment of the distinction eigentlich/uneigentlich (proper/improper, authentic/inauthentic), the further objection that:
One could show how this value of proximity and of self-presence intervenes, at the beginning of Sein und Zeit and elsewhere, in the decision to ask the question of the meaning of Being on the basis of an existential analytic of Dasein. (ibid. p. 64 footnote)This objection confuses subjectivity with Dasein, since Dasein, whose mode of being is precisely ek-sistence, is out there, exposed to, standing out in the world. The admonished "value of self-presence" ascribed to Dasein has no sense insofar as Dasein's self is itself a "shining-back" (Widerschein; cf. e.g. GA24:226) from the world, so that self and world are the same, that is, an identity of difference. It is the metaphysical subject, and not Dasein, that 'enjoys' an "identity with itself" (ibid.), i.e. I = I. Dasein is that mode of existence that can be characterized as "a stepping-over to a world" (Überschritt zu einer Welt; GA26:213).
Derrida's third objection is that Heidegger himself interrupted Sein und Zeit at the end of Part I and never published Part II, hence putting into question that "'primordial temporality' leads to the meaning of Being" (ibid. p. 64). Although there is a well-known turn in Heidegger's thinking around 1930 to focus on being itself, thus opening the vista onto the history of being itself, this does not amount to abandoning or repudiating the existential analytic of Dasein. Dasein's primordial temporality is valid for Heidegger even in the late Zollikon Seminars of the 1960s, still representing an as-yet unheeded radical alternative approach to phenomena of human being. The fact that Heidegger broke off Sein und Zeit after the existential analytic of Dasein can be interpreted as his failure to proceed from the Zeitlichkeit of Dasein to the temporality of being itself precisely because Sein und Zeit had already arrived from the direction of human being. The sections on Zeitlichkeit and Temporalität in the lectures of Summer Semester of 1927 (§§ 20ff GA24) witness Heidegger's struggle to make the move beyond Zeitlichkeit. Moreover, contra opinions in the secondary literature claiming that Heidegger later on abandoned the ontological difference, it must be asserted that Heidegger's very late thinking, too, is concerned with the ontological difference in an explicitly temporal sense, i.e. the difference between Anwesen and Anwesendes, presence and that which is present, as evidenced by his interpretation of Parmenides in his Was heißt Denken? lectures of 1952. Anwesen is then thought as encompassing also the two temporal modes of Abwesen, absence. Derrida's suggestion that thought could be made to "tremble by means of a Wesen that would not yet even be Anwesen" (ibid. p. 65) is his own questionable grammatogrammical project of tracing a self-erasing trace in traditional texts. Thus, "the mode of inscription of such a trace in the text of metaphysics is so unthinkable that it must be described as an erasure of the trace itself" (ibid.), etc. Derrida's grammatogrammy is a project of blind, blinding writing for a literarily inclined audience susceptible to certain stylistic gestures in writing and disinclined to follow the pointing of words to the phenomena themselves.
Derrida takes as the preliminary paradigm for his own project of différance the ontological difference between being and beings which, as Heidegger says, has remained in oblivion throughout the history of metaphysics, and this to the extent that being itself has been confused with a supreme being (ibid. p. 66; cf. the ambiguity in Aristotle's Metaphysics). Nevertheless, this confusion can be tracked down, i.e. traced, in the early metaphysical texts, a task taken on by Heidegger who has only been able to make headway because he attempts to see simply the phenomena which thinkers such as Parmenides and Plato, Anaximander and Aristotle had before their mind's eye. Heidegger is concerned with learning to see what these thinkers saw tacitly without ever bringing it to language. Ambiguities and ambivalences in their texts can be teased out by trying to see, thus bringing to light, crucially, the ontological difference in its implicitly temporal meaning as the distinction between presencing and what is present.
Heidegger characterizes this bringing-to-light as the "step back" from the lo/goj of metaphysics in learning to see the temporal meaning of being. Metaphysics has relied on situating truth in the lo/goj, with its possibility of truth or falsity, whereas Heidegger sees truth in the openness of the temporal clearing with its possibility of concealing, unconcealing or revealing only distortedly. Derrida, by contrast, takes the ontological difference further to a différance that would "give us to think a writing without presence and without absence [...] that absolutely upsets all dialectics, all theology, all teleology, all ontology" (ibid. p. 67). Such a writing may indeed be 'upsetting', but what do we learn to see through it?
