In defining man as a symbolic animal capable of individuality only through its relation to social consciousness Cassirer is not incompatible with Heidegger who says that an understanding of the inauthentic they-self is a necessary component of authentic existence; but, this understanding is merely one of multiple components involved in authentic existence to Heidegger. Heidegger seems to be a counterpoint to Cassirer’s exertion that man is no longer considered as simply as that that can be known by itself, but the latter account does not claim to be ontological in character, but is more correctly ontical as it does not venture to answer the question of the meaning of being. This is an important difference as Heidegger stresses that since the time of Plato and Aristotle the question of the meaning of being has been distorted in an attempt to approaching the question ontically and the being as an entity, but that in the process the very nature of the being sought becomes shrouded. Cassirer would point out that human reality is not meaningful in a predetermined way, but that it can be made full of meanings. Conversely, Heidegger would point out that the a priori nature of the existentials in mapping the way the nature of Dasein works would impose a loose system of meanings in predetermined ways.