enowning
Sunday, November 05, 2006
 
The first four of nine points on the ontological difference.


[1] We constantly fail to hear this distinction between being and beings, precisely where we continually make use of it: specifically whenever we say 'is', but before this in all our comportment toward beings (what-being, being such and such, and that-being).

[2] We continually make use of this distinction, without knowing or being able to ascertain that in so doing we are applying any knowledge, rule, proposition or the like.

[3] The distinction--disregarding its content, namely whatever is distinguished as such in it--is obscure with respect to the very dimension in which the distinction is possible. We cannot put being on a level comparable to that of beings. This implies that this distincion is not at all represented or taken note of in the sense of something knowable.

[4] If, therefore, we do not place this distinction before us in the sense of making an objective distinction, then we are always already moving within the distinction as it occurs. It is not we who make it, rather it happens to us as the fundamental occurence of our Dasein.

P. 357
Richard Polt notes that the distinction-occurring-to-us in point four indicates Ereignis, and that the ontological difference is not merely a distinction between beings and common metaphysical beingness.
Being and Time was, to some extent, caught up in the metaphysical search for beingness. The "ontological difference" between beings and being, as presented there, could easily be misunderstood as nothing but the relation between beings and beingness. Presumably Heidegger has this danger in mind when he writes that Division III of Being and Time ran the risk of objectifying be-ing and thus was held back. When be-ing is taken exclusively as beingness, it is degraded to the level of beings.

P. 47
The other five points on the ontological difference.
 
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