In the case in point, Derrida adduces Heidegger's essay on 'The Saying of Anaximander' where Heidegger is interpreting the word to\ xrew/n in the saying precisely as the "early trace of the difference" (frühe Spur des Unterschieds; HW:336/360) between presence and what is present, i.e. the ontological difference. In this word in the earliest of philosophical fragments, however, this difference does not "appear as the difference" (als der Unterschied erscheint; ibid.), but rather, "in presence as such the relation to what is present may announce itself in such a way that presence comes to language as this relation" (mag sich im Anwesen als solchem die Beziehung auf das Anwesende bekunden, so zwar, daß das Anwesen als diese Beziehung zu Wort kommt; ibid.) Derrida confusedly and obscurantly describes this circumstance as:
The trace of the trace which (is) difference above all could not appear or be named as such, that is, in its presence. It is the as such which precisely, and as such evades us forever. (Derrida 1982 p. 66)Pace Derrida, the difference as such has today been named — by Heidegger, who says:
Erst wenn wir das Ungedachte der Seinsvergessenheit als das zu Denkende geschichtlich erfahren und das lang Erfahrene am längsten aus dem Geschick des Seins gedacht haben, mag das frühe Wort vielleicht im späten Andenken ansprechen. (HW:337/361)The ontological difference and presence itself do not by any means "evade us forever" when late historical time sends them in their ripeness to be thought as a singular thinker's ownmost, authentic, history-opening possibility for existing.(12) Nor is it the case, as Derrida claims, that "presence ... is the trace of the erasure of the trace" (Derrida 1982 p. 66). Not presence, but to\ xrew/n is the trace of the erasure of the trace, which trace was obscured (but not erased) by metaphysical thinking's penchant for taking being (presencing) itself as a being. Accordingly, the trace, viz. to\ xrew/n, can be rescued and re-interpreted, and above all re-seen, not metaphysically as a being, but as the handing-out of three-dimensional time-space itself with its play of presencing and absencing among beings (cf. Eldred 2008/2011 Chapter 8 i) a) 5.).(13)
Historiography hence ceases to present an account of the 'past historical facts' and becomes an endeavour to open up the "silent power of the possible" (die stille Kraft des Möglichen; § 76), and it will achieve this "the more simply and more concretely it understands having-been-in-the-world from its potential and 'merely' presents it" (je einfacher and konkreter sie das In-der-Welt-gewesensein aus seiner Möglichkeit her versteht und 'nur' darstellt; § 76). Authentic historiography engages with a world that has been, retrieving the ownmost potential for existence of Dasein that has been and as such, it is not merely a narrative recounting of chosen salient or obscure past occurrences, including an explanation of their causal interrelations.
Authentic historiography presupposes the authentic existence of the historiographer who has cast him- or herself onto a singular, ownmost possibility of existing. "Only factual authentic historicity is able as resolutely open destiny to open up history that has been in such a way that, in the retrieval, the 'power' of the possible has an impact on factual existence, that is, comes toward it in its futurity." (Nur faktische eigentliche Geschichtlichkeit vermag als entschlossenes Schicksal die dagewesene Geschichte so zu erschließen, daß in der Wiederholung die 'Kraft' des Möglichen in die faktische Existenz hereinschlägt, das heißt in deren Zukünftigkeit auf sie zukommt. § 76). This implies that the historiographer must exist as authentic Dasein and consequently that this individual Dasein must understand the sense of being as time and the sense of Dasein as three-dimensional, finite, ecstatic temporality and, within this understanding of the Da, grasp its ownmost, unique potential for being as an historiographer. Moreover, what the historiographer retrieves hits home in the present, helping shape the potential for today's existing in a response to what has been.
In that the individual, authentically existing historiographer's task is to cast "has-been Dasein onto its ownmost possibility of existing", this requires presumably the focus on those unique individual has-been Dasein who at that time shaped, or failed to shape, a world according to their own utmost potential for existing. They are the prominent or obscure heroes of their age, whose achievements and/or failures sculpted a world in response to the challenges and possibilities of the times. The philosophical recasting of time as ecstatic temporality, in turn, recasts worlds that have been in a new historiographical light, highlighting their potential for being as exemplified in outstanding individuals: thinkers, artists, states(wo)men who left their mark on the world, not by virtue of their 'subjective genius', but by virtue of their go-between role as messengers bearing messages (Capurro 2003) from being pregnant with future historical potential.
The focus of historiography is not on the 'past' for the past's sake, but on today's future present in which historiography is practised. Historiography's mission is not to hand down traditions in narrative form, thus keeping them alive, nor merely to teach the 'lessons' learned from history, but to open future historical possibilities through a questioning encounter with a world that has been, thus enabling the present's futural time-space to be shaped through potentials retrieved and released.
