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an international and interdisciplinary journal of postmodern cultural sound, text and image

Volume 16, Summer 2019, ISSN 1552-5112



Time and Implication



Andrew Haas





Quid est ergo tempus? Si nemo ex me quaerat, scio; si quaerenti explicare velim, nescio.[1]




Today, questions about time continue to be posed: What is it? Please don’t ask. I know. How can I explain it to another? Don’t know. Why not? Could it be that the explanation is neither a matter of knowing nor of not knowing? Then might there be another way—triton ti, tertium datur, ein Drittes—one which neither explains time nor simply abandons it as inexplicable?


In fact, for Aristotle, there is an explanation of time—and it begins with becoming, with motion, movement: time is not the cause of generation and corruption, coming to presence and going out into absence, the becoming of being as a whole. Rather, bodies decay, change happens, things move (more or less), physis becomes—and time counts the ways.[2] As Elizabeth Barrett Browning put it: “How do I love thee? Let me count the ways”—that is time, not the loving, but the counting of how so.[3]

So, how does time measure motion? Aristotle is quite clear: in terms of duration-succession-simultaneity.[4] Time orders change in relations of before-and-after—and so constitutes the discontinuous-now (which continually changes), and the continuous-now (which remains the same, now) that lies between the past (that is past) and the future (that is future) which are both present, and the present (that is discontinuously or continuously) present (after the future and before the past).

But this does not mean that motion or change, or becoming as a whole, happens in time. For time is not a container; it is not a space in which objects exist, and nothing like an ocean full of fish (nor like Plato’s khōra, which is supposedly separable—if not separate—from changing things).[5] As Aristotle argues: if movement happens in time, then we would need to posit another time—for temporal movement happens—and then a time for that time and the temporal, ad infinitum.[6] And time itself does not begin—for then there would be a time before time, which is obviously impossible; rather, things begin because of time.[7] Thus, the use of the phrase “in time” is misleading—and motion is not in time; time counts motion.

But this counting does not mean that time is simply subjective; on the contrary, time is objective insofar as counting is counting of the counted. If there was nothing to be counted, there would be no counting; if there was nothing moving, no becoming, there would be no numbering of motion. In other words, time is always the time of the temporal—they are inseparable (unlike the divine). Thus, insofar as it is the measure of the duration-succession-simultaneity-velocity of that which moves, quicker or slower, changes its speed or not, continues or discontinues, the counting of what happens separately or together, time is objective.

And yet, time is always the time of the temporal. On the one hand, time itself is nothing temporal—time is eternal, uncreated, infinite; it does not move, although without movement, there would be nothing to measure, and so, no time. On the other hand, time is inseparable from the temporal, from motion and change and becoming. In other words, without time, there would be no measuring—for time measures motion—but without measuring, there would be no time. Thus, time and the temporal are inseparable, but not identical; they are held together (syn-echēs), being with one another in a (differential) relation, but they are irreducible to each other.

The relation then, the difference, the belonging-together of time and the temporal—which we could call the “chronological difference”—is their unity. But the ground of this unity, for Aristotle, is the motion of things, the becoming of beings. Thus, time (and its determinations of duration-succession-simultaneity, before-and-after, its counting and measuring) and the temporal (what is counted and measured and determined) are different from one another, but inseparable—and this inseparability is due to the change of nature, the becoming of physis.


For Kant’s “Copernican revolution in thought,” however, it is the reverse: things can change because time is already present, is always already there as the form of change. Time is the a priori schema of becoming; it is that which allows things to be in motion or come to rest. Thus, motion is not the ground of time; rather time is the ground of motion.[8]

But this does not mean that time is simply subjective, like some form of inner and outer sense which I could adopt or relinquish. Nor is it merely optional, as if I could get out of time and somehow experience an object as supratemporal, like some infinite god. Nor could objects just become atemporal, move and change, and remain untimed or uncounted (if they are to be objects at all, one or many). Nor might I live without having my years numbered, nor love and not count the ways, as if living and loving could be non-temporal.

On the contrary: although why I schematize objects in accordance with time is a secret of the human soul, whose truth nature is unlikely ever to reveal; that I do so is necessary. Indeed, I do not love thee and then count the ways; rather, if I may love thee, it is because I can count. So, only a being that can count, like me, can love—a stone cannot love. But if I can count (and so love), it is because of time, because time is the (objectively valid) condition of the possibility of any (subjective) experience whatsoever.[9]

And time is not only the form (duration-succession-simultaneity) of experience, of sensation, but also of imagination, and even of knowledge—for “Alles hat seine Zeit.[10] We sense something now as one and then as many, or simultaneously this and that; we represent something in imagination as being or not-being now real or true, potentially or actually, or as simultaneously both in different ways; we know that causes produce after-effects now, or that different attributes simultaneously belong to the same substance. This is why judgments and categories are a priori temporal: an object is present as one (quantity) substance (relation), and comes to presence (fills time) as being or not-being (quality), actually or potentially (modality).[11] Thus, time is not merely the form of sensible intuition, imagination, knowledge and judgment; it is the form of anything whatsoever, subjects and objects alike; it is as subjective as it is objective—for time is universal, allgemein (which is why transcendental philosophy is not philosophical anthropology or psychology or biology, but pure reason’s critique of pure time) and time is a “third thing [ein Drittes]”; it is the universal a priori rule by which subject and object relate because time is the transcendental schema which mediates the subsumption of appearances under categories (and the coming-to-presence of objects in accordance with time, that is, not just before-after, but in a time-series and time-order, with a time-content and within a scope-of-time).[12]

It is then, the universality of time that drives Kant to the (metaphysical) deduction of its necessary a priori validity—for time is neither grounded on language nor consciousness, nor on the forms of human discursive thought, operations of the subjective mind, or “mental activities,” nor is it merely “irrational knowledge of the rational.”[13] Rather, time is the universal ground of everything that is, of motion and rest, of everything that changes (like the growing things of nature) and does not change (like the laws of mathematics and logic), of being and becoming, subjective experience and objective knowledge—for time does not move; rather, everything moves in time. In other words, a priori synthetic judgments with regard to the temporality of objects (like those which rest on concepts such as causality, or categories such as substance)—and so (the language and logic of) the measure of motion or the becoming of beings—is only possible on the ground of time’s universality. And if Kant does not provide an additional deduction of (the transcendental schema of) time; it is not because he could not, but because he need not—it had already been done (by the history of philosophy as metaphysics from Aristotle to Wolff). Thus, the existence of time’s universality—as well as the universality of metaphysical categories/judgments that have already come to presence, and continue to be represented to this day—merely need to be exposed qua ground.[14]


If time, however, is the ground of motion and counting, of experience and knowledge—and their connection, the correspondence of object and concept, that is, truth—it is perhaps ironic that the history of philosophy continues to think of time as a space or container in which change happens. Hegel, for example, thinks time as the place in which spirit realizes or concretizes itself: “History, which is essentially the history of spirit, runs its course ‘in time’…[Thus] the development of history falls into time.”[15] But, as Heidegger argues:


“Spirit” does not first fall into time, but exists as the primordial temporalizing of temporality. Temporality temporalizes world-time, in whose horizon “history” can “appear” as an occurrence within time. “Spirit” does not fall into time, but factical existence “falls,” in falling prey, out of primordial, authentic temporality.[16]


Or, when McTaggert denies the “reality of time,” he repeats (what he claims to be Hegel’s denial of) the reality of becoming: time retains its traditional definition (as the counting of change, the measuring of motion)—but as nothing changes in reality, as being does not become, there is nothing to count.[17] As McTaggert argues:


