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Martin Heidegger

BASIC QUESTIONS OF PHILOSOPHY Selected "Problems" o f "Logic"

TRANSLATED BY

Richard Rojcewicz AND

André Schuwer

INDIANA UNIVERSITY PRESS Bloomington & Indianapolis


Published i n German as Grundfragen der Philosophie: Ausgewählte "Probleme" der "Logik" © 1984 by Vittorio Klostermann, Frankfurt am Main. Second edition ©igg2. © 1994 by Indiana University Press A l l rights reserved No part o f this book may be reproduced o r utilized in any form o r by any means, electronic o r mechanical, including photocopying and recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission i n writing from the publisher. T h e Association o f American University Presses' Resolution on Permissions constitutes the only exception to this prohibition. T h e paper used i n this publication meets the minimum requirements o f American National Standard for Information SciencesPermanence o f Paper for Printed Library Materials, A N S I Z39.48-1984.

Manufactured in the United States o f America Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Heidegger, Martin, 1889-1976. [Grundfragen der Philosophic English] Basic questions o f philosophy : selected "problems" o f "logic" / Martin Heidegger : translated by Richard Rojcewicz and André Schuwer. p. cm. — (Studies in Continental thought) I S B N 0-253-32685-0 1. Truth. I. Title. II. Series. B3279.H 8G77i 1994 4

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Contents TRANSLATORS' FOREWORD

xix

PREPARATORY PART The Essence of Philosophy and the Question of Truth Chapter O n e

P r e l i m i n a r y I n t e r p r e t a t i o n o f the Essence o f P h i l o s o p h y

ยง i . Futural philosophy; restraint as the basic disposition of the relation to Being [Seyn] ยง 2. Philosophy as the immediately useless, though sovereign, knowledge of the essence of beings ยง 3. Questioning the truth of Being, as sovereign knowledge

Chapter Two

T h e Q u e s t i o n o f T r u t h as a B a s i c Question

ยง 4. Truth as a "problem" of "logic" (correctness of an assertion) distorts every view of the essence of truth ยง 5. Discussion of truth by asking the basic question of philosophy, including a historical confrontation with Western philosophy. The need and the necessity of an original questioning


Contents

vi RECAPITULATION

13

1) T h e q u e s t i o n o f t r u t h as the most necessary p h i l o s o p h i c a l q u e s t i o n i n a n age that is totally unquestioning

13

2) W h a t is w o r t h y o f q u e s t i o n i n g i n t h e d e t e r m i n a t i o n o f t r u t h h i t h e r t o ( t r u t h as the correctness o f a n assertion) as c o m p e l l i n g us t o w a r d the q u e s t i o n o f t r u t h

14

ยง 6. The traditional determination of truth as correctness

14

ยง 7. The controversy between idealism and realism on the common soil of a conception of truth as the correctness of a representation

16

ยง 8. The space of the fourfold-unitary openness. First directive toward what is worthy of questioning in the traditional determination of truth as correctness

18

ยง p. The conception of truth and of the essence of man. The basic question of truth

19

a) T h e d e t e r m i n a t i o n o f t h e essence o f t r u t h as c o n n e c t e d to the d e t e r m i n a t i o n o f the essence of man

19

b) T h e q u e s t i o n o f t h e g r o u n d o f the possibility o f a l l correctness as the basic q u e s t i o n o f truth RECAPITULATION

20 21

1) T h e r e l a t i o n b e t w e e n q u e s t i o n a n d a n s w e r i n the d o m a i n o f p h i l o s o p h y

21

2) T h e c u s t o m a r y d e t e r m i n a t i o n o f t r u t h as correctness o f r e p r e s e n t a t i o n , a n d the f o u r f o l d - u n i t a r y o p e n n e s s as the q u e s u o n w o r t h y g r o u n d o f t h e possibility o f t h e correctness o f r e p r e s e n t a t i o n

22


vii

Contents c) T h e q u e s t i o n o f t r u t h as the most questionable o f o u r p r e v i o u s history a n d the most w o r t h y o f q u e s t i o n i n g o f o u r f u t u r e

23

history

MAIN

PART

Foundational Issues in the Question of Truth

Chapter O n e

25

T h e Basic Q u e s t i o n o f the Essence o f T r u t h as a H i s t o r i c a l Reflection

27

§10. The ambiguity of the question of truth: the search for what is true—reflection on the essence of truth §11.

27

The question of truth as a question of the essence of the true: not an inquiry into the universal concept of the true

28

§12. The question of the legitimacy of the ordinary determination of truth, as point of departure for a return to the ground of the possibility of correctness §13.

30

The foundation of the traditional conception of truth in the return to its origin

32

a) T h e h i s t o r i o g r a p h i c a l c o n s i d e r a t i o n o f the past

32

b) H i s t o r i c a l reflection o n the f u t u r e , the f u t u r e as the b e g i n n i n g o f a l l h a p p e n i n g s RECAPITULATION

34 35

0 T h e a m b i g u i t y o f the q u e s t i o n o f t r u t h . T h e essence is n o t what is i n d i f f e r e n t l y u n i v e r s a l b u t what is most essential

35


Contents

viii 2) T h e p r o b l e m a t i c c h a r a c t e r o f the obviousness

o f the t r a d i t i o n a l c o n c e p t i o n o f t r u t h , a n d the 36

q u e s t i o n o f its legitimacy 3) T o w a r d the f o u n d a t i o n o f the c u s t o m a r y conception o f truth t h r o u g h a historical reflection o n its o r i g i n . T h e d i s t i n c t i o n between a h i s t o r i o g r a p h i c a l c o n s i d e r a t i o n a n d

37

a h i s t o r i c a l reflection c) T h e a c q u i s i t i o n o f the b e g i n n i n g i n the e x p e r i e n c e o f its law. T h e historical as the e x t e n s i o n f r o m the f u t u r e i n t o the past a n d

39

f r o m the past i n t o the f u t u r e ยง14.

Return to the Aristotelian doctrine of the truth of the assertion as a historical reflection

ยง1$.

The Aristotelian foundation of the correctness of an assertion as the essence of truth

ยง16.

41 42

The turning of the question of the essence of truth into the question of the truth (essentiality) of the essence. The question of the Aristotelian conception of the essentiality of the essence RECAPITULATION

,

43 45

1) Rejection o f three m i s i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s o f the d i s t i n c t i o n between h i s t o r i o g r a p h i c a l c o n s i d e r a t i o n a n d h i s t o r i c a l reflection. Science 45

a n d h i s t o r i c a l reflection 2) T h e p a t h f r o m the q u e s t i o n o f the essence o f t r u t h to the q u e s t i o n o f the t r u t h

(essentiality) 51

o f the essence

Chapter Two

T h e Q u e s t i o n o f the T r u t h (Essentiality) o f the Essence

ยง17.

Historical reflection on the

53

Aristotelian-Platonic

determination of the essentiality of the essence

53


ix

Contents a) T h e f o u r characteristics o f the essentiality o f the essence i n A r i s t o t l e

54

b) T h e essence as the whatness o f a b e i n g . W h a t n e s s as Itea: the constantly present, what is i n view i n advance, the l o o k (aSos) RECAPITULATION

55 57

1) F o u r characterizations o f the essentiality o f the essence i n A r i s t o t l e . T h e whatness i n P l a t o : the iSeoc as what is sighted i n advance, the l o o k

57

2) H o w to u n d e r s t a n d the essence s i g h t e d i n advance ยง18.

59

The Greek determination of the essence (whatness) in the horizon of an understanding of Being as constant presence

60

a) T h e d e t e r m i n a t i o n o f the essence (whatness) as the " b e i n g n e s s " (oxma) o f beings. T h e u n d e r s t a n d i n g o f B e i n g as constant presence is the g r o u n d f o r the i n t e r p r e t a t i o n o f beingness (oxxria) as Ihia b) T h e G r e e k u n d e r s t a n d i n g o f the tbia ยงip.

60 61

The absence of a foundation for Aristotle's essential determination of truth as the correctness of an assertion. The question of the meaning of foundation RECAPITULATION

64 66

1) T h e c o n c e p t i o n o f the B e i n g o f beings as constant presence: the g r o u n d for the d e t e r m i n a t i o n o f the essence (loea) as whatness

66

2) T h e absence o f a f o u n d a t i o n for the p o s i t i n g a n d for the characterization o f the essence o f t r u t h as the correctness o f a n assertion. T h e meaning o f foundation

67


Chapter T h r e e

T h e L a y i n g o f the G r o u n d as t h e F o u n d a t i o n f o r G r a s p i n g a n Essence

§20. The absurdity of attempting to found an essential statement about truth as correctness by having recourse to a factual statement §21. Grasping the essence as bringing it forth. First directive §22. The search for the ground of the positing of the essence. Ordinariness of an acquaintance with the essence—enigma of a genuine knowledge of the essence (grasping of the essence) and its foundation §23. The bringing of the essence into view in advance (the grasping of the essence) as the bringing forth of the essence out of concealment into the light. The productive seeing of the essence §24. The productive seeing of the essence as the laying of the ground. T i r d o t o x s as -S^CTIS of the V7TOX€lU.€VOV RECAPITULATION

1) R e n e w e d r e f l e c t i o n o n o u r p r o c e d u r e as a w h o l e : t h e necessity o f a h i s t o r i c a l relation t o the history o f t h e essence o f t r u t h 2) T h e succession o f the steps m a d e u p t o n o w f r o m t r u t h as t h e correctness o f a n assertion to t h e p o s i t i n g o f t h e essence as a p r o d u c t i v e s e e i n g a n d a l a y i n g o f the g r o u n d $25. The unconcealedness of the whatness of beings as the truth pertaining to the grasping of the essence. The groundedness of the correctness of an assertion in unconcealedness (ak-ffiaa)


xi

Contents §26.

Unconcealedness and the openness of beings. The process of the submergence of the original Greek essence of truth in the sense of the unconcealedness of beings

87

RECAPITULATION

92

1 ) T h e productive seeing o f the unconcealedness o f beings as t h e g r o u n d o f t h e essence o f t r u t h as correctness

92

2) T h e G r e e k àXii'deia as o p e n n e s s . T h e transformation o f the concept o f truth f r o m u n c o n c e a l e d n e s s t o correctness

Chapter Four

g2

T h e Necessity o f t h e Q u e s t i o n o f t h e Essence o f T r u t h , o n t h e Basis o f t h e B e g i n n i n g o f the H i s t o r y o f T r u t h

95

§27. The turning of the critical question of truth toward the beginning of the history of truth as a leaping ahead into the future. 'AX-rideiot c * experienced by the Greeks though not interrogated by them

95

§28. Truth as correctness and its domination over its own ground as an essential consequence of the absence of a fathoming of the ground. The question of openness as the question of âXiyôeia itself §29.

98

The Greeks' experience of unconcealedness as the basic character of beings as such and their lack of inquiry into ctX-n/ôeia

102

RECAPITULATION

IO4

1 ) T h e g r o u n d o f the necessity o f t h e question o f t h e essence o f t r u t h

104

2) 'AXrjdeio: as p r i m o r d i a l f o r t h e G r e e k s yet u n q u e s t i o n e d by t h e m

105


Contents

xii §30. Their fidelity to the destiny meted out to them as the reason the Greeks did not ask about ¿\Yjdeiot. Non-occurrence as what is necessarily detained in and through the beginning §jz.

107

The end of the first beginning and the preparation for another beginning

108

a) O u r situation at t h e e n d o f t h e b e g i n n i n g a n d the d e m a n d f o r a reflection o n t h e first b e g i n n i n g as a p r e p a r a t i o n for a n o t h e r beginning

108

b) T h e e x p e r i e n c e o f t h e e n d b y Hôlderlin a n d N i e t z s c h e a n d t h e i r reflection o n t h e b e g i n n i n g o f W e s t e r n history §32.

109

The destiny meted out to the Greeks: to begin thinking as an inquiry into beings as such and in terms of an experience of unconcealedness as the basic character of beings (dX-i^deia, 4>ixriç)

111

RECAPITULATION

»14

1) T h e lack o f a n i n q u i r y i n t o unconcealedness o n t h e part o f t h e G r e e k s a n d t h e necessity o f t h e i r task

114

2) Nietzsche a n d Hôlderlin as e n d a n d as t r a n s i t i o n , each i n h i s o w n way

115

3) T h e task o f t h e G r e e k s : to sustain t h e first beginning

118

§33. The beginning of thinking and the essential determination of man

119

a) T h e s u s t a i n i n g o f t h e r e c o g n i t i o n o f beings i n t h e i r beingness a n d t h e essential d e t e r m i n a t i o n o f m a n as the perceiver o f beings as such (vous a n d \670s)

119


xiii

Contents b) T h e t r a n s f o r m a t i o n o f the p r i m o r d i a l d e t e r m i n a t i o n o f the essence o f m a n , as the p e r c e i v e r o f beings, i n t o the d e t e r m i n a t i o n o f the essence o f m a n as the r a t i o n a l a n i m a l ยง34.

121

The need and the necessity of our inquiry into unconcealedness itself on the basis of a more original understanding of the first beginning RECAPITULATION

123 125

1) T h e rigor a n d i n n e r o r d e r o f q u e s t i o n i n g i n d i s t i n c t i o n to the systematization o f a system

125

2) H i s t o r i c a l reflection o n the necessity o f the first b e g i n n i n g ; a c q u i s i t i o n o f the n o r m s f o r the necessity o f o u r o w n q u e s t i o n o f t r u t h

126

3) T h e o r i g i n o f the a p p r e h e n s i o n o f m a n as the r a t i o n a l a n i m a l o u t o f a n i n a b i l i t y to sustain 128

the first b e g i n n i n g

Chapter Five

T h e N e e d a n d the Necessity o f the First B e g i n n i n g a n d the N e e d a n d the Necessity o f a n O t h e r Way to Q u e s u o n 131

a n d to B e g i n ยง35.

The distress of not knowing the way out or the way in, as a mode of Being. The untrodden time-space of the between

ยง36.

The need of primordial

131 thinking and how this need

compels man dispositionally into the basic disposition of wonder fdavuxx^civ) ยง37.

133

The ordinary concept of wonder as guideline for a reflection on davpxt^eiv as a basic disposition

133

a) A m a z e m e n t a n d m a r v e l l i n g

133

RECAPITULATION

137


î ) T h e negativity o f t h e distress as a n o t k n o w i n g the way o u t o r the way i n . T h e w h e n c e a n d w h i t h e r as t h e o p e n " b e t w e e n " o f t h e u n d i f f e r e n t i a t e d n e s s o f beings a n d non-beings

»

2) T h e c o m p e l l i n g p o w e r o f t h e n e e d , its d i s p o s i n g as d i s p l a c i n g m a n into t h e b e g i n n i n g o f a f o u n d a t i o n o f his essence 3) 6avp,⣀Lv as t h e basic d i s p o s i t i o n o f t h e p r i m o r d i a l t h i n k i n g o f the Occident b) A d m i r a t i o n c) A s t o n i s h m e n t a n d awe . The essence of wonder as the basic disposition compelling us into the necessity of primordial thinking a) I n w o n d e r w h a t is m o s t u s u a l itself becomes the m o s t u n u s u a l b) I n w o n d e r w h a t is m o s t u s u a l o f a l l a n d i n a l l , i n whatever m a n n e r t h i s m i g h t be, becomes the m o s t u n u s u a l c) T h e most e x t r e m e w o n d e r k n o w s n o way o u t o f t h e u n u s u a l n e s s o f w h a t is most u s u a l d) W o n d e r k n o w s n o way i n t o the u n u s u a l n e s s o f what is most usual e) W o n d e r as between t h e u s u a l a n d the unusual 0

T h e e r u p t i o n o f t h e usualness o f t h e most u s u a l i n t h e t r a n s i t i o n o f t h e most u s u a l i n t o the most u n u s u a l . W h a t a l o n e is w o n d r o u s : beings as beings

g) W o n d e r displaces m a n i n t o the p e r c e p t i o n o f beings as beings, i n t o t h e s u s t a i n i n g o f unconcealedness


Contents

xv

h) W o n d e r as a basic d i s p o s i t i o n belongs to the 147

most u n u s u a l i) A n a l y s i s o f w o n d e r as a retrospective sketch o f the d i s p l a c e m e n t o f m a n i n t o beings as such j)

147

T h e s u s t a i n i n g o f the d i s p l a c e m e n t p r e v a i l i n g i n the basic d i s p o s i t i o n o f w o n d e r i n the c a r r y i n g o u t o f the necessity o f the q u e s t i o n o f 148

beings as such RECAPITULATION

149

1) T h e basic d i s p o s i t i o n o f w o n d e r versus related 149

kinds o f marvelling 2) Sequence o f steps i n the c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n o f w o n d e r as a way t o w a r d the necessity o f the

150

p r i m o r d i a l question k) T h e c a r r y i n g o u t o f the necessity: a s u f f e r i n g i n the sense o f the creative tolerance f o r the

151

unconditioned 1) TixvT] as the basic attitude t o w a r d «Jrikrw, w h e r e the preservation o f the w o n d r o u s (the beingness o f beings) u n f o l d s a n d is established. T e x v n m a i n t a i n s the h o l d i n g sway

153

o f 4»wis i n unconcealedness m) T h e d a n g e r o f d i s t u r b i n g the basic d i s p o s i t i o n o f w o n d e r i n c a r r y i n g it o u t . T€\VTI

a s

t n e

g r o u n d for the t r a n s f o r m a t i o n

o f ctAiideta i n t o

OU.OUDO-I<Î.

T h e loss o f the

basic d i s p o s i t i o n a n d the absence o f the o r i g i n a l n e e d a n d necessity §39.

155

The need arising from the lack of need. Truth as correctness and philosophy (the question of truth) as without need and necessity

156


Contents

xvi §40. The abandonment of beings by Being as the concealed ground of the still hidden basic disposition. The compelling of this basic disposition into another necessity of another questioning and beginning §41.

158

The necessity held out for us: to bring upon its ground openness as the clearing of the selfconcealing—the question of the essence of man as the custodian of the truth of Being

161

Appendices THE QUESTION OFTRUTH FROM T H E FIRST D R A F T I. F o u n d a t i o n a l issues i n t h e q u e s t i o n o f t r u t h

167 168 168

1. The compelling power of the need arising from the abandonment by Being; terror as the basic disposition of the other beginning

168

2. The question of the essence of truth as the necessity of the highest need arising from the abandonment of Being 3. The question of truth and the question of Being

169 170

a) T h e u n f o l d i n g o f t h e q u e s t i o n o f t r u t h as a reflection o n t h e first b e g i n n i n g . T h e r e o p e n i n g o f t h e first b e g i n n i n g f o r the sake of another beginning

170

b) T h e q u e s t i o n o f t r u t h as a p r e l i m i n a r y q u e s t i o n o n b e h a l f o f the basic q u e s t i o n o f Being

171

II. L e a p i n g a h e a d i n t o t h e essentialization o f truth

172

4. The question of the essentialization of truth as a question that founds history originally

172


xvii

Contents Indication of the essentialization of truth through critical reflection and historical recollection

173

a) P r e p a r a t i o n f o r t h e leap by s e c u r i n g the a p p r o a c h r u n a n d by p r e d e l i n e a t i n g the d i r e c t i o n o f the leap. C o r r e c t n e s s as the start o f t h e a p p r o a c h r u n , openness as t h e 173

d i r e c t i o n o f the l e a p b) T h e e x p e r i e n c e o f openness as unconcealedness (dXt^'deux) i n t h e first b e g i n n i n g . T h e u n q u e s t i o n e d character o f unconcealedness a n d t h e task o f a m o r e o r i g i n a l e x p e r i e n c e o f its essence o n the basis

174

o f o u r need The abandonment by Being as the need arising from the lack of need. The experience of the abandonment of beings by Being as need in the coming to light of the belongingness of Being to beings and the distinction of Being from beings

175

Directive sketch of the essence of truth on the basis of the need arising from the abandonment by Being

177

a) O p e n n e s s as the c l e a r i n g f o r t h e v a c i l l a t i n g self-concealment. V a c i l l a t i n g self-concealment as a first d e s i g n a t i o n o f B e i n g itself

177

b) T h e c l e a r i n g f o r self-concealment as t h e supporting g r o u n d o f humanity. Man's g r o u n d i n g o f this s u p p o r t i n g g r o u n d as 179

Da-sein c) T h e q u e s t i o n o f t r u t h , a n d the dislocation o f h u m a n i t y o u t o f its p r e v i o u s

homelessness

i n t o the g r o u n d o f its essence, i n o r d e r f o r m a n to b e c o m e the f o u n d e r a n d t h e preserver of the truth o f B e i n g

180


Contents

xviii d) T h e q u e s t i o n o f the essentialization o f t r u t h as t h e q u e s t i o n o f the essentialization o f Being

182

I I I . Recollection o f the first s h i n i n g f o r t h o f the essence o f t r u t h as o c X ^ c ' i a (unconcealedness)

184

8. Recollection of the first knowledge of truth at the beginning of Western philosophy as an indication of the proper question of the more original essence of truth as openness

184

p. Articulation of the historical recollection in Jive steps of reflection

185

Supplement to ยง40

187

Supplement to ยง41

188

EDITOR'S AFTERWORD

189


TRANSLATORS' FOREWORD T h i s b o o k is a t r a n s l a t i o n o f the text o f M a r t i n H e i d e g g e r ' s lect u r e course o f the same tide f r o m the W i n t e r semester 1 9 3 7 ÂŹ 1938 at the U n i v e r s i t y o f F r e i b u r g . T h e G e r m a n o r i g i n a l a p p e a r e d p o s t h u m o u s l y i n 1984 (with a s e c o n d e d i t i o n i n 1992) as v o l u m e 4 5 o f H e i d e g g e r ' s " C o l l e c t e d W o r k s " (Gesamtausgabe). T h e v o l u m e s i n the Gesamtausgabe are not a p p e a r i n g as c r i t i c a l e d i t i o n s . T h e reason is that it is t h e i r express i n t e n t i o n to facilitate a d i r e c t contact between the r e a d e r a n d the w o r k o f H e i d e g g e r a n d to allow, as m u c h as is possible, n o t h i n g e x t r a n e ous to i n t e r v e n e . T h u s , i n p a r t i c u l a r , they i n c l u d e n o i n t e r p r e t a tive o r i n t r o d u c t o r y essays. A l l e d i t o r i a l m a t t e r is kept to a n absolute m i n i m u m , a n d there a r e n o i n d e x e s . T h e w o r d s o f H e i d e g g e r a r e r e c o n s t r u c t e d w i t h as m u c h faithfulness as t h e e d i t o r c a n b r i n g to the task, a n d they are t h e n s i m p l y left to speak for themselves. It is o u r b e l i e f that this t r a n s l a t i o n may speak f o r itself as w e l l . We have o n occasion felt the n e e d to i n t e r p o l a t e i n t o o u r text H e i d e g g e r ' s o w n t e r m i n o l o g y , i n o r d e r to alert the r e a d e r to s o m e n u a n c e we were u n a b l e to c a p t u r e . F o r the most p a r t , h o w ever, we have f o u n d H e i d e g g e r ' s language d i f f i c u l t to translate, to be s u r e , b u t i n d e e d translatable, a n d we have e n d e a v o r e d to express the sense o f his d i s c o u r s e i n a n E n g l i s h that is as f l u e n t a n d n a t u r a l as possible. O n e w o r d o f c a u t i o n : w i t h o u t i n any way p r e s u m i n g to p r e j u d g e for the r e a d e r what she o r he will find i n these pages, we feel it i n c u m b e n t o n us to notify h e r o r h i m that the tide o f the v o l u m e is, o n the surface o f it, s o m e t h i n g o f a m i s n o m e r . F o r even a r a t h e r casual glance at the table o f contents will show that the b o o k d o e s n o t treat the diverse topics that a r e o r d i n a r i l y i n c l u d e d i n a text o n the " B a s i c questions o f p h i l o s o p h y . " A n d i n d e e d such a w o r k w o u l d i m m e d i a t e l y be most u n - H e i d e g g e r i a n , since for this p h i l o s o p h e r there is but o n e basic q u e s t i o n o f p h i losophy a n d the p r o b l e m s o f logic as we k n o w t h e m are o n l y extrinsically related to it. N o w the title a n d subtitle o f this v o l u m e


Translators' Foreword

XX

a r e i n fact q u i t e significant, a l t h o u g h n o t s t r a i g h t f o r w a r d l y so (witness the i m p o r t a n t q u o t a t i o n m a r k s i n the subtide), a n d the t h e m e o f the b o o k is a s s u r e d l y not e x t r a n e o u s to H e i d e g g e r ' s p h i l o s o p h i c a l project but lies at its very heart. Finally, this c o u r s e was d e l i v e r e d at the t i m e H e i d e g g e r was c o m p o s i n g o n e o f his m o s t f a m o u s p o s t h u m o u s texts, the c u r r e n d y m u c h - d i s c u s s e d Beitr채ge zur Philosophie ( " C o n t r i b u t i o n s to p h i l o s o p h y " ) , ' w h i c h dates f r o m 1 9 3 6 - 1 9 3 8 . T h e two w o r k s are i n t i m a t e l y r e l a t e d , so m u c h so that the e d i t o r o f the two v o l u m e s c o n s i d e r s the b o o k i n h a n d to be " t h e most i m p o r t a n t a n d i m m e d i a t e p r e p a r a t i o n f o r u n d e r s t a n d i n g the Beitr채ge." H e n c e , this r e a s o n , as w e l l as its o w n i n h e r e n t significance, m a k e s the present v o l u m e r e q u i r e d s t u d y for those w h o w o u l d travel Heidegger's p a t h . 9

R.R. A.S. Simon Silverman Phenomenology Duquesne University

Center

1. Martin Heidegger, Beitr채ge zur Philosophie (Vom Ereignis), Frankfurt: V. Klostcrnvann. 1989. Gesamtausgabe B d . 65. 2. Ibid., p. 513, "Afterword" by the editor. Friedrich-Wilhelm von H e r r m a n n . See also the same editor's afterword to the second edition o f the present volume, p. 192 below.


PREPARATORY

PART

The Essence of Philosophy and the Question of Truth


Chapter One

Preliminary Interpretation of the Essence of Philosophy

§1. Futural philosophy; restraint as the basic disposition of the relation to Being [Seyn]. " B a s i c questions o f p h i l o s o p h y " — t h a t seems to i m p l y t h e r e is "such a t h i n g as " p h i l o s o p h y " i n itself, f r o m whose d o m a i n "basic q u e s t i o n s " c o u l d be d r a w n o u t . B u t such is n o t the case a n d c a n not be; o n the contrary, it is o n l y the very a s k i n g o f the basic questions that first d e t e r m i n e s what p h i l o s o p h y is. S i n c e that is so, we n e e d t o indicate i n a d v a n c e how p h i l o s o p h y w i l l reveal itself w h e n we q u e s d o n : i.e., i f we invest e v e r y t h i n g — e v e r y t h i n g w i t h o u t e x c e p t i o n — i n this q u e s t i o n i n g a n d d o not m e r e l y act as i f we were q u e s t i o n i n g w h i l e still b e l i e v i n g we possess o u r re^ puted truths.] / T h e task o f this b r i e f p r e l i m i n a r y i n t e r p r e t a t i o n o f the essence o f p h i l o s o p h y w i l l s i m p l y be to a t t u n e o u r q u e s t i o n i n g a t t i t u d e to the r i g h t basic d i s p o s i t i o n or, to p u t it m o r e p r u d e n t l y , to allow this basic d i s p o s i t i o n a first resonance. B u t , t h e n , p h i l o s o p h y , the most r i g o r o u s w o r k o f abstract t h o u g h t , a n d — d i s p o s i t i o n ? C a n these two really g o together, p h i l o s o p h y a n d disposition? T o be sure; for precisely w h e n , a n d because, p h i l o s o p h y is the most r i g o r o u s t h i n k i n g i n the purest d i s p a s s i o n , it originates f r o m a n d r e m a i n s w i t h i n a very h i g h d i s p o s i t i o n . P u r e dispassion is not n o t h i n g , c e r t a i n l y not the absence o f d i s p o s i t i o n , a n d n o t the sheer coldness o f the stark concept. O n the c o n t r a r y ^ h e p u r e dispassion o f t h o u g h t is at b o t t o m o n l y the most r i g o r o u s m a i n tenance o f the highest d i s p o s i t i o n , the o n e o p e n to the u n i q u e l y u n c a n n y fact: that there are beings, r a t h e r t h a n n o t . ^


4

Preliminary Interpretation

[2-3]

I f we h a d to say s o m e t h i n g i m m e d i a t e l y a b o u t this basic d i s p o s i t i o n of p h i l o s o p h y , i . e . o f f u t u r a l p h i l o s o p h y , we m i g h t call it " r e s t r a i n t " \Verhaltenheit^\n it, two elements o r i g i n a l l y b e l o n g tog e t h e r a n d a r e as o n e : ' t e r r o r i n the face o f what is closest a n d most obtrusive, n a m e l y that beings are, a n d awe i n the face o f what is remotest, n a m e l y t h a t i n beings, a n d before each b e i n g , B e i n g h o l d s ^ w a ^ j a t o j e y n tm<]<Restraint is""the d i s p o s i u o n i n w h i c h t n i s * T e r r o r ^ s n o t w e r c o m e â n d set aside but is precisely preserved a n d c o n s e r v e d t h r o u g h awe. Restraint is the basic disp o s i t i o n o f the r e l a t i o n to B e i n g , a n d in"it the c o n c e a l m e n t o f the essence o f B e i n g becomes what is most w o r t h y o f q u e s t i o n i n g ^ O n l y o n e w h o throws h i m s e l f i n t o the a l l - c o n s u m i n g tire o f thé q u e s t i o n i n g o f w h a t is m o s t w o r t h y ô f questioningjTas the r i g h t to say m o r e o f the basic d i s p o s i t i o n t h a n its allusive n a m e . Yet o n c e he has wrested for h i m s e l f this r i g h t , h e w i l l not e m p l o y it b u t wil l k e e p silent. F o r a l l the m o r e r e a s o n , the basic d i s p o s i t i o n s h o u l d never b e c o m e a n object o f m e r e talk, f o r e x a m p l e i n the p o p u l a r a n d r a s h c l a i m that w h a t we are n o w t e a c h i n g is a p h i losophy o f restraint.

§2. Philosophy as the immediately useless, though sovereign, knowledge of the essence of beings. D e p e n d i n g o n the d e p t h o f the history o f a p e o p l e , there w i l l exist o r will not exist, i n the a l l - d e t e r m i n i n g b e g i n n i n g , the poetizi n g o f the p o e t a n d the t h i n k i n g o f the t h i n k e r , i.e., p h i l o s o p h y . 4i h i s t o r i c a l p e o p l e w i t h o u t p h i l o s o p h y is l i k e a n eagle w i t h o u t the h i g h e x p a n s e o f the r a d i a n t aether, w h e r e its flight reaches thepurest soaring^ ( P h i l o s o p h y is c o m p l e t e l y d i f f e r e n t f r o m " w o r l d - v i e w " a n d is f u n d a m e n t a l l y d i s t i n c t f r o m a l l " s c i e n c e . " P h i l o s o p h y c a n n o t by itself replace e i t h e r w o r l d - v i e w o r science; n o r c a n it ever be a p preciated by t h e m . ^ h i l o s o p h y c a n n o t at a l l be m e a s u r e d by anyt h i n g else b u t o n l y by its o w n n o w s h i n i n g , n o w h i d d e n , essence.^ It we attempt to calculate w h e t h e r p h i l o s o p h y has any i m m e d b . ate use a n d w h a t that use m i g h t be, we w i l l f i n d that p h i l o s o p h y accomplishes n o t h i n g . It belongs necessarily to the character o f o r d i n a r y o p i n i o n a n d


§2. P h i l o s o p h y as useless, sovereign k n o w l e d g e

[3-4]

5

" p r a c t i c a l " t h i n k i n g always to misjudge p h i l o s o p h y , w h e t h e r by o v e r e s t i m a t i n g o r u n d e r e s t i m a t i n g it. ^ P h i l o s o p h y is overestim a t e d i f o n e expects its t h i n k i n g to have a n i m m e d i a t e l y u s e f u l effect. P h i l o s o p h y is u n d e r e s t i m a t e d i f o n e finds i n its concepts m e r e l y abstract (remote a n d watered d o w n ) representations o f thipgs that have already been solidly s e c u r e d i n e x p e r i e n c e ^ Yet g e n u i n e p h i l o s o p h i c a l k n o w l e d g e is n e v e r the m e r e a d d i t i o n o f the most general representations, l i m p i n g b e h i n d a b e i n g a l r e a d y k n o w n a n y w a M f f l i i l o s o p h y is r a t h e r the reverse, a k n o w l ÂŹ e d g e that leaps a h e a d , o p e n i n g u p new d o m a i n s o f q u e s t i o n i n g a n d aspects ot q u e s t i o n i n g a b o u t tne essence o f t h i n g s , a n essence that constantly conceals itself anew. T h a t is precisely the reason this k n o w l e d g e c a n never be m a d e u s e f u l . P h i l o s o p h i c a l reflection has a n effect, 11 it does, always o n l y mediately, by m a k i n g available new aspects f o r a l l c o m p o r t m e n t a n d new p r i n c i ÂŹ ples for allf decisionsJpBut p h i l o s o p h y has this p o w e r o n l y w h e n it risks what is most p r o p e r to it, n a m e l y to posit i n a t h o u g h t f u l way for the existence o f m a n [das Dasein des Menschen] the g o a l of* all reflection a n d to establish thereby i n the history o i ^ a n ^ f l u c F ^ t e n ^ o v e r e i g n t y . We m u s t therefore sayQphilosophy is the i m m e d i a t e l y useless, t f i o u g h sovereign, k n o w l e d g e o f the essence "oT thmgs!> [ T h e essence o f beings, however, is always the most w o r t h y o f q u e s t i o n i n g . Insofar as p h i l o s o p h y , i n its incessant q u e s t i o j j q g ^ m e r e l y struggles to a p p r e c i a t e what is most w o r t h y o f q u e s t i o n i n g a n d a p p a r e n d y n e v e r yields results, it w i l l always a n d necessarily seem strange to a t h i n k i n g p r e o c c u p i e d w i t h c a l c u l a t i o n , use, a n d ease o f l e a r n i n g . T h e sciences, a n d i n d e e d n o t o n l y the n a t u r a l sciences, must strive increasingly a n d , it seems, irresistibly for a c o m p l e t e " t e c h n o l o g i z i n g " i n o r d e r to p r o c e e d to the e n d o f t h e i r c o u r s e , l a i d d o w n for t h e m so l o n g ago. A t the same time, the sciences a p p e a r to possess g e n u i n e k n o w l e d g e . F o r these reasons, the sharpest possible a l i e n a t i o n w i t h r e g a r d to p h i l o s o p h y a n d at the same time a p r e s u m e d c o n v i n c i n g p r o o f o f the futility o f p h i l o s o p h y o c c u r i n a n d t h r o u g h the sciences. (Truth and "science": if, a n d o n l y if, we believe ourselves to be i n possession o f the " t r u t h , " d o we have science a n d its business. Yet science is t h e disavowal o f a l l k n o w l e d g e o f t r u t h . T o h o l d that today science meets w i t h hostility is a basic e r r o r : n e v e r has sci-


6

Preliminary Interpretation

[4-5]

ence fared better t h a n it d o e s today, a n d it w i l l fare still better i n the f u t u r e . B u t n o o n e w h o k n o w s w i l l e n v y ^ c i e n t i s t s â&#x20AC;&#x201D; t h e most miserable slaves o f m o d e r n t i m e O ( T h e w i t h d r a w a l o f science i n t o what is w o r t h y o f q u e s t i o n i n g [Cf. " T h e S e l f - D e t e r m i n a t i o n o f the G e r m a n U n i v e r s i t y " ] is the d i s s o l u t i o n o f m o d e r n science.)

§3- Questioning the truth of Being, as sovereign knowledge. P h i l o s o p h y is the useless t h o u g h sovereign k n o w l e d g e o f t h e es-' sence o f beings. T h e sovereignty is based o n the g o a l established by t h i n k i n g for a l l r e f l e c t i o n . B u t what g o a l does o u r t h i n k i n g posit? T h e p o s i t i n g o f the g o a l f o r a l l reflection possesses t r u t h o n l y w h e r e a n d w h e n such a g o a l is s o u g h t . W h e n wo C e r m a n t seek this g o a L a n d as l o n g as we d o so, we have also a l r e a d y f o u n d it. Fo^owr goal is the very seeking itselfTv/hzt else is t h e seeki n g b u t the m o s t constant b e i n g - i n - p r o x i m i t y to w h a t conceals i*t7 self, o u t o f w h i c h each n e e d h a p p e n s to c o m e to us a n d every j u b i l a t i o n fills us w i t h e n t h u s i a s m . T h e very s e e k i n g is t h e goal and, at the same t i m e what is f o u n d 7 ^ > I O b v i o u s m i s g i v i n g s now a r i s e . I f s e e k i n g is s u p p o s e d to b e t h e g o a l , t h e n is not w h a t is established as a goal actually the l i m i d e s s absence o f any goal? T h i s is t h e way c a l c u l a t i n g reason t h i n k s . I f s e e k i n g is s u p p o s e d to be t h e very g o a l , t h e n d o not restlessness a n d dissatisfaction b e c o m e p e r p e t u a t e d ? T h i s is the o p i n i o n o f t h e f e e l i n g that is a v i d for q u i c k possessionsTVet we m a i n t a i n that s e e k i n g b r i n g s i n t o existence the highest constancy a n d e q u a n i m i t y â&#x20AC;&#x201D; t h o u g h o n l y w h e n this s e e k i n g genuinely seeks, i.e., e x t e n d s i n t o the farthest reaches o f w h a t is most c o n c e a l e d a n d thereby leaves b e h i n d a l l m e r e c u r i o s i t y ^ i n d w h a t is m o r e c o n - 1 cealed t h a n the g r o u n d o f w h a t is so u n c a n n y , n a m e l y t h a t beings a r e r a t h e r t h a n are n o t ? / V h a t w i t h d r a w s f r o m us m o r e t h a n the essence o f B e i n g , i.e., t h e essence o f that w h i c h , i n a l l t h e fabricated a n d d i s p o s e d beings h o l d i n g sway a r o u n d us a n d b e a r i n g us o n , is the closest but at the same time the most w o r n o u t ( t h r o u g h constant h a n d l i n g ) a n d therefore the most u n g r a s p ~ able? T o posit the very s e e k i n g as a goal means to a n c h o r the b e g i n -


§3. Q u e s t i o n i n g the t r u t h o f B e i n g [5-6]

7

n i n g a n d the e n d o f a l l reflection i n the q u e s t i o n o f the t r u t h â&#x20AC;&#x201D; ^iot o f this o r that b e i n g o r e v e n o f all beings, b u t o f B e i n g itself. T h e g r a n d e u r o f m a n is m e a s u r e d a c c o r d i n g to what h e seeks a n d a c c o r d i n g to the u r g e n c y by w h i c h h e r e m a i n s a s e e k e r ^ j S u c h q u e s t i o n i n g o f the t r u t h o f B e i n g is sovereigrT k n o w l edge, p h i l o s o p h y . H e r e q u e s t i o n i n g a l r e a d y c o u n t s as k n o w i n g , b e c a u s e ^ o m a t t e r how essential a n d decisive a n a n s w e r m i g h t be, the a n s w e r c a n n o t be o t h e r t h a n the p e n u l t i m a t e step i n the l o n g series o f steps o f a q u e s t i o n i n g f o u n d e d i n itself. I n the d o m a i n o f g e n u i n e seeking, to' t i n d does n o t m e a n to cease s e e k i n g but is the h i g h e s t intensity o f s e e k i n g * ^ T h i s p r e l i m i n a r y i n t e r p r e t a t i o n o f the essence o f p h i l o s o p h y w i l l , to be s u r e , have m e a n i n g f o r us o n l y w h e n we e x p e r i e n c e such k n o w l e d g e i n the l a b o r o f q u e s t i o n i n g â&#x20AC;&#x201D; t h e r e f o r e " B a s i c questions o f p h i l o s o p h y . " B u t w h i c h q u e s t i o n w i l l we raise?


Chapter Two

T h e Question of Truth as a Basic Question 1

§4. Truth as a "problem" of "bgic" (correctness of an assertion) distorts every view of the essence of truth. T h e two titles a n n o u n c e t h e task o f o u r lectures i n a d o u b l e way, " t h o u g h w i t h o u t m a k i n g it c l e a r what the c o n t e n t o f the d i s c u s sions is to b e . T o l e a r n that, let us take the s u b t i d e as o u r p o i n t o f d e p a r t u r e . A c c o r d i n g l y , the c o u r s e w i l l be a b o u t logic. T r a d i t i o n ally, this is a " d i s c i p l i n e , " a b r a n c h o f p h i l o s o p h y , s u p p o s i n g that p h i l o s o p h y i t s e l f is t a k e n as a d i s c i p l i n e , w h i c h scholasticism d i vides i n t o i n d i v i d u a l b r a n c h e s : logic, ethics, aesthetics, etc., each ^oX w h i c h t h e n encompasses a series o f c o n c o m i t a n t " p r o b l e m s . " ^ P r o b l e m s " â&#x20AC;&#x201D; t h e w o r d i n q u o t a t i o n m a r k s serves to n a m e questions that a r e n o l o n g e r t r u l y asked. T h e y have been f r o z e n as questions, a n d it is o n l y a m a t t e r o f f i n d i n g the a n s w e r or, rather, m o d i f y i n g answers a l r e a d y t o u n d , c o l l a t i n g previous o p i n i o n s a n d r e c o n c i l i n g t h e m . S u c h " p r o b l e m s " a r e therefore p a r t i c u larly p r o n e t o c o n c e a l g e n u i n e questions a n d to d i s m i s s o u t o f h a n d , as too strange, certain^questions ttiat have never yet b e e n r a i s e d , J n d e e d to m i s i n t e r p r e t c o m p l e t e l y tne essence ot quest i o n i n g 3 T h e so-called " p r o b l e m s " c a n t h u s readily~~usurp the place o f the basic questions o f p h i l o s o p h y . S u c h " p r o b l e m s " o f 1. T h e question o f the essence o f truth is the casting o f the one a n d only goal which by itself reaches out beyond itself, truth understood here as the truth o f Being,"seen in terms o f the essence o f the appropriating event [vom Warn des Errignkses\. What is at stake is not only the removal o f goal-lessness but, above all, ^ h e overcoming ol' the resistance against any search l o r a goal." " 1


§4. T r u t h as a " p r o b l e m " o f " l o g i c "

[7-9]

9

p h i l o s o p h i c l e a r n e d n e s s t h e n have, f r o m the s t a n d p o i n t o f g e n u i n e p h i l o s o p h y , this r e m a r k a b l e d i s t i n c t i o n that, u n d e r the i m pressive a p p e a r a n c e o f " p r o b l e m s , " they may s u m m a r i l y a n d d e ^ "cisively p r e v e n t real q u e s t i o n i n g . * J ~ ' £What we i n t e n d to discuss h e r e i s j u s t s u c h a " p r o b l e m " o f " l o g i c . " B u t that means we shall e n d e a v o r to g o f o r t h w i t h b e y o n d the " p r o b l e m , " the f r o z e n q u e s t i o n , a n d likewise b e y o n d " l o g i c " as a d i s c i p l i n e o f scholastically d e g e n e r a t e d p h i l o s o p h i c a l l e a r n edness, to a p h i l o s o p h i c a l q u e s t i o n i n g that is basic, that p e n e trates i n t o t h e g r o u n d . Yet we shall have to m a k e the " p r o b l e m s " , o u r p o i n t o f d e p a r t u r e , for o n l y i n this way c a n we seq^Qie t r a d i tional f o r m o f the q u e s t i o p > v h i c h we shall p u t i n t o q u e s t i o n , b u t T*TiK*17*a*rs*o^uTrrules us<Because,what is t r a d i t i o n a l o f t e n h a s be*h i n d itself a v e r y l o n g past, it is n o t s o m e t h i n g a r b i t r a r y but h a r "bors i n itself still the|tracejof a n erstwhile g e n u i n e necessity>To be s u r e , s u c h |traces] c a n o n l y "bT seen o n c e Ule t r a d i t i o n a l is set back u p o n its g r o u n d . | We s h a l l select a " p r o b l e m o f l o g i c " b e h i n d w h i c h lies h i d d e n a still u n a s k e d "basic q u e s t i o n o f p h i l o s o p h y . " " L o g i c " is o u r a b b r e viated e x p r e s s i o n for X 0 7 1 X T 1 eirurrriu/n. T h a t means " k n o w l e d g e a b o u t \6-yoq," u n d e r s t o o d as assertion. T o what e x t e n t is ass e r t i o n the t h e m e o f logic? A n d h o w d o e s the c o n s t r u c t i o n o f this " b r a n c h " o f p h i l o s o p h y result f r o m it? L e t us clarify this b r i e f l y s o j h a t the n a m e " l o g i c " d o e s not r e m a i n a n e m p t y t i d e . [ W h a t p r o v i d e s the a s s e r t i o n — a statement o f the k i n d , " T h e stone is h a r d , " " T h e sky is c o v e r e d " — s u c h a r a n k that it is m a d e e x p l i c i t l y the object o f a b r a n c h o f k n o w l e d g e , namely, logic? T h e assertion asserts s o m e t h i n g a b o u t a b e i n g , that it is a n d h o w it is. I n d o i n g sof^he assertion is d i r e c t e d to [richten auf] the bei n g , a n d i f the assertion i n its very asserting c o n f o r m s to [sich richten nach] the b e i n g , a n d i f what it asserts m a i n t a i n s this d i r e c t i o n [Ricfitung] a n d o n that basis represents the b e i n g , t h e n the assertion is c o r r e c t [richtig]. T h e correctness o f a n a s s e r t i o n — t h a t means f o r u s , a n d has m e a n t f r o m t i m e i m m e m o r i a l , t r u t h . T h e assertion is h e n c e the seat a n d place o f t r u t h — b u t also o f u n t r u t h , falsity a n d lies. T h e assertion is the basic f o r m o f those u t terances that c a n be e i t h e r t r u e o r false. It is n o t as a k i n d o f utterance a n d n o t as a v e r b a l s t r u c t u r e , b u t as the seat a n d place o f correctness, i.e., o f t r u t h , that the assertion, the is a n e m -


Ă&#x17D;O

T h e Q u e s t i o n o f T r u t h [9â&#x20AC;&#x201D;10]

i n c n t " o b j e c t " o f k n o w l e d g e . T h e n a g a i n , as this place o f t r u t h , it claims special attention o n l y because the t r u t h a n d the possession o f the t r u t h attract e x c e p t i o n a l interest. We seek the t r u t h , we speak o f the " w i l l to t r u t h , " we believe we possess the t r u t h , we prize the " v a l u e " o f t h e t r u t h . T h e t r u t h a n d its possession, o r non-possession, are w h a t m a k e us uneasy, happy, o r d i s a p p o i n t e d , a n d o n l y f o r that reason does the assertion, as the place o f t r u t h , receive basically a special a t t e n t i o n , a n d f u r t h e r m o r e , o n l y for that reason is t h e r e basically s o m e t h i n g like " l o g i c . " I i n tentionally use the w o r d "basically," since matters have b e e n quite d i f f e r e n t f o r a l o n g time now, a n d the situation has b e e n precisely the o p p o s i t e . F o r a l o n g time there has been logic as a d i s c i p l i n e o f scholastic p h i l o s o p h y , a n d i n fact precisely since the b e g i n n i n g o f Plato's~school, b u t i n d e e d o n l y since t h e n . Because logic exists as the e x a m i n a t i o n o f XcVyos, there is also the " p r o b l e m " o f " t r u t h , " t r u t h t a k e n as the distinctive p r o p e r t y o f Xo7o<;. T h e " p r o b l e m o f t r u t h " is therefore a p r o b l e m o f " l o g i c " or, as we say i n m o r e m o d e r n t i m e s , theory o f k n o w l e d g e . T r u t h is that " v a l u e " by w h i c h k n o w l e d g e first c o u n t s as k n o w l e d g e . A n d the basic f o r m o f k n o w l e d g e is the j u d g m e n t , the p r o p o s i t i o n , the assertion, the \670s. T h e o r y o f k n o w l e d g e is t h e r e f o r e always " l o g i c " i n the j u s t - m e n t i o n e d essential sense. E v e n t h o u g h it m i g h t s o u n d e x a g g e r a t e d to say that the p r o b l e m o f t r u t h exists as a " p r o b l e m " because there is " l o g i c " a n d because this d i s c i p l i n e is f r o m time to t i m e j a k e n u p o n c e a g a i n a n d p r e s e n t e d u n d e r a new veneer, nevertheless it r e m a i n s u n debatable that since the t i m e o f Plato a n d A r i s t o t l e the q u e s t i o n o f t r u t h has b e e n a q u e s t i o n o f logic. T h i s i m p l i e s that the search for what t r u t h is moves a l o n g the paths a n d i n the perspectives w h i c h were firmly l a i d d o w n by the a p p r o a c h a n d the r a n g e o f tasks o f logic a n d its p r e s u p p o s i t i o n s . T o m e n t i o n o n l y m o r e m o d e r n t h i n k e r s , this fact c a n easily be substantiated o n the basis o f the works o f K a n t , H e g e l , a n d Nietzsche. T h o u g h it is c e r t a i n that for these p h i l o s o p h e r s a n d i n g e n e r a l for the e n t i r e t r a d i t i o n o f W e s t e r n p h i l o s o p h y , the q u e s t i o n o f t r u t h is a m e d i t a t i o n o n t h i n k i n g a n d X670S, a n d hence is a q u e s t i o n o f " l o g i c , " yet it w o u l d be c o m p l e t e l y s u p e r f i c i a l a n d falsifying to c l a i m that these t h i n k e r s have raised the q u e s t i o n o f t r u t h , a n d consequently


§4- T r u t h as a " p r o b l e m " o f " l o g i c " [10-11] s o u g h t a n a n s w e r to it, only because logic exists a n d logic insists on such a q u e s t i o n ^ r e s u m a b l y the c o n c e r n that led these t h i n k ers to the question o f t r u t h was n o t m e r e l y the o n e o f i m p r o v i n g a n d r e f o r m i n g logic b u t precisely that " i n t e r e s t " every m a n has i n the t r u t h , m a n as o n e w h o is e x p o s e d to beings a n d t h u s is ' h i m s e l f a b e i n g . ^> â&#x20AC;˘ " N e v e r t h e l e s s i f m a y be that this " i n t e r e s t " i n t r u t h , w h i c h c a n be alive even w h e r e there is n o " i n t e r e s t " i n " l o g i c , " c a n , i n the course o f t i m e , still be forced by the d o m i n a t i o n o f logic i n t o a quite d e f i n i t e d i r e c t i o n a n d s t a m p e d w i t h a w h o l l y d e t e r m i n e d f o r m . T h a t is i n fact h o w matters s t a n d . E v e n w h e r e the q u e s t i o n of t r u t h does n o t stem f r o m a n interest i n logic, the t r e a t m e n t o f the q u e s t i o n still moves i n the paths o f logicTj I n brief, t h e n , f r o m t i m e i m m e m o r i a l t r a m has b e e n a " p r o b l e m o f l o g i c " b u t not a basic q u e s t i o n o f p h i l o s o p h y . [ T h i s fact e v e n bears o n Nietzsche, a n d i n the sharpest way, i.e., precisely w h e r e the q u e s t i o n o f t r u t h was especially r a i s e d i n O c c i d e n t a l p h i l o s o p h y i n the most passionate m a n n e r . F o r Nietzsche's s t a r t i n g p o i n t is that we d o n o t possess the " t r u t h , " w h i c h o b v i o u s l y makes the q u e s t i o n o f t r u t h most imperauveT secondly, h e asks what t r u t h m i g h t be w o r t h ; t h i r d l y , h e ques- > tions the o r i g i n o f the " w i l l to t r u t h . " A n d yet, i n spite o f this r a d icalism o f questioning^ a p p a r e n t l y never to be s u r p a s s e d , the q u e s t i o n o f t r u t h r e m a i n s caughC"eyen f o r Nietzsche, i n the trammels o f "logic." | W h a t is so w r o n g w i t h that? F o r o n e , it c o u l d be that t h e p e r spective o f a l l logic as logic precisely distorts every view o f the essence o f t r u t h . It c o u l d be that the p r e s u p p o s i t i o n s o f a l l logic do n o t p e r m i t a n o r i g i n a l q u e s t i o n i n g o f t r u t h . It c o u l d be that logic does n o t even attain the p o r t i c o o f the q u e s t i o n o f t r u t h . T h e s e r e m a r k s at least suggest that the " p r o b l e m o f t r u t h " stands w i t h i n a l o n g t r a d i t i o n w h i c h has increasingly r e m o v e d the question o f t r u t h f r o m its root a n d g r o u n d a n d i n d e e d that the q u e s t i o n o f t r u t h has n e v e r yet been raised o r i g i n a l l y . I n s o f a r as m o d e r n a n d c o n t e m p o r a r y t h o u g h t moves w h o l l y w i t h i n the perspectives o f this t r a d i t i o n , an o r i g i n a l q u e s t i o n i n g o f t r u t h becomes accessible o n l y w i t h difficulty, i n d e e d m u s t a p p e a r strange, i f n o t d o w n r i g h t f o o l i s h .


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§5. Discussion of truth by asking the basic question of philosophy, including d]historical confrontation\with Western philosophy. The need and the necessity of an original questioning. If, i n what follows, we a r e not to discuss t r u t h as a " p r o b l e m o f "logic" but instead are to q u e s t i o n it w h i l e a s k i n g the basic quest i o n o f p h i l o s o p h y , t h e n at the very outset we will n e e d t o take i n t o a c c o u n t these difficulties o f u n d e r s t a n d i n g , i . e ^ e w i l l have to recognize that today t h e q u e s t i o n o f t r u t h involves a c o n f r o n t a t i o n w i t h t h e w h o l e o f W e s t e r n p h i l o s o p h y a n d c a n n e v e r be b r o a c h e d w i t h o u t this h i s t o r i c a l c o n f r o n t a t i o n . A h i s t o r i c a l {gescfiichtiich\ c o n f r o n t a t i o n , however, is essentially d i f f e r e n t f r o m a historiogmphical [historisch] r e c k o n i n g o f a n d acquaintance w i t h the past. W h a t a h i s t o r i c a l c o n f r o n t a t i o n means s h o u l d b e c o m e clear i n actually t h i n k i n g t h r o u g h the q u e s t i o n o f t r u t h * * ^ T h e q u e s t i o n o f t r u t h â&#x20AC;&#x201D; e v e n i f the answer is n o t yet f o r t h c o m i n g â&#x20AC;&#x201D; a l r e a d y s o u n d s , m e r e l y as a q u e s t i o n , very p r e s u m p t u o u s . F o r i f b e h i n d s u c h q u e s t i o n i n g there d i d n o t l i e the c l a i m to i n d e e d k n o w the t r u t h itself i n s o m e sort o f way, t h e n a l l this to-do w o u l d be a m e r e g a m e . A n d ^ e t greater t h a n this c l a i m is the h o l d i n g back, to w h i c h the q u e s t i o n o f t r u t h m u s t be attunedTTor it is not a m a t t e r o f t a k i n g u p a g a i n a well-established " p r o b l e m ; " o n the contrary, the q u e s t i o n o f t r u t h is to be raised as a basic q u e s t i o n . T h a t m e a n s t r u t h m u s t first be esteemed as basically w o r t h y o f q u e s t i o n i n g , that is, w o r t h y o f q u e s t i o n i n g i n its groundV^Vhoever h o l d s h i m s e l f i n this attitude, as e s t e e m i n g something" h i g h e r , w i l l be free o f all p r e s u m p t i o n . Nevertheless, ^ e e n f r o m the o u t s i d e , the q u e s t i o n o f t r u t h always retains the a p p e a r a n c e o f a r r o g a n c e : to want to d e c i d e what is p r i m a r y a n d what is u l t i m a t e . H e r e o n l y the correct q u e s t i o n i n g itself a n d the e x p e r i e n c e o f its necessity c a n forge the a p p r o p r i a t e a t t i t u d e ^ { B u t i n view o f the t r a d i t i o n preserved t h r o u g h o u t two m i l l e n niaThow are we s u p p o s e d t o e x p e r i e n c e the necessity o f a n o r i g i n a l q u e s t i o n i n g , a n d o f a s t e p p i n g o u t o f the c i r c u i t o f the t r a d i t i o n a l p r o b l e m o f t r u t h , a n d c o n s e q u e n d y the n e e d o f a n o t h e r sort of q u e s t i o n i n g ? W h y c a n we not a n d s h o u l d we n o t a d h e r e to the o l d " ; w h y does t h e d e t e r m i n a t i o n o f t r u t h hitherto not <-


§5. D i s c u s s i o n o f t r u t h [12-13]

»3

satisfy us? T h e answer to these questions is already n o t h i n g less t h a n a r e t u r n i n t o the m o r e o r i g i n a l essence o f t r u t h , w h i c h i n d e e d must first be p u t o n its way by o u r very q u e s t i o n i n g . S i m i l a r l y ^ v e c a n a l r e a d y c o n v i n c e ourselves by a s i m p l e reflection o n the t r a d i t i o n a l c o n c e p t o f t r u t h that h e r e we have i n h a n d s o m e t h i n g w o r t h y o f q u e s t i o n i n g w h i c h has r e m a i n e d u n q u e s t i o n e d . ^ RECAPITULATION

1) T h e question of truth as the most necessary philosophical question i n an age that is totally unquestioning. ' i f we try to d e t e r m i n e the present situation o f m a n o n e a r t h metaphysically—thus not historiographically a n d not i n t e r m s o f w o r l d - v i e w — t h e n it must be said that m a n is b e g i n n i n g to e n t e r the age o f the total unquestionableness o f all things a n d o f all contrivances. T h a t is truly a n uncanny occurrence, whose orientation n o o n e can"establish a n d whose b e a r i n g n o one c a n evaluate. > ^ U n l y one t h i n g is immediately clear: i n this completely u n q u e s t i o n i n g age, philosophy, as the questioning that calls forth what Is" most worthy ot questioning, becomes inevitably most strange. T h e r e f o r e it is the most ne<essar^"&'nd necessityThas its most powerful form i n the simple . T R e simple, however, is o u r n a m e for what is inconspicuously the most difficult, w h i c h , w h e n it occurs, appears to everyone immediately a n d ever again as the easiest a n T most accessible; yet it remains incontestably^the most difficultCThe simple is the most difficult, tor the m u l u p l e a o ' m i t s a n d Tavors dispersion, a n d a l l dispersion, as a counter-reacuon to the u n i t i c a u o n ot m a n i n his constant Might f r o m himself—i.e., f r o m his relation to B e i n g itself—confirms a n d thereby alleviates a n d releases the heavy b u r d e n o f existence. T h e " m u l t i p l e is the easy—even w h e r e " c o n c e r n over it seems toilsome. Foi^prpgress f r o m o n e t h i n g to a n other is always a relaxation, a n d it is precisely this progress t h a t j s not allowed b y the simple, w h i c h presses o n i n s t e a J T o a a m s t a n t r e t u r n to the same i n aconstantself-enrichment. O n l y Y f \v?nsT7n"e"* s!niipTe""3o we arrive w i t h i n the a r e n a o f the necessary. W h a t is most necessary i n p h i l o s o p h y — s u p p o s i n g that it must again become the strangest—is precisely that simple question by which it, i n its quest i o n i n g , is first b r o u g h t to itself: namely, the question o f t r u t h * ^ 1

1

1


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T h e Q u e s t i o n o f T r u t h [14-15]

2) What is worthy of questioning in the determination of truth hitherto (truth as the correctness of an assertion) as compelling us toward the question of truth. T h e q u e s t i o n o f t r u t h , as it has been treated h i t h e r t o , is a " p r o b l e m o f l o g i c . " I f f r o m this " p r o b l e m " — i . e . , f r o m the m o r i b u n d u e s t i o n — a l i v i n g q u e s t i o n is to arise, a n d i f this is not to be aritrary a n d a r t i f i c i a l , b u t necessary i n a n o r i g i n a l way, t h e n we have to strive f o r a g e n u i n e e x p e r i e n c e o f what is c o m p e l l i n g us t o w a r d the q u e s t i o n o f tratlT"\ | T h e d e t e r m i n a t i o n o f t r u t h u p to now, a n d still v a l i d everyw h e r e i n the most v a r i e d t r a p p i n g s , r u n s as follows: t r u t h is the correctness o f a r e p r e s e n t a t i o n o f a b e i n g . A H r e p r e s e n t i n g o f beings is a p r e d i c a t i n g a b o u t t h e m , a l t h o u g h this p r e d i c a t i o n c a n be a c c o m p l i s h e d silently a n d does not n e e d to be p r o n o u n c e d . T h e most c o m m o n f o r m o f p r e d i c a t i o n is the assertion, the s i m p l e p r o p o s i t i o n , the \6"yos, a n d therefore the correctness o f r e p r e s e n t a t i o n — t r u t h — i s to be f o u n d there i n the most i m m e diate way. T r u t h has its place a n d seat i n Ao-yos. T h e m o r e precise d e t e r m i n a t i o n o f t r u t h t h e n becomes the task o f a m e d i t a t i o n o n Xavps, a task o f " l o g i c . J ^ Q V h a t c a n n o w c o m p e l u s to t u r n the u s u a l d e f i n i t i o n o f t r u t h as correctness o f r e p r e s e n t a t i o n i n t o a question? T h i s c a n i n d e e d o n l y be the c i r c u m s t a n c e , p e r h a p s still h i d d e n , that the u n q u e s t i o n e d d e t e r m i n a t i o n o f t r u t h as correctness contains s o m e t h i n g w o r t h y o L q u e s t i o n i n g w h i c h by itself r e q u i r e s b e i n g p u t i n t o q u e s t i o n x l t c o u l d be objected that not e v e r y t h i n g questionable needs to be m a d e the object o f a q u e s t i o n . P e r h a p s ^ t h e r e f o r e we want to e x a m i n e w h e t h e r a n d to what extent there is i n the usual d e t e r m i n a t i o n o f t r u t h as correctness s o m e t h i n g w o r t h y o f quest i o n i n g i n the first place, a n d whether, f u r t h e r m o r e , it is o f such a k i n d that we c a n n o t pass o v e r it u n h e e d e d a n d u n q u e s t i o n e d s u p p o s i n g that we c l a i m to be i n f o r m e d about the t r u t h , i n acc o r d w i t h o t h e r s a n d w i t h ourselves. \

§6. The traditional determination of truth as correctness. We say that a n assertion, o r the k n o w l e d g e e m b e d d e d i n it, is


§6. T r u t h as correctness [15-16]

Âť5

t r u e insofar as it c o n f o r m s to [sich richten nach] its object. T r u t h is correctness [Richtigkeit]. I n the early m o d e r n age, t h o u g h above all i n m e d i e v a l times, this rectitudo was also called adaequatio (adequation), assimilatio (assimilation), o r convenientia (corre-_ s p o n d e n c e ) . T h e s e d e t e r m i n a d o n s revert back to A r i s t o t l e , w i t h w h o m the great G r e e k p h i l o s o p h y comes to its e n d . f A r i s t o t l e conceives o f t r u t h , w h i c h has its h o m e i n X670S (assertion), as ou.ouixn<; (assimilation). T h e r e p r e s e n t a t i o n (vo-no-a) is assimU lated to w h a t is to be g r a s p e d . T h e r e p r e s e n t a t i o n a l assertion a b o u t the h a r d stone, o r r e p r e s e n t a t i o n i n g e n e r a l , is o f c o u r s e s o m e t h i n g p e r t a i n i n g to the " s o u l " (t|Âťvx"n)> s o m e t h i n g " s p i r i t u a l . " A t any event, it is not o f t h e type o f t h e stone. T h e n h o w is the r e p r e s e n t a t i o n s u p p o s e d t o assimilate itself to the stone? T h e r e p r e s e n t a t i o n is not s u p p o s e d to, a n d c a n n o t , b e c o m e stonelike, n o r s h o u l d it, i n the c o r r e s p o n d i n g case o f a n assertion a b o u t the table, b e c o m e woody, o r i n r e p r e s e n t i n g a s t r e a m bec o m e l i q u i d . Nevertheless, t h e r e p r e s e n t a t i o n m u s t m a k e itself s i m i l a r to the b e i n g at h a n d : i.e., as r e p r e s e n t i n g [\br-stellen], it m u s t posit t h e e n c o u n t e r e d before us [vor uns hin-stellen] a n d m a i n t a i n it as so p o s i t e d . T h e r e - p r e s e n t i n g , the positing-before (i.e., the t h i n k i n g ) , c o n f o r m s to the b e i n g so as to let it a p p e a r i n the assertion as it is. j T h e r e l a t i o n o f a r e p r e s e n t a t i o n to a n object ( i v T i x e i u i v o v ) is the most " n a t u r a l " t h i n g i n the w o r l d , so m u c h so that we a r e a l most a s h a m e d to still speak e x p l i c i t l y o f it. T h e r e f o r e , t h e naive view, not yet t a i n t e d by " e p i s t e m o l o g y , " w i l l not be able to see what is s u p p o s e d to be i n c o r r e c t o r even m e r e l y q u e s t i o n a b l e i n the d e t e r m i n a t i o n o f t r u t h as correctness. A d m i t t e d l y , t h r o u g h o u t the m a n y endeavors o f m a n to attain a k n o w l e d g e o f beings, it o f t e n h a p p e n s u n f o r t u n a t e l y that we d o n o t grasp beings as they are a n d are d e l u d e d a b o u t t h e m / B u t even d e l u s i o n o c c u r s o n l y w h e r e t h e i n t e n t i o n prevails o f c o n f o r m i n g to beings. We c a n d e l u d e o t h e r s a n d take t h e m i n o n l y i f the others, just as we ourselves, a r e i n advance i n a n attitude o f c o n f o r m i n g to beings a n d a i m i n g at correctness. C o r r e c t n e s s is t h e s t a n d a r d a n d the measure even f o r incorrectness. T h u s the d e t e r m i n a t i o n o f trutrT as correctness, together w i t h its c o u n t e r p a r t , n a m e l y i n c o r r e c t ness (falsity), is i n fact c l e a r as d a y T p e c a u s e this c o n c e p t i o n o f t r u t h e m e r g e s , as is obvious, entirely f r o m the " n a t u r a l " way o f


T h e Q u e s t i o n o f T r u t h [16-17]

i6

t h i n k i n g , a n d c o r r e s p o n d s to it, it has lasted t h r o u g h o u t t h e c e n turies a n d has l o n g ago b e e n h a r d e n e d i n t o s o m e t h i n g t a k e n for granted^ T r u t h is correctness, o r i n the m o r e u s u a l f o r m u l a : t r u t h is the c o r r e s p o n d e n c e o f k n o w l e d g e (representation, t h o u g h t , j u d g m e n t , assertion) w i t h the object. r-+

Truth correctness rectitudo adaequatio assimilatio convenientia ôuofctxnç —• correspondence

§7. The controversy between idealism and realism on the common soil of a conception of truth as the correctness of a representation. T o be s u r e , i n the c o u r s e o f t i m e objections arose against this c o n c e p t i o n o f t r u t h . T h e s e objections were b a s e d , specifically, o n d o u b t as to w h e t h e r o u r representations r e a c h e d the b e i n g itself i n itself at a l l a n d d i d n o t r a t h e r r e m a i n enclosed w i t h i n the c i r cuit o f t h e i r o w n activity, h e n c e i n the r e a l m o f the " s o u l , " the " s p i r i t , " " c o n s c i o u s n e s s , " the " e g o . " S u r r e n d e r to this d o u b t leads to the view that what we a t t a i n i n o u r r e p r e s e n t i n g is always o n l y s o m e t h i n g r e - p r e s e n t e d by us, hence is itself a r e p r e s e n t a t i o n . C o n s e q u e n d y k n o w l e d g e a n d assertions consist i n the r e p resentation o f representations a n d h e n c e i n a c o m b i n a t i o n o f representations. T h i s c o m b i n i n g is a n activity a n d a process taki n g place m e r e l y " i n o u r c o n s c i o u s n e s s . " T h e a d h e r e n t s o f this d o c t r i n e believe they have " c r i t i c a l l y " p u r i f i e d a n d s u r p a s s e d the u s u a l d e t e r m i n a t i o n o f t r u t h as correctness. B u t this " b e l i e f is m i s t a k e n . T h e d o c t r i n e that k n o w l e d g e relates o n l y to r e p r e s e n tations (the represented) m e r e l y restricts the reach o f a r e p r e s e n t a t i o n ; yet it still claims t h a t this restricted r e p r e s e n t a t i o n c o n f o r m s to the r e p r e s e n t e d a n d only to the r e p r e s e n t e d . T h u s even


§7- T h e controversy between i d e a l i s m a n d r e a l i s m [17-18]

17

h e r e a s t a n d a r d o r measure is p r e s u p p o s e d , to w h i c h the r e p r e s e n t i n g c o n f o r m s . E v e n h e r e t r u t h is c o n c e i v e d as correctness. / T h e d o c t r i n e that o u r representations relate only to the r c p r e sented, the perceplum, the idea, is c a l l e d i d e a l i s m . T h e c o u n t e r c l a i m , a c c o r d i n g to w h i c h o u r representations reach the t h i n g s themselves (res) a n d w h a t belongs to t h e m (realia), has been c a l l e d , ever since the advance o f i d e a l i s m , r e a l i s m . T h u s these "hostile b r o t h e r s , each o f w h o m likes to t h i n k * n i m s e l t s u p e r i o r to the other, a r e u n w i t t i n g l y i n c o m p l e t e , a c c o r d w i t h r e g a r d t o t f i e essence, i.e., w i t h r e g a r d to w h a t prwioest*h*e* *presuppositi and* the very possibility o f t h e i r controversyl**p"attKe•relation to b e i n g s is a r e p r e s e n t i n g o f t h e m a n d that the/truth|of the repre*" sentation consists i n its) correctness^ A t h i n k e r such as kant, wh*o f o u n d e d i d e a l i s m a n d strictly a d h e r e d to it, and who has most p r o f o u n d l y t h o u g h t it t h r o u g h , concedes i n advance t h a t the c o n c e p t i o n o f t r u t h as correctness o f a r e p r e s e n t a t i o n — a s corre"" s p o n d e n c e w i t h t h e object—is i n v i o l a b l e . R e a l i s m , f o r its p a r t , is captive to a great e r r o r w h e n it claims that even K a n t , t h e most p r o f o u n d " i d e a l i s t , " is a witness for the defense o f r e a l i s m . O n the c o n t r a r y , the c o n s e q u e n c e o f Kant's a d h e r e n c e to t h e t r a d i tional d e t e r m i n a t i o n o f t r u t h as correctness is s i m p l y the o p p o site, n a m e l y that r e a l i s m , i n its d e t e r m i n a t i o n o f t r u t h as correctness o f a r e p r e s e n t a t i o n , stands o n the same g r o u n d as idealismT a n d is even itself i d e a l i s m , a c c o r d i n g to a m o r e r i g o r o u s a n d m o r e o r i g i n a l c o n c e p t of" " i d e a l i s m . " F o r e v e n a c c o r d i n g to the d o c t r i n e of" r e a l i s m — t h e c r i t i c a l a n d the n a i v e — t h e res, b e i n g s , are a t t a i n e d by m e a n s o f the r e p r e s e n t a t i o n , the idea. I d e a l i s m a n d r e a l i s m t h e r e f o r e c o m p r i s e the two most e x t r e m e basic positions as r e g a r d s the r e l a t i o n o f m a n to beings. A l l past theories c o n c e r n i n g this r e l a t i o n a n d its c h a r a c t e r — t r u t h as c o r r e c t n e s s — a r e e i t h e r o n e - s i d e d caricatures o f the e x t r e m e positions o r diverse variations o n the n u m e r o u s m i x t u r e s a n d distortions o f t h e two d o c t r i n e s . T h e controversy a m o n g a l l these o p i n i o n s c a n still go o n endlessly, w i t h o u t ever l e a d i n g to g e n u ine reflection o r to a n i n s i g h t , because it is characteristic o f this sterile w r a n g l i n g to r e n o u n c e i n advance the q u e s t i o n o f t h e soil u p o n w h i c h the combatants s t a n d . I n o t h e r w o r d s , the c o n c e p tion of t r u t h as correctness o f r e p r e s e n t a t i o n is taken for g r a n t e d everywhere, i n p h i l o s o p h y just as i n e x t r a - p h i l o s o p h i c a l o p i n i o n . J


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T h e Q u e s t i o n o f T r u t h [18-19]

T h e m o r e o b v i o u s a n d t h e m o r e u n q u e s t i o n e d the u s u a l det e r m i n a t i o n o f t r u t h , the s i m p l e r has to be what is w o r t h y o f question1 i n this d e t e r m i n a t i o n , s u p p o s i n g s o m e t h i n g o f t h e sort is i n d e e d c o n c e a l e d t h e r e i n . Yet the m o r e s i m p l e what is w o r t h y o f q u e s t i o n i n g proves to be, the m o r e d i f f i c u l t it will be to g r a s p this s i m p l e i n its i n n e r fullness, i.e., to g r a s p it s i m p l y a n d u n i tarily as w h a t is w o r t h y o f q u e s t i o n , i.e., p e r p l e x i n g , a n d to a d h e r e to it i n o r d e r to u n f o l d its p r o p e r essence a n d thus pose it back u p o n its h i d d e n g r o u n d .

