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By Mi de Beistegui

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What must be Dasein’s temporal constitution so as to allow for Dasein’s stretching-along (Erstreckung)? 12 The question of Dasein’s “connectedness” is the ontological problem of Dasein’s historical happening. To lay bare the structure of historical happening, and the existentialtemporal conditions of its possibility, signifies that one has achieved an ontological understanding of historicity [Geschichtlichkeit]. (SZ 375/427) What is now required from the analysis is an exposition of Dasein’s historical character and of its temporal conditions of possibility.

Must we all embrace our fate like an armour? Is this our fate? Is this fate? Fatal Dasein, historical Dasein. History is fate, fate is history. It is only insofar as Dasein makes this destiny its own that it can become free for its own history, that it regains its tradition and its inheritance. ”16 But for this stroke of fate, for this piercing arrow, Dasein would err anonymously amongst the no less anonymous mass of schwärmende busy bees. It is at this point of the analysis, toward the middle of the section, that the text, head on, blind to the consequences, precipitates itself, all too hastily, all too carelessly, in the abyss of steely and völkisch rhetoric.

This will be shown by way of a sketch of a double genesis that underlies the text, that is, in terms of both a German tradition of the question of the university and a personal itinerary that goes back to Heidegger’s concern with lifephilosophy in the early 1920s. Second, the address is through and through philosophical. The philosophical is here measured in terms of an ability to question.

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