Hegel regarded the order of the time-series as a reflexion, though a distorted reflexion, of something in the real nature of the timeless reality, while Kant does not seem to have contemplated the possibility that anything in the nature of the noumenon should correspond to the time order which appears in the phenomenon.[18]


In other words (even leaving aside the somehow motivated analysis of Kant and Hegel), distinctions—whether relations or qualities of events—are never true of reality. And McTaggert’s claim that “time is unreal” simply means “change is unreal.” This amounts to claiming that being is (unchanging) and becoming (as change) is not. But the problem is two-fold: (1) presupposing that time is a separable (inessential) quality or relation of events (while failing to understand that it is the inseparable and essential way in which events happen, become, that is, how movement and rest come to presence and go out into absence); and (2) reducing being to that which does not change, the permanent and continuous (while failing to understand that the impermanent and discontinuous, that which changes, also is or has being). For McTaggert argues that, in appearance, events happen: A-series determinations are (permanently) related to the C-series (permanent and objective ordering of events), while B-series determinations are an (impermanent, and non-successive) interpretation thereof. But, in reality, nothing happens:


I am endeavoring to base the unreality of time, not on the fact that the A-series is more fundamental than the B-series, but on the fact that it is as essential as the B-series—that the distinctions of past, present and future are essential to time and that, if the distinctions are never true of reality, then no reality is in time.[19]


In other words, time is the ordering of events (objective C-series) in the past-present-future (A-series), from whence the before-after (B-series, Aristotle) is derived. But (1) while events seem temporal (change), time (as the counting of change) seems intemporal; and (2) events cannot be both present and past (or present and future)—which would be contradictory qualities or characteristics (predicates).[20] Thus, for McTaggert, time is unreal because being is unchanging, unmoving, unbecoming, permanent presence.

And yet, what if being is not just unchanging? What if becoming also is? If reality is both in motion and at rest? How is it then possible for both becoming and being to be temporal? Or for motion to be the ground of time and time to be the ground of motion? So that time is both subjective and objective? In other words, if time is neither merely real nor unreal, nor just a container, nor simply a form in which change occurs, nor by which it is measured—well then, what is it?


Heidegger answers: time is not a what; it is a how—or more precisely, time is how anything whatsoever is; it is the universal how.[21] And so, temporality is determinative for every being (even for being itself) because of its universality, which is why everything has its time: being and becoming, the real and the unreal, the moving and the unmoved, the changed and the unchanged. And both objects (the counting of the motion of things) and subjects (the schematization of receptivity and spontaneity, experience and knowledge) are temporal because time’s universality is “absolute.”[22] Thus, permanent being and impermanent becoming (nothing, non-being, unreality) are merely how the “ambiguity of being” itself comes to presence (remains continuously or not) and goes out into absence (non-presence); and being present and being absent (non-present), now and then (not-now), are simply ways in which the “ambiguity of time” lets objects be in motion or at rest.

Time then, according to Heidegger, does not constitute beings, objects, things (as Husserl might have it). Rather, “time temporalizes” everything and anything that is qua present/non-present; and temporalizing constitutes the temporality of time—for time is the principium individuationis of being; which reveals (opens up) the ontological difference (of being and beings) and the ontic difference (between beings, subjects and objects, how they are “given” temporally).[23] Thus, it is the original unity of time, “original time” which is “originally one,” that—as the “self-giving of that which gives itself”—gives itself to things (beings), so that they can be given.[24]

A clue, again, from Augustine: “at no time was there no time.”[25] In other words, before God made heaven and earth, he was not preparing hell; rather, there was no “before” or “then,” as there was no time—for the eternal God, “the Selfsame, and the Selfsame, and the Selfsame,” created time. Indeed, God is not temporally-prior to time; on the contrary, he is essentially-prior insofar as he is “an ever present eternity,” out-of-time, atemporal, permanent presence: Augustine thinks “God’s being as timeless. Otherwise, he could not say that there was no time when God did not create anything.”[26] Prior to any interval of time whatsoever, God precedes “by eternity”—not “by time,” as the flower precedes the fruit—everything temporal. And if our years pass, if our time is distended into past-present-future, whereby the present becomes absent—this does nothing to God’s years, which are all just one day, “before” all time and times. Thus, as there is no time before time, God’s being is non-temporal, non-successive, immutable, endless, timeless all-at-onceness, ever stable, continual being without becoming, without difference or extension, lacking otherness and change, infinite presence of an infinite present.[27]

But the negative is also positive, as Heidegger insists: if at no time was there was no time, it is because the temporal and the extratemporal, “the ‘atemporal’ and the ‘supratemporal’ are also ‘temporal’ with respect to their being.”[28] In other words, there is nothing “outside” (or “inside”) of time; rather, even eternal beings (permanent substrata, immortal divinities, God or the gods) or infinitely becoming objects (geometric forms, mathematical formula, logical formulations) imply temporality. And non-temporal does not mean “at no time,” but semprieternas, all-times, always being or forever becoming, in all time. Augustine must confess, therefore, that he cannot think time as the unity of God’s infinite temporality and our finite temporality—for as Goethe reminds us: omnipotent and all-powerful time, allmächtige Zeit (along with eternal fate) is not just the master and creator of humans, but also of the gods, of Prometheus and even Zeus.[29] And this is why, for Being and Time, time—as the how of finite and infinite beings, the temporal and eternal, the mutable and the immutable—is the “horizon for any understanding whatsoever of being.”[30] And this is why, for “Time and Being”: “every thing has its time.”[31] Thus, time is implied by the temporal and the intemporal, what passes and becomes and what remains and stays, just as motion and rest, the finite and the infinite imply time—for with respect to their being, how they are (now and/or then, ever and/or always), both mortals and immortals are temporally, which is why time is the most implicative enigma, implicatissimum aenigma.[32]

And yet, if time is the how of being, that is, how objects and subjects, intuitions and concepts, are given, are present and/or absent, come-to-presence and/or go-out-into-absence—well then, what about time? In other words, what is the origin and ground, archē, of the unity of the being of time?

Heidegger answers: time is not just the how of being, but being is just as much the how of time. In other words, time temporalizes by being (and becoming) what it is, that is, by coming to presence and going out into absence, being present and/or absent (in motion or rest, changing or remaining the same, eternally or not, infinitely or finitely). And being lets beings be by being (and becoming) what it is, that is, by being how beings become, present (and represent) themselves as now and/or then, that is, absent. For being and time, time and being, imply one another—insofar as they are both ‘how’s’ - they are the same, one, although not identical, as they differ in how so (which is why the consideration of being and time is not just a matter for ontology and chronology, but also for henology, the study of unity). Thus, on the one hand, time is how being is (and so, the way that beings are and happen, which is the origin of ontological knowledge thereby; and we too, human beings, are “characterized by time”); and on the other hand, being is how time is, how time can temporalize beings and itself, its being in any time whatsoever.[33]


It seems then, that Augustine asks the wrong question—he should not ask what time is, but how so—for being is temporal, and time is. But is that it? Have we gone as far as we can with regard to our investigation into time, or being and time, or time and being? Or have we maybe missed something—even something that has been missing for centuries, perhaps because it was, like Poe’s purloined letter, hiding in plain sight?