§8. The space of the fourfold-unitary openness/first directive toward what is worthy of questioning in the iraditional determination of truth as correctness. We m u s t n o w seek a first d i r e c t i v e t o w a r d what is w o r t h y o f quest i o n i n g h e r e , i n o r d e r to s e c u r e o u r q u e s t i o n i n g i n g e n e r a l a n d , e v e n i f o n l y p r e l i m i n a r i l y , assure ourselves o f its legitimacy. L e t us reflect: i f o u r representations a n d assertions—e.g., the statem e n t , " T h e stone is h a r d " — a r e s u p p o s e d to c o n f o r m to t h e o b ject, t h e n this b e i n g , the stone itself, m u s t be accessible i n ad¬ vance: i n o r d e r to present i t s e l f as a s t a n d a r d a n d m e a s u r e for the c o n f o r m i t y w i t h it. I n s h o r t , the b e i n g , i n this case the t h i n g , m u s t be o u t i n the o p e n . E v e n m o r e : not only m u s t the stone i t s e l f — i n o r d e r to r e m a i n w i t h o u r e x a m p l e — b e o u t i n the o p e n but so m u s t the d o m a i n which the c o r i t o r m i t y w i t h the t h i n g has to traverse i n o r d e r to r e a d o f f f r o m itTTntne m o d e o f representi n g , what characterizes the b e i n g i n its b e i n g t h u s a n d so. M o r e over, the h u m a n w h o is r e p r e s e n t i n g , a n d w h o i n his represent¬ i n g c o n f o r m s to t h e t h i n g , m u s t also be o p e n . H e m u s t be open j o r w h a t e n c o u n t e r s h i m , so t h a t it m i g h t e n c o u n t e r h i m . Finally* The p e r s o n m u s t also be o p e n to his le lows, so that, co-representi n g what is c o m m u n i c a t e d t o h i m i n t h e i r assertions, he c a n , tog e t h e r w i t h the others a n d o u t o f a being-with t h e m , c o n f o r m to the same t h i n g a n d be i n a g r e e m e n t w i t h t h e m a b o u t the correctness o f the r e p r e s e n t i n g . In the correctness o f t h e r e p r e s e n t a t i o n a l assertion t h e r e h o l d s sway c o n s e q u e n t l y a f o u r - f o l d o p e n n e s s : (1) o f the t h i n g ,


§9- T r u t h a n d the essence o f m a n [19-20]

19

(2) o f the r e g i o n between t h i n g a n d m a n , (3) o f m a n h i m s e l f w i t h r e g a r d to the t h i n g , a n d (4) o f m a n to fellow m a n . T h i s f o u r - f o l d openness w o u l d not be what it is a n d what it has to be i f each o f these opennesses were separately e n c a p s u l a t e d f r o m the others. T h i s f o u r - f o l d openness h o l d s sway r a t h e r as o n e a n d u n i t a r y , a n d i n its c o m p a s s every c o n f o r m i t y to . . . a n d " every correctness a n d incorrectness o f r e p r e s e n t i n g c o m e i n t o play a n d m a i n t a i n themselves. I f we a t t e n d to this m u l t i p l e a n d yet u n i t a r y openness t h e n w i t h o n e stroke we find ourselves t r a n s p o r t e d i n t o a n o t h e r r e a l m b e y o n d correctness a n d its c o n c o m i t a n t r e p r e s e n t a t i o n a l activity. T h i s m u l t i p l e - u n i t a r y openness h o l d s sway in correctness. T h e openness is not first p r o d u c e d by the correctness o f the r e p r e s e n t i n g , b u t rather, just the reverse, it is t a k e n o v e r as w h a t was always already h o l d i n g sway. C o r r e c t n e s s o f r e p r e s e n t a t i o n is *onTypos"sible if it c a n establish itself i n this openness w h i c h s u p ports it a n d vaults it over. T h e openness is the g r o u n d a n d the soil a n d the a r e n a o f all correctness. T h u s as l o n g as t r u t h is c o n ceived as correctness, a n d correctness itself passes u n q u e s t i o n e d , i.e., as s o m e t h i n g u l t i m a t e a n d p r i m a r y , this c o n c e p t i o n o f t r u t h — n o m a t t e r h o w l o n g a t r a d i t i o n has a g a i n a n d a g a i n c o n firmed i t — r e m a i n s g r o u n d l e s s . B u t , as s o o n as that o p e n n e s s , as the possibility a n d the g r o u n d o f correctness, comes i n t o view, even i f u n c l e a r l y , t r u t h c o n c e i v e d as correctness becomes questionable.

§9. The conception of truth and of the essence of man. The basic question of truth. a) T h e determination of the essence of truth as connected to the determination of the/essence of man.) We m i g h t m a r v e l that u p to n o w the g r o u n d o f correctness has never been seriously p u t i n t o q u e s t i o n . B u t this o m i s s i o n proves to be less p e c u l i a r i f we c o n s i d e r that the r e l a t i o n o f m a n to beings, u n d e r s t o o d f r o m time i m m e m o r i a l as i m m e d i a t e r e p r e s e n t i n g a n d p e r c e i v i n g , seems to be the most o r d i n a r y aspect o f h u m a n e x p e r i e n c e a n d therefore the most obvious. T h e d o m i -


T h e Q u e s t i o n o f T r u t h [20-22] n a t i o n o f this r e l a t i o n o f m a n to beings soon became so insistent that even the very essence o f m a n was d e t e r m i n e d i n reference to it. For what is the m e a n i n g o f the ancient, a n d still c u r r e n d y v a l i d , d e f i n i t i o n o f the essence o f m a n : animal rationale (l$>ov X670V 'e'xov)? T h i s d e t e r m i n a t i o n is translated, i.e., i n t e r p r e t e d , as follows: m a n is the r a t i o n a l l i v i n g b e i n g ; m a n is a n a n i m a l , b u t o n e e n d o w e d w i t h reason. W h a t d o c s reason, ratio, vow;, m e a n ? I f we t h i n k metaphysically, as is necessary h e r e , a n d not psychologically, t h e n reason m e a n s the i m m e d i a t e p e r c e p t i o n o f beings. T h e f a m i l i a r d e f i n i t i o n o f m a n now has a n altogether d i f f e r e n t r i n g : m a n — t h e b e i n g that perceives beings. H e r e we t o u c h u p o n a n i m p o r t a n t , t h o u g h still u n c l e a r , c o n n e c d o n : the f a m i l i a r i t y o f the c o n c e p t i o n o f t r u t h as correctness is as o l d as the f a m i l i a r i t y ' o f that d e f i n i t i o n o f the essence o f m a n , a n d c o n s e q u e n d y the d e t e r m i n a d o n o f the essence o f t r u t h d e p e n d s o n what h a p p e n s to be the d e t e r m i n a t i o n o f the essence o f m a n . O r s h o u l d we not m a i n t a i n the reverse, that the c o n c e p t i o n o f the essence o f m a n " d e p e n d s u p o n the way t r u t h is u n d e r s t o o d at any " p ^ r t i c u l a ?

b) T h e question of the ground of the possibility of all correctness as the basic question of truth. We are not yet i n a p o s i t i o n to d e c i d e that q u e s t i o n . A t the m o m e n t it is e n o u g h t o r us t o g l i m p s e s o m e t h i n g WOrTrly o f quest i o n i n g i n the f a m i l i a r t h e o r y o f t r u t h as correctness. This ques¬ tionable e l e m e n t is a g a i n o f such a k i n d that it m u s t be r e c o g n i z e d a n d displayed as the g r o u n d o f the possibility o f all correctness. I f we i n t e r r o g a t e this g r o u n d o r basis o f correctness, t h e n we are a s k i n g about t r u t h i n the sense o f a basic q u e s t i o n . It is therefore n o t a matter o f a r b i t r a r i n e s s , a n d still less a n e m p t y " passion, to revise, n o m a t t e r the cost, what has c o m e d o w n to us, i.e., to take the t r a d i t i o n a l theory o f t r u t h as correctness u l t i mately for g r a n t e d n o l o n g e r , but to e x p e r i e n c e it i n s t e a d as a source o f uneasiness. M W — — w m * B — » the reference to openness as the g r o u n d o f correctness is still quite e x t r i n s i c : it c a n o n l y i n t i m a t e , i n a very p r e l i m i n a r y way, that a n d to what e x t e n t s o m e t h i n g w o r t h y o f q u e s t i o n i n g lies h i d d e n i n the t r a d i t i o n a l theory o f t r u t h .


§9. T r u t h a n d the essence o f m a n [22-23]

21

W h a t really is the g r o u n d o f correctness, a n d w h e r e a n d h o w does this m u l t i p l e a n d yet u n i t a r y openness have its o w n essence a n d c o n t e n t — a l f t H e s e things r e m a i n i n the d a r k T T h e r e f o r e we c a n n o t e x p l a i n why this g r o u n d is so rarely g l i m p s e d , a n d t h e n o n l y f r o m afar. We c a n n o t even b e g i n to estimate what w i l l h a p p e n to m a n w h e n the e x p e r i e n c e o f this g r o u n d is b r o u g h t to bear i n its f u l l scope. W h a t we n e e d to discuss above a l l , however, is why a n d w h e r e fore we are r a i s i n g the q u e s t i o n that we are, since the f a m i l i a r conceptioTi*or*tTUth has'satistied tv"oTn7"u*sand years o f W e s t e r n history.

RECAPITULATION

1) T h e relation between question and answer i n the domain of philosophy. T h e s e lectures are p r o c l a i m i n g n o e t e r n a l t r u t h s . I say this to ob¬ viate m i s u n d e r s t a n d i n g s w h i c h c o u l d easily i m p e d e o u r collabo¬ r a t i o n . I a m not capable o f such a p r o c l a m a t i o n , n o r is it m y task. Rather, w h a t is at issue here i s j o u i e s t i o j i m g ^ h e exercise o f r i g h t q u e s t i o n i n g , to be achievednfri'fn'e'^cT^'a^eribrmance o f it. T h i s seems to be litde"e1!*io*u*g*n**tor o n e w h o is p r e s s i n g o n to the possession o f answers. B u t i n p h i l o s o p h y the r e l a t i o n o f q u e s t i o n a n d answer is q u i t e peculiar. T o speak m e t a p h o r i c a l l y , it is like c l i m b i n g a m o u n t a i n . We w i l l get n o w h e r e by p o s i t i o n i n g o u ~ selves o n the p l a n e o f o r d i n a r y o p i n i o n a n d m e r e l y t a l k i n g a b o u t the m o u n t a i n , i n o r d e r to g a i n i n that way a " l i v e d e x p e r i e n c e " o f it. N o , the c l i m b i n g a n d the a p p r o a c h to the peak succeed o n l y i f we b e g i n to m o u n t . T h e peak m i g h t i n d e e d be lost f r o m view as we c l i m b , a n d yet we k e e p c o m i n g closer to it. F u r t h e r m o r e , c l i m b i n g i n c l u d e s s l i p p i n g a n d s l i d i n g back a n d , i n p h i l o s o p h y , even nen falling!71*nT7one t a i l i n g . ()nly o n e w wh h oo is is tt rr u u ll yy cc ll ii m mb b ii n n gg cc a an n fall tall cc oo w wn n .. W Wh h aa tt t those w h o tall dov(m*Tx*pTrl*eTi**e the peak, the m o u n t a i n , a n d its Jwff/iiTr"os""pr"otoundly, m o r e p r o f o u n d l y a n d m o r e u n i q u e l y than the ones w h o appafe"nTIy""reacn 'the t o p , w h i c h tor thenT ""soon loses Its h e i g h t a n d becomes a plane a n d s o m e t h i n g habit"" is not possible tojuo!g"e"aT"~TTn"eas^^


22

T h e Q u e s t i o n o f T r u t h [23-24]

art, or, i n g e n e r a l , any creative d e a l i n g w i t h beings, w i t h the a i d o f the facile b u r e a u c r a c y o f s o u n d c o m m o n sense a n d a p r e s u m ably healthy " i n s t i n c t " (already d i s t o r t e d a n d m i s l e d l o n g ago), n o m o r e t h a n w i t h the e m p t y sagacity o f a so-called i n t e l l e c t u a l . H e r e the w h o l e a n d every single t h i n g w i t h i n it c a n be e x p e r i e n c e d o n l y i n the actual p e r f o r m a n c e o f the p a i n f u l w o r k oT climbing. A n y o n e h e r e w h o is o n l y s n a t c h i n g u p isolated p r o p o s i t i o n s is not c l i m b i n g a l o n g w i t h m e . T h e task is to go a l o n g every single step a n d the w h o l e series o f steps. O n l y i n that way will there be a d i s c l o s u r e o f the m a t t e r we a r e m e d i t a t i n g o n a n d o f the goal we want to r e a c h .

2) T h e customary determination of truth as correctness of representation, and the fourfold-unitary openness as the question-worthy ground of the possibility of the correctness of representation. We are a s k i n g the q u e s t i o n o f t r u t h . T h e c u s t o m a r y d e t e r m i n a t i o n o f t r u t h r u n s : t r u t h is the correctness o f a r e p r e s e n t a t i o n , the c o r r e s p o n d e n c e o f a n assertion (a p r o p o s i t i o n ) w i t h a t h i n g . A l t h o u g h i n the course o f the history o f W e s t e r n t h i n k i n g , v a r i ous o p i n i o n s a b o u t k n o w l e d g e a n d r e p r e s e n t a t i o n have a r i s e n a n d have a g a i n a n d a g a i n d e b a t e d each o t h e r a n d i n t e r m i n g l e d w i t h each other, yet the s a m e c o n c e p t i o n o f t r u t h as correctness o f r e p r e s e n t a t i o n r e m a i n s the s t a n d a r d . T h e two m a i n theories o f k n o w l e d g e a n d r e p r e s e n t a t i o n , i d e a l i s m a n d r e a l i s m , a r e not distinct w i t h r e g a r d to t h e i r c o n c e p t i o n o f t r u t h : they a r e a l i k e i n t a k i n g t r u t h to be a d e t e r m i n a t i o n o f a r e p r e s e n t a t i o n , o f a n ass e r t i o n . T h e y a r e d i s t i n c t o n l y w i t h r e g a r d to t h e i r views a b o u t the reach o f the r e p r e s e n t i n g : e i t h e r the r e p r e s e n t a t i o n attains the things themselves—reí, realia—(realism), o r the r e p r e s e n t a t i o n always r e m a i n s related m e r e l y to the represented as s u c h — perceptum, idea—(idealism). T h u s i n spite o f the a p p a r e n t d i f f e r ence o f l o g i c a l a n d epistemológica! s t a n d p o i n t s , there is a n o v e r a r c h i n g a n d r u l i n g a g r e e m e n t o v e r what t r u t h is: c o r r e c t ness o f r e p r e s e n t i n g . B u t i n this self-evident d e t e r m i n a t i o n o f t r u t h as correctness there lurks s o m e t h i n g w o r t h y o f q u e s t i o n i n g : that m u l t i p l e - u n i -


§g. T r u t h a n d t h e essence o f m a n [24-25]

23

tary openness o f t h e things, o f the r e g i o n between t h i n g s a n d m a n , o f m a n h i m s e l f , a n d o f m a n to fellow m a n . I f it w e r e n o t for this o p e n n e s s , there c o u l d never o c c u r a r e p r e s e n t i n g that c o n f o r m s to a t h i n g . F o r this c o n f o r m i n g t o . . . does n o t first create the o p e n n e s s o f the things a n d the o p e n n e s s o f m a n f o r what he m i g h t e n c o u n t e r . O n t h e contrary, it settles i n t o a n openness a l r e a d y h o l d i n g sway a n d does so, as it were, each t i m e anew. T h i s openness is therefore t h e g r o u n d o f t h e possibility o f correctness a n d as this g r o u n d it is something^ w o r t h y o f q u e s t i o n i n g a n d i n q u i r y . A t first it is u n c l e a r what it really is that we a r e re¬ f e r r i n g to h e r e a n d are c a l l i n g openness. A n d that c o u l d o n l y b e o n e m o r e r e a s o n to a b a n d o n t h e i n q u i r y i n t o what we say is worthy o f q u e s t i o n i n g , especially i f we recall that f o r t w o t h o u s a n d years W e s t e r n history has b e e n satisfied w i t h the o r d i n a r y c o n ception o f truth.

c) T h e question o f truth as the most questionable of our previous history anTTSirmo^woTi^oi^^ questioning ot our future history. A t this h o u r i n t h e history o f t h e w o r l d we c a n a n d m u s t ask w h e r e the O c c i d e n t has f i n a l l y a r r i v e d w i t h its c o n c e p t i o n o f t r u t h . W h e r e d o we s t a n d today? W h a t a n d w h e r e is t r u t h ? I n spite o f everything_correct, have we lost t h e t r u t h ? H a s t h e W e s t ' not t a l i e T H n T o ^ s T t u a u o n w h e r e a n goals a r e d u b i o u s a n d w h e r e " all bustle a n d b o t h e r m e r e l y a i m at f i n d i n g a means o f escape?" H o w else are we s u p p o s e d to u n d e r s t a n d metailh^tstcalty that Wesi> e r n m a n is d r i v e n e i t h e r to t h e c o m p l e t e d e s t r u c t i o n o f w h a t has been h a n d e d d o w n o r to w a r d i n g o f f this d e s t r u c t i o n ? ~ T h e s e m e a n s o f escape a r c notfdecisionsli" E x t r e m e decisions} r e q u i r e th"e"""ios"iuT7g'o^ usefulness a n d cv"^ cry p u r p o s e a n d therefore a r e alone p o w e r f u l e n o u g h to instigate a new c r e a t i n g a n d f o u n d i n g . Decisions, as such p o s i t i n g o f goals, especially i n the s i t u a t i o n w c sketched, need the ground*"" i n g o f the soil a n d the installation o f the perspective w i t h r e g a r d to w h i c h a n d i n w h i c h they a r e s u p p o s e d to be m a d e . A r e w e — a n d f o r that d e c i s i o n this is most d e c i s i v e — a r e wc willfully a n d k n o w i n g l y o n l y at what lies closest, i.e., atthcjmp-^ oration f o r this decision? ""^™"^^"""


24

T h e Q u e s t i o n o f T r u t h [25-26]

I n light o f the task, is the q u e s t i o n o f t r u t h o n l y a " p r o b l e m o f logic, o r is the q u e s t i o n o f t r u t h the most questionable o n e o f o u r past history a n d t h e ^ p s t w o r t h y o f q u e s t i o n i n g o f " o u r f u ture h i s t o r y j ^ O r everyone w h o has eyes to see, a n d especially for everyone wh<? has t o r n h i m s e l f f r o m the i n d o l e n c e o f a n u n c r e ative a d h e r e n c e to the p a s t — e . g . , C h r i s t i a n i t y — a n d t r o m the p r e s u m p t i o n to possess the r e m e d y , for everyone w h o does not want to go back b u t to g o f o r w a r d , n o t t o w a r d " p r o g r e s s " p u t i n t o " the c o n c e a l e d f u t u r e , f o r s u c h ones the task is d e c i d e d ^ I t req u i r e s reflection zs^ieTirs^m^lri^niosT^nstiLni a n d n n e ultimate. W i t h the q u e s t i o n o f t r u t h — r a i s e d as it were i n a n " a c a d e m i c " l e c t u r e — w e shall a t t e m p t to take s o m e steps i n s u c h reflection. Now, since the m o s t p r e l i m i n a r y q u e s t i o n i n g a b o u t t r u t h has b e e n c o n f u s e d l o n g ago, t h r o w n o f f the track a n d d e p r i v e d o f d i r e c t i o n , we m u s t reflect first o f a l l o n what is f o u n d a t i o n a l w i t h r e g a r d to the q u e s t i o n o f t r u t h .


MAIN PART Foundational Issues in the Question of Truth


Chapter One

T h e Basic Question of the Essence of Truth as a Historical Reflection

§10. The ambiguity of the question of truth: the search for what is trueâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;reflection on the essence of truth. L e t us b e g i n w i t h a s i m p l e reflection. It w i l l lead i n t o a historical reflection, a n d this i n t u r n w i l l allow the u n f o l d i n g o f the q u e s tion o f t r u t h to b e c o m e a reflection o n its necessity a n d its u n i q u e character. T h e q u e s t i o n o f t r u t h asks a b o u t " t r u t h . " T h e q u e s t i o n is so s t r a i g h t f o r w a r d that f o u n d a t i o n a l d e l i b e r a t i o n s r e g a r d i n g the q u e s t i o n o f t r u t h m i g h t a p p e a r s u p e r f l u o u s . T o raise the q u e s t i o n o f t r u t h surely means to seek the t r u t h . A n d that m e a n s to seek what is t r u e , or, a c c o r d i n g to what has been c l a r i f i e d above, to establish a n d ascertain what is correct a b o u t things a n d a b o u t all beings, w h e r e b y the correct is to be u n d e r s t o o d p r i m a r i l y i n the sense o f a i m s a n d s t a n d a r d s to w h i c h a l l o u r actions a n d beh a v i o r c o n f o r m . T o raise the q u e s t i o n o f " t r u t h " means to seek the t r u e . B u t " t h e t r u e , " h e r e b e i n g sought, c e r t a i n l y signifies m o r e t h a n j u s t any c o r r e c t statements a b o u t any objects whatever. We are s e e k i n g m o r e t h a n m e r e p a r t i c u l a r i n s t r u c t i o n s for c o r r e c t a c t i o n . T h e t r u e to w h i c h we give that n a m e , a n d w h i c h we p e r haps m o r e desire t h a n seek, also does not m e a n merely the s u m o f all c o r r e c t statements a n d instructions for correct a c t i o n . T o seek the t r u e means to p u r s u e what is correct i n the sense o f that


28

T h e Essence o f T r u t h as H i s t o r i c a l Reflection [28-29]

to w h i c h a l l c o m m i s s i o n a n d o m i s s i o n a n d a l l j u d g m e n t s a b o u t things are c o n n e c t e d i n a d v a n c e , that to w h i c h o u r h i s t o r i c a l h u m a n i t y is attached. T h e t r u e means for us h e r e that f o r w h i c h we live a n d die. This t r u e is " t r u t h . " A l r e a d y f r o m these b r i e f reflections we c a n i n f e r that the w o r d " t r u t h " is n o t u n i v o c a l . It m e a n s the t r u e , first o f all whatever is at any given t i m e c o r r e c t i n k n o w l e d g e a n d i n action a n d d i s p o s i t i o n , a n d t h e n , m o r e e m p h a t i c a l l y , that u p o n w h i c h e v e r y t h i n g d e p e n d s a n d f r o m w h i c h e v e r y t h i n g is r u l e d a n d d e c i d e d . B u t even i f we h e e d this p l u r i v o c i t y , i n the c o n t e x t o f s p e a k i n g a b o u t the t r u e a n d t r u t h , we c a n nevertheless c l a i m , a n d i n d e e d r i g h t f u l l y , that i n this s e e k i n g o f the t r u e â&#x20AC;&#x201D; e v e n i f we m e a n what is decisively t r u e â&#x20AC;&#x201D; w e are still n o t yet r a i s i n g the q u e s t i o n o f t r u t h : that is, i n s o f a r as w e c o n s i d e r t r u t h that w h i c h makes s o m e t h i n g t r u e t r u e a n d d e t e r m i n e s every single t r u e t h i n g to be the t r u e t h i n g it is. J u s t as cleverness is w h a t d i s t i n g u i s h e s a l l clever p e o p l e as s u c h , so t r u t h , rigorously t h o u g h t , means what d e t e r m i n e s a l l that is t r u e to be so. F o r ages, that w h i c h u n i v e r sally d e t e r m i n e s every i n d i v i d u a l t h i n g has b e e n c a l l e d the essence. T h r o u g h it, a n y t h i n g a n d e v e r y t h i n g is d e l i m i t e d i n w h a t it is a n d is d e l i n e a t e d against o t h e r things. T r u t h means n o t h i n g b u t the essence o f the t r u e . T r u t h c o m p r i s e s that w h i c h d i s t i n guishes s o m e t h i n g t r u e as s u c h , j u s t as speed indicates w h a t det e r m i n e s speedy things as s u c h . T h u s to raise the q u e s t i o n o f t r u t h does n o t m e a n to seek a t r u e o r the t r u e b u t to seek the essence, i.e., to d e f i n e the u n i v e r s a l p r o p e r t i e s o f whatever is t r u e . T h e r e b y we e n c o u n t e r for t h e first time the decisive a m b i g u i t y i n talk o f the " q u e s t i o n o f t r u t h . "

§11. The question of truth as a question of the essence of the true: not an inquiry into the universal concept of the true. T o raise the q u e s t i o n o f t r u t h c a n m e a n : (1) to seek the t r u e , (2) to d e l i m i t the essence o f e v e r y t h i n g t r u e . It is easy to discover w h i c h o f these two ways o f r a i s i n g the q u e s t i o n o f t r u t h is the m o r e u r g e n t a n d the m o r e i m p o r t a n t . O b v i o u s l y , it is the search for the true a n d above a l l i n the sense o f the t r u e that r u l e s a n d decides e v e r y t h i n g . In c o m p a r i s o n , it a p p e a r s that the q u e s t i o n


ยง11. T r u t h as q u e s t i o n o f the essence o f the t r u e [29-30]

29

o f t r u t h , i.e., o f the essence o f the t r u e , is s o m e t h i n g m e r e l y s u p plementary, nay, even s u p e r f l u o u s . F o r the essence i n the sense o f the u n i v e r s a l w h i c h applies i n each case to the m a n y p a r t i c u lars, as, e.g., the u n i v e r s a l r e p r e s e n t a t i o n " h o u s e " applies t o a l l real a n d possible houses, this u n i v e r s a l is g r a s p e d a n d f o r m u lated i n a c o n c e p t . T o t h i n k the m e r e c o n c e p t o f s o m e t h i n g is precisely to abstract f r o m p a r t i c u l a r realities. T h u s i f we d e s i r e the t r u e a n d seek it, we will not strive f o r t r u t h i n the sense o f the m e r e c o n c e p t , to w h i c h a n y t h i n g t r u e as t r u e is s u b o r d i n a t e d . W h e n we seek the t r u e , we want to g a i n possession o f that u p o n w h i c h o u r h i s t o r i c a l h u m a n i t y is posited a n d by w h i c h it is t h o r o u g h l y d o m i n a t e d a n d t h r o u g h w h i c h it is r a i s e d above itself. E v ery g e n u i n e a t t i t u d e o f m a n , w h o dwells i n the real a n d wants to t r a n s f o r m what is r e a l , r e m o v e it f r o m its place a n d liberate it to h i g h e r possibilities, w i l l a r r i v e at the u n i v o c a l d e m a n d that c a n be e x p r e s s e d b r i e f l y as follows: we desire w h a t is t r u e , w h y s h o u l d we be c o n c e r n e d w i t h t r u t h itself? B u t i n s o f a r as we are h e r e i n q u i r i n g philosophically, a n d p h i l o s o p h y is the k n o w l e d g e o f the essence o f t h i n g s , we already have d e c i d e d otherwise. I n p h i l o s o p h i z i n g , we reflect o n the essence o f the t r u e , we a b i d e by that w h i c h is precisely n o t a c o n c e r n f o r ones w h o desire the t r u e . A n d hence they, w h o desire the t r u e , m u s t reject o u r i n t e n t i o n as s o m e t h i n g e x t r i n s i c a n d useless. It was not i n v a i n , b u t r a t h e r i n a n t i c i p a t i o n o f this rejection o f o u r p r o p o s a l , that at the very outset we said p h i l o s o p h y is i m m e d i ately useless k n o w l e d g e . O u r reflection o n correctness a n d o n t r u t h itself c a n a c c o m p l i s h n o t h i n g t o w a r d the correct s o l u t i o n o f e c o n o m i c difficulties, o r t o w a r d the c o r r e c t i m p r o v e m e n t a n d assurance o f the p u b l i c h e a l t h , n o r c a n it c o n t r i b u t e a n y t h i n g to the correct increase o f the s p e e d o f a i r p l a n e s , o r to the c o r r e c t i m p r o v e m e n t o f r a d i o r e c e p t i o n , a n d likewise j u s t as little to the c o r r e c t d e s i g n o f i n s t r u c t i o n a l projects i n the schools. W i t h reg a r d to all these u r g e n t matters o f daily life, p h i l o s o p h y fails. Nay, e v e n m o r e : because it i n q u i r e s o n l y i n t o the essence o f t r u t h a n d does not d e t e r m i n e i n d i v i d u a l truths, p h i l o s o p h y will n o t be able to settle a n y t h i n g a b o u t the decisively t r u e . P h i l o s o p h y is i m mediately useless k n o w l e d g e a n d yet still s o m e t h i n g else: sovereign knowledge. I f that is so, t h e n k n o w l e d g e o f the essence o f the t r u e , i.e.,


T h e Essence o f T r u t h as H i s t o r i c a l Reflection [30-31] k n o w l e d g e o f the t r u t h , c o u l d p e r h a p s still bear a significance a n d even o n e that reaches b e y o n d e v e r y t h i n g u s e f u l . B u t h o w is the essence, as a u n i v e r s a l c o n c e p t , s u p p o s e d to a c q u i r e a sovere i g n r a n k ? W h a t is m o r e shadowy, a n d therefore m o r e i m p o t e n t , than a mere concept? I n this regard a question still remains, one that is perhaps most intimately connected to the question o f truth as the question o f the essence o f the true. H a v e we d e t e r m i n e d the essence sufficiendy i n identifying it w i t h the concept? Perhaps the essence o f the true, hence truth itself, is n o t g r a s p e d at a l l i f we merely represent i n general that w h i c h applies universally to everything t i n e as such. Perhaps the essence o f the t r u e , hence truth itself, is not what a p plies indifferendy w i t h r e g a r d to the true but is the most essential t r u t h . I n that case, the g e n u i n e a n d decisive t r u t h , u p o n w h i c h eve r y t h i n g m u s t be posited, w o u l d be precisely this essence o f the true, the t r u t h itself. I n that case, the standpoint w h i c h pretends to care so m u c h about r e a l i t y — " W e desire the true, why s h o u l d we be c o n c e r n e d w i t h t r u t h i t s e l f ? " — w o u l d be a great error, the e r r o r o f errors, a n d u p to n o w the most e n d u r i n g o f a l l errors. S u p p o s i n g truth is this t r u t h , t h e n o u r i n q u i r y into truth as the question o f the essence o f all truths, p r o v i d e d we carry it out correcdy, will n o t be m e r e play w i t h e m p t y concepts.

§18. The question of the legitimacy of the ordinary determination of truth, as point of departure for a return to the ground of the possibility of correctness. T h e fact that we are immediately leaving b e h i n d the customary conception o f truth a n d are t r y i n g to attain the g r o u n d u p o n w h i c h the d e t e r m i n a t i o n o f truth as correctness is f o u n d e d shows that we are not entangled i n a n e m p t y squabble about the mere d e f i n i t i o n o f the concept o f t r u t h but that we want to touch s o m e t h i n g essential. T h r o u g h such a r e t u r n to the g r o u n d — t o what is worthy o f q u e s t i o n i n g — w e put into question the d e t e r m i n a t i o n o f truth h i t h erto a n d i n so d o i n g make ourselves free o f it. B u t d o we really m a k e ourselves free? A r e we n o t b i n d i n g o u r selves a l l the m o r e to this essential d e f i n i t i o n , to such a n e x t e n t that it becomes the o b l i g a t o r y one? L e t us not deceive ourselves.


ยง12. T h e legitimacy o f t r u t h [31-32]

3i

W i t h the r e t u r n to that openness by which a l l correctness first becomes possible, we i n fact presuppose that the d e t e r m i n a t i o n o f t r u t h as correctness has i n d e e d its o w n legitimacy. Is this t h e n a l ready proved? T h e characterization o f t r u t h as correctness c o u l d very well be a n error. A t any rate, u p to now it has not been s h o w n that this characterization is not a n error. B u t i f the conception o f truth as correctness is a n error, what t h e n about the positing o f the g r o u n d o f the possibility o f correctness? T o say the least, such a positing c a n i n that case not c l a i m to grasp the essence o f t r u t h m o r e fundamentally. O n the contrary, we must concede that what s u p ports a n e r r o r a n d founds it is a fortiori erroneous. W h a t is t h e m e a n i n g o f the r e t u r n to the m a n i f o l d - u n i t a r y openness i f it is n o t p r o v e n i n a d v a n c e that w h a t we take to b e the p o i n t o f d e p a r t u r e f o r the r e t u r n , n a m e l y t h e o r d i n a r y d e t e r m i n a t i o n o f t r u t h as correctness, has its o w n j u s t i f i c a t i o n ? Now, i n fact, t h e c o n c e p t i o n o f t r u t h as correctness is c o n f i r m e d t h r o u g h a l o n g t r a d i t i o n . B u t the a p p e a l to t r a d i t i o n is not yet a f o u n d a t i o n a n d safeguard o f the t r u t h o f a n i n t u i t i o n . F o r c e n t u r i e s , the t r a d i t i o n c l u n g to the o p i n i o n that the s u n r e volves a r o u n d t h e e a r t h , a n d the eyes themselves even c o n f i r m e d it. Nevertheless, this o p i n i o n c o u l d be s h a k e n . P e r h a p s the t r a d i tional character o f a n i n s i g h t is even a n objection against its c o r rectness. Is it not possible that w h a t m i g h t i n itself be a n e r r o r c a n b e c o m e a " t r u t h " by b e i n g believed l o n g e n o u g h ? W h a t e v e r may be the case h e r e , the m e r e l o n g d u r a t i o n a n d v e n e r a b l e character o f a t r a d i t i o n are not, by themselves, a reliable g r o u n d to p r o v e the t r u t h o f a n essential d e t e r m i n a t i o n . B u t m u s t we a p p e a l to t r a d i t i o n a l o p i n i o n s i n o r d e r to ascertain the legitimacy o f the d e t e r m i n a t i o n o f t r u t h as correctness? A f t e r a l l , we c a n f o r m f o r ourselves a j u d g m e n t a b o u t this legitimacy. A n d that is n o t d i f f i c u l t , f o r the characterization o f t r u t h as the c o r r e s p o n d e n c e o f a r e p r e s e n t a t i o n w i t h a n object is selfevident. T h i s obviousness has the advantage that it is relieved f r o m f u r t h e r f o u n d a t i o n . W h a t we call the o b v i o u s is w h a t is clearly e v i d e n t o n its o w n , w i t h o u t f u r t h e r t h o u g h t . Now, t o be sure, it has b e e n s h o w n conclusively e n o u g h that i f we take t r u t h as correctness o f r e p r e s e n t a t i o n , we i n fact avoid f u r t h e r t h o u g h t a n d that h e r e s o m e t h i n g is e v i d e n t for us because we a r e ren o u n c i n g every attempt to elucidate it m o r e closely a n d m o r e


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T h e Essence o f T r u t h as H i s t o r i c a l Reflection [32—34]

genuinely. W h a t k i n d o f obviousness is it, however, w h i c h s u b sists o n a c u t t i n g o f f o f every i n t e n t i o n to u n d e r s t a n d a n d o n a n avoidance o f every q u e s t i o n i n g a b o u t the g r o u n d ? C a n s u c h a n obviousness pass as a substitute for a f o u n d a t i o n ? N o . For w h a t is o b v i o u s i n the g e n u i n e sense is o n l y what by itself p r e c l u d e s f u r t h e r i n q u i r y as i m p o s s i b l e , i n s u c h a way that thereby clarity r e i g n s c o n c e r n i n g the i n t e l l i g i b i l i t y o f the obviousness.

§13. The foundation of the traditional conception of truth in the return to its origin. O n l y o n e way still r e m a i n s f o r us to a r r i v e at a f o u n d a t i o n o f the t r a d i t i o n a l c o n c e p t i o n o f t r u t h as correctness. We will investigate the o r i g i n o f this t r a d i t i o n a n d e x a m i n e h o w this d e t e r m i n a t i o n o f t r u t h was g r o u n d e d w h e n it was first established, n a m e l y i n the p h i l o s o p h y o f A r i s t o d e . I f we t u r n back t h e r e , o u r reflection also gains the advantage o f b e i n g able to b r i n g to the i n n e r eyes, i n its p r i m o r d i a l o r i g i n a l i t y a n d p u r i t y , the c o n c e p t i o n o f t r u t h that has b e e n v a l i d ever since. H e n c e we a r e s u d d e n l y c o n f r o n t e d w i t h the task o f a h i s t o r i o g r a p h i c a l c o n s i d e r a t i o n o f the t h e o r y o f t r u t h a n d j u d g m e n t i n A r i s t o d e , whose p h i l o s o p h y stems f r o m the f o u r t h c e n t u r y before C h r i s t . Now, i f we view this h i s t o r i o g r a p h i c a l task i n the l a r g e r a n d p r o p e r perspective o f o u r q u e s t i o n , we w i l l b e c o m e d i s c o n c e r t e d . For the decisive i n t e n t i o n o f o u r q u e s t i o n i n g is precisely to free us f r o m the p a s t — n o t because it is past, but because it is g r o u n d l e s s . We want to raise questions o n the basis o f o u r o w n present a n d f u t u r e necessities. Instead o f that, we are n o w p r e p a r i n g to lose ourselves i n a h i s t o r i o g r a p h i c a l c o n s i d e r a t i o n o f the past. T h a t m u s t signify a r e n u n c i a t i o n a n d a flight i n the face o f what is n e e d e d , n a m e l y t o ask questions ourselves instead o f m e r e l y r e p o r t i n g the o p i n i o n s o f b y g o n e ages. It seems that s u c h a h i s t o r i o g r a p h i c a l c o n s i d e r a t i o n acts against o u r o w n i n t e n t i o n . T h e r e f o r e we n e e d a c l a r i f i c a t i o n o f the f o u n d a t i o n a l issues— especially w i t h reference to t h e f u r t h e r course o f o u r lectures.

a) T h e historiographical consideration of the past. E n t e r i n g i n t o history is p e r h a p s n o t always a n d necessarily such


§13. T h e t r a d i t i o n a l c o n c e p t i o n o f t r u t h [34-35]

33

a flight i n face o f the tasks o f the present. It is c e r t a i n l y possible to c o n s i d e r the past f r o m the viewpoints a n d a c c o r d i n g to the s t a n d a r d s o f the l i v i n g present. I n d o i n g so, the past is l o o s e n e d f r o m its f r o z e n state a n d is related to the present a n d m a d e c o n t e m p o r a r y . S u c h a considération o f the past becomes a v e r i table reconnaissance o f it; for that is the very m e a n i n g o f the w o r d h i s t o r i o g r a p h y [Historié]: urrope.lv—to e x p l o r e . T o us, therefore, h i s t o r i o g r a p h y m e a n s a n e x p l o r a t i o n o f the past f r o m the perspective o f the present. T h i s perspective c a n thereby b e c o m e self-evident a n d s t a n d a r d . F o r e x a m p l e , R a n k e , i n conscious o p p o s i t i o n to the p r e s u m e d h i s t o r i c a l c o n s t r u c t i o n s o f H e g e l , believes h e is p r e s e n t i n g the past j u s t as it was, yet definite g u i d e l i n e s o f i n t e r p r e t a t i o n a r e d i r e c t i n g h i m t o o — i t is j u s t that these a r e o t h e r t h a n the H e g e l i a n . Conversely, the s t a n d a r d s may be taken f r o m the p r e s e n t a n d a p p l i e d expressly as s u c h , a n d t h e n the past is e x p l i c i t l y m a d e c o n t e m p o r a r y . T h e s e two sorts o f h i s t o r i o g r a p h i c a l c o n s i d e r a t i o n a r e n o t basically d i s tinct. T o be s u r e , a q u e s t i o n r e m a i n s : i f the s t a n d a r d s a n d g u i d e l i n e s o f a h i s t o r i o g r a p h i c a l c o n s i d e r a t i o n are t a k e n — e x p r e s s l y o r n o t — f r o m w h a t is t h e n the present, is it thereby already d e c i d e d that these s t a n d a r d s a r e sufficient to grasp the past? T h e fact that a present is present, a n d w h a t is c u r r e n t is today, d o e s n o t g u a r a n t e e that the present s t a n d a r d s c o r r e s p o n d to what m a y be the greatness o f a past a n d are c o m m e n s u r a b l e w i t h it. I n d e e d , every past c a n be p r e s e n t e d as t i m e l y f o r any age. T h i s is the source o f the c o n f u s i o n o f a l l h i s t o r i o g r a p h i c a l c o n s i d e r a t i o n s . B u t it c o u l d also be that a p r e s e n t is as f r o z e n as the past, a n d that the s t a n d a r d s o f a present are m e r e l y b a d residues o f a past n o l o n g e r u n d e r s t o o d . It c o u l d be that a present is a l t o g e t h e r c a u g h t u p i n itself a n d therefore precisely closed a n d s h u t o f f against what the past has to say. T h e m e r e r e l a t i n g o f the past to what is c u r r e n t l y present c a n attain new results, a n d even d o e s so necessarily, f o r a present is always d i f f e r e n t t h a n the p r e v i o u s one. B u t these new h i s t o r i o g r a p h i c a l results, w h i c h intoxicate p e o p l e a n d m a k e t h e m t h i n k themselves s u p e r i o r i n r e l a t i o n to e a r l i e r h i s t o r i o g r a p h i c a l science, a r e also already a n t i q u a t e d before they b e c o m e t r u l y new, because the present s o o n a g a i n t u r n s i n t o a n other, a n d timeliness is most i n c o n s t a n t . T h e r e f o r e all h i s t o r i o g r a p h i c a l c o n s i d e r a t i o n s are snares.


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T h e Essence o f T r u t h as H i s t o r i c a l Reflection [35-37]

b) Historical reflection on the future, the future as the beginning of all happenings. B u t a h i s t o r i o g r a p h i c a l c o n s i d e r a t i o n does not exhaust the possible r e l a t i o n to h i s t o r y ; so f a r f r o m d o i n g so, it actually i m p e d e s such a r e l a t i o n a n d cuts it off. W h a t we are c a l l i n g historical reflection is essentially d i f f e r e n t f r o m a h i s t o r i o g r a p h i c a l c o n s i d e r a t i o n . I f we consciously elaborate the d i s t i n c t i o n between the hist o r i o g r a p h i c a l a n d the h i s t o r i c a l even linguistically, a n d a d h e r e to it o v e r a n d against the o r d i n a r y c o n f u s i o n o f the two t e r m s , t h e n this p r e c i s i o n i n the use o f w o r d s is f o u n d e d o n a basic attitude o f t h o u g h t . T h e w o r d " h i s t o r i c a l " [geschictitlich] m e a n s " h a p p e n i n g " [das Geschehen], history itself as a b e i n g . " H i s t o r i o g r a p h i c a l " refers to a k i n d o f c o g n i t i o n . We w i l l n o t speak o f hist o r i c a l " c o n s i d e r a t i o n " b u t " r e f l e c t i o n . " F o r reflection [Be-sinnung] is l o o k i n g f o r the m e a n i n g [Sinn] o f a h a p p e n i n g , the m e a n i n g o f history. " M e a n i n g " refers here to the o p e n r e g i o n o f goals, s t a n d a r d s , i m p u l s e s , decisive possibilities, a n d p o w e r s â&#x20AC;&#x201D; a l l these b e l o n g essentially to h a p p e n i n g . H a p p e n i n g as a way to be is p r o p e r only to humanity. M a n has history because he alone c a n be historical, i.e., c a n stand a n d does stand i n that o p e n region oi'gĂłals, standards, drives, a n d powers, by withstanding this region a n d existing i n the m o d e o f f o r m i n g , directing, acting, c a r r y i n g out, a n d tolerating. O n l y m a n is historicalâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;as that b e i n g w h i c h , exposed to b e i n p as a whole, a n d i n c o m m e r c e with these beings, sets himself tree i n the midst o f necessity. A l l n o n - h u m a n beings are history-less, t h o u g h , i n a d e r i v e " ! sense, they c a n be historical, a n d are even necessarily so, insofar as they b e l o n g w i t h i n the circuit o f the commerce o f m a n with beings. For example, a w o r k o f art possesses its history as work. This i m plies, however, that it does so o n the basis o f its being created by m a n , or, m o r e precisely, o n the basis o f its o p e n i n g u p , as w o r k , a n d , k e e p i n g o p e n , the w o r l d o f m a n . ^ I t is now clear that h a p p e n i n g s a n d history are not what is byg o n e a n d what is c o n s i d e r e d as s u c h , i.e., the h i s t o r i o g r a p h i c a l . B u t j u s t as little is this h a p p e n i n g the present. T h e h a p p e n i n g a n d the h a p p e n i n g s ot h i s t o r y are p n m o r d i a l l y a n d always the t u t u r e , that w h i c h i n a c o n c e a l e d way c o m e s toward us, a revela-


§13. T h e t r a d i t i o n a l c o n c e p t i o n o f t r u t h [36-37]

35

tory process that puts us at risk, a n d thus is c o m p e l l i n g i n a d vance. 1 h e t u t u r e is the b e g i n n i n g o i a l l happening. E v e r y t h i n g _Js^nclosecljyjthjnThe^ i f what has already b e g u n aricHv"n*âtTâ"s"*âT^ f o r t h w i t h to have g o n e bey o n d t h e i r b e g i n n i n g , yet the l a t t e r — a p p a r e n d y h a v i n g b e c o m e the p a s t — r e m a i n s i n p o w e r a n d abides, a n d e v e r y t h i n g t u t u r a l e n c o u n t e r s i y l n a l l g e n u i n e history, w h i c h is m o r e t h a n a m e r e sequence o f events, the f u t u r e is decisive: i.e., what is decisive are the goals o f creative activity, t h e i r r a n k , a n d t h e i r extent. T h e greatness o f creative activity takes its m e a s u r e f r o m the e x t e n t o f its p o w e r to follow u p the i n n e r m o s t h i d d e n law o f the b e g i n n i n g a n d to c a r r y the c o u r s e o f this law to its e n d . T h e r e f o r e the new, the d e v i a t i n g , a n d the e l a p s e d are historically unessential t h o u g h nonetheless inevitable. B u t $ e c a u s e the b e g i n n i n g is always the most c o n c e a l e d , because it is i n e x h a u s t i b l e a n d w i t h d r a w s ^ n d "because o n the o t h e r h a n d what_ has a l r e a d y been becomes i m mediately the h a b i t u a l , a n d because this conceals the b e g i n n i n g I t h r o u g h i t s e x t e n s i o n , therefore what has b e c o m e h a b i t u a l needs_ t r a n s f o r m a t i o n s , i.e., r e v o l u t i o n s . T h u s the o r i g i n a l a n d g e n u i n e r e l a t i o n to the b e g i n n i n g is the revolutionary, w h i c h , through_the u p h e a v a l o f the h a b i t u a l , o n c e _ a ^ a i n J l i ^ r a t e s n t h T h i d d e n J a w _ o f . the b e g i n n i n g . H e n c e the conservative does riot preserve the beginning—it d o e s j i o t even reach t h e . b e g i n n i n g . _ For_the_con-__ servative a t t i t u d e t r a n s f o r m s w h a t has already b e c o m e j n t o the, r e g u l a r a n d the ideal, w h i c h is t h e n s o u g h t e v e r anew i n historiographical considerations^

RECAPITULATION

1) T h e ambiguity of the question of truth. T h e essence is not what is indifferently universal but what is most essential. T h e q u e s t i o n o f t r u t h is a m b i g u o u s . " W e seek the t r u t h : " that means we want to k n o w the true u p o n w h i c h o u r a c t i n g a n d " B e i n g " are p o s i t e d . " W e a r e a s k i n g the q u e s t i o n of t r u t h " : that means we are endeavoring to f i n d the essence of what is t r u e . Essence is u n d e r s t o o d h e r e as that w h i c h makes %vhatever is t r u e t r u e . W h e n w e a i m at the essence, i n d i v i d u a l truths d o n o t mat-


T h e Essence o f T r u t h as H i s t o r i c a l Reflection [37-39]

ter. T h e r e f o r e the q u e s t i o n o f t r u t h , i n the sense o f the q u e s t i o n o f its essence, i m m e d i a t e l y e n c o u n t e r s the deepest s u s p i c i o n ; for we desire what is t r u e , w h y s h o u l d we be c o n c e r n e d w i t h t r u t h itself? T o be s u r e , it is p r e s u p p o s e d here w i t h o u t f u r t h e r reflec¬ t i o n that the essence is a u n i v e r s a l w h i c h a p p l i e s to every partk> u l a r instance i n the same w a y — i n d i f f e r e n t l y . B u t this m i g h t be to " m i s u n d e r s t a n d the essence. T h e r e f o r e o u r reflection m u s t reach the p o i n t , i n d e e d as soon as possible, w h e r e the q u e s t i o n o f what the essence itself is becomes u n a v o i d a b l e . It m i g h t t u r n o u t that the essence o f s o m e t h i n g is n o t the i n d i f f e r e n t b u t what is most essential. I n that case we w o u l d have to reverse the a p p a r e n d y o b v i o u s d e m a n d — " W e d e s i r e what is t r u e , w h y s h o u l d we be c o n c e r n e d w i t h t r u t h i t s e l f ? " — a n d say i n s t e a d : " W e desire t r u t h , w h y s h o u l d we be c o n c e r n e d w i t h the t r u e ? " F o r t h e n precisely t r u t h , the essence o f the t r u e , w o u l d be w h a t is g e n u i n e l y t r u e , that w h i c h is d e s i r e d i n t h e j u s t - m e n t i o n e d d e m a n d , t h o u g h s o u g h t o n a by-way. 2) T h e problematic character of the obviousness of the traditional conception of truth, and the question of its legitimacy.

1

T h e first steps o f o u r d e l i b e r a t i o n s have already s h o w n that we are n o t s t r i v i n g f o r a n i n d i f f e r e n t d e f i n i t i o n o f the essence o f the t r u e , i n o r d e r to be a p p e a s e d by it. We freed ourselves f r o m the c u s t o m a r y d e t e r m i n a t i o n o f t r u t h as the correctness o f a n assert i o n by s h o w i n g h o w this d e t e r m i n a t i o n is based o n a m o r e o r i g i n a l o n e that constitutes t h e g r o u n d o f the possibility o f c o r r e c t - , ness^ B u t as u n a v o i d a b l y as w e were l e d to a c k n o w l e d g e a n o p e n ness—as we c a l l e d i t — t h a t is precisely h o w d u b i o u s it has bec o m e w h e t h e r we have i n d e e d liberated ourselves f r o m the cust o m a r y c o n c e p t i o n o f t r u t h t h r o u g h this r e t u r n to o p e n n e s s as^ the g r o u n d o f correctness. I n fact we are r e l y i n g precisely o n the c u s t o m a r y c o n c e p t i o n , so m u c h so that we are s e e k i n g a f o u n d a t i o n for this reliance a n d c o n s e q u e n t l y want to c o n f i r m it a l l the more. We rely o n the c u s t o m a r y c o n c e p t i o n o f t r u t h as correctness, w i t h o u t h a v i n g f o u n d e d this c o n c e p t i o n sufficiently. We c o m e by


§13- T h e t r a d i t i o n a l c o n c e p t i o n o f t r u t h [39-40]

37

it as s o m e t h i n g t r a d i t i o n a l . T h e a p p e a l to what has been h a n d e d d o w n , the so-called " t r a d i t i o n , " is not a f o u n d a t i o n . Not even i f the t r a d i t i o n a l has b e c o m e o b v i o u s . O b v i o u s n e s s is always a very p r o b l e m a t i c assurance o f the legitimacy o f a n i n t u i t i o n . For, o n the o n e h a n d , it is questionable to what extent that w h i c h is s u p p o s e d to be o b v i o u s to the u n d e r s t a n d i n g is really u n d e r s t o o d o r w h e t h e r we have h e r e precisely a r e n u n c i a t i o n o f the w i l l to u n d e r s t a n d a n d the a p p e a l to thoughtlessness elevated to a p r i n c i ple. O n the o t h e r h a n d , it c o u l d be asked what k i n d o f i n t e l l i g i bility o r u n d e r s t a n d i n g is p r o v i d i n g the s t a n d a r d h e r e . W h a t m i g h t be very obvious o n a c e r t a i n level o f u n d e r s t a n d i n g â&#x20AC;&#x201D; t h e most s u p e r f i c i a l â&#x20AC;&#x201D; c a n be w h o l l y u n i n t e l l i g i b l e o n the p l a n e o f the will to g e n u i n e c o m p r e h e n s i o n . If, consequently, the c u s t o m a r y d e t e r m i n a t i o n o f t r u t h as c o r rectness a p p e a r s to us c o r r e c t precisely w h e n we reflect n o f u r t h e r o n it, t h e n this " o b v i o u s n e s s " is n o t yet a sufficient f o u n d a tion for the d e l i m i t a t i o n o f the essence o f the t r u e .

3) Toward the foundation of the customary conception of truth through a historical reflection on its origin. T h e distinction between a historiographical consideration and a historical reflection. T h e r e f o r e , i n o r d e r to g a i n the f o u n d a t i o n o f the c u s t o m a r y c o n c e p t i o n o f t r u t h , we w i l l q u e s t i o n back a n d e x a m i n e h o w it was f o u n d e d w h e n it was first p u t f o r t h . T h u s we are f o r c e d to t u r n to the p h i l o s o p h y o f A r i s t o t l e . T h a t means that instead o f actually a s k i n g the q u e s t i o n o f t r u t h by ourselves a n d f o r o u r selves, i.e., f o r the f u t u r e , we w i l l lose ourselves i n h i s t o r i o g r a p h ical c o n s i d e r a t i o n s a n d r e p o r t s a b o u t the a n c i e n t past. W h a t is h a p p e n i n g here? A r e we really a c t i n g c o n t r a r y to o u r o w n i n t e n t i o n s by r e t u r n i n g to history? N o . B u t we c a n o n l y u n d e r s t a n d that a reflection o n history belongs precisely a n d essentially to the w i l l to shape the f u t u r e i f we d i s t i n g u i s h between a h i s t o r i o g r a p h i c a l c o n s i d e r a t i o n a n d a h i s t o r i c a l reflection. T h e h i s t o r i o g r a p h i c a l , as the w o r d itself is s u p p o s e d to i n d i cate, refers to the past i n s o f a r as it is e x p l o r e d a n d p r e s e n t e d , e i t h e r expressly o r inexpressly, f r o m the perspective o f what h a p p e n s to be the present. Every h i s t o r i o g r a p h i c a l c o n s i d e r a t i o n


T h e Essence o f T r u t h as H i s t o r i c a l Reflection [40-41]

t u r n s the past as s u c h i n t o a n object. E v e n w h e r e a " h i s t o r i o g r a p h y " o f the present is p u t f o r t h , the very present m u s t a l r e a d y be bygone. A l l h i s t o r i o g r a p h y is retrospective, even w h e n it makes the past timely. T h e h i s t o r i c a l does not d e n o t e a m a n n e r o f g r a s p i n g a n d exp l o r i n g b u t the very h a p p e n i n g itself. T h e h i s t o r i c a l is not the past,_not_even the present, b u t the f u t u r e , that w h i c h is c o m ^ m e n d e d to the w i l l , to e x p e c t a d o n , to care. T h i s does not a l l o w itself to be " c o n s i d e r e d " ; i n s t e a d , we m u s t " r e f l e c t " o n it. We have to be c o n c e r n e d w i t h the m e a n i n g , the possible s t a n d a r d s , the necessary goals, the i n e l u c t a b l e powers, a n d that f r o m w h i c h a l l h u m a n h a p p e n i n g s b e g i n . T h e s e goals a n d powers c a n be s u c h that they have a l r e a d y c o m e to p a s s — i n a h i d d e n w a y — l o n g ago b u t are precisely therefore n o t the past b u t w h a t still abides a n d is a w a i t i n g the l i b e r a t i o n o f its i n f l u e n c e . T h e f u t u r e is the o r i g i n . o f history. W h a t is most f u t u r a l , however, is the great b e g i n n i n g s that w h i c h — w i t h d r a w i n g i t s e l f c o n s t a n t l y — r e a c h e s back the farthest a n d at the same time reaches f o r w a r d the farthest. T h e h i d ^ d e n destiny o f a l l b e g i n n i n g s , however, is t P _ s e e m j o _ b e t h r u s t aside, o v e r c o m e , a n d r e f u t e d by w h a t they themselves b e g i n a n d by what follows t h e m . T h e o r d i n a r y c h a r a c t e r o f what is hence~ f o r t h the o r d i n a r y becomes The l o r d over what is f o r ever the ex^_ t r a o r d i n a r y c h a r a c t e r ^>f the b e g i n n i n g . T h e r e f o r e , i n o r d e r j t q . rescue the b e g i n n i n g , a n d c o n s e q u e n t l y the f u t u r e as w e l l , f r o m , time to t i m e the d o m i n a t i o n o f the o r d i n a r y a n d a l l too o r d i n a r y must be b r o k e n . A n u p h e a v a l is n e e d e d , i n o r d e r that the ex-_ "traordin ary a n d die_for\yard-reaching m i g h t be liberated a n d c o m e to power. R e v o l u t i o n , the u p h e a v a l o f w h a t is h a b i t u a l , is_ the g e n u i n e r e l a t i o n to t h e J ) e g i n n i n g . . T h ^ Qn the_ contrary, the p r e s e r v i n g , a d h e r e s to a n d retains o n l y what was b e g u n IrT the wake o f "the b e g i n n i n g a n d what has c o m e forth_ f r o m it. T h e b e g i n n i n g c a n n e v e r be g r a s p e d t h r o u g h m e r e prese r v a t i o n , because to b e g i n m e a n s to t h i n k a n d to act f r o m the perspective o f the f u t u r e a n d o f w h a t is e x t r a o r d i n a r y , a n d f r o m , the r e n u n c i a t i o n o f the crutches a n d evasions o f the h a b i t u a l a n d the u s u a l . T o be s u r e , even the conservative, the a d h e r e n c e to w h a t has b e c o m e , a n d the m e r e p r e s e r v a t i o n a n d care for the h i t h e r t o ,


§13- T h e t r a d i t i o n a l c o n c e p t i o n o f t r u t h [4;*-4a]

39

I I

needs, as a h u m a n attitude, s t a n d a r d s i!nd g u i d e l i n e s . B u t it draws t h e m f r o m what has b e c o m e a n d sties t h e r e i n the r e g u l a r o r the r u l e , a n d elevates this to a n i d e a l â&#x20AC;&#x201D; w h i c h is t h e n r e t r i e v e d e v e r y w h e r e a n d r e q u i r e d a g a i n , a n d t h r o u g h this " e v e r a g a i n " gains a n a p p a r e n t l y s u p r a t e m p o r a l validity. c) T h e acquisition of the beginning i n the experience o f its law. T h e historical as the extension from the future into the past and from the past into the future. W h a t is conservative r e m a i n s b o g g e d d o w n i n the h i s t o r i o g r a p h i c a l ; o n l y what is r e v o l u t i o n a r y attains the d e p t h o f history. Revo l u t i o n does not m e a n h e r e m e r e s u b v e r s i o n a n d d e s t r u c t i o n b u t a n u p h e a v a l a n d r e c r e a t i n g o f the c u s t o m a r y s o j h a t the beginÂŹ n i n g m i g h t be r e s t r u c t u r e d . A n d because the o r i g i n a l b e l o n g s to the b e g i n n i n g , the r e s t r u c t u r i n g o f the b e g i n n i n g is n e v e r the p o o r i m i t a t i o n o f w h a t was e a r l i e r ; it is e n t i r e l y o t h e r a n d nevertheless the same. ' T h e b e g i n n i n g n e v e r allows itself to be r e p r e s e n t e d o r c o n s i d e r e d i n h i s t o r i o g r a p h y . For, i n that way, i.e., h i s t o r i o g r a p h i c a l l y c o n s i d e r e d , it is d e g r a d e d i n t o s o m e t h i n g w h i c h has a l r e a d y bec o m e a n d is n o l o n g e r b e g i n n i n g . T h e b e g i n n i n g is o n l y acq u i r e d w h e n we creatively e x p e r i e n c e its law, a n d this law c a n never b e c o m e a r u l e but r e m a i n s specific a n d p a r t i c u l a r , the u n i q u e n e s s o f the necessary. T h e u n i q u e n e s s o f the necessary is that s i m p l e _ w h i c h r as the most difficult^ m u s t e v e r a n d a g a i n be a c c o m p l i s h e d c o m p l e t e l y anew. H i s t o r i o g r a p h i c a l c o n s i d e r a t i o n s attain o n l y the past a n d never reach the h i s t o r i c a l . F o r the latter goes b e y o n d e v e r y t h i n g h i s t o r i o g r a p h i c a l , j u s t as m u c h i n the d i r e c t i o n o f the f u t u r e as w i t h respect to the past, a n d a l l the m o r e i n r e l a t i o n t o the present. T h e present, w i t h the inevitable obtrusiveness o f its results, c e r t a i n l y a p p e a r s to o f f e r i n the most i m m e d i a t e way that w h i c h comes to pass, a n d yet history is precisely i n any present what comes to pass most g e n u i n e l y a n d is t h u s the most h i d d e n . T h e r e f o r e a historiographical consideration a n d presentation o f the present is the most b l i n d over a n d against history. T h i s k i n d


T h e Essence o f T r u t h as H i s t o r i c a l Reflection [42-43]

o f h i s t o r i o g r a p h y touches o n l y the foremost o f the f o r e g r o u n d , w h i c h is, o f c o u r s e , taken b y the c o m m o n u n d e r s t a n d i n g as what g e n u i n e l y c o m e s to pass. T h e h i s t o r i c a l is the s u p e r - h i s t o r i o g r a p h i c a l b u t for that r e a s o n is precisely n o t the s u p r a - t e m p o r a l , n o t the so-called e t e r n a l o r timeless, since the h i s t o r i o g r a p h i c a l o n l y reaches the past a n d not the g e n u i n e l y t e m p o r a l . T h e p r o p e r l y t e m p o r a l is the stirr i n g , e x c i t i n g , b u t at the s a m e time c o n s e r v i n g a n d p r e s e r v i n g e x t e n s i o n a n d stretch f r o m t h e f u t u r e i n t o the past a n d j r q n v t h e . latter i n t o the f o r m e r . I n this e x t e n s i o n , m a n as h i s t o r i c a l is i n each case a " s p r e a d . " T h e p r e s e n t is always later t h a n the f u t u r e ; it is the'Yast. It s p r i n g s f r o m the struggle o f the f u t u r e w i t h the past. T h a t the c o m i n g tojj^sjpj^istqry emerges out o f thej\> t u r e d o e s not m e a n , however, that history c a n be m a d e a n d d i rected by p l a n n i n g . R a t h e r , m a n — p r e c i s e l y i n creative s h a p i n g — c a n penetrate i n t o t h e uncertain^ a n d i n c a l c u l a b l e o n l y by rneans o f the will to p r o v i d e a d i r e c t i o n w i t h i n w h a t is necessary a n d o u t of a k n o w l e d g e o f t h e law o f the b e g i n n i n g . , H i s t o r i c a l reflections are f u n d a m e n t a l l y d i f f e r e n t f r o m h i s t o riographical c o n s i d e r a t i o n s . H i s t o r i o g r a p h y has, however, its o w n p r o p e r usefulness as i n s t r u c t i o n , m e d i a t i o n o f c o g n i t i o n s , a n d as research a n d p r e s e n t a t i o n ; a n d a c c o r d i n g l y it also has its o w n limits. H i s t o r i c a l r e f l e c t i o n , o n the contrary, is possible, a n d i n d e e d necessary, o n l y w h e r e history is g r a s p e d creatively a n d c o - f o r m a t i v e l y — i n the c r e a t i o n o f the poet, the architect, the t h i n k e r , the statesman. T h e s e a r e n e v e r h i s t o r i o g r a p h e r s w h e n they reflect o n w h a t comes to pass. Since they a r e not h i s t o r i o g r a p h e r s , they a c c o m p l i s h the o p e n i n g u p a n d the new f o u n d a tion o f history. H i s t o r i c a l r e f l e c t i o n is n e v e r the e x p l o r a t i o n o f the past, even i f this past presents the spirit o f a n age. A l l " h i s tory o f the s p i r i t " is always o n l y h i s t o r i o g r a p h y but easily creates the i m p r e s s i o n o f b e i n g a r e f l e c t i o n , since it d o e s investigate the s p i r i t . B u t there the s p i r i t is o n l y a n object—set aside a n d r e p r e sented as s o m e t h i n g that o n c e was a n d is n o w past a n d p e r h a p s is still r o m a n t i c a l l y l o n g e d for. O n the o t h e r h a n d , J a k o b B u r c k h a r d t , w h o at times seems t o be a n " i n e x a c t " h i s t o r i o g r a p h e r o r a p e d a n t w i t h literary a m b i t i o n s , is a n y t h i n g b u t a h i s t o r i o g r a p h e r . H e is a t h i n k e r o f history t h r o u g h a n d t h r o u g h , to w h o m histo-


§14- R e t u r n to the A r i s t o t e l i a n d o c t r i n e [43-44]

r i o g r a p h i c a l science a n d p h i l o l o g y o n l y p r o v i d e a u x i l i a r y services. S o m u c h f o r a first, t h o u g h n o t yet decisive, clarification o f the d i s t i n c t i o n between a h i s t o r i o g r a p h i c a l c o n s i d e r a t i o n a n d a hist o r i c a l reflection.