Heidegger's later thinking on the history of being and authentic time, however, dovetails with the temporality of Sein und Zeit in the sense of two perspectives on the same phenomenon, one from Dasein and the other from being itself. Although this is not yet said in Sein und Zeit, and presumably was not yet seen clearly by Heidegger, the opening of future historical possibilities through authentic Dasein's existing out of authentic temporality is precisely world history as the history of being cast from authentic time. The latter concept turns up in the late, 1962 lecture 'Zeit und Sein', where the focus is on being rather than on Dasein. The lecture looks back on the work of a "destruction of the ontological doctrine of the being of beings" (Destruktion der ontologischen Lehre vom Sein des Seienden; SD:9) in order to lay bare the original, implicit sense of being itself experienced already by ancient Greek thinkers as "presencing" (Anwesen; SD:5), a temporal determination of being whose significance was never explicitly fathomed. Such presencing is given. "Es gibt Anwesen" would be standardly translated as "there is presencing", which misses the point of a literal translation as "it gives presencing", namely, that being is not, but is given by an 'it' that Heidegger thinks further as Ereignis (propriation, event, enowning). Thus, 'it' gives presencing and letting-presence as the 'proper event' of unconcealing.
At the latest at this point, the standard English rendering of 'Eigentlichkeit' as 'authenticity' must be seen as, at least, misleading. 'Authenticity' means something like 'trueness'; authentic gold is true or genuine gold as opposed to fake gold. The famous, notorious concept of authenticity in Sein und Zeit implies a trueness to self, one of whose readings is easily assimilable to subjectivist metaphysics, in the sense of being true to one's subjective, 'inner' conscience. Such a reading is untenable, however, in view of Dasein's being always already in the world; Dasein's self is a "shining back" (Widerschein) from the world from which it adopts its ownmost, singular identity out of, and from in between, the reflections it receives back (cf. Eldred 2008/2011 Chap. 3 iii) a) 4.). The root of 'Eigentlichkeit', however, is 'eigen' which can mean 'proper', 'own', or even 'idiosyncratic', and this root is also at the core of 'Ereignis' (propriation, enowning). Not just etymologically, but for the issue for thinking itself, Eigentlichkeit and Ereignis belong together in an identity. In human being's enpropriation to propriation lies the potential for existing (Seinkönnen) as proper, authentic self. Being true to one's self then means being true to propriation, i.e. belonging to it as its property. 'Eigentlichkeit' would then be more appropriately translated as 'propriety'. The proper self, then, that Dasein grasps as its ownmost potential for existing is then a shining back from the world as the shining back from nothingness, for the world is not a collection of beings, but an ontological structure that is no-thing. Only in being a shining-back from nothingness that it casts ex nihilo as its ownmost self is human being free. Nothingness, however, is another name for propriation. Human being is free as the property of propriation that gives being. After this clarificatory digression, let us return to Heidegger's 1962 lecture.
The temporal connotation of 'presencing is given' points to time itself which, similarly, must be given. Time is given in three ecstatic dimensions of beenness, futurity and presence itself that are both unified and held apart as distinct. Two of these modes of giving presence are modes of absence that Heidegger characterizes as "refusal" (Verweigerung) and "withholding" (Vorenthalt; SD:16). These positive determinations of absence replace the merely negative, traditional determinations of past and future as 'no longer' and 'not yet'. This giving of time is also a "reaching" (Reichen; SD:14) that reaches out to and reaches humankind, thus enpropriating humankind as human being. Without this reach of the gift of presencing in its three ecstatic temporal dimensions to humankind, the human being would not be a human being (Der Mensch wäre kein Mensch; SD:13). In time's reaching humankind as presencing and absencing, humankind is enpropriated to propriation, ek-sisting in the clearing of "time-space" (Zeit-Raum; SD:14) opened up by the giving of being and reaching of time by propriation. Presencing takes place in this "pre-spatial locality" (vorräumliche Ortschaft; SD:16) of time-space.
The uncovering and explicating of the original, implicit ('folded-in') temporal sense of being for the Greeks as presencing that lets presence and absence is Heidegger's ownmost, authentic, proper contribution to world history conceived as the history of being. Human being itself is then cast as Dasein, i.e. as being-here in three-dimensional time-space, where beings can either presence for human being from the present, beenness or future — presenting themselves in the sights and masks that cast them as what (or who) they are, either revealingly ('truly') or distortedly ('falsely') — or absent themselves altogether into concealment and oblivion. Time-space is the time-space of history, to which human being is exposed ek-statically ('out-standingly'), retrieving what has already been cast to the present, recasting the future and thus letting it arrive differently. Language (and music, which Heidegger did not have in view; cf. Eldred 1998/2010) then originate from hearkening to the "pealing of stillness" of time-space itself, where language silently speaks (and music silently musics).