A clue from Benjamin, who writes (20 years before Heidegger): “Language speaks.”[34] So how does language speak (or speak of) time? In fact, as the how of being, time speaks as tense. Then, if all verbs are tensed (past, present, future)—which is why German calls verbs Zeit-wörte, time-words—we should probably not be surprised to find that being (sein) too always has a tense. Thus, being’s temporality, its temporal character or way of being, show’s itself as tensed—for time is determinative for being’s way of being, and time’s, and that of any being whatsoever (whether it comes to presence successively or simultaneously, or goes out into absence, whether it is now and/or then, whether it changes or changed or will change, or remains or remained or will remain at rest, whether it becomes or became or will become, whether it’s becoming is or was or will be real or unreal, whether in truth and/or untruth).

However, as the linguists remind us: all verbs have both time and aspect, which is the way things are (and happen, or how events, Ereignisse, occur) at any time whatsoever.[35] So while verbs are temporally characterized by the present or non-present (past and future), they are always also aspectually determined as complete or incomplete, perfective or imperfective, discontinuous or continuous: I fell or I was falling (like the French passé composé or imparfait). Then, in (one and the same) past tense, I can say both that I worked yesterday (in Russian, Я поработал вчера, whether called perfective or perfect or complete or discontinuous aspect) or I was working yesterday (Я работал вчера, imperfective, imperfect, incomplete, continuous). Or in future time, I can say either, I will read that novel tomorrow (Завтра я прочитаю этот роман) or, I will be reading that novel tomorrow (Завтра я буду читать этот роман). Thus, anything that is, stone or unicorn, horse or human, word or deed, object or concept, has both temporality and aspectuality—for aspect is irreducible to tense/time, just as time/tense is insufficient for characterizing how everything is, was, and will be, whether in motion or at rest, changing or unchangeable, becoming or not, finite or infinite; and not only is time the other of aspect—aspect is also the other of time, and both are how being is.

But unfortunately or not, Heidegger (like Bergson, and perhaps somehow the history of metaphysics) reduces aspectuality to temporality, fails to grasp the “primordial” difference between time and aspect, interprets the aspectual as a function of the temporal: the duration or span of awaiting and retaining and allowing (like climbing) is understood as “stretched along in historical temporality”—but the stretching, Erstrecktheit, is a modification of aspect, which is the only way its difference from being-stretched at one-and-the-same-time (in this example, the temporality of the present/now) can be illuminated.[36] In other words, Heidegger seeks to solve the problem of the gaps in being (even in the present) by resorting to the usual subterfuge, that is, by remaining uncritically loyal to a “mode of temporality”—but time cannot explain continuity or constancy, Ständigkeit, just as the (aspectually incomplete) streaming of nows is not just temporal; it is aspectual, and aspect is that which allows the stream to stream and be streaming. And either “one seeks the problem of the continuity of time”—and responds with aspect—or “one lets the aporia here stand.”[37]

Irreducible to one another then, time and aspect imply each another—and are implied by being, and by any thinking of being. They are the how’s of being and beings, characteristic of how anything is (real or unreal, true or false, living or dead, including human beings like us), how each thing is now or then, once or always, and how anything occurs (comes to presence and goes out into absence, continuously or not).[38] And if the study of being is ontology, and the study of time is chronology, and if we name the study of aspect (which is not a question of side or face, perspective or point-of-view) “phenomenology” (in honor of Husserl’s call to go to things themselves, not just being, but all things)—that is, the study of the other how of being—then what we have been doing is onto-chrono-phenomenology. Thus, if being and time are universal, we should probably not be surprised at the universality of aspect as well.


So, recalling Augustine: if no one asks me what time is, I know; if I want to explain it to an enquirer, I do not know, but at least I know that I must also explain what being is, and what aspect is.[39] And presumably, I would also have to explain the relation of time to aspect and being—especially if this would then allow me to explain the relation of time and times, that is, between time and its determinations, the temporality of time, between the unity of time and the multiple ways in which it comes to presence and goes out into absence; or how time appears as now or then, before and after, an infinite series of nows or a streaming line of points, a measure of motion or a form of intuition or the transcendental schema of anything whatsoever, including time itself, and aspect and being. In other words, I would have to explain how time temporalizes, so that I can explain how time is and is one—especially if this would allow me to explain how beings are, and so how being is and is one; and how aspect aspectualizes everything that is, and so is and is one.

But where am I to begin responding to the question of how time relates to aspect and being, to what it temporalizes, even to time itself?

A clue from Aristotle: “if, now, being and unity are the same and of one nature in the sense that they are implied by one another as principle and cause...there must be exactly as many kinds of being as of unity.”[40] In other words, everything that is said of being must be said of unity—for “unity is nothing apart from being,”[41] and being is inseparable from unity (even if they can be separated in thought or language); as being and unity necessarily and universally imply each other; or, if being is actually implied, unity is actually implied as well. And this is why, in the Metaphysics, the entire ontology, the study of being, is repeated as henology.[42] If “being is spoken in many ways,” then so too, as Aristotle insists, nearly word-for-word, “unity is spoken in many ways.”[43] If there are, for instance, four fundamental ways of speaking being (accidental, true, potential-actual, categorical), then they correspond or correlate to the four fundamental ways of speaking unity.[44] If being is a universal, then so is unity. And if being is the being of beings, then unity is the unity of units. If being is and is one, then unity too, is and is one. If beings (and being) imply being (and unity), then units (and beings) imply unity (and being). For metaphysics qua onto-henology means that being and unity are the same, that they imply one another, and there is no being without unity or unity without being, so that they are spoken in exactly the same ways.

But the sameness of being and unity is not simply their identity. On the contrary, although they are both implied, the difference between being and unity lies in how they are implied (by each other and themselves) and in everything that is and is one—for while being implicates itself in the presence and/or absence of things, unity implicates itself in their indivisibility and/or divisibility.[45] Thus, being and unity are the same insofar as they are implied (universal implications); but different with regard to how they are implicated in things, and one another.

Metaphysics is not then, merely onto-chrono-phenomenology, not simply the study of the being and time and aspect of anything that exists temporally and aspectually—for it is also an attempt at illuminating their unity, how they are one and imply one another, how they are implied by anything whatsoever. In other words, metaphysics is the study of implications, of the ‘how is’ of everything that is: being and unity, time and aspect. Thus, we should perhaps abandon the use of names such as “principles” and “causes,” “genera” and “predicates,” “universals” and “transcendentals”—at least insofar as they belong to the traditional subterfuges of the philosophy of presence and/or absence that stretches from the Greeks to us—and just call them “implications.”[46]

But then, if you ask me what time is, you are asking me how it is implied in the temporal, as well as how temporal things imply time. And this implies that you are also asking how it implies being and unity and aspect. So if I want to explain time to an enquirer, I will also have to explain implication.