§14. Return to the Aristotelian doctrine of the truth of the assertion as a historical reflection. I f now, i n the c o n t e x t o f a n o r i g i n a l p o s i n g o f the basic q u e s t i o n o f t r u t h , we r e f e r back to A r i s t o d e i n o r d e r to reflect o n t h e f o u n d a t i o n o f the t r a d i t i o n a l c o n c e p t o f t r u t h f o l l o w i n g the g u i d e l i n e o f his t h e o r y o f the t r u t h o f the a s s e r t i o n , t h e n this has n o t h i n g to d o w i t h a h i s t o r i o g r a p h i c a l c o n s i d e r a t i o n o f a past d o c t r i n e o f a n allegedly a n t i q u a t e d G r e e k p h i l o s o p h y . T h i s is so n o t o n l y because the p r o b l e m a t i c A r i s t o t e l i a n c o n c e p t i o n o f t r u t h is n o t b y g o n e , a n d still today t h o r o u g h l y d e t e r m i n e s o u r k n o w l e d g e a n d decisions, but also because we are q u e s t i o n i n g the i n a u g u r a t i o n a n d p r e s e r v a t i o n o f the o r d i n a r y W e s t e r n c o n c e p t o f t r u t h at its very outset a n d are d o i n g so o n l y i n t e r m s o f o u r a w a k e n i n g the q u e s t i o n o f t r u t h f o r the f u t u r e as a — o r p e r haps the—basic question o f philosophy. T h i s q u e s t i o n i n g s h o u l d it s u c c e e d — w i l l itself s t a n d w i t h i n a history whose b e g i n n i n g reaches back t e m p o r a l l y b e h i n d A r i s t o d e a n d whose f u t u r e reaches far b e y o n d us. T h e r e f o r e , the p h i l o s o p h i c a l t h o u g h t o f the G r e e k s that we are r e f l e c t i n g o n is not s o m e t h i n g b y g o n e , n o r is it s o m e t h i n g o f today, m a d e to fit the times. It is f u t u r a l a n d t h e r e f o r e s u p e r - h i s t o r i o g r a p h i c a l ; it is the h i s t o r i c a l . T h e essence o f t r u t h is not a m e r e concept, c a r r i e d a b o u t i n the h e a d . O n the contrary, t r u t h is alive; i n the m o m e n t a r y f o r m o f its essence it is the p o w e r that d e t e r m i n e s e v e r y t h i n g t r u e a n d u n t r u e ; it is what is s o u g h t after, what is fought for, what is suffered for. T h e essence o f t r u t h is a h a p p e n i n g , m o r e real a n d m o r e efficacious t h a n a l l h i s t o r i o g r a p h i c a l o c c u r r e n c e s a n d facts, because it is t h e i r g r o u n d . W h a t is h i s t o r i c a l i n a l l h i s t o r y comes to pass i n that great silence for w h i c h m a n o n l y r a r e l y has the r i g h t ear. T h a t we k n o w so litde o r even n o t h i n g o f this h i d -


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T h e Essence o f T r u t h as H i s t o r i c a l Reflection [44-45]

d e n history o f the essence o f t r u t h is n o p r o o f o f its u n r e a l i t y but o n l y evidence o f o u r lack o f reflective power. I f we n o w d i s t i n g u i s h , i n o u r representations, between a h i s t o r i o g r a p h i c a l c o n s i d e r a t i o n a n d a h i s t o r i c a l reflection, n o t h i n g is g a i n e d as l o n g as we d o not c a r r y o u t that d i s t i n c t i o n a n d p u t it to the test i n a real historical r e f l e c t i o n . Yet w e h a d to p r o v i d e this First r e f e r e n c e to the d i s t i n c t i o n , at least i n o r d e r to obviate a m i s i n t e r p r e t a t i o n o f what follows as a m e r e r e p o r t a b o u t d o c t r i n e s l o n g b y g o n e .

ยง15. The Aristotelian foundation of the correctness of an assertion as the essence of truth. B e c a u s e o u r d i s c u s s i o n o f G r e e k p h i l o s o p h y is n o t a h i s t o r i o g r a p h i c a l a d d e n d u m b u t belongs to the very course o f o u r questioning, this c o u r s e m u s t be c o n s t a n d y s u r v e y e d a n d d o m i n a t e d . L e t us therefore briefly r e p e a t the task. T h r o u g h a first reflect i o n , the t r a d i t i o n a l c o n c e p t i o n o f t r u t h as correctness b e c a m e questionable. S o m e t h i n g w o r t h y o f q u e s t i o n i n g showed itself:_ that m u l t i p l e - u n i t a r y o p e n n e s s o f beings, o n the basis o f w h i c h a _ c o n f o r m i t y to s o m e t h i n g i n r e p r e s e n t a t i o n , a n d c o n s e q u e n d y _ correctness, first b e c o m e possible. I f we conceive a n d u n d e r s t a n d this o p e n n e s s as the g r o u n d o f the possibility o f correctness, we t o u c h u p o n t r u t h i n its o r i g i n a l a n d p r o p e r essence. B u t the r e t u r n to this o p e n n e s s leads to the o r i g i n a l essence o f t r u t h o n l y i f it c a n be s h o w n i n a d v a n c e w i t h g o o d f o u n d a t i o n that correctness a l r e a d y i n s o m e way contains, even i f not o r i g i n a l l y , the essence o f t r u t h . W h a t is the case here? Is the i n t e r p r e t a t i o n o f t r u t h as the correctness o f a representation o r assertion a f o u n d e d o n e , a n d how so? I n o r d e r to g a i n s o m e clarity, we will ask this q u e s t i o n i n view o f the p r i m o r d i a l p o s i t i n g o f the d e f i n i t i o n o f t r u t h i n A r i s t o t l e . T h e r e t u r n to the A r i s t o t e l i a n d o c t r i n e is not to be a m e r e h i s t o r i o g r a p h i c a l c o n s i d e r a t i o n b u t a h i s t o r i c a l reflection. T h e first step w o u l d be to r e c o u n t Aristotle's d o c t r i n e o f the essence o f the t r u e a n d the false, a n d t h e n discuss the a p p u r t e nance o f t r u t h a n d falsity to the assertion (\6-yos) a n d the struct u r e o f the assertion itself. B u t because the c o n t e m p o r a r y t h e o r y o f t r u t h a n d o f the assertion is not essentially distinct f r o m A r i s -


§16. T h e t u r n i n g o f the q u e s t i o n [45-47]

43

lode's a n d has already been m o r e o r less e l u c i d a t e d w i t h the exa m p l e o f the p r o p o s i t i o n , " T h e stone is h a r d , " we may here forego a n elaborate presentation o f Aristotle's d o c t r i n e . Instead, we will ask i m m e d i a t e l y : how does A r i s t o t l e g r o u n d this d e t e r m i n a t i o n o f the essence o f t r u t h ? W i t h what legitimacy is the essence o f t r u t h d e t e r m i n e d to be the correctness o f a n assertion? T h e f o u n d a t i o n for this essential d e t e r m i n a t i o n a p p e a r s to be easy, since it is obvious. It c a n be s h o w n that i n a n assertion o f the type, " T h e stone is h a r d , " there occurs a c o n f o r m i t y o f the r e p r e s e n t a t i o n to the object. B u t is that a p p e a l to the occurrence o f correctness i n this o r i n a n o t h e r p r o p o s i t i o n a f o u n d a t i o n f o r the essence o f t r u t h as correctness? B y n o m e a n s . S u c h references to correct p r o p o s i t i o n s o n l y p r o v i d e e x a m p l e s o f correctness b u t not the l e g i t i m a t i n g f o u n d a t i o n f o r the essence a n d for a n essential d e t e r m i n a t i o n . T h e q u e s t i o n is not w h e t h e r a n d h o w t h e essence o f t r u t h c o u l d be e l u c i d a t e d t h r o u g h the e x a m p l e o f a c o r rect p r o p o s i t i o n , b u t w h e t h e r a n d h o w the p o s i t i n g o f the correctness o f the assertion as the essence o f t r u t h is f o u n d e d . T h i s i n c l u d e s the q u e s t i o n o f h o w the essence o f s o m e t h i n g is to be posited at a l l a n d w h e r e this p o s i t i n g o f the essence w o u l d have its p r i n c i p l e a n d g r o u n d . O b v i o u s l y , this q u e s t i o n c a n be a n s w e r e d o n l y i f we have first c l a r i f i e d what essence is as s u c h , w h e t h e r it be the essence o f t r u t h o r the essence o f a p l a n t o r the essence o f a w o r k o f art.

§16. The turning of the question of the essence of truth into the question of the truth (essentiality) of the essence. The question of the Aristotelian conception of the essentiality of the essence. W h a t makes u p the essence o f the essence or, as we say, essentiality? Essentiality indicates what the essence as such really is, what it is i n t r u t h . It d e l i m i t s the t r u t h o f the essence. We l o o k i n v a i n f o r the f o u n d a t i o n o f a n essential d e t e r m i n a t i o n — i n o u r case, the d e t e r m i n a t i o n o f the essence o f t r u t h — i f we d o not t r u l y k n o w w h a t i n g e n e r a l is to be d e t e r m i n e d here a n d is to be f o u n d e d i n its d e t e r m i n a t i o n , n a m e l y the essence itself. W h e r e have we a r r i v e d ? P e r h a p s we now have some i n k l i n g o f the r e m a r k a b l e character o f the way forced u p o n us by the ques-


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T h e Essence o f T r u t h as H i s t o r i c a l Reflection [47-48]

tion o f t r u t h itself, i f we relentlessly e n o u g h raise questions i n o r d e r to create a free p a t h f o r its i n n e r m o s t i m p e t u s . We a r e aski n g the q u e s t i o n o f t r u t h , i.e., we are a s k i n g a b o u t the essence o f t r u t h . We a r e not s e e k i n g i n d i v i d u a l " t r u t h s " b u t the essence o f t r u t h . I n the u n f o l d i n g o f this q u e s t i o n we have now r e a c h e d the p o i n t o f h a v i n g to raise t h e q u e s t i o n o f the t r u t h o f essence. A H this is e n i g m a t i c : the q u e s t i o n o f the essence o f t r u t h is at the same time a n d i n itself the q u e s t i o n o f the t r u t h o f the essence. T h e q u e s t i o n o f t r u t h â&#x20AC;&#x201D; a s k e d as a basic q u e s d o n â&#x20AC;&#x201D; t u r n s i t s e l f i n itself against itself. T h i s t u r n i n g , w h i c h we have n o w r u n u p against, is a n i n t i m a t i o n o f the fact that we a r e e n t e r i n g the c o m pass o f a g e n u i n e p h i l o s o p h i c a l q u e s d o n . We c a n n o t n o w say what the t u r n i n g means, w h e r e it is f o u n d e d , since we have h a r d l y e n t e r e d the p o r t i c o o f the r e g i o n o f p h i l o s o p h i c a l reflect i o n . O n l y o n e t h i n g is c l e a r : i f a l l p h i l o s o p h i c a l t h o u g h t m u s t m o r e u n a v o i d a b l y m o v e i n this t u r n i n g the m o r e it t h i n k s o r i g i nally, i.e., the m o r e it a p p r o a c h e s what i n p h i l o s o p h y is p r i m o r d i a l l y a n d always t h o u g h t a n d reflected u p o n , t h e n the t u r n i n g m u s t b e l o n g essentially t o the single focus o f p h i l o s o p h i c a l reflection ( B e i n g as the a p p r o p r i a t i n g event). S i n c e it was necessary t o b r i n g a first clarity to the task o f the q u e s t i o n o f t r u t h , the search f o r what is t r u e , w h e t h e r it be i n d i v i d u a l truths o r the decisive t r u t h , was d e l i m i t e d against a reflect i o n o n the essence o f t r u t h . T h i s d e l i m i t a t i o n s e e m e d u n e q u i v o cal, a n d the p h i l o s o p h i c a l task thereby s e e m e d clear. N o w , however, we have seen that i n the q u e s t i o n o f the essence o f t r u t h not o n l y is t r u t h as such questionable b u t so is the perspective w i t h i n w h i c h we a r e r a i s i n g the q u e s t i o n : w h a t we so casually a n d easily call the essence. W e speak o f the essence o f the state, the essence o f life, the essence o f technology, c o n c e d i n g p e r h a p s that we d o not yet k n o w t h e essence o f the state, o f life, a n d o f technology, t h o u g h silently c l a i m i n g to k n o w the o t h e r side, n a m e l y what essence is i n g e n e r a l , w h e t h e r it be a matter o f the state, life, technology, etc. B u t as obvious, a n d questionable, as is the d e t e r m i n a t i o n o f t r u t h as correctness, that is h o w q u e s t i o n able, a n d o b v i o u s , is o u r view o f the essentiality o f the essence, s u p p o s i n g that i n the u s u a l talk a b o u t the essence o f t h i n g s we d o i n t e n d s o m e t h i n g d e t e r m i n a t e i n the w o r d "essence" a n d d o not s i m p l y a b a n d o n ourselves to a n u n d e t e r m i n e d w o r d - s o u n d .


ยงi6. T h e t u r n i n g o f the q u e s t i o n [48-49]

45

T h e r e f o r e i n o r d e r to d e c i d e h o w A r i s t o t l e l a i d the f o u n d a t i o n for the subsequent c o m m o n i n t e r p r e t a t i o n o f the essence o f t r u t h , we have to k n o w h o w h e c o n c e i v e d the essence as s u c h , the essentiality o f the essence, especially since the A r i s t o t e l i a n determ i n a t i o n o f the essentiality o f the essence became the s t a n d a r d o n e f o r the times that followed a n d r e m a i n s v a l i d , despite s o m e m o d i f i c a t i o n s , even today. B u t we m u s t a g a i n r e n o u n c e a detailed p r e s e n t a t i o n o f the A r i s t o t e l i a n d o c t r i n e o f the essentiality o f the essence. F o r to d o it satisfactorily, a f a r - r e a c h i n g i n t e r p r e t a t i o n , especially o f the seventh b o o k o f the Metaphysics, w o u l d have to be a r t i c u l a t e d . W i t h i n the context o f o u r lectures w h a t matters is o n l y the basic t h r u s t o f the A r i s t o t e l i a n d e t e r m i n a t i o n o f the essentiality o f the essence, i.e., that w h i c h c o r r e s p o n d s to, a n d s p r i n g s f o r t h as, the i n n e r law o f the b e g i n n i n g o f O c c i d e n tal t h i n k i n g , a n d w h i c h received f r o m Plato its decisive s t a m p f o r a l l subsequent W e s t e r n t h o u g h t .

RECAPITULATION

1) Rejection of three misinterpretations of the distinction between historiographical consideration and historical reflection. Science and historical reflection. T h e present discussions i n the history o f p h i l o s o p h y , as w e l l as those to c o m e later i n the lecture course, a r e to be u n d e r s t o o d i n the l i g h t o f the d i s t i n c t i o n between a h i s t o r i o g r a p h i c a l c o n s i d e r a t i o n a n d a h i s t o r i c a l reflection. A d m i t t e d l y , the d i s t i n c t i o n a n d w h a t is d i s t i n g u i s h e d i n it have n o t been e x a m i n e d h e r e t h o r o u g h l y i n every respect. T h e r e f o r e the possibility o f m i s u n d e r s t a n d i n g w i l l inevitably persist. Yet three c o n s p i c u o u s m i s i n t e r pretations s h o u l d expressly be rejected: 1. Since we s a i d h i s t o r i c a l reflection is a c c o m p l i s h e d o n l y by creative t h i n k e r s w i t h i n v a r i o u s d o m a i n s , o n e m i g h t s u p p o s e that it c a n treat the past w i t h c o m p l e t e l y u n b o u n d e d f r e e d o m . B u t h i s t o r i c a l reflection is i n fact b o u n d to the past i n a n essentially m o r e r i g o r o u s way t h a n h i s t o r i o g r a p h y is. For what h i s t o r ical reflection r e m e m b e r s i n the past is o n e a n d the same as the f u t u r e , w h i c h the creators establish, a n d grasp as law, i n t h e i r d e -


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T h e Essence o f T r u t h as H i s t o r i c a l Reflection [49-50]

cisions c o n c e r n i n g t h e i r tasks. C o n t r a r y to this, the points o f view o f h i s t o r i o g r a p h y t o w a r d the past a r e very arbitrary, a n d i n s o f a r as h i s t o r i o g r a p h y as a science is c o n c e r n e d , they a r e c h o s e n a n d evaluated p r i m a r i l y a c c o r d i n g t o whether, a n d h o w far, they p r o mote new h i s t o r i o g r a p h i c a l c o g n i d o n s , i.e., i n s o f a r as they e n hance the progress o f the science. A l t h o u g h c o n t e m p o r a r y hist o r i o g r a p h y has a c c o m m o d a t e d itself to a n insistent timeliness o f viewpoints, yet, a c c o r d i n g to t h e still u n b r o k e n i d e a o f science, every h i s t o r i o g r a p h i c a l constatation is i m p o r t a n t a n d relevant as a b u i l d i n g stone f o r h i s t o r i o g r a p h i c a l overviews (syntheses). H i s t o r i o g r a p h y is b o u n d by past facts, i n t e r p r e t e d i n a c e r t a i n way each t i m e ; h i s t o r i c a l r e f l e c t i o n , however, is b o u n d by that h a p p e n i n g o n the basis o f w h i c h facts c a n arise a n d c a n be i n the first place. H i s t o r i c a l reflection is subject to a h i g h e r a n d m o r e r i g o r ous law t h a n h i s t o r i o g r a p h y is, a l t h o u g h it m i g h t seem, j u d g i n g by a p p e a r a n c e s , that the reverse obtains. 2. S i n c e h i s t o r i o g r a p h i c a l c o n s i d e r a t i o n s are always s u b o r d i nated to h i s t o r i c a l reflections, the e r r o n e o u s o p i n i o n c a n arise to the effect that h i s t o r i o g r a p h y is altogether s u p e r f l u o u s f o r history. B u t f r o m the o r d e r o f r a n k j u s t m e n t i o n e d the o n l y c o n c l u sion to be d r a w n is this: h i s t o r i o g r a p h i c a l c o n s i d e r a t i o n s a r e essential o n l y i n s o f a r as they a r e s u p p o r t e d by a h i s t o r i c a l reflection, are d i r e c t e d by it i n t h e i r very way o f q u e s t i o n i n g , a n d are d e t e r m i n e d by it i n the d e l i m i t a t i o n o f t h e i r tasks. B u t this also i m p l i e s the converse, that h i s t o r i o g r a p h i c a l c o n s i d e r a t i o n s a n d c o g n i t i o n s are i n d e e d i n d i s p e n s a b l e . A n d that h o l d s a l l the m o r e for a n age w h i c h has to set itself free f r o m the t r a m m e l s o f h i s t o r i o g r a p h y a n d its c o n f u s i o n w i t h history. T h i s l i b e r a t i o n is necessary because a creative e r a has to protect itself e q u a l l y against a n o f t e n i g n o r a n t a n d weak i m i t a t i o n o f the past, a n d against a n i r r e v e r e n t s u b m e r g i n g o f the p a s t â&#x20AC;&#x201D; t w o attitudes, a p parently m u t u a l l y o p p o s e d , w h i c h a l l too readily find themselves u n i f i e d , t h o u g h i n itself this u n i t y is t h o r o u g h l y c o n f u s e d . 3. Finally, o n e m i g h t t h i n k that this d i s t i n c t i o n between h i s t o r i o g r a p h i c a l c o n s i d e r a t i o n a n d h i s t o r i c a l reflection is e m p t y c o n c e p t u a l h a i r - s p l i t t i n g , unnecessary a n d a d e a d letter. L e t us s h o w this is not the case t h r o u g h a p e c u l i a r a n d a p p a r e n d y e x t r a n e o u s example. It is a w e l l - k n o w n fact that the n a t u r a l sciences a d m i t a h i s t o -


ยงi6. T h e t u r n i n g o f the q u e s t i o n [50-52]

47

r i o g r a p h i c a l c o n s i d e r a t i o n o f t h e i r o w n past m e r e l y as a n a d d e n d u m , since f o r t h e m what is past is s i m p l y what is n o longer. Natu r a l science itself o n l y deals w i t h present n a t u r e . T h i s a t t i t u d e was e x p r e s s e d s o m e time ago by a famous m a t h e m a t i c i a n d u r i n g a debate o v e r the o c c u p a n c y o f a professorial c h a i r i n classical philology. H e d e c l a r e d that this c h a i r s h o u l d be r e p l a c e d by o n e i n physical science, a n d his a r g u m e n t was the f o l l o w i n g : classical p h i l o l o g y always deals o n l y w i t h what has a l r e a d y b e e n ; the natu r a l sciences, o n the contrary, c o n s i d e r not o n l y what is p r e s e n d y real, but they c a n also p r e d i c t , a n d c a n calculate i n advance h o w the r e a l has to be, a n d i n that way c a n lay the f o u n d a t i o n s o f technology. T h u s , the h i s t o r i o g r a p h y o f n a t u r a l science m e r e l y c o n sists i n past discoveries a n d theories, ones that have been overc o m e l o n g ago t h r o u g h progress. T h e " h i s t o r y " o f science is for science itself its h i s t o r i o g r a p h y , that w h i c h the science c o n s t a n d y leaves b e h i n d i n its progress to e v e r new results. T h e h i s t o r i o g r a p h y o f n a t u r a l science does n o t b e l o n g to it o r to its m e t h o d ology. T h r o u g h h i s t o r i o g r a p h i c a l considerations o f the sequence o f e a r l i e r theories a n d discoveries o n e c a n at most clarify h o w m a g n i f i c e n t l y f a r we have c o m e a n d h o w b a c k w a r d e a r l i e r times h a d b e e n , d o m i n a t e d by " p h i l o s o p h y " a n d " s p e c u l a t i o n " w i t h t h e i r u n b r i d l e d d r e a m s , w h i c h have now f i n a l l y b e e n shattered by the exact a n d sober c o n s i d e r a t i o n o f the "facts." I n this way h i s t o r i o g r a p h y c a n establish that a p h i l o s o p h e r , s u c h as A r i s t o d e , was o f the o p i n i o n that heavy bodies fall faster t h a n l i g h t ones, whereas the " f a c t s " o f m o d e r n science prove that a l l bodies fall equally fast. A h i s t o r i o g r a p h i c a l c o n s i d e r a t i o n o f such a k i n d is therefore a n a c c o u n t o f a g r o w t h i n progress, w h e r e b y whatever h a p p e n s to be new is i n t e r p r e t e d as m o r e progressive. B u t above a n d b e y o n d h i s t o r i o g r a p h y , we still c l a i m that historical reflection is possible a n d w i l l even o n e day p r o v e to be i n dispensable. H i s t o r i c a l reflection w i l l q u e s t i o n the basic e x p e r i ence a n d basic c o n c e p t i o n o f the G r e e k s , o r o f A r i s t o t l e i n p a r t i c u l a r , a b o u t " n a t u r e , " the body, m o t i o n , place, a n d t i m e . A n d h i s t o r i c a l reflection will recognize that the G r e e k a n d the A r i s t o t e l i a n basic e x p e r i e n c e o f n a t u r e was o f such a k i n d that the velocity o f the fall o f heavy a n d light bodies a n d t h e i r b e l o n g i n g to a c e r t a i n place c o u l d not have been seen otherwise o r d e t e r m i n e d d i f f e r e n t l y t h a n they were. A h i s t o r i c a l reflection w i l l


T h e Essence o f T r u t h as H i s t o r i c a l Reflection [52-53]

realize that the G r e e k t h e o r y o f n a t u r a l processes d i d not rest o n insufficient observation b u t o n a n o t h e r — p e r h a p s e v e n d e e p e r — c o n c e p t i o n o f n a t u r e that precedes a l l p a r t i c u l a r observations. For A r i s t o d e , " p h y s i c s " m e a n s precisely the metaphysics o f nature. A h i s t o r i c a l reflection w i l l d i s c e r n that even the m o d e r n science o f n a t u r e is g r o u n d e d o n a m e t a p h y s i c s — i n such a n u n c o n d i t i o n a l way a n d so f i r m l y a n d so m u c h a m a t t e r o f c o u r s e that most scientists d o n o t suspect it i n the least. A h i s t o r i c a l reflection o n t h e f o u n d a t i o n s o f m o d e r n n a t u r a l science w i l l perceive that the m u c h - a c c l a i m e d facts, w h i c h m o d e r n e x p e r i m e n t a l science accepts as t h e sole reality, b e c o m e visible as facts a n d c a n be f o u n d e d o n l y i n l i g h t o f a w h o l l y d e t e r m i n e d metaphysics o f n a t u r e , a metaphysics that is n o t less operative because c o n t e m p o rary scientists a r e n o l o n g e r a c q u a i n t e d w i t h it. O n the o t h e r h a n d , the great scientists w h o l a i d the f o u n d a t i o n s o f m o d e r n n a t u r a l science w e r e great precisely i n that they possessed t h e power a n d the passion o f foundational t h i n k i n g a n d had the edu c a t i o n for it as w e l l . A h i s t o r i c a l reflection w i l l a c k n o w l e d g e that it makes u t t e r l y n o sense to m e a s u r e the A r i s t o t e l i a n theory o f m o t i o n straightf o r w a r d l y against t h e results o f the research o f G a l i l e o a n d to j u d g e the f o r m e r as a n t i q u a t e d , the latter as progressive; f o r i n these two cases n a t u r e m e a n s s o m e t h i n g e n t i r e l y different. A c c o r d i n g to h i s t o r i o g r a p h i c a J c a l c u l a t i o n , m o d e r n n a t u r a l science is c e r t a i n l y m o r e a d v a n c e d t h a n t h e G r e e k , a s s u m i n g the techn o l o g i c a l d o m i n a t i o n , a n d thereby also the d e s t r u c t i o n , o f n a t u r e is i n d e e d p r o g r e s s — v e r s u s the p r e s e r v a t i o n o f n a t u r e as a metaphysical power. F r o m t h e s t a n d p o i n t o f h i s t o r i c a l r e f l e c t i o n , the a d v a n c e d m o d e r n science o f n a t u r e is n o t a w h i t m o r e t r u e t h a n the G r e e k ; o n the c o n t r a r y , at most it is m o r e u n t r u e , because it is a l t o g e t h e r c a u g h t i n t h e web o f its o w n m e t h o d o l o g y , a n d , n o t w i t h s t a n d i n g a l l its discoveries, it lets escape w h a t is g e n u i n e l y the object o f these discoveries: n a m e l y n a t u r e , a n d man's relation to it, a n d man's place i n it. T h e historiographical c o m p a r i s o n a n d account o f the past a n d the present c o n c l u d e i n the progressiveness o f t h e present. H i s t o r ical reflection o n the past a n d o n the future leads to a n insight into the groundlessness o f the c o n t e m p o r a r y relation (or lack o f rela-


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tion) to nature; it leads to the insight that the natural sciences, as i n general all sciences, i n spite o f their progress, o r perhaps precisely because o f this progress, find themselves i n a crisis. Indeed, as we h e a r today, " T h e pratde about the crisis o f science s h o u l d finally be toned d o w n " (immatriculadon discourse o f the present rector, D e cember, 1937). T h e "crisis" o f science does certainly not consist i n its not allowing professorships i n paleontology, ethnology, ethnography, etc., n o r does it consist i n its not b e i n g relevant e n o u g h to lifeâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;that it is all too m u c h . We w o u l d d o well to stop s p e a k i n g o f the crisis o f science i n such terms. For these decriers o f the crisis are in fact basically i n complete accord with contemporary science, e m brace it, a n d even become its best defenders, as soon as they find a satisfying position w i t h i n it. T h e crisis is quite otherwise a n d stems not f r o m 1933, a n d not f r o m 1918, a n d not even f r o m t h e m u c h criticized nineteenth century, b u t f r o m the b e g i n n i n g o f the m o d e r n age, w h i c h was not a mistake b u t a fate, a n d only a fate will overcome it. T h e most acute crisis o f today's science m i g h t consist precisely i n h a v i n g n o s u s p i c i o n o f t h e crisis i n w h i c h it is i n v o l v e d : i n o t h e r words, i n b e l i e v i n g that it has been s u f f i c i e n d y c o n f i r m e d by its successes a n d its p a l p a b l e results. B u t n o t h i n g s p i r i t u a l , a n d n o t h i n g w h i c h is to d o m i n a t e as a s p i r i t u a l p o w e r a n d is s u p p o s e d to be m o r e t h a n a business, c a n ever be v a l i d a t e d by success a n d usefulness. H i s t o r i c a l reflections q u e s t i o n t h e present a n d f u t u r e o f scie n c e itself a n d h e a p s h a m e o n its b e l i e f i n progress, f o r s u c h reflections s h o w that i n mattei-s o f essence t h e r e is n o progress b u t o n l y the t r a n s f o r m a t i o n o f the same. F o r n a t u r a l science, a n d f o r any science, h i s t o r i o g r a p h i c a l c o n s i d e r a t i o n s a r e p e r h a p s o n l y a n e x t r i n s i c concession to let its o w n past be seen as s o m e t h i n g to o v e r c o m e . H i s t o r i c a l reflection, o n the contrary, belongs t o the essence o f a l l t h e sciences, i n s o f a r as it claims to p r e p a r e a n d to f o r m f o r t h e m , b e y o n d every useful result, a n essential k n o w l e d g e o f t h e i r subject matter a n d o f the c o n c o m i t a n t r e g i o n o f Being. T h e sciences a n d certainly, i n the u l t i m a t e analysis, t h e i r est a b l i s h m e n t today i n t h e i r total a d m i n i s t r a t i v e o r g a n i z a t i o n (the university) a r e f a r f r o m s u s p e c t i n g a n y t h i n g o f the necessity o f historical reflection. W h y ? Because this p r e s u m a b l y o n l y abstract


T h e Essence o f T r u t h as H i s t o r i c a l Reflection [54-56]

d i s t i n c t i o n between h i s t o r i o g r a p h i c a l c o n s i d e r a t i o n a n d h i s t o r i cal reflection is n e i t h e r e x p e r i e n c e d n o r g r a s p e d a n d f o r the time b e i n g w i l l not be g r a s p e d . F o r we have l o n g ago b e c o m e used to the fact that a scientist c a n refer to a c k n o w l e d g e d a c c o m p l i s h m e n t s i n his field a n d at the same t i m e , w i t h a d i s t u r b i n g u n s u s p e c t i n g i n n o c e n c e , may be b l i n d to all that provides his science f o u n d a t i o n a n d legitimacy. W e even t h i n k this to be w o n d r o u s . W e have l o n g ago f a l l e n i n t o the most silly A m e r i c a n i s m , whose p r i n c i p l e is that the t r u e is what succeeds a n d e v e r y t h i n g else is " s p e c u l a t i o n , " i.e., a d r e a m far r e m o v e d f r o m life. We w a l low a g a i n a l r e a d y — a l l those w h o a s h o r t time ago were still faci n g each o t h e r as hostile b r o t h e r s b u t always b e l o n g e d f u n d a m e n t a l l y t o g e t h e r — i n a j o v i a l a n d even tipsy o p t i m i s m w h i c h lets c o m e to life a g a i n the Gaudeamus igitur a n d the Ergo bibamus as the c o r o n a t i o n o f a c a d e m i c life ( i m m a t r i c u l a t i o n discourse o f the d e a n o f the school o f m e d i c i n e ) . H o w o f t e n a n d for how l o n g must we G e r m a n s a g a i n a n d a g a i n be struck w i t h blindness? O p t i m i s m is a b e a u t i f u l t h i n g ; b u t it is o n l y the r e p r e s s i o n o f p e s s i m i s m , a n d b o t h p e s s i m i s m a n d its c o u n t e r p a r t arise o n l y o n " the basis o f a c o n c e p t i o n o f reality, a n d consequently o f history, i n the sense o f a business, the prospects o f w h i c h now are c a l c u lated as h o p e f u l a n d now as the o p p o s i t e . O p t i m i s m a n d pessim i s m exist o n l y w i t h i n the c o m p a s s o f a h i s t o r i o g r a p h i c a l con¬ s i d e r a t i o n o f history. O p t i m i s t s are not p e o p l e w h o get r i d o f p e s s i m i s m — f o r what o t h e r r e a s o n w o u l d they have to be o p t i mists? H i s t o r i c a l reflection, o n the o t h e r h a n d , stands outside o f this o p p o s i t i o n between o p t i m i s m a n d p e s s i m i s m , since it does not c o u n t o n the bliss o f progress a n d still less o n a n u n f o r t u n a t e arrest o f progress o r even regress. Instead, h i s t o r i c a l reflection works t o w a r d the p r e p a r a t i o n o f a historical existence w h i c h lives u p to the greatness o f fate, to the p e a k m o m e n t s o f B e i n g . T h e s e r e m a r k s have been i n t e n d e d to indicate that the d i s t i n c tion between h i s t o r i o g r a p h i c a l c o n s i d e r a t i o n a n d h i s t o r i c a l reflection is not a free-floating " s p e c u l a t i v e " c o n s t r u c t i o n o f t h o u g h t b u t represents the most s t e r n necessity o f a d e c i s i o n whose acceptance o r neglect is decisive for ourselves a n d for o u r destiny i n history (and also f o r the G e r m a n university, i n w h i c h we are l o o k i n g a h e a d , a c c o r d i n g to the o p i n i o n o f the many, w h o


§16. T h e t u r n i n g o f the q u e s t i o n [56-57]

5

1

are thoughtless by profession, to the most marvelous times as i n the days o f W i l h e l m II). 2) T h e path from the question of the essence of truth to the question of the truth (essentiality) of the essence. T h e task o f these lectures c o m p e l s us to historical reflection. W e are r a i s i n g the q u e s t i o n o f t r u t h . We e n t e r e d i n t o the o r d i n a r y a n d l o n g - s t a n d i n g t r a d i t i o n a l c o n c e p d o n o f t r u t h as the correctness o f a n assertion. We f o u n d i n this c o n c e p d o n s o m e t h i n g w o r thy o f q u e s t i o n i n g â&#x20AC;&#x201D; t h a t openness o f beings o v e r a n d against m a n a n d o f m a n for beings. W e a p p e a l e d to this openness as the g r o u n d o f the possibility o f correctness. T h e g r o u n d is the m o r e o r i g i n a l . T h e r e f o r e the question-worthy openness m u s t c o m prise the m o r e o r i g i n a l essence o f t r u t h . T o be s u r e , this is so o n l y u n d e r the p r e s u p p o s i t i o n that the t r a d i t i o n a l c o n c e p t i o n o f t r u t h f o r its p a r t expresses a l r e a d y i n g e n e r a l s o m e t h i n g o f the . essence o f t r u t h a n d does so w i t h g o o d f o u n d a t i o n . W h a t is the case here? H o w a n d t h r o u g h what was this c o n c e p t i o n o f the essence o f t r u t h as the correctness o f a n assertion f o u n d e d w h e n A r i s t o t l e i n t r o d u c e d it? H o w c a n a c l a i m a b o u t the essence be f o u n d e d i n the first place, w h e t h e r it be the essence o f the t r u e , the essence o f the b e a u t i f u l , the essence o f plants, the essence o f technology, etc.? J u s t h o w are we to u n d e r s t a n d the essence o f s o m e t h i n g ? W h a t , i n t r u t h , d o we m e a n by the w o r d "essence"? I n s h o r t , w h e r e does the t r u t h o f the essence lie? W h i l e we w e r e a s k i n g a b o u t the essence o f t r u t h a n d w a n t e d to lay the f o u n d a t i o n f o r a d e t e r m i n a t i o n o f the essence o f t r u t h , we were d r i v e n to the q u e s t i o n o f the t r u t h o f the essence. T h a t is q u i t e i n o r d e r , insofar as a p h i l o s o p h i c a l q u e s t i o n is at stake. Because i n s u c h q u e s t i o n i n g n o t h i n g may r e m a i n u n q u e s t i o n e d . I f we ask a b o u t the essence o f t r u t h , a n d m a k e n o a t t e m p t to clarify o u r u n d e r s t a n d i n g o f what is meant by essence, t h e n we are o n l y h a l f a s k i n g ; f r o m a p h i l o s o p h i c a l s t a n d p o i n t , we a r e not q u e s t i o n i n g at a l l . Since we a r e n o w q u e s t i o n i n g h o w A r i s t o t l e f o u n d e d the det e r m i n a t i o n o f the essence o f the true, we m u s t clarify what he


52

T h e Essence o f T r u t h as H i s t o r i c a l Reflection

[57]

u n d e r s t o o d by "essence." T h a t is the m o r e necessary since the characterization o f the essendality a n d the t r u t h o f the essence i n A r i s t o t l e a n d Plato b e c a m e f o r posterity, right u p to the present m o m e n t , the s t a n d a r d o n e , as d i d t h e i r d e t e r m i n a t i o n o f the essence o f t r u t h . A n d this c o n n e c t i o n is not a c c i d e n t a l .


Chapter Two

T h e Question of the Truth (Essentiality) of the Essence

§17. Historical reflection on the Aristotelian-Platonic determination of the essentiality of the essence. a) T h e four characteristics of the essentiality of the essence i n Aristotle. We w i l l n o w a t t e m p t to reflect o n the A r i s t o t e l i a n - P l a t o n i c d e t e r m i n a t i o n o f t h e essentiality o f the essence. T h e "essence" o f a t h i n g , so it is s a i d , is o n e a n d u n i v e r s a l a n d a p p l i e s to the m a n y p a r t i c u l a r instances. T h e essence " t a b l e " indicates what a p p l i e s , as s o m e t h i n g o n e a n d the same, to every table as table. T h e u n i versal is t h e r e f o r e a s t a n d a r d " o v e r " the w h o l e extent o f its r e a l a n d possible p a r t i c u l a r i z a t i o n s . T h e G r e e k s use the w o r d xotTCt (cf. xaTiryopux) to signify w h a t e x t e n d s over p a r t i c u l a r s a n d h o l d s f o r t h e m f r o m " a b o v e . " T h e w h o l e w h i c h i n c l u d e s every p a r t i c u l a r w i t h i n itself is called 8\ov. A c c o r d i n g l y , the essence is what h o l d s f o r m a n y : T O x a d 6 X o u . T h i s essence, as it were, hovers over the p a r t i c u l a r a n d is therefore also c o n c e i v e d as -yâ&#x201A;Źvo<;. We usually translate this as " g e n u s " o r " c l a s s " : table i n g e n e r a l is the class w i t h r e g a r d to the species: d i n n e r table, w r i t i n g table, s e w i n g table, w h i c h " r e a l l y " o c c u r themselves first i n t h e i r repeatedly v a r i e d p a r t i c u l a r i z a tions. f e v o s , however, i n the m o r e o r i g i n a l sense o f the w o r d ,


T h e Q u e s t i o n o f the T r u t h o f the Essence

54

[58-60]

means lineage, d e r i v a t i o n , o r i g i n . O n l y by the p r e v a i l i n g d o m i n a t i o n o f logic d i d Revo's as o r i g i n b e c o m e yivo<i as class i n the sense o f the h i g h e r universality o f the " t y p e . " T h e essence is that f r o m w h i c h a p a r t i c u l a r t h i n g , a n d i n d e e d i n ivhat it is, has its o r i g i n , w h e n c e it derives. T h e r e f o r e the essence o f a t h i n g , o f any p a r t i c u l a r whatever, c a n be c o n c e i v e d as that w h i c h the t h i n g a l r e a d y i n a c e r t a i n sense " w a s " before it became the s i n g u l a r t h i n g it " i s . " F o r i f there were n o t a l r e a d y — n o matter h o w — s o m e t h i n g like table i n general, t h e n never c o u l d any p a r t i c u l a r table be f a b r i c a t e d ; what the p a r t i c u l a r table is s u p p o s e d to be as a table w o u l d be altogether l a c k i n g . T h e r e f o r e A r i s t o d e also c o n c e i v e d the essence as the B e i n g (etyott) o f the p a r t i c u l a r b e i n g , what i t — t h e p a r t i c u l a r — a l r e a d y was ( T I •fry) before it became t h i 7 p a T t i a u 1 i r " * T ^ e x p r e s s e d acc o r d i n g l y : T O T l ^V6u"o"r""" ' A l l these d e t e r m i n a t i o n s o f the essentiality o f the essence, T O xordoXov (the general), T 6 yivos (the o r i g i n ) , T O T C 1\V eu>oa (the B e i n g it was) conceive the essence as that w h i c h lies i n advance o f p a r t i c u l a r things a n d so lies a t t h e i r foundation—{nTo/xeiu-eyoy. We a r e n o w i n a p o s i t i o n to u n d e r s t a n d the statement by w h i c h A r i s t o t l e begins his o w n p r o p e r e x a m i n a t i o n o f the essence as s u c h : \e7eTa1 8' r\ o w r i a , e l ILT\ •nkeovax&'i, ak\' kv TirrapcrC ye p-dAxora: " T h e 'essence' { p r e l i m i n a r y t r a n s l a t i o n f o l l o w i n g the u s u a l interpretation} is n a m e d (and represented) p r e d o m i n a t e l y i n f o u r ways, i f not still m o r e m a n i f o l d l y . " xoti yap T O T£ l|v etvcti xotl T O xot-ooAov xocl T O 7€Vo<» oiwiot Soxet eu>oti e x d o r o v , x a i T6TapTOV T O U T W V T O vTroxeiu-evov: " F o r the ' B e i n g it was' a n d also the g e n e r a l a n d likewise the o r i g i n seem to f o r m the essence o f p a r t i c u l a r things, a n d s i m i l a r l y the f o u r t h o f the characterizations: the u n d e r l y i n g f o u n d a t i o n . " 1

2

T h a t A r i s t o t l e speaks h e r e a b o u t Soxei ("it seems so") indicates that he h i m s e l f will n o t allow these f o u r characterizations o f the essence p r e d c l i n e a t e d by P l a t o n i c p h i l o s o p h y as d e t e r m i n a t i o n s o f essentiality. H o w A r i s t o d e specifically decides ( e l i m i n a t i n g x a d o X o u a n d 7€vo<?) will be s h o w n i n o u r d i s c u s s i o n o f that p a r t o f his treatise (Met. Z).

1. a.

Aristotle, Shtaphyska. Ibid.

E d . W. Christ, l-eiprig 1886. Z 3, 1028b 33ft".


§17. H i s t o r i c a l reflection [60-61]

55

b) T h e essence as the whatness of a being. Whatness as I8ea: the constantly present, what is in view in advance, the look (eiSos). We are reflecting o n l y o n what is f u n d a m e n t a l i n the d e t e r m i n a tion o f the essentiality o f the essence, as it was stated o n c e and~ for all i n the P l a t o n i c - A r i s t o t e l i a n p h i l o s o p h y a n d became n o r mative f o r posterity. T h a t is, we a r e r e f l e c t i n g o n what we o u r selves o r d i n a r i l y m e a n — e v e n i f i n a very i n d e t e r m i n a t e w a y — w h e n we speak a b o u t the "essence" o f a t h i n g . I n s o f a r as we are successful i n d e t e r m i n i n g m o r e precisely w h a t we m e a n by essence we w i l l also be capable o f e x a m i n i n g m o r e exacdy h o w the essence o f s o m e t h i n g — e . g . , the essence o f t r u t h — i s p o s i t e d , g r a s p e d , a n d f o u n d e d , a n d what sort o f f o u n d a t i o n b e l o n g s to t r u t h itself, a c c o r d i n g to its essence. T h e first c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n A r i s t o d e b r i n g s u p w i t h r e g a r d to the essence is that it contains the u n i v e r s a l — e . g . , the essence t a - i ble is that w h i c h is c o m m o n to a l l i n d i v i d u a l tables a n d therefore i n a n assertion a b o u t t h e m is v a l i d for a l l tables. Plato h a d a l ready c h a r a c t e r i z e d the essence as what is c o m m o n o v e r a n d against the p a r t i c u l a r i z a t i o n s a n d Tiad d e s i g n a t e d it w i t h the n a m e T O xotvov. E v e r since t h e n , this c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n o f t h e es¬ sence as the u n i v e r s a l has r e m a i n e d the most u s u a l one. B u t it is also i n fact the most s u p e r f i c i a l , f o r n o e x t e n d e d d e l i b e r a t i o n is n e e d e d to see that the c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n o f the essence as xotvov, as what is c o m m o n to many, is not sufficient. T h e essence o f the table is not the essence because it is v a l i d for m a n y p a r t i c u l a r tables, real o r possible, b u t the reverse: o n l y i n s o f a r as it is the essence c a n it a p p l y to the i n d i v i d u a l tables. T h e character o f the xotvov c a n n o t be the g e n u i n e l y distinctive m a r k o f the essence b u t is o n l y a possible consequence o f the essence. We m u s t say " p o s s i b l e , " because i f we ask a b o u t the essence o f Plato o r o f Fred e r i c k the G r e a t , t h e n we are certainly s e e k i n g the essence o f these i n d i v i d u a l m e n , but h e r e it is the essence o f s o m e t h i n g w h i c h is, by its very " n a t u r e , " precisely s i n g u l a r a n d u n i q u e — a k i n d o f essence that precisely excludes b e i n g v a l i d for many. :

I n this way it is clear that what is essential i n the essence c a n n o t be the xotvov b u t that w h i c h a d m i t s , o r d e m a n d s , that the essence be v a l i d for the m a n y i n d i v i d u a l s . B u t what is that? W h a t


T h e Q u e s t i o n o f the T r u t h o f the Essence [61-62]

IJ6

d o these two t h i n k e r s say w h o have decisively d e t e r m i n e d a l l W e s t e r n speech a n d t h o u g h t a b o u t the essence o f things? R e v i e w i n g the rest o f Aristotle's characterizations ol"~the essehce, we c o m e u p o n a d e t e r m i n a t i o n that is so s i m p l e it says n o t h i n g to u s : the essence is w h a t we seek w h e n we ask Tt i c m v : what is this? W h a t is this h e r e a n d that there.-' A plantTTTToTise. T h e essence is the Tt e u r o i â&#x20AC;&#x201D; t h e whatness [Wassetn] o f a b e i n g . T o ask wtiat somethingTHs*l~"l too tamiT"a"r"to~T"s a n d to e a r l i e r g e n T erations. W h a t s o m e t h i n g is is its essence. B u t what is this " w h a t " itself? Is t h e r e a n answer? T o be s u r e . Plato p r o v i d e d it. W h a t s o m e t h i n g is, the whatness ( T O T I eu>oti), e.g., o f a h o u s e o r a manT" is what i s f c o n s t a n u y p r e s e n t f i n that s o m e t h i n g . I n a l l ever so d i f terent h o u s e T w l t a t l s c o m t a n t is what they are, h o u s e , " a n d c o n versely, what they are, houses i n a l l t h e i r variety a n d change, is the constant. A h o u s e c o u l d not collapse i f it were n o t a h o u s e . -

T h i s constant presence is w h a t we have i n view i n a d v a n c e , t h o u g h w i t h o u t c o n s i d e r i n g i t explicitly, w h e n we n a m e a n d ex> p e r i e n c e whatever we e n c o u n t e r as what it is, e.g., as a h o u s e . W h e n we e n t e r a h o u s e we pay a t t e n t i o n to the d o o r , the staircase, t h e halls, a n d t h e r o o m s , a n d o n l y to these, for o t h e r w i s e we c o u l d n o t move a r o u n d i n it at a l l . O n the o t h e r h a n d , we d o not pay a t t e n t i o n e x p l i c i d y a n d i n the same way to what a l l that is i n its u n i t y , n a m e l y h o u s e . Nevertheless, precisely w h a t it is, h o u s e , the essence, is always* s i g h t e d i n advance, t h o u g h n o t explicitly c o n s i d e r e d . I n fact, i f we d i d engage i n s u c h a c o n s i d e r ation o f the essence we w o u l d n e v e r c o m e to e n t e r the h o u s e a n d live i n it. Nevertheless, a g a i n , w h a t the t h i n g is, the constantly present, m u s t be s i g h t e d i n a d v a n c e a n d i n d e e d necessarily so. " T o see" is i n G r e e k loeiv; w h a t is i n sight, precisely as s i g h t e d , is l8ea. W h a t is s i g h t e d is w h a t the b e i n g is i n advance a n d c o n stantly. T h e " w h a t it i s , " t h e whatness, is the l o e a ; a n d c o n versely, t h e " i d e a " is the whatness, a n d the latter is the cssenceT M o r e precisely, a n d m o r e i n the G r e e k v e i n , the iScct is the look something,offers, the aspect it has a n d , as it were, shows o f itself, the e ! 8 o s ^ ) n l y i n l i g h t o f w h a t is seen i n advance a n d c o n s t a n d y , yet not e x p l i c i d y o b s e r v e d , e.g., h o u s e , c a n we e x p e r i e n c e a n d use this d o o r as a d o o r , this staircase as a staircase to this storey witrTthcse r o o m s . i T I h a t w e r e not i n sight, h o w w o u l d matters t h e n stand? Yoit may thlnTfthat o u t for y o u r s e l v e s ^


§17. H i s t o r i c a l reflection [62-63]

57

"Essence" TO TÔ TO TO TÔ

xadoXov •yévoç T C l|v e w c a (a priori) vrroxeiftevov (sutyecium) xoivâv T O T £ C O T L V (quidditas) TO €iSos l&éa o i x r i a (essentia)

RECAPITULATION

1) Four characterizations o f the essentiality o f the essence i n Aristotle. T h e whatness i n Plato: the Loea as what is sighted i n advance, the look. We a r e a b i d i n g w i t h the q u e s t i o n : h o w d o e s c i r i s t o d e — i . e . , G r e e k p h i l o s o p h y i n g e n e r a l ^ f o u n d the essenceNif t r u t h a n d the d e f i n i t i o n o f the e s s e n c e o f t r u t h as the correctness o f a n assertion? T o g a i n the a n s w e r we m u s t ask i m m e d i a t e l y a n d before all else: h o w d o the G r e e k s conceive w h a t we call essence? I n w h a t consists for t h e m the essentiality o f t h e essence? First o f a l l w i t h reference to A r i s t o t l e , Metaphysics Z , we t r i e d to e l u c i d a t e , i n a few b r o a d strokes, that a n d h o w there c a n still be d e c i d e d s o m e t h i n g a b o u t the essentiality o f t h e essence. T h e result was the f o l l o w i n g : A r i s t o t l e m e n t i o n s p r i m a r i l y f o u r c h a r a c terizations o f t h e essentiality o f t h e essence; these stand i n a ma¬ terial c o n n e c t i o n a n d c a n be synthesized i n o n e o f t h e m . © T h e essence is what s o m e t h i n g is i n g e n e r a l , w h a t a p p l i e s over the e n t i r e e x t e n T o f the p a r t i c u l a r instances: T O xotftoAov. (2) T h e essence is that f r o m w h i c h a n y t h i n g , i n what it is as s u c h , has its o r i g i n , w h e n c e it stems: T O 7evo«;. A n i n d i v i d u a l house is o f t h e g e n u s : h o u s e i n general" ( g ) T h e essence c a n therefore also be d e s i g n a t e d as what s o m e t h i n g a l r e a d y was, before it b e c a m e what it is as a n i n d i v i d u a l . A n inthy^uanroTrse""is not tirst a house as a n i n d i v i d u a l t h i n g ^ b u t what it is as this indiyjdual_th_ing, n a m e l y " h o u s e , " was already.


5ÂŤ

T h e Q u e s t i o n o f t h e T r u t h o f the Essence [63-65]

A n d that was, not because t h e r e were already o t h e r i n d i v i d u a l houses b e f o r e this o n e , b u t because, i n o r d e r for this o r that house to b e c o m e a n d be what it is, s o m e t h i n g like " h o u s e i n g e n e r a l " m u s t exist a n d be g i v e n . C o n s e q u e n t l y , " h o u s e " is, w i t h reg a r d to the c o n s t r u c t e d i n d i v i d u a l h o u s e , what a l r e a d y w a s â&#x20AC;&#x201D; T O T I -fry e l v a i . W i t h this d e t e r m i n a t i o n is c o n n e c t e d the o n e that bec a m e u s u a l i n the s u b s e q u e n t t h i n k i n g o f the West a n d received a special s t a m p i n Kant's p h i l o s o p h y : the essence as what is p r i o r to the t h i n g , d e r i v i n g f r o m w h a t is e a r l i e r : the a p r i o r i . Mln a l l these d e t e r m i n a d o n s , the essence is w h a t lies o v e r o r before t h e i n d i v i d u a l , o r what lies u n d e r it as its g r o u n d : T O ~ virox6iu,evoy. A f t e r this first perspective, it was t h e n o u r task to sketch m o r e precisely w h a t we g e n u i n e l y m e a n by "essence," especially since o u r c o n c e p t o f essence is still e n t i r e l y f o u n d e d o n the G r e e k o n e . T h e m o s t f a m i l i a r c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n o f the essence, t h e o n e that is still u s u a l today, t h o u g h also t h e m o s t s u p e r f i c i a l , is the firstm e n t i o n e d : the essence is T O xai)6\oa>, c o n c e i v e d by Plato as T O X O I V O V . A m o m e n t ' s r e f l e c t i o n s h o w e d , however, that the u n i v e r sality a n d its a p p l i c a b i l i t y to m a n y a r e n o t themselves the essentiality o f the essence b u t o n l y its consequences. T h e u n i v e r s a l " t a ble i n g e n e r a l " is n o t the essence because it a p p l i e s to m a n y p a r t i c u l a r tables, b u t it a p p l i e s t o the m a n y a n d c a n d o so o n l y because t h e r e is i n this u n i v e r s a l , i n w h a t is c o m m o n to a l l the p a r t i c u l a r i z a t i o n s , s o m e t h i n g i d e n t i c a l , a n d that is w h e r e t h e essence resides. W h a t t h e n is this i d e n t i t y t a k e n i n itself, a b s t r a c t i n g f r o m the m e r e l y subsequent a p p l i c a b i l i t y to the i n d i v i d u a l instances? We said the essence is w h a t s o m e t h i n g is, T O T C â&#x201A;Ź O T I V (quidditas). A n d what n o w is this, w h a t s o m e t h i n g i"sH"*ie"*wnat'hess.'' N o f u r t h e r " answer seems possible. Nevertheless Plato p r o v i d e d a n answer, a n a n s w e r w h i c h became h e n c e f o r t h p e r h a p s the most conseq u e n t i a l , i n f l u e n t i a l , and_clisastrous p h i l o s o p h i c a l d e f i n i t i o n i n Western t h i n k i n g : the essence is w h a t s o m e t h i n g is, a n d we e n c o u n t e r w h a t it is as that w h i c h we c o n s t a n d y have i n sigjtt i n a l l o u r c o m p o r t m e n t to the t h i n g . W h e n we e n t e r a house- a n d live i n it we constantly have " h o u s e " i n sight, i.e., house-ness. I f this were not s e e n , we c o u l d never e x p e r i e n c e a n d e n t e r stairs, h a l l , r o o m , attic, o r cellar. B u t this house-ness, w h i c h stands i n view, is


§17. H i s t o r i c a l reflection [65-66]

59

not thereby c o n s i d e r e d a n d observed the way the i n d i v i d u a l w i n d o w is, t o w a r d w h i c h we walk i n o r d e r to close it. House-ness is not even observed incidentally. It is not observed at a l l ; yet it is i n sight, a n d precisely i n a n e m i n e n t way: it is s i g h t e d i n advance. " T o see" a n d " t o s i g h t " are i n G r e e k LSetv, a n d w h a t is i n sight, i n its b e i n g s i g h t e d , is loeot. W h a t is sighted is w h a t s o m e t h i n g is, the whatness, the essence. H e n c e the essence o f s o m e t h i n g is the l o e a , a n d conversely the " i d e a , " w h a t is s i g h t e d i n this d e t e r m i ÂŹ nate sense, the aspect s o m e t h i n g offers i n w h a t it is, is t h e essence.

a) How to understand the essence sighted i n advance. If, i n o u r i m m e d i a t e c o m p o r t m e n t t o w a r d i n d i v i d u a l beings, we d i d n o t have the essence a l r e a d y i n sight, or, P l a t o n i c a l l y expressed, i f we d i d not have the " i d e a s " o f i n d i v i d u a l t h i n g s i n view i n advance, t h e n we w o u l d be b l i n d , a n d w o u l d r e m a i n . b l i n d , to e v e r y t h i n g these things are as i n d i v i d u a l s , i.e., as s u c h a n d s u c h , h e r e a n d now, i n these o r those relations. A n d still m o r e : a c c o r d i n g to the way a n d to the extent that we r e g a r d the essence, we are also capable o f e x p e r i e n c i n g a n d d e t e r m i n i n g w h a t is u n i q u e i n the things. W h a t is viewed i n advance a n d h o w it is i n view a r e decisive for w h a t we factually see i n the i n d i v i d u a l t h i n g . T h i s basic r u l e , w h i c h is n o t at a l l c o n s i d e r e d by o r d i n a r y t h o u g h t a n d is too rarely n o t i c e d i n spite o f a l l the directives p o i n t i n g t o w a r d it, becomes especially clear i n a c o u n t e r - e x a m ple. W h a t follows is a p a r t i c u l a r l y impressive o n e . I n the c o u r s e o f the battle a r o u n d the c i t a d e l o f V e r d u n , i n the s p r i n g o f 1916, Fort V a u x was to be s t o r m e d . T h e c o m m a n d e r o f the d i v i s i o n selected for the attack was p r e p a r i n g for it o n the n i g h t o f M a r c h 8-9. D u r i n g the n i g h t , a d i s p a t c h f r o m a cavalry officer a r r i v e d at the c o m m a n d post o f the d i v i s i o n : " H a v e reached Fort V a u x w i t h three c o m p a n i e s . " T h e g e n e r a l t r a n s m i t ted the message that n i g h t i n the f o r m : " F o r t V a u x is t a k e n . " I m mediately the w h o l e f r o n t k n e w : the fort is o c c u p i e d by u s ! A t d a w n , h u n d r e d s o f b i n o c u l a r s were t r a i n e d o n the fort. O u r black-white-red b a n n e r s c o u l d be seen w a v i n g over the fort; G e r m a n soldiers were seen w a l k i n g o n the r a m p a r t s ; p y r a m i d s o f o u r rifles were seen s t a n d i n g there. T h e c r o w n p r i n c e p e r s o n a l l y


6b

T h e Q u e s t i o n o f the T r u t h o f the Essence [66-67]

h a n d e d o u t to the d i v i s i o n c o m m a n d e r the m e d a l P o u r le mérite. B u t n o s o o n e r d i d t h e c r o w n p r i n c e leave the d i v i s i o n h e a d q u a r t e r s t h a n a m e s s e n g e r b r o u g h t the news that e v e r y t h i n g was i n e r r o r , the fort was still i n F r e n c h h a n d s — a n d i n fact it was. W e r e the b l a c k - w h i t e - r e d b a n n e r s , the soldiers m a r c h i n g a r o u n d , a n d the rifles o p t i c a l illusions? N o — t h e ones w h o were l o o k i n g t h r o u g h the b i n o c u l a r s saw very w e l l , a n d they c o u l d not see otherwise. T h e mistake lay n o t i n the seeing but i n w h a t they h a d i n view i n a d v a n c e , t h e s t o r m e d fort, o n the basis o f w h i c h fore-sight they t h e n interpreted i n such a n d s u c h a way w h a t they saw. E v e r y t h i n g that we see i n p a r t i c u l a r s is always d e t e r m i n e d by w h a t we have i n view i n a d v a n c e . T h e mistake d i d not r e s i d e i n the seeing b u t i n the i m p r e c i s e d i s p a t c h o f the cavalry officer, o r i n the faulty i n t e r p r e t a t i o n by d i v i s i o n h e a d q u a r t e r s . " H a v e r e a c h e d the f o r t " m e a n t o n l y "I a m s t a n d i n g b e f o r e the r a m p a r t s o f t h e f o r t " a n d d i d n o t m e a n : "I took i t . " T h i s d i s p a t c h a n d its i n t e r p r e t a t i o n a n d c i r c u l a t i o n c r e a t e d that fore-sight o n t h e fort w h i c h t h e n b e c a m e the VTTOX€tu,evov f o r the a p p a r e n d y " i n c o r r e c t " seeing. W h a t is essential is n o t w h a t we p r e s u m a b l y establish w i t h exactness by m e a n s o f i n s t r u m e n t s a n d gadgets; w h a t is essential is t h e view i n a d v a n c e w h i c h first o p e n s u p the field for a n y t h i n g to be e s t a b l i s h e d . S o it h a p p e n s that we, lost as we u s u ally a r e i n t h e activities o f o b s e r v i n g a n d establishing, believe we "see" m a n y t h i n g s a n d yet d o n o t see w h a t really is.