Hitherto, being was thought in philosophy always with a view to beings, i.e. being as the beingness of beings, and time was conceived one-dimensionally from an implicit understanding of being as standing presence. Heidegger lists these castings briefly as "[...], Plato being as i)de/a and as koinwni/a of the ideas [...], Aristotle as e)ne/rgeia, Kant as position, Hegel as the absolute concept, Nietzsche as will to power [...]" ([...] Platon das Sein als i)de/a und als koinwni/a der Ideen [...], Aristoteles als e)ne/rgeia, Kant als Position, Hegel als den absoluten Begriff, Nietzsche als Willen zur Macht [...]; SD:9). Each of them is a sending of being constituting "the historical character of the history of being from the destinal nature of a sending" (das Geschichtliche der Geschichte des Seins aus dem Geschickhaften eines Schickens; SD:8f). Here the sense of "destinal sending" (Geschick) is different from Sein und Zeit but nevertheless compatible with, indeed, complementary to it.
Each of the thinkers named by Heidegger in his list, along with others left unnamed, is an heroic, properly authentic existence whose world-historical status is by virtue of his being a messenger receiving a sending from being. The history of metaphysics has been the destinal sending and receiving of differing casts of the being of beings, i.e. of beingness, that centred on whatness, or quidditas, as opposed to the still unheard-of whoness, or quissity, of human being itself. Each of these castings cast the foundations of an historical world differently, not at haphazard, but also not as the progressive unfolding of a world spirit. The cast of a time is silently lent to it through the mediation of proper, authentic thinkers who act as messengers for sendings from being. They were messengers for how being was given in various forms as beingness, thus determining also the temporizing of that time. The giving of being itself as presencing, in unity with the reaching of authentic time in its three ecstasies to humankind, remained withdrawn and was not revealed. Against this yardstick, the history of metaphysics remains inauthentic and improper whilst nevertheless being the utmost, authentic possibility for existing of each of the above-mentioned thinkers in a specific age. Each thinker, having been cast into the world, could only receive those sendings of being from being that were sent as timely for that age.
It is therefore misguided and fruitless to want to play off the early Heidegger's thinking on Dasein's temporality against his later thinking on the history of being, properly authentic time and propriation.
The basic ideas of historical materialism are well-known and oft rehearsed, and have been advocated, criticized, defended and variously modified for well over a century. I have presented my critique of and alternative to historical materialism elsewhere (Eldred 1984; cf. also Roth 1977/1982) and will not go over the same ground here. The irony of historical materialism as commonly understood is that it is derived from a short preface in which Marx presents a thesis he has employed as a guiding thread for his research whose well-founded demonstration is only to be provided by actually presenting a systematic theory of the totality of bourgeois society, starting with the economic base. The irony is lost on Marxists. Marx never completed even his theory of the 'base', to say nothing of the 'superstructure' of bourgeois society or the intellectually megalomaniac, but ungrounded notion of social formations based on different 'modes of production'. The provisional thesis was so inviting and plausible, that Marxists and others have adopted it dogmatically as an 'obvious' materialist principle for doing social theory of empirical 'reality'.
One of the most famous sentences from the 1859 Preface reads: "It is not the consciousness of people that determines their being, but rather their social being that determines their consciousness." (Es ist nicht das Bewußtsein der Menschen, das ihr Sein, sondern umgekehrt ihr gesellschaftliches Sein, das ihr Bewußtsein bestimmt. MEW13:9). It is an incoherent statement, for there is no "social being" at all without "consciousness". Since this has been noticed, one has retreated to a 'dialectical' relationship between social being and consciousness, which amounts to some kind of reciprocal causality in which the former, as 'objectivity', remains determining 'in the last instance' of 'subjectivity'. The reference to "social being" and the anti-Hegelian character of the thesis should point to an ontological reading, not a merely ontic one, but for historical materialists, any ontological endeavour immediately smacks of 'idealism', which is repudiated already on the basis of Marx's thesis accepted as a dogma. All kinds of 'critical' social theory, too, are unable to deal with the socio-ontological import of Marx's announced program of a dialectic theory of capitalist society, for they naïvely regard themselves as being situated 'beyond metaphysics'.
In the present context it should be noticed that historical materialism, whose scholarly practice is a variant of historiography (see Chapter 9.1), assumes time as a given concept, merely periodizing it into historical epochs according to the relations of production, or property relations, defining that epoch. The motor of historical movement works within time, which is a frame taken for granted, i.e. a universal, neutral, ahistorical time-frame in which events and even entire epochs are sequentially placed, usually with overlappings. Consequently, the conception of time tacitly and unquestioningly assumed is the conventional one of now-time, as elucidated in previous chapters. Accordingly, class struggle, in particular, is merely one special kind of occurrence situated on the historical time-line in a chronological ordering. Certain occurrences in class struggle are given prominence as especially important for history, such as the French Revolution or the Paris Commune, the Russian Revolution or the Chinese Cultural Revolution. Other occurrences are significant for developments of the productive forces, such as the invention of the steam engine, the internal combustion engine or the worldwide internet.
Periods of time, i.e. stretches in now-time, are also given prominence as phases of development, especially within capitalism, e.g. liberal capitalism, finance capitalism, monopoly capitalism characterized by the occurrence and predominance of certains kind of capital. Many a Marxist's reputation is based on his work on a period of capitalism. With their preconception of class struggle as the motor of history, Marxists look back at past periods of capitalist development and class struggle to make forecasts about the further development, crisis or collapse of capitalism or to glean lessons for future class struggles.
Here the issue is not to assess the merits or otherwise of such historical materialist analyses, nor to criticize the empirico-realist approach, but rather to ask what time itself is, or rather, how time itself temporalizes in capitalism — a question necessarily remaining unasked in historical materialism, and social theory in general. As an epoch in world history, capitalism is characterized by its own socio-ontological structure that arises from the ramifications of the circuitous, augmentative movement of value as capital. This historically specific socio-ontological structure can be captured through a systematic dialectical dialogue with capitalist everyday knowledge. The word 'capital' derives from L. 'caput' for 'head'. Capital is a head-sum of value that is advanced to return augmented, or at least, undiminished. This simple principle is the basic rule of play in capitalist economic life. In the gainful value game of capitalism, beings (including human beings, who are themselves seen simply as special kinds of occurrents) are, only insofar as they are validated as values within some movement of value or other. Here is not the place to present the ontology of the fundamental concept of value, without which there is no social ontology of capitalism (cf. Eldred 1984/2010, Eldred 2008/2011).
What does the basic ontology of the circulation of value as capital mean for Dasein existing in such a form of (world-) society? Dasein's care in such a society is to make a living by earning income. This concern must be uppermost for any individual existence under capitalism. If income cannot be earned, it must be got through some other avenue such as crime, domestic servitude, charity or social welfare. All four must be understood as privative modes of income-earning, and will not considered further here. Hence, Dasein's existence is organized around its income-earning. Income flows from four basic different kinds of income-sources: hired labour power, loaned money capital, leased land and entrepreneurial activity. All other kinds of income can be understood as derivatives and hybrids of these four basic kinds. The income-earning care of Dasein is competitive, based as it is on markets on which there are many buyers and sellers, borrowers and lenders.
Dasein, including even the street hawker, enters into contracts, and performs them, in order to earn income. Its existence revolves around the activities associated with earning income of whatever kind, no matter whether such income-earning amounts to 'having a career'. As such it has surrendered itself to the world of taking care of business, but in a sense different from the one envisaged by Heidegger when he characterizes inauthentic, 'fallen' or 'degraded' existence as involving itself with practically useful things to-hand. Rather, Dasein's taking care of income-earning is a reified form of economic activity, i.e. a kind of togetherness-in-the-world (Mitsein). It is reified because it is mediated by money under various heads. Money is the embodiment of exchange-value, not of use-value, which latter is another name for Heidegger's to-handness (Zuhandenheit), so exchange-value has to attain its own ontological concept.
Such economically busy Dasein relates to the happenings in its existence as occurrences of earning income. These occurences are dated with reference to salient temporal points such as 'now, on receiving this pay packet/dividend payment...', 'then, when the return on capital exceeds 20%...', 'back then, when I got a raise...', 'in the meantime, until the job market improves...', or 'during this phase of capital concentration...'. Dateability (cf. Chapter 6 above) thus assumes capitalist traits by being understood with reference to movements of value, even though the everyday understanding of income-earners has only a pre-ontological notion of value.
The time-for... and not-the-time-for... also take their significance from typical occurrences in a capitalist world, such as 'only with the next upswing is the time to put your house on the market' or 'during this ongoing slump is not the time to change jobs'. The everyday temporal significance (Bedeutsamkeit) incorporated into the worldliness of the world gains a capitalist colour. The world-time of Chapter 6 above becomes everyday capitalist world-time. The publicness of capitalist world-time arises from dating time with respect to public occurrences in capitalist economic life, such as the end of the financial year, the deadline for submitting tax returns, the period of validity for collective wage agreements, major economic crises, shifts in central bank policy, and the like.
The circular motion of the sun, moon and stars are salient public occurrences used to publicly date time with reference to the heavens, which gives rise, as we have seen above, to "world-time" that structures the world with its own significance. The time to take care of everyday business (daytime, night-time, weekends, public holidays, etc.) is then taken from public world-time which, as Heidegger points out, is the origin of inauthentic Dasein's 'having time' or 'having no time at all'. World-time is refined to clock-time by becoming more and more accurately counted, culminating finally in abstract, absolute, uniform now-time that 'flows' of itself, without reference to external occurrences in the world.
In capitalist society, however, the underlying determining movement is not that of the celestial bodies that date occurrences with reference to natural cycles, but the movements resulting from the simple principle of capital as the advance and return of value. The more effectively capital is employed, especially relative to other capital employed in the same branch of industry, the more profit will be gained — other conditions being equal. Effectivity is in the first place productivity which is measured in the production process as the number of units produced in unit clock-time. The divisions of clock-time are now viewed in relation to the occurrence of productive output, and only secondarily in relation to the movements of the sun and stars, which is the precondition for obliterating the distinction between day and night. Only the productivity of employed capital matters, which can be enhanced by superior technology and also by extending the working day and especially by shift work. Productivity has a measure in output per unit time which, in turn, has an arithmetic relation to the amount of capital employed, which is merely a monetary quantity, so the productivity of unit capital employed is easily calculable and has a relation to clock-time conceived simply as abstract number.
Moreover, there are many capitals and hence myriad circuits of capital whose intertwining results, if at all, in the smooth, uneven or crisis-ridden reproduction of a capitalist economy. An individual capital has to pass through several value transformations and phases including the purchase of means of production, the hiring of labour power, the production process, the circulation process in which the produced product is sold. The movement of capital from one phase of the circuit to the next is affected by its fixed or circulating components, i.e. whether it circulates piecemeal or holus bolus. All the activities of income-earners are embedded in some way or other in the circuitous movement of capital-value back to its starting-point, which is the turnover of capital.
Such a movement takes its own time depending on many occurrences in the production process and on the various markets, which are subjected to multiple fortuities. Or rather, such a movement dictates its own time, the turnover time, that therefore represents a limitation to value's augmentation. Because each individual capital is under competitive pressure from other capitals, it has an interest (under the management of the entrepreneurs, executives, managers,...) in shortening this turnover time as much as possible, for any shortening contributes to value augmentation, just as productivity and (circulation) effectivity increases do. In particular, capital can be divided into parallel circuits to shorten turnover time, which is a further incentive to lengthen working hours and introduce shift work.
Although income-earning Dasein knows very well (pre-ontologically) that 'time is money' and feels its effects on all levels and in myriad ways, the underlying ontology of value remains a mystery, and along with it, the subterranean turnover movement of total social capital with its unrelenting tendency to accelerate in the ceaseless effort, under competitive pressure, to increase productive efficiency and shorten individual turnover times as much as possible, thus enhancing overall capital's value augmentation and survival chances. This deeper-lying capitalist world-time, for which the significance (Bedeutsamkeit) of occurrences and occurrents derives from their dateable relation to the simple movement of value as capital and its augmentative enhancement, displaces, or rather, collides with the abstract, unworldly uniformity of now-time, which becomes more and more compressed. Inauthentic, income-earning Dasein has an inkling that ever shorter time, its constant lack of time, has to do with capitalist economic life, and refers to it as the 'rat race', etc., but it lacks authentic socio-ontological insight.
The abstract now-time assumed by natural science, too, including relativistic space-time, is divorced from the worldly time of the turnover movement of capital with its ceaseless urge to make money by saving clock-time. The time of natural science is mathematized as a timeless, continuous, real variable. The social sciences, too, can only research, observe and describe the economic phenomena and their ramifications throughout society, assuming clock-time as a given frame for chronology, likewise, without socio-ontological insight, but merely on the basis of empirical 'facts' happening in now-time.
Nonetheless: capitalist time temporalizes gainfully for the sake of the gainful game (Eldred 2000/2010). Hence (dateable clock-) time itself can be gained and lost, always dated relative to the gainfully striving movement of value. When Dasein falls into the world of occurrents and occurrences, it is drawn unbeknowns into an uncanny, engulfing, global movement of value as player in the gainful game. Falling into the gainful game, nobody has a destiny, but everybody has success or the lack of it. Authentic Dasein is not possible without stepping back from capitalist, gainful world-time for, existing as it does in the historical epoch of capitalism, as an unwitting player it is unable to see its ownmost potential for existing. Such insight is a precondition for its having a destiny. This does not mean that authentic Dasein ceases to be a player and desists from playing the gainful game, but rather, as Heidegger says, grasping its ownmost potential in view of its own death represents a "modification" (Modifikation; SZ § 27) of everyday taking-care-of... which, in this case, includes taking care of earning a living. Such a modification is only possible when Dasein understands its self, i.e. its world, differently and correspondingly experiences its world in another mood in which it takes time for its self.
There is also a fourth, liberal casting of human freedom, according to which the natural-born individual is inviolately free and must be restricted in its actions to the minimum extent compatible with its not infringing the equal and similar rights of others. Hegel and others polemicize against this last conception as postulating society as a mere heap of atomistic individuals, and Heidegger rejects liberalism on the grounds that its individual is an anaemic universal figure.(14) This is not the place to go into a thorough discussion and critique of these differing conceptions of human freedom, which I have done elsewhere (cf. Eldred 2008/2011). Instead the focus here has to be on how these differing conceptions mesh with that of time. Let us start with Hegel.
Hegel sees that freedom can only be attained in world history through its institutionalization in the state, whose very name signifies a stable state of affairs underpinned by organized physical force, legitimized or not, and administered by an organized bureaucracy. For Hegel, the state is a form of objective spirit, the realization on Earth of the divine, eternal concept of freedom, and the consummate form of state is that of a constitutional monarchy that allows also for the qualified freedom of movement of civil society, paradigmatically represented by the Protestant Prussian monarchy. Because civil society is driven by merely particular interests, the state as encompassing institution is to guarantee freedom in a universal sense by caring for the universal interests of society. Universal and particular interests are genuinely united in the pinnacle of the state, the monarch; otherwise they remain dirempted and particularity must be subdued. With the realization of freedom in the world through the state, history comes to an end; it is completed, consummated, and thereafter there can be only the continuation of a divinely static situation. The contingencies of finitude will continue to upset the realization of the concept, but such aberrations will be corrected and eliminated by the state. The reconciliation of Reason with Reality has thus be attained.
For Marx, too, history comes to an end, but not just yet. Class society has yet to be overcome in a classless communist society. Since Marx conceives the state as having its raison d'être above all in maintaining oppressive class relations (so that Engels is able to proclaim the eventual "withering away of the state" in communism), the political sociation of society would have to be in some as-yet-undefined sense 'genuinely' communal, thus ostensibly overcoming 'bourgeois democracy', whose art lies in the ability "to persuade the many-headed monster of universal suffrage" (James 1966 p. 122). The class antagonism is understood as based on systemic class exploitation in the sense of surplus-value extraction from the labour of workers, and thus rests on an untenable labour theory of value (cf. Eldred 1984/2010). The overcoming of the class antagonism would enable more 'communal' political conflicts, not driven by deep-rooted, and therefore irreconcilable, antagonistic class interests.
Liberalism is criticized for its individualism, and invariably also misunderstands itself as insisting on individual freedom conceived individualistically vis-à-vis society that, in turn, 'imposes' its will and conventions on some kind of 'natural', pre-social individual. The free and equal individual, however, is a specific, late historical form of sociation, namely, via reified social relations in which money always plays a vital mediating role. Freedom of the individual therefore goes hand in hand with the freedom enabled by money, including above all the freedom of privacy with its concomitant right to indifference vis-à-vis others. The freedom enabled by money inevitably implies ultimately also the freedom of capital, with all the antinomies associated with the power of money and wealth when it becomes excessive.
A liberal political constitution is meant to allow for the play of individual freedom and individual interests (the pursuit of gainful happiness for everybody) whilst, on the other hand, providing also for their taming and regulation by institutions of political power which, in turn, themselves have to be controlled by means of constitutional checks and balances. As opposed to Hegel's insistence on the unification of political power in the monarch's ultimate will, liberalism consistently sees the danger in any unification of political power and provides for its division and splintering, thus resulting in a never-ending power play. The power play is never finally resolved in history, nor is it aimed for. In this sense, world history is left open. In another sense, however, history does, or could, come to an end with the global realization of social constitutions enshrining liberal freedoms at their core that are conceived as inalienable, universal, human rights. The core ethos for liberalism, based as it is on capitalism, is how individuals value and esteem each other in the gainful game.
Marxism, of course, criticizes liberalism as an ideology covering up class exploitation, and other, less radical, forms of social democracy criticize liberalism for the gap it tolerates between rich and poor which is to be bridged and ameliorated by bureaucratically administered welfare state redistribution in line with so-called (re)distributive social justice. Hegel, too, criticizes liberalism because it lacks a universal instance that cares for and has insight into the genuinely universal affairs of a society which are to be taken care of by state officials, the paradigm for these again being the Protestant Prussian state with its Beamten. The members of civil society themselves, blinded as they are by their particular interests, have only limited insight into the universal, and have to be taken care of by the state. Again, these issues cannot be gone into here, and are discussed elsewhere.
Instead I ask: What implications does the radically finite, three-dimensional, ecstatic recasting of Dasein's time have on how the realization of human freedom in history is to be understood?
Freedom resides originarily in individual authentic Dasein, i.e. in individual Dasein's resolutely open casting of its self onto its ownmost potential for existing which requires, among other things, its freeing itself from how 'people' conventionally live. Individual freedom in this sense is the sine qua non for any freedom at all. A collective, authentic 'we' with a destiny is possible, if at all, only transiently in a situation. How, then, could stable institutions of state guaranteeing, or even as the realization of freedom be possible? And, conversely, how could individual Dasein be free without social institutions to protect the very possibility of this freedom? State institutions wielding legitimized political power can only provide and protect an open space for the play of individual freedom, i.e. a hole for it to eventuate, if at all. Such eventuation is the happening of Dasein itself as its authentic temporization. Another name for this hole is privacy, which a free individual must crave: "What would a man do if he were compelled to live always in the sultry heat of society, and could never bathe himself in cool solitude." (Nathaniel Hawthorne, as cited in James 1966 p. 85).
Since authentic, individual Dasein in its freedom breaks with traditions that are merely handed down and instead responds to and reshapes them, political institutions themselves cannot lay down, but at best only enable individual Dasein's own authentic, free self-casting. This free self-casting is not to be conceived as an individualistic casting of self out of an individual genius, but rather as certain singular individuals' being messengers for sendings from afar that pass through them and prove to be world-shaping. The individual itself, however, depends on an abstract, reified form of sociation that leaves social space for individual self-casting and the unfolding of an individual's ownmost potential, since other forms of sociation based on the already established social power of convention, tradition, religion, and the like, lay down also contents for how an individual should live, and enforces a spectrum of acceptable life-styles in line with the accepted, established, average everyday understanding of 'people'. The future is thus kept closed. An utmost, individual potential for existing, however, must break with social mores in a higher sense by showing a liberating alternative for human existing. The space of existential freedom thus remains historically malleable, unforeseeable and inexhaustible.
Liberalism is the kind of social constitution most consonant with allowing room for play for the authentic, individual self-casting of certain singular individuals who can be attributed world-historical status. Liberalism is abstract by guaranteeing universal human rights which, if they are to be lived, require also the reified, money-mediated sociation that enables individual social movement in all its senses, including the sense of being free to cast one's own private life, without intrusion from the outside society and state. A certain independence from and hence also indifference for others are guaranteed. All creativity is nourished from this space for freedom that can never be consummated in an end of history, for it is a nothingness and a source for spontaneous self-castings. Hence it can never be fore-seen and con-cluded how the world will shape up in the historical future. Just as Dasein's time is finite, without a link to timeless eternity, historical time temporalizes therefore incon-clusively, i.e. world history does not attain any final end, but remains end-less, deriving as it does from the free creativity of Dasein in its ongoing dialogue with and receptivity for being itself from which it receives its sendings.
Only as long as there is Dasein is there history and time. All three are therefore fundamentally finite. As long as singular, individual Dasein grasps its unique freedom, historical temporizes anew through the mediation of these singular individuals. As a political ideology that argues for 'universal freedoms' for everybody against other political ideologies that also argue in terms of what is best for people and for the people, liberalism enters a terrain on which the securing of existence is in the foreground. If, however, individual freedom itself is at core a nothingness whence an authentic self can be cast spontaneously, such a possibility cannot be universalized as a guaranteed realization but only as a potential, with all the uncertainty and risk associated with such individual freedom. At best, politics, the state and public discourse can guarantee and leave only open space for that world-shaping creativity which eventuates unpredictably through certain individuals. Time temporizes thus in the first place from the future, using singular individuals as messengers for things to come.
If history is the theatre for freedom, historical time is for the sake of certain singular individuals just as certain singular individuals exist for the sake of historical time, cocasting its coming. The state, however, can only institutionalize forms of universal freedom that come to be enjoyed by everybody, thus providing an ontic condition of possibility. Hence there is a hiatus between the highly visible realm of politics and its strifeful occurrences that are the stuff of news and normal historiography, on the one hand, and the silent, largely invisible and invariably misunderstood undercurrents of history borne by certain individuals through which time is shaped, on the other.