Once again, a clue from Aristotle, from the Metaphysics—or more precisely, from the language of the Greeks, from a peculiarity (which isn’t so peculiar) which Greek shares with many other languages, such as Hebrew and Russian, and even sometimes English: “malista d’ epistēta ta prōta kai ta aitia.”[47] Normally this is translated as something like: “first principles and causes are most knowable.”[48] But the word “are” is not there. The verb “being” is not in the Greek; the “to be” is not present. And yet, the translation is not simply wrong, and it cannot just be corrected—for “being” is also not not-there; the “to be” is not absent. Rather, the translation conceals being’s way of being, covers over how being is implied in the Greek as neither present nor absent. Aristotle need not speak of being because he can imply it, and thereby illuminate (or at least seek to illuminate) how being is (and so, should be spoken and thought). For being belongs neither to the philosophy of presence nor to the philosophy of absence (nor to some combination or permutation thereof), but is implicated in the suspension of both, which is probably why it is so suspenseful. Thus, triton ti or tertium datur, which is why Aristotle merely says, “first principles and causes most knowable”—for being is implied, implying, an implication, and to be is to imply; which is just a Greek way of attempting to respond to “the enigma of being,” to how being is “in everything,” drives everything, haunts everything.[49]

And this is precisely how (insofar as being and time imply one another) time is implied in temporal things—it is, thereby, an implication; and how the temporal implies time; and how time implies aspect (and being and unity). In other words, being’s way of being, of being implied, neither present nor absent (but the suspension of both), is also time’s; and time’s way of temporalizing is being’s (and unity’s and aspect’s). And the difference between time’s way of being and being’s (and unity’s and aspect’s) lies in how each is implied: (1) implied time is neither simply now nor then, neither before nor after; (2) implied being neither comes to presence nor goes out into absence, neither is present nor absent; (3) implied unity is neither indivisible nor divisible, nor just wholes with parts, nor singular and/or multiple; (4) implied aspect is neither continuous nor discontinuous, incomplete nor complete, imperfect nor perfect. But suspending the traditional determinations of time (and being, unity, aspect)—at least those dictated by the history of the philosophy of presence (and/or absence)—does not simply excuse or exonerate it; on the contrary, it far more suggests how time is implicated thereby, even in the very history of its suspension.[50]


Time then, like being, is implied—and implication is not just being’s way of being, but also time’s way of temporalizing. But what does it mean to say that time is implied? To think implication as how time temporalizes?

As Heidegger argues: “all the modes of behavior of Dasein are to be interpreted in terms of its being, that is, in terms of temporality.”[51] In other words, time is implied in how we are—for behaving is acting, and verbs expressing action are tensed, that is, temporalized. Indeed, particular kinds of being imply particular times; and these modes of givenness (ways of being given, moments or determinations, exstasies) imply the primordial wholeness of our temporality—which is why, for Heidegger, we are temporally three-fold: factically already having-been (forgetting-and-retrieving-itself), being-there (falling prey, being-thrown), not-yet-being (existing, being-ahead-of-itself, anticipation, awaiting).[52] So my way of being is having forgotten and remembering what I was (past); and being (present) now as falling prey to what they say and how they are, although I am thrown (like Hamlet, upon the stage, into the world); and not yet being what I am (whether I am I, or another), so waiting and anticipating what I will be (future). For as Heidegger insists: “temporality temporalizes itself completely in every ecstasy.”[53] And each mode is implied (intentionally “stretched out stretching itself along”[54]) in the others: the past (attunement) implies an anticipated future that comes to presence now; present (falling prey) is implied in a future ruled by what has been; and future (understanding) exists now thanks to what has been, an implied past. Thus, with respect to us: co-implied temporal differences (and our ways of being, the totality of which Heidegger names “care”) are grounded in the “one temporality,” the ecstatic unity of temporality that characterizes how we are—for time is the how of our being.[55]

      But why is temporality irreducible to the history of the philosophy of presence (and absence)? How are the exstasies of time not merely present in one another, so that my past or future is present now, or I am present in my future and my past? In other words, can presence not take account of the truth of how time temporalizes?

On the contrary, if being is implied, then the being of time is implied as well. Presence cannot take account of being because it is unable to account for the difference between presence and absence, just as it cannot account for the difference between now and then (the not-now, before and after), the present and the non-present (the past and the future)—for the unity of presence and absence is neither presence nor absence, and the unity of time is neither the present nor the non-present. Rather, presence and absence are modifications or translations of implication, of being qua implied; just as the present and the non-present are translations or modifications of another time, time qua implied. Thus, implication is the how of being and time, but while being is determinative for what is, time determines when it is.

For example, time is implied in mood, in our way of being-mooded, in “the temporality of moods.”[56] As Heidegger argues: while fear attunes us to the threat of “‘something futural’ in the sense of what first arrives ‘in time,’” Angst attunes us to “the nothingness of the world”—and nothing is precisely that which cannot come to presence in the present (if it is to be nothing), although nor can it simply remain absent (and not even nothing).[57] And yet, Angst must also be “understood temporally”—for “the future and the present of Angst temporalize themselves out of a primordial [past] having-been.”[58] In other words, both fear and Angst attune, be-stimmen; and attuning—being a verb (like determining, bestimmen, and being, sein, and temporalizing, zeitigen)—is tensed, that is, has time (and aspect). And the particularity of Angst lies in its way of revealing how time is implied as neither present nor non-present: in the face of nothingness, we are “suspended” by that “strangeness” which can neither be brought to presence nor left in absence—for as we have known since Parmenides, if the nothing is, then it is not; and if it is not, it is; and the truth is that the nothing (like being) neither is nor is not, but their suspension, that is, implication as that out of which both are and/or are not, now and/or then, which it is why it is so suspenseful and so strange (which is how it can be implied in the unfolding of being, implicated in the possibility, Ermöglichung, of the coming to presence and going out into absence of the being of beings).[59] And Angst is the attunement to nothing’s suspension, to its neither/nor, both that it neither comes to presence nor remains in absence, that it is neither now nothing nor then—for even “the nothing itself nothings,” in a way that is tensed, temporalized.[60] Or, time is implied in how we are suspended, even (perhaps especially) when “it was nothing.”

      But not just mood—for time is also implied by language. As Heidegger insists: temporality is “articulated in discourse and expressed in language”; although for the most part “unexpressed,” it “constantly expresses itself in addressing and talking over what is taken care of.”[61] Saying something like, “that will happen,” implies a “then” in which its temporal future lies. Past time (of a “before”) is implied in saying, “the will got settled.” Saying, “I am making up for a slight,” implies both a past/then time at which I failed or injured someone somehow, and a present/now in which I make it right. Or saying, “The celebration took place in the presence of many guests,” implies both with many guests being present, and that it took place at a past time. And simply saying, “today,” or “about today,” implies an earlier/yesterday and a later/tomorrow. For “even in the most trivial, offhand kind of everyday talk,” even in saying, “it is cold” (Heidegger’s example), implies—in addition to its sense or meaning, whether implied or not (which may very well be what is at stake in literature)—the temporality of the present, that is, “it is cold now” (like “the door slams” or “my book is missing” now, present time/tense). In other words, time temporalizes how each word is; and every tense implies the others: now is implied by not-now/then, past and future imply the present and vice versa. And the multiple implications of time come out of the unity of time—for the being of time is one. Thus, even if we have not “explicitly taken it over” in speech and writing, even if it is “not always in verbal expression,” even if it remains linguistically “unknown and unconceived,” even if it is neither thematized nor recognized as such, time is implied thereby—or, time is implied by how we speak and write, when we say what we mean and mean what we say, when we do not, and (perhaps even most acutely) when we seem to say nothing, but merely imply.[62]