§18. The Greek determination of the essence (whatness) in the horizon of an understanding of Being as constant presence.

a) T h e determination of the essence (whatness) as the "beingness" (oixrCa) of beings. T h e understanding of Being as constant presence is the ground for the interpretation o f beingness (oucria) as I8ea. I n P l a t o n i c t e r m s , the view i n advance o f the aspect s o m e t h i n g offers, the view o f its etSo<;, p r o v i d e s the Loea, that w h i c h the t h i n g is, its essence. H e r e w i t h t h e essentiality o f the essence is i n deed characterized quite unequivocally a n d beyond mere what-


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ness: the essence is the whatness o f s o m e t h i n g , a n d this is determ i n e d as the d o m i n a n t l o o k , l o e a . B u t h o w does Plato c o m e to this c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n o f the essentiality o f the essence? Is it o b v i ous? N o t i n t h e least, a l t h o u g h we have l o n g a g o a c c u s t o m e d o u r selves to m o r e o r less thoughtless talk a b o u t t h e " I d e a s . " F o r i f the essence is i d e n t i f i e d w i t h w h a t s o m e t h i n g is, w i t h t h e whatness, t h e n t h e essence characterizes what a b e i n g is as s u c h . I n the essence as whatness o r what-it-is, there resides t h e r e f o r e a c o n c e p t i o n o f t h e b e i n g w i t h r e g a r d to its B e i n g . A b e i n g is i n G r e e k T O 8 V , a n d w h a t u n i v e r s a l l y d e t e r m i n e s a b e i n g as a b e i n g is t h e xotvov, t h e b e i n g i n its beingness [Seiendkeit], t h e b'v i n its otxrioc. B e c a u s e t h e G r e e k s conceive the essence as t h e whatness o f s o m e t h i n g a n d i n t e r p r e t t h e latter as " I d e a , " t h e r e f o r e t h e essence means t h e same as t h e beingness o f beings^ c u r i a , a n d tlierefore" t h e oiwCorof t h e o V i s t h e iSeot, a n d t h e r e f o r e w e c a n a n d s h o u l d translate owCot, w h i c h actually a n d o n l y d e n o t e s beingness, w i t h "essence." T h i s , however, as t h e g e n e r a l o p i n i o n c o n f i r m s , is n o t at a l l o b v i o u s , a n d above a l l n o t f o r u s m o d e r n and contemporary thinkers. T h e r e a s o n t h e G r e e k s u n d e r s t a n d essence as whatness is that they i n g e n e r a l u n d e r s t a n d t h e B e i n g o f b e i n g s (oixria) as w h a t is c o n s t a n t a n d i n its constancy is always present, a n d as p r e s e n F shows itself, a n d as s e l f - s h o w i n g offers its l o o k — i n s h o r t , as l o o k , as Ibia.. O n l y o n t h e basis o f this u n d e r s t a n d i n g o f B e i n g as con¬ stant s e l f - o p e n i n g a n d s e l f - s h o w i n g presence is the i n t e r p r e t a tion o f t h e beingness o f b e i n g s — h e n c e the i n t e r p r e t a t i o n o f o w - f a — a s 184a possible a n d necessary.

b) T h e G r e e k u n d e r s t a n d i n g o f t h e I8ea. I n o r d e r to a s c e r t a i n t h e c o r r e c t u n d e r s t a n d i n g , i.e., the G r e e k u n d e r s t a n d i n g , o f t h e Loeot, we m u s t e m p h a s i z e o n c e m o r e : the l o e a — e i S o s — i s the l o o k s o m e t h i n g offers i n its " w h a t , " the l o o k s o m e t h i n g e x h i b i t s o f itself. W h y d o we stress this? A n objection c o u l d i m m e d i a t e l y be m a d e — e s p e c i a l l y o n the basis o f t h e u s u a l m o d e r n m o d e s o f t h i n k i n g — t h a t t h e c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n o f t h e whatness as loeot precisely does n o t f u l f i l l what we d e s i r e d , n a m e l y a d e t e r m i n a t i o n o f the whatness i n itself. F o r


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i f the whatness is c h a r a c t e r i z e d as s o m e t h i n g seen, t h e n it is o n l y d e t e r m i n e d w i t h r e g a r d to t h e way we e n c o u n t e r it a n d g r a s p i t — w i t h r e g a r d to the way it stands over a n d against us, a n d not as it is i n itself. T h i s possible o b j e c t i o n m i s u n d e r s t a n d s t h e T i r e e k concept o f B e i n g , w h i c h is precisely s e l f - e m e r g i n g a n d self-showi n g presence. C e r t a i n l y i n t h e n o t i o n o f the ISeot there resides a r e l a d o n to tSctv as a m o d e o f p e r c e p t i o n . B u t the p e r c e i v i n g o f beings as s u c h is a n iSetv o n l y because a b e i n g as such is selfs h o w i n g : ioeot. A d m i t t e d l y , we m u s t note h e r e that as s o o n as the G r e e k c o n c e p t i o n o f beings as s u c h got lost, i.e., became u n d e t e r m i n e d , o r dinary, a n d d i s t o r t e d — e s p e c i a l l y by its t r a n s l a t i o n i n t o the L a t i n — t h e n the r e l a d o n o f the 184a to ISetv p u s h e d itself i n t o the f o r e g r o u n d . T h e ISca was n o l o n g e r u n d e r s t o o d o n the basis o f beings a n d t h e i r basic c h a r a c t e r o f presence, b u t as a n i m a g e , the c o u n t e r p a r t to, a n d the r e s u l t of, a p a r t i c u l a r a p p r e h e n s i o n a n d r e p r e s e n t a t i o n . T h e I8ea became a m e r e r e p r e s e n t a t i o n (percipere-perceptio^Jbia) a n d , at the same time, a g e n e r a l i z a t i o n f r o m t h e j a a r t i c u l a r (Descartes, n o m i n a l i s m ) .

-

T h e i n t e r p r e t a t i o n o f B e i n g i n terms o f presence is the sole reason that f o r the G r e e k s t h e beingness o f beings was p r i m a r i l y d e t e r m i n e d by the whatness. F o r what a table is as.table b e l o n g s to every table, w h e t h e r it be o n e actually there o r o n e o n l y t h o u g h t o f a n d w i s h e d for. T h e whatness is the constant. T h a t a n i n d i v i d u a l table, as we say today, " e x i s t s , " is actual a n d at h a n d , t h i s — i t s reality o r e x i s t e n c e — d o e s not at all p e r t a i n to its es¬ sence. F r o m a r i g o r o u s P l a t o n i c way o f t h i n k i n g , the essence ot a b e i n g is impaired by its e n t a n g l e m e n t w i t h reality, i t T o i e s l t s p u r i t y a n d so i n a c e r t a i n sense its universality. For e x a m p l e , w h e n the essence " t a b l e " is actualized h e r e a n d now i n this specific k i n d of_ w o o d a n d w i t h these specific d i m e n s i o n s a n d shape, what is "act u a l " is o n l y a p a r t i c u l a r table, a n d the essence " t a b l e " _ i s j i o t thereby f u l l y actual i n a l l its possibilities a n d variations but is res t r j c t e d / T h o u g h t a n d seen i n the G r e e k - P l a t o n i c way, the single table here a n d n o w is c e r t a i n l y not n o t h i n g a n d h e n c e is a b e i n g (ov), but o n e w h i c h , m e a s u r e d against the essence, is a constric¬ tion a n d therefore p r o p e r l y s h o u l d n o t be (p/n), a p.f| b'v. F o r the G r e e k s , i n the i n d i v i d u a l t h i n g s s u r r o u n d i n g us a n d i n t h e i r relations, what p r o p e r l y is is precisely n o t the " h e r e a n d now, s u c h ~


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a n d s u c h , " the p a r t i c u l a r " t h i s " b u t is, quite to t t e c o n t r a r y , the^ " w h a t " o f the i n d i v i d u a l t h i n g , that w h i c h is s i g h t e d i n advance, the i d e a . E v e n A r i s t o d e thinks i n this P l a t o n i c - G r e e k m o d e — despite c e r t a i n m o d i f i c a t i o n s . Today, however, i f a table is real as here a n d now, t h e n we say it is, it " e x i s t s , " whereas the " i d e a " is for us s o m e t h i n g only rep¬ resented and^magined,_ a m e r e t h o u g h t , a n d precisely not p r o p ¬ erly r e a l . T h e r e f o r e for us today " i d e a s " a r e worthless i f they a r e not r e a l i z e d . We are interested i n r e a l i z a d o n a n d success, to s u c h a n extent that i n the p u r s u i t o f success the " i d e a s " finally get lost. Success as s u c h , however, needs to be a u g m e n t e d by m o r e a n d m o r e successes, h e n c e by t h e i r n u m b e r a n d d e g r e e . T h e r e f o r e m o r e velocity is a success, whereas the i d e a " v e l o c i t y " r e m a i n s the same, at most b e c o m i n g e m p t i e r a n d m o r e w o r n o u t . I n G r e e k t h o u g h t , this reality o f the p a r t i c u l a r d o e s n o t b e l o n g to the p r o p e r a n d first essence o f beings, f o r that is c o n c e i v e d o n l y as the whatness. T h e single decisive q u e s t i o n as r e g a r d s the essence is w h a t s o m e t h i n g is, not w h e t h e r it exists at h a n d as a n i n d i v i d u a l . For, this B e i n g as b e i n g at h a n d , r e a l o c c u r r e n c e , means, f r o m the s t a n d p o i n t o f the whatness as Loea, s o m e t h i n g that o n l y j i c c e d e s to the i d e a , is a c c i d e n t a l , a n d has n o d u r a t i o n . A n i n d i v i d u a l table c a n be destroyed, a n d it d i d n o t at a l l exist p r i o r to its f a b r i c a t i o n . Insofar as, for the G r e e k s , B e i n g m e a n s constant presence, the beingness o f beings (the o w t a o f the Ev) is d e t e r m i n a b l e o n l y as the whatness i n the sense o f l o e a . T h e c o n s e q u e n c e o f this is c o m p l e t e l y strange to o u r way o f t h i n k i n g , n a m e l y that f o r the G r e e k s the " e x i s t e n c e " a n d reality o f beings, hence precisely what we a r e wont to d e n o t e as the " B e i n g " o f b e i n g s , does n o t at a l l b e l o n g to the beingness o f beings. H e n c e i n the c o u r s e o f Western history since the time o f the G r e e k s , t h e r e m u s t have o c c u r r e d a reversal i n the c o n c e p t i o n o f " B e i n g , " w h o s e i m p o r t we still d o not suspect a n d a p p r e c i a t e , because we c o n t i n u e to s t u m b l e o n q u i t e thoughtlessly i n the afterm a t h o f this reversal. T h e reversal i n the c o n c e p t i o n o f B e i n g is all the m o r e e n i g m a t i c i n that it came to pass e n t i r e l y w i t h i n the f r a m e w o r k a n d o n the basis o f the i n t e r p r e t a t i o n o f B e i n g first a c q u i r e d by the G r e e k s themselves. T o the extent that even today we still ask a b o u t the essence i n the t r a d i t i o n a l way, we are a s k i n g about the whatness a n d a r e ex-


6

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T h e Q u e s t i o n o f the T r u t h o f the Essence [71-72]

e l u d i n g the presence at h a n d , the reality, o f the i n d i v i d u a l b e i n g . We a r e i n a way t h e n a s k i n g a b o u t t h e l o e a , t h o u g h i n the sense o f the x o i v 6 v , the u n i v e r s a l . Yet even i n this c o n c e p t i o n o f the essence t h e r e is i m p l i e d a n a b s t r a c t i o n f r o m the i n d i v i d u a l b e i n g as h e r e a n d now, s u c h a n d s u c h .

§19. The absence of a foundation for Aristotle's essential determination of truth as the correctness of an assertion. The question of the meaning of foundation. We are now better p r e p a r e d f o r the q u e s d o n that occasioned these deliberations about the essence as such. T h e questions is: how does A r i s t o d e f o u n d the essential d e t e r m i n a t i o n o f t r u t h i n the sense o f the correctness o f a n assertion? W h y does the whatness o f t r u t h reside i n the correctness o f a n assertion? T o what extent is the correctness o f a n assertion the " i d e a " o f t r u t h a n d consequendy the universal that pertains to everything true as such? T h e first step w i l l be to l o o k a b o u t i n A r i s t o d e h i m s e l f a n d see h o w h e f o u n d s this essence o f t r u t h a n d its p o s i t i n g . A n d h e r e a r e m a r k a b l e t h i n g a p p e a r s : n o f o u n d a t i o n is g i v e n . T h e essential d e t e r m i n a t i o n o f t r u t h is s i m p l y p r o c l a i m e d . W h a t is t r u e is that r e p r e s e n t i n g a n d m e a n i n g a n d saying w h i c h is i i u o i o v , s i m i l a r , c o r r e s p o n d i n g , to t h e TrpoVyu-oiToi; a n d t h e false is w h a t is evavTuos t) TCX Trpd-YpctToe. W h a t c a n be t r u e o r false, w h a t proves to be t h e seat o f this possibility a n d c o n s e q u e n d y the locus o f t r u t h as c o n f o r m i t y a n d correctness, is the Xo-yos, the assertion, the asserting t h o u g h t : o u 7 d p €OTtTdt|>eOoo<;xodTd aAiydes kv Tots i r p d - y n a o - i v , . . . a \ K ' 4v o t a v o i a . T h a t h e r e it is said e x p l i c itly o f the t r u t h : owe kv T O I S Trpd-ypaoav [ ' i t is not i n the t h i n g s " — T r . ] may be a h i n t that it does precisely b e l o n g there i n a c e r t a i n , a n d p e r h a p s m o r e o r i g i n a l , way. 1

2

O n e m i g h t try to vindicate this fact, that the essential d e t e r m i n a tion o f t r u t h as the correctness o f a n assertion is not f o u n d e d but only p r o c l a i m e d , by h a v i n g recourse to the pretense that the trea1. Cf. Aristotle. Metaphysica, 8 10. ["At odds with the things"—Tr.] 2. Aristotle, Metaphysial, E 4, 1027b 251T. ["For falsity and truth d o not lie in the things . . . but in the m i n d " - T r . ]


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uses c o n t a i n i n g the f o u n d a d o n have been lost. For it is certainly not possible to assume a t h i n k e r o f Aristode's r a n k w o u l d simply p r o c l a i m arbitrarily a n d without f o u n d a d o n such a decisive d e t e r m i nation as that o f the essence o f t r u t h . A n d yet n o reference is ever m a d e to such treatises i n which the f o u n d a t i o n w o u l d be s u p p l i e d . Q u i t e to the contrary, the f o u n d a t i o n we are seeking s h o u l d be discovered, i f anywhere, precisely w h e r e A r i s t o d e deals w i t h t r u t h as a property o f the assertion (Met. E 4, Met. 6 1 0 , De anima T, De interpretatione), a n d it is exacdy there that we look i n v a i n . Yet we will be able to t h i n k t h r o u g h a n d appreciate the f u l l i m port o f the fact that there is n o genuine f o u n d a t i o n given t o this positing o f the essence o f t r u t h as the correctness o f a n assertion only i f we realize that since i n general the traditional c o n c e p t i o n o f truth is not f o u n d e d , the state o f everything t r u e that we seek, f i n d , a n d establish i n the light o f this essential d e t e r m i n a t i o n m u s t be very remarkable. A l l this is true a n d c o r r e c t â&#x20AC;&#x201D; o n the basis o f a n u n f o u n d e d o p i n i o n about t r u t h : true o n a basis w h i c h is not a basis at all a n d w h i c h will o n e day c o m e to light i n its groundlessness, even i f o n l y very slowly a n d only visible for very few. B u t before we d e c i d e to d r a w s u c h a c o n c l u s i o n , we m u s t o n c e m o r e c r i t i c a l l y e x a m i n e the q u e s t i o n at stake h e r e . T h e p o s i t i n g o f the essence o f t r u t h as the correctness o f a n assertion is o b v i ously o n l y one essential d e t e r m i n a t i o n a m o n g others. F o r Plato's p h i l o s o p h y , a n d A r i s t o d e ' s , also d e t e r m i n e the essence o f the s o u l , m o t i o n , place, time, f r i e n d s h i p , j u s t i c e , the state, m a n , etc. W h a t is at issue i n each case is, Platonically s p e a k i n g , the d e t e r m i n a t i o n o f " i d e a s , " a n d i n each case a g e n u i n e f o u n d a t i o n is l a c k i n g . P e r h a p s u n d e r the tide " f o u n d a t i o n " we a r e s e e k i n g s o m e t h i n g w h i c h may n o t be s o u g h t a n d d e m a n d e d r e g a r d i n g a n essential d e t e r m i n a t i o n . T h e n w o u l d what is essential i n the k n o w l e d g e o f a n d c o m p o r t m e n t t o w a r d beings, the view i n a d vance o f the " i d e a , " the d e t e r m i n a t i o n o f the essence, be groundless a n d arbitrary? S o it is n o w time to ask precisely h o w we a r e to u n d e r s t a n d " f o u n d i n g . " T o f o u n d a n assertion means to indicate its g r o u n d , to e x h i b i t the basis o f its legitimacy, o f its correctness. C o n s e quently, to f o u n d i n the g e n u i n e sense is to e x h i b i t a n d show that about w h i c h the assertion says s o m e t h i n g . T h i s m u s t be the s t a n d a r d to m e a s u r e w h e t h e r what is said is a p p r o p r i a t e to the t h i n g


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T h e Q u e s t i o n o f the T r u t h o f the Essence [73-74]

(correct). T h e assertion " L e c t u r e h a l l n u m b e r five o f the classr o o m b u i l d i n g o f F r e i b u r g is n o w o c c u p i e d " is f o u n d e d i n that way o n l y i f we d e m o n s t r a t e w h a t is said t h r o u g h i m m e d i a t e p e r c e p t i o n . T h i s fact o f the o c c u p a n c y o f the lecture h a l l is b r o u g h t b e f o r e o u r eyes, i.e., we b r i n g ourselves before i t â&#x20AC;&#x201D; a s that i n w h i c h the assertion has its s u p p o r t . T h e r e is c e r t a i n l y n o k i n d o f f o u n d a d o n w i t h a h i g h e r c e r t i t u d e , a n d it is t h e r e f o r e that each factual p r o o f makes a n i m p r e s s i o n o n everyone. T h e a s s e r d o n " T h e r e is n o w snow o n the F e l d b e r g " will t h u s be d e m o n s t r a t e d as c o r r e c t by o u r w a n d e r i n g u p there a n d p e r c e i v i n g the fact w i t h o u r o w n eyes. B u t we c a n also let the w e a t h e r station give us the i n f o r m a d o n . T h i s f o u n d a t i o n is already a mediate o n e , n o t o n l y because we are n o t ourselves a s c e r t a i n i n g this c l a i m by means o f d e m o n s t r a t i o n , b u t because we m u s t h e r e p r e s u p p o s e that the w e a t h e r station is p r o v i d i n g correct i n f o r m a t i o n , that we ourselves are h e a r i n g c o r r e c d y , that i n general the t e l e p h o n e t r a n s m i s s i o n is i n o r d e r , etc. T h e s e a r e a l l p r e s u p p o s i t i o n s w h i c h are by n o means self-evident, b u t w h i c h we tacitly assume to be reliable i n o u r factual k n o w l e d g e . B u t o f c o u r s e we k n o w that i m m e d i a t e p r o o f by m e a n s o f a n object present at h a n d is r i g h t l y to be p r e f e r r e d . Now, as we saw, a k n o w l e d g e o f the essence precedes i n a cert a i n way all o t h e r c o g n i z i n g , c o n f i r m i n g , a n d f o u n d i n g . T o walk a r o u n d i n a h o u s e â&#x20AC;&#x201D; u s i n g this s i m p l e e x a m p l e a g a i n â&#x20AC;&#x201D; a n d the particular modes o f comportment included in inhabiting a house w o u l d not be possible at all i f we were not g u i d e d by a c o g n i t i o n o f house-ness, i.e., o f what a house is. C o n s e q u e n t l y , that w h i c h sustains a n d g u i d e s all p a r t i c u l a r c o g n i t i o n s a n d c o m p o r t m e n t , n a m e l y the k n o w l e d g e o f the essence, m u s t , i n a c c o r d w i t h its s u s t a i n i n g a n d g u i d i n g f u n c d o n , be f o u n d e d a l l the m o r e . Its f o u n d i n g , i n c o n f o r m i t y w i t h its r a n k , will c l a i m the highest possible m o d e o f f o u n d a t i o n .

RECAPITULATION

1) T h e conception of the Being of beings as constant presence: the ground for the determination of the essence (iScoc) as whatness. We are a s k i n g : H o w does G r e e k p h i l o s o p h y f o u n d that d e t e r m i -


ยง19. T h e absence o f a f o u n d a t i o n [74-75]

67

n a t i o n o f the essence o f t r u t h w h i c h since the d m e o f the G r e e k s has s u s t a i n e d a n d g u i d e d W e s t e r n t h o u g h t a n d k n o w l e d g e u p to the present day? A s a p r e p a r a t i o n for the answer to this q u e s t i o n we n e e d e d to elucidate h o w the G r e e k s d e l i m i t e d the essentiality o f the essence. T h e essence o f whatever we e n c o u n t e r , o f whatever is g i v e n , is the I5ea. W h a t is p e r p l e x i n g i n this characterization o f the essence as i d e a becomes m o r e u n d e r s t a n d a b l e i f we c o n s i d e r that the essence o f s o m e t h i n g means what it is a n d that c o n s e q u e n d y a d e t e r m i n a t e c o n c e p t i o n o f the B e i n g o f b e i n g s is f o u n d i n g a n d m u s t be so. T h e G r e e k s u n d e r s t a n d by B e i n g the constant presence o f s o m e t h i n g . W h a t is constant i n any p a r t i c u l a r b e i n g is its whatit-is, a n d w h a t is present is precisely this " w h a t " as the being's p r e v a i l i n g l o o k , ei&os. T h u s it is also intelligible w h y " r e a l i t y , " bei n g at h a n d , d o e s n o t p r o p e r l y b e l o n g to b e i n g s , for what s o m e t h i n g is c a n also exist i n possibility. A possible table is i n d e e d a table; it has this whatness even i f the table is n o t present at h a n d . T h e r e a l i z a t i o n o f the essence is i n a c e r t a i n sense a c c i d e n t a l to the essence, a n d at the same time is a n i m p a i r m e n t o f the p u r e essence, for i n a real table o n l y o n e possibility is r e a l i z e d . I n s o f a r as we today a r e a c c u s t o m e d to c o n s i d e r as a b e i n g i n the most g e n u i n e sense precisely what h a p p e n s to be h e r e a n d now, a p a r t i c u l a r i n d i v i d u a t i o n o r instance o f b e i n g p r e s e n t at h a n d , a n d a p p l y the w o r d " B e i n g " p r i m a r i l y to reality a n d presence at h a n d , a t r a n s f o r m a t i o n must have b e e n a c c o m p l i s h e d over a n d against the G r e e k c o n c e p t i o n o f B e i n g , o n e to w h i c h i n this c o n t e x t we c a n o n l y refer. I n r e l a t i o n to the essence as whatness, the presence at h a n d o f a p a r t i c u l a r i n d i v i d u a t i o n o f the essence is o f n o i m p o r t a n c e to the G r e e k s . T o keep this i n m i n d is c r u c i a l for the f o l l o w i n g q u e s t i o n .

2) T h e absence of a foundation for the positing and for the characterization o f the essence of truth as the correctness of an assertion. T h e meaning of foundation. We are now a s k i n g h o w the G r e e k s , a n d that also means later t h i n k i n g , f o u n d e d the p o s i t i n g o f the essence o f a n y t h i n g . M o r e precisely a n d m o r e closely r e l a t e d to o u r i n q u i r y : h o w d i d A r i s totle f o u n d his o r i g i n a l c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n o f the essence o f t r u t h as the correctness o f a n assertion? We l o o k i n v a i n for a f o u n d a t i o n .


68

T h e Q u e s t i o n o f the T r u t h o f the Essence [75-76]

A n d because o t h e r essential assertions are j u s t as little f o u n d e d , the absence o f a f o u n d a t i o n for t h e d e f i n i t i o n o f t r u t h c a n n o t be e x p l a i n e d by saying that the p e r t i n e n t treatise was p e r h a p s not h a n d e d d o w n to us. B u t what sort o f perspective is o p e n e d u p here? A r e the essence o f t r u t h a n d the p o s i t i n g o f the essence s u p p o s e d to be u n f o u n d e d , a n d c o n s e q u e n d y is a l l c o n c e r n for t r u t h basically g r o u n d l e s s ? Is it a m e r e a c c i d e n t that the f o u n d a t i o n o f the essential d e t e r m i n a t i o n o f t r u t h is absent, o r is a f o u n d a t i o n i m possible here? W h a t d o e s " f o u n d i n g " m e a n i n this case a n d i n general? We c l a r i f i e d what it first m e a n s w i t h the e x a m p l e o f a n assertion a b o u t s o m e t h i n g g i v e n h e r e a n d now. " T h e lights i n this lecture h a l l are n o w o n " â&#x20AC;&#x201D; t h i s assertion is f o u n d e d t h r o u g h p e r c e p t i o n , s i m p l y by r e f e r r i n g t o the " f a c t . " T h i s k i n d o f p r o o f t h r o u g h the e x h i b i t i o n o f the very presence o f w h a t is n a m e d is o b v i o u s l y the safest a n d most i m m e d i a t e way by w h i c h we c a n p r o v i d e a n assertion the g r o u n d u p o n w h i c h what is said i n it rests, a s s u m i n g it does c o i n c i d e w i t h w h a t is e x h i b i t e d . A s we saw, however, i n s o f a r as the view i n a d v a n c e o f the essence a n d a " k n o w l e d g e " o f the essence g u i d e a n d d o m i n a t e a l l e x p e r i e n c e a n d a l l c o m p o r t m e n t to beings, this r u l i n g k n o w l e d g e o f the essence, i n a c c o r d w i t h its r a n k , m u s t also c l a i m the h i g h e s t possible m o d e o f d e m o n s t r a t i o n . B u t there is n o h i g h e r m o d e o f d e m o n s t r a t i o n t h a n i m m e d i a t e reference to the c o r r e s p o n d i n g given t h i n g s .


Chapter Three

T h e Laying of the G r o u n d as the Foundation for Grasping an Essence

â&#x20AC;˘.

§20. The absurdity of attempting to found an essential statement about truth as correctness by having recourse to a factual statement.

O u r c o n c e r n is the f o u n d i n g o f the essential d e t e r m i n a t i o n o f t r u t h as the correctness o f a n assertion. T h e statement " T r u t h is the correctness o f a n a s s e r t i o n " c a n be sufficiently p r o v e n o n l y by the e x h i b i t i o n o f a n actual c o r r e c t assertion, a t r u e statement, as a fact, e.g., the statement we gave a b o u t the lecture h a l l . T h i s statement is a t r u e o n e . T h r o u g h it, as a t r u e statement, t h e essence o f the t r u t h m u s t be d e m o n s t r a b l e : T h i s lecture h a l l w i t h the lights o n T

i

T r u t h is the correctness o f a n assertion â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Essential d e t e r m i n a t i o n

(Fact) (Factual statement) (Fact) (Essential statement)

B u t we m u s t have already realized that the a p p e a l to the fact o f a single c o r r e c t assertion c a n never d e m o n s t r a t e that the essence o f t r u t h is the correctness o f a n assertion. A t most, it is the o t h e r way a r o u n d : we c o u l d get the i d e a o f o f f e r i n g a p a r t i c u l a r asser-


7o

T h e L a y i n g o f the G r o u n d [77-79]

d o n as a n e x a m p l e o f the essence o f t r u t h , a n d hence as a n i n stance o f " t r u t h , " o n l y i f it was a l r e a d y established a n d f o u n d e d i n advance that t r u t h means the correctness o f a n assertion. W e are not s e e k i n g h e r e the f o u n d a t i o n o f a n assertion a b o u t i n d i v i d u a l facts (e.g., the present o c c u p a n c y o f this lecture h a l l ) ; we are s e e k i n g the f o u n d a t i o n o f a d e t e r m i n a t i o n o f the essence o f t r u t h . T h e essence does not m e a n a single case; its d i s t i n c t i o n is to be v a l i d f o r many. T h e d e t e r m i n a t i o n o f the essence o f t r u t h applies to all correct assertions. C o n s e q u e n d y the essential d e t e r m i n a t i o n o f t r u t h as the correctness o f a n assertion c a n o n l y be d e m o n s t r a t e d by e x h i b i t i n g all a c t u a l assertions, so that the acc o r d a n c e o f the essential d e l i m i t a t i o n w o u l d be d e m o n s t r a t e d for each a n d every o n e o f t h e m . B u t h o w i n the w o r l d c o u l d A r i s t o d e present h i m s e l f w i t h all actually p e r f o r m e d a s s e r t i o n s — h i s o w n as w e l l as a l l those o f others, past a n d f u t u r e — i n o r d e r to d e m o n s t r a t e thereby the legitimacy o f a n essential d e t e r m i n a t i o n o f t r u t h ? T h a t is o b v i ously i m p o s s i b l e . H e n c e it follows that a n essential d e t e r m i n a tion c a n n o t be p r o v e d by facts (in o u r case by factually p e r f o r m e d c o r r e c t assertions) — i n t h e first place because these facts c a n n o t at a l l be surveyed a n d e x h i b i t e d . A n d e v e n i f this f u tility were successful, the essential d e t e r m i n a t i o n w o u l d still n o t be g r o u n d e d . F o r the essence a p p l i e s n o t o n l y to a l l a c t u a l assertions, b u t likewise a n d a f o r t i o r i to a l l possible assertions, ones w h i c h m i g h t never be p e r f o r m e d . B u t h o w c o u l d a n y o n e d e m onstrate the a p p r o p r i a t e n e s s o f the d e f i n i t i o n o f the essence o f t r u t h to possible cases o f c o r r e c t assertions? T h e r e f o r e , the way we f o u n d e d the assertion a b o u t this lecture h a l l (its factual o c c u pancy), as a factual statement, is n o t h o w the essential statement, " T r u t h is the correctness o f a n a s s e r t i o n , " c a n be f o u n d e d . A n d i n d e e d this is so n o t o n l y because n e i t h e r the factual n o r the possible cases c a n a l l be e x h i b i t e d w i t h o u t e x c e p t i o n , b u t p r i m a r i l y because this way o f f o u n d i n g — d e m o n s t r a t i n g a n essential assertion by recourse to single c o r r e s p o n d i n g i n s t a n c e s — i s altogether a b s u r d . S u p p o s i n g we w a n t e d to p r o v e the essential assertion i n its legitimacy by a d d u c i n g c o r r e c t p r o p o s i t i o n s , i n o r d e r to m e a sure the a p p r o p r i a t e n e s s to t h e m o f the essential assertion a n d to f i n d that it c o r r e s p o n d s to t h e m , that t r u t h is the correctness o f a p r o p o s i t i o n , h o w c o u l d we find those correct p r o p o s i t i o n s


§2i. G r a s p i n g the essence [79-80]

7i

w h i c h are s u p p o s e d to serve as proofs f o r the legitimacy o f the essential d e t e r m i n a t i o n ? I n d e e d , we c o u l d d o so o n l y i f we separated t h e m f r o m false p r o p o s i t i o n s , a n d we c o u l d d o that o n l y i f we a l r e a d y k n e w i n advance w h a t t r u e p r o p o s i t i o n s are, that is, o n l y i f we a l r e a d y k n e w w h a t t h e i r t r u t h consists i n . Every t i m e we attempt to prove a n essential d e t e r m i n a d o n t h r o u g h s i n g l e , o r e v e n a l l , a c t u a l a n d possible facts, t h e r e results the r e m a r k a b l e state o f affairs that we have a l r e a d y p r e s u p p o s e d the l e g i t i m a c y o f the essential d e t e r m i n a t i o n , i n d e e d m u s t p r e s u p p o s e i t , j u s t i n o r d e r to g r a s p a n d p r o d u c e the facts that are s u p p o s e d to serve as p r o o f .

§21. Grasping the essence as bringing it forth. First directive. A c c o r d i n g l y , the f o u n d a t i o n o f a n essential statement possesses its o w n p e c u l i a r i t y a n d its o w n difficulty. T h e g r a s p i n g o f t h e essence a n d c o n s e q u e n d y the f o u n d a t i o n o f the p o s i t i n g o f t h e essence are o f a n o t h e r k i n d t h a n the c o g n i t i o n o f single facts a n d factual nexuses, a n d c o r r e s p o n d i n g l y d i f f e r e n t f r o m the f o u n d a t i o n o f such factual c o g n i t i o n . I n o r d e r to see m o r e c l e a r l y h e r e , we w i l l d e l i b e r a t e f u r t h e r o n a single case. H o w c o u l d the essence " t a b l e , " w h a t a table is, be d e t e r m i n e d a n d set f o r t h at a l l i f we d i d not e n c o u n t e r i n a d v a n c e at least o n e single real table, o n the basis o f w h i c h — b y m e a n s o f so-called " a b s t r a c t i o n " — w e d r a w o u t a n d r e a d o f f the g e n e r a l essence " t a b l e " a n d d i s r e g a r d the particularities o f any i n d i v i d u a l table? B u t t h e n a g a i n , we have to ask, w h e r e w o u l d this o n e single t a b l e — a s t a b l e — c o m e f r o m i f the i d e a o f what a table is i n g e n e r a l were not a l r e a d y g u i d i n g its very f a b r i c a t i o n a n d realization? M u s t the idea]"table n o t be b r o u g h t f o r t h i n advance e v e n for the first o f all tables to be crafted? O r d o b o t h o f these go h a n d i n h a n d ? I n any case, is the g r a s p i n g o f the essence not o f such a k i n d that, as g r a s p i n g , i n a c e r t a i n sense it first " b r i n g s f o r t h " the essence a n d does not s o m e h o w patch it t o g e t h e r subsequently, o u t ot a l r e a d y present at h a n d single cases? B u t a c c o r d i n g to what law a n d r u l e is the " b r i n g i n g f o r t h " o f the essence a c c o m p l i s h e d ? Is it a n a r b i t r a r y p r o d u c t o f t h o u g h t , w h i c h is t h e n s u p p l i e d w i t h a w o r d ? Is e v e r y t h i n g a m a t t e r o f


72

T h e L a y i n g o f t h e G r o u n d [80-81]

p u r e a r b i t r a r i n e s s here? I f n o t , is it t h e n p e r h a p s o n l y a q u e s d o n o f l i n g u i s t i c c o n v e n d o n ? T h a t is, p e r h a p s everyone agrees t o use c e r t a i n w o r d s as signs f o r d e f i n i t e representations a n d to c o n n e c t the w o r d " t a b l e " w i t h t h e r e p r e s e n t a t i o n o f this p a r t i c u l a r t h i n g . W h a t is c o m m o n is t h e n o n l y t h e sameness o f t h e w o r d " t a b l e , " u s e d to d e n o t e a n y i n d i v i d u a l table. F u r t h e r m o r e , there is n o t h i n g l i k e t h e u n i t y a n d sameness o f a n essence c o r r e s p o n d i n g t o the one w o r d " t a b l e " ; t h e w h o l e q u e s t i o n o f essence comes d o w n to a m a t t e r o f g r a m m a r . T h e r e a r e o n l y i n d i v i d u a l tables, a n d b e y o n d t h e m t h e r e is n o s u c h t h i n g as a n "essence" table. W h a t is c a l l e d that way is, f r o m a c r i t i c a l s t a n d p o i n t , o n l y t h e sameness o f the s i g n f o r n a m i n g i n d i v i d u a l tables, t h e o n l y r e a l ones. B u t precisely that w h i c h characterizes the table as table—that w h i c h it is a n d distinguishes i t i n its whatness f r o m t h e w i n d o w — i s in a certain m a n n e r i n d e p e n d e n t o f the w o r d a n d the linguistic formations. For the w o r d o f a n o t h e r language is different phonetically a n d orthographically a n d yet i t means the same t h i n g , "table." T h i s "one a n d t h e same" first provides p u r p o s e a n d consistency to t h e agreement i n linguistic usage. Accordingly, the essence m u s t have already been posited i n advance, i n o r d e r to be signifiable a n d expressible as t h e same i n the same w o r d . Perhaps g e n u i n e n a m i n g a n d saying constitute a n o r i g i n a l positing o f the essence, a l t h o u g h certainly not by means o f agreement a n d convention b u t t h r o u g h dominating speedi, w h i c h provides the s t a n d a r d . A t all events, t h e essence does n o t at a l l tolerate a subsequent d e d u c t i o n — n e i t h e r f r o m the agreement i n linguistic usage n o r f r o m a c o m p a r i s o n o f i n d i v i d u a l cases.

§28. The search for the ground of the positing of the essence. Ordinariness of an acquaintance with the essence— enigma o^Tge^tutne knowledge of the essence (grasping of the essence) and its foundation. We are seeking what gives the positing o f the essence its g r o u n d a n d its legitimacy, i n o r d e r t o rescue it f r o m arbitrariness. I n a l l these reflections we e n c o u n t e r again a n d again the same t h i n g : that a g r a s p i n g o f the essence (as well as a mere acquaintance with the essence) is already what provides legitimacy a n d a s t a n d a r d ; ac-


§22. T h e search f o r the g r o u n d [81-82]

73

cordingly, it is s o m e t h i n g o r i g i n a l , a n d thus, for o r d i n a r y t h i n k i n g a n d its d e m a n d s for foundation, something u n c o m m o n a n d strange. We c a n n o t d w e l l o n this strangeness too o f t e n a n d too l o n g . T h e r e f o r e we w i l l reflect anew o n what occurs w i t h i n the r e a l m o f o u r a c q u a i n t a n c e w i t h the essence. T o say it b r i e f l y i n a d v a n c e : a c q u a i n t a n c e w i t h the essence is f o r us as o r d i n a r y a n d necessary as g e n u i n e k n o w l e d g e o f the essence a p p e a r s to be e n i g m a d c a n d a r b i t r a r y . We a r e a c q u a i n t e d w i t h the "essence" o f the t h i n g s s u r r o u n d i n g u s : h o u s e , tree, b i r d , r o a d , vehicle, m a n , etc., a n d yet we have n o k n o w l e d g e o f the essence. F o r we i m m e d i a t e l y l a n d i n the u n c e r t a i n , s h i f t i n g , controversial, a n d g r o u n d l e s s , w h e n we a t t e m p t to d e t e r m i n e m o r e closely, a n d above a l l try to g r o u n d i n its determinateness, w h a t is c e r t a i n l y t h o u g h still i n d e t e r m i n a t e l y " k n o w n " : namely, house-ness, tree-ness, b i r d ness, h u m a n n e s s . O n the o t h e r h a n d , we a r e able to d i s t i n g u i s h these t h i n g s very w e l l , so that we d o not c o n f u s e a b i r d w i t h a house. T h i s a c q u a i n t a n c e w i t h the e s s e n c e — n o m a t t e r h o w p r e l i m i n a r y a n d u n d e t e r m i n e d , n o m a t t e r h o w u s e d u p a n d w o r n it m i g h t be—guides^us^ c p n s t a n d y a n d ^ ^ r y w h e r e ^ every P, a n d every d w e l l u ^ thought^oTuMu'TemTTTuTren^ s t e

that it is n o t the i m m e d i a t e l y g i v e n facts—the i n d i v i d u a l r e a l , ' graspable, a n d visible t h i n g s , precisely those that are i n t e n d e d ' a n d a c q u i r e d — t h a t possess the decisive "closeness" to " l i f e . " ^ M o r e ~ c l o s e to life, to use this way o f s p e a k i n g , closer t h a n soc a l l e d " r e a l i t y , " is the essence o f things, w h i c h we k n o w a n d yet d o not k n o w ^ W h a t is close a n d closest is not what the so-called " m a n o f f a f e " t h i n k s he grasps; instead, the closest is the essence, w h i c h a d m i t t e d l y r e m a i n s for the m a n y the farthest o f a l l — e v e n w h e n it is e x p l i c i d y s h o w n to t h e m , i n s o f a r as it allows itself to be s h o w n i n the usual way at aRT W h a t k i n d o f e n i g m a are we e n c o u n t e r i n g here? W h a t sort o f mystery overtakes m a n such that what to h i m seem to be beings p u r e a n d s i m p l e — f a c t s , so f a m o u s l y close to r e a l i t y — a r e not what beings are, that nevertheless this constant i g n o r i n g o f the closeness o f the essence o f beings belongs p e r h a p s still to the essence o f m a n , a n d that this i g n o r i n g precisely therefore may n o t lie e v a l u a t e d as a lack b u t m u s t be u n d e r s t o o d as the necessary


74

T h e L a y i n g o f the G r o u n d [82-83]

c o n d i t i o n f o r the possible greatness o f m a n : that h e dwells i n between B e i n g a n d a p p e a r a n c e a n d that for h i m what is closest is the farthest a n d what is farthest is closest? W h a t k i n d o f great u p h e a v a l h e r e strikes m a n a n d his place w i t h i n beings? I f every relation o f m a n to the essence o f beings is so enigmatic, it is n o w o n d e r that it is only i n slow a n d ever s l i p p i n g a n d h a l t i n g steps that we come to u n d e r s t a n d the grasping o f the essence, the f o u n d a t i o n o f the g r a s p i n g o f the essence, a n d consequendy the knowledge o f t h e e s s e n c e a n d its relation to mere acquaintance with the essenca^fn view o f this great upheaval i n m a n we will see m o r e clearly t h a t a n d why all great epochs o f history became great a n d r e m a i n e d great because they possessed the strength to e x p e r i ence this upheaval a n d to sustain it, i.e., to collapse u n d e r it i n such a way that the fragments o f this collapse b e c a m e n o t h i n g else than the essential works a n d deeds o f these epochs.jWe must always t h i n k out toward these things i f we d o not warit to lapse into the catastrophical a n d usual e r r o r o f believing that the question " H o w d o we grasp the essence a n d h o w d o we f o u n d the g r a s p i n g o f i t ? " is a n "abstract" a n d " i n t e l l e c t u a l " p l a y i n g with concepts, for " i n t e l lectualism" consists precisely i n the o p i n i o n that the "facts" are the sole reality a n d the o n l y beings.

Âť3. The-hringing-of the essence into view in advance (the grasping of the essence) as the bringing forth of the essence out of concealment into the light. The productive seeing of the essence. T h e result o f o u r reflection u p to n o w is that the essence is not gleaned f r o m facts a n d is n e v e r to be f o u n d as a fact. I f the essence nevertheless stands before us i n the view i n advance, what else c a n that m e a n b u t that i n s o m e way it is b r o u g h t b e f o r e us a n d we b r i n g ourselves before the essence? T h e g r a s p i n g o f the essence is a k i n d o f b r i n g i n g f o r t h o f the essence. T h e way o f " f o u n d i n g " the essence a n d p o s i t i n g it must also have a c o r r e s p o n d i n g f o r m . F o r if, i n the g r a s p i n g o f the essence, that w h i c h is to be g r a s p e d is first b r o u g h t f o r t h , a n d i f consequently the g r a s p i n g as s u c h is a b r i n g i n g f o r t h , t h e n the " f o u n d a t i o n " o f the g r a s p i n g c a n n o t be a n a p p e a l to s o m e t h i n g


§23- B r i n g i n g f o r t h the essence [83-84]

75

already present at h a n d to w h i c h the g r a s p i n g w o u l d be assimilated. C o m p a r e d to s u c h a f o u n d a t i o n — i . e . , the d e m o n s t r a t i o n by m e a n s o f s o m e t h i n g already p r e g i v c n i n the m a n n e r o f the f o u n d a t i o n o f all k n o w l e d g e o f facts—the k n o w l e d g e o f the essence is t h e r e f o r e necessarily u n f o u n d e d . B u t are we t h e n to c o n c l u d e that the k n o w l e d g e o f the essence is g r o u n d l e s s ? I n o r d e r to c o m e to a n answer h e r e , we m u s t try to d e t e r m i n e m o r e precisely how the g r a s p i n g o f the essence, as a b r i n g i n g f o r t h o f the essence, comes to pass. C o r r e s p o n d i n g to the d i r e c t i o n t a k e n by o u r q u e s t i o n a b o u t the essentiality o f the essence, we m u s t h e r e a g a i n ask how the G r e e k s , f o l l o w i n g their c o n c e p tion o f the essence, u n d e r s t a n d a n d m u s t u n d e r s t a n d this "bringing forth." Plato characterizes the essence as the whatness o f a b e i n g a n d the whatness as ISeot, the l o o k a b e i n g shows o f itself. A n y i n d i v i d u a l b e i n g is p r o d u c e d a n d c o m e s p r o p e r l y to a stand i n what it is. T h e "what it i s " posits the b e i n g i n itself a n d o n itself; it is its f o r m . W h a t a n i n d i v i d u a l b e i n g , e.g., a table i s — i t s l o o k , its f o r m , a n d hence its s t r u c t u r e — i s not g l e a n e d f r o m a l r e a d y p r e s e n t at h a n d i n d i v i d u a l tables, b u t r a t h e r the reverse, these i n d i v i d u a l tables c a n be fabricated a n d be present at h a n d as r e a d y - m a d e , o n l y if, a n d i n s o f a r as, they are p r o d u c e d f o l l o w i n g the e x e m p l a r o f s o m e t h i n g l i k e a table i n g e n e r a l . T h e e x e m p l a r is the l o o k w h i c h is s i g h t e d i n advance, the l o o k o f that w h i c h makes u p the o u t e r aspect o f the t a b l e — t h e " i d e a , " the essence. B u t is this advance sight, the b r i n g i n g i n t o sight o f the essence, s u p p o s e d to be a " b r i n g i n g f o r t h " ? E v e r y t h i n g speaks against it. In o r d e r to b r i n g s o m e t h i n g i n t o sight, m u s t n o t that w h i c h is to be g l i m p s e d already exist? T o be s u r e . T h u s at least the G r e e k Platonic c o n c e p t i o n o f the essence as I8ea e x c l u d e s the n o t i o n that the g r a s p i n g o f the essence is a b r i n g i n g f o r t h o f the essence. It has been well k n o w n for ages that, a c c o r d i n g to the usual c o n c e p t i o n o f the P l a t o n i c d o c t r i n e o f the ideas, Plato taught that the ideas w o u l d e x i s t — u n t o u c h e d by a l l c h a n g e a n d p e r i s h i n g — f o r themselves a n d i n themselves, i n a place above the heavens, to the p o i n t that it w o u l d be w h o l l y u n - G r e c k to say that the ideas w o u l d be b r o u g h t f o r t h . Nevertheless, the g r a s p i n g o f the essence is i n d e e d , e v e n f o r the G r e e k s , a b r i n g i n g f o r t h . T o see that we m u s t o n l y u n d e r -


7<3

T h e L a y i n g o f the G r o u n d [84-85]

stand " b r i n g i n g f o r t h " i n t h e G r e e k m a n n e r . T h e " b r i n g i n g f o r t h " o f the essence, a c c o r d i n g to o u r p r e c e d i n g reflections, means first o f all a n d p o l e m i c a l l y that the essence is not g l e a n e d f r o m the i n d i v i d u a l cases as t h e i r u n i v e r s a l ; it has its o w n o r i g i n . W h e n we today speak o f b r i n g i n g f o r t h , we t h i n k o f the m a k i n g a n d f a b r i c a t i n g o f a n i n d i v i d u a l object. B u t this is precisely w h a t is not TnTenaed; b r i n g i n g f o r t h — w e use this e x p r e s s i o n " i n t e n t i o n a l l y — m u s t be t a k e n h e r e q u i t e literally. T h e essence is b r o u g h t f o r t h , b r o u g h t o u t f r o m its p r e v i o u s o b s c u r i t y a n d h i d _dennessr|br^ T h i s bnng7n^m7oTïêTvTTâ^3êcû^ see by m e r e l y s t a r i n g at w h a t is p r e s e n t at h a n d o r what is o t h erwise a l r e a d y accessible, b u t instead this seeing first b r i n g s before itself that w h i c h is to be seen. It is a seeing that draws s o m e t h i n g f o r t h , not a m e r e l o o k i n g at w h a t is s t a n d i n g a b o u t w a i t i n g for p e o p l e to c o m e across as they g o t h e i r way. It is not a m e r e noticing o f something previously unheeded t h o u g h otherwise observable w i t h o u t f u r t h e r a d o . T h e seeing o f t h e l o o k that is c a l l e d the i d e a is a seeing w h i c h d r a w s f o r t h , a s e e i n g w h i c h i n the very act o f seeing c o m p e l s w h a t is to be seen before itself. T h e r e f o r e we call this s e e i n g , w h i c h first b r i n g s f o r t h i n t o v i s i b i l ity that w h i c h is to be seen, a n d p r o d u c e s it b e f o r e itself, " p r o d u c t i v e s e e i n g " [Er-sehen]C) ThTs b r i n g i n g f o r t h o r p r o d u c i n g is not a f a b r i c a d n g o r a mak¬ i n g ; h e n c e it is i n d e e d a c o m i n g across s o m e t h i n g . W h a t we c a n c o m e across m u s t a l r e a d y lie b e f o r e u s . F o r the G r e e k s , " B e i n g " means constant presence, a n d therefore the essence, the whatness, is the m o s t g e n u i n e o f b e i n g s , the being-est o f beings, bVnos 6'v. T h e r e f o r e the ideas are; i n d e e d , they m u s t be, as the most p r o p e r beings o f a l l beings, i n o r d e r to be able to be b r o u g h t f o r t h a n d p u t i n t o t h e l i g h t , i n t o the l i g h t i n w h i c h that eye sees w h i c h casts views i n a d v a n c e . A n d it is i n the c i r c l e o f these views that we first g r a s p i n d i v i d u a l beings. T h e p r o d u c d v e seeing o f t h e essence is c o n s e q u e n d y not a c o n f o r m i t y to some-

Q ["Productive" is to be understood here in the sense in which, e.g., witnesses are " p r o d u c e d " in court —they are not created for the occasion but simply led forth, literally " p r o - d u c e d . " — T r . ]


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t h i n g otherwise a l r e a d y available b u t the p u t t i n g f o r t h o f the l o o k — a p r o d u c t i v e l o o k i n g i n a n e m p h a t i c sense o f the w o r d . F o r the G r e e k s , the essence a n d the p o s i t i n g o f the essence thus s t a n d w i t h i n a p e c u l i a r t w i l i g h t : the essence is not m a n u f a c t u r e d , b u t it is also n o t s i m p l y e n c o u n t e r e d l i k e a t h i n g a l r e a d y present at h a n d . Instead, it is b r o u g h t f o r t h i n a p r o d u c t i v e seei n g . W h e n c e a n d w h i t h e r ? O u t o f invisibility i n t o the visible, o u t o f w h a t is u n t h o u g h t i n t o what is h e n c e f o r t h to be t h o u g h t . T h e p r o d u c d v e s e e i n g o f the i d e a , o f the essence, is therefore a n o r i g i n a l way o f g r a s p i n g , a n d to it m u s t also c o r r e s p o n d its o w n p r o p e r way o f f o u n d a d o n .

§24. The productive seeing of the essence as the laying of the ground. TirddcCTis as d e a t q of the vjroxeiu.evov. T h e n w h a t a b o u t the f o u n d a d o n o f the g r a s p i n g o f the essence, w h i c h is the actual focus o f o u r q u e s d o n ? I f this g r a s p i n g is a p r o d u c d v e seeing, a b r i n g i n g f o r t h , it c a n n o t c o n f o r m itself to s o m e t h i n g a l r e a d y present at h a n d i n o r d e r to g l e a n i n f o r m a t i o n f r o m it, because it is i n d e e d the p r o d u c d v e s e e i n g that b r i n g s f o r t h the essence i n the first place a n d c o n s e q u e n d y is that f r o m w h i c h the c o n f o r m i t y m u s t take d i r e c t i o n . I n p r o d u c t i v e seeing, a c o n f o r m i t y to s o m e t h i n g p r e g i v e n j s n o t possible, because the p r o d u c t i v e seeing itself first b r i n g s a b o u t the pregivenness. S i n c e h e r e a n a d e q u a t i o n to what is p r e g i v e n is not possible, a n d is n o t necessary, there c a n also not be a f o u n d a t i o n i n the sense we s p o k e o f earlier. T h e p r o d u c t i v e seeing o f the essence is not f o u n d e d , b u t it is g r o u n d e d , i.e., a c c o m p l i s h e d i n s u c h a way that it b r i n g s itself u p o n the g r o u n d w h i c h it itself lays. T h e p r o d u c t i v e s e e i n g o f the essence is itself the l a y i n g o f the g r o u n d — the p o s i t i n g o f what is to be the g r o u n d , viroxeipevov. T h e p r o d u c t i v e s e e i n g as the f o u n d a t i o n a l b r i n g i n g f o r t h o f the essence as loéct is t h e r e f o r e i n r o d c c r i s — p o s i t i n g the whatncss itself as the ground. 'Yirôfteoxs means h e r e the décri<; o f the inroxeiu.evov a n d has n o t h i n g i n c o m m o n w i t h the later concept o f " h y p o t h e s i s , " n a m e l y a n a s s u m p t i o n m a d e to g u i d e a n e x p e r i m e n t a n d give it a p a r t i c u l a r d i r e c t i o n . A l l hypotheses i n the m o d e r n sense—e.g.,


7Âť

T h e L a y i n g o f the G r o u n d [ 8 6 - 8 8 ]

w o r k i n g hypotheses i n n a t u r a l s c i e n c e â&#x20AC;&#x201D; a l r e a d y p r e s u p p o s e the p o s i t i n g o f a d e t e r m i n a t e essence o f the beings a i m e d at, a n d o n the g r o u n d o f this essence the w o r k i n g hypotheses first get t h e i r sense. Every " h y p o t h e s i s " p r e s u p p o s e s a inroflecris, a p r i o r positi n g o f the essence. T h e p r o d u c t i v e seeing o f the essence is the p o s i t i n g o f the g r o u n d ; it g r o u n d s itself i n what it b r i n g s f o r t h a n d it b r i n g s f o r t h that i n w h i c h it g r o u n d s itself. T h e p o s i t i n g o f the essence will therefore always a p p e a r a r b i trary a n d u n u s u a l i f m e a s u r e d against the standards o f the u s u a l a n d familiar. B u t this u n f a m i l i a r i t y is a g a i n not what is r e m o t e a n d p e c u l i a r ; o n the contrary, it is the s i m p l e â&#x20AC;&#x201D; w h i c h c a n n e v e r be b r o u g h t closer, n o m a t t e r h o w m a n y d e m o n s t r a t i o n s a r e att e m p t e d , i f it is n o t b r o u g h t f o r t h anew i n p r o d u c t i v e s e e i n g , i.e., i f the view o f the essence is not awakened i n m a n . H e r e we see s o m e t h i n g o f the u n f a t h o m a b l e d i s t i n c d o n between p h i l o s o p h y , as t h e k n o w l e d g e o f the essence, a n d a l l science. Scientific c o g n i t i o n needs, a n d creates, distance f r o m its object, w h i c h is the reason a subsequent technical-practical rem o v a l o f the distance is necessary. T h e k n o w l e d g e o f the essence, conversely, creates precisely a n a p p u r t e n a n c e to B e i n g , a n d a l l practical a p p l i c a t i o n c o m e s too late a n d r e m a i n s b e n e a t h the r a n k o f this k n o w l e d g e . T h e knowledge o f the essence, therefore, i f it is to be s h a r e d , must itself be a c c o m p l i s h e d anew by the one w h o is to assume it. M o r e precisely, it cannot be c o m m u n i c a t e d i n the sense o f the passi n g o n o f a p r o p o s i t i o n , whose content is s i m p l y grasped without its foundation a n d its acquisition being accomplished again. T h e knowledge o f the essence must be accomplished anew by each o n e w h o is to share it; it m u s t genuinely be co-accomplished.

RECAPITULATION

1) Renewed reflection on our procedure as a whole: the necessity of a historical relation to the history of the essence of truth. Before we briefly recall the previous course o f o u r questioning, i n o r d e r to carry it o n , let us characterize anew o u r p r o c e d u r e as a


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whole. I say "anew," because a clarification o f it was already attempted i n what has p r e c e d e d — n a m e l y i n the interpolated discussions o f the distinction between historiographical consideration a n d historical reflection. W h y d i d we focus o n precisely this distinction, o n e that concerns a basic attitude w i t h i n history a n d toward history? W h y d i d a discussion o f history a n d historiography become necessary at all for the sake o f a clarification o f o u r procedure? Why?—because we are asking the question o f the essence o f t r u t h . Q u e s t i o n s such as that o n e p e r t a i n to the c o n s t r u c t i o n o f a "system o f p h i l o s o p h y " a n d are c a l l e d , a c c o r d i n g to this o r i g i n , "systematic," i n d i s t i n c t i o n to the " h i s t o r i o g r a p h i c a l " r e p o r t s a b o u t the p h i l o s o p h i c a l o p i n i o n s o f o t h e r t h i n k e r s o n a n issue. We are a s k i n g a systematic q u e s t i o n — e v e n i f we have n o system i n m i n d — i n s o f a r as we are a s k i n g f r o m ourselves a n d f o r o u r selves, a n d f o r the f u t u r e . We are q u e s t i o n i n g systematically a n d yet, after t a k i n g o n l y a few steps w i t h this i n t e n t i o n , we have lost ourselves i n h i s t o r i o g r a p h i c a l c o n s i d e r a t i o n s . Is this n o t a d u p l i c itous p r o c e d u r e , a d e t o u r , e v e n a n avoidance o f the s i m p l e , i m mediate, a n d d i r e c t a n s w e r i n g o f the q u e s t i o n we r a i s e d : w h a t is the essence o f t r u t h ? O n e c o u l d p e r h a p s u n d e r s t a n d that o u r response to this q u e s t i o n m i g h t necessitate a c e r t a i n h i s t o r i o g r a p h ical a c c o u n t o f the theories o f t r u t h i m m e d i a t e l y p r e c e d i n g us, for the p u r p o s e o f critical analysis a n d c l a r i f i c a t i o n . B u t w h y go back so far a n d so l a b o r i o u s l y to the G r e e k s ? If, as appears to be the case, we are already raising the question m o r e originally than ever before a n d i n t e n d to answer i n the same way, why d o we not then leave b e h i n d everything bygone; why not simply throw o f f the oppressing a n d c o n f u s i n g b u r d e n o f the trad i t i o n , i n o r d e r finally to begin for ourselves? T h i s is certainly what we intend a n d we must d o so, since—as will be s h o w n — t h e r e is a necessity b e h i n d it. B u t what we must d o h e r e — o v e r c o m e the historiographical t r a d i t i o n — w e can d o only o n the basis o f the deepest a n d most g e n u i n e historical relation to what we have p u t into question, namely truth a n d the history o f its essence. Ixu us deliberate a m o m e n t : how c o u l d it h a p p e n that W e s t e r n m a n , a n d especially m o d e r n m a n , b e c a m e so i n u n d a t e d a n d s h a k e n by the h i s t o r i o g r a p h i c a l t r a n s m i s s i o n o f objectively a n d t e m p o r a l l y very diverse m o d e s o f t h i n k i n g a n d e v a l u a t i n g , styles o f c r e a t i n g , a n d f o r m s o f w o r k that he b e c a m e vacillating as to


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T h e L a y i n g o f the G r o u n d [89-90]

his essence a n d is n o w the h o d g e p o d g e he is today? W h y is m a n so defenselessly e x p o s e d t o the constant assault o f the h i s t o r i o g r a p h i c a l ? W h y ? â&#x20AC;&#x201D; b e c a u s e W e s t e r n m a n is h i s t o r i c a l i n h i s essence, i.e., h e is f o u n d i n g o f history a n d at the same t i m e d e structive o f it. W h e r e m a n lives w i t h o u t history, h i s t o r i o g r a p h y c a n n o t b e c o m e m e a n i n g f u l f o r h i m a n d hence c a n n o t possibly g a i n p o w e r o v e r h i m . H i s t o r i o g r a p h y , however, d i d not g a i n this c o n f u s i n g ascendancy over c o n t e m p o r a r y m a n , to a n extent we c a n h a r d l y i m a g i n e , because m a n has b e c o m e too h i s t o r i c a l , b u t , q u i t e to the c o n t r a r y , it is because m a n is n o l o n g e r h i s t o r i c a l e n o u g h i n a n o r i g i n a l way a n d so c a n n o t set l i m i t s to h i s t o r i o g r a p h y a n d assign it its p r o p e r e n d . We c a n therefore d e f e n d ourselves against the i n u n d a t i o n s o f h i s t o r i o g r a p h y (today the t i d e is r i s i n g h i g h e r a n d h i g h e r ) o n l y by, as it were, j u m p i n g o u t o f history, a l t h o u g h we w i l l g a i n d o m i n a t i o n over h i s t o r i o g r a p h y solely by w i n n i n g back the p o w e r to take u p h i s t o r i c a l B e i n g . T h e loss o f this p o w e r is n e i t h e r a c c i d e n t a l n o r a n isolated process. I n s t e a d , it b e l o n g s together m o s t i n t i m a t e l y w i t h that event i n W e s t e r n history w h i c h H o l d e r l i n was the first to suffer a n d thereby g e n u i n e l y e x p e r i e n c e , a n d w h i c h Nietzsche s u b s e q u e n d y expressed i n h i s o w n way, by p o i n t i n g o u t that W e s t e r n m a n has, f o r the last two m i l l e n n i a , been u n a b l e to f a s h i o n for h i m s e l f a G o d . W h a t is the m e a n i n g o f this lack o f the p o w e r to f a s h i o n a G o d ? We d o not k n o w . B u t it w o u l d be a m u c h too c h e a p a c c o u n t i f we d e d u c e d f r o m it a l ready the d e c l i n e o f W e s t e r n m a n , even i f it a p p e a r s that a l l the powers o f the West still at w o r k , p e r h a p s also those o f the e a r t h , are s u b m e r g e d i n the p u r s u i t a n d p r o d u c d o n o f what is closest a n d most p a l p a b l e , i.e., o f w h a t is u s e f u l to t h e m a n y a n d to the life-will o f a n y o n e at a l l . H i s t o r y does not w i t h h o l d itself f r o m p r e d i c t i o n b u t f r o m c a l c u l a t i n g j u d g m e n t , especially i f we u n d e r s t a n d history i n its longest a n d hence slowest a n d therefore h a r d l y graspable o c c u r r e n c e : n a m e l y , the a p p r o a c h a n d d i s t a n tiation o f the gods i n r e l a d o n to b e i n g s â&#x20AC;&#x201D; a n event w h i c h lies f a r b e y o n d a n d well o n this s i d e o f the facticities o f religions a n d churches a n d cults a n d w h i c h has as its c o n c o m i t a n t o p p o s i t e side w h a t we are c a l l i n g man's s t r e n g t h o r lack o f s t r e n g t h w i t h r e g a r d to history. I f there once were gods, w h o are now i n flight f r o m m a n , as they


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have been for ages, then this self-refusal o f the gods must be a terrible occurrence, which surely sets i n motion a singular event w h i c h we may h a r d l y risk n a m i n g . (Unsaid: the passing o f the last g o d . C f : Vom Eivignis ["On the A p p r o p r i a t i n g Event"].) W h e t h e r we t h i n k forth to this occurrence, o r p o n d e r the sagging strength o f m a n with regard to history, o r t h i n k t h r o u g h b o t h these i n their o r i g i n a l c o n n e c t i o n — i n each case reflection encounters the one a n d only basic character o f this most o r i g i n a l a n d most concealed, but also most g e n u i n e , history: that truth i n its essence is n o longer a question but instead possesses a prosaic obviousness a n d thereby u p roots everything true a n d has n o creative power. T r u t h will never again become a question a r i s i n g o u t o f a g e n u i n e necessity as l o n g as we are unable to recall what its b e g i n n i n g essence was, i.e., w h e r e its future essence must be decided. T h e q u e s t i o n o f the essence o f t r u t h is a n — i n d e e d the—utterly historical q u e s t i o n , insofar as it asks a b o u t what restores o u r history to its g r o u n d i n the first place, i.e., asks a b o u t that f r o m w h i c h the u n a v o i d a b l e a n d the d e c i d a b l e g a i n the space o f t h e i r conflict a n d o f t h e i r r e c i p r o c a l self-surpassing. O u r q u e s t i o n a b o u t the essence o f t r u t h i m m e d i a t e l y arrives o n the p a t h o f a historical reflection, a n d i n d e e d o f o n e r e a c h i n g back very far, a n d has t h e r e i n , a c c o r d i n g to the i n t e n t i o n o f o u r lectures, its g e n u i n e i m p o r t . B u t that is exactly w h a t is r e q u i r e d — i f we reflect o n what has been s a i d — b y o u r i n q u i r y into the essence o f t r u t h itself, w h i c h does not o n l y " h a v e " its history for itself b u t is i n ever different ways the g r o u n d a n d the absence o f g r o u n d o f o u r history a n d o f o u r absence o f history. In f u t u r e t h i n k i n g , the d i s t i n c t i o n between h i s t o r i o g r a p h i c a l a n d systematic considerations w i l l lose all m e a n i n g — c o m p l e t e l y different f r o m the case o f H e g e l , w h o o n l y m i x e d t h e m u p a n d h a d to let t h e m b o t h exist i n disarray.

2) T h e succession of the steps made up to now from truth as the correctness of an assertion to the positing of the essence as a productive seeing and a laying of the ground. B u t because this historical i n t e r r o g a t i o n is r e q u i r e d by what is i n terrogated itself, we can a n d s h o u l d a r r i v e at the a t t e m p t e d historical reflection o n l y by means o f a r i g o r o u s sequence o f steps


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o f g e n u i n e q u e s t i o n i n g . L e t us o n c e m o r e briefly characterize the sequence o f steps t a k e n u p to now. O u r q u e s t i o n a b o u t the essence o f t r u t h began w i t h the determ i n a t i o n o f t r u t h as the correctness o f a n assertion or, i n g e n e r a l , o f a r e p r e s e n t a t i o n , a d e t e r m i n a t i o n w h i c h still today p r o vides the s t a n d a r d a n d has d o n e so for two m i l l e n n i a . T h i s b e g i n n i n g was e x e c u t e d i m m e d i a t e l y i n the f o r m o f a critical reflection. T h e result was t h e f o l l o w i n g : t r u t h as correctness o f r e p r e s e n t i n g p r e s u p p o s e s ^ j n o r d e r to be what it is (assimilation to the object), the o p e n n e s s o f beings by w h i c h they b e c o m e c a pable o f b e i n g ob-jects i n t h e first place a n d by w h i c h the r e p r e s e n t i n g becomes a faculty o f p r e s e n t i n g s o m e t h i n g before itself as s u c h . T h i s o p e n n e s s a p p e a r e d c o n s e q u e n d y as the g r o u n d o f the possibility o f correctness. A c c o r d i n g l y , correctness c a n n o t constitute the o r i g i n a l essence o f t r u t h i f it itself is d e p e n d e n t o n s o m e t h i n g m o r e o r i g i n a l . T h e o r i g i n a l essence o f t r u t h m u s t t h e n be s o u g h t i n a r e t u r n to this openness. B u t this s i m p l e critical r e f l e c t i o n , w h i c h transcends the t r a d i t i o n a l c o n c e p t o f t r u t h , is tenable o n l y i f correctness a l r e a d y c o n tains i n s o m e way, even i f n o t o r i g i n a l l y , s o m e t h i n g o f the essence o f t r u t h . T h a t it d o e s so was at first o n l y tacidy p r e s u p p o s e d . W h a t a b o u t this p r e s u p p o s i t i o n ? H o w a n d to w h a t extent is t h e t r a d i t i o n a l p o s i t i n g o f the essence o f t r u t h as t h e correctness o f a n assertion f o u n d e d ? We w i l l discover, i f at a l l , the f o u n d a t i o n o f this essential d e t e r m i n a t i o n o f t r u t h i n a n i m m e d i a t e way w h e r e this essence o f t r u t h was established for the first t i m e . T h a t h a p p e n e d at the e n d o f the great p h i l o s o p h y o f the G r e e k s , i n the t h i n k i n g o f Plato a n d i n the d o c t r i n e s o f A r i s t o d e . B u t i n o r d e r now to i n t e r r o g a t e w i t h c e r t i t u d e the legitimacy o f the essential d e t e r m i n a t i o n o f t r u t h as correctness, we have to k n o w what those t h i n k e r s i n t e n d e d by what we call "essence." T h i s l e d to t h e e x p o s i t i o n o f w h a t Plato u n d e r s t o o d as itea. T h e essence is the whatness o f a b e i n g , u n d e r s t o o d as its l o o k o r c o u n t e n a n c e , w h i c h is kept i n view i n advance for every c o m p o r t m e n t t o w a r d the i n d i v i d u a l b e i n g present at h a n d . I f now, after this e l u c i d a t i o n o f the G r e e k c o n c e p t o f essence, we e x a m i n e i n w h i c h way the j u s t - m e n t i o n e d d e t e r m i n a t i o n o f the essence o f t r u t h â&#x20AC;&#x201D; a s the correctness o f a n a s s e r t i o n â&#x20AC;&#x201D; i s f o u n d e d , t h e n we discover that a " f o u n d a t i o n " is l a c k i n g . T h e positings o f t h e es-


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sence a p p e a r to be a r b i t r a r y declarations, to w h i c h , however, we acquiesce. T h e positings o f the essence are w i t h o u t f o u n d a t i o n i f we u n d e r s t a n d by " f o u n d a t i o n " the always subsequent reference back o f what is asserted to s o m e t h i n g already p u r e l y a n d s i m p l y present at h a n d , e v e n i f not always k n o w n . T h e o n l y k n o w l e d g e that c a n be d e m o n s t r a t e d i n such a way, h e n c e that c a n be f o u n d e d , is o n e w h i c h tries to k n o w a n d d e t e r m i n e what is present at h a n d , i.e., a k n o w l e d g e o f facts. I n a l l factual k n o w l edge, however, there already resides a n essential k n o w l e d g e g u i d i n g a n d s u p p o r t i n g it. T h e result o f these reflections was that a g r a s p i n g o f the essence c a n n e v e r be f o u n d e d t h r o u g h a k n o w l e d g e o f facts. F o r i n the first place a l l real factual p a r t i c u larizations o f the essence i n q u e s t i o n â&#x20AC;&#x201D; e . g . , the essence o f a t a b l e â&#x20AC;&#x201D; c a n n e v e r be collected, a n d secondly, this g a t h e r i n g w o u l d still be insufficient, since the essence also h o l d s f o r possible instances. T h i r d l y , a n d above a l l , the n o t i o n o f a f o u n d a t i o n o f the essence a n d o f the d e t e r m i n a t i o n o f the essence by r e f e r e n c e to c o r r e s p o n d i n g real a n d possible facts is i n itself a b s u r d . F o r i n o r d e r to discover the facts p e r t a i n i n g to the essence a n d to select t h e m a n d e x h i b i t t h e m as j u s t i f i c a t i o n s f o r the legitimacy o f this p o s i t i n g o f the essence, the p o s i t i n g o f the essence must a l r e a d y be p r e s u p p o s e d . C o n s e q u e n d y , the essence a n d the d e t e r m i n a t i o n o f t h e essence d o not a d m i t any f o u n d a t i o n o f the k i n d that we a c c o m plish i n the field o f factual k n o w l e d g e . T h e essence o f s o m e t h i n g is not at a l l to be discovered s i m p l y l i k e a fact; o n the c o n t r a r y , it must be brought forth, since it is not directly present i n the s p h e r e o f i m m e d i a t e r e p r e s e n t i n g a n d i n t e n d i n g . T o b r i n g f o r t h is a k i n d o f m a k i n g , a n d so there resides i n a l l g r a s p i n g a n d p o s i t i n g o f the essence s o m e t h i n g creative. T h e creative always appeal's violent a n d arbitrary, as i f it s h o u l d be c o n c e a l e d that it is b o u n d to a h i g h e r lawfulness w h i c h must be protected against the i n t r u sion o f c o m m o n o p i n i o n . F o r the latter has its o w n rules, puts t h e m i n t o play everywhere, a n d a b h o r s the e x c e p t i o n . I f we call the p o s i t i n g o f the essence a b r i n g i n g - f o r t h a n d thereby first o f all take "essence" a c c o r d i n g to the G r e e k c o n c e p t i o n (loect), t h e n the " b r i n g i n g - f o r t h " m u s t also be u n d e r s t o o d i n the G r e e k sense. T o b r i n g f o r t h means to b r i n g o u t i n t o the l i g h t , to b r i n g ! s o m e t h i n g i n sight w h i c h was u p to t h e n not seen at a l l , a n d spe-


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T h e L a y i n g o f the G r o u n d [94-95]

cifically such that the s e e i n g o f it is not s i m p l y a g a p i n g at s o m e t h i n g already l y i n g t h e r e b u t a seeing w h i c h , i n seeing, first b r i n g s f o r t h w h a t is to be seen, i.e., a p r o d u c t i v e seeing. T h e essence, i.e., the G r e e k - P l a t o n i c i o e a , the l o o k o f beings i n what they are, is g r a s p e d i n s u c h a p r o d u c t i v e seeing. T h e p h i l o s o p h e r is a t h i n k e r o n l y i f h e is this k i n d o f seer a n d not a g a p e r o r a c a l c u l a t o r o r a m e r e babbler. E v e r y " f o u n d a t i o n " i n the sense we discussed c o m e s too late w i t h r e g a r d to the p o s i t i n g o f the essence, because the p r o d u c t i v e s e e i n g o f the essence is itself a p r o d u c t i v e seeing o f that i n w h i c h the essence has its g r o u n d — a p r o d u c t i v e s e e i n g o f w h a t its g r o u n d is. K n o w l e d g e o f the essence is i n itself a g r o u n d - l a y i n g . It is the p o s i t i n g o f w h a t lies u n d e r as g r o u n d , the p o s i t i n g o f the V7roxe£(xevov—fleaxç—and h e n c e is {nrcVôeoxç. It is n o t the subsequent a d d i n g o f a g r o u n d for s o m e t h i n g a l r e a d y r e p r e s e n t e d . W h e n a t h i n g is d e t e r m i n e d as to its essence, t h e n this essence itself is p r o d u c t i v e l y seen. T h e p r o d u c t i v e seeing o f the essence b r i n g s s o m e t h i n g i n t o view for the essence a n d c l a i m s it f o r the essence, o u t o f w h i c h i t — t h e e s s e n c e — b e c o m e s visible for what it is.

§25. The unconcealedness of the whatness of beings as the truth pertaining to the grasping of the essence. The groundedness of the correctness of an assertion in unconcealedness (d\-r\Qeia). We n o w have to a p p l y w h a t has been said to the q u e s t i o n o c c u p y i n g us a b o u t the " f o u n d a t i o n " o f the t r a d i t i o n a l p o s i t i n g o f the essence o f t r u t h as the correctness o f a n assertion. K n o w l e d g e o f a n essence c a n n o t be f o u n d e d i n the strict sense o f f o u n d a t i o n ( d e m o n s t r a t i o n by a p p e a l to s o m e t h i n g present at h a n d ) . It is not, however, o n that account g r o u n d l e s s biit is itself a g r o u n d - l a y i n g . C o n s e q u e n d y , it is n o accident that we d o n o t f i n d i n A r i s t o t l e a f o u n d a t i o n for the p o s i t i n g o f the essence o f t r u t h as the correctness o f a n assertion; it is necessarily so, because there is n o f o u n d a t i o n for the p o s i t i n g o f a n essence. O n the o t h e r h a n d , however, we c a n n o w at least s u r m i s e that this d e t e r m i n a t i o n o f the essence o f t r u t h as the correctness o f a n ass e r t i o n is not a r b i t r a r y a n d g r o u n d l e s s but is itself a g r o u n d i n g , the l a y i n g o f a g r o u n d a n d thereby a r e t u r n to the g r o u n d . We


§25- T h e unconcealedness o f the whatness o f beings [95-96]

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will t h e r e f o r e ask: W h a t does this A r i s t o t e l i a n , a n d n o w u s u a l , d e t e r m i n a t i o n o f t r u t h as the correctness o f a n assertion c l a i m as its g r o u n d ? W h a t does this d e t e r m i n a t i o n o f the essence o f t r u t h see a n d have i n view i n advance as that w h e r e i n it finds itself g r o u n d e d ? T o a r r i v e at the answer we w i l l i n t e n t i o n a l l y m a k e a brief detour. E a r l i e r (pp. 28 ff., 3 5 f.), we c a m e to a p o i n t i n o u r c o n s i d e r ations w h e r e we h a d to say that the p h i l o s o p h i c a l q u e s t i o n a b o u t the essence o f t r u t h is at the same time a n d i n itself the q u e s t i o n o f the t r u t h o f the essence. T h i s r e l a t i o n also h o l d s i n the c o n verse: the q u e s t i o n o f the t r u t h o f the essence is at the same t i m e a q u e s t i o n a b o u t the essence o f t r u t h . T h e s e statements a p p e a r at first to be m e r e conjectures. B u t we have n o w p r o g r e s s e d far e n o u g h to m a k e t h e m evident i n t h e i r t r u t h — e v e n i f o n l y i n the compass o f a restricted field o f view. We a r e a s k i n g a b o u t the essence o f t r u t h or, m o r e precisely, a b o u t the A r i s t o t e l i a n d e t e r m i n a t i o n o f the essence o f t r u t h as the correctness o f a n assertion: i n what is this d e t e r m i n a t i o n o f the essence itself g r o u n d e d ? T h e q u e s t i o n o f the essence o f t r u t h i s — s t i l l c o n j e c t u r a l l y — t h e q u e s t i o n o f the t r u t h o f essence. T h e result o f o u r q u e s t i o n i n g the essentiality o f the essence was that the essence is the whatness o f s o m e t h i n g , the ihia, the l o o k s o m e t h i n g offers, its a p p e a r a n c e , the b e i n g i n its being-viewed. A p r o d u c d v e seeing grasps the loeot. T h e p r o d u c t i v e s e e i n g is a b r i n g i n g - f o r t h , a b r i n g i n g i n t o the light, a b r i n g i n g i n t o visibility, w h i c h is itself g r o u n d e d o n what it b r i n g s f o r t h a n d i n that way posits what is seen as g r o u n d — vir6$ecn,<;. T h e p r o d u c d v e s e e i n g o f the essence does not a d m i t any f o u n d a t i o n ; that w o u l d be, so to say, beneath its dignity. For w h a t actually is " f o u n d i n g " ? It is a n a p p e a l to s o m e t h i n g present at h a n d , a n d that i m p l i e s the m e a s u r i n g o f the c o g n i t i o n o r o f the asserdon against s o m e t h i n g p r e - g i v e n , to w h i c h the assertion a n d the r e p r e s e n t a t i o n are to c o n f o r m . F o u n d i n g is a c o n f o r m i t y to . . . . F o u n d i n g consequently p r e s u p p o s e s i n itself a n d f o r itself the possibility o f c o n f o r m i t y a n d correctness. F o u n d i n g a n d the possibility o f b e i n g f o u n d e d a r e tied to a d e t e r m i n a t e k i n d o f t r u t h , n a m e l y the correctness o f r e p r e s e n t a t i o n a n d assertion. O n l y what is c o r r e c t a n d what claims correctness c a n be f o u n d e d a n d is i n n e e d o f f o u n d a t i o n .


86

T h e L a y i n g o f t h e G r o u n d [96-97]

N o w i f a l l g r a s p i n g a n d p o s i t i n g o f the essence e x c l u d e t h e possibility o f b e i n g f o u n d e d — n o t because the f o u n d a t i o n c a n not be d i s c o v e r e d , b u t because f o u n d i n g as such is n o t sufficient for t h e l e g i t i m a t i o n o f t h e p o s i t i n g o f a n e s s e n c e — i f the g r a s p i n g o f t h e essence rejects every a t t e m p t at a f o u n d a t i o n i n t h e sense we d i s c u s s e d , t h e n the t r u t h w h i c h belongs to the g r a s p i n g o f t h e essence a n d w h i c h is s t a m p e d o n it c a n n o t be correctness. T h e r e f o r e a n o t h e r k i n d o f t r u t h m u s t b e l o n g to the g r a s p i n g o f the essence. T h u s a r e f l e c t i o n o n t h e t r u t h o f essence, o n what a g r a s p i n g o f essence is, a n d what its j u s t i f i c a t i o n is, becomes a r e flection o n t h e essence o f t r u t h . T h e g r a s p i n g o f t h e essence is a b r i n g i n g - f o r t h : specifically, i n the G r e e k sense o f a b r i n g i n g o u t a n d f e t c h i n g f o r t h . W h e n c e ? F r o m c o n c e a l m e n t . W h i t h e r ? I n t o unconcealedness, i n o r d e r to posit it as t h e u n c o n c e a l e d . T o see t h e essence i n p r o d u c t i v e seei n g m e a n s to posit t h e u n c o n c e a l e d o f beings, to posit beings i n t h e i r u n c o n c e a l e d n e s s , to take t h e m u p i n t o t h e n a m i n g w o r d , a n d i n that way establish t h e m a n d thereby let t h e m stand i n t h e visibility o f a n essential c o g n i t i o n . T h e u n c o n c e a l e d is i n G r e e k T O aX-nfles, a n d u n c o n c e a l e d n e s s is aXf^-Seia. F o r ages, this h a s b e e n translated as Veritas, " t r u t h " [Wahrkeit], T h e " t r u t h " o f t h e g r a s p i n g o f the essence is, t h o u g h t i n the G r e e k m a n n e r , the u n c o n c e a l e d n e s s o f t h e whatness o f beings. U n c o n c e a l e d n e s s , t h e being-seen o f beings is, i n P l a t o n i c terms, loeot. A b e i n g i n its beingness (oixxiot) is, briefly a n d p r o p e r l y , t h e u n concealedness o f t h e b e i n g itself. B e i n g s , d e t e r m i n e d w i t h r e g a r d to t h e i r u n c o n c e a l e d n e s s , a r e thereby g r a s p e d w i t h respect to t h e i r c o m i n g f o r t h a n d e m e r g i n g , t h e i r <Jri>ca<;, i.e., as ioect, a n d so a r e g r a s p e d as n o t h i n g o t h e r t h a n beings i n t h e i r b e i n g ness. T o p r o d u c t i v e l y see a b e i n g as such i n its b e i n g n e s s — i n what it is as a b e i n g — m e a n s n o t h i n g else t h a n to e n c o u n t e r it s i m p l y i n its u n c o n c e a l e d n e s s , a n d , as A r i s t o t l e (Met. 6 1 0 ) says, di/yeiv, to feel it, s i m p l y t o u c h u p o n it a n d i n t o u c h i n g it to p u s h it f o r w a r d , to b r i n g it before oneself, to p r o d u c e a n d see its l o o k . Since, i n the G r e e k e x p e r i e n c e , beings as such a r e dnxns, e m e r gence, there belongs to beings as s u c h aXfjOeict, u n c o n c e a l e d ness. T h e r e f o r e the g r a s p i n g o f beings as such m u s t be a disclosi n g (a t a k i n g o u t f r o m c o n c e a l m e n t ) . We c a n n o t n o w a r t i c u l a t e


§26. U n c o n c e a l e d n e s s a n d the openness o f beings [97-98]

87

m o r e precisely what a l l this signifies i n a m o r e p r o f o u n d sense a n d i n every o n e o f its consequences, n a m e l y that for the G r e e k s the t r u t h is a — i n d e e d , the—character o f beings as s u c h . W e will o n l y note that t h e g r a s p i n g o f the essence claims a special k i n d o f " t r u t h " : unconcealedness. A s we have h e a r d often e n o u g h , a l l c o g n i t i o n a n d k n o w l e d g e o f i n d i v i d u a l beings is g r o u n d e d i n a n acquaintance w i t h t h e essence. K n o w l e d g e as t h e r e p r e s e n t a t i o n o f i n d i v i d u a l beings is f o u n d e d to t h e extent that it is correct. Now, however, i f t h e k n o w l e d g e o f i n d i v i d u a l beings, t h e t r u e r e p r e s e n t i n g o f facts, is g r o u n d e d i n a k n o w l e d g e o f t h e essence, t h e n t h e truth o f factual k n o w l e d g e , i.e., correctness, f o r its p a r t m u s t also b e g r o u n d e d i n t h e t r u t h o f the k n o w l e d g e o f the essence. T r u t h as correctness (ououDcru;) has its g r o u n d i n t r u t h as u n c o n c e a l e d n e s s (a\Y|'&€ia), t h e c o m i n g - f o r t h , a n d b e i n g i n view i n a d v a n c e , o f the beingness (essence) o f beings. W h a t is seen i n a p r o d u c t i v e seeing a n d c l a i m e d as t h e g r o u n d o f t h e p o s i t i n g o f t r u t h as c o r rectness is t r u t h as aXTj'Seia. XVfj-deux (the u n c o n c e a l e d n e s s o f beings as such) is n o w t h e o r i g i n a l a n d g e n u i n e l y G r e e k n a m e f o r t r u t h , because it names t h e m o r e o r i g i n a l essence o f t r u t h . N e i t h e r t h e L a t i n w o r d Veritas n o r o u r G e r m a n w o r d Yfahrheit ["truth"] c o n t a i n t h e least echo o f w h a t t h e G r e e k s saw i n a d vance a n d e x p e r i e n c e d w h e n they spoke a b o u t t r u t h i n t h e i r sense: a X f j f l e i a .

§26. Unconcealedness and the openness of beings. The process of the submergence of the original Greek essence of truth in the sense of the unconcealedness of beings. W h e r e d o we n o w stand? We asked h o w t h e o r d i n a r y d e f i n i t i o n o f t r u t h , o f t h e essence o f the t r u e — n a m e l y , the correctness o f an a s s e r t i o n — w a s f o u n d e d o r i g i n a l l y i n A r i s t o t l e . W e s h o w e d that because the p o s i t i n g o f correctness as t h e essence o f t r u t h accomplishes a n essential p o s i t i n g , there c a n be n o q u e s t i o n o f a f o u n d a t i o n , w h i c h is t h e reason we seek i n v a i n f o r o n e . Nevertheless, t h e p o s i t i n g o f the essence is not a r b i t r a r y b u t is the posi t i n g o f a g r o u n d , t h e t a k i n g u p o f that w h i c h makes possible what is to be g r a s p e d i n its essence a n d gives it its g r o u n d .


88

T h e L a y i n g o f the G r o u n d [98-100]

W h a t t h e n provides the g r o u n d for t r u t h c o n c e i v e d as correctness? T h e g r o u n d o f correctness (ouoiaxru;) is d X f i d e i a , the u n concealedness o f beings. W h a t does a-Xirjdeta, the u n c o n c e a l e d ness o f beings, m e a n ? N o t h i n g else b u t that beings as such a r e not c o n c e a l e d a n d not c l o s e d , a n d h e n c e are o p e n . T h e openness o f beings proves to be the g r o u n d o f the possibility o f correctness. A n d that is exacdy what we b r o u g h t o u t at the b e g i n n i n g o f o u r i n q u i r y . We s h o w e d that the openness o f beings lies at the g r o u n d o f t h e o r d i n a r y c o n c e p t i o n o f t r u t h as correctness, a n d we saw the n e e d to q u e s t i o n this o p e n n e s s as such i n o r d e r to g r a s p the essence o f t r u t h o r i g i n a l l y . We c o n t e n d e d that this openness is w h a t is p r o p e r l y worthy o f q u e s t i o n i n g i n the q u e s t i o n o f t r u t h . A n d we saw that the G r e e k s a l r e a d y k n e w this o p e n n e s s o f b e i n g s ; i n d e e d , they t o o k aXTjfteiot, t h e u n c o n c e a l e d n e s s o f beings, as the p r o p e r essence o f t r u t h . F u r t h e r m o r e , f o r the G r e e k s the t r u e is i n advance the u n c o n c e a l e d , a n d t r u t h is the same as t h e u n c o n c e a l e d n e s s o f beings. O n l y because o f s u c h a p r o d u c t i v e seeing o f t r u t h o n the p a r t o f the G r e e k s c o u l d the possibility o f the a s s i m i l a t i o n to beings o f a p r o p o s i t i o n o r r e p r e s e n t a t i o n not be a q u e s d o n f o r t h e m a n d not at a l l be i n n e e d o f a f o u n d a t i o n ; o n the contrary, w i t h r e g a r d to a X f i f l e i a s u c h a n a s s i m i l a t i o n presents itself as self-evident. W e r e the G r e e k s t h u s aware that t h e correctness o f a n assertion requires the o p e n n e s s o f beings as its essential g r o u n d ? I f so, our r e f e r r i n g to w h a t is w o r t h y o f q u e s t i o n i n g i n the o r d i n a r y c o n c e p t i o n o f t r u t h is w h o l l y s u p e r f l u o u s a n d e x c e e d i n g l y belated. T h e r e is n o l o n g e r a n y t h i n g t o ask h e r e because the G r e e k s have already a n s w e r e d the q u e s t i o n o f t r u t h . T h u s i f we today want to rise above the o r d i n a r y c o n c e p t i o n o f t r u t h as correctness, a n d i f we m u s t d o so to grasp it i n its p r o p e r essence a n d g r o u n d , a n d i n that way answer the q u e s t i o n o f t r u t h sufficiently, t h e n t h e r e is o b v i o u s l y n o n e e d at a l l f o r toil o n o u r p a r t ; we s i m p l y have to r e t u r n to what G r e e k p h i l o s o p h y has a l r e a d y seen. A t most, we w o u l d n e e d to recall s o m e t h i n g forgotten. N o r is this f o r g e t t i n g itself very r e m a r k a b l e , because f r o m the t i m e o f A r i s t o t l e , o r even since Plato, the c o n c e p t i o n o f t r u t h as the correctness o f a n assertion has been the stand a r d , a n d the o n l y s t a n d a r d , for the d e t e r m i n a t i o n o f the essence o f t r u t h , a n d the n a m e dXTjfleiot was t h e n e m p l o y e d s p o n taneously to express the correctness o f a n assertion, i.e., to


§25. T h e unconcealedness o f the whatness o f beings [ 1 oo-1 o 1 ]

89

n a m e this s t a n d a r d d e t e r m i n a t i o n o f the essence o f t r u t h as correctness. A n d w h e n i n the process o f recasting the G r e e k way o f s p e a k i n g , i.e., i n the t r a n s f o r m a t i o n o f the G r e e k way o f t h i n k i n g a n d basic attitude t o w a r d beings i n t o the R o m a n a n d later W e s t e r n m o d e s , &Xf|'deict was translated as Veritas, t h e n not o n l y was the established c o n c e p t i o n o f t r u t h as c o r r e c t ness t r a n s m i t t e d , b u t , at the same time, t h r o u g h t h e t r a n s l a t i o n o f aX-rj-deiot as Veritas every r e s o n a n c e o f the o r i g i n a l essence o f t r u t h as dX-rj^eia, u n c o n c e a l e d n e s s , was destroyed. T h i s resonance is also c o m p l e t e l y s u p p r e s s e d by o u r w o r d " t r u t h . " AXiQ'&cia h e n c e f o r t h m e a n s , a c c o r d i n g to t h e essential d e t e r m i n a t i o n o f t r u t h , the same as the correctness o f a n assertion. W h a t the G r e e k s o n c e saw a n d e x p e r i e n c e d as the o r i g i n a l essence o f t r u t h n o l o n g e r has any effect; it has been s u b m e r g e d . (Verum nominal id in quod tendit intellectus. .. . Veritas principaliter est in intellectu.y T h i s process h a d a still f u r t h e r c o n s e q u e n c e : to the e x t e n t that later c e n t u r i e s u p to t h e most recent times r e c a l l e d the p h i l o s o p h y o f the G r e e k s a n d took p a i n s to present t h e i r d o c t r i n e o f t r u t h , t r u t h was t h e n o f course g r a s p e d i n the sense o f Veritas, as the correctness o f a n assertion o f j u d g i n g r e a s o n . T h i s later d e t e r m i n a t i o n o f the essence o f aX^-Seta as the o n l y v a l i d o n e was t h e n s o u g h t w i t h i n G r e e k p h i l o s o p h y , even w h e r e a c o n c e p t i o n o f t r u t h as correctness was f o r e i g n , i.e., w h e r e t h e o r i g i n a l e x p e rience o f t r u t h as u n c o n c e a l e d n e s s still p r e v a i l e d . T h i s l e d to the l u d i c r o u s c o n t e n t i o n that the early G r e e k t h i n k e r s were d a b b l e r s a n d i n c a p a b l e o f c l e a r l y c o n c e i v i n g the essence o f t r u t h a n d the " p r o b l e m " o f k n o w l e d g e a n d j u d g m e n t , a n d that o n l y Plato a n d A r i s t o d e s u c c e e d e d i n d o i n g so. T h u s e v e r y t h i n g was stood o n its h e a d . A n d this i n v e r s i o n still rules the o r d i n a r y scholarly presentation o f G r e e k p h i l o s o p h y . B u t still m o r e essential t h a n this i n v e r t e d s c h o l a r s h i p itself is the fact that it has b l o c k e d o u r access to the o r i g i n a l essence o f t r u t h . H o w so? F r o m w h a t we have s a i d , d o we not m e r e l y n e e d to get u s e d to t r a n s l a t i n g the G r e e k w o r d a X f i d e i a w i t h o u r w o r d " u n c o n c e a l e d n e s s " instead o f " t r u t h " i n the sense o f c o r -

1. T h o m a s Aquinas, SummaTheologica, vol. I, question X V I , article 1. In Opera Omnia, Parma, 1852. ["The true names that towards which the intellect tends . . . T r u t h is principally in the intellect"â&#x20AC;&#x201D;Tr.]


T h e L a y i n g o f the G r o u n d [101-102]

rectness? People have said b e n i g n l y that the m e r i t o f the treatise Being and Time was to have b r o u g h t back i n t o c i r c u l a t i o n this literal t r a n s l a t i o n o f ctXTj^cia. AXfjtieux is n o w translated as " u n concealedness," a n d — e v e r y t h i n g r e m a i n s as it was. F o r n o t h i n g is g a i n e d by a m e r e c h a n g e i n t h e way o f s p e a k i n g , n o t e v e n if, b e y o n d t h e literal t r a n s l a t i o n o f aXtY9eta, it is s h o w n that t h e G r e e k s a l r e a d y k n e w t h e u n c o n c e a l e d n e s s o f beings to be t h e essence o f t r u t h . Such a n improvement i n the historiographical presentation o f the G r e e k c o n c e p t i o n o f t r u t h is f a r r e m o v e d f r o m a h i s t o r i c a l reflection o n t h e q u e s t i o n o f t r u t h — s o f a r r e m o v e d that t h e i m p r o v e m e n t i n t h e way o f s p e a k i n g actually f u r t h e r i m p e d e s this r e f l e c t i o n a n d its necessity. F o r it is n o w well k n o w n that the G r e e k s h a d a l r e a d y a p p e a l e d t o the o p e n n e s s o f beings as t r u t h . B u t m o d e r n a n d c o n t e m p o r a r y p h i l o s o p h y also k n o w , m o r e t h a n a n y t h i n g else, that, i n t h e progress o f p h i l o s o p h i c a l t h i n k i n g , Plato a n d A r i s t o d e o v e r c a m e this early G r e e k c o n c e p t i o n o f t r u t h . I n the course o f m o d e r n t h o u g h t , the d o c t r i n e that t r u t h is the correctness o f the j u d g i n g reason (intellectus) d e v e l o p e d i n t o s u c h a m a t t e r o f c o u r s e that even t h e greatest a n t a g o nist o f this t h i n k i n g , N i e t z s c h e , d o e s n o t t a m p e r w i t h t h e d o c t r i n e i n t h e least b u t i n s t e a d makes it the f o u n d a t i o n o f h i s o w n theory o f t r u t h . I n d o i n g s o , N i e t z s c h e is u n w i t t i n g l y i n perfect a g r e e m e n t w i t h T h o m a s A q u i n a s , w h o said, o n t h e basis o f a p a r ticular i n t e r p r e t a t i o n o f A r i s t o t l e : Veritas p r i n c i p a l i t e r est in intellect: t r u t h has its place, above a l l a n d o r i g i n a l l y , i n j u d g i n g r e a s o n . E v e r y c o n n e c t i o n w i t h t h e early G r e e k c o n c e p t i o n o f t r u t h — t r u t h as the u n c o n c e a l e d n e s s o f b e i n g s — i s therefore stigm a t i z e d as a relapse into a s t a n d p o i n t that has been o v e r c o m e l o n g a g o a n d was v a l i d o n l y f o r t h e r u d i m e n t a r y b e g i n n i n g s o f Western t h o u g h t . W h a t has n o w been a c c o m p l i s h e d ? W h e r e have we a r r i v e d since we deflected f r o m o u r s i m p l y stated c o u r s e o f q u e s t i o n i n g o n t o a n a p p a r e n t side track? We q u e s t i o n e d back f r o m t h e o r d i nary c o n c e p t i o n o f t r u t h ( t r u t h as t h e correctness o f a n assertion) i n t o w h a t we c a l l e d o p e n n e s s — w h i c h we i n t r o d u c e d as b e i n g g e n u i n e l y w o r t h y o f q u e s t i o n i n g . O p e n n e s s , however, c a n constitute t h e m o r e o r i g i n a l essence o f t r u t h o n l y i f that o f w h i c h


§25. T h e unconcealedness o f the whatness o f beings [102-103]

91

it is t h e g r o u n d , n a m e l y correctness, for its part touches u p o n the essence o f t r u t h i n some way, even i f not o r i g i n a l l y . Does it touch the essence—i.e., is the u s u a l c o n c e p t i o n o f t r u t h f o u n d e d , a n d i f so, h o w ? We have seen that this c o n c e p t i o n a n d d e t e r m i n a t i o n o f t h e essence o f t r u t h is i n fact not f o u n d e d , because, as a p o s i t i n g o f essence, it c a n n o t be f o u n d e d i n the u s u a l sense at a l l . Yet it is not therefore w i t h o u t g r o u n d ; o n the c o n t r a r y , what is c l a i m e d as t h e g r o u n d o f the possibility o f correctness is aX-n^eux, a n d that is for the G r e e k s the essence o f t r u t h . T h e u n c o n c e a l e d n e s s o f beings as s u c h is the g r o u n d o f the p o s s i b i l ity o f correctness. F o r the G r e e k s , it is e v e n i n a p r e - e m i n e n t sense that u n c o n c e a l e d n e s s (dXfjdcta) as the essence o f t r u t h is the g r o u n d o f the possibility o f correctness (6|xouacris). L e t u s r e flect: t h e G r e e k s d i d not b e g i n by p o s i t i n g correctness as t h e essence o f t r u t h i n o r d e r t h e n to g o back to u n c o n c e a l e d n e s s as its g r o u n d ; o n t h e contrary, they first e x p e r i e n c e d the u n c o n c e a l e d ness o f beings a n d o n the basis o f this e x p e r i e n c e d e t e r m i n e d t r u t h also as t h e correctness o f a n assertion, i n that t h e y — i n l i g h t o f aXTjfleioc—saw t h e possibility a n d the necessity o f 6uoCu>cri<;. H e n c e this subsequent c o n c e p t i o n o f the essence o f t r u t h as c o r rectness, f r o m w h i c h we b e g a n , is very well g r o u n d e d a n d i n d e e d g r o u n d e d precisely i n that w h e r e i n G r e e k t h o u g h t a n d k n o w l edge o f beings m o v e i n a d v a n c e : i n the u n c o n c e a l e d n e s s o f beings. A n d t h u s it is g r o u n d e d i n the same g r o u n d to w h i c h o u r critical reflection was r e f e r r e d back, n a m e l y the openness o f beings, as we c a l l e d it. C o n s e q u e n d y , the a p p r o a c h o f o u r c r i t i c a l r e f l e c t i o n — t o b e g i n w i t h the o r d i n a r y c o n c e p t i o n o f t r u t h as c o r r e c t n e s s — i s j u s t i f i e d . B u t at the same time it t u r n s o u t that this critical reflection is now s u p e r f l u o u s , because what it discovers, the u n c o n c e a l e d n e s s o f beings, was a l r e a d y e x p e r i e n c e d by the G r e e k s a n d was taken u p by t h e m as the g r o u n d o f the possibility o f correctness. T h e o p e n n e s s we f o u n d w o r t h y o f quest i o n i n g at t h e b e g i n n i n g o f o u r critical reflection was a l r e a d y a p preciated by t h e G r e e k s , so m u c h so that this u n c o n c e a l e d n e s s o f beings b e c a m e f o r t h e m the p r i m o r d i a l d e t e r m i n a t i o n o f t h e essence o f t r u t h . C o n s e q u e n t l y , the G r e e k s h a d already w o r k e d o u t exactly what we have been t r y i n g to take u p as the m o r e o r i g i n a l a n d necessary task o f f u t u r e p h i l o s o p h i c a l i n q u i r y .


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T h e L a y i n g o f the G r o u n d [104â&#x20AC;&#x201D;105]

RECAPITULATION

1) T h e productive seeing o f the unconcealedness of beings as the ground of the essence of truth as correctness. O u r task was to a n s w e r t h i s q u e s t i o n : how is t h e essential determ i n a t i o n o f t r u t h as correctness f o u n d e d ? S i n c e there is n o f o u n d a t i o n f o r the p o s i t i n g o f a n essence, the p o s i t i n g o f the essence b e i n g i n itself the l a y i n g o f a g r o u n d , we h a d to pose the q u e s t i o n o f f o u n d a t i o n i n a n o t h e r way. S o we asked what is seen a n d b r o u g h t f o r t h as the g r o u n d o f that essence o f t r u t h ? W h a t is taken u p as that i n w h i c h t r u t h i n the sense o f correctness is r o o t e d a n d o u t o f w h i c h i t , so to say, blossoms forth? W h a t is t h e reference back, w h a t is t h e s o u r c e , w h a t is seen i n advance i n the case o f the p o s i t i n g o f t h e essence o f t r u t h as correctness? T h e t r u t h whose essence is subsequently d e t e r m i n e d as correctness was c a l l e d by the G r e e k s , p r i o r to this d e t e r m i n a t i o n , aXTj-Seus, u n concealedness. A n d w h a t they m e a n t was the u n c o n c e a l e d n e s s o f beings t h e m s e l v e s â&#x20AC;&#x201D; t h e u n c o n c e a l e d n e s s o f beings as s u c h . O r i g inally, there resides i n this d e t e r m i n a t i o n o f t r u t h as u n c o n cealedness n o t h i n g l i k e correctness, b u t , i n s t e a d , a l l correctness o f assertions resides i n t h e u n c o n c e a l e d n e s s o f beings. F o r the o r i e n t a t i o n o f representations t o w a r d beings a n d t h e i r c o n f o r m i t y w i t h beings a r e possible o n l y i f beings d w e l l i n u n c o n c e a l e d ness. C o n s e q u e n d y , i f the correctness o f r e p r e s e n t i n g a n d asserti n g is p o s i t e d for w h a t i t is, t h e n a l o n g w i t h it aXnfj'deict, the u n c o n c e a l e d n e s s o f beings, m u s t also be posited a n d be i n view as w h a t provides this essence its g r o u n d . I n p o s i t i n g the essence o f t r u t h as the correctness o f a n assertion, the G r e e k s a l r e a d y h a d i n view, they saw i n a d v a n c e a n d b r o u g h t f o r t h , the g r o u n d o f this p o s i t i n g , i.e., a X T j ^ e i a . I n d i f f e r e n t t e r m s , the d e l i m i t a t i o n o f t r u t h as correctness is a l i m i t i n g c o n c e p t i o n d e v e l o p e d i n o n l y o n e d e t e r m i n e d respect a n d hence is a l i m i t e d grasp o f the f o u n d a t i o n a l t r u t h as the u n c o n c e a l e d n e s s o f beings.

2) T h e Greek aX-rj-dcia as openness. T h e transformation o f the concept of truth from unconcealedness to correctness. W h e r e d o we t h e n stand? A t the start o f o u r i n q u i r y â&#x20AC;&#x201D; t a k i n g o u r


§25. T h e unconcealedness o f the whatness o f beings [105-106]

93

d e p a r t u r e f r o m t h e o r d i n a r y c o n c e p t o f t r u t h (correctness o f a n assertion)—we c a r r i e d o u t a c r i t i c a l reflection that p o i n t e d back to a m o r e o r i g i n a l essence o f t r u t h , w h i c h we called openness. B u t t h e s o u r c e o f this c r i t i q u e , namely, that to w h i c h s o m e t h i n g m o r e o r i g i n a l is assigned, was itself n o t i m m e d i a t e l y j u s t i f i e d . T h e r e f l e c t i o n o n j u s t i f i c a t i o n , a c c o m p l i s h e d a l o n g w i t h the first p o s i t i n g o f t h e essence o f t r u t h as correctness, s h o w e d , however, that this j u s t i f i c a t i o n o f the p o s i t i n g o f t h e essence derives its r i g h t f r o m t h e u n c o n c e a l e d n e s s o f beings, c o n s e q u e n d y p r e cisely f r o m that t o w a r d w h i c h o u r c r i t i c a l r e f l e c t i o n o n t h e o r d i nary c o n c e p t o f t r u t h l e d back. W h a t else is the a V r j d c i a o f t h e G r e e k s b u t w h a t we call openness? T h e r e f o r e w h a t is n e e d e d first is n o t at a l l a l a b o r i o u s c r i t i q u e o f the t r a d i t i o n a l c o n c e p t o f t r u t h . W h a t is r e q u i r e d is s i m p l y that we r e m e m b e r its h i s t o r i c a l o r i g i n a n d its p r i m o r d i a l j u s t i f i c a t i o n , hence, that we call back something forgotten. T h e forgetting o f the g r o u n d o f the traditional concept o f t r u t h , h e n c e t h e f o r g e t t i n g o f its o r i g i n a l essence, w h i c h was o n c e revealed, is easily e x p l a i n e d . B y the t r a n s f o r m a t i o n o f G r e e k t h i n k i n g i n t o R o m a n , C h r i s t i a n , a n d m o d e r n concepts, aX-rjdeux as 6 U . O C O ) C T L S , correctness, became Veritas as adaequatio a n d rectitudo, i.e., t r u t h as a d e q u a t i o n a n d correctness. W h a t was lost was not o n l y every r e s o n a n c e o f t h e m e a n i n g o f aXrYdeia, the G r e e k n a m e f o r Veritas a n d t r u t h , b u t , above a l l , every i m p u l s e to g a i n some sort o f k n o w l e d g e o f t h e p o s i t i o n o f G r e e k h u m a n i t y w i t h i n b e i n g s a n d t o w a r d beings, o u t o f w h i c h a l o n e such essential w o r d s as aX.Tj'&eia c o u l d be s p o k e n . Instead, d u e to t h e misu n d e r s t a n d i n g o f its essence, a X r j d e t a was u n d e r s t o o d everyw h e r e as t h e correctness o f a r e p r e s e n t a t i o n . A t t h e same t i m e we m u s t note well that i n t h e history o f Weste r n p h i l o s o p h y since t h e G r e e k s , n o t o n l y d i d this f o r g e t t i n g o f t h e i r p r i m o r d i a l c o n c e p t o f t r u t h c o m e to pass, b u t m o r e h a p p e n e d : o n t h e basis o f this t r a n s f o r m e d c o n c e p t o f t r u t h — i n t h e sense o f the correctness o f a n assertion o r a r e p r e s e n t a t i o n — n e w basic p h i l o s o p h i c a l positions arose w i t h Descartes a n d L e i b n i z , w i t h K a n t a n d t h e t h i n k e r s o f G e r m a n i d e a l i s m , a n d lastly w i t h Nietzsche. A l l this o c c u r r e d , to be s u r e , w i t h i n a u n a n i m i t y o f t h i n k i n g a n d i n a u n i f o r m i t y o f the g u i d i n g lines o f i n q u i r y , so that, e.g., i n spite o f t h e a b y s m a l differences between t h e m e d i eval t h e o l o g i a n T h o m a s A q u i n a s a n d the last essential t h i n k e r o f


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T h e L a y i n g o f the G r o u n d [106—107]

the West, Nietzsche, for b o t h o f t h e m the same c o n c e p t i o n o f t r u t h , as a characteristic o f j u d g i n g reason, was a u t h o r i t a t i v e . A n d this d i d not at a l l o c c u r o n the basis o f a n e x p l i c i t reflection but e n t i r e l y as i f it were all b e y o n d q u e s t i o n — w h e r e i n d e e d it still stands today. T h e result o f e v e r y t h i n g h e r e is that o u r c r i t i c a l reflection is s u p e r f l u o u s , because it has already been a c c o m p l i s h e d . F u r t h e r m o r e , this a c c o m p l i s h m e n t has l o n g since b e e n overcome. T h e r e f o r e o u r p r e s u m a b l y m o r e o r i g i n a l q u e s t i o n i n t o the essence o f t r u t h is w i t h o u t necessity. I n fact, e v e r y t h i n g c o m e s d o w n to this: Does o u r i n q u i r y arise merely f r o m a n u n f o u n d e d resistance against the past, hence i n the e n d f r o m a b l i n d a n d s i m p l e desire for n o v e l t y — o r f r o m a necessity? A n d i f so, f r o m w h i c h one? A t this p o i n t we see at o n c e that it is n o t possible i n p h i l o s o p h y — a s it is i n s c i e n c e — f o r a critical q u e s t i o n to d e m o n strate itself o n the basis o f a n objective state o f affairs. T h e p h i l o s o p h i c a l q u e s t i o n m u s t b e a r its necessity w i t h i n itself; it m u s t — i f sufficiently u n f o l d e d — m a k e this necessity itself visible. T h e r e fore, i f now, after this first substantive c l a r i f i c a t i o n o f the d o m a i n o f the i n q u i r y , we reflect o n the necessity o f the q u e s t i o n , we a r e not thereby a b a n d o n i n g t h e q u e s t i o n o f t r u t h , a n d are n o t leavi n g it b e h i n d , b u t a r e p e r f o r m i n g the very first step l e a d i n g to its unfolding.


Chapter Four

T h e Necessity of the Question of the Essence of Truth, on the Basis of the Beginning of the History of Truth

ยง27. The turning of the critical question of truth toward the beginning of the history of truth as a leaping ahead into the future. AXtj-ftciot as experienced by the Greeks though not interrogated by them. first o f a l l , d o o u r p r e v i o u s discussions o f the q u e s t i o n o f t r u t h c o n t r i b u t e t o w a r d e x h i b i t i n g the necessity o f that question? T o be s u r e . T h u s the e l u c i d a t i o n o f the G r e e k c o n c e p t o f t r u t h was in n o way s u p e r f l u o u s . 1. It s h o w e d that the G r e e k s were a l r e a d y a c q u a i n t e d w i t h two senses o f t r u t h : first as unconcealedness (openness o f beings) a n d t h e n as the a s s i m i l a t i o n o f a r e p r e s e n t a t i o n to beings (correctness). 2. T h i s observation protects us f r o m the p r e p o s t e r o u s c l a i m o f having raised a " n e w " question with o u r initial critique o f the ord i n a r y c o n c e p t o f t r u t h . I f a r e c o g n i t i o n o f the greatness o f G r e e k t h i n k i n g keeps us, at the v e r y outset, free f r o m such p r e posterous n o t i o n s a n d f r o m the desire for novelty, o u r d i s c u s s i o n o f the G r e e k n o t i o n o f t r u t h w i l l t h e n have a special significance for o u r i n q u i r y , a n d e v e r y t h i n g c o m e s d o w n to this: 3. O u r c r i t i c a l q u e s t i o n i n g back f r o m the o r d i n a r y c o n c e p t o f t r u t h as the correctness o f a n assertion to the openness o f beings


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T h e Necessity o f the Q u e s t i o n [108-10]

is n o t a n a r b i t r a r y c r i t i q u e , s t e m m i n g f r o m e m p t y h a i r - s p l i t t i n g , b u t is the t u r n i n g o f o u r t h i n k i n g a n d q u e s t i o n i n g a b o u t t r u t h t o w a r d the b e g i n n i n g o f the history o f t r u t h . A n d we today still d w e l l i n this history, i n d e e d precisely i n s o f a r as we u n w i t t i n g l y a n d as a m a t t e r o f c o u r s e i n all o u r t h i n k i n g a n d a c t i n g m o v e w i t h i n the d o m a i n o f the t r a d i t i o n a l concept o f t r u t h . J u s t what have we g a i n e d thereby? W h a t else t h a n the histor i o g r a p h i c a l c o g n i t i o n that f o r us today, a n d f o r the West since l o n g ago, the o r i g i n a l essence o f t r u t h has b e e n lost because o f the p r e d o m i n a n c e o f t r u t h as correctness. H e n c e we have g a i n e d the r e c o g n i t i o n o f a loss. B u t it is not at a l l d e c i d e d that we have h e r e a g e n u i n e loss. F o r that w o u l d be the case o n l y i f it c o u l d be s h o w n that the n o t - l o s i n g , the p r e s e r v a t i o n , o f the o r i g i n a l essence o f t r u t h (aXf)deia) is a necessity a n d that we c o n s e q u e n t l y n e e d to g a i n back what was lost. Yet, even a s s u m i n g this were d e m o n s t r a t e d conclusively, can we g a i n back what was lost? Is the past not i r r e p a r a b l y g o n e ? A n d even i f we w a n t e d to a d h e r e to this past i n m e m o r y , w o u l d that n o t l e a d to the o p p o s i t e o f what is necessary? We d o not want to t u r n back history, a n d o f course we c a n n o t ; i n s t e a d , we m u s t t h i n k a n d act o u t o f o u r present (or future) necessity. F o r the shocks ( w o r l d war, w o r l d revolution) or, rather, that o f w h i c h these shocks a r e m e r e l y the h i s t o r i c a l consequences have f o r c e d u s â&#x20AC;&#x201D; n o t any single i n d i v i d u a l s , n o r the still m o r e a r b i t r a r y " m a n y , " a n d not i n d i v i d u a l peoples o r nations a n d states f o r themselves, b u t the e n t i r e W e s t â&#x20AC;&#x201D; i n t o the q u e s t i o n o f w h e t h e r o r not we are still i n the t r u t h , i n d e e d w h e t h e r we still want a n d c a n want the t r u t h at a l l . I n view o f this task, is not the m e r e l y retrospective r e m e m b e r i n g o f e a r l i e r timesâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;no m a t t e r how essential these times may have b e e n â&#x20AC;&#x201D; y e t still " h i s t o r i c i s m , " a n a d h e r e n c e to the past f r o m some sort o f i l l - c o n c e a l e d " r o m a n t i c i s m " o r f r o m some " h u m a n i s t i c " p r e d i l e c t i o n , n o w basically a n t i q u a t e d , for the G r e e k s a n d the G r e e k w o r l d a n d its p h i l o s o p h y ? O r does the r e t r o s p e c t i o n o r i g i n a t e m e r e l y i n a n a n t i p a t h y toward the d e g e n e r a t i o n o f what today, u n d e r the v e n e r a b l e n a m e o f p h i l o s o p h y , postures i n a n u n b r i d l e d a n d u n i n h i b i t e d w r i t i n g o f books a n d b l a b b e r i n g , the extent a n d c o n t e n t o f w h i c h s t a n d i n a reverse r e l a t i o n t o the p o w e r to raise essential questions? B u t c a n we be p e r m i t t e d to


§27. T u r n i n g the critical q u e s t i o n [110-11]

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base o u r e n t i r e a p p r o a c h a n d p r o c e d u r e o n m e r e antipathies? Is this revival o f G r e e k t h i n k i n g not basically a flight f r o m the necessities p r e s s i n g h a r d u p o n us, a b l i n d n e s s i n r e l a t i o n to the present, a n d a s h r i n k i n g back before the future? Is this n o t a l ways the case w i t h such reversions to the early a n d the earliest a n d the " b e g i n n i n g " ; d o they not show that one's o w n p o w e r has flagged a n d a l l possibilities have b e e n e x h a u s t e d ? O u r discussions o f the G r e e k c o n c e p t o f t r u t h a n d the i n s i g h t they p r o v i d e d , n a m e l y that o u r critical q u e s t i o n i n g is a t u r n i n g back t o w a r d p r i m o r d i a l G r e e k t h o u g h t , m i g h t be m o r e t h a n free-floating h i s t o r i o g r a p h i c a l c o n s i d e r a t i o n s . T h e y m i g h t c o n tain s o m e t h i n g o f a h i s t o r i c a l reflection, f o r they b r i n g b e f o r e the i n n e r eye the distance between the present a n d the past. N e v ertheless, we c a n n o t rid ourselves o f the s u s p i c i o n that i n a l l this, instead o f a s s u m i n g the tasks o f today, we are u n d e r t a k i n g a m o r e o r less w e l l d i s g u i s e d scholarly s t r o l l i n t o the h a r m l e s s past, p r o v i d i n g u s w i t h m e r e h i s t o r i o g r a p h i c a l c o g n i t i o n s instead o f i n d i c a t i n g w h a t we ourselves s h o u l d d o to t h r o w o f f a l l the e a r l y things o f the b e g i n n i n g a n d leave t h e m b e h i n d . B u t against a l l these o b v i o u s , a n d largely j u s t i f i e d , objections we m u s t reflect o n what we s a i d , p e r h a p s o n l y conjecturally, a b o u t the b e g i n n i n g o f the h i s t o r y o f W e s t e r n t h o u g h t : the beg i n n i n g c o u l d be s o m e t h i n g w h i c h , f u r l e d i n its greatness, reaches a h e a d i n t o the f u t u r e , a n d , a c c o r d i n g l y , the r e t u r n to the b e g i n n i n g c o u l d be a l e a p i n g a h e a d , i n d e e d a g e n u i n e l e a p i n g a h e a d i n t o the f u t u r e , t h o u g h to be s u r e o n l y u n d e r the c o n d i t i o n that we really d o b e g i n w i t h the b e g i n n i n g . T h a t is n o w the decisive q u e s t i o n , the q u e s t i o n , whose a n s w e r decides the necessity o r a r b i t r a r i n e s s o f o u r p r o c e d u r e a n d c o n sequently d e c i d e s the q u e s t i o n o f t r u t h as s u c h . T h e p r e c e d i n g discussion o f the history o f the G r e e k n o t i o n o f t r u t h t o o k us back t e m p o r a l l y m o r e t h a n two m i l l e n n i a , yet we have p e r h a p s not at a l l a r r i v e d at the b e g i n n i n g o f this h i s t o r y â&#x20AC;&#x201D; n o t because o u r q u e s t i o n has not g o n e back far e n o u g h i n t i m e b u t because in this way we are n o t yet w i t h i n history at a l l a n d a g a i n a n d again fall back i n t o h i s t o r i o g r a p h i c a l c o n s i d e r a t i o n s , r e c k o n i n g the present against the past, instead o f actually reflecting. We have m a d e the h i s t o r i o g r a p h i c a l constatation that the G r e e k s , at the b e g i n n i n g o f t h e i r t h i n k i n g , c o n c e i v e d o f t r u t h


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[111-12]

as aXtydeta, as the u n c o n c e a l e d n e s s o f beings, a n d o n l y very m u c h later, specifically at the e n d o f t h e i r great p h i l o s o p h y — i n the t h o u g h t o f Plato a n d i n the d o c t r i n e s o f A r i s t o d e — p a s s e d o n to a d e t e r m i n a t i o n o f t r u t h as the correctness o f a n assertion. W i t h this p o s i t i n g o f the essence they t h e n took u p the e a r l i e r a n d m o r e o r i g i n a l c o n c e p t i o n o f t r u t h as the " n a t u r a l " g r o u n d o f t r u t h i n the sense o f correctness. T h i s h i s t o r i o g r a p h i c a l consta¬ tation is i n d i s p u t a b l e . B u t it is by n o means a h i s t o r i c a l r e f l e c t i o n , w h i c h — a s we k n o w — o n l y s p r i n g s f o r t h o u t o f g e n u i n e q u e s t i o n i n g o n the p a r t o f the o n e w h o is r e f l e c t i n g a n d m u s t also r e m a i n s u p p o r t e d by it. H e n c e w e have to ask first o f a l l : W h e n the G r e e k s t o o k u p a X - n ^ e i a (unconcealedness) as the g r o u n d o f correctness, d i d they thereby posit this g r o u n d as g r o u n d a n d d i d they g r o u n d it as such? F u r t h e r m o r e , a s s u m i n g they g r o u n d e d the u n c o n c e a l e d n e s s o f beings as the g r o u n d o f correctness, is this g r o u n d itself— ctXf|'deia i n its essence— thereby s u f f i c i e n d y d e t e r m i n e d a n d q u e s t i o n e d ? D i d the G r e e k s e v e r i n t e r r o g a t e aX-n-fteia as s u c h ; d i d they d e e m the u n c o n cealedness o f beings as s u c h w o r t h y o f q u e s t i o n i n g ? T h e G r e e k s e x p e r i e n c e d the essence o f t r u t h as u n c o n c e a l e d n e s s — d o e s that m e a n w i t h o u t f u r t h e r a d o that f o r t h e m this very u n c o n c e a l edness was w o r t h y o f q u e s t i o n i n g ? B y n o m e a n s . T h e G r e e k s o n c e e x p e r i e n c e d the u n c o n c e a l e d n e s s o f beings a n d t o o k it u p as t r u t h , a n d o n this g r o u n d they d e t e r m i n e d t r u t h as c o r rectness a n d p o s i t e d this g r o u n d a n d g r o u n d e d it, but they d i d n o t g o f u r t h e r a n d e x p l i c i t l y interrogate u n c o n c e a l e d n e s s itself. AXirjiteia r e m a i n e d f o r t h e m u n q u e s t i o n e d . T h e i r t h i n k i n g d i d n o t penetrate f u r t h e r i n t o aXnijiteicc as s u c h , a n d they d i d n o t f a t h o m [er-griindet] it e x p l i c i d y i n its essence. Instead, they m e r e l y stood u n d e r the force o f the e m e r g i n g b u t still f u r l e d essence o f t r u t h as u n c o n c e a l e d n e s s .

§28. Truth as correctness and its domination over its own ground as an essential consequence of the absence of a fathoming of the ground. The question of openness as the question of otXT|$€io: itself. T h e p o s i t i n g o f s o m e t h i n g as the g r o u n d for s o m e t h i n g else, the


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g r o u n d i n g o f the g r o u n d , is not yet genuine g r o u n d i n g i n the sense o f a f a t h o m i n g o f the g r o u n d . W h a t t h e n are we to m a k e o f this o c c u r r e n c e , n a m e l y that the G r e e k s e x p e r i e n c e d aXfY&eict precisely as the essence o f t r u t h a n d took it u p as the g r o u n d o f correctness b u t d i d not themselves e x p l i c i d y f a t h o m this g r o u n d ? W h a t i f the effect was that h e n c e f o r t h t r u t h as c o r r e c t ness a c q u i r e d d o m i n a t i o n o v e r that i n w h i c h it is rooted? W h a t i f this o c c u r r e n c e , that the t h i n k i n g o f the G r e e k s d i d n o t master a\f|deia, l e d to the s i t u a t i o n that this b e g i n n i n g was s u b m e r g e d i n the following dmes a n d remains s u b m e r g e d even today? A n d what i f this o c c u r r e n c e were thereby n o t s o m e t h i n g b y g o n e b u t w o u l d n o w still be c o m i n g to pass i n s o f a r as we move i n the u n g r o u n d e d obviousness o f the t r a d i t i o n a l c o n c e p t o f t r u t h ? A n d i n fact that is what is h a p p e n i n g . T h e k n o w l e d g e o f the essence o f dXfj'deia d i d n o t get lost because later o n aX-rjOeux was translated b y Veritas, rectitudo, a n d " t r u t h , " a n d was i n t e r p r e t e d as the correctness o f a n assertion, b u t j u s t the o p p o s i t e , this t r a n s l a t i o n a n d this new i n t e r p r e t a t i o n c o u l d b e g i n a n d c o u l d g a i n prevalence o n l y because the essence o f otXf)'deLa was n o t u n f o l d e d o r i g i n a l l y e n o u g h a n d its u n f o l d i n g was not g r o u n d e d strongly e n o u g h . T h e o c c u r r e n c e o f the s u b m e r g e n c e o f the p r i m o r d i a l essence o f t r u t h , unconcealedness (aXfj'dciot), is n o t h i n g past a n d g o n e b u t is i m m e d i a t e l y p r e s e n t a n d operative i n the basic fact it d e t e r m i n e s , n a m e l y the u n s h a k e n d o m i n a t i o n o f the traditional concept o f truth. ^ W i t h i n the r e a l m o f the history o f what is essential, o n l y r a r e l y does s o m e t h i n g o c c u r . W h a t does o c c u r t h e r e h a p p e n s very slowly a n d very silently, a n d its i m m e d i a t e ettect leaps o v e r the s p a n o f m i l l e n n i a . It does not n e e d the crutches ot a c o n t i n u o u s c h a i n o f cause . a n d ettect, each effect b e c o m i n g the cause o f a s u c c e e d i n g o n e / I f h i s t o r i o g r a p h e r s were r e q u i r e d to assume the task o f p r e s e n t i n g what is essential, they w o u l d f l o u n d e r i n the greatest e m b a r r a s s m e n t , not because they have too m u c h at t h e i r d i s p o s a l b u t too little. W h a t w o u l d r e m a i n o f the whole business o f archives a n d l i t e r a t u r e , what w o u l d r e m a i n o f the business o f reviews a n d dissertations, i f by o n e stroke what is unessential bec a m e u n g r a s p a b l e ? B u t that w i l l not h a p p e n , f o r the u n e s s e n t i a l , i n very d i f f e r e n t f o r m s , is the l o n g s h a d o w cast by the essential, to e n d u p m o s d y o v e r s h a d o w e d by it. T h e o c c u r r e n c e o f the sub-


Ă&#x17D;OO

T h e Necessity o f the Q u e s t i o n [113-15]

m e r g e n c e o f p r i m o r d i a l a X t j ^ e i a exists still, a n d it occurs w h e r ever t r u t h means correctness. O n l y i f we s u b m i t to this k n o w l e d g e w i l l we be o n the p a t h o f historical r e f l e c t i o n . O n l y i n that way w i l l we a r r i v e h i s t o r i c a l l y â&#x20AC;&#x201D; r a t h e r t h a n h i s t o r i o g r a p h i c a l l y â&#x20AC;&#x201D; b a c k at the b e g i n n i n g o f Weste r n reflection o n t r u t h , back at w h a t o c c u r r e d p r i m o r d i a l l y a n d is still o c c u r r i n g . O n l y t h r o u g h s u c h reflection w i l l we p u t o u r selves i n a p o s i t i o n to b e g i n w i t h the b e g i n n i n g , a n d that m e a n s to be futural i n a n o r i g i n a l way instead o f m e r e l y r e c k o n i n g back h i s t o r i o g r a p h i c a l l y to the earliest past a n d e x p o s i n g its d i f f e r ence, o r i n d e e d b a c k w a r d n e s s , i n c o m p a r i s o n w i t h the present. C o n s e q u e n d y o u r q u e s t i o n a b o u t the g r o u n d o f the possibility o f correctness, h e n c e the r e t u r n to openness a n d above a l l the q u e s t i o n o f openness i t s e l f as the most w o r t h y o f q u e s t i o n i n g , is not s u p e r f l u o u s . It is so little s u p e r f l u o u s that this i n t e r r o g a t i o n actually becomes the m a k i n g g o o d o f a n e a r l i e r neglect, the m a k i n g g o o d o f the q u e s t i o n o f what aVrj-deia itself is, the q u e s t i o n the G r e e k s never r a i s e d . N o w we e m p h a s i z e a n e w that the b e g i n n i n g is the greatest, s u r p a s s i n g e v e r y t h i n g that comes a f t e r w a r d , even i f this t u r n s against the b e g i n n i n g , w h i c h it c a n d o o n l y because the b e g i n n i n g is a n d makes possible what succeeds it. S o is it n o t p u r e p e d antry w h e n we say the G r e e k s have neglected a q u e s t i o n here? Is it not a very a r r o g a n t u n d e r e s t i m a t i o n o f the greatness o f t h e i r t h i n k i n g to say they d i d n o t master the q u e s t i o n o f t r u t h ? T o be sure, it is. T h u s even o u r a t t e m p t e d reflection o n the p r i m o r d i a l G r e e k t h i n k i n g a b o u t the essence o f t r u t h is n o t yet s u f f i c i e n d y reflective, i.e., it w i l l n o t attain the b e g i n n i n g historically e n o u g h , so l o n g as this reflection t e r m i n a t e s i n the p r e s u m p t u ous s u p e r i o r i t y o f the e p i g o n e s o v e r the f o u n d i n g masters. A s l o n g as it does so, we are n o t yet i n the p r o p e r p o s i t i o n to b e g i n w i t h the b e g i n n i n g , i.e., to be f u t u r a l , to seize a n d p r e p a r e o u r future i n thought a n d questioning. We m u s t therefore reflect o n this o c c u r r e n c e , that the G r e e k s d i d i n d e e d e x p e r i e n c e t h e essence o f t r u t h as u n c o n c e a l e d n e s s , took it u p , a n d always h a d it available to t h e m , b u t d i d not q u e s t i o n it e x p l i c i d y a n d d i d n o t f a t h o m it. Was this event m e r e neglect a n d the result o f a n incapacity o f q u e s t i o n i n g , o r d o e s the g e n u i n e greatness o f G r e e k t h o u g h t consist precisely i n this a n d


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accomplish itself in it? T h e decision here is not an attempt to explain and rescue a past incident—the G r e e k thinkers do not need that—but is instead the delimitation of the way we take a stand toward truth and stand in the truth^For what came to pass at the beginning of the history o f the essential foundation of truth always remains for us still to be decided—a decision about^ what for us and for the futurecaTiTecomeTrue a n d can be trueT T h e G r e e k s experienced the essence o f truth originally as a V r i d e i a , as the unconcealedness of beings. T h i s essence of truth, however, was not first captured in a "definition" and made available to knowledge. D e f i n i t i o n s in philosophy—though not in science—always come late and usually come last. T h e knowledge o f the essence o f truth as the unconcealedness o f beings had originally, i.e., in its great epoch, this f o r m , that all acting and creating, all thinking and speaking, all founding and proceeding were determined by and thoroughly in accord with the unconcealedness o f beings as something ungrasped. W h o e v e r does not see and does not know this, and cannot learn to see and know it, will never divine anything of the original event o f the beginning o f W e s t e r n history, of that beginning which really was its beginning, inasmuch as we mean the history of the West and not the mere biology o f its peoples—about which we d o not know anything anyway, not only because the sources are meager, but because the presupposition for interpreting it, our knowledge o f "life," is so miserable and confused. T h a t the G r e e k s were primordial in thought and poetry and politics is evident most starkly in the fact that the end in which we find ourselves today is nothing else than a decline from their beginning, an increasing inability to be equal to the beginning. Yet this does not exclude our own creating and working in the aftermath and tradition of this beginning. T o be equal to requires a surpassing. B u t how can we expect such a thing when we can barely achieve the most wretched imitations? O n e might think here o f the massive classical movement in art, which arose out o f the void and gapes into the void. T h e surpassing o f the beginning occurs only within another beginning, one which recognizes that its surpassing merely surpasses the aftermath and the tradition of the beginning and can "only" reach the level of the beginning, for nothing higher can be attained.


02

T h e Necessity o f the Q u e s t i o n [116-17]

§29. The Greeks' experience of unconcealedness as the basic character of beings as such and their lack of inquiry into aVrjflcia. H o w a r e we to u n d e r s t a n d t r u t h i n t h e sense o f the u n c o n c e a l e d ness o f beings so that it m i g h t allow us to see w h y t h e G r e e k s d i d not e x p l i c i d y i n t e r r o g a t e u n c o n c e a l e d n e s s , allow us to k n o w h o w to j u d g e this lack o f i n q u i r y , a n d a l l o w us to e x p e r i e n c e thereby the necessities we ourselves a r e d r a w n into? T h e e x p e r i e n c e o f t r u t h as the unconcealedness o f beings i m plies first o f a l l that t r u t h i s — t o say it quite i n d e t e r m i n a t e l y — a character o f beings themselves, a n d n o t , as i n t h e o r d i n a r y view o f later times, a m a t t e r o f assertions a b o u t beings. F o r t h e G r e e k s , b u t o n l y f o r t h e m , beings themselves a r e what c a n be t r u e o r u n t r u e , i.e., u n c o n c e a l e d o r d i s s e m b l e d . T o obviate m i s u n d e r s t a n d i n g s i n this r e g a r d , a s h o r t e x c u r s u s is n e e d e d . I n the f o l l o w i n g d m e s , every b e i n g , ens, was i n d e e d sdll c o n c e i v e d as verum, a n d scholasticism as w e l l as a p a r t o f m o d e r n p h i l o s o p h y s p o k e o f " o n t o l o g i c a l " t r u t h i n d i s t i n c t i o n to the " l o g i c a l " t r u t h o f t h e intellect. N o w this d o c t r i n e does i n fact stem f r o m a p a r t i c u l a r a d h e r e n c e to t h e t r a d i t i o n o f G r e e k p h i losophy, b u t it is t h o u g h t a n d i n t e n d e d w h o l l y a n d utterly i n a n u n - G r e e k way. Verum does n o t m e a n the u n c o n c e a l e d ; o n t h e contrary, omne ens est verum—"Every b e i n g is t r u e " — b e c a u s e , as a b e i n g , it is i n advance necessarily t h o u g h t o f correctly by G o d o r , a c c o r d i n g t o C h r i s t i a n a n d O l d Testament t h i n k i n g , by t h e " c r e ator," i.e., by t h e c r e a t o r as t h e absolute s p i r i t free f r o m e r r o r . We n o t e this p a r e n t h e t i c a l l y i n o r d e r t o avert the c o m m i n g l i n g a n d identification, attempted again a n d again, o f T h o m i s t i c t h i n k i n g with Aristotelian thought a n d Greek t h i n k i n g i n general. T h i s i d e n t i f i c a t i o n is o f t e n a d v a n c e d n o t o n l y by representatives o f T h o m i s m b u t even by classical philologists. F o r e x a m p l e , t h e theory W e r n e r J a e g e r has d i s s e m i n a t e d a b o u t A r i s t o d e is m u c h m o r e m e d i e v a l a n d scholastic t h a n G r e e k . B o t h m e d i e v a l a n d m o d e r n t h i n k i n g m o v e w h o l l y w i t h i n a c o n c e p t i o n o f t r u t h as correctness, i.e., as a d e t e r m i n a t i o n o f k n o w l e d g e — e v e n w h e n they speak o f " o n t o l o g i c a l t r u t h . " T h i s " o n t o l o g i c a l " t r u t h is n o t h i n g else t h a n t h e c o r r e l a t e o f G o d ' s t h i n k i n g , w h i c h is i n i t self absolutely correct. It is not the u n c o n c e a l e d i n the G r e e k


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sense b u t is t h e absolutely correct (intellectus divinus). A still d e e p e r f o u n d a d o n f o r this is t h e evidence that a l l t r a d i t i o n a l o n t o l o g y d e t e r m i n e s t h e ens qua ens u n d e r t h e g u i d a n c e o f t h e act o f t h i n k i n g a n d its t r u t h , i.e., correctness. I f t h e G r e e k s e x p e r i e n c e d t r u t h as a characteristic o f b e i n g s , t h e n this t r u t h m u s t be f o u n d e d i n beings themselves. O r s h o u l d we n o t r a t h e r say h e r e that t h e t r u t h as a characteristic o f beings belongs to these beings? S h o u l d t h e t r u t h as e x p e r i e n c e d b y t h e G r e e k s characterize t h e essence o f beings themselves, i.e., o f beings themselves as u n d e r s t o o d by t h e G r e e k s ? T h e s e a r e n o t questions p o s e d to e m p t y possibilities; they a r e well w a r r a n t e d , for precisely w h e r e a n o t h e r c o n c e p t i o n o f t r u t h (as t h e c o r r e c t ness o f a n assertion) h a d a l r e a d y d e v e l o p e d a n d established i t s e l f i n G r e e k p h i l o s o p h y , n a m e l y i n Plato a n d A r i s t o d e , beings a n d t r u t h were always m e n t i o n e d together: d\-rideux xcti o v â&#x20AC;&#x201D; " u n c o n c e a l e d n e s s : that is to say, beings as s u c h . " ' B e y o n d a d o u b t , we a r e to u n d e r s t a n d x a i h e r e as a n e x p l i c a t i o n , i n t h e sense o f " a n d that is to say," f o r o f t e n instead o f even m e n t i o n i n g b"v, they said s i m p l y aATjticux o r T O a \ T ) d e s . It goes so m u c h against o u r habits to t h i n k o f u n c o n c e a l e d ness, w i t h c o m p l e t e decisiveness, as characteristic o f beings as such that even w h e n we have g a i n e d i n s i g h t i n t o t h e d i s t i n c t i o n between t h e u n c o n c e a l e d n e s s o f beings a n d t h e correctness o f a n assertion, we still too readily conceive o f u n c o n c e a l e d n e s s as d e tached f r o m beings, as i f it were a n a d d i t i o n , accessory to beings. B u t w h y d i d the G r e e k s n o t i n q u i r e i n t o a X f j ^ e i a as s u c h , i f it does i n d e e d b e l o n g to beings themselves, a n d i f i n fact t h e quesÂŹ tion o f beings as such was the p r i m o r d i a l a n d constant q u e s t i o n o f the G r e e k t h i n k e r s ? W h y d i d a X f j ^ e i a r e m a i n precisely t h e u n q u e s t i o n e d ? W h y d i d it n o t b e c o m e the most w o r t h y o f q u e s t i o n i n g ? A n d w h e n otVriflcia was i n t e r r o g a t e d e x p l i c i d y , w h y d i d the very way o f q u e s t i o n i n g t u r n aVfifteta as u n c o n c e a l e d n e s s into otXTjdeLOt as correctness? W e today a r e h a r d l y able to m e a sure t h e f u l l consequences o f this d e t e r m i n a t i o n a n d a r e l i k e l y to take t h e m , i n spite o f e v e r y t h i n g , as histoi i o g r a p h i c a l subdeties r e l a t i n g to w h a t is l o n g past a n d g o n e , r a t h e r t h a n as directives to~ a decisive event w h i c h is still decisive o v e r u s ; nevertheless, we must p u t this q u e s t i o n i n g aside n o w a n d a t t e m p t a First answer. 1. C f . Plaio. Republic \\.