And not just mood and language—but also death. For as Heidegger notes: “death is connected to ‘time.’”[63] Indeed, “being-toward-death belongs to the being of Dasein” only insofar as its not-yet (future) can “come-toward-itself” (present) in “the way that it always already was” (past); and insofar as its (solus ipse, ownmost nonrelational indefinite) death implies the (“eminent imminence” not-to-be-bypassed) “possible impossibility” of no-longer-being, that is, “being-held-out-into the nothing”—for our way of ending, enden, of “being toward the end,” being-finite (closed future), “is a characteristic of temporalizing itself.”[64] In other words, although I will die in the future (being-there as not-yet what I will be, namely, dead); and when I have died, it was in the past (being-there as no-longer); my death is primarily connected to present time, insofar as I am dying now (being-there as coming-to-an-end). In this way, death is a deed done, which is why it is verbalized qua dying (and not just an abstract concept or fixed state or hypostatized noun)—and all verbs (all kinds of motion and rest, finite and infinite, active and passive, actions and non-actions, living and dying, being-there and transitioning to no-longer-being-there, all ways of becoming and being) have tense, that is, time.[65] But this neither means that death is simply present in my life now (for I am not dead; and if death came to presence, it would no longer be), nor that it is absent (for death is coming for me, and me for death, as a possible or impossible possibility, approaching, coming near, “the nearest nearness”).[66] For death is waiting, that is, not just something that must or can come to presence, nor merely what remains in absence; but rather, that which (suspending presence and absence) is implicated in my life, in my way of dying; it is neither here-now nor there-then—for death’s way of being is irreducible to an actuality or a possibility (or even to an impossible possibility). Thus, Heidegger cannot explain death as possible without making it actual (actually possible), nor can he determine its impossibility without transforming it into a possible impossibility (and so an actually possible impossibility)—for death is a third thing, triton ti, tertium datur; and the only way for death to be (and to be one, temporally and aspectually), without reducing it to what presents (or represents) itself as an actuality or a possibility, is by implication.


Time then, is implied, like being. It is implied by mood, by language, by death. And being too, like time: “being and time determine each other reciprocally”—which is how, after 35-years, “Time and Being” can switch the order of Being and Time.[67] But what is the meaning and ground of this reciprocity?

For Heidegger, the answer lies in the event, Ereignis, which lets being and time be temporally, opens up and allows them to come to presence and go out into absence, be present now and/or absent then; although neither is being a being, nor is time temporal. In other words, being and time are the same and are one thing, insofar as they are implied by everything that is, including each other—but they are not identical insofar as their way of implying differs: being determines how everything comes to presence and/or goes out into absence; time determines how everything is present and/or absent. The sameness of being and time, of time and being, is the unity of their relation, Verhältnis, Wechselbezug beider, their own belonging-together which gives them the chance to be (and reveal themselves as) what they are—which is why Heidegger names them with the idiom, es gibt, that is, both “there is” and “it gives.”[68] In this way, being and time are gifts and givers. On the one hand, they are given insofar as they come to presence and/or go out into absence; on the other hand, they give of themselves, extend themselves, share themselves with everything (like Platonic participation, methexis or metalēpsis, as well as koinōnia), which is how they lose nothing thereby, but remain undiminished by (the happening of the event of) the giving.[69] Thus, the gift of time and being is being and time themselves, which is how they can determine things ontologically and temporally.

But if time and being (and unity and aspect) are implications, if they are merely implied, then they can neither be given as gifts. Nor can they be taken or received, whether as an object, such as memento or souvenir or remembrance of time past, or as the time itself, the giving of oneself, attention or concern, space or shared experience. Nor can they be presented as presents; nor represented, regifted or returned. And so, there can be no (justifiable or just, adequate or real or true, correlative or corresponding) thanks or acknowledgement, no giver or giving, no receiver or counter-giving. For insofar as implications are neither present nor come to presence, they neither happen nor occur—and what is implied cannot be given. In this way, implications are neither events nor happenings, neither openings nor clearings, neither appropriations and/or expropriations (nor some combination or permutation thereof). On the contrary, suspending presence and absence, neither present nor absent, neither here nor there, being is implied in beings, time by the temporal (just as unity is implied in units, and aspect by the aspectual)—for implication is their how, the way in which anything whatsoever is and is one, temporally and aspectually (whether they are then translated into the language and logic of gifts given and presents presented or represented, whether they are transformed into actual or possible, or even impossible, givers and receivers, or not). For being and unity, time and aspect, are implied in one another, which is how the event of their coming to presence and going out into absence can happen, and how they can be given now and then, or ever and always, or never—for implication is being’s way of being and time’s way of temporalizing, as well as how unity unites and aspect aspectualizes.


If I want then, to explain time to an enquirer, I can perhaps, at least, provide a clue: time is implied, and so implicated in how everything is or comes to be now and/or then, how words and deeds, thoughts and things, are present and/or absent—for time implies the way in which things were, are, or will be, or always have been or never will be, temporalized. And if you ask me how time is what it is, how it can be such a how, the way in which it could be temporal; I can maybe merely explain that it is because time is neither present nor absent, neither here nor there, but an implication. And if you ask me how time itself is, then I can perhaps only explain that it is present and/or absent, comes to presence and goes out into absence, because of being, because of the being of time; which is implied as well, albeit in its own way. But then, I might also have to try to explain how it is continuous and/or discontinuous, incomplete and/or complete, because of aspect, which is also implied. And so, I may also have to somehow explain how time is one, the one and only, because of unity; which is just as implied, even if it presents itself as divisible and/or indivisible, so it can be divided and/or remain undivided. Or, if you ask me how time is implicated in “any understanding whatsoever of being,” then I can perhaps only seek to explain that time is implied in how being is continuously one, or divided and discontinuous—so that unity and aspect are just as implicated thereby. And if you ask me what this implies for me, and you, for our words and deeds, our moods and languages, our lives and deaths; then I might simply suggest that time is implied therein as well, and being and unity and aspect, which has implications for how we can be implied in each other, as ourselves and to ourselves or not, even if we are not simply present to ourselves or another, nor absent therefrom—for not only have our pasts and presents and futures been implicated in each other, they are and will be implicated thereby.


So what then is time? If no one asks me, I know: it is implied. But then, if I want to explain time to an enquirer, I cannot simply resort to the usual subterfuges of the present, the past and the future, nor to presence and absence, to actuality and possibility and impossibility. So I do not know how, except perhaps by implication, which presumably implicates me as well.





an international and interdisciplinary journal of postmodern cultural sound, text and image

 Volume 16, Summer 2019, ISSN 1552-5112



[1] “What then is time? If no one asks me, I know; if I want to explain it to an enquirer, I do not know” (Augustine, Confessiones, XI.14). Here, time is thought as distentio, extended presence (but also means “distraction,” that which leads us astray from God’s eternity and makes us discontent, purposeless, morally wayward): the past is the presence of what is past, the present is the presence of what is now, and the future is the presence of what is to come. For Augustine’s psychological-subjective time, and the difference between the temporal, the eternal and the angelic (which lies somewhere between the mortal and the immortal); see R. Sorabji, Time, Creation and the Continuum (London: Duckworth, 1983), 30-32. For Augustine’s aporia of the temporal and the eternal, the ontological paradox of the being and non-being of time, and the attempt to think “time and the other of time,” see P. Ricoeur, Temps et récit: I (Paris: Seuil, 1983), 42.

[2] Aristotle, Physics, (Oxford: Oxford University, 1950) 221a26. And this is why time and motion are convertible—or relative (Einstein)—for if motion is measured by time, time may also be measured by motion.

[3] E.B. Browning, Selected Poems (Buffalo: Broadview Press, 2009), Sonnet 43. Or as R.L. Stevenson writes: “he must know his own state and that his days are counted,” Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and Other Tales (Oxford: Oxford University, 2006), 29.

[4] Einstein adds “velocity” as a determination of time, that is, as a way of measuring motion or ordering change—but this does not fundamentally alter the original Aristotelian conception of time.

[5] Plato, Timaeus, Platonis Opera I (Oxford: Oxford University, 1995) 52.

[6] Aristotle, Phys, 221a26.

[7] Aristotle, Phys, 251b10-13; Metaphysics, (Oxford: Oxford University, 1957) 1071b8.

[8] For Heidegger, as we shall see, the ground of the chronological difference, the unity of time and the temporal, is neither things nor us, neither objects nor subjects—but time itself.

[9] I. Kant, Kritik der reinen Vernunft (Hamburg: Meiner, 1990), A141/B180-1.

[10] Ecclesiastes, III.

[11] Kant, KrV, A215/B262.

[12] Kant, KrV, A138/B177, A145/B185.

[13] J. Bennett, Kant’s Analytic (Cambridge: Cambridge University, 1966) 71-88; B. Longenesse, Kant and the Capacity to Judge, trans. C.T. Wolfe (Princeton: Princeton University, 1998), 5; R. Brandt, The Table of Judgments, trans. E. Watkins (Atascadero: Ridgeview Publishing, 1995), 4, 18.

[14] KrV, A23/B38; §26; see also, Prolegomena zu einer jeden künftigen Metaphysik (Hamburg: Meiner, 1993), §1, §39. The metaphysical deduction is not transcendental because metaphysics does not demonstrate the validity (archē as continuing rule) of applying concepts to objects, merely the validity (archē as origin) of the concepts themselves.

[15] M. Heidegger, Gesammtausgabe (Frankfurt: Klostermann, 1975ff), GA2, §82.

[16] Heidegger, GA2, §82. See Haas, “Being and Implication,” Cosmos and History, 2007; “Notes on Time and Aspect,” International Journal of Philosophical Studies, 2015.

[17] Augustine, Confessions, 12.9.9: Time requires change, but the heavens do not change; they are eternal, outside of time. God creates ex nihilo; and he created time, when he created movement.

[18] J.E. McTaggert, “The Unreality of Time,” Mind, Vol. 17, 1908, pp. 456-473. For McTaggert’s ancient sources and a comparison with Iamblichus, see Sorabji, Time, Creation and the Continuum (London: Duckworth, 1983), 33-37.

[19] Even McTaggert realizes that this claim (namely, that the successive A-series of past-present-future is essential or “ultimate” to time, but the B-series of earlier-later is not) is not essential to the argument for the unreality of time.

[20] Augustine solves these contradictions by, on the one hand, presupposing God’s unreal, albeit ideal, eternal time; and on the other hand, recalling that past event are present as past, just as future events are present as future.

[21]Die Zeit ist das Wie” (Heidegger, GA64, 124).

[22] KrV, A215/B262.

[23] Heidegger, GA2, §65; GA3, §§24-26, 28; GA21, 410; GA64, 124. Time does not just “unfold”—it temporalizes, that is, determines how “everything that is” is temporal; see T. Sheehan’s translation of GA21, Logic: The Question of Truth (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2010), 338.

[24] Heidegger, GA3, §§28, 30, 32, 35; GA65, 234.

[25] Augustine, Confessiones, XI.13.

[26] R.J. Teske, Paradoxes of Time in Saint Augustine (Marquette: Marquette University, 1996), 16.

[27] Augustine, Confessiones, XI.13; XII.29; XIII.7. For the argument that Augustine’s concept of eternity originates with Plotinus, see D. O’Brien, “Temps et éternité dans la philosophie grecque,” Mythes et représentations du temps (Paris: CNRS, 1985), pp. 59-85.

[28] Heidegger, GA2, 18; GA20, 191. See Cicero, De natura deorum, I.9. Kant makes an analogous point with regard to ontology: “something” and “nothing” are already members of the concept of “an object in general” (Die Metaphysik der Sitten, AA6, 218n).

[29] J.W. Goethe, “Prometheus,” Gedichte (Ditzingen: Reclam, 1998).

[30] Heidegger, GA2, 1.

[31] Heidegger, GA14, 6.

[32] Augustine, Confessiones, XI.22.

[33] Heidegger, GA21, §15. Not only for objects, but also subjects: we are determined temporally in terms of past-present-future: psychologically in terms of memory-experience-anticipation; phenomenologically in terms of retention-primal impression-protention. Heidegger continues to use the How to describe time—for example, “everydayness” signifies the “How of existence that prevails in Dasein” (GA2, 370).

[34] Haas, “Notes on Benjamin and Intimacy,” Italian Journal of the Philosophy of Language, 8.2, 2014. The point here, is not simply to reduce truth (and the truth of time and aspect) to a function of language—as Benveniste does, for example, with regard to Aristotle’s categories; E. Benveniste, Problèmes de linguistique générale I (Paris: Gallimard, 1966), 70; J. Derrida, “Le supplement de copule,” Marges de la philosophie (Paris: Minuit, 1972), 212-245—on the contrary, it is to grasp that which language is telling us about metaphysics, to pick up on how tense is a clue to understanding time, and to hear what linguistic aspect is saying about onto-heno-chrono-phenomenology.

[35] B. Comrie, Aspect (Cambridge: Cambridge University, 1976). For the difference between aspect and mood, see for example, F.R. Palmer, Mood and Modality (Cambridge: Cambridge University, 2001). For Heidegger, the unity of our being (the constitutional totality of care) is to be found in time: temporality is Dasein’s way of being “stretched out stretching itself along” between birth and death (that is, to be a whole, and not simply present as a series of nows). But time cannot account for the unity of self, for the constancy of the constant, the persistence of the persistent, that is, the difference in occurrence of Dasein between stretched (complete aspect) and stretching (incomplete aspect)—and not only because German is not really an aspectual language—rather, the unity being (ours and being’s own) comes out of both time and aspect. And this is why T.S. Eliot says that, with regard to love, although not desire, “the aspect of time” is caught “between un-being and being,” “Burnt Norton,” Collected Poems, 1909-1962 (New York: Harcourt, Brace & World), 181.

[36] Heidegger, GA2, 409, 423.

[37] Heidegger, GA2, 423.

[38] As the Stranger in Plato’s Sophist (247a) reminds us: “anything that can come-to-presence or go-out-into-absence is.” Or, as J. Joyce puts it: “All the presents are determining as regards for the future the howabouts of their past absences which they might see on at hearing could they once smell of tastes from touch. To ought find a values for. The must overlistingness. When ex what is ungiven. As ad where. Stillhead. Blunk” (Finnegans Wake, Oxford: Oxford University, 2012, 355).

[39] Recently, I have considered this problem in Unity and Aspect (Würzburg: Königshausen & Neumann, 2018).

[40] Aristotle, Meta, 1003b22-34. See Derrida, “Ousia et grammè: Note sur une note de Sein und Zeit,” Marges de la philosophie (Paris: Minuit, 1972), 40, 67, 68; Haas, “Being and Implication: On Hegel and the Greeks,” Cosmos and History, 3.2-3, 2007, 209.

[41] Aristotle, Meta, 1003b31-2.

[42] Aristotle, Meta, Bk. IV, Γ; Bk. VII, Ζ; Bk. V, Ch. 7—all this is repeated with respect to unity at Bk. X, Ι; Bk. V, Ch. 6.

[43] Compare Aristotle, Meta, 1003b5 to 1052a15.

[44] F. Brentano, Von der mannigfachen Bedeutung des Seienden nach Aristoteles (Freiburg: Herder, 1862), 6.

[45] For D. Ross (The Works of Aristotle, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1952, 686), being and unity “denote” the same, but differ in their “connotations”; or one might say (with Frege) they have the same meaning, Bedeutung, but different senses, Sinne; or (with Heidegger, GA11, 33; GA51, 52) that they are das Selbe and exhibit die Selbigkeit, but not das Gleiche, which comes to presence in die Gleichheit. Two people, for example, may wear the same shirt, but not the identical one.

[46] To paraphrase Heidegger: implications transcend all generic universality (GA2, 3, 14)—“it is not possible that either unity or being should be a single genus of beings; for the differentiae of any genus must each of them both have being and be one, but it is not possible for the genus taken apart from its species (any more than for the species of the genus) to be predicated of its proper differentia; so that if unity or being is a genus, no differentia will either have being or be one” (Aristotle, Meta, 998b22-27). But neither are implications simply transcendentals (transendens such as the Good, the Beautiful and the True) nor the absolute transcendental (God)—for they are precisely not present in that which they transcend (in the way that, for example, Heidegger argues that being is always the being of beings, and time is always the time of the temporal). On the contrary, implications are implied; they imply, and are implicated (in how things come to presence and are present, and go out into absence or remain absent) thereby.

[47] Aristotle, Meta, 982b2. Other examples, in Greek: ēthos anthrōpō daimōn (Heraclitus, DK, B119); and “a passage from Plato, Laws X (901c8-d2), where a single occurrence of einai provides the verb for three clauses” (C. Kahn, The Verb ‘Be’ in Ancient Greek, Indianapolis: Hackett, 2003, XIIn11). In fact, being is the most frequently implied verb: for example: “I [am a] voice [egō phōnē]” (John 1:23)—but other verbs, such as living, may also be implied (Matthew 11:12) (D. Wallace, Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics, Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1996, 38, 81n26). In Russian, for example: Я че­ло­век боль­ной...Я злой че­ло­век (F. Dostoyevsky, За­пис­ки из под­по­лья, St. Petersburg: Epocha, 1864, 1); not simply, “I am a sick man . . . I am a wicked man” (R. Pevear and L. Volkhonsky, Notes from Underground, New York: Knopf, 1993, 1); but rather, “I man sick,” or “I sick man…I wicked man.” See also, V. Mayakovsky’s Хорошо (Complete Works: Thirteen Volumes, Moscow: ХУДОЖЕСТВЕННОЙ ЛИТЕРАТУРЫ, 1955-1961, VIII, 322), which R. Jakobson (Verbal Art, Verbal Sign, Verbal Time, ed. K. Pomorska and S. Rudy, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota, 1985, 39) translates as “both life is good and it is good to live”—but being is only implied, and the text [и жизнь хороша, и жить хорошо] literally reads: “both life good, and to live good.” For L. Wittgenstein’s comments on implied being in Russian, see Philosophical Investigations (Oxford: Blackwell, 1958), §20.

[48] D. Ross in R. McKeon, The Basic Works of Aristotle (New York: Random House, 1941), Meta, 982b2; my emphasis. Compare H.G. Apostle: “that which is knowable in the highest degree is that which is first or the causes,” Aristotle’s Metaphysics (Grinell: Peripatetic Press, 1966), 982b2.

[49] Heidegger, GA2, 392. In fact, from 1927 to 1962, from Being and Time to “Time and Being,” Heidegger never tires of the claim that “from the dawn of Western-European thinking until today, being means the same as presencing” (GA14, 6); and “the ancient interpretation of the being of beings…is the determination of the meaning of being as parousia or ousia, which ontologically and temporally means ‘presence’” (GA2, 25). And it is this interpretation of the metaphysics of presence which allows Heidegger to understand his contribution to the history of philosophy: being means both presence and absence; being present and/or absent—for both are ways to be, being here and or there (non-present, that is, present as not present); and “we have to do with absence just as often [as presence], that is, constantly” (GA14, 17). In other words, from the Greeks to us, metaphysics has thought being by permutating presence into hen, logos, idea, ousia, energeia, substantia, actualitas, perceptio, monad, object and objectivity, subject and subjectivity, positing and self-positing of the will of reason, love, spirit, power, will to will in the eternal return (GA14, 11); but it has thereby forgotten, concealed, covered-over or overlooked the equiprimordiality of absence (while thinking being as a being)—whence the need for the destruction or deconstruction or dismantling of the history of philosophy. And this is why the truth of being is alētheia, that is, ambiguous, two-fold, double, presence/absence.

[50] In fact, the history of philosophy throws up multiple examples of how implication does not always belong to the philosophy of presence and/or absence. There seems to be a way of implying that resists presentation, and that cannot be translated into the language and logic of presence and/or absence—at least not without a certain kind of violence, a violation or modification, transmutation or transformation that presents or represents implication as what it is not, namely, present, here and now, continuously, indivisibly and/or non-present, there and then, discontinuously, divisibly. Traditionally, metaphysics has understood implication in terms of necessity and possibility. Aristotle, for example, thinks what is implied necessarily as first: “actuality is prior to potentiality”; that is, energeia, entelecheia, actualitas, is more original than dynamis, potentia, in terms of logos, ousia, substance and essence, just as the chicken is prior to the egg, the oak tree to the acorn, the end to the beginning, the infinite to the finite—for actuality (as the presence of the telos, that for the sake of which something is) is present prior to potentiality (Aristotle, Meta, 1049b4-1050a23). Heidegger reverses this order: “higher than actuality stands possibility,” that is, “its ‘universality’ is to be sought in a higher sphere”—for the universality of potentiality/possibility is prior, more original, than actuality/necessity (Heidegger, GA2, 38). But as Kant reminds us—prior to both actuality and potentiality, more original than both the necessary and the possible, lies the problematic: “we first judge something problematically, then take its truth assertorically, and finally claim it as inseparably united with understanding, that is, as necessary and apodictic” (Kant, KrV, A76/B101; my emphasis). In other words, implicatum can be implied by implicans, consequens can follow from antecedens, because apodictic implication comes out of assertoric implication which originates with problematic implication—but the problematic is neither the possible nor the necessary. Rather, suspending both, the problematic—or the problem of implication itself, implication as a problem—is “a third thing,” neither/nor, the suspension of the necessary and the possible, the actual and the potential (Kant, KrV, A138/B177; A155/B194; A259/B315). Thus, originally problematic implication—the kind of implication which makes implying possible and necessary, which allows it to show itself as actually or potentially present—is the suspension of the presence and absence of what is actually or potentially implied, of what must or can be implied. See Haas, “What is a Problem?”, Horizon, 4.2, 2015. And this means, at least with regard to the problem of time, the suspension of the present and the presence of the present, and the non–present or absent; the now and then, the not-now or non-now, the temporal and the eternal, the measuring and counting of the before and after (as well as the various permutations and combinations thereof), the formalization of experience and the possibility of knowledge, and the how of being—which seems to be how time can be translated into (come to presence as) the possible or necessary language and logic of temporality.

[51] Heidegger, GA2, 404.

[52] Heidegger, GA2, 325-6, 328, 350.

[53] Heidegger, GA2, 350.

[54] Heidegger, GA2, 375.

[55] Heidegger, GA2, 335. Kant too, insists upon the givenness of objects—in the Transcendental Aesthetic: “But intuition takes place only insofar as the object is given to us…Objects are given to us by means of sensibility…But all thought must, directly or indirectly, by way of certain characters, relate ultimately to intuitions, and therefore, with us, to sensibility, because in no other way can an object be given to us” (KrV, A19/B33; my emphasis). And then in the Transcendental Logic: “Through the first [intuition] an object is given to us, through the second [conceptual understanding] the object is thought…without sensibility no object would be given to us, without understanding no object would be thought. Thoughts without content are empty, intuitions without concepts are blind” (KrV, A50-1/B74-5).

[56] Heidegger, GA2, 345. There are multiple examples of moods which imply time, including boredom, sadness, melancholy, despair—for mood is the possibility of now (in the present) coming back to ourselves (Dasein’s possible self-retrieval, and the explicit retrieval of its history) out of the past (having-been) and in relation to the future (of resolute being-toward-death). As Heidegger insists: just as fear implies the future of a malum futurum, hope (like promising) implies a bonum futurum (as well as a possible self-retrieval). For the time of curiosity, see Heidegger, GA2, 346-349.

[57] Heidegger, GA2, 341, 343. For Heidegger, the relatedness of fear to feared is fear of what is present and/or present as not-yet-present; the relation of Angst to its (non-) object is that of what is non-present which could be made present (albeit that which can be formally indicated, and thereby brought to light as nothing)—but implication is neither a relation of presence nor of non-presence; on the contrary, as the suspension of both, it suspends both, although it can thereby be translated into the language of fear and Angst. And even nothingness, non-being, the “is not,” as the other of being, is implied—as Faulkner writes, for example: “this world is not his world; this life his life” (W. Faulkner, As I Lay Dying, New York: Vintage, 1930, 261). For the way in which the novel expresses a moment of “Heideggerean exstasy” see J. Hillis Miller, “Time in Literature,” Daedalus, Spring 2003, 132.2, 95.

[58] Heidegger, GA2, 344.

[59] Heidegger, GA9, 112, 114, 115.

[60] Heidegger, GA9, 114; my emphasis.

[61] Heidegger, GA2, 406. Linguistics provides abundant syntactic and semantic evidence of implied time/tense. For example, some languages “do not make the present/future distinction” and others “do not make the past/non-past distinction”; and there are even some languages, such as Burmese and Dyirbal, in which time/tense “per se is not grammaticalised,” and which “lack absolute tense [time] altogether”—but even so-called “tenseless” languages express time in other ways (lexically, via adverbs, or realis or irrealis particles; or through context—such as the structure and functioning of the promise, which implies future time—or through other semantic clues); B. Comrie, Tense (Cambridge: Cambridge University, 1985), 50-51. Another way of approaching the problem of implied time would have been through Heidegger’s phenomenology of death and the role it plays in the hermeneutic of Dasein’s care (anticipatory resoluteness)—or more precisely, philosophy qua “universal phenomenological ontology” (Heidegger, GA2, 436). And even the cogito implies time—for as Descartes insists: “I am, I exist; that is certain. But for how long? For as long as I am thinking [Ego sum, ego existo; certum est. Quandiu autem? Nempe quandiu cogito]” (R. Descartes, Meditationes de prima philosophia, II, 1641; AT VII, 27; my emphasis).

[62] Heidegger, GA2, 407. On the implied meaning of phrases such as, “I am meeting a woman tonight,” that is, “not my wife,” see P. Grice, Studies in the Way of Words (Cambridge: Harvard University, 1989), 23-40. Other examples include, Ryle’s (cited by Cavell) “the boy was responsible for breaking the window” implies (1) the action was an offense and (2) the action ought not to have been done; and Cavell’s own, “Did you choose that tie?” implies that your manner of dress is odd, which is perhaps especially pointed because “intimate understanding is understanding which is implicit” (S. Cavell, Must We Mean What We Say?, Cambridge: Cambridge University, 1969, 6, 9, 12; my emphasis). Shakespeare, of course, uses implication to great comic (“Thy sometimes brother’s wife,” Richard II, I, 2, 54) and tragic (“The love that follows us sometime is our trouble,” Macbeth, I, 6, 11) effect—for as Polonius notes: “How pregnant sometimes his replies are!” (Hamlet, II, 2, 212).

[63] Heidegger, GA65, 284. As Chick Mallinson learns from his uncle: “all man had was time, all that stood between him and the death he feared and abhorred was time” (W. Faulkner, Intruder in the Dust, New York: Random House, 1948, 23).

[64] Heidegger, GA2, 245, 251, 258, 262, 267, 325, 330; GA9, 12, 15. As Heidegger notes: “only because primordial time is finite can ‘derivative’ time temporalize itself as in-finite” (GA2, 331). In other words, all beings are temporal, determined temporally—for time is universal (primordial)—and infinite time, like infinite beings (and in-authenticity), are results, derived via privation, negation, impoverishment. With the “possible impossibility” of death, Heidegger takes up a familiar Epicurean theme: “so death, the most frightening of bad things, is nothing to us; since when we exist, death is not yet present, and when death is present, then we do not exist” (B. Inwood and L.P. Gerson, The Epicurus Reader, Indianapolis: Hackett, 1994, 29). For a consideration of how the dead (Michael Furey) are implicated in the lives of the living (in the being-toward-death of the dying), see J. Joyce, “The Dead,” Dubliners (Oxford: Oxford University, 1967) 138-176.

[65] Heidegger, GA2, 246. Or, if “death is a phenomenon of life,” then so too is life a phenomenon of death; and if life is a privation of death, then death is also a privation of life. In other words, the privilege and preference and power given to death over life is questionable: if living is dying, then dying is living; if death is an end, it is just as much a beginning; if death constitutes the completeness of life, then life also completes death; if birth is the end of the future ones and a possibility for the unborn, then it is the beginning of the living ones, the alive, just as much as death is the beginning of being dead—for the death of the living is just as much the birth of the dead. Alive, my way of being is dying or being-toward-death; but dead, my way of being is living or being-toward-life. In this way, living and dying, I am between life and death—I am this between. Or, being alive then, between life and death—this is how I am. But then being-between is how I come to presence in the present. So, suspending death and dying, life and living (as well as their combination or permutation qua between), time itself is suspended. In other words, the suspension or epochē of temporality as present and/or non-present (past or future), now/then, before/after—not in the name of a timelessness or atemporality; but rather, in order to temporalize death. Thus, if living is dying, and dying living, the between does not suspend the philosophy of presence and absence; on the contrary, it is its most radical avatar. Obviously, a deed such as dying (always already being-toward-death, being-held-out-into the nothing, being-toward-the-end; being not-yet dead, being already dead), would also have its unity (divisibility-indivisibility) and its aspect (continuity-discontinuity, or incompleteness-completeness), but this is beyond the scope of the present work.

[66] Heidegger, GA2, 262.

[67] Heidegger, GA2, published in 1927; GA14, from 1962.

[68] Heidegger, GA14, 9. Here, Heidegger (nearly) admits an earlier error: now, he must relinquish being as the ground of beings in favor of the giving, that is, the gift of the “it gives” (GA14, 10).

[69] While sensible things (like food and drink) might be diminished, even to the point of nothingness, by participating or sharing in a meal; intelligible things (like the idea of justice which we both hold, me and you, or the Pythagorean theorem known to one and all, or the desire of the lover and the beloved, or the unity and being which everything implies, thoughts and things) remain undiminished, continue being one—or, as P. Shelly puts it, in “Epipsychidion”: “True love in this differs from gold and clay, / That to divide is not to take away” (Selected Poems and Prose, London: Penguin, 2017, 160-1). And this is what Heidegger means when he writes that “expropriation belongs to appropriation as such. By this expropriation, appropriation does not abandon itself—rather, it preserves what is its own [sein Eigentum, that is, its property which is proper to it]” (GA14, 28). In other words, the event is a giving without loss. But is this failure or refusal to lose truly a gift? Or is it—as Bataille, Levinas and Derrida will argue—far more a somehow privileged and motivated giving that costs nothing? Or is it rather that the entire metaphorics of the gift must be abandoned, especially when confronted with the problem of that which cannot be given, with or without loss—that is, implication, what is not present, and so cannot be presented as a present?