T h e Necessity o f the Q u e s t i o n [ 1 1 8 - 2 0 ] W h y d i d the G r e e k s n o t m a k e aXrj'deia as s u c h a q u e s t i o n , r a t h e r t h a n â&#x20AC;&#x201D; i f we may say s o â&#x20AC;&#x201D; e x p e r i e n c e it as s o m e t h i n g " o b v i o u s " ? Was this lack o f i n q u i r y a neglect? D i d it stem f r o m i m potence w i t h r e g a r d t o o r i g i n a l q u e s t i o n i n g ?

RECAPITULATION

1) T h e ground of the necessity of the question of the essence of truth. E v e n w i t h o u t special r e f l e c t i o n , the q u e s t i o n o f t r u t h seems i m p o r t a n t e n o u g h . B u t a l t h o u g h we m i g h t take a n e m p h a t i c i n t e r est i n " t r u t h , " i.e., i n w h a t is t r u e a n d i n the possession o f what is t r u e , that still does n o t q u a l i f y as a sufficient g r o u n d for the necessity o f the q u e s t i o n o f t h e essence o f t r u t h . F o r the history o f the essence o f t r u t h a n d the still u n b r o k e n obviousness o f the t r a d i tional c o n c e p t i o n o f t r u t h testify q u i t e clearly that the necessity o f this q u e s t i o n a b o u t the essence has by n o m e a n s been e x p e r i e n c e d a n d seen w i t h i n s i g h t . N o w the necessity o f a p h i l o s o p h i c a l q u e s t i o n is as essential as t h e q u e s t i o n itself is. F o r a p h i l o s o p h i cal q u e s t i o n m u s t , f o l l o w i n g the sovereign character o f p h i l o s o phy, b e a r i n itself its necessity, i.e., it m u s t p o i n t back to this n e cessity. T h e r e f o r e we c o u l d not have b e g u n w i t h a reflection o n the necessity o f the q u e s t i o n o f t r u t h , b u t instead the first task h a d to be to d e v e l o p this q u e s t i o n a c c o r d i n g to its initially g r a s p able basic features, i n o r d e r for this d e v e l o p m e n t itself to l e a d us to the necessity o f the q u e s t i o n . H e r e b y a view is o p e n e d u p o n the essence o f p h i l o s o p h y w h i c h we c a n n o t f u r t h e r investigate now, b u t w h i c h m u s t be briefly n o t e d , since it clarifies the g r o u n d o f the a p p u r t e n a n c e o f h i s t o r i c a l reflection to m e d i t a t i v e q u e s t i o n i n g . T h e d o m a i n o f p h i l o s o p h y as the q u e s t i o n o f beings as such a n d as a w h o l e , a n d c o n s e q u e n t l y p h i l o s o p h y itself, c a n n o t b e m a n u f a c t u r e a ' l m d d e t e r m i n e d by h u m a n p r o d u c t s a n d institutions a n d claims. T h e h u m a n o u t p u t a n d " w o r k " to be f o u n d u n d e r the n a m e " p h i l o s o p h y , " i n any o f its f o r m s , will n e v e r m a k e visible w h a t p h i l o s o phy is. F o r p h i l o s o p h y belongs to the t r u t h o f B e i n g . P h i l o s o p h y is a n d must be w h e n e v e r a n d however B e i n g itself presses t o w a r d


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its t r u t h , i.e., w h e n the openness o f beings themselves c o m e s to pass, w h e n history is. P h i l o s o p h y , i f it is, does n o t exist because there a r e p h i l o s o p h e r s , n o r are there p h i l o s o p h e r s because p h i losophy is taken u p . O n the contrary, p h i l o s o p h y a n d philoso¬ p h e r s exist o n l y w h e n a n d how the t r u t h o f B e i n g itself c o m e s to pass, a history w h i c h is w i t h d r a w n f r o m every h u m a n i n s t i t u t i o n a n d p l a n , since it itself is the very g r o u n d for the possibility o f h u m a n h i s t o r i c a l B e i n g . T h i s may serve to indicate the d i r e c d o n o u t o f w h i c h we m u s t e x p e r i e n c e the necessity o f the q u e s d o n o f the essence o f t r u t h , a s s u m i n g we are able to a n d want to e x p e rience it.

2) A X r i ^ e i a as p r i m o r d i a l f o r the G r e e k s yet u n q u e s t i o n e d b y t h e m . T h e p r e c e d i n g p a t h o f o u r reflections gave rise to the i n s i g h t that that t o w a r d w h i c h o u r critical d e l i b e r a t i o n h a d to q u e s t i o n back, n a m e l y the openness o f beings as the g r o u n d o f the possibility o f the correctness o f a n assertion, was a l r e a d y k n o w n i n G r e e k t h i n k i n g as dXrideioi, the unconcealedness o f beings. C o n s e q u e n d y , o u r c r i t i c a l reflections, a n d thereby the q u e s t i o n o f t r u t h itself, have n o o r i g i n a l necessity. T h e y a r e s u p e r f l u o u s , because they o n l y b r i n g back s o m e t h i n g already a c c o m p l i s h e d . O u r c r i t i c a l reflection may i n d e e d signify a t u r n i n g i n the d i r e c tion o f the t h i n k i n g o f G r e e k p h i l o s o p h y , b u t thereby it shows i t s e l f — i n a d d i t i o n to b e i n g s u p e r f l u o u s — a s a f l i g h t i n t o the past, no matter how highly prized. B u t as c e r t a i n as it is that what we a r e c a l l i n g the o p e n n e s s o f beings is c o n n e c t e d to what the G r e e k s c a l l e d a X ^ d e i a , that is how u n d e c i d e d it is w h e t h e r o u r q u e s t i o n , its what a n d its how, was also a q u e s t i o n r a i s e d by the G r e e k s . T h a t a l o n e matters here. N o w it has b e e n s h o w n that the G r e e k s d i d i n d e e d p r i m o r dially take u p d \ t ) d e i a i n the sense o f the unconcealedness o f beings as the essence o f t r u t h a n d f o u n d e d u p o n it the d e t e r m i n a t i o n o f a X i i f l e i a as opoCwcris b u t that they precisely d i d n o t ask a b o u t aVfjiteiot itself a n d its essence. F u r t h e r m o r e , because they d i d n o t raise this q u e s t i o n o f the essence o f aXifjticia, o f u n concealedness" as" s u c h , because f o r the G r e e k s a X - n ^ e i a rem a i n e d p r i m o r d i a l a n d u n q u e s t i o n e d , therefore the d e t e r m i n a -


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[121-22]

t i o n o f t r u t h as correctness, w h i c h was actually g r o u n d e d u p o n it, c o u l d g a i n a n a s c e n d a n c y o v e r áXfrdeux, c o u l d t h r u s t it aside, a n d c o u l d by itself d o m i n a t e t h e subsequent history o f t h o u g h t . S o i f i n fact t h e G r e e k s d i d n o t raise t h e q u e s t i o n we a r e r a i s i n g i n m a k i n g t h e o p e n n e s s o f beings w h a t is most w o r t h y o f q u e s t i o n i n g , t h e n we a r e f a c i n g a n o m i s s i o n a n d a neglect, especially i n view o f t h e i n c o n t r o v e r d b l e p a s s i o n o f the G r e e k s t o give a reason a n d a n a c c o u n t i n g f o r w h a t they t h o u g h t : XcVyov caoovoa. O n t h e o t h e r h a n d , however, we find it d i f f i c u l t to i n d u l g e i n t h e self-righteous p e d a n t r y o f a c c u s i n g t h e p r i m o r d i a l t h i n k i n g o f the G r e e k s , w h i c h , as t h e b e g i n n i n g , was t h e greatest, o f s u c h a lack. T h e q u e s t i o n t h e r e f o r e is w h y t h e G r e e k s d i d n o t ask a b o u t ctXii'deia itself. Is t h e i r lack o f i n q u i r y a neglect? I n o r d e r to reach a n a n s w e r h e r e w e have to d e t e r m i n e m o r e closely t h e Greeks' p r i m o r d i a l c o n c e p t i o n o f a X í ^ e i a . W e translate áX-rjdcia as the unconcealedness of beings a n d thereby already indicate that unconcealedness (truth as u n d e r s t o o d by the Greeks) is a d e t e r m i nation o f beings themselves a n d n o t — a s is correctness—a character o f assertions about beings. Yet t h e m o d e s o f t h i n k i n g a n d s p e a k i n g i n G r e e k p h i l o s o p h y c o m p e l us still f u r t h e r . P l a t o a n d A r i s t o d e , precisely the two t h i n k e r s w h o p r e p a r e d t h e s u b m e r g e n c e o f t h e p r i m o r d i a l essence o f aXtjdeux, still always m e n t i o n e d áXíi'&eia t o g e t h e r w i t h beings themselves: ctX'rj'oeio: x o a b'v—"unconcealedness: that is to say, beings i n t h e i r b e i n g n e s s . " O f t e n áX-rj-&€ux even s t o o d a l o n e i n place o f 6v. T r u t h a n d beings i n t h e i r beingness a r e t h e same. T h e result o f a l l t h i s is n o t s i m p l y that u n c o n c e a l e d n e s s is related t o beings themselves instead o f to assertions a b o u t beings, b u t that u n c o n c e a l e d n e s s constitutes t h e basic character o f beings themselves as s u c h . H o w a r e we to u n d e r s t a n d that? A b o v e a l l , h o w a r e we t h e n to u n d e r s t a n d that the G r e e k s precisely d i d not ask about áXfVoeia? For t h e most p r i m o r d i a l l y p r o p e r q u e s t i o n o f t h e i r t h o u g h t , g u i d i n g a l l t h e i r r e f l e c t i o n , was precisely the q u e s t i o n o f beings a s s u c h : w h a t is a being? AXTjfteio: itself is a character o f beings. I H a y betore the Greeks, as it were, i n the immediate d i r e c t i o n o f the q u e s t i o n i n g that was most t h e i r o w n . Consequendy, i f aXiydeux i n d e e d r e s i d e d i n the d i r e c t i o n o f t h e i r q u e s t i o n i n g , was t h e i r


§30. T h e G r e e k s ' fidelity to destiny [122-23]

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failure to q u e s t i o n it n o t a neglect? I n o t h e r w o r d s , d i d the t h i n k i n g p o w e r o f the G r e e k s fall short here?

§30. Their fidelity to the destiny meted out to them as the reason the Greeks did not ask about dVri'&eia. Non-occurrence as what is necessarily detained in and through the beginning. N o . T h e reason the G r e e k s d i d n o t i n q u i r e h e r e is that this quest i o n r u n s c o u n t e r to t h e i r o w n m o s t task, a n d therefore it c o u l d not at a l l e n t e r t h e i r field o f view. T h e i r failure to q u e s d o n was not a c o n s e q u e n c e o f a lack o f p o w e r b u t was d u e precisely to t h e i r o r i g i n a l p o w e r to r e m a i n f a i t h f u l to the destiny m e t e d o u t to t h e m . W h a t was the task assigned t h e m ? H o w c a n we tell? We are n o t capable o f c a l c u l a t i n g it. I f we try to, we e n d u p m e r e l y w i t h a list o f t h e i r o p i n i o n s , we e n d u p w i t h a r e p o r t o n the views they h e l d . F o r the c u r i o u s , f o r those w h o love to k n o w a thinker's " s t a n d p o i n t , " the " v i e w s " o f a p h i l o s o p h e r are i n d e e d a l l that is d e s i r e d ; for a p h i l o s o p h y , however, this is c o m p l e t e l y a m a t t e r o f i n d i f f e r ence. T h e task assigned to the p r i m o r d i a l t h i n k e r s is accessible o n l y t h r o u g h a reflection o n t h e i r p r i m o r d i a l q u e s t i o n i n g . T h e past c o u n t s f o r n o t h i n g , the b e g i n n i n g for e v e r y t h i n g . H e n c e o u r e v e r m o r e p e n e t r a t i n g i n q u i r y back i n t o the b e g i n n i n g . H e n c e even o u r reflection c o n c e r n i n g the g r o u n d f o r what d i d not o c c u r at the b e g i n n i n g . F o r w h a t d i d n o t h a p p e n i n history i n the essential m o m e n t s o f h i s t o r y — a n d what w o u l d be m o r e essential t h a n a b e g i n n i n g ? — m u s t still c o m e to pass, not as a m e r e r e p e t i t i o n b u t i n the sense o f those j o l t s , leaps, a n d b o u n d s , i n the sense o f that m o m e n t a r y a n d s i m p l e , w h i c h we m u s t c o n c e n trate u p o n a n d be p r e p a r e d for, i f we are really to expect o f f u ture history s o m e t h i n g essential. I n the r e a l m o f w h a t is essential, what does n o t o c c u r is e v e n m o r e essential t h a n w h a t does, f o r it c a n never b e c o m e a m a t t e r o f i n d i f f e r e n c e b u t instead always stands, a n d e v e r m o r e f i r m l y , w i t h i n the possibility o f b e c o m i n g m o r e necessary a n d m o r e c o m p e l l i n g . O n the o t h e r h a n d , the o c c u r r e n c e o f the essential is almost inevitably followed by its b e i n g covered o v e r a n d subm e r g e d by the unessential. A s is clear, t h e n , the n o n - o c c u r r e n c e


T h e Necessity o f the Q u e s t i o n [123-24]

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we a r e s p e a k i n g o f is by n o means j u s t any a r b i t r a r y t h o u g h t , d e tached f r o m a l l necessity. O n t h e contrary, the n o n - o c c u r r e n c e h e r e is s o m e t h i n g necessarily h e l d back a n d d e t a i n e d i n the beg i n n i n g a n d t h r o u g h the b e g i n n i n g , whereby t h e b e g i n n i n g r e m a i n s the u n f a t h o m a b l e , w h i c h e v e r anew instigates r e f l e c t i o n o n i t s e l f — w i t h m o r e d i f f i c u l t y , the f u r t h e r the d e c l i n e has p r o gressed. ...

§31. The end of the first beginning and the preparation for another beginning.

a) O u r situation at the end o f the beginning and the demand for a reflection on the first beginning as a preparation for another beginning. We n e e d to reflect h e r e o n the b e g i n n i n g o f W e s t e r n t h i n k i n g a n d o n w h a t o c c u r r e d i n it a n d d i d not o c c u r i n it, because we s t a n d at t h e e n d — a t the en<H>ffBsTreglffin1'rg. 1 hat is, we a r e s t a n d i n g be f o r e t h e d e c i s i o n between the e n d ( a n d its r u n n i n g o u t , w h i c h may still take centuries) a n d a n o t h e r b e g i n n i n g , o n e w h i c h c a n o n l y be a m o m e n t , b u t whose p r e p a r a t i o n r e q u i r e s the patience " o p t i m i s t s " a r e n o m o r e capable o f t h a n " p e s s i m i s t s . " Yet it m i g h t be s a i d t h a t h e r e — a s e l s e w h e r e — t h e r e is n o n e e d for a special d e c i s i o n between e n d a n d b e g i n n i n g , since n o b o d y wants t h e e n d r i g h t away, a n d e v e r y o n e a l t o g e t h e r prefers the b e g i n n i n g a n d its c o n t i n u a t i o n . B u t this d e c i s i o n is not m a d e i n the w e l l - t e n d e d g a r d e n o f o u r i n c l i n a t i o n s , wishes, a n d i n t e n tions. I f the d e c i s i o n is set there, it is n o d e c i s i o n . It takes place i n tne aoTnaTn^rour^repaTedness orTn^rqp^reciness for t h e f u t u r e . T h i s d o m a i n is o p e n e d u p — i f it does i n d e e d u n f u r l a c c o r d i n g to the o r i g i n a l i t y e n a b l i n g * u ? 5 H i n c T o u r s e l v e s a g a i n i n what g e n u i n e l y o c c u r s , o u t o f lostness i n o u r contrivances a n d endeavors, o u t o f e n t a n g l e m e n t i n w h a t is o b v i o u s a n d w o r n o u t . B u t we will find ourselves there o n l y t h r o u g h a r e f l e c t i o n o n t h e b e g i n n i n g a n d o n what was e n t r u s t e d to it. F o r we a r e thor¬ o u g h l y successors to a n d heirs o f a l o n g history, a n d we a r e satisfied by a n d a v i d f o r h i s t o r i o g r a p h i c a l c o g n i t i o n a n d its a c c o u n t o f the past. H i s t o r i o g r a p h y is a n a r c o t i c a v e r t i n g us f r o m history. E v e n i f we s i m p l y want t o p r e p a r e the o t h e r b e g i n n i n g , we w i l l


§31. T h e e n d of the first b e g i n n i n g [125-26]

109

achieve that o n l y i f we are m o b i l i z e d for the e x t r a o r d i n a r y a n d for what is p e r h a p s still reserved a n d h e l d o p e n tor us, n a m e l y the possibility o f b e g i n n i n g w i t h the b e g i n n i n g , i.e., w i t h the first b e g i n n i n g , w h i l e b r i n g i n g it b e y o n d itself i n t o its f u t u r e — o u t o f another b e g i n n i n g . We m u s t reflect o n the first b e g i n n i n g o f W e s t e r n t h o u g h t because we s t a n d at its e n d . O u r use o f the w o r d " e n d " is a m b i g u ous h e r e . O n the o n e h a n d , it m e a n s we stand i n the d o m a i n o f that e n d w h i c h is the e n d of the first b e g i n n i n g . I n this sense, e n d does n o t m e a n e i t h e r the m e r e cessadon o r the w a n i n g o f the p o w e r o f the b e g i n n i n g . O n the contrary, the e n d o f a r e a l a n d essential history c a n itself o n l y be a n essential o n e . It is i n this" sense o f " e n d " that we have to u n d e r s t a n d Nietzsche's p h i l o s o p h y a n d its a s t o n i s h i n g l y u n i q u e greatness a n d f o r m — a p h i l o s o p h y whose essential i n f l u e n c e has not yet e v e n b e g u n . T h e greatness o f the e n d consists^m)t"only i n the essentiality o f the closure o f the great possibilitigs-but also i n the power to p r e p a r e z t r a n s i t i o n t o something/ffliolly othenS A t the same time, however, " e n d " refers to the r u n n i n g o u t a n d the d i s s i p a t i o n o f a l l the effects o f the p r e v i o u s history ot W e s t e r n t h i n k i n g . T h a t is. it refers to a c o n f u s i o n o f the t r a d i t i o n a l basic positions, value concepts, ' a n d ' V r " o s i t i ' o ' n s UTTthe u s u a l i n t e r p r e t a t i o n o f beings, a c o n f u s i o n that w i l l p r e s u m a b l y s m o l d e r for a l o n g t i m e still a n d is already u n r e c o g n i z a b l e as s u c h . W e are s t a n d i n g at the e n d i n this d o u b l e sense. T h e r e f o r e we m u s t reflect o n the b e g i n n i n g .

b) T h e experience of the end by Hôlderlin and Nietzsche and their reflection on the beginning of Western history. Despite this b r i e f c l a r i f i c a t i o n , the d e m a n d j u s t a r t i c u l a t e d c o n c e r n i n g a reflection o n the b e g i n n i n g w o u l d be entirely a r b i t r a r y a n d p r e s u m p t u o u s i f we d i d n o t k n o w — o r , m o r e p r u d e n t l y , i f we c o u l d n o t k n o w — t h a t Hôlderlin a n d Nietzsche, the two who^ h a d the deepest e x p e r i e n c e o f the e n d o f t h e W e s t i n the d o u b l e sense (not as " d e c l i n e " ) , roujdjgndure this e x p e r i e n c e a n d c o u l d t r a n s f o r m it i n t h e i r creative w o r k o n l y t h r o u g h t h e i r c o n c o m i tant reflection o q the b e g i n n i n g o f Western history, o n what f o r the G r e e k s was necessity. I f Hôlderlin a n d Nietzsche d i d n o t


T h e Necessity o f the Q u e s t i o n [126-27] s t a n d — a d m i t t e d l y i n a way s d l l w h o l l y u n m a s t e r e d a n d m i s u n d e r s t o o d — i n t h e c o u r s e o f o u r history, t h e n we w o u l d have n o r i g h t to t h e d e m a n d to b e g i n w i t h t h e b e g i n n i n g . T h a t these two k n e w t h e G r e e k b e g i n n i n g , i n a m o r e o r i g i n a l way t h a n a l l p r e v i o u s ages, has its g r o u n d u n i q u e l y i n t h e fact that they e x p e r i e n c e d f o r t h e first t i m e the e n d o f the West. T o p u t it m o r e s h a r p l y , they themselves, i n t h e i r existence a n d w o r k , became t h e e n d , each o f t h e m i n a different way^ Conversely, it also hold's that they e x p e r i e n c e d t h e e n d a n d became t h e e n d o n l y because t h e b e g i n n i n g overawed t h e m a n d elevated t h e m i n t o greatness. B o t h t h e reflection o n t h e first b e g i n n i n g a n d t h e f o u n d i n g o f i t s e n d , a n e n d e q u a l to it a n d to its greatness, bel o n g t o g e t h e r i n t h e turning. T h e fact that b o t h Hölderlin a n d Nietzsche have n o w b e c o m e so fashionable is s u r e l y n o p r o o f that we u n d e r s t a n d w h a t it signifies that they s t a n d i n o u r history as t h e e n d o f its first beg i n n i n g a n d therefore r e a c h b e y o n d u s . O n t h e contrary, a l l i n dications, especially t h e e v e r g r o w i n g n u m b e r o f books a n d dissertations a b o u t t h e m , testify that we a r e n o w o n the verge o f a c c o u n t i n g f o r Hölderlin a n d Nietzsche h i s t o r i o g r a p h i c a l l y a n d are thereby m a k i n g each o f t h e m historically a d e a d letter. T o m e n t i o n o n l y t h e i l l t r e a t m e n t o f Hölderlin—mosdy w e l l meant, as is e v e r y t h i n g we d o — e i t h e r h i s w o r k is t h o u g h t to be o n b e h a l f o f the " f a t h e r l a n d , " a n d excerpts a r e m a d e o f those passages w h e r e t h e w o r d s " p e o p l e , " " h e r o , " a n d t h e like o c c u r , o r he is o p e n l y o r s u r r e p t i t i o u s l y transposed i n t o a " C h r i s t i a n " a n d t h e n becomes a c o m p o n e n t o f a q u i t e d u b i o u s " a p o l o g e t i c s . " O r else h e is e x t o l l e d as t h e m e d i a t o r between Classicism a n d R o m a n t i c i s m . I n each case, w e s o m e h o w catalog t h e poet as just an¬ o t h e r c o m p o s e r o f p o e m s , d r a m a s , a n d novels, n e x t to a u t h o r s such as K l o p s t o c k , H e r d e r , G o e t h e , ScfiïlIërTând K l e i s t , instead o f l e t t i n g h i m be t h e d e c i s i o n h e is, a d e c i s i o n whose f r u i t f u l n e s s literary philistines_will n e v e r s u r m i s e — i n the first placê~because they d o n o t want to be t o u c h e d by it! I t j s a d e c i s i o n o v e r the final flight o r new a d v e n t o f the gods^a decisïon'whijffifjÎEë evëTy oné, i n c l u d e s a j ^ - d j ç l s i o n o y e r o u r p r e p a r e d n e s s o r un~rjrepargtt n ^ s witTi regard~to such" decisions. *****~~7 1

r

W h a t is t h e p u r p o s e of this reference to Hölderlin a n d N i e t z sche? It is o n l y m e a n t to d r i v e i n this o n e p o i n t , that w i t h r e 1


§32. T h e G r e e k s ' destiny [127-28]

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g a r d t o o u r d e m a n d to b e g i n w i t h t h e b e g i n n i n g even Hölderlin a n d N i e t z s c h e d o n o t p r o v i d e a n y j u s t i f i c a t i o n o r assistance as l o n g as we take t h e m h i s t o r i o g r a p h i c a l l y , even i f we d o so a c c o r d i n g to s u c h h i g h measures as " f a t h e r l a n d " a n d " C h r i s t i a n i t y . " E v e n Hölderlin a n d Nietzsche, i.e., t h e i r w o r k , m u s t first b e c o m e for us history, so that we m i g h t e x p e r i e n c e historically t h e i r historical r e p r o d u c d o n o f the b e g i n n i n g . O n c e a g a i n , a l l o f this says s i m p l y that they w i l l n o t be h i s t o r i c a l f o r us i f we d o n o t ourselves b e c o m e creadve i n t h e c o r r e s p o n d i n g d o m a i n s o r , m o r e m o d esdy, b e c o m e p r e p a r a t o r y a n d q u e s t i o n i n g . C o n c e r n i n g t h e d e m a n d to begin with the beginning, i n o r d e r to overcome the e n d , the reference to Hölderlin a n d Nietzsche c a n n o t f u n c t i o n as a n a p p e a l t o a u t h o r i t i e s b u t o n l y as a directive t o u n m a s t e r e d tasks, ones n o t yet even r e c o g n i z e d , a n d t h u s o n l y as a n i n t i m a t i o n that we a r e b y n o means d o g m a t i c a l l y p r e s e n t i n g a p r i v a t e p h i l o s o p h y o f history.

§32. The destiny meted out to the Greeks: to begin thinking as an inquiry into beings as such and in terms of an experience of unconcealedness as the basic character of beings (aXYjfteia, <jnxn<;). I n the c o u r s e o f d e v e l o p i n g t h e q u e s t i o n o f t r u t h , we r e a c h e d t h e p o i n t w h e r e w e h a d to reflect o n t h e fact that t h e G r e e k s i n d e e d e x p e r i e n c e d t h e m o r e o r i g i n a l essence o f t r u t h (namely, t h e u n concealedness o f beings) b u t that they d i d not d e e m t r u t h itself a n d its essence w o r t h y o f any o r i g i n a l q u e s t i o n i n g , i n fact so l i t d e that G r e e k p h i l o s o p h y , at the e n d o f its g o l d e n age, even c a m e to forsake this o r i g i n a l essence. I n view o f that event, we h a d to ask: why d i d d\f|{>€ia itself a n d as such not b e c o m e f o r the G r e e k s worthy o f q u e s t i o n i n g a n d even t h e most w o r t h y o f q u e s t i o n i n g ? O u r a n s w e r lies first o f a l l i n the f o r m o f a conjecture: it was n o t o u t o f a d e b i l i t y i n t h e p o w e r o f t h i n k i n g o r even o u t o f forgctfulness a n d t h e superficiality o f always p u r s u i n g the n e w a n d t h e latest that t h e G r e e k s o m i t t e d the m o r e o r i g i n a l q u e s t i o n o f a X t i d c u x as s u c h b u t o u t o f t h e i r p o w e r to be e q u a l to t h e i r own destiny a n d to carry it o u t all the way to its farthest extremity. W h a t destiny was m e t e d o u t to t h e i r t h o u g h t ? W h a t was the


t 1

1 12,

T h e Necessity o f the Q u e s t i o n [ I 28-29]

task assigned to t h e i r t h i n k i n g ? C a n we be so p r e s u m p t u o u s as t o dare to d e c i d e this q u e s d o n ? F o r even i f we s i m p l y i n v o k e what the G r e e k s a c c o m p l i s h e d i n matters o f t h i n k i n g , this a c c o m p l i s h m e n t m i g h t have been a d e v i a t i o n f r o m t h e i r a c t u a l destiny. Fortunately, w h a t is at issue h e r e is n o t the " r e s u l t s " o f t h e i r p h i l o s o p h y b u t t h e very c h a r a c t e r o f t h e i r t h i n k i n g , t h e i r way o f q u e s t i o n i n g , the d i r e c t i o n f r o m w h i c h they p u r s u e d a n a n s w e r to t h e i r questioning.JTJiejrjdestiny vyaj^something i n t o \vhich_they were c o m p e l l e d ever anew, s o m e t h i n g t h e i r t h i n k e r s , despite be> J n g basically different, nevertheless u n d e r s t o o d as t h e same, s o m e t h i n g that f o r t h e m was t h e r e f o r e a necessity. E v e r y necessity lays h o l d o f m a n o u t o f a n e e d . E v e r y n e e d becomes c o m p e l l i n g o u t of, a n d w i t h i n , a basic d i s p o s i t i o n . T h e s e directives d e l i n e a t e t h e p a t h that m i g h t l e a d us to reflect o n w h a t was m e t e d o u t t o t h e G r e e k s as t h e task o f t h i n k i n g a n d m i g h t thereby l e a d to a reflection o n t h e b e g i n n i n g . T h e destiny a n d task o f t h o u g h t o f the G r e e k s was n o t to t h i n k this o r that b u t to b e g i n t h i n k i n g itself a n d to establish it o n its g r o u n d . T h i n k i n g , as t h e form o f t h e act o f p h i l o s o p h y , h e r e means that e r u p t i o n a n d t h a t p r o c e d u r e o f m a n t h a n k s to w h i c h h e is established i r T t n ^ n T d s t o f beings, i n face o f beings as a whqle^ancf knows h i m s e l f as b e l o n g i n g t o these oeings. l he basic" w o r k o f this t h i n k i n g is t h e r e f o r e t h e q u e s t i o n o f beings t h e m selves, w h a t they a r e as s u c h a n d as a w h o l e . H o w d i d t h e G r e e k s a n s w e r this question? W h a t sort o f basic d e t e r m i n a t i o n d i d they force u p o n beings or, better, w h a t c h a r acter o f beings as such d i d t h e G r e e k s allow to be ascendent o v e r themselves, so that these s a m e G r e e k s m i g h t e m e r g e a n d rise u p i n themselves? I n t h e c o n t e x t o f t h e p r e s e n t lectures, we c a n speak a b o u t these matters o n l y by way o f c e r t a i n f o r m u l a s . B e i n g s as s u c h a r e <|>wis. N o w w e m u s t i m m e d i a t e l y p u t o u t o f play a l l later i n t e r pretations a n d translations o f this first, m o r e reticent t h a n expressive, d e s i g n a t i o n o f beings. T h a t is, we m u s t set aside a l l those i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s that u n d e r s t a n d <t>wi<; as " n a t u r e , " whereby n a t u r e itself, d e p e n d i n g o n its sense i n later antiquity, in C h r i s t i a n i t y , o r i n m o d e r n i t y , means q u i t e d i f f e r e n t t h i n g s , t h o u g h always b e l o n g i n g to o n e single context. B e i n g , as such, i m p r e s s e d the G r e e k s as t h e constant, that


T h e G r e e k s ' destiny [129-30]

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w h i c h stands i n itself o v e r a n d against what falls a n d collapses. B e i n g — t h e G r e e k s e x p e r i e n c e d it as the constant, i n the sense o f the^ p e r s i s t e n t J O T C T a n d against the c h a n g i n g o f l v h a t ~ r n e r e l y arises a n d t h e n agairTcTtsappears. T h e beingness o f b e i n g s — t h a t m e a n s c o n s t a n c y i n the d o u b l e sense o f ^ e f s i s t e n c e ^ a n d ^ u r a t i o n J B e i n g s , as the constant, u n d e r s t o o d i n this way i n o p p o s i t i o n to c h a n g e a n d decay, are~therefore e n t i r e l y w h a t is present^ o p p o s e d to e v e r y t h i n g absent a n d a l l m e r e d i s s o l u t i o n . C o n ¬ stancy a n d _ e s p e c i a l l y _ p r e s e n c e posit back o n itself whatever comes i n t o existence as constant a n d present, b u t they d o n o t posit it away; they install it i n itself as the u p r i g h t n e s s o f the f o r n T versus t h e d e f o r m i t y o f a l l c o n f u s i o n . T h e constant, w h a t is present o u t o f itself a n d f o r m e d i n itself, u n f o l d s o u t o f itself a n d for itself its c o n t o u r a r i d i t s l i i r n f r versus,everything m e r e l j ^ o a t > i n g away a n d l i m i d e s s . ( C o m t a n c y f f i e s e n c e ^ f e r n i ^ these, especially i n the s i m p l i c i t y o f t h e i r r e c i p r o c a l relations, be-. l o n g to a n d d e t e r m i n e w h a t r e s o u n d s i n the G r e e k w o r d <trims as the d e s i g n a t i o n o f beings in~tKeir~beingness. i

Nevertheless, we have not.yet m e n t i o n e d the m o s t essential d e t e r m i n a t i o n o f beings, most essential because it p e r m e a t e s a l l the o t h e r d e t e r m i n a t i o n s . T h e constant, as w h a t stands i n itself a n d T i n e n d u r i n g , does not y i e l d , stands o u t against decay a n d c h a n g e a n d is elevated oyer t h e m . What_isj»resent, as r e p u d i a t i n g alTSRs^ appearance^ is_ w h a t A s s e l f - r e p r e s e n t i n g . T h e f o r m , that w h i c h h o l d s i n c h e c k a l l c o n f u s i o n , is the o v e r w h e l m i n g a n d the impos¬ i n g . T h e l i m i t , as the defense against the l i m i d e s s , s u s p e n d s m e r e progress a n d .rises above it. H e n c e , a c c o r d i n g t o T h e d e t e f ^ m i n a t i o n s we m e n t i o n e d , a n d i n ^ e i r _ mutual[ b e l o n g i n g togcther, a b e i n g is i n the first^pace a j i d ^ n t i r e j y s o m e t h i n g that stands o u t against a n d is elevated over, s o m e t h i n g that r e p r e sents J i S e T f n u w h " itself, the i m p o s i n g a n d w h a t ~ E a s _ r i s e n a b o v e — i n bnef:°the e m e r g i n g , a n d thus the u n c o n c e a l e d , o v e r a n d against the c o n c e a l e d a T d ' t h e w i t h d r a w i n g . A l l d e t e r m i n a ¬ tions o f the beingness o f b e i n g s — t h e two senses of(6onstancy>as well a ^ r e s e n q ^ C f o r n j ) a n f l j u n i j ) — a r e p e r v a d e d a n d d o m i n a t e d by the~b"ne n a m e d last, the d e t e r m i n a t i o n that g e n u i n e l y s h o u l d be n a m e d first: u n c o n c e a l e d n e s s , aXfYSetct. W h a t is the result o f a l l this? A X t j d e i a is for the G r e e k s a — i n d e e d , the—basic d e t e r m i n a t i o n o f beings themselves. T h a t


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T h e Necessity o f the Q u e s t i o n [131-32]

w i l l strike u s today a n d i n fact a l l n o n - G r e e k s as strange, a n d we w i l l c o m p l e t e l y accept it o n l y w i t h d i f f i c u l t y a n d very slowly. Yet i f we a r e able to r e p e a t it, a p l e t h o r a o f essential insights w i l l a c c o m p a n y it. U n c o n c e a l e d n e s s — t h a t is the decisive a n s w e r to the single q u e s t i o n o f t h e G r e e k t h i n k e r s , whose q u e s t i o n i n g began the b e g i n n i n g o f t h i n k i n g , n a m e l y the q u e s t i o n , w h a t a r e beings? A X t j O e i a as u n c o n c e a l e d n e s s gathers i n itself the p r i m o r d i a l G r e e k m e a n i n g o f t h e p r i m o r d i a l w o r d (frixns. F o r this w o r d designates that w h i c h emerges f r o m itself a n d u n f o l d s itself a n d h o l d s sway, s u c h as t h e rose e m e r g e s a n d i n e m e r g i n g is w h a t it is. It designates beings as s u c h , j u s t as a great l o o k o f the eye o p e n s itself, a n d o n c e o p e n e d a n d h o l d i n g sway, c a n be f o u n d a g a i n o n l y i n a l o o k that perceives it itself. T h e a n s w e r to a q u e s t i o n o f t h i n k i n g , a n d especially to the q u e s t i o n o f t h i n k i n g , the o n e that first establishes a l l t h i n k i n g j n its b e g i r m j a g t J t e . j , the a n s w e r to a p h i l o s o p h i c a l q u e s t i o n , is n e v e r a r e s u l t that c a n be d e t a c h e d a n d l o c k e d u p i n a p r o p o s i tion. S u c h a n a n s w e r d o e s n o t a l l o w itself to be c u t o f f f r o m the q u e s t i o n . O n the c o n t r a r y , this answer is a n essential answer o n l y if, a n d to t h e e x t e n t that, it b e l o n g s to the very q u e s t i o n i n g a n d is r e t a i n e d w i t h i n i t — a s its c o m p l e t i o n . W i t h r e g a r d to the u s u a l way o f t h i n k i n g , i n t e n d i n g , a n d q u e s t i o n i n g — a n d c e r t a i n l y altog e t h e r r i g h d y s o — t h e a n s w e r is that w h i c h e l i m i n a t e s the quest i o n . T h e r e , to answer is to satisfy a n d e l i m i n a t e t h e q u e s t i o n . B u t w i t h t h e p h i l o s o p h i c a l answer, " B e i n g s are u n c o n c e a l e d ness" (<two-is, áXTrüemt), t h e q u e s t i o n i n g does n o t stop b u t p r e cisely begins a n d u n f o l d s i t s e l f as the b e g i n n i n g . T h a t is to say, i n the l i g h t o f this i n t e r p r e t a t i o n o f beings as unconcealedness, it was t h e n t h e task o f the G r e e k s to ask w h a t beings a r e , to ask this m o r e clearly, m o r e f o u n d a t i o n a l l y , a n d m o r e m a n i f o l d l y .

RECAPITULATION

1) T h e lack of an inquiry into unconcealedness o n the part o f the Greeks and the necessity of their task. ¿ O u r i n q u i r y i n t o the essence o f t r u t h e n c o u n t e r e d , w i t h i n a c r i tique o f t h e t r a d i t i o n a l c o n c e p t o f t r u t h , the o p e n n e s s o f beings.


T h e G r e e k s ' destiny [ 132-33]

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T h i s o p e n n e s s was p r e s e n t e d as what is most questionable, as the place w h e r e the q u e s t i o n o f the essence o f t r u t h has to b e g i n , o n " c o n d i t i o n that the q u e s t i o n o f t r u t h bears w i t h i n itself a necessity PI°EËE to it, o n e w h i c h u n f o l d s itself as s o o n as the q u e s t i o n is raised. A t the same time, it t u r n e d o u t that the G r e e k s e x p e r i e n c e d o r i g i n a l l y the essence o f t r u t h as à\f)deia, as the u n c o n cealedness o f beings. O p e n n e s s as we i n t e n d it a n d u n c o n c e a l e d ness as s p o k e n o f by the G r e e k s are, at least a p p a r e n d y , the same. T h e r e is, however, a n essential d i s t i n c t i o n : f o r the G r e e k s , u n c o n c e a l e d n e s s r e m a i n e d u n q u e s t i o n e d ; f o r us it is w h a t I s most__wjprthY of q u e s t i o n i n g . W h y d i d the G r e e k s n o t i n q u i r e i n t o 5Xin.{)€Lot itself? T h e i r lack o f i n q u i r y c o u l d leave us i n d i f ferent; i n d e e d , m a n y m i g h t rejoice that i n this way s o m e q u e s tions a r e still left to us. B u t the lack o f i n q u i r y o n the p a r t o f the G r e e k s is n o t s o m e t h i n g i n d i f f e r e n t . F o r we m u s t b e a r i n m i n d that to the G r e e k s aXirjdeia was a — i n d e e d the—determination o f beings themselves a n d that the q u e s t i o n o f beings t h e m s e l v e s — w h a t they a r e — b e c a m e the p h i l o s o p h i c a l q u e s t i o n o f the G r e e k s . T h u s the q u e s t i o n o f the u n c o n c e a l e d n e s s o f beings, a n d h e n c e the q u e s t i o n o f unconcealedness itself, rested d i recdy i n the p a t h o f the most p r o p e r l y G r e e k p h i l o s o p h i c a l i n q u i r y i n t o b e i n g s ! Nevertheless, they d i d n o t raise that q u e s t i o n . I f they o m i t t e d it, n o t o u t o f n e g l i g e n c e o r s o m e o t h e r i n c a p a c ity, b u t o u t o f a necessity i n c l u d e d i n t h e i r very task, t h e n we m u s t reflect o n what k i n d o f task this was, i n o r d e r to u n d e r stand t h e i r lack o f i n q u i r y a n d thus c o m e to k n o w h o w o u r o w n q u e s t i o n i n g is related to that task. ||

T h e task o f the G r e e k s was n o t h i n g less t h a n the e s t a b l i s h m e n t o f the b e g i n n i n g o f p h i l o s o p h y . T o u n d e r s t a n d this b e g i n n i n g is for us p e r h a p s most d i f f i c u l t , f o r we are s t a n d i n g w i t h i n the o r b i t o f the e n d o f that b e g i n n i n g . 2) Nietzsche and H o l d e r l i n as end and as transition, each i n his own way. We u n d e r s t a n d e n d h e r e i n a d o u b l e sense. T h e e n d , i n s o f a r ^ s j t gathers i n t o itself all essential possibilities o f the history o f a beg i n n i n g , is n o t the cessation o f s o m e t h i n g over a n d d o n e , b u t , quite to the contrary, it is a n a f f i r m a t i o n o f the b e g i n n i n g by wa^


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T h e Necessity o f the Q u e s t i o n [133-34]

o f a c o m p l e t i o n o f its possibilities, ones w h i c h g r e w o u t o f what followed the b e g i n n i n g . T h i s e n d o f the first b e g i n n i n g o f the history o f W e s t e r n p h i l o s o p h y is Nietzsche; i n this sense a n d o n l y " i n this sense must we i n t e r p r e t h i m i n the f u t u r e i f his w o r k is to ~be what it m u s t also be as that e n d — n a m e l y , a t r a n s i t i o n . A l l j u d g m e n t a n d e v a l u a t i o n o f Nietzsche w h i c h have a n o t h e r ori¬ e n t a t i o n m a y very w e l l have t h e i r d e t e r m i n e d a n d c o n d i t i o n a l usefulness, yet they r e m a i n p h i l o s o p h i c a l l y inessential a n d e r r o neous. I n this c o n t e x t t h e r e is n o n e e d to speak o f the u s u a l exp l o i t a t i o n a n d even p l u n d e r i n g o f Nietzsche. Nietzsche is i n a n essential sense the e n d o f W e s t e r n philosophy.^ A t the same time, however, a n d above a l l , we are s t a n d i n g w i t h i n the t w i l i g h t o f the e n d o f W e s t e r n t h i n k i n g especially i n a second sense, a c c o r d i n g t o w h i c h e n d means the r u n n i n g o u t a n d the r u n n i n g astray o f t h e c o n f u s i o n o f the v a r i o u s basic p o sitions, v a l u a t i o n s , concepts, a n d systems as they have b e e n p r e p a r e d a n d f o r m e d t h r o u g h o u t the centuries. T h i s e n d — t h e p r o d u c t o f a n u p r o o t e d a n d n o l o n g e r even recognizable t r a d i t i o n o f f r o z e n m o d e s o f t h o u g h t — h a s its o w n d u r a t i o n , p r e s u m ably o n e w h i c h is still to last a l o n g time. It c a n yet d o m i n a t e a n d persist, even i f a n o t h e r b e g i n n i n g has b e g u n l o n g ago. I n the protracted expiration o f the end, former "modes o f thought" will p r e s u m a b l y be t a k e n u p a g a i n a n d a g a i n , a n d the e n d w i l l characteristically be a succession o f "renaissances." T h e r e c e p t i o n o f the w o r k o f H o l d e r l i n t h r o u g h o u t a w h o l e c e n t u r y is h i s t o r i c a l p r o o f that the g e n u i n e e n d , i.e., the great echo o f the greatness o f t h e b e g i n n i n g , c a n be p u t aside a n d remain without influence. We c o n c l u d e f r o m this that history itself is n o t o n l y multi-leve l l e d , that i n it n o t o n l y d o successive epochs o v e r l a p , but that we k n o w a l m o s t n o t h i n g o f its g e n u i n e reality, above a l l because o u r g r o u n d s o f k n o w l e d g e h e r e are insufficient a n d a r e b e c o m i n g m o r e a n d m o r e i n s u f f i c i e n t d u e to the news m e d i a . T h i s scarcely u n d e r s t o o d c o n t e m p o r a r y p h e n o m e n o n tells us i n advance what we are s u p p o s e d to want to k n o w a n d h o w we are to k n o w it. I n a t r a n s f o r m e d way, a n d e n h a n c e d i n t o gigantic p r o p o r t i o n s o f range a n d s p e e d , the news m e d i a a c c o m p l i s h what was once the f u n c t i o n o f urropetv, the e x p l o r a t i o n o f r e m a r k a b l e t h i n g s . We o f today s t a n d — f o r the most p a r t , u n w i t t i n g l y — t o a great


T h e G r e e k s ' destiny [134-35] extent, i n d e e d almost exclusively, i n the twilight o f this e x p i r i n g e n d o f Western t h i n k i n g but not yet i n the o r b i t o f the e n d i n t h e first sense. F o r i f it c a m e to that, we w o u l d i m m e d i a t e l y p r o c e e d to a t r a n s i t i o n ; b u t n o w h e r e d o I see i n the d o m a i n o f t h i n k i n g , i n s o f a r as we c a n speak o f it, a sign that a step has been taken o n the great s p a n o f the b r i d g e i n t o t h e f u t u r e , o r i n d e e d that such a step is even w a n t e d . T h a t s h o u l d n o t s u r p r i s e us, as l o n g as Hölderlin a n d N i etzsche a r e m e r e l y w e l l - i n t e n t i o n e d a n d f a m i l i a r names a n d e p ithets. W e w o u l d today h a r d l y k n o w a n y t h i n g o f the c h a r a c t e r a n d t h e necessity o f a reflection o n t h e first b e g i n n i n g , i f these b o t h — e a c h i n a d i f f e r e n t way at once t h i n k e r a n d p o e t — d i d n o t stand i n t h e p a t h o f o u r history, each, a g a i n , i n a respecdvely d i f ferent h i s t o r i c a l place. Since b o t h o f t h e m , each i n his o w n way, are e n d a n d t r a n s i t i o n , t h e b e g i n n i n g h a d to a p p e a r p r i m o r d i a l l y to t h e m , a n d a k n o w l e d g e o f t h e e n d h a d to a w a k e n i n t h e m . T h e r e b y Hölderlin, a l t h o u g h f u r t h e r f r o m us as r e c k o n e d histor i o g r a p h i c a l l y , is t h e m o r e f u t u r a l . T h a t is, h e reaches b e y o n d Nietzsche, n o t because Nietzsche h i m s e l f k n e w Hölderlin since the e n d o f his y o u t h , b u t because Hölderlin, the poet, is f u r t h e r a h e a d t h a n Nietzsche, t h e t h i n k e r , w h o , i n spite o f e v e r y t h i n g , was n o t able to a c k n o w l e d g e i n a n o r i g i n a l way t h e p r i m o r d i a l q u e s t i o n o f the G r e e k s a n d to u n f o l d it. H e r e m a i n e d precisely i n this respect, m o r e sternly t h a n i n a n y other, u n d e r t h e decisive i n f l u e n c e o f his e p o c h , o n e w h i c h was d e c a d e n t i n t h i n k i n g a n d above a l l u n r e f i n e d a n d l a c k i n g style. We n a m e a n d refer to Hölderlin here, as elsewhere, o n l y w i t h i n t h e c i r c u m f e r e n c e o f the s i n g u l a r task o f a t h o u g h t f u l r e flection o n t h e first, a n d that means o n t h e other, f u t u r e , b e g i n n i n g o f W e s t e r n t h i n k i n g . H e n c e we d o not take u p Hölderlin out o f s o m e sort o f "aesthetic" p r e d i l e c t i o n f o r this poet over o t h ers, i.e., o u t o f some sort o f (probably quite arbitrary) literaryh i s t o r i o g r a p h ical e v a l u a t i o n o f Hölderlin over a n d against o t h e r poets. O n c e a g a i n , we need to stress that o u r p o i n t o f view o n Hölderlin a n d the essence o f poetry is u n i q u e — u n i q u e precisely in that i n itself it sets itself outside o f every c o m p a r i s o n . O u r i n tention i n m a k i n g visible t h e essence o f poetry as Hölderlin has posited it i n his w o r k is not to " i m p r o v e " the c o n c e p t o f poetry o r to change it, so that a n e w n o r m m i g h t be available, w i t h the h e l p


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o f w h i c h o n e c o u l d t h e n also e x a m i n e o t h e r poets. S u c h a project w o u l d at m o s t reveal that this c o n c e p t o f poetry is n o t a p p r o p r i ate to o t h e r poets. Hölderlin, o r his w o r k , the latter i n its e n d r e fragmentary character, is b e i n g viewed, w i t h i n the compass o f o u r task, o n l y as a — a s the—not yet raised question o f the f u t u r e o f o u r history, a n d this a g a i n o n l y u n d e r the p r e s u p p o s i t i o n that the q u e s t i o n o f the essence o f t r u t h is a n essential o n e f o r the p r e p a r a t i o n o f this history. T h u s we a r e here not i n the least c o m p e t i n g w i t h the h i s t o r i o g r a p h y o f literature o r the history o f the s p i r i t , a n d o u r project c a n n o t at a l l be assumed t h e r e i n . O n l y i f we h o l d fast to the w o r k o f Hölderlin, o n l y i f we s u r vive the w o r k o f Nietzsche, instead o f e v a d i n g it, o n l y t h e n w i l l o u r q u e s t i o n be o n its assigned p a t h , a n d o n l y t h e n w i l l we u n d e r s t a n d this reflection o n the first b e g i n n i n g a n d especially o n what d i d n o t o c c u r i n it. 3) T h e task of the Greeks: to sustain the first beginning. We c o n t e n d that it was because the G r e e k s sustained t h e i r task that they d i d n o t i n q u i r e i n t o ctATj'deio: as such. T J i d r j a s k - w a s - the q u e s t i o n : what are beings as such? T h e m a n n e r i n w h i c h they asked (i.e., answered) this q u e s t i o n m u s t m a k e e v i d e n t w h y this q u e s t i o n i n g o c c l u d e d f o r t h e m the q u e s t i o n o f aA/f^eia, a n d why this o c c l u s i o n was n o t a r e s t r i c t i o n o f t h e i r q u e s t i o n i n g b u t its c o m p l e t i o n , i.e., the s u s t a i n i n g o f the first b e g i n n i n g . T h e G r e e k s e x p e r i e n c e d beings as <Jn3cri<;. W e a t t e m p t e d to characterize, by way o f a m e r e series o f f o r m u l a s , w h a t r e s o u n d s i n this d e n o m i n a t i o n o f beings as s u c h a n d what was c o n c e i v e d i n a u n i t a r y way i n the v a r i o u s d i r e c t i o n s t a k e n by the G r e e k i n t e r p r e t a t i o n o f beings as s u c h . A really sufficient p r e s e n t a t i o n w o u l d have t o a c c o m p l i s h n o t h i n g less t h a n a n e x p l i c a t i o n o f the entire h i s t o r y o f the G r e e k q u e s t i o n o f b e i n g , as it has been t r a n s m i t t e d to us i n the sources: b e g i n n i n g w i t h the f r a g m e n t s o f A n a x i m a n d e r a n d e n d i n g w i t h the Physics a n d Metaphysics o f A r istotle. T h e G r e e k s e x p e r i e n c e d a n d c o n c e i v e d o f beings as s u c h as what is constant, i n the sense o f what persists i n itself as well as i n the sense o f the e n d u r i n g . B e i n g s are for the G r e e k s w h a t is present, irapeov, over a n d against w h a t is absent, ctircov. T h e y


§33- T h e b e g i n n i n g o f t h i n k i n g [136-38]

119

call beings the f o r m , o v e r a n d against the formless. B e i n g s are for t h e m the s e l f - l i m i t i n g , over a n d against the limitless a n d the d i s s o l v i n g . I n these d e t e r m i n a t i o n s there resides, i n d i f f e r e n t ways a n d o f t e n h a r d l y a r t i c u l a t e d , the basic character o f s t a n d i n g out a n d s t a n d i n g over, e m e r g i n g s e l f - r e p r e s e n t i n g a n d s t a n d i n g " t h e r e , " r i s i n g above, e n c l o s i n g a n d p r e s e r v i n g . T h e basic c h a r acter o f beings as s u c h is this e m e r g i n g , s e l f - u n f o l d i n g , a n d j u t t i n g - f o r t h : the u n c o n c e a l e d . T h e f u n d a m e n t a l c h a r a c t e r o f <tnkns is aVrjfleict, a n d <j>0oxs, i f it is to be u n d e r s t o o d i n the G r e e k sense a n d not m i s i n t e r p r e t e d by later m o d e s o f t h o u g h t , m u s t be d e t e r m i n e d o n the basis o f aXfrdeux. T h e G r e e k s i n q u i r e d i n t o beings a n d asked w h a t they a r e as such, a n d they a n s w e r e d : unconcealedness. B u t this a n s w e r is a p h i l o s o p h i c a l o n e . T h a t means it does not f i n i s h o f f the questioning b u t , o n the contrary, requires that the q u e s t i o n be p u r s u e d a n d u n f o l d e d a l l the m o r e : what are beings?

§33. The beginning of thinking and the essential determination of man.

a) T h e sustaining of the recognition of beings i n their beingness and the essential determination of man as the perceiver of beings as such (vous and Xoyos). In t h e i r great b e g i n n i n g , by means o f w h i c h they b e g a n t h i n k ingTTjTT b e g a n t H F i n t e r p r e t a t i o n o f beings as s u c h , the G r e e k s w o u l d have r e n o u n c e d t h e i r most p r o r ^ ^ t a ^ O T ^ e ^ J i a c ^ e x pressly q u e s t i o n e d aXf^&eujutself. H o w so? T h e y w o u l d t h e n not have been q u e s t i o n i n g any longer; j ^ , they w o u l d not have kept themselves o n the patli^ot^their q u e s t i o n i n g , o n e w h i c h comes to c o m p l e t i o n precisely w i t h that answer a n d thereby is c o m p l e t e l y c o n s u m m a t e d . For, i n o r d e r to r e m a i n w i t h i n the q u e s t i o n o f bei n g , they h a d to r e m a i n o n the p e r i p h e r y o f that w h i c h b r i n g s this q u e s t i o n to its final e n d , namely, the answer 8v, dX-ryottaâ&#x20AC;&#x201D; since o n l y i n s u c h a way w o u l d beings as such be u n c o n c e a l e d for t h e m as constancy, presence, f o r m , a n d l i m i t . O n l y i n such a way d i d the G r e e k s preserve for themselves t h e j j p a c e w i t h i n w h i c h


12C)

T h e Necessity o f the Q u e s t i o n [ 138-39]

the w h o l e richness o f t h e i r t h i n k i n g , a n d consequently the determ i n a t i o n s o f beings, c o u l d u n f o l d . T o i n q u i r e i n t o a X i i d e i a , to q u e s t i o n àXfi'ôeio: itself w i t h i n thc_çirçjuk_and i n j h e d i r e c t i o n o f p r i m o r d i a l q u e s d o n i n g , w o u l d m e a n to debilitate the a n s w e r as well as the q u e s t i o n i n g itself? F o r — a s strange as it may s o u n d — t h e g r e a t e s t o e b i l i t a t i o n o f es¬ sential q u e s t i o n i n g d o e s n o t consist i n b e i n g w i t h d r a w n i n t o s o m e t h i n g m o r e o r i g i n a l b u t i n b e i n g h a r d e n e d i n its o w n o b v i ousness, p e t r i f i e d , a n d d e g r a d e d j n t o a m e r e f o r r n u j a b y w h i c h it may be passed o n f r o m e v e r y o n e to everyone. A n d i n fact, the m o m e n t àXTjtieict b e g a n t o r e l i n q u i s h its p r i m o r d i a l essence, i.e., u n c o n c e a l e d n e s s , i n favor o f the correctness it itself f o u n d s , i n this decisive m o m e n t , w h o s e p r e p a r a t i o n takes place i n Plato's t h i n k i n g , t h e great p h i l o s o p h y o f t h e G r e e k s c o m e s to a n e n d . T h e lack o f i n q u i r y i n t o à\T|-ôeio: as such is not a neglect b u t , q u i t e to the c o n t r a r y , the secure a d h e r e n c e o f the G r e e k s to the task m e t e d o u t to t h e m . T h i s lack o f i n q u i r y — t h i s n o n - o c c u r rence o f q u e s t i o n i n g i n t o àX-rjdeiot—is the greatest. W h y ? B e cause it r e q u i r e s perseverance i n a necessity: that is, i n the task o f b r i n g i n g beings as s u c h to a first r e c o g n i t i o n a n d t h u s to t h e i r most s i m p l e i n t e r p r e t a t i o n . It is easy to steal away q u i c k l y f r o m s o m e t h i n g barely u n d e r s t o o d to w h a t is new a n d e x c i t i n g ; it is seductive a n d effordess to evade w h a t is s i m p l e i n favor o f the distractions o f the m u l t i f a r i o u s a n d the n o v e l . B u t to sustain that first r e c o g n i t i o n o f beings as such i n t h e i r beingness, as the G r e e k s d i d , is the most d i f f i c u l t a n d i n its s i m p l i c i t y the most u n canny. ^ t j t j T a d _ w _ o c ^ r ^ o j t h a t i n t h e j u t u r e ^ h e r e m i g h t arise for the West a b e g i n n i n g to its t h i n k i n g a n d m a n h i m s e l f c o u l d k n o w h i m s e l f as a b e i n g i n t h e m i d s t o f beings. For w h a t is r e q u i r e d to r e c o g n i z e beings as such i n t h e i r basic character o f (jnms a n d aXfj-oeiot? N o t h i n g less t h a n the basic attitude o f the s i m p l e p e r c e p t i o n o f beings i n t h e i r beingness a n d thus i n that single feature d e t e r m i n i n g beings as s u c h . C o n s e quently, J f r o m tltis_ba«c^titude o f m a n toward beings as s u c h , the essence o f m a n h a c U o b e d e t e r m i n e d a u h e same t i m e as that b e i n g w h i c h , i n the m i d s t o f beings, lets these beings as a w h o l e j i p p c a r be f o r e itself i n o r d e r to perceive_and preserve t h e m i n their constancy, presence, f o r m , a n d l i m i t n n t h e i r u n c o n c e a l e d ^ ness. T h e r e f o r e it h a p p e n e d that m a n , b o u n d u p w i t h this be-


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g i n n i n g o f t h i n k i n g , was d e t e r m i n e d as that b e i n g whose d i s t i n c tiveness consists i n p e r c e i v i n g beings as s u c h . T h i s ^ r r e ~ p l i 6 n " i s i n G r e e k voeiv-voOs, a n d this o r i g i n a l t a k i n g together a n d g a t h e r i n g o f beings o u t o f what they are i n a d v a n c e i n the " o n e , " ÂŁv, is i n G r e e k A i y e i v , g a t h e r i n g together, a n d \670s. T h i s p e r c e p t i o n is the opposite, o f a m e r e passive t a k i n g i n ; it is r a t h e r the constant l e t t i n g e m e r g e a n d l e t t i n g stand forth i n presence, by w h i c h beings are precisely posited back o n t h e m selves. P e r c e p t i o n , voetv, is l e t t i n g <trixri<; hold"sway_or, as we may" also say, the l e t t i n g be o f b e i n g s i n what they are. M a n is the perceiver o f beings, the g u a r a n t o r o f t h e i r beingness. i.e.. o f t h e i r t r u t h . AcVyos, the t a k i n g together a n d g a t h e r i n g o f b e i n g s i n view o f j h e o n e w h i c h they are as beings, is not a subsequent p i e c i n g to gether o f j n d i v i d u a f beings b u t an o r i g i n a l a n t i c i p a t o r y gathe r i n g , o f a l l that c a n be e n c o u n t e r e d , i n thd^ow^that beings areT whereby i n d i v i d u a l beings as s u c h t h e n first j e c o m e visible.

b) T h e transformation of the primordial determination of the essence of man, as the perceiver of beings, into the determination of the essence of man as the rational animal. S t a n d i n g i n the m i d s t o f beings a n d b e l o n g i n g to t h e m , m a n is e x p e r i e n c e d i m m e d i a t e l y a n d p r i m a r i l y as a n a n i m a l , i n G r e e k tfyov, i n L a t i n animal. B u t it a p p e a r s m a n is that a n i m a l w h o s e d i s t i n g u i s h i n g m a r k is to perceive beings; his basic faculty is perc e p t i o n a n d g a t h e r i n g , vous a n d \670s, or, t r a n s p o s e d i n t o L a t i n , ratio. Homo est animal rationale. We have been a c c u s t o m e d f o r a l o n g t i m e n o w t o the t r a n s l a t i o n , " M a n is the r a t i o n a l a n i m a l . " T h i s is the c o n c e p d o n o f m a n w h i c h is still v a l i d today; we still e n v i s i o n a d o u b l i n g w i t h r e g a r d to m a n . O n the o n e h a n d , we conceive o f m a n " b i o l o g i c a l l y " as a n a n i m a l , a n d o n the o t h e r h a n d we a p p e a l to his reason a n d rationality a n d make reason, " l o g i c , " the n o r m o f his a c t i o n . We c o n s i d e r m a n s i m p l y as a m e m b e r o f the h u m a n race, yet we r e q u i r e his politics to be " r a tional a n d l o g i c a l . " M a n is t h c r a t i o n a l a n i m a l . We accept that as so o b v i o u s that it never occurs to us to t h i n k that this i n t e r p r e t a tion o f m a n c o u l d very well have its o r i g i n i n a c e r t a i n p a r t i c u l a r b e g i n n i n g , a n d that means at the same time that it c o u l d have distanced itself i n the m e a n w h i l e very far f r o m that o r i g i n a n d


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c o u l d actually be s o m e t h i n g utterly questionable instead o f o b v i ous. How far r e m o v e d is this r a t i o n a l a n i m a l , this u n d e r s t a n d i n g o f man's essence, f r o m the p r i m o r d i a l r a n k w h i c h t h o u g h t at its beg i n n i n g assigned to h i m ? We c a n r e c a p t u r e n o t h i n g a n y m o r e o f this b e g i n n i n g , i.e., o f this necessity. F o r the p r i m o r d i a l d e t e r m i n a t i o n o f m a n as the p e r c e i v e r a n d preserver o f beings was soon a b a n d o n e d . P e r c e p t i o n b e c a m e r e a s o n , a n d this i n t u r n became a faculty o f a s o u l b e l o n g i n g to a body. A l l this itself became m e r e l y a p a r t o f beings a n d a n o c c u r r e n c e w i t h i n beings. I n C h r i s d a n i t y , t h e s o u l g r a d u a l l y became t h e s o u l o f the single i n d i v i d u a l , w h o s e o t h e r w o r l d l y salvation d o m i n a t e d e v e r y t h i n g else, a salvation w h i c h b e c o m e s c e r t a i n o n l y i n faith a n d not i n ratio. M a n a n d h u m a n r e a s o n are not even any l o n g e r a n o c c u r rence w i t h i n beings b u t , t o g e t h e r w i t h beings themselves, are now o n l y creatures a n d s o m e t h i n g c r e a t e d , d e l i v e r e d o v e r to a fleeting a n d n o t g e n u i n e s o j o u r n o n e a r t h . O f that p e r c e i v e r a n d preserver o f beings, n o t h i n g m o r e r e m a i n s . A n d yet, i n its s e p a r a t i o n f r o m f a i t h , reason o n c e a g a i n makes itself a u t o n o m o u s t h r o u g h a s e l f - i n t e r p r e t a t i o n , a n e w o n e , n o l o n g e r i n t h e p r i m o r d i a l m a n n e r b u t i n a way d e t e r m i n e d by C h r i s t i a n i t y . Reason assumes for itself the p l a n n i n g , c o n s t r u c t i n g , a n d m a k i n g o f the w o r l d . B e i n g s a r e n o l o n g e r ({nxris i n the G r e e k sense b u t " n a t u r e , " i.e., that w h i c h is c a p t u r e d i n the p l a n n i n g a n d projects o f c a l c u l a t i o n a n d p l a c e d i n the chains o f a n ticipatory r e c k o n i n g s . R e a s o n n o w becomes ever m o r e r a t i o n a l , a n d a l l beings t u r n o u t to be its contrivances, this w o r d u n d e r stood i n a n essential a n d not i n a d e r o g a t o r y way. M a n becomes ever m o r e i n v e n t i v e a n d c l e v e r b u t at the same t i m e m o r e c o m m o n a n d smaller. T h e occasions a n d the possibilities i n w h i c h m a n b r i n g s his contrivances i n t o play b e c o m e limitless by v i r t u e o f these very contrivances. A l l this does not e x c l u d e , b u t p r e cisely r e q u i r e s , that e v e r y t h i n g c a l c u l a t i n g reason posits o v e r a n d against itself as l i m i t , n a m e l y the a - r a t i o n a l , i.e., w h a t c a n n o l o n g e r be calculated by it, g a i n s validity i n reason's o w n way, p r e cisely w i t h i n the compass o f its contrivances. T h e m o r e frantic the contrivances a n d calculations o f r e a s o n , the s t r o n g e r a n d the m o r e w i d e s p r e a d is the c r y f o r lived e x p e r i e n c e . B o t h a r e excessive a n d a r c m u t u a l l y exchangeable. W h a t is m o r e , the c o n t r i v -


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ances, e.g., t h e gigantic a c c o m p l i s h m e n t s o f technology, b e c o m e themselves t h e greatest " l i v e d e x p e r i e n c e , " a n d the l i v e d e x p e r i ences seek t h e f o r m o f a c o n t r i v a n c e . A b o x i n g m a t c h is a " l i v e d e x p e r i e n c e , " b u t surely n o t f o r t h e boxers themselves; they have n o l i v e d e x p e r i e n c e , b u t at t h e l i m i t they s d l l b o x ; the l i v e d exp e r i e n c e resides i n t h e spectators, a n d what is l i v e d is t h e e n t i r e display o f a g r a n d - p r o d u c t i o n theater. T h e l i v e d e x p e r i e n c e becomes a c o n t r i v a n c e ; let us reflect a m o m e n t o n w h a t has b e e n p u t together i n t h e t e r m " c o n f e s s i o n a l f r o n t , " a t e r m w h i c h is n o t m e r e l y d u e t o the process o f f o r m i n g it [denken wir einmal einen Augenblick nach, was im Wort "Bekenntnisfront" sich zusammengeÂŹ funden hat, und doss es zu diesem Wirt, nicht nur zum Vorgang kommt]. T h e l i v e d e x p e r i e n c e as o u r c o n t r i v a n c e , a n d t h e latter itself as a l i v e d e x p e r i e n c e â&#x20AC;&#x201D; w h a t arises i n this process as a w h o l e c a n n o t be a t t r i b u t e d to a n y o n e i n d i v i d u a l b u t is t h e process i n w h i c h m a n , conscious o f h i m s e l f , a n d o p e r a t i n g , as t h e " r a t i o n a l a n i m a l , " draws t h e u l t i m a t e consequences o f his " c u l t u r e " a n d " c i v i l i z a t i o n " : t h e most e x t r e m e d i s t a n c i n g f r o m h i s p r i m o r d i a l l y established p o s i t i o n w i t h r e g a r d to beings. It is o n e a n d t h e s a m e process that t h e o r i g i n a l essence o f t r u t h c o u l d n o t be r e t a i n e d a n d that h i s t o r i c a l m a n e v e r y w h e r e comes t o h i s e n d a l o n g w i t h his contrivances a n d l i v e d e x p e r i e n c e s . N o w o n d e r that f o r u s today o n l y r a r e l y a n d w i t h d i f f i c u l t y d o e s it b e c o m e clear w h a t occ u r r e d i n t h e b e g i n n i n g o f W e s t e r n t h i n k i n g as b e g i n n i n g .

§34. The need and the necessity of our inquiry into unconcealedness itself on the basis of a more original understanding of the first beginning. T h e a d h e r e n c e o f the G r e e k s to t h e b e g i n n i n g , to a n i n q u i r y i n t o beings as s u c h , a n d t h e i r a d h e r e n c e to t h e first answer, to t h e u n f o l d i n g o f what it o p e n s u p , hence t h e i r lack o f i n q u i r y i n t o t r u t h , a r e n o t omissions o r failures b u t testimony to the p o w e r o f the G r e e k s t o be e q u a l t o a necessity. I f we n o w ask, a n d p e r h a p s must ask, w h a t this unconcealedness itself is, t h e n o u r i n q u i r y c a n n o t be a m e r e m a k i n g u p f o r a n o m i s s i o n . T h e n what m u s t it be, i f it is t h e p r e p a r a t i o n f o r t h e o c c u r r e n c e o f s o m e t h i n g n o t yet c o m e to pass? W h a t m u s t o u r q u e s t i o n i n g be at least a n d at


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first, a n d i n d e e d by necessity? It m u s t again be a necessity a n d even a g a i n a b e g i n n i n g , b u t a different one. W h y are we a s k i n g the q u e s t i o n o f the essence o f t r u t h ? O n l y because there is s o m e t h i n g to " c r i t i c i z e " i n the p r e v i o u s c o n c e p tion o f t r u t h ? T h a t w o u l d be a shallow a n d p i t i f u l r e a s o n . B u t t h e n w h e r e is the necessity, i.e., as we p u t it, w h e r e is the need? T h e n e e d a n d the necessity are p e c u l i a r a n d u n i q u e precisely i n that they r e m a i n at first c o n c e a l e d to us, m a k i n g it seem as i f o u r t h i n k i n g w e r e subject to n o n e e d at a l l , as i f we c o u l d a n d s h o u l d c o n t i n u e to r a m b l e o n blissfully i n the previous p h i l o s o p h y , i.e., misuse it recklessly a n d m i x it all u p , p r o v i d e d we n o w o n l y a p p l y the racial to it a n d give t h e whole a correct p o l i t i c a l face. T h i s is n o t to say that these are inessential for o u r reflection, b u t what is still m o r e essential is that we k n o w o r l e a r n to k n o w that great tasks r e q u i r e a great p r e p a r a t i o n a n d a still g r e a t e r investment i f they are to b e preserved i n t h e i r d i g n i t y . We m u s t b r i n g ourselves e x p l i c i d y i n t o c o n f r o n t a t i o n w i t h o u r n e e d , w h i c h we c a n d o o n l y i f we face u p to a n essential n e e d a n d its necessity a n d for that p u r p o s e first p r o v i d e o u r eyes w i t h v i sual power. I f we c a n n o t s u p p l y this f r o m o u r o w n resources, t h e n we m u s t seek it, a n d w i l l be able to find it, solely w h e r e once, a n d o n l y once, a b e g i n n i n g h a d b e g u n . We m u s t try to u n d e r s t a n d the b e g i n n i n g o f W e s t e r n t h i n k i n g i n this r e g a r d i n a still m o r e o r i g i n a l way. T h e p r i m o r d i a l history o f the essence o f t r u t h gives rise to t r u t h as the essence o f beings themselves, as unconcealedness. T h i s p r i m o r d i a l p o s i t i n g o f the essence, w h i c h is the task assigned to the b e g i n n i n g o f the b e g i n n i n g , e x c l u d e s a n i n q u i r y i n t o aXfifleict itself. It is n o w clear that this lack o f q u e s t i o n i n g o r i g i n a t e d o u t o f the necessity to present, to preserve, a n d to u n f o l d , o n c e a n d for a l l , b e i n g s i n t h e i r beingness. W h a t need gave rise to this necessity? I n any event, s o m e t h i n g necessary e m e r g e d for the G r e e k s , h a v i n g n o t h i n g to d o w i t h the c o m p o r t m e n t o f some i n d i v i d u a l o r other, n o r w i t h the c o m p o r t m e n t o f a society, but w h i c h i g n i t e d the b e g i n n i n g o f a history, i n d e e d o f the history in w h i c h we are still l o c a t e d . T o be s u r e , it w o u l d be e r r o n e o u s a n d i n f a n t i l e to t h i n k that the ones w h o h a d to b e g i n this b e g i n n i n g were aware o f it i n the same retrospective way as we w h o have c o m e after. For s u p p o s -


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i n g this k n o w l e d g e were alive t h e n , even i f o n l y i n vague s u r mises, the necessity o f the task w o u l d have forfeited its greatness a n d its essentiality. F o r e v e r y t h i n g necessary that is s u p p o r t e d by a k n o w n g o a l is thereby already t a i n t e d i n its u n c o n d i t i o n a l l y a n d p u r i t y . T h e necessary, i n its greatest f o r m , always exists w i t h o u t the crutches o f the w h y a n d the w h e r e f o r e a n d w i t h o u t the s u p p o r t o f the w h e r e u n t o a n d the t h e r e u n t o . I n s u c h necessity, t h e n , a p r e - e m i n e n t n e e d m u s t be p r e s s i n g , so that what is necessary m i g h t be e x p e r i e n c e d a n d e n d u r e d .

RECAPITULATION

1) T h e rigor and inner order of questioning i n distinction to the systematization of a system. I n d e v e l o p i n g the q u e s t i o n o f t r u t h it is i m p o r t a n t to stress a g a i n a n d a g a i n that e v e r y t h i n g d e p e n d s o n the course o f o u r p r o c e d u r e . B u t that is n o t m e a n t i n the u s u a l sense; i.e., it d o e s n o t m e a n that t h e "systematic c o n t e x t " is to be kept i n view so that a l l the p a r t i c u l a r s m i g h t be integrated c o r r e c d y . F o r what is at issue is not a systematic d o c t r i n e o f t r u t h o r a d i s c u s s i o n o f theses o n the essence o f t r u t h w h i c h are s u p p o s e d to coalesce i n t o a d o c t r i n a l system. T h e e p o c h o f p h i l o s o p h i c a l " s y s t e m s " is g o n e f o r e v e r â&#x20AC;&#x201D; n o t because the m a t e r i a l o f k n o w l e d g e has s w o l l e n so e n o r m o u s l y that it c a n n o l o n g e r be o r d e r e d o r even s u r v e y e d , b u t because the very essence o f k n o w l e d g e has been t r a n s f o r m e d , above a l l i n d i s t i n c t i o n a n d o p p o s i t i o n to m o d e r n k n o w l e d g e , w h i c h a l o n e i n itself a n d f o r itself d e m a n d s "systema t i z a t i o n . " I n the great b e g i n n i n g o f O c c i d e n t a l t h i n k i n g , there were (and this i n d e e d by necessity) not yet systems a n d after the e n d o f this first b e g i n n i n g there will n o l o n g e r be systems. W h y ? Because a d e e p e r necessity w i l l r u l e t h i n k i n g a n d q u e s t i o n i n g a n d because t h e i r i n n e r o r d e r a n d rigor will be concealed to the seemingly u n s u r p a s s a b l e (because it is transparent) c o m p l e t e ness o f a system. A system is the highest f o r m o f k n o w l e d g e o n l y u n d e r two c o n d i t i o n s : 1. i f a n d as l o n g as a l l things that c a n be k n o w n , beings as s u c h , are d e t e r m i n e d a c c o r d i n g to the g u i d i n g line o f t h i n k i n g ;


12Ă&#x201D;

T h e Necessity o f the Q u e s t i o n [145-46]

2. i f a n d as l o n g as t h i n k i n g f o u n d s itself u p o n u l t i m a t e p r i n ciples c o n c e r n i n g itself a n d d e t e r m i n e s a l l f o u n d a t i o n as a d e d u c t i o n f r o m these p r i n c i p l e s . Yet even i f b o t h these c o n d i t i o n s have already been s h a k e n , the rigor o f q u e s t i o n i n g a n d its c o u r s e are by n o means therefore s u b m e r g e d . It is j u s t that the rigor a n d the way o f p r o c e d u r e c a n n o w n o l o n g e r be r u l e d by the systematization o f a system. I n the u n f o l d i n g o f the q u e s t i o n o f t r u t h , e v e r y t h i n g d e p e n d s o n the c o u r s e o f o u r p r o c e d u r e . T h e c o n s e q u e n t i a l fact that for centuries the c o n c e p t i o n o f k n o w l e d g e was d e t e r m i n e d i n terms o f m o d e r n science is the r e a s o n that p h i l o s o p h y c a n free itself o n l y w i t h g r e a t d i f f i c u l t y f r o m t h e t r a m m e l s o f scientific systematization. T h a t is to say, e v e r y t h i n g w h i c h d o e s n o t a p p e a r to be a scientific t r e a t m e n t o f a n object o r o f a r a n g e o f objects is t a k e n to be " p s y c h o l o g y , " i.e., a d e s c r i p t i o n o f the way p h i l o s o p h i c a l t h i n k i n g is " l i v e d . " T h e r e may very w e l l be s u c h d e s c r i p t i o n s ; the p h i l o s o p h y o f Nietzsche, to a l a r g e e x t e n t a n d i n a l m o s t everyt h i n g h e h i m s e l f p u b l i s h e d , c a n be m i s i n t e r p r e t e d a l o n g these lines. a) Historical reflection o n the necessity of the first beginning; acquisition of the norms for the necessity of our own question of truth. I f h e r e i n these lectures we say so litde a b o u t the essence o f t r u t h itself a n d present n o theory o f t r u t h b u t instead l i n g e r constantly o v e r the q u e s t i o n i n g o f this q u e s t i o n o f t r u t h , t h e n it seems we are d e a l i n g m o r e w i t h the " l i v e d e x p e r i e n c e " o f the q u e s t i o n o f t r u t h t h a n w i t h the essence o f t r u t h . Nevertheless, this c o u r s e o f o u r p r o c e d u r e is n e i t h e r a systematization o f the p r o b l e m o f t r u t h n o r a psychology o f its p r o b l e m a t i z a t i o n . W h a t is it t h e n ? A d e s i g n a t i o n w i l l n o t a c c o m p l i s h a n y t h i n g i f we d o not u n d e r s t a n d what is t r a n s p i r i n g h e r e . T h e s h o r t c r i t i c a l discussion o f the t r a d i t i o n a l concept o f t r u t h passed over i n t o a historical r e f l e c t i o n o n the b e g i n n i n g o f Weste r n t h o u g h t . T h i s reflection sees itself n o w l e d to the p o i n t o f t h i n k i n g t h r o u g h the necessity o f that q u e s t i o n i n g i n the a c c o m p l i s h m e n t o f w h i c h a X f r d e t a , the unconcealedness o f beings,


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127

t r u t h , once c a m e to k n o w l e d g e , w i t h o u t itself b e c o m i n g a quest i o n . O u r h i s t o r i c a l reflection m u s t p o n d e r the necessity o f the q u e s t i o n o f t r u t h . T h i s necessity is not a n object o f psychology; it is s o m e t h i n g else entirely. T h e necessity o f the q u e s t i o n o f t r u t h is r a t h e r that w h i c h decides a b o u t the " c o n t e n t " the essential det e r m i n a t i o n o f t r u t h m u s t have i n the f u t u r e . O u r r e f l e c t i o n p r o ceeds i n a c o m p l e t e l y d i f f e r e n t way t h a n a n y systematization o f the issues i n the q u e s t i o n o f t r u t h . T h e r e f l e c t i o n o n the necessity o f the q u e s t i o n o f t r u t h decides its o r i g i n a l i t y a n d essentiality. It decides whether, a n d how, that, w h i c h i n the b e g i n n i n g b l a z e d as aXTj'deia, to be e x t i n g u i s h e d s o o n thereafter, c a n o n c e m o r e b e c o m e the g l o w i n g fire o f t h e h e a r t h o f o u r existence [Dasein]. A p r e c o n d i t i o n is that we b e ca-! pable o f t h i n k i n g the essence o f a V f i t i e t a c o r r e c d y . O u r h i s t o r ical r e f l e c t i o n has therefore p o i n t e d to s o m e t h i n g w h o s e f u l l b e a r i n g we c a n n o t yet a p p r e c i a t e : n a m e l y , that t r u t h was i n the b e g i n n i n g t h e basic c h a r a c t e r o f beings themselves. W h i c h m e a n s at the same t i m e that t r u t h is to be k n o w n a n d t h o u g h t i n c o n n e c t i o n w i t h the q u e s t i o n o f beings as s u c h . B u t this q u e s t i o n is the b e g i n n i n g o f W e s t e r n t h o u g h t . A n d that i m p l i e s that the necessity o f t h e k n o w l e d g e o f t r u t h goes h a n d i n h a n d w i t h the necessity o f this b e g i n n i n g . O n l y i n r e f l e c t i o n o n it d o we a c q u i r e the sufficient n o r m s f o r the necessity w h i c h m u s t d e t e r m i n e our q u e s t i o n i n g o f t r u t h , i f this q u e s t i o n i n g is n o t to d e g e n e r a t e i m mediately i n t o a n i n d i f f e r e n t d i s m e m b e r i n g o f the c o n c e p t o f t r u t h o r i n t o a m e r e s u b s t i t u t i o n o f a t r a n s f o r m e d d o c t r i n e for the t r a d i t i o n a l o n e , w i t h o u t h a v i n g p r e p a r e d w h a t is m o s t i n d i s pensable: a c o m p l e t e t r a n s f o r m a t i o n o f the style o f t h i n k i n g a n d questioning. N o w it has b e e n s h o w n finally that the q u e s t i o n oÂŁthe G r e e k s , the p r i m o r d i a l q u e s t i o n a b o u t beings as s u c h , is o f s u c h a k i n d that it p r e c l u d e s a n incndry i n t o aX-fr&eia as s u c h . F o r u n c o n cealedness is t h e d e t e r m i n a t i o n o f beings that i n g e n e r a l a n d i n advance constitutes the field o f view w i t h i n w h i c h b e c o m e possible the m a n i f e s t a t i o n o f the characters o f beings we m e n t i o n e d a n d h e n c e t h e f u l f i l l m e n t o f the q u e s t i o n _ o f b e i n g s . I n o r d e r to b r i n g i n t o v i e w what r e s i d e s j n a y i s u a j j i e l d , the^s^ual fiejdjtsejf. m u s t precisely l i g h t u p first, so that it m i g h t i l l u m i n a t e w h a t re^


128

T h e Necessity o f the Q u e s t i o n [147-48]

sides w i t h i n itj.however, it c a n n o t a n d may not be seen explicitly. T h e field o f view, aXifi'deua, must i n a c e r t a i n sense be ovepjgokedy T h e first task was t h e n to a p p r e h e n d beings as b e i n g s ^ t o i n stall the p u r e r e c o g n i t i o n o f beings as s u c h , a n d n o t h i n g m o r e . T h i s was q u i t e e n o u g h i f w e c o n s i d e r what was s i m u l t a n e o u s l y g r o u n d e d w i t h it: the p r i m o r d i a l d e t e r m i n a t i o n o f m a n as t h a t " j e i n g w h i c h , i n the m i d s t o f beings as a w h o l e , lets beings h o l d sway i n t h e i r u n c o n c e a l e d n e s s . T h i s l e t t i n g h o l d sway is accon> p l i s h e d by e x h i b i d n g b e i n g s i n t h e i r f o r m s a n d m o d e s o f presence a n d by p r e s e r v i n g b e i n g s t h e r e i n â&#x20AC;&#x201D; o c c u r r e n c e s i n w h i c h p o e t r y as w e l l as p a i n t i n g a n d s c u l p t u r e , the act that f o u n d s a state, a n d the w o r s h i p p i n g o f the g o d s first o b t a i n t h e i r essence, b r i n g i n g these essences i n t o b e i n g historically a n d as history b y , t h e i r w o r d s a n d works, actions a n d r a p t u r e s , assaults a n d d o w n - , 1alis~ 3) T h e origin of the apprehension of man as the rational animal out of an inability to sustain the first beginning. T h e b e g i n n i n g o f the d e t e r m i n a t i o n o f / m a n p n the_basis o f his r e l a t i o n to beings as s u c h was o n l y a firsTTnception a n d d i d not r e m a i n the b e g i n n i n g . W h a t followed was incapable o f a d h e r i n g to this g r o u n d i n g o f the essence o f m a n i n its p n m o r d i a l i t y , i.e., to create it e v e r m o r e o r i g i n a l l y . T h e r e f o r e it h a d to be p o i n t e d o u t briefly h o w the s u b s e q u e n t a n d n o w o r d i n a r y a p p r e h e n s i o n o f m a n as r a t i o n a l a n i m a l o r i g i n a t e d f r o j n a n inability to sustain that great b e g i n n i n g i n w n T c n m a n h a d to b r i n g h i m s e l f b e f o r e " beings as sue i^and h a d to be a b e i n g i n the m i d s t o f beings. We have e x p o s e d the m o s t e x t r e m e a n d for us today the most visible d e v e l o p m e n t s o f this history o f the d e t e r m i n a t i o n o f the essence o f m a n n o t i n o r d e r to b e g i n a sterile " c r i t i q u e o f c u l t u r e " o r the l i k e , n o r even j u s t to portray the " c o n t e m p o r a r y situ a t i o n " o f m a n . O n the c o n t r a r y , it is e n t i r e l y a n d solely as c o n nected to the q u e s t i o n o f t r u t h a n d the history o f its essence that we have r e f e r r e d to the distance between today's universally c o m m o n c o n c e p t i o n o f m a n a n d its b e g i n n i n g . F o r i f now o n the basis o f a p r e p a r a t i o n w h i c h has lasted centuries, a n d was especially a c c o m p l i s h e d i n the m o d e r n p e r i o d , beings have b e c o m e a


§34- T h e n e e d a n d necessity o f i n q u i r y [148-50]

129

c o n t r i v a n c e o f reason, o f a reason w h i c h i n p r i n c i p l e n o t h i n g may resist, a n d i f thereby this reason, as a b e i n g , appeals to l i v e d e x p e r i e n c e , a n d i f f u r t h e r m o r e it s h o u l d h a p p e n that the c o n trivance fails a n d " c i t e s " destiny, t h e n this reference to the c o n trivance a n d to the l i v e d e x p e r i e n c e is n a m i n g o n l y the two poles between w h i c h the o r d i n a r y c o n c e p d o n o f t r u t h — c o r r e c t n e s s — oscillates. T h e d e t e r m i n a t i o n o f t r u t h as correctness is not the i n d i f f e r ent a n d i n n o c u o u s t h e o r y o f a scholastic " l o g i c " w h i c h has b e e n obsolete for ages. C o r r e c t n e s s is the calculable a d j u s t m e n t a n d a d a p t a t i o n o f all h u m a n b e h a v i o r to the e n d o f contrivances. W h a t e v e r resists these contrivances w i l l be c r u s h e d . Yet c o r r e c t ness, i n its effect a n d its success, is a p p r o p r i a t e d , p r e s e r v e d as a possession, a n d c a r r i e d o v e r i n t o use a n d p r o f i t t h r o u g h l i v e d e x p e r i e n c e . A t the b e g i n n i n g o f m o d e r n t h o u g h t , Descartes f o r the first time posited the certainty o f the ego, a certainty i n w h i c h m a n is m a d e secure o f beings as the object o f his representations. N o w this certainty is the g e r m o f w h a t today, a s j ' l i v e d e x p e r i ¬ e n c e , " constitutes the basic f o r m o f b e i n g h u m a n . It is o n e o f the i r o n i e r o f h i s t o r y that o u r age has d i s c o v e r e d — a d m i t t e d l y , very l a t e — t h e n e e d to refute Descartes, a n d takes issue w i t h h i m a n d his i n t e l l e c t u a l i s m By a p p T a f i n g T o " l i v e d e x p e r i e n c e r ~ w h e r e a s lived e x p e r i e n c e is o n l y a base d e s c e n d e n t o f the C a r t e s i a n cogito—• ergo sum. -

We c o n c l u d e f r o m this a l l u s i o n that the c o n c e p t i o n o f m a n is tied to his (position w i t h i n t r u t h a n d t o w a r d t r u t h a n d that c o n versely the'status o f the q u e s t i o n o f t r u t h j i.e., above a l l , the f o r - ' g e t t i n g a n d d i s r e g a r d i n g o f this q u e s t i o n , always c o r r e s p o n d s to a d e t e r m i n e d s e l f - c o m p r e h e n s i o n o f m a n a n d o f his r e l a t i o n to beings as s u c h . A d m i t t e d l y , this does not yet d e c i d e a n y t h i n g about the g e n u i n e c h a r a c t e r o f the essential r e l a t i o n between t r u t h a n d m a n . A b o v e a l l , we may not u n d e r s t a n d the transform a t i o n o f the s e l f - u n d e r s t a n d i n g o f m a n psychologically o r i n terms o f the history o f c u l t u r e . T h e s e psychological, m o r a l , a n d c u l t u r a l t r a n s f o r m a t i o n s a l l move w i t h i n o n e single constant c o m p r e h e n s i o n o f m a n — a constancy that has now been s h a k e n a n d r e q u i r e s a first great t r a n s f o r m a t i o n . T h i s c a n o n l y be a p preciated o n the basis o f the r e l a t i o n o f m a n to beings as such a n d to t h e i r t r u t h . It follows that this t r a n s f o r m a t i o n is r a r e r


13°

T h e Necessity o f the Q u e s t i o n [ 150]

t h a n we m i g h t t h i n k a n d t h a t it has its most c o n c e a l e d b u t at the same time m o s t p o w e r f u l g r o u n d i n the c o n c e p t i o n o f beings as such a n d i n t h e necessity o f this c o n c e p t i o n . A s s u m i n g that we are f a c i n g a n essential t r a n s f o r m a t i o n o f the essence o f t r u t h a n d , i n u n i o n w i t h that, a t r a n s f o r m a d o n o f the p o s i t i o n o f m a n w i t h i n b e i n g s a n d t o w a r d beings, t h e n this transf o r m a d o n c a n o n l y arise f r o m a necessity, o n e e q u a l to the necessity o f the b e g i n n i n g . T h o s e w h o a r e p r e p a r i n g this transform a t i o n m u s t be ready f o r s u c h a necessity. T h i s readiness c a n o n l y be g e n e r a t e d t h r o u g h a k n o w l e d g e o f the necessity. S u c h k n o w l e d g e , w h i c h is n o t a m e r e h a n d l i n g o f c o g n i t i o n s , has a t r a n s f o r m a t i v e p o w e r a n d g r o w s o u t o f r e f l e c t i o n â&#x20AC;&#x201D; f o r us here o u t o f reflection o n the necessity o f the q u e s t i o n i n g i n whose c i r c u i t a n d as whose v i s u a l field the essence o f t r u t h first s h o n e as ak-q^eux, i.e., o u t o f r e f l e c t i o n o n the character o f the necessity o f the b e g i n n i n g o f W e s t e r n t h i n k i n g . E v e r y necessity, h o w ever, e m e r g e s , a c c o r d i n g to its t y p e , o u t o f a n e e d .


Chapter Five

T h e Need and the Necessity of the First Beginning and the Need and the Necessity of an Other Way to Question and to Begin

ยง35. The distress of not knowing the way out or the way in, as a mode of Being. The untrodden time-space of the between. W h a t sort o f n e e d h e l d sway i n the necessity to p u t i n m o t i o n t h e b e g i n n i n g o f W e s t e r n t h i n k i n g ? A n d w h a t d o we u n d e r s t a n d here by " n e e d " ? " N e e d " is r e d o l e n t o f m i s e r y a n d c o m p l a i n t , it connotes d e p r i v a t i o n a n d r e q u i r e m e n t , a n d o n the w h o l e it means lack, absence, "away," " n o t . " N o t every n e g a t i o n is n e g a tive i n a d e p r e c i a t o r y sense. Silence, f o r e x a m p l e , means t h e a b sence, t h e "away," a n d t h e " n o t " o f noise a n d d i s t u r b a n c e . B u t here we a r e j u s t i n t e r p r e t i n g s o m e t h i n g o r i g i n a l as negative w i t h the a i d o f t h e negative, namely, noise a n d d i s t u r b a n c e , w i t h o u t c o n s i d e r i n g t h e essence o f " n o t " a n d " n o . " N o t e v e r y t h i n g n e g a tive needs to be d e f i c i e n t a n d c e r t a i n l y n o t m i s e r a b l e a n d l a m e n table. We have the h a b i t o f i n t e r p r e t i n g n e e d a n d care o n l y o n the basis o f o u r everyday s u r r o u n d i n g w o r l d o f w h a t is d i s t u r b i n g , l a m e n t a b l e , a n d b u r d e n s o m e ; i.e., we m a k e o u r griefs a n d afflictions the m e a s u r e o f things. T h i s habit o f o u r s is so i n e r a d icable that it a p p a r e n d y has a n exclusive c l a i m to j u s t i f i c a t i o n , yet we m u s t e v e r anew a t t e m p t to w i n back, o r , p e r h a p s , first d e velop, for o u r l a n g u a g e a h i d d e n p o w e r o f n a m i n g the essential.


132 j

' T h e Need a n d the Necessity o f the first B e g i n n i n g [151-53]

I f we speak o f need as that which makes needful the highest f o r m o f necessity, we are n o t r e f e r r i n g to misery a n d lack. Nevertheless, we are t h i n k i n g o f a not, a negadve. B u t we k n o w litde e n o u g h o f the negadve a n d the " n o , " for example i n forms o f refusal, deferment, a n d failure. Yet all that is not nothingness b u t is at most (if not s o m e t h i n g h i g h e r still) its opposite. It never enters the field o f view o f o u r calculating reason that a no a n d a not may arise out o f a s u r p l u s o r a b u n d a n c e , may be the highest gift, a n d as this not a n d n o may infinitely, i.e., essentially, surpass every o r d i n a r y yes. A n d that is all to the good._For reason w o u l d " e x p l a i n " it acc o r d i n g to the principles o f logic, whereby both affirmation a n d denial exist, b u t the yes has t h e priority since it posits a n d thus acknowledges s o m e t h i n g present at h a n d . W h a t is present a n d at h a n d counts as a being. T h e r e f o r e it is difficult for us, wherever we encounter s o m e t h i n g a p p a r e n d y "negative," not only to see i n it the "positive' b u t also to conceive s o m e t h i n g m o r e o r i g i n a l , transcendi n g that distinction. H e r e , w h e r e we are reflecting o n the need o f the necessity o f the b e g i n n i n g , only the most p r o f o u n d u n d e r standing o f the essence o f n e e d will suffice. 1

T h e need we have i n m i n d arises f r o m the distress o f not k n o w i n g the way o u t o r the way in^but-that is by. j i Q j n e a n s to be u n d e r ^ stood a s ^ a ^ p e r p l ^ i t y H T r ^ m e particular circumstances o r other. -What then is it? Not k n o w i n g the way out o r the way i n : that is to say, out o f a n d into that w h i c h such knowing_first opens u p as a n u n t r o d d e n a n d u n g r o u n d e d "space." T h i s space (time-space)—W TvT; may a o " s p e a k T ^ r T i e T g ^ s V r r a t ^ ^ has^ neryef been d e t e r m i n e d what b e i n g is o r what n o n - b e i n g is, t h o u g h w h e r e by the same token a total c o n f u s i o n a n d undifierentiation o f beings a n d non-beings does not sweep everything away either, letting one t h i n g w a n d e r into another. T h i s d i s t r e s s , as such a not k n o w i n g the way out o f o r into this self-opening "between," is a m o d e o f "Be¬ i n g , " i n w h i c h m a n a r r i v e s ^ r perhaps is thrown a n d for the first time experiences—but does n o t explicidy c o n s i d e r — t h a t which we are calling the " i n the m i d s t " o f b e i n g s ^ T h i s distress e x p l o d e s beings, still v e i l e d as s u c h , i n o r d e r to ,make-the s p a c e r p f ^ t t & n ^ h T ! ^ occu-_ p i e d a n d " f o u n d e d as a possible s t a n d p o i n t o f m a n ^ T h i s distress*- h e r e ^ b ^ l y ^ i i U m a t e ^ b y ^ p ^ i n g the way o u t o r the way i n — i s the c a s t i n g a s u n d e r o f what will


§36. T h e n e e d o f p r i m o r d i a l t h i n k i n g [153-54]

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be d e t e r m i n e d f o r t h w i t h as beings i n t h e i r beingness o v e r a n d against n o n - b e i n g s , a s s u m i n g that_the distress makes n e e d f u l i n m a n a necessity c o r r e s p o n d i n g to it. T h e distress we are s p e a k i n g o f therefore by n o means i n ,dfil6H«mate'bDt is' very d e t e r m i n e d i n its needfulness, in~that-k. provides t o ^ h m k i n g its essential space, a n d i n d e e d does n o t h i n g else tnariTtat7-For-thinking n^Jaexe^oJeli^eingsjeinerge.inthe decisiveness o f t h e i r B e i n g a n d t o let t h e m s t a n d o u t before oneself, t o perceive t h e m as such a n d thereby to n a m e t h e m i n t h e i r beingness f o r t h e first t i m e . mpa

T h i s distress—the not k n o w i n g the way o u t o f o r the way i n t o the " i n the m i d s t , " itself u n g r o u n d e d , o f still undifferentiated beings a n d non-beings—is n o t a lack a n d not a deprivation b u t is t h e surplus o f a gift w h i c h , however, is m o r e difficult to bear t h a n any loss? T h i s distress—we are saying—is a character o f B e i n g a n d n o t o f m a n , as i f this distress c o u l d arise "psychically" i n m a n as a "lived experience" a n d have its p r o p e r place i n h i m . O n the contrary, m a n himself first arises o u t o f this distress, w h i c h is m o r e essential t h a n he himself, f o r he is first d e t e r m i n e d by it. U • ""^ 1

T h i s distress pertains to t h e t r u t h o f B e i n g itself. It possesses its highest gift i n being the g r o u n d o f the necessity toward the highest possibilities, o n the p a t h o f w h i c h m a n i n his creations surpasses himself a n d returns t h r o u g h beings to t h e t r u t h o f B e i n g .

§36. The need of primordial thinking and how this need compels man dispositionally into the basic disposition of wonder fâavuAjeiv). T h e distress we a r e s p e a k i n g o f d e t e r m i n e s m a n by d e t e r m i n i n g h i m t h r o u g h a n d t h r o u g h . H e r e , to be sure, a m i s u n d e r s t a n d i n g i m m e d i a t e l y insinuates itself, to t h e effect that the dispositions would be something m a n "has," dependent either o n external c o n d i t i o n s a n d circumstances o r o n i n n e r states o f the body, whereas i n t r u t h , i.e., u n d e r s t o o d o n t h e basis o f t h e essence o f B e i n g (as a p p r o p r i a t i n g event), t h e dispositions have m a n a n d consequently d e t e r m i n e h i m i n v a r i o u s ways, even i n his c o r p o reality. A d i s p o s i t i o n c a n c o n f i n e m a n i n his c o r p o r e a l i t y as i n a p r i s o n . Yet it c a n also c a r r y h i m t h r o u g h c o r p o r e a l i t y ^ o n e o f


โ€ข34 T h e N e e d a n d the Necessity o f the First B e g i n n i n g [154-55] the paths l e a d i n g o u t o f it. I n each case the w o r l d is b r o u g h t t o m a n i n a d i f f e r e n t way; i n e a c h case his self is d i f f e r e n t l y o p e n e d u p a n d resolved w i t h r e g a r d to beings. T o say it still m o r e essentially:' t h e p r e v i o u s c o n c e p t i o n o f m a n , i.e., t h e biological a n d psychological c o n c e p t i o n , w o u l d m i s i n t e r p r e t what we h a v e just said a n d w o u l d m a i n t a i n that d i s p o s i t i o n is b u t a h u m a n capacity, t h o u g h to be s u r e a very i m p o r t a n t o n e a n d p e r h a p s o n e n o t yet sufficiendy a p p r e c i a t e d ; a correct u n d e r s t a n d i n g o f d i s p o s i t i o n , however, leads i n fact to a s u r p a s s i n g o f this very c o n c e p t i o n o f m a n . We sometimes say that we have been t r a n s p o r t e d into this o r that d i s p o s i t i o n . I n t r u t h , i.e., u n d e r s t o o d o n t h e basis o f the o r i g i n a l essence o f B e i n g , it is r a t h e r the reverse: it is the d i s p o s i t i o n that t r a n s p o r t s , transports u s i n t o this o r that basic r e l a t i o n to beings as s u c h . M o r e precisely, d i s p o s i t i o n is what transports us i n such a way that it c o - f o u n d s the time-space o f the t r a n s p o r t i n g itself. We c a n n o t yet ask h o w this t r a n s p o r t i n g is t o be u n d e r s t o o d . B u t this q u e s t i o n is a n essential track w i t h i n o u r q u e s t i o n o f openness as such (ex-istence) [(Dasein)]. I n view o f the essence o f o u r n e e d , this is what w e have t o t h i n k i n the first place: as d i s p o s i n g , the distress, the not k n o w i n g the way o u t o r the way i n , does n o t s i m p l y c o m p e l u s i n t o already d e t e r m i n e d r e l a t i o n s to beings, ones already o p e n e d u p a n d i n t e r p r e t e d i n t h e i r beingness; o n the contrary, it c o m p e l s us first o f a l l i n t o that " b e t w e e n , " that " i n the m i d s t o f , " i n whose space a n d t i m e beings as a w h o l e c a n b e d e t e r m i n e d i n t h e i r beingness. T h i s need o f p r i m o r d i a l t h i n k i n g , as we m e a n it~here, c a n affectively c o m p e l us o n l y i n a n essential d i s p o s i t i o n , or, as we say, i n a basic one. Finally, it m i g h t be c l a i m e d that o u r c o m m e n t s o n n e e d a n d d i s p o s i t i o n a r e m e r e l y latter-day "fantasies" a n d ultimately, i n spite o f e v e r y t h i n g , m e r e l y " p s y c h o l o g i c a l " o p i n i o n s a b o u t t h e w h o l l y u n k n o w n psychology o f the early G r e e k t h i n k e r s . T h e r e is i n d e e d n o t e n o u g h resistance to be f o u n d today against this m i s i n t e r p r e t a t i o n , a n d t h e r e will not be e n o u g h even i n the f u ture, f o r these m i s i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s , w h i c h are always possible, w i l l 1. O n the essence o f disposition see Sein und Zeit, Gesamtausgabe, Bd. 2, a n d above all the lecture course o n Hรถlderlin: Hรถlderlins Hymnen "Germanien" und "Der Rhein." Gesamtausgabe, Bd. 39.


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b e c o m e i m p o s s i b l e o n l y o n t h e basis o f a n essential t r a n s f o r m a t i o n o f t h i n k i n g a n d q u e s d o n i n g , a n d the necessary c a r r y i n g o u t o f that is n o w scarcely u n d e r w a y . Yet o u r reflection o n the necessity a n d the need o f the b e g i n n i n g o f Western t h i n k i n g m i g h t prove a little less "fantastic" i f we recall that the G r e e k thinkers themselves say that the o r i g i n o f p h i l o s o p h y — h e n c e the o r i g i n o f what they b e g a n — i s •ocropvdr.ci.v, or, as we translate, wonder, uaXot yap <bi\cK7«j>cjuTcnjTOTo TrdV&o<;, T O dccuu£t£eii' ov yap aWi\ ap\T\ <t"^-ocro<j)£as H\ a\m\.' iia yap T O •Qotuuxx^eiv ot ctvdpwrroi x a i vuv xoti T O Trpwrov ifp^avTo 4>iA.ocro<t>eiv.'' ((faXocrotbCa: eTrurnn.p.T| T W V irpdrTwv a p x & v x a i ai-ruiv dcwpT|TixTi).3 T h u s the o r i g i n o f philosophy is a disposition? B u t to what extent is w o n d e r what disposes a n d d e t e r m i n e s , a n d consequendy the m o d e o f c o m p e l l i n g o f the need we have s p o k e n of, a n d therefore the way this n e e d itself exists a n d incorporates m a n , i n o r d e r to transport h i m , t h r o u g h this i n c o r p o r a t i o n , i n t o a basic disposition, i n t o the n o t k n o w i n g the way o u t o r the way i n ? (This n o t k n o w i n g became, at the e n d o f the great G r e e k philosophy, i n A r i s t o d e , a c o m p o n e n t o f t h e process o f p h i l o s o p h i z i n g , a n d today we have m a d e o f it a n e m p t y f o r m u l a o f pedantry.) I f we wish to u n d e r s t a n d d a v p a ^ e i v as this wonder, t h e n we m u s t i n a d vance m a i n t a i n stricdy that the task is to clarify the basic disposition o f the b e g i n n i n g o f t h i n k i n g . T h e r e f o r e to a d h e r e to the c o m m o n representation o f the m e a n i n g o f docupxt^eiv c a n n o t suffice; i n d e e d , it will lead us i n t o error. It has l o n g b e e n k n o w n that t h e G r e e k s r e c o g n i z e d •8oruu-d£eiv as the " b e g i n n i n g " o f p h i l o s o p h y . B u t it is j u s t as c e r t a i n t h a t we have t a k e n this davpde^ctv to be o b v i o u s a n d o r d i n a r y , s o m e t h i n g that c a n be a c c o m p l i s h e d w i t h o u t d i f f i c u l t y a n d c a n even be c l a r ified w i t h o u t f u r t h e r r e f l e c t i o n . F o r the most p a r t , t h e u s u a l p r e sentations o f the o r i g i n o f p h i l o s o p h y o u t o f •dca>u,d£eiv result i n the o p i n i o n that p h i l o s o p h y arises f r o m curiosity. T h i s is a weak a n d p i t i f u l d e t e r m i n a t i o n o f o r i g i n , possible o n l y w h e r e t h e r e

1. Plato, Thealetus. Plalonii Opera, ed. J . Burnet, vol. 1, O x f o r d 1900. 155D aff. [" This is the great passion o f the philosopher: wonder. T h e r e is n o other beginning o f philosophy than this."—Tr.] 2. Aristotle, Melaphyska, A a, 982b 1 iff. ["For it is precisely through wonder that people today a n d at the beginning began to philosophize"—Tr.] 3. C f . ibid., A 2, 982b 8ff. ["Philosophy: theoretical knowledge o f the first principles a n d causes"—Tr.]


136 T h e N e e d a n d the Necessity o f the First B e g i n n i n g [156-57] has never b e e n any r e f l e c t i o n o n what is s u p p o s e d to be determ i n e d h e r e i n its o r i g i n . I n d e e d , we c o n s i d e r ourselves relieved o f such r e f l e c t i o n , precisely because we t h i n k that the d e r i v a t i o n o f p h i l o s o p h y o u t o f c u r i o s i t y also d e t e r m i n e s its essence. T h u s we fail to realize h o w decisively the reference to flctt}p.à£eiv as the o r i g i n o f p h i l o s o p h y i n d i c a t e s precisely the i n c x p l i c a b i l i t y o f p h i losophy, i n e x p l i c a b i l i t y i n t h e sense that here i n g e n e r a l t o exp l a i n a n d the will to e x p l a i n are mistakes. A p r i n c i p a l reason f o r the o r d i n a r y m i s i n t e r p r e t a t i o n o f •ôavu.d^eiv is a g a i n the u s u a l p r o c e d u r e o f m a k i n g the c o m m o n u n d e r s t a n d i n g o f the m e a n i n g o f the w o r d •davud^etv a n o r m for i n t e r p r e t a t i o n . F o r i n t h i s w o r d is t h o u g h t , as i n every essential w o r d o f every l a n g u a g e that creates history, a c o m m o n as well as a p r e - e m i n e n t c o n t e n t a n d m e a n i n g — i n this case a d i s p o s i t i o n a n d a n attitude. T o w h a t e x t e n t is ôavujiÇciv, _wonder, a basic d i s p o s i t i o n — o n e that t r a n s p o r t s i n t o the b e g i n n i n g o f g e n u i n e t h i n k i n g a n d t h o r o u g h l y d e t e r m i n e s it? I n o r d e r to have a g e n e r a l g u i d e l i n e f o r o u r r e f l e c t i o n o n dctuu-dÇeiv as a basic d i s p o s i tion, we w i l l i n d e e d b e g i n w i t h the o r d i n a r y concept. B u t o u r p u r p o s e is n o t to d i s t i n g u i s h lexically a n d c o u n t u p t h e v a r i o u s m e a n i n g s o f the w o r d . W h a t we want to see instead is s o m e t h i n g o f the i n n e r m u l t i p l i c i t y o f the d i s p o s i t i o n i n q u e s t i o n .

§37. The ordinary concept of wonder as guideline for a reflection on dotvudÇeiv as a basic disposition. a) Amazement and marvelling. We shall n o t b e g i n w i t h w o n d e r b u t w i t h the w o n d r o u s , ftavawrroy. T h e w o n d r o u s is f o r us i n the first place s o m e t h i n g that stands o u t a n d therefore is r e m a r k a b l e ; for the most p a r t it also has the character o f the e x c e p t i o n a l , u n e x p e c t e d , s u r p r i s i n g , a n d t h e r e f o r e e x c i t i n g . A better n a m e for this w o u l d be the c u r i o u s o r the m a r v e l o u s , s o m e t h i n g that arouses the desire for a m a z e m e n t , engages it, a n d sustains it, specifically i n s u c h a way that it makes the search for e v e r new t h i n g s o f this k i n d m o r e a r d e n t . T h e m a r v e l l i n g a n d the a m a z e m e n t always a d h e r e to s o m e t h i n g c o n s p i c u o u s l y u n u s u a l ; this is extracted f r o m the u s u a l a n d set over against it. T h u s the k n o w n , the u n d e r s t a n d -


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able, a n d the e x p l i c a b l e h e r e f o r m a b a c k g r o u n d not f u r t h e r att e n d e d to, f r o m w h i c h the m a r v e l o u s emerges a n d is d r a w n away. A m a z e m e n t is a c e r t a i n inability to e x p l a i n a n d i g n o r a n c e o f the r e a s o n . T h i s inability to e x p l a i n , however, is not by any means e q u i v a l e n t to a d e t e r m i n a t i o n a n d a d e c l a r a t i o n that the e x p l a n a t i o n a n d the reason are not available. O n the contrary, the not b e i n g able to e x p l a i n is first a n d essentially a k i n d o f bei n g c a u g h t u p i n the i n e x p l i c a b l e , b e i n g struck by it; a n d u p o n closer i n s p e c t i o n the a m a z e m e n t d o e s precisely n o t want to have the m a r v e l o u s e x p l a i n e d but instead wants to be teased a n d fascinated by the i n e x p l i c a b l e as what is other, s u r p r i s i n g , a n d u n c o m m o n i n o p p o s i t i o n to what is c o m m o n l y k n o w n , b o r i n g , a n d empty. Nevertheless, a m a z e m e n t is always a d e t e r m i n a t e a n d s i n g u l a r event, a p a r t i c u l a r o c c u r r e n c e , a u n i q u e c i r c u m s t a n c e , a n d is always set o f f against a d o m i n a t i n g d e t e r m i n a t e b a c k g r o u n d o f what is precisely f a m i l i a r a n d o r d i n a r y . A m a z e m e n t a n d m a r v e l i n g have various degrees a n d levels a n d d i s c o v e r what they seek i n the most diverse d o m a i n s o f beings. T h e m o r e arbitrary, changeable, a n d even u n e s s e n t i a l , t h o u g h i n d e e d s t r i k i n g , the m a r v e l o u s h a p p e n s to be, the m o r e does it satisfy a m a z e m e n t , w h i c h is always vigilant for o p p o r t u nities a n d desires t h e m so as to be s t i m u l a t e d i n its very o w n passion. B e i n g struck by w h a t is u n c o m m o n comes to pass h e r e i n such a way that what is c u s t o m a r y is set aside a n d the u n c o m m o n itself becomes s o m e t h i n g f a m i l i a r that bewitches a n d e n c h a r m s . T h e u n c o m m o n thus obtains its o w n p e r m a n e n t character, f o r m , a n d f a s h i o n . T o d o so it even requires a n i n s i d i o u s habituality. We m i g h t t h i n k i n passing o f all the e x t r a o r d i n a r y things the c i n e m a must o f f e r c o n t i n u a l l y ; what is new every day a n d never h a p p e n e d before becomes s o m e t h i n g h a b i t u a l a n d always the same.

RECAPITULATION

1) T h e negativity of the distress as a not knowing the way out or the way in. T h e whence and whither as the open "between" of the undifferentiatedness of beings and non-beings. We are reflecting o n the necessity o f the b e g i n n i n g o f O c c i d e n t a l


138 T h e N e e d a n d the Necessity o f the First B e g i n n i n g [158-60] t h i n k i n g , a b e g i n n i n g i n w h i c h t h e essence o f t r u t h as t h e basic character o f beings h a d to flame u p , o n l y to e x p i r e once a g a i n . T h i s reflection is a h i s t o r i c a l o n e . It has value n o t i n o u r a p p l y i n g the past to ourselves b u t o n l y i n s o f a r as we e n t e r i n t o the history o f t h e essence o f t r u t h , i.e., i n s o f a r as we have a n e a r f o r t h e d e m a n d o f this h i d d e n history, f o r its f u t u r e , by t u r n i n g t h e essence o f t r u t h i n t o w h a t is most w o r t h y o f q u e s t i o n i n g a n d d o i n g so o n t h e basis o f a g e n u i n e necessity. T h e reflection addresses the necessity o f o u r q u e s t i o n o f t r u t h , o u t o f w h i c h a l o n e t h e d i rection a n d t h e d o m a i n o f t h e q u e s t i o n i n g a r e d e t e r m i n e d , as well as w h a t is to be f o u n d e d as the essence o f t r u t h . F o r the c h a r acter o f t h e necessity o f s u c h q u e s t i o n i n g w e r e q u i r e a s u r e eye. We w i l l p r o c u r e it o n l y t h r o u g h reflection o n t h e b e g i n n i n g a n d its necessity. T h i s necessity s p r i n g s f o r t h o u t o f a n e e d . T h e n e e d compels i n the m o d e o f a disposition. S - : ' v

v

T h e r e f o r e it was i m p o r t a n t to say s o m e t h i n g i n advance a b o u t n e e d a n d d i s p o s i t i o n , i n o r d e r t h e n to characterize t h e basic d i s p o s i t i o n o f p r i m o r d i a l t h i n k i n g as dctv|xctÂŁeiv, w o n d e r . H e r e we are constantly subject to t h e d a n g e r o f m a k i n g a n o r m o u t o f o u r o r d i n a r y , h a b i t u a l , a n d everyday e x p e r i e n c e s a n d i n t e r p r e t a tions o f n e e d , necessity, a n d d i s p o s i t i o n . W e a r e n o w s e e k i n g what these same w o r d s n a m e at t h e b e g i n n i n g o f W e s t e r n t h o u g h t , a n d that is always i n c o m p a t i b l e w i t h o u r everyday u n derstanding. N e e d is f o r us o r d i n a r i l y a lack, s o m e t h i n g " n e g a t i v e . " W e i m mediately j u d g e the negative, however, i n a d e p r e c i a t o r y way as the adverse p u r e a n d s i m p l e . T h u s o u r o n l y r e l a t i o n to it is d e fense a n d e l i m i n a t i o n . N o w e v e r y t h i n g negative is i n fact determ i n e d by a n o a n d a n o t . B u t n o t every n o a n d n o t , t h e negative, is n o t h i n g n e s s . N e e d i n t h e essential sense is i n d e e d s o m e t h i n g negative, a n d yet n o t n o t h i n g n e s s , w h i c h we c a n o n l y be c o n t e n t w i t h by e l i m i n a t i n g o r a v o i d i n g . T h e n e e d we have i n m i n d , the g r o u n d o f the necessity o f p r i m o r d i a l q u e s t i o n i n g , is a negativity i n the sense o f t h e distress o f not k n o w i n g the way o u t o r the way i n . T h i s w h e n c e a n d w h i t h e r , as they exist i n the b e g i n n i n g , d o n o t constitute s o m e d e f i n i t e , d e t e r m i n a t e s i t u a t i o n , o c c a s i o n , o r p e r p l e x i t y as regards s o m e p a r t i c u l a r c o m p o r t m e n t o r r e l a t i o n to a d e t e r m i n a t e object a n d c i r c u m s t a n c e . O n t h e c o n t r a r y , t h e w h e n c e a n d w h i t h e r exist n o


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less t h a n the o p e n " b e t w e e n , " i n w h i c h beings a n d non-beings stand f o r t h as a w h o l e , t h o u g h still i n t h e i r u n d i f f e r c n t i a t e d n e s s . Since the between is the whole o f these u n d i f f e r e n t i a t e d beings, there is n o t h i n g o u t s i d e to w h i c h a n exit w o u l d be possible. A n d because it is a w h o l e that is undifferentiated, there is n o t h i n g to w h i c h a way m i g h t l e a d to a s t a n d p o i n t i n s i d e . W h a t here p e r mits n e i t h e r a n o u t n o r a n i n oscillates back to itself i n a n ext r a o r d i n a r y sense as this " b e t w e e n . " T h e r e f o r e this distress o f not k n o w i n g the way o u t o r the way i n , this n e e d , has a n excess w h i c h raises it above every lack a n d lets s o m e t h i n g be w h i c h we have to e x p r e s s as the o p p o s i t e o f a lack, a n a b u n d a n c e . T h i s is the measurelessness o f the u n d i f f e r e n t i a t e d n e s s between w h a t beings as beings are as a w h o l e a n d that w h i c h presses f o r t h as inconstant, formless, a n d c a r r y i n g away, w h i c h m e a n s h e r e at the same t i m e what i m m e d i a t e l y w i t h d r a w s .

a) T h e compelling power of the need, its disposing as displacing man into the beginning of a foundation of his essence. T h e n e e d c o m p e l s i n t o the " b e t w e e n " o f this u n d i f f e r e n t i a t e d ness. It first casts a s u n d e r what c a n be differentiated w i t h i n this undifferentiatedness. Insofar as this n e e d takes h o l d o f m a n , it displaces h i m i n t o this u n d e c i d e d " b e t w e e n " o f the still u n d i f f e r entiated beings a n d n o n - b e i n g s , as s u c h a n d as a w h o l e . B y this d i s p l a c e m e n t , however, m a n does not s i m p l y pass u n c h a n g e d f r o m a p r e v i o u s place to a new o n e , as i f m a n were a t h i n g that can be s h i f t e d f r o m o n e place to a n o t h e r . Instead, this d i s p l a c e m e n t places m a n for the first time i n t o the d e c i s i o n o f the m o s t decisive relations to beings a n d non-beings. T h e s e relations bestow o n h i m the f o u n d a t i o n o f a new essence. T h i s n e e d displaces m a n i n t o the b e g i n n i n g o f a f o u n d a t i o n o f his essence. I say advisedly a f o u n d a t i o n for we c a n never say that it is the absolute o n e . W h a t we a r e j i o w callingjdjsplacement.is the essentia^character o f what we k n o w u n d e r t h e j i a m e o f d i s p o s i t i o n . o r feeling ? A d e e p - r o o t e d a n d very o l d habit o f e x p e r i e n c e a n d speech s t i p u lates that we i n t e r p r e t feelings a n d d i s p o s i t i o n s — a s well as w i l l i n g a n d t h i n k i n g — i n a p s y c h o l o g i c a l - a n t h r o p o l o g i c a l sense as 1


140 T h e N e e d a n d the Necessity o f the First B e g i n n i n g [161-62] occurrences a n d processes w i t h i n a n o r g a n i s m , as psychic l i v e d experiences, ones we e i t h e r have o r d o not have. T h i s also m e a n s that we a r e "subjects," p r e s e n t at h a n d , w h o are d i s p l a c e d into these o r those dispositions by " g e t t i n g " t h e m . I n t r u t h , however, it is the d i s p o s i t i o n that displaces us, displaces us i n t o s u c h a n d such a r e l a t i o n to the w o r l d , i n t o this o r that u n d e r s t a n d i n g o r disclosure o f the w o r l d , i n t o such a n d such a resolve o r o c c l u s i o n ,of one's self, a s e l f w h i c h is essentially a b e i n g - i n - t h e - w o r l d . T h e n e e d c o m p e l s by d i s p o s i n g , a n d this d i s p o s i n g is a d i s p l a c i n g i n s u c h f a s h i o n that w e Find ourselves d i s p o s e d (or n o t disposed) t o w a r d beings i n a d e f i n i t e way.' I f we i n t e r p r e t this psychologically, as l i v e d e x p e r i e n c e , t h e n e v e r y t h i n g is lost. T h a t is why it is so d i f f i c u l t f o r u s to g a i n access to the G r e e k w o r l d — especially its b e g i n n i n g — f o r we i m m e d i a t e l y seek " l i v e d e x p e r i ences," " p e r s o n a l i t i e s , " a n d " c u l t u r e " — p r e c i s e l y what was n o t there i n this very great a n d equally s h o r t t i m e . A n d that is w h y we are c o m p l e t e l y e x c l u d e d f r o m a real u n d e r s t a n d i n g of, e.g., G r e e k t r a g e d y o r the p o e t r y o f P i n d a r , f o r we r e a d a n d h e a r the G r e e k s i n p s y c h o l o g i c a l , e v e n i n C h r i s t i a n , t e r m s . If, e.g., a G r e e k speaks o f otîôwç, awe, w h i c h affects ones w h o risk a n d o n l y t h e m , o r o f xâpiç, the g r a c e that donates a n d protects, a n d w h i c h i n itself is severity (all these translations are m i s e r a b l e failures), t h e n h e is n o t n a m i n g l i v e d e x p e r i e n c e s o r feelings w h i c h arise i n an organism and which a person might "have." T h e Greek indicates what h e means by c a l l i n g these "goddesses," o r " d e m i - g o d ¬ desses." B u t h e r e a g a i n we a r e ready w i t h o u r psychological explanations i n s o f a r as we w o u l d say that these a r e precisely m y t h i c a l l i v e d experiences. F o r m y t h is a p a r t i c u l a r f o r m o f l i v e d e x p e r i e n c e , n a m e l y the i r r a t i o n a l .

3) Qotvuxt^etv as the basic disposition of the primordial thinking of the O c c i d e n t In view o f m o d e r n man's i n t o x i c a t i o n w i t h lived e x p e r i e n c e , it is i n the First place very d i f f i c u l t to c a p t u r e a basic d i s p o s i t i o n , the basic d i s p o s i t i o n , w h i c h c o m p e l l e d the p r i m o r d i a l t h i n k i n g o f the O c c i d e n t i n t o its q u e s t i o n a n d let it b e c o m e a necessity. P r i o r 1. C f . Being and Time on " f i n d i n g oneself d i s p o s e d "

[Befindlichkeit].


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[162-63]

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to a l l theories a n d a l l - e n c o m p a s s i n g systems a n d presentations o f a f u t u r a l p h i l o s o p h y , t h e task is s i m p l y to b e c o m e p r e p a r e d for t h e necessity o f that q u e s t i o n . T h e r e f o r e we have to attempt^ to clarify t h e p r i m o r d i a l basic d i s p o s i t i o n , the d i s p o s i n g n e e d , ' even at t h e risk o f h a v i n g e v e r y t h i n g taken as a psychological exp l a n a t i o n . F o r , i n d e e d , let us not deceive ourselves: n o t h i n g is gained by m a k i n g a p r i n c i p l e o u t o f the p r o p o s i t i o n , " T h e disposition has u s , we d o n o t have i t . " W h e t h e r o r n o t s o m e t h i n g has been u n d e r s t o o d h e r e w i l l be manifest o n l y i n man's a c t i o n , c r e a t i o n , a n d B e i n g , a n d n o t i n t h e m e r e p r e t e n s i o n to be t h e c h a m p i o n o f a n e w o p i n i o n a b o u t the essence o f d i s p o s i t i o n . T h e G r e e k s n a m e t h e o r i g i n o f p h i l o s o p h y flcrupritgetv, w h i c h we translate as " w o n d e r . " T h i s c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n o f t h e o r i g i n o f p h i l o s o p h y o u t o f m a r v e l l i n g — a s it is also c a l l e d — i s often q u o t e d a n d readily c i t e d i n o r d e r to a c c o u n t f o r t h e o r i g i n o T p h i l o s o p h y psychologically a n d i n that way to d e p r i v e p h i l o s o p h y precisely o f t h e w o n d r o u s . A l l psychology i n t r u d e s i n this way to disenchant a n d dispossess. B u t what is at issue h e r e is o n l y to raise p h i l o s o p h y — o r a n y o t h e r essentially creative p o w e r — u p into its i n e x p l i c a b i l i t y a n d to preserve it there, a p d o n l y t h e r e , as a possible a c q u i s i t i o n against a l l trivialization<\Ib say p h i l o s o p h y originates i n w o n d e r m e a n s p h i l o s o p h y is w o h d r o u s i n its essence a n d b e c o m e s m o r e w o n d r o u s the m o r e it becomes w h a t It really i s . ^ I n orcler n o w to c a p t u r e $oruu,ct£€tv as t h e basic d i s p o s i t i o n o f the b e g i n n i n g o f W e s t e r n p h i l o s o p h y , we a r e deliberately starti n g w i t h t h e o r d i n a r y e x p e r i e n c e s a n d i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s o f w h a t is called w o n d e r o r m a r v e l l i n g , so that we may expressly d i s p e l what is o r d i n a r y f r o m o u r reflection o n davu-àÇciv. T h e w o n d r o u s is first o f all what is s t r i k i n g , r e m a r k a b l e , a n exc e p t i o n to t h e h a b i t u a l . W e call it the c u r i o u s o r t h e a m a z i n g . T o be a m a z e d is to find o n e s e l f i n face o f t h e i n e x p l i c a b l e , a n d i n d e e d i n s u c h a way that i n this d i s p o s i t i o n the i n e x p l i c a b i l i t y is sustained. W h e r e a m a z e m e n t disposes m a n , he is t r a n s f i x e d by the c u r i o u s a n d pursues its p e r p e t u a t i o n , i.e., p u r s u e s its c o n t i n u e d c h a n g e , a l t e r n a t i o n , a n d exaggeration. F o r that is what distinguishes s o m e t h i n g c u r i o u s : as a d e t e r m i n a t e , i n d i v i d u a l " t h i s , " it falls outside o f every d e t e r m i n a t e , i n d i v i d u a l s p h e r e o f the f a m i l i a r a n d k n o w n . B y t h e same t o k e n , the a m a z i n g is some-


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t h i n g d e t e r m i n a t e , i n d i v i d u a l , a n d u n u s u a l , set o f f against w h a t is d e t e r m i n a t e a n d u s u a l . T o be a m a z e d is to be c a r r i e d away by s o m e t h i n g p a r t i c u l a r a n d u n u s u a l a n d hence is a n a b a n d o n m e n t o f what i n its o w n s p h e r e is p a r t i c u l a r a n d u s u a l .

b) A d m i r a t i o n . A d m i r a t i o n is d i f f e r e n t f r o m a m a z e m e n t a n d m a r v e l l i n g . T h e a d m i r e d is i n d e e d also s o m e t h i n g u n u s u a l , a n d a g a i n is s o m e t h i n g i n d i v i d u a l set o f f against the u s u a l . Yet it is n o l o n g e r m e r e l y that w h i c h c a p t u r e s curiosity a n d s u r p r i s e , o r w h i c h e n thralls a n d amazes. T h e u n u s u a l that provokes a d m i r a t i o n , the a d m i r e d , becomes objective e x p l i c i t l y as the u n u s u a l . T h e p r o d u c t i o n o f what is a d m i r e d , the achievement by w h i c h it comes to be i n the way it comes t o be, is e x p l i c i d y a c k n o w l e d g e d a n d a p preciated. N o m a t t e r h o w w h o l l y a n d g e n u i n e l y a d m i r a t i o n may be carr i e d away by what f u l f i l l s it, yet it always involves a c e r t a i n freed o m o v e r a n d against w h a t is a d m i r e d . T h i s o c c u r s to such a d e gree that a l l a d m i r a t i o n , despite its r e t r e a t i n g i n face o f the a d m i r e d , its s e l f - d e p r e c a t i n g r e c o g n i t i o n o f the a d m i r e d , also e m b o d i e s a k i n d o f s e l f - a f f i r m a t i o n . A d m i r a t i o n claims the r i g h t a n d the capacity to p e r f o r m the e v a l u a t i o n w h i c h resides i n the a d m i r a t i o n a n d to bestow it o n the a d m i r e d p e r s o n . T h e a d m i r e r knows h i m s e l f — p e r h a p s not i n the ability to a c c o m p l i s h t h i n g s , t h o u g h i n d e e d i n the p o w e r to j u d g e t h e m — e q u a l to the o n e a d m i r e d , i f not even s u p e r i o r . T h e r e f o r e , conversely, everyone w h o allows h i m s e l f to be a d m i r e d , a n d precisely i f the a d m i r a t i o n is j u s t i f i e d , is o f a lower r a n k . F o r h e s u b o r d i n a t e s h i m s e l f to the v i e w p o i n t a n d to the n o r m s o f his a d m i r e r . T o the t r u l y n o b l e p e r s o n , o n the c o n t r a r y , every a d m i r a t i o n is a n offense. T h i s is not m e a n t to d i s c r e d i t a d m i r a t i o n itself. W i t h i n its p r o p e r l i m i t s , it is necessary. W i t h o u t a d m i r a t i o n , what w o u l d b e c o m e o f a s k i j u m p e r o r a race d r i v e r , a b o x e r o r a n actor? W h a t is a d m i r e d i s — j u s t like the c u r i o u s — i n each case s o m e t h i n g u n u s u a l j u x t a p o s e d to the u s u a l , i.e., n e a r it a n d o v e r it, such that there c a n be exchange, to a n d f r o , f r o m o n e to the other, because, i n this j u x t a p o s i t i o n , each needs the other.


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c) A s t o n i s h m e n t a n d awe. A d m i r a t i o n m u s t be d i s t i n g u i s h e d f r o m a s t o n i s h m e n t a n d awe. I n d e e d , we find h e r e , as i n t h e case o f a d m i r a t i o n , a characteristic r e t r e a t i n g i n face o f t h e awesome, u p to what is c a l l e d d u m f o u n d e d n e s s . B u t i n a s t o n i s h m e n t this r e t r e a t i n g i n face o f the e x t r a o r d i n a r y n o l o n g e r postures as that f u n d a m e n t a l l y a r r o gant a n d self-referential e v a l u a t i o n a n d p a t r o n i z a t i o n f o u n d well- o r ill-concealed i n a l l a d m i r a t i o n . I n a d m i r a t i o n there a l ways resides a n attitude that k n o w s itself as a p p l y i n g t o o n e s e l f as m u c h as t o t h e a d m i r e d . A s t o n i s h m e n t i n c l u d e s a decisive susp e n s i o n o f p o s i t i o n - t a k i n g . T h e u n u s u a l is n o w n o l o n g e r m e r e l y what is other, t h e e x c i t i n g o p p o s i t e o f the u s u a l , a n d it is also n o t m e r e l y what is a c k n o w l e d g e d as e x t r a o r d i n a r y a n d m a d e e q u a l i n r a n k to t h e a d m i r e r . A s t o n i s h m e n t r a t h e r allows the u n u s u a l to grow, precisely as w h a t is e x t r a o r d i n a r y , i n t o w h a t overgrows all u s u a l powers a n d bears i n itself a c l a i m to a r a n k a l l its o w n . A s t o n i s h m e n t is i m b u e d w i t h t h e awareness o f b e i n g e x c l u d e d f r o m w h a t exists i n t h e awesome. Yet even h e r e t h e a s t o n i s h m e n t is still i n every case a n e n c o u n t e r w i t h a n d a b e i n g struck b y a d e t e r m i n a t e i n d i v i d u a l object o f awe. H e n c e even a s t o n i s h m e n t does n o t f u l f i l l what w e i n t e n d w i t h t h e w o r d w o n d e r a n d w h a t we a r e t r y i n g to u n d e r s t a n d as the basic d i s p o s i t i o n , t h e o n e that transports us i n t o t h e b e g i n n i n g o f g e n u i n e t h i n k i n g .

§38. The essence of wonder as the basic disposition compelling us into the necessity of primordial thinking. W h a t we c a l l , i n a n e m p h a t i c sense, w o n d e r , a n d c l a i m to be the essence o f 3 a 5 i L 5 i e i v , is d i f l e r e n T . ^ S s e r i T f a l l y ^ all types a n d levels o f a m a z e m e n t , a d m i r a t i o n , a n d a s t o n i s h m e n t . We will a t t e m p t to clarify i n t h i r t e e n points t h e essence o f w o n der, i.e., the basic d i s p o s i t i o n c o m p e l l i n g us i n t o t h e necessity o f p r i m o r d i a l q u e s t i o n i n g . A l l the p r e v i o u s l y m e n t i o n e d m o d e s o f m a r v e l l i n g â&#x20AC;&#x201D; i f we m a y collect t h e m u n d e r this t i d e â&#x20AC;&#x201D; h a v e o n e t h i n g i n c o m m o n t h r o u g h o u t a l l t h e i r differentiations, n a m e l y -


144 T h e N e e d a n d the Necessity o f the First B e g i n n i n g [166-67] that i n t h e m a d e t e r m i n a t e i n d i v i d u a l object stands o u t as b e i n g u n u s u a l a n d d i s t i n g u i s h e s i t s e l f w i t h r e g a r d to a n e q u a l l y determ i n a t e s p h e r e o f what is e x p e r i e n c e d precisely as u s u a l . T h e u n u s u a l , as o t h e r , is i n each case o p p o s e d to the u s u a l , a n d a l l a m a z e m e n t , a d m i r a t i o n , a n d awe are a t u r n i n g away f r o m the u s u a l , thereby l e a v i n g it a l o n e a n d b y p a s s i n g it i n its usualness. N o w what a b o u t w o n d e r ? a) In wonder what is most usual itself becomes the most unusual. T h e u s u a l a n d the most u s u a l â&#x20AC;&#x201D; p r e c i s e l y the most usual whose usualness goes so f a r that i t is n o t even k n o w n o r n o t i c e d i n its u s u a l n e s s â&#x20AC;&#x201D; t h i s most u s u a l i t s e l f becomes i n w o n d e r w h a t is most unusual. b) In wonder what is most usual of all and i n all, i n whatever manner this might be, becomes the most unusual. T h e most u s u a l , w h i c h arises i n w o n d e r as the u n u s u a l , is n o t this o r that, s o m e t h i n g p a r t i c u l a r that has s h o w n itself as objecdve a n d d e t e r m i n a t e i n s o m e specific activity o r i n d i v i d u a l c o n s i d e r a t i o n . I n w o n d e r , w h a t is m o s t u s u a l o f a l l . a n d . i n a l l , Le., every-_ thing, becomes the most u n u s u a l . E v e r y t h i n g has i n e v e r y t h i n g at First the m o s t u s u a l to w h i c h a t t e n t i o n is not p a i d a n d w h i c h , i f it is g l i m p s e d , is not e x p l i c i t l y h e e d e d . E v e r y t h i n g bears i n everyt h i n g the m o s t u s u a l , for t h i s exists everywhere, altogether, a n d m every way. E v e r y t h i n g i n what is m o s t u s u a l (beings) becomes i n w o n d e r t h e most u n u s u a l i n this o n e respect: that it is w h a t jt is. T h i s i m p l i e s : c) T h e most extreme wonder knows no way out o f the unusualness of what is most usual. For the most e x t r e m e w o n d e r , a n y t h i n g whatsoever as such a n d e v e r y t h i n g as e v e r y t h i n g b e c o m e the m o s t u n u s u a l . T h u s this w o n d e r n o l o n g e r adheres to this o r that, f r o m w h i c h it c o u l d still e x p l a i n t h e u n u s u a l n e s s o f the u s u a l a n d thereby c o u l d d i s pel its u n u s u a l n e s s a n d t u r n it into s o m e t h i n g o r d i n a r y . B u t by


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e x t e n d i n g i n t o the most e x t r e m e unusualness, w o n d e r n o l o n g e r e n c o u n t e r s a n y t h i n g that c o u l d o f f e r it a n escape. It n o l o n g e r knows t h e way o u t b u t knows itself solely as b e i n g relegated to the most u n u s u a l o f the u s u a l i n e v e r y t h i n g a n d a n y t h i n g : beings as beings.

d) Wonder knows no way into the unusualness o f what is most usual. W h i l e w o n d e r m u s t v e n t u r e o u t i n t o t h e most e x t r e m e u n u s u a l ness o f e v e r y t h i n g , it is at t h e same t i m e cast back w h o l l y o n itself, k n o w i n g that it is i n c a p a b l e o f p e n e t r a t i n g t h e u n u s u a l n e s s by way o f e x p l a n a d o n , since that w o u l d precisely be to destroy it. W o n d e r k n o w s n o way i n t o the u n u s u a l n e s s o f w h a t is most u s u a l o f a l l , as little as it k n o w s a way o u t — i t is s i m p l y p l a c e d b e f o r e the u n u s u a l n e s s o f the u s u a l , i n the m i d s t o f the u s u a l i n e v e r y t h i n g . e) Wonder as between the usual and the unusual. N o t k n o w i n g the way o u t o r t h e w a y i n , w o n d e r dwells i n a between, between t h T most u s u a l , beings, a n d their u n u s u a l n e s s , t r j e i r ^ s T H t is w o n d e r that first liberates this.between as t h e between a n d separates j t o u t . W o n d e r — u n d e r s t o o d t r a n s i t i v e l y — b r i n g s f o r t h the s h o w i n g o f what is most u s u a l i n its u n u s u a l n e s s . N o t k n o w i n g the way o u t o r the way i n , between the u s u a l a n d the u n u s u a l , is not helplessness, f o r w o n d e r as s u c r r d o e s n o t d e sire h e l p b u t instead precisely o p e n s u p this b e t w e e n , w h i c h is i m p e r v i o u s to any e n t r a n c e o r escape, a n d m u s t c o n s t a n d y occ u p y it. W o n d e r does n o t d i v e r t itself f r o m the u s u a l b u t o n the contrary adverts to it, precisely as w h a t is the most u n u s u a l o f e v e r y t h i n g a n d i n e v e r y t h i n g . Insofar as this d i s p o s i t i o n t u r n s to the whole a n d stands i n the w h o l e , it is called a^basic d i s p o s i t i o n ^

f) T h e eruption o f the usualness o f the most usual i n the transition of the most usual into the most unusual. What alone is wondrous: beings as beings. We said that i n w o n d e r what is most u s u a l o f e v e r y t h i n g a n d o f a n y t h i n g , t h u s e v e r y t h i n g itself, becomes the most u n u s u a l . T h i s


146 T h e N e e d a n d the Necessity o f the First B e g i n n i n g [168-70] makes it seem as i f the m o s t usual were a l r e a d y s o m e h o w exper i e n c e d i n a d v a n c e a n d k n o w n i n its usualness. B u t that is p r e cisely n o t t h e case, for t h e n w h a t is most u s u a l w o u l d i n d e e d n o l o n g e r be t h e most u s u a l . T h e usualness o f the most u s u a l first e r u p t s the m o m e n t the m o s t usual becomes the most u n u s u a l . I n this t r a n s i t i o n the most u s u a l first steps f o r t h separately i n its usualness and i n its u n u s u a l n e s s , such that these t h e n a p p e a r precisely as s u c h . I n this way, w o n d e r n o w o p e n s u p w h a t a l o n e is w o n d r o u s i n it: namely, the w h o l e as the w h o l e , the w h o l e as beings, beings as a w h o l e , that they a r e a n d what they a r e , beings as beings, ens qua ens, T 6 dv § bv, W h a t is m e a n t h e r e by t h e " a s , " the qua, thel|, is t h e " b e t w e e n " t h a t w o n d e r separates o u t , the o p e n bf~a~Tree space~hardly s u r m i s e d a n d , h e e d e d , i n w h i c h beings c o m e i n t o p l a y as s u c h , namely as the.beings they are, i n the play o f their B e i n g . g) Wonder displaces man into the perception of beings as beings, into the sustaining o f unconcealedness. W o n d e r is t h e c a s t i n g a s u n d e r o f this free space, s u c h that at the same t i m e i t displaces the w o n d e r e r i n t o the m i d s t o f w h a t was cast a p a r t . W p n d e r i n g j n a n s the o n e moved by w o n d e r , i.e., dis^_ p l a c e d by t h i s basic d i s p o s i t i o n .into a n essence d e t e r m i n e d by it. W o n d e r displaces m a n o u t o f the c o n f u s i n g irresolvability o f the u s u a l a n d the u n u s u a l i n t o the first r e s o l u t i o n o f his essence. A s d i s p o s e d i n w o n d e r , h e c a n perceive n o t h i n g else t h a n beings as beings. T h a t is to say, as m o v e d by w o n d e r , m a n m u s t g a i n a f o o t h o l d i n t h e a c k n o w l e d g m e n t o f w h a t has e r u p t e d , a n d he m u s t see it i n a p r o d u c t i v e seeing o f its i n s c r u t a b l e d i s c l o s u r e , a n d m u s t e x p e r i e n c e a n d sustain aX-rjOeia, u n c o n c e a l e d n e s s , as the p r i m o r d i a l essence o f b e i n g s . F o r w h a t we m u s t above a l l come" to k n o w is that aMitoewx, unconcealedness, is f o r p r i m o r d i a l G r e e k t h i n k i n g the essence o f B e i n g itself. U n c o n c e a l e d n e s s means a n e m e r g e n t c o m i n g f o r t h , a c o m i n g to presence i n the open". 'AX'fjOeia, u n c o n c e a l e d n e s s (we say n T u c h ' t o o e m p t i l y " t r u t h " ) , d o e s n o t first c o m e to beings i n s o f a r as we a c k n o w l e d g e t h e m . O n the contrary, i n u n c o n c e a l e d n e s s beings as beings, i.e., as o p e n presences, a p p r o a c h m a n a n d displace h i m i n t o the o p e n o f u n c o n c e a l e d n e s s a n d thus place h i m i n t o the essence o f


§38. T h e essence o f wonder [170-71]

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one who' perceives and gathers in the open and thereby first experiences the hidden and closed as such. h) Wonder as a basic disposition belongs to the most unusual. W o n d e r displaces man into and before beings as such. S u c h displacing is the proper disposing of the basic disposition. W e call it the basic disposition because in disposing man it displaces him into that on which and in which word, work, and deed, as historical, can be based and history can begin. T h e basic disposition, however, can neither be simply brought about by man's will nor is it the effect o f a cause issuing from beings and operating on man. T h i s displacement is beyond explanation, for all explana|" tion here necessarily falls short and comes too late, since it could" only move within, and would have to appeal to, something that was first encountered as unconcealed in the displacement that casts asunder. A l l explanation is directed to some being, already unconcealed, from which alone an explanatory cause can drâwnTThe basic disposition of wonder displaces man into the realm where the most usual, yet still as such unthought (beings), are established in their most proper unusuainess, namely the one o f their B e i n g , and where beings as such then b e c o m e the most worthy o f questioning. T h e basic disposition itselt belongs to what is most unusual and most rare, lnsotar as man can at all" by himself bring about a relation to it, he can make himself ready lor the unconditional necessity that holds swayTnTffiHBspo^K !on and admits o f no escape. W o n d e r is the basic disposition that primordially disposes man into the beginning of thinking, because, before all else, it displaces man into that essence whereby he then" finds himself in the midst of beings as such and as a whole and ilhds himselt caught up in them. l

(.BefirdUdkeir' TA SZ i) Analysis of wonder as a retrospective sketch of the displacement o f man mto pêTngTas such. T h i s analysis of wonder, as a basic disposition compelling us into the first beginning, should not be misunderstood to the effect that the disposition would be, in its primordiality, a conscious 1. [Reading tier fardas, following the second edition.—Tr.)


148 T h e N e e d a n d the Necessity o f the First B e g i n n i n g [171-72] one. O n the contrary, the uniqueness of the unconditioned d o m ination o f this disposition and o f its compelling character involves, as is the case with every basic disposition, the highest simplicity o f complete incomprehensibility and its unconditioned expansion. O u r analysisâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;should we want to name it suchâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;is not a dissection in the sense of an explanatory dissolution into a manifold o f components. It is simply an attempt at a retrospective sketch o f the simplicity and incomprehensibility of that displacement o f man, into beings as such, which comes to pass as wonder. A n d the latter remains exacdy as ungraspable as the beginning itself, toward which it compelsT* T h e misinterpretation o f this retrospective sketch as a dissection is, to be sure, all the more tempting the longer we have been habituated, even here, precisely in this pre-eminent realm, t o take everything "psychologically," as occurrences o f lived experiences " i n " the human soul. W h e r e a s , on the contrary, man himself is first disposed toward the beginning through the occurrence o f this displacement and is thereby determined as a primordial perceiver of beings as "such. j) T h e sustaining of the displacement prevailing i n the basic disposition of wonder i n the carrying out o f the necessity o f the question o f beings as such. A l l this contains a clue indicating where we might find the necessity of the attitude o f primordial thinking. T h e basic disposiÂŹ tion of flotvu-dfeiv compels us to a pure acknowledgment o f the unusualness of the usual. T h e purest acknowledgment of what is most unusual is fulfilled, however, in the questioning that asks what the most usual itself might be, such that it can reveal itself as what is most unusual. B u t is this questioning not precisely intrusiveness and curiosity, hence that which most eludes all pure acknowledgment? T o be sure it is, but only if we understand this questioning as a part of our everyday comportment and dealings and as a part o f the rage to make explanation the measuring rod for the determination of the essence of thoughtful questioning. B u t thoughtful questioning is not the intrusive and rash curiosity o f the search for explanations; it is the tolerating and sustaining of the unex-


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plainable as s u c h , despite b e i n g o v e r w h e l m e d by the pressure o f what reveals itself. T h e s u s t a i n i n g o f the u n e x p l a i n a b l e seeks to perceive o n l y that w h i c h the u n c o n c e a l e d reveals i n its u n c o n cealedness: namely, presence, constancy, self-installation i n a f o r m , s e l f - l i m i t a t i o n i n a l o o k . T h e s u s t a i n i n g o f the basic d i s p o sition is n o t a m e l t i n g i n t o o r a v a g u e a n d e m p t y w a l l o w i n g i n " f e e l i n g s " ; o n the contrary, it is the c a r r y i n g o u t o f the necessity o f the q u e s t i o n ofJbeings as.such i n j h e i r _ r e g i p n . . L

RECAPITULATION

1) T h e basic disposition of wonder versus related kinds of marvelling. We a r e r e f l e c t i n g o n the essence o f the basic d i s p o s i t i o n , the o n e that was c o m p e l l i n g at the b e g i n n i n g o f W e s t e r n t h i n k i n g . It let the q u e s t i o n o f beings as s u c h b e c o m e a necessity, t h o u g h i n s u c h a way that it p r e c l u d e d a d i r e c t i n q u i r y i n t o &Af|-&eiot. This basic d i s p o s i t i o n is w o n d e r . We have b e e n t r y i n g to clarify its essence, its type o f d i s p o s i n g . T h e d i s p o s i n g o f a basic d i s p o s i t i o n is the t r a n s f o r m a t i v e d i s p l a c i n g o f m a n i n t o beings a n d before t h e m . I n o r d e r to d r a w o u t w i t h sufficient clarity the m a n n e r o f this d i s p o s i n g i n . w o n d e r , we a t t e m p t e d to d i s t i n g u i s h this basic.disp o s i t i o n f r o m r e l a t e d , t h o u g h essentially d i f f e r e n t , Idnds o f m a r v e l l i n g . W e m e n t i o n e d a n d c l a r i f i e d some aspects o f a m a z e m e n t , a d m i r a t i o n , a n d awe. I n each case the result was a d i f f e r e n t p o sition o f m a n : h e may be c a p t u r e d by the a m a z i n g a n d get lost i n it, he may posit h i m s e l f as free i n r e l a t i o n to the a d m i r e d , i n a c e r t a i n sense e q u a l to it i f not even s u p e r i o r , o r h e may s u b m i t to the awesome by h o l d i n g h i m s e l f back. W h a t is c o m m o n to a l l these m o d e s o f m a r v e l l i n g is that i n each case, even i f i n d i f f e r e n t ways, a d e t e r m i n a t e i n d i v i d u a l object as s o m e t h i n g u n u s u a l is set o f f against a d e t e r m i n a t e s p h e r e o f the usual a n d the latter is p u t aside a n d f o r the t i m e b e i n g a b a n d o n e d . H o w does w o n d e r . stand versus a l l these? It is precisely w i t h r e g a r d to this r e l a t i o n t o w a r d the u s u a l a n d the u n u s u a l that the basic d i s p o s i t i o n o f w o n d e r — a s s o m e t h i n g entirely d i f f e r e n t — i s easiest to clarify.


150 T h e N e e d a n d the Necessity o f the First B e g i n n i n g [173-74]

2) Sequence of steps i n the characterization of wonder as a way toward the necessity of the primordial question. We are a t t e m p t i n g to characterize w o n d e r i n t h i r t e e n points. Reflection w i l l show that it is not a matter o f listing a r b i t r a r i l y selected p r o p e r t i e s o f w o n d e r , b u t r a t h e r that it is a deliberate arr a n g e m e n t l e a d i n g to t h e goal o f o u r m e d i t a t i o n : the necessity o f p r i m o r d i a l q u e s t i o n i n g , a necessity that p r e c l u d e d a n i n g u i r y i n t o aXTydeia. T h i s i m p l i e s t h a t o n l y H a corfesp^ndTng necessity a n d n e e d c a n be c o m p e l l i n g t o w a r d the q u e s t i o n o f t r u t h a n d hence c a n p r e d e t e r m i n e the essential f o u n d a t i o n o f the m o r e o r i g i n a l essence o f t r u t h . We have g o n e t h r o u g h the first ten points o f the c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n o f w o n d e r . I n w o n d e r , s o m e t h i n g u n u s u a l is n o t set o f f against the u s u a l , b u t instead w o n d e r sets us before the u s u a l itself precisely as w h a t is the most u n u s u a l . B y the same t o k e n , the u s u a l is n o t this o r that o r s o m e p a r t i c u l a r d o m a i n , b u t because w o n d e r places us before what is most u s u a l a n d the l a t t e r is c o n s t a n t l y manifest i n e v e r y t h i n g a n d a n y t h i n g i n such a way that it is precisely o v e r l o o k e d , so e v e r y t h i n g i n eve r y t h i n g becomes the m o s t u n u s u a l . T h u s there is n o way o u t f o r the w o n d e r to escape i n o r d e r f r o m there to e x p l a i n the most u n u s u a l a n d thereby m a k e it a g a i n the u s u a l . B u t j u s t as Iitde does w o n d e r have available a way i n ; it c a n n o t penetrate i n t o a n d dissolve the u n u s u a l , for t h a t w o u l d s i m p l y destroy the u n u s u a l ness. W o n d e r does n o t p e r m i t a way o u t o r a way i n ; instead, it displaces us before a n d i n t o the u n u s u a l n e s s o f e v e r y t h i n g i n its usualness. T h e most u s u a l as such first steps f o r t h i n its u n u s u alness w h e n the latter s h i n e s i n w o n d e r . W o n d e r displaces us before e v e r y t h i n g i n e v e r y t h i n g â&#x20AC;&#x201D; t h a t it is a n d is w h a t it i s â&#x20AC;&#x201D; i n o t h e r w o r d s , before beings as beings. W h i l e m a n is d i s p l a c e d i n t o it, h e h i m s e l f is t r a n s f o r m e d i n t o o n e w h o , not k n o w i n g the way o u t o r the way i n , has to h o l d fast to beings as beings i n p u r e ack n o w l e d g m e n t . T h i s is t h e most s i m p l e a n d is the greatest; it is the all-decisive b e g i n n i n g , toward w h i c h the basic d i s p o s i t i o n c o m p e l s . T h e a c k n o w l e d g m e n t o f beings as beings, however, is only sustained i n q u e s t i o n i n g what beings as such are. T h i s quest i o n is n o t a desire for e x p l a n a t i o n o r for the e l i m i n a t i o n o f the most u n u s u a l , that beings are what they are. O n the contrary,


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this q u e s t i o n is a n ever p u r e r a d h e r e n c e to beings i n t h e i r u n usualness, i.e., i n p r i m o r d i a l t e r m s , i n t h e i r p u r e e m e r g e n c e , i n t h e i r u n c o n c e a l e d n e s s (aVri'deuit), a n d i n what belongs i m m e d i ately to this a n d u n f o l d s o u t o f it. T o s u s t a i i i j h e basic d i s p o s i t i o n means to carry out the necessity j o f s u c h q u e s t i o n i n g , t o w a r d w h i c h the n o t k n o w i n g the way o u t o r the way i n c o m p e l s us. B u t what is m e a n t by this c a r r y i n g o u t as_a s u s t a i n i n g o f the basic d i s position?

k) T h e carrying out of the necessity: a suffering i n the sense of the creative tolerance for the unconditioned. We m i g h t first i n t e r p r e t the c a r r y i n g o u t o f the necessity as the s i m p l e i m p l e m e n t a t i o n o f s o m e t h i n g r e q u i r e d . W e thereby u n d e r s t a n d " c a r r y i n g o u t " as o u r a c c o m p l i s h m e n t a n d the p r o d u c t o f o u r contrivances. C a r r y i n g o u t w o u l d t h u s be a n activity o f o u r o w n a c t i o n . B u t t h e _ c a r r y i n g o u t o f ^ necessity j n t o _ w h i c h the n e e d o f the b a s j c d i s p q s i t i o n c o m p e l s , the t h o u g h t f u l quest i o n i n g o f beings as s u c h , is essentially s u f f e r i n g [Leiden]. N o w the m e r e m e n t i o n o f this w o r d w i l l i m m e d i a t e l y place us once again w i t h i n the s p h e r e o f a c o m m o n m i s i n t e r p r e t a t i o n . W e w i l l t h i n k i n a C h r i s t i a n - m o r a l i s t i c - p s y c h o l o g i c a l way o f a submissive acceptance, a m e r e b e a r i n g patiently, a r e n u n c i a t i o n o f a l l p r i d e . O r else we w i l l identify this s u f f e r i n g w i t h inactivity a n d o p p o s e it to a c t i o n . T h e latter i m m e d i a t e l y refers to the field o f the i m p e r i a l , especially i f a c t i o n is set against m e r e t h o u g h t . B u t even i f we b r i n g reflective t h i n k i n g into this d i s t o r t e d o p p o s i t i o n to act i o n , for us t h i n k i n g always r e m a i n s a p e r f o r m a n c e a n d by n o means s o m e t h i n g s u f f e r e d . So s u f f e r i n g has to m e a n h e r e s o m e t h i n g o t h e r t h a n m e r e s u b m i s s i o n to woes. T o be s u r e , s u f f e r i n g here refers t o the acceptance o f what overgrows m a n a n d i n that way t r a n s f o r m s h i m a n d makes h i m ever m o r e tolerant for what he is s u p p o s e d to grasp w h e n h e has to g r a s p beings as s u c h a n d as a w h o l e . T h e c a r r y i n g o u t o f the necessity is h e r e a s u f f e r i n g in the sense o f this k i n d o f creative tolerance for the u n c o n d i t i o n e d . T h i s s u f f e r i n g is b e y o n d activity a n d passivity as c o m monly understood. Perhaps we may i n t e r p r e t a f r a g m e n t o f the h y m n s o f H 6 l dcrlin's later poetry i n terms o f this essential s u f f e r i n g ; " p e r -


152 T h e N e e d a n d t h e Necessity o f the first B e g i n n i n g [175—77] h a p s " — f o r i n d e e d this f r a g m e n t means s o m e t h i n g still m o r e p r o f o u n d , to w h i c h w e a r e n o t yet e q u a l . ' V o n H e l l i n g r a t h assigns this f r a g m e n t t o t h a t l a r g e r f r a g m e n t w h i c h h e has e n t i t l e d " O u t o f the r a n g e o f motives o f the T i t a n s . " It c e r t a i n l y b e l o n g s there, t h o u g h not by r e a s o n o f s o m e special r e l a t i o n , but because the f r a g m e n t we w i l l cite names s o m e t h i n g that constitutes a — i f n o t //#—essential d e t e r m i n a t i o n o f t h e e n t i r e d o m a i n o f t h e later h y m n s . T h e verse r u n s as follows: 1

For tremendous powers wander over the earth, And their destiny touches the one Who suffers it and looks upon it, And it also touches the hearts of the peoples. For a demigod must grasp everything, Or a man, in suffering, Insofar as he hears, alone, or is himself Transformed, surmising from afar the steed of the lord, R e n o u n c i n g a f u l l i n t e r p r e t a t i o n , we w i l l o n l y p r o v i d e a directive to t h e c o n t e x t . Hölderlin says e i t h e r a d e m i g o d o r a m a n — i n s u f f e r i n g — m u s t g r a s p e v e r y t h i n g . A n d the s u f f e r i n g is t w o f o l d : h e a r i n g , l o o k i n g , p e r c e p d o n , a n d l e t t i n g o n e s e l f be t r a n s f o r m e d , w h e r e b y t h e d i s t a n t s u r m i s i n g o f the steed o f the l o r d , the c o m i n g o f the g o d , is o p e n e d u p . S u f f e r i n g : a p e r c e p t i o n o r a t r a n s f o r m a t i o n ; t h e essential is t h e advertence i n h e a r i n g a n d , together w i t h that, a readiness f o r the t r a n s i t i o n i n t o a n o t h e r B e r ing.s I n h e a r i n g , we p r o j e c t a n d e x t e n d ourselves over a n d i n t o b r o a d expanses, t h o u g h i n such a way that, c o m p l y i n g w i t h what is h e a r d , we b r i n g ourselves back i n t o the g a t h e r i n g o f o u r essence. P e r c e p t i o n is s o m e t h i n g s u f f e r e d i n t h e sense o f the most expansive, a n d at the s a m e t i m e t h e most i n t i m a t e , p a s s i o n . A l l g r a s p i n g is m e a s u r e d a c c o r d i n g to the s t a n d a r d o f the p o w e r f o r such s u f f e r i n g . T h e g r a s p i n g occurs o n l y i n s u f f e r i n g . H e r e resides f o r H ö l 1. Hölderlin, Bruchstücke und Entwürfe, No. 14. In: Sämtliche Werke. E d . N . v. Hellingrath. Bd. IV, 2 e d . B e r l i n 1923. Pp. 247f., verses 18-27. 2. Ibid., pp. 215-218. 3. O n "suffering" a n d the "suffering o f the g o d , " see the conclusion o f "Wie wenn am Feiertage," ibid., p p . 151fr.


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d e r l i n above a l l the f r e e d o m f r o m e v e r y t h i n g c o e r c e d , f r o m a l l c o e r c i o n a n d c a l c u l a t i o n , f r o m a l l m i s t a k i n g o f t i m e , o f the m o m e n t whose t i m e has c o m e . F o r h o w else t h a n i n the sense o f this essential s u f f e r i n g c o u l d s o m e o n e f r o m afar s u r m i s e the g o d , where it is s a i d o f g o d : T h e reflecdve g o d hates a l l u n d m e l y g r o w t h .

1

A f t e r w h a t we briefly s a i d e a r l i e r a b o u t Hölderlin i n c o n n e c d o n w i t h the task o f r e f l e c t i n g o n the b e g i n n i n g , it is c e r t a i n l y n o t a n accident that we a r e r e f e r r i n g to the poet i n o r d e r to e l u c i d a t e what we m e a n by " s u f f e r i n g " as the essential f o r m o f the c a r r y i n g o u t o f t h e necessity.

1) TexvT| as the basic attitude toward <jrixri<;, where the preservation of the wondrous (the beingness of beings) unfolds and is established. Tiyy^ maintains the holding sway of (jrixris i n unconcealedness. T h e s u s t a i n i n g o f j h ^ c o m p e l l i n g basic,dispositiojn^iis,ihe_fia.rrying"aut ot t h e necessity, js_ajuffejin|[ m the sense i n d i c a t e d , a n d _ that is the essence o f t h o u g h t f u l q u e s t i o n i n g . I n s u c h s u f f e r i n g there o c c u r s a c o r r e s p o n d e n c e to whäTlias to be g r a s p e d , w h i l e the o n e w h o grasps is t r a n s f o r m e d a c c o r d i n g to it. " A c c o r d i n g to i t " : that m e a n s that what is to be g r a s p e d (here, beings as s u c h i n their beingness) constrains the o n e w h o is g r a s p i n g , c o n s t r a i n s h i m to a basic p o s i t i o n , i n v i r t u e o f w h i c h the p u r e a c k n o w l e d g m e n t o f the u n c o n c e a l e d n e s s o f beings c a n u n f u r l . T h e o n e w h o is g r a s p i n g a n d p e r c e i v i n g must a c c o r d w i t h what is to be grasped so that the latter, beings themselves, are i n d e e d g r a s p e d , t h o u g h i n s u c h a way that thereby they are precisely released to t h e i r o w n essence, i n o r d e r to h o l d sway i n themselves a n d t h u s to p e r v a d e m a n as w e l l . B e i n g s , w h i c h the G r e e k s call «Jrücris, must s t a n d i n aXfjdeux. H e r e we a g a i n t o u c h what is most c o n cealed: that the g r a s p i n g is a s u f f e r i n g . H o w else c o u l d we u n d e r s t a n d the extent to w h i c h the two greatest a n d most r e n o w n e d t h i n k e r s o f the early G r e e k p e r i o d , 1. Ibid,, p. a i 8 .


154

T h e N e e d a n d the Necessity o f the First B e g i n n i n g [178-79]

H e r a c l i t u s a n d Pärmenides, agree i n t h e i r basic positions? H e r aclitus claims that beings a r e o n e i n \ 6 7 0 s — i n the a n t i c i p a t o r y g a t h e r i n g — a n d P a r m e n i d e s teaches that beings are what is p e r ceived i n v o e i v — i n p e r c e p t i o n — a n d this perceptual a n t i c i p a t o r y g a t h e r i n g indicates that the g r a s p i n g is a s u f f e r i n g as a transformation o f man. A c c o r d w i t h what is o r i g i n a l is therefore precisely n o t a n ass i m i l a t i o n i n the sense that m a n w o u l d s i m p l y be <)rixri?. O n the contrary, h e is to be d i s t i n g u i s h e d f r o m it, but i n a way that acc o r d s w i t h it, i.e., i n a way t h a t a d h e r e s to its measure (adheres to (jwoxs), c o m p o r t s itself a c c o r d i n g l y , a n d o r d e r s this c o m p o r t m e n t . E v e n i f m a n h i m s e l f is precisely n o t beings as a w h o l e , nevertheless h e is the o n e w h o is d i s p l a c e d i n t o the m i d s t o f beings as the p r e s e r v e r o f t h e i r u n c o n c e a l e d n e s s . S o this p e r c e i v i n g a n d "preserving c a n n o t be d e t e r m i n e d as (jrixris b u t m u s t be o t h e r : i n a c c o r d w i t h <Jn5o-t<;, releasing it, a n d yet g r a s p i n g it. W h a t t h e n is it? W h a t is t h e b a s i c j t t i t a d e j n w h i c h the preserv a t i o n o f the w o n d r o u s , the beingness o f beings, u n f o l d s a n d , at the same time, defines itself? We have to seek it i n w h a t the G r e e k s call T C X V T ) . Yet we m u s t d i v o r c e this G r e e k w o r d f r o m o u r f a m i l i a r t e r m d e r i v e d f r o m it, " t e c h n o l o g y , " a n d f r o m a l l nexuses o f m e a n i n g that a r e t h o u g h t i n the n a m e o f technology. T o be sure, that m o d e r n a n d c o n t e m p o r a r y technology c o u l d e m e r g e , a n d h a d to e m e r g e , has its g r o u n d i n the b e g i n n i n g a n d has its f o u n d a t i o n i n a n u n a v o i d a b l e incapacity to h o l d fast to the b e g i n n i n g . T h a t means that c o n t e m p o r a r y t e c h n o l o g y — a s a f o r m o f " t o t a l m o b i l i z a t i o n " ( E r n s t Jünger)—can o n l y be u n d e r stood o n the basis o f the b e g i n n i n g o f the basic W e s t e r n p o s i t i o n t o w a r d beings as s u c h a n d as a w h o l e , a s s u m i n g that we are strivi n g for a " m e t a p h y s i c a l " u n d e r s t a n d i n g a n d are not satisfied w i t h i n t e g r a t i n g technology i n t o the goals o f politics. T e x v n d o e s n o t m e a n " t e c h n o l o g y " i n the sense o f the m e c h a n ical o r d e r i n g o f beings, n o r d o e s it m e a n a r t i n the sense o f m e r e s k i l l a n d p r o f i c i e n c y i n p r o c e d u r e s a n d o p e r a t i o n s . T e x v n means k n o w l e d g e : k n o w - h o w i n processes against beings ("and i n the e n c o u n t e r w i t h beings), i.e., against cfrixns. T o be s u r e , h e r e it is nei¬ t h e r possible n o r necessary to e n t e r i n t o the variations o f the m e a n i n g o f the w o r d Texvn, w h i c h are not a c c i d e n t a l . W e o n l y have to be m i n d f u l that this w o r d still, precisely w i t h P l a t o , at


§38. T h e essence o f w o n d e r [179-80]

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times assumes the role o f d e n o t i n g k n o w l e d g e p u r e a n d s i m p l e , a n d that m e a n s the p e r c e p t u a l r e l a t i o n to beings as s u c h . N o w it is clear that t h i s p e r c e i v i n g o f beings i n t h e i r u n c o n c e a l e d n e s s is n o t a m e r e g a p i n g , that w o n d e r is c a r r i e d o u t r a t h e r i n a p r o c e d u r e against beings, b u t i n s u c h a way that these themselves p r e cisely s h o w t h e m s e l v e s ^ F o r that is w h a t réxvi\ m e a n s : to g r a s p beings as e m e r g i n g o u t oT themselves i n the way they s h o w t h e m ? selves, i n t h e i r o u t w a r d l o o k , ctSos, ISea, a n d , i n a c c o r d w i t h this, to care f o r beings themselves a n d to let t h e m grow, i.e., to o r d e r o n e s e l f w i t h i n beings as a w h o l e t h r o u g h p r o d u c t i o n s a n d institutions. Té\vT\ is a m o d e o f p r o c e e d i n g against (trims, t h o u g h n o t yet i n o r d e r to o v e r p o w e r it o r e x p l o i t it, a n d above a l l n o t i n o r d e r to t u r n use a n d c a l c u l a t i o n i n t o p r i n c i p l e s , b u t , o n t h e c o n trary, toretain ^ h ^ 2 j ^ i / g , ^ f j ^ M y ; ^ m j j n c o n c e a l e d n e s s . ThereloreTrjecauseTR^ the p e r c e p t i o n o f <trims i n its ¿\ijdeiot, is the d i s p o s i n g n e e d i n the basic d i s p o s i t i o n o f w o n d e r , Téxyt] a n d its c a r r y i n g o u t become necessary as w h a t is w h o l l y o t h e r t h a n <trixrj,s—wholly o t h e r yet b e l o n g i n g t o foxns i n t h e most essential wayT> 1

1

s

>

( r t

m) T h e danger of disturbing the basic disposition of wonder i n carrying it o u t Téxvr\ as the ground for the transformation o f ctATjdetct into ouoCuxns. T h e loss o f the basic disposition and the absence o f the original need and necessity. T h i s basic ^attitude) t o w a r d (Jrixriç, T ^ X V T I , as the c a r r y i n g o u t o f the necessity a n d n e e d o f w o n d e r , is a i the same*time, however, the g r o u n c f ji£Oii~whTch~ arîsé^ou^ôujàCTÎçTThe, t r a n s f o r m a t i o n o f àXTyôtia as unconcFàTëliHe^mto~^^ o t h e r words, i n c a r r y i n g o u t the basic d i s p o s i t i o n itself t h e r e resides the d a n g e r o f its d i s t u r b a n c e a n d destruction>For i n the essence o f T € X V T | , as recnuredby<i>^ occurrence a n d establishment o f The TrncmScéâTëa'nëss^r t h e r e lies the possibility o f arbitrariness, o f a n u n b r i d l e d p o s i t i n g ot gôâTTând thereby tncTpos^ sibility o f escape o u t of the necessity o f the p r i m o r d i a l n e e d . I f this h a p p e n s , t h e n i n place o f t h e basic d i s p o s i t i o n o f w o n der, the a v i d i t y f o r l e a r n i n g a n d c a l c u l a t i o n enters i n . P h i l o s o p h y itself t h e n becomes o n e i n s t i t u t i o n a m o n g others, it becomes


156 T h e N e e d a n d the Necessity o f the first B e g i n n i n g [180-81] subjected to a goal w h i c h is a l l the m o r e i n s i d i o u s t h e h i g h e r i t i s — e . g . , Plato's iraiSeiot, a w o r d we b a d l y translate as " e d u c a t i o n . " E v e n t h e fact that i n t h e Republic p h i l o s o p h e r s are d e s t i n e d to be B a m X e f c , t h e h i g h e s t r u l e r s , is a l r e a d y a n essential d e m o t i o n o f p h i l o s o p h y . W h i l e the g r a s p i n g o f beings, t h e a c k n o w l e d g m e n t o f t h e m i n t h e i r u n c o n c e a l e d n e s s , u n f o l d s i n t o fexvri, inevitably a n d i n c r e a s i n g l y t h e aspects o f beings, t h e " i d e a s , " w h i c h a r e b r o u g h t i n t o v i e w i n such g r a s p i n g , b e c o m e the o n l y s t a n d a r d . T h e g r a s p i n g b e c o m e s a sort o f k n o w - h o w w i t h r e g a r d to the ideas, a n d that r e q u i r e s a c o n s t a n t a s s i m i l a t i o n t o t h e m . A t b o t t o m , however, it is a m o r e p r o f o u n d a n d m o r e h i d d e n p r o cess. It is t h e l o s s o f t h e b a s i c j d i s p ^ i t i o n , the absence o f the o r i g i n a l n e e c H u i c H i e ^ s ^ i t y r ^ p r o c e s s l i n k e d t o the loss o f the o r i g i ? naLessence o f o t A T i f o i a . _ _ { I n this way, the b e g i n n i n g c o n t a i n s i n itself the u n a v o i d a b l e necessity that, i n u n f o l d i n g , it m u s t s u r r e n d e r its o r i g i n a l i t y ^ T h i s does not s p e a k against the greatness o f the b e g i n n i n g but'in f a vor o f it. F o r , w o u l d w h a t is great ever be great i f i t d i d not have to face u p to the d a n g e r o f collapse and d i d not have to s u c c u m b i n its h i s t o r i c a l consequences to this" d a n g e r , o n l y to r e m a i n a l l the m o r e i l l u m i n a t i n g i n its i n i t i a l s i n g u l a r i t y ? I n the b e g i n n i n g , the q u e s t i o n o f beings stays w i t h i n the c l a r i t y !>f & \ r ) d € i a as the basic c h a r a c t e r o f beings. A\f)-&€ia itself, however, r e m a i n s by necessity u n q u e s t i o n e d . B u t the s u s t a i n i n g o f the b e g i n n i n g po¬ sition i n the sense o f T € X V T | leads to a f a l l i n g away f r o m the beginning. B e i n g s b e c o m e , t o exaggerate s o m e w h a t , objects o f representations c o n f o r m i n g to t h e m . N o w dX'n.'dcia itself is also i n t e r r o g a t e d , but h e n c e f o r t h f r o m the p o i n t o f view o f T€xvn, and c t A T j f l e i o t becomes the correctness o f r e p r e s e n t a t i o n s and procedures.

§39. The need arising from the lack of need. Truth as correctness and philosophy (the question of truth) as without need and necessity. E v e r since t r u t h became c o r r e c t n e s s and this essential d e t e r m i nation o f t r u t h , i n a l l its m a n i f o l d v a r i a t i o n s , became k n o w n as the o n l y s t a n d a r d one, p h i l o s o p h y has lacked the most o r i g i n a l


§39- T h e n e e d f r o m the lack o f n e e d [182-83]

157

need a n d necessity o f the b e g i n n i n g . A f t e r h a v i n g been f o r a t i m e the h a n d m a i d e n o f theology, p h i l o s o p h y was e m a n c i p a t e d i n t o that f r e e d o m a i n o f the d e v e l o p m e n t o f the s e l f - p o s i t i n g h u m a n capacities whose c a r r y i n g o u t creates, culuvates, a n d setdes what has b e e n called " c u l t u r e " ever since. P h i l o s o p h y is a free u n f o l d i n g o f a h u m a n capacity, that o f t h i n k i n g , a n d h e n c e is b u t o n e c u l t u r a l asset a m o n g others. G r a d u a l l y the m o d e r n p e r i o d i n c l u d e d p h i l o s o p h y u n d e r the c o n c e p t o f a " f a c t o r " o f c u l t u r e , a n o t i o n i n w h i c h a n y o n e w h o has ears to h e a r m u s t h e a r c a l c u l a tions a n d contrivances d e t e r m i n i n g i n advance the B e i n g o f m a n i n the m i d s t o f beings. A n d , finally, to the extent that the n i n e teenth c e n t u r y h a d to m a k e c u l t u r e the object o f a c u l t u r a l poliÂŹ ' tics, p h i l o s o p h y became a curiosity, o r w h a t comes d o w n t o the same t h i n g : the essence o f t r u t h became the most u n q u e s t i o n e d a n d h e n c e a m a t t e r o f the highest i n d i f f e r e n c e . T h e fact that i n ; a l l so-called c u l t u r e d c o u n t r i e s o f the West a n d o f the East p r o fessors teach p h i l o s o p h y i n colleges a n d universities d o e s n o t c o n t r a d i c t this state o f p h i l o s o p h y a n d o f the q u e s t i o n o f t r u t h , because it d o e s not i n the least t o u c h it. N o w t h e r e are today e v e r y w h e r e d a y d r e a m e r s a n d s e n t i m e n t a l p e o p l e e n o u g h , w h o l a m e n t this s i t u a t i o n o f p h i l o s o p h y a n d thereby p o s t u r e as d e f e n d e r s o f the e n d a n g e r e d s p i r i t . B u t what they w o u l d l i k e is s i m p l y that p h i l o s o p h y b e c o m e a g a i n a m o r e a p p r e c i a t e d c u l t u r a l asset. T h i s c o n c e r n o v e r p h i l o s o p h y is a m e r e desire to r e t u r n to the t r a n q u i l i t y o f a p r e v i o u s age, a n d it is o n the w h o l e a n d essentially m o r e p e r n i c i o u s t h a n the c o m plete d i s d a i n a n d disavowal o f p h i l o s o p h y . F o r this b a c k w a r d l o o k i n g c o n c e r n leads i n t o e r r o r , i n t o m i s c o n s t r u i n g the m o m e n t o f Western history. W h a t is the significance o f the fact that p h i l o s o p h y became a curiosity a n d that the essence o f t r u t h is u n q u e s t i o n e d a n d a n i n q u i r y i n t o it w i t h o u t necessity? A n d what does it m e a n that p h i losophy stands at the e n d o f its first b e g i n n i n g , i n a state that corr e s p o n d s to the b e g i n n i n g â&#x20AC;&#x201D; i f o n l y as a f i n a l state? O n c e p h i l o s o p h y was t h e most strange, the most r a r e , a n d the most u n i q u e ; now it is the same, b u t o n l y i n the f o r m o f curiosity. O n c e , i n the b e g i n n i n g o f O c c i d e n t a l t h i n k i n g , t r u t h was u n q u e s t i o n e d , bey o n d q u e s t i o n i n g , b u t was so i n v i r t u e o f the highest n e e d a n d necessity o f q u e s t i o n i n g beings. N o w the essence o f t r u t h is also


158

T h e N e e d a n d the Necessity o f the First B e g i n n i n g [183-84]

u n q u e s t i o n e d , the most u n q u e s t i o n e d , b u t o n l y as what is o f the highest i n d i f f e r e n c e w i t h i n t h e age o f the c o m p l e t e questionlessness o f the essential. T h e q u e s t i o n o f t r u t h is w i t h o u t necessity. T h i s is a n essential c o g n i t i o n w h i c h e m e r g e s o n l y i n g e n u i n e reflection. T h i s k n o w l e d g e , the t a k i n g seriously o f the s i t u a t i o n o f p h i l o s o p h y , is a l o n e decisive. T h e c o n c e r n over p h i l o s o p h y as a c u l t u r a l asset c a n be left to itself. T h e q u e s t i o n o f t r u t h is w i t h o u t necessity. I n view o f the reflection we have c a r r i e d o u t o n the b e g i n n i n g , that m e a n s that the q u e s t i o n o f t r u t h is w i t h o u t n e e d ; the basic d i s p o s i t i o n , w h i c h w o u l d p r i m o r d i a l l y displace m a n again i n t o beings as a w h o l e , is absent a n d is d e n i e d us. Is the n e e d absent, o r is c o n t e m p o r a r y m a n already so e n c h a n t e d by his contrivances, a n d so c a r r i e d away by his l i v e d experiences, that h e is n o l o n g e r e q u a l to the n e e d , a s s u m i n g the essential n e e d is n o t s o m e t h i n g miserable, to w h i c h we c o u l d o n l y be i l l - d i s p o s e d , b u t is precisely the greatest? W h a t i f the fact that we feel n o n e e d , this lack o f n e e d , w o u l d precisely express o u r n e e d , o n e still d e n i e d us? W h a t i f o u r n e e d arises o u t o f this lack o f n e e d ? ^ ^ u t T n e s e ^ u e s t i o n s , w h i c h are not s u p p o s e d to say a n y t h i n g a n d are t h o u g h t r a t h e r to k e e p silent a b o u t e v e r y t h i n g , l e a d us i n t o the place o f o u r greatest d a n g e r : that we today b r i n g up this n e e d i n i d l e talk, scarcely h a v i n g m e n t i o n e d it, a n d e v e n c o n v i n c e ourselves that it is a " l i v e d e x p e r i e n c e , " w i t h o u t e v e r having e n c o m p e l l e d by it, let a l o n e h a v i n g c a r r i e d o u t its necess i t y Q b e n c o u n t e r this d a n g e r h e r e , we w o u l d have to reflect o n the necessity o f the b e g i n n i n g o f W e s t e r n t h o u g h t , at whose e n d we are now s t a n d i n g ^

ยง40. The abandonment of beings by Being as the concealed ground of the still hidden basic disposition. The compelling of this basic disposition into another necessity of another questioning and beginning. F r o m this reflection we n o w k n o w that the essential n e e d , w h i c h , as a basic d i s p o s i t i o n , c o m p e l l e d the p r i m o r d i a l q u e s t i o n i n g , s p r a n g f o r t h f r o m beings themselves as a w h o l e , i n s o f a r as be-


§4o. T h e a b a n d o n m e n t by B e i n g [184-85]

159

ings h a d to be a c k n o w l e d g e d i n t h e i r beingness a n d h a d to be preserved i n t h e i r t r u t h . I f for us n o t h i n g less is at stake t h a n the p r e p a r a t i o n f o r a t r a n s i t i o n f r o m the e n d o f the first b e g i n n i n g i n t o a n o t h e r b e g i n n i n g , t h e n the n e e d w h i c h c o m p e l s us to this necessity m u s t a g a i n a n d only c o m e o u t o f beings as a w h o l e , i n sofar as they b e c o m e a q u e s t i o n w i t h r e g a r d to t h e i r B e i n g . B u t this a l r e a d y says that o n the basis o f the t r a n s f o r m a t i o n o f the essence o f t r u t h i n t o correctness, our basic p o s i t i o n t o w a r d beings is n o t any m o r e a n d never a g a i n w i l l be that o f the first b e g i n n i n g , a l t h o u g h it r e m a i n s d e t e r m i n e d by it as a c o u n t e r t h r u s j O h e r e f o r e the basic d i s p o s i t i o n c a n n o l o n g e r be the o n e of/wonder/ i n w h i c h beings as s u c h w i t h r e g a r d to t h e i r B e i n g once e m e r g e d as the m o s t u n u s u a l . H o w f a r we a r e r e m o v e d f r o m the possibility o f b e i n g a g a i n d i s p l a c e d t o w a r d b e i n g s by this basic d i s p o s i t i o n o f the b e g i n n i n g c a n easily be m e a s u r e d by the j a c t that f o r c e n t u r i e s the B e i n g o f beings, w h i c h was f o r the G r e e k s the most w o n d r o u s , has passed as the most o b v i o u s o f eve r y t h i n g o b v i o u s a n d is for us the most c o m m o n : w h a t every? b o d y always k n o w s . F o r w h o is s u p p o s e d n o t to k n o w w h a t he I means w h e n h e says the stone is, the sky is overcast? " V ' Yet this m a y express s o m e t h i n g whose c o n t e n t a n d p e a r i n g we d o not at a l l yet s u r m i s e , n a m e l y that we a r e d e a l i n g w i t h beings as the object o f contrivances a n d o f l i v e d e x p e r i e n c e s a h a thereby are n o t p a y i n g a t t e n t i o n to the B e i n g o f these b e i n g s . O n a c c o u n t o f its obviousness, B e i n g is s o m e t h i n g f o r g o t t e n . T h e forgottenness o f B e i n g h o l d s u s i n its g r i p , or, what c o m e s d o w n to the same t h i n g , p h i l o s o p h y as the q u e s t i o n of beings as s u c h is n o w by necessity a m e r e curiosity. T h e forgottenness o f B e i n g d o m i n a t e s , i.e., it d e t e r m i n e s o u r r e l a t i o n to beings, so that even beings, that they are a n d what they are, r e m a i n a m a t t e r o f inÂŹ difference. It is almost as i f beings have b e e n a b a n d o n e d by B e i n g , a n d we a r e heedless o f it, a n d a r e m o r e heedless the greater becomes the i n s i d i o u s o u t c r y o v e r metaphysics a n d ontology. F o r that m e r e l y expresses a desire to r e t u r n to the f a m i l i a r past i n stead o f w o r k i n g for the f u t u r e even w i t h o u t b e i n g able to see it. B e i n g s are, b u t the B e i n g o f beings a n d the t r u t h o f B e i n g a n d consequently the B e i n g o f t r u t h are deTnecfto beings. B e i n g s are, yet they r e m a i n a b i n d o n e d by B e i n g a n d l e l t to themselves, so as to be m e r e objects o f o u r c o n t r i v a n c e . A l l goals b e y o n d m e n a n d


i6o T h e N e e d a n d the Necessity o f the first B e g i n n i n g [185-86] peoples a r e g o n e , a n d , above a l l , what is l a c k i n g is the creative p o w e r to create s o m e t h i n g b e y o n d oneself. T h e e p o c h o f the highest a b a n d o n m e n t o f b e i n g s by B e i n g is the age o f the' total questionlessness o f B e i n g . ~"pu5THiaui7nls"aT)al^ o f beings by B e i n g were a n event w h i c h p r o c e e d s f r o m b e i n g s as a w h o l e , i n d e e d i n such a way that precisely this event is t h e least visible a n d e x p e r i e n c e a b l e , because it is t h e best concealed? F o r precisely the progress o f a l l c o n t r i v a n c e a n d the self-certainty o f a l l l i v e d e x p e r i e n c e k n o w themselves to be i n s u c h p r o x i m i t y to reality a n d life that a g r e a t e r p r o x i m i t y c a n h a r d l y be r e p r e s e n t e d . W h a t i f the a b a n d o n m e n t o f beings by B e i n g were the most h i d d e n a n d most p r o p e r g r o u n d , a n d the essence, o f w h a t Nietzsche first r e c o g n i z e d as " n i h i l i s m " a n d i n t e r p r e t e d i n t e r m s o f " m o r a l i t y " a n d the " i d e a l , " i n the f a s h i o n o f the p h i l o s o p h y o f Plato a n d Schopenhauer, but d i d n o t yet u n d e r s t a n d metaphysically} ("Metap h y s i c a l l y " m e a n s : i n the perspective o f the basic o c c u r r e n c e o f the p r i m o r d i a l q u e s t i o n , t h e g u i d i n g q u e s t i o n o f W e s t e r n p h i l o s ophy, a n d c o n s e q u e n d y n o t yet i n the perspective o f w h a t o r i g i nally p o i n t s to^the d o m a i n o f the g e n u i n e , r e n e w e d s u r p a s s i n g o f n i h i l i s m . ) f f i h a t i f the a b a n d o n m e n t o f beings by B e i n g , that beings still " a r e " a n d yet B e i n g a n d its t r u t h r e m a i n d e n i e d to beings a n d c o n s e q u e n t l y t o m a n (the d e n i a l itself u n d e r s t o o d as the essence o f B e i n g ) , w h a t i f this event w h i c h proceeds o u t o f beings as a w h o l e were t h e c o n c e a l e d g r o u n d o f the still v e i l e d basic d i s p o s i t i o n w h i c h c o m p e l s us i n t o a n o t h e r necessity o f a n o t h e r o r i g i n a l q u e s t i o n i n g a n d b e g i n n i n g ? W h a t i f the a b a n d o n m e n t o f beings by B e i n g w e r e l i n k e d to the n e e d a r i s i n g f r o m the fact that f o r us the essence o f t r u t h a n d the q u e s t i o n o f t r u t h a r e not yet necessary? W h a t i f the need a r i s i n g f r o m the lack o f n e e d a n d , o n a c c o u n t o f its h i d d e n d o m i n a t i o n , the age o f c o m p l e t e questionlessness, h a d its g r o u n d i n the a b a n d o n m e n t o f beings by B e i n g ? * 1

Q V e m u s t pass t h r o u g h this reflection i n o r d e r to allow the m e d i t a t i o n o n the first b e g i n n i n g to b e c o m e what it is: the t h r u s t i n t o the transition.>But p e r h a p s this reflection precisely shows us, a s s u m i n g we Have c a r r i e d it o u t l o n g e n o u g h a n d , above a l l , with sufficient p r e p a r a t i o n a n d insight, h o w little we a r e e q u a l to, o r c a n e v e n expect, b e i n g struck by the basic d i s p o s i t i o n ,


§41. T h e necessity h e l d out for us [186-87]

161

which belongs to the need arising from the lack of need, to the abandonment of beings by B e i n g . W e will not be equal to it as long as we do n o t j r e j ^ r e m m e j l v e s f o r i t ^ n d instead take refuge in the opinioTiTnatTmltajpnysTc^^ reflection para? lyzes and endangers action, whereas it is precisely the genuine beginning o f the future. F o r great surmises enter into reflection and remain there. T o be sure, through such reflection we arrive at the entire ambiguity proper to a historical transition: that we have been thrust into a future but we have not been empowered to seize the thrust in a creative way and to transfer it into the form 0/ the future, i.e., to prepare that by wh'ich alone a beginning begins, the leap into another knowledge. If a

§41. The necessity held out for us: to bring upon its ground openness as the clearing of the self-concealing—the question of the essence of man as the custodian of the truth of Being. A s regards the question o f truth, this means that our discussion is without result. Since we steadfasdy take into account the point of view o f today and o f the past, we are always waiting to be told what the essence of truth is. W e await it all the more, since our discussion began with a critical reference to the openness lying at the ground o f correctness and we called this openness the most worthy o f questioning. O u r discussion is admittedly without result as long as we ignore everything else that was said and o n l y look for a "new" declaration of the essence o f truth and thereby determine that we have profited nothing. B u t what has happened? T h e discussion was entided, " F o u n dational issues in the question of truth"—a reflection on the questioning o f this question. S o o n we were moving more and more, a T o m e n exclusively, in a historical reflection on the beginning of Western thinking, on how there for the first time the essence of truth shone as the basic character o f beings as such, on which need and basic disposition compelled into which necessity of questioning. Finally the reflection leaped over to our need. D i d the reflection only leap to this at the end, or did it not constantly c o n c e r n us and only us ourselves?


162 T h e N e e d a n d the Necessity o f the First B e g i n n i n g [188-89] T h e " r e s u l t " o f o u r d i s c u s s i o n s — i f we w o u l d speak o f it at all—consists, i n s o f a r as it consists i n a n y t h i n g , precisely i n o u r r e l i n q u i s h i n g the search f o r a new d o c t r i n e a n d first a n d foremost g e t t i n g to k n o w a n d l e a r n i n g to q u e s t i o n w h i c h h i s t o r i c a l d i m e n s i o n s a n d i n n e r p r e s u p p o s i t i o n s are c o n t a i n e d i n the question o f t r u t h . S i n c e the q u e s t i o n o f t r u t h is the p r e a m b l e f o r f u t u r e t h i n k i n g , it itself first d e t e r m i n e s the d o m a i n , the type, a n 3 the d i s p o s i t i o n o f f u t u r e k n o w l e d g e . T h e r e f o r e the First t h i n g we have to d o is to p u t ourselves i n a p o s i t i o n that will never a g a i n p e r m i t us to insert o u r d i s c u s s i o n o f the q u e s t i o n o f t r u t h i n t o the h a b i t u a l r e a l m s o f p r e v i o u s d o c t r i n e s , theories, a n d systems. T h e result o f these " b a s i c " discussions c o n s i s t s — i f it m u s t c o n sist i n s o m e t h i n g — i n a transformation o f perspectives, n o r m s , a n d claims, a t r a n s f o r m a t i o n w h i c h at the same time is n o t h i n g o t h e r t h a n a leap i n t o a m o r e o r i g i n a l a n d m o r e s i m p l e c o u r s e o f essential o c c u r r e n c e s i n t h e history o f W e s t e r n t h i n k i n g ^ history we ourselves a r e S O n l y after o u r t h i n k i n g has u n d e r g o n e this t r a n s f o r m a t i o n oY a t t i t u d e by means o f historical r e f l e c t i o n , w i l l we s u r m i s e , i n a n a u s p i c i o u s m o m e n t , that already i n o u r discussions a n o t h e r essence o f t r u t h , a n d j j e r h a p s i n d e e d o n l y that, was at issue. F o r i f we h a d n o t already p e n e t r a t e d to this p o i n t , how else c o u l d we k n o w s o m e t h i n g o f the First b e g i n n i n g , w h i c h i n the most e x t r e m e case reveals itself o n l y to a k n o w l e d g e o f what is least l i k e it, i.e., t h e w h o l l y other. T o ~ b e snre,"*We 'only h i n t e d that the d e t e r m i n a t i o n o f the essence o f t r u t h as the correctness o f a n assertion, w h i c h has been v a l i d f o r ages, c o n t a i n s s o m e t h i n g u n g r o u n d e d at its f o u n d a t i o n : the openness o f beings. C e r t a i n l y it was o n l y a h i n t to d X t j ^ c i a , the u n c o n c e a l e d n e s s o f beings, w h i c h , as was s h o w n , expresses less t h e essence o f t r u t h t h a n it does the essence o f beings. B u t w h y s h o u l d dXifj-aeia not p r e - a n n o u n c e that openness w i t h o u t , however, b e i n g i d e n t i c a l w i t h it? F o r the o p e n ness we have i n m i n d c a n n o l o n g e r be e x p e r i e n c e d as a character o f the beings s t a n d i n g before us a n d a r o u n d us, not to speak o f the fact that to us the u n i q u e e x p e r i e n c e o f the G r e e k s a n d the possible g r o u n d o f o u r f u t u r e history r e m a i n d e n i e d , precisely t h r o u g h the history w h i c h lies between us a n d the G r e e k s . . 1

B u t p e r h a p s s o m e t h i n g else is h e l d o u t to us as a necessity: to b r i n g the openness itself, what comes to presence i n it a n d h o w


§41 â&#x20AC;˘ T h e necessity h e l d o u t f o r us [ 189-90] that comes t o presence, u p o n its g r o u n d . O p e n n e s s is t h e n no longer t h e basic character o f 4>WLS as taken u p i n s i m p l e a c k n o w l e d g m e n t , t h e <|>wis w h i c h makes it possible f o r Texvn to g r a s p beings as s u c h . O p e n n e s s is also not only the c o n d i t i o n o f the possibility o f t h e correctness o f a n assertion. A s such a c o n d i t i o n , it appears m e r e l y at first a n d p r e l i m i n a r i l y i n the field o f view o f the critical r e t u r n f r o m correctness. A f t e r what we have e x p e r i enced a b o u t t h e necessity o f the q u e s t i o n o f t r u t h , this c a n n o t be the o r i g i n a l access to t h e essence o f t r u t h . T h a t access m u s t p r o - , ceed o u t o f o u r n e e d , o u r distress, o u t o f t h e a b a n d o n m e n t o f beings by B e i n g , w h i l e w e take it seriously that B e i n g is w i t h d r a w i n g f r o m beings, w h e r e b y beings d e g e n e r a t e i n t o m e r e o b jects o f h u m a n c o n t r i v a n c e a n d l i v e d e x p e r i e n c e . W h a t i f this w i t h d r a w a l itself b e l o n g e d to t h e essence ot' B e i n g ? W h a t i f this were t h e still u n r e c o g n i z e d t r u t h , n e v e r t o be e x p e r i e n c e d o r expressed, o f t h e w h o l e metaphysics o f t h e West: namely, that B e i n g is i n its essence self-concealing? W h a t i f the o p e n n e s s were first a n d foremost the c l e a r i n g i n the m i d s t o f beings, i n w h i c h c l e a r i n g t h e self-concealment o f B e i n g w o u l d be manifest? H o w ever it may be w i t h t h e " a n s w e r " to t h i s / t h e q u e s t i o n o f t r u t h l s " not o n e we c a n d e c i d e by ourselves a n d V i r e l a t i o n to ourselves precisely as n e u t r a l spectators. It is r a t h e r t h e q u e s t i o n that w i l l o n e d a y o r a n o t h e r betray itself a s ^ h e ^ j u e s t i m w > f ^ h o ^ e ^ > u j > selves a r e ^ In o u i i r e t r o s p e c t i v e sketch o f the b e g i n n i n g o f W e s t e r n thinkÂŹ i n g , we s a i d that m a n w i l l be d e t e r m i n e d p r i m o r d i a l l y as t h e cust o d i a n o f t h e unconceaiedness o f beings. I n the p r o g r e s s i o n away f r o m t h e b e g i n n i n g , m a n b e c a m e t h e animal rationale. I n the t r a n s i t i o n o u t o f t h e first e n d o f Western t h i n k i n g i n t o its o t h e r b e g i n n i n g , there has to be q u e s t i o n e d , i n a still higher n e cessity, w i t h t h e c a r r y i n g o u t o f t h e q u e s t i o n o f t r u t h , t h e question o f w h o we a r e . T h i s q u e s t i o n will p o i n t i n t h e d l r e c u m T T i the possibility ot w h e t h e r m a n is not o n l y the p r e s e r v e r o f u n concealed j r e i n g s b u t is precisely t h e c u s t o d i a n ot t h e o p e n n e s s " o f B e i n p f O n l y i f we k n o w that we d o n o t yet k n o w w h o \ve a r e d o we g r o u n d t h e o n e a n d o n l y g r o u n d w h i c h may release t h e f u ture ot a s j m p l e , essential existence [Vaseinj ot historical m a n j r o m itself.^ T h i s g r o u n d is t h e essence o f t r u t h . T h i s essence m u s t be p r e -


164

T h e N e e d a n d the Necessity o f the first B e g i n n i n g [190]

p a r e d i n t h o u g h t i n the t r a n s i t i o n to a n o t h e r b e g i n n i n g . F o r the f u t u r e , the s i t u a t i o n o f t h e powers w h i c h g r o u n d t r u t h i n the first place, n a m e l y poetry ( a n d c o n s e q u e n d y a r t i n general) a n d t h i n k i n g , w i l l be quite d i f f e r e n t t h a n it was i n the first b e g i n n i n g . Poetry w i l l n o t be first, b u t i n the t r a n s i t i o n the f o r e r u n n e r w i l l have to be t h i n k i n g . A r t , however, w i l l be f o r the f u t u r e t h e p u t t i n g i n t o w o r k o f t r u t h (or it w i l l be n o t h i n g ) , i.e., it w i l l be one essential g r o u n d i n g o f t h e essence o f t r u t h f f i c c o r d i n g to this highest s t a n d a r d , a n y t h i n g that w o u l d present itself as a r t m u s t be m e a s u r e d as a way o f l e t u n g t r u t h c o m e i n t o b e i n g i n these beings, w h i c h , as works, e n c h a n t i n g l y t r a n s p o r t m a n i n t o the i n timacy o f B e i n g w h i l e i m p o s i n g o n h i m t h e l u m i n o s i t y o f the unPconcealed a n d d i s p o s i n g h i m a n d d e t e r m i n i n g h i m to be the cust o d i a n o f the t r u t h o f B e i n g .


APPENDICES


T H E QUESTION OF T R U T H I. II. III.

Foundational issues in the question of truth. Leaping ahead into the essentialization [die Wesung] of truth. Recollection of thefirstshining forth of the essence of truth, ctXtiQeia (unconcealedness), as the basic character of beings. (The history of its flaming up and expiring from Anaximander to Aristotle.) IV. The question of truth as the unfolding of the essentialization of Being, which comes to pass as the clearing of the "in the midst" of beings. V. The question of truth as the grounding of ex-istence [Da-sein]. VI. The essentialization of truth as the truth of Being in the abyss. VII. The abyss as the space of play of time. (Space and time in the previous interpretation, one determined by metaphysics and its guiding question). VIII. The abyss and the strife. (Da-sein: earth and world). IX. Truth and its shelter in beings as the recasting of beings into Being. X.

The full essentialization of truth and the inclusion of correctness.

Preview of the context for the discussion of I: In I., Da-sein can only be kept in silence, because in Da-sein, as occurring through Being, the ground of truth is grounded, such that this ground becomes an abyss. Here Da-sein cannot even be mentioned, because it would immediately be interpreted as an object and the determination of the essence of truth would be denigrated into a mere "new" theory. Instead of that, we attempted to show the necessity of the question of truth out of its necessary lack of being questioned in the first beginning. But this leads to the question of the primordial need and its basic disposition. And all this can be said only if Da-sein is already and steadily intended as the ground of the clearing for the self-concealing. Everything will be misinterpreted if taken in terms of lived expcricnceTThoughtful reflection on the essence of truth as the clearing ÂŤ!' Being can only be preparatory, but this is a necessary preparation. flie" overthrow can only be accomplished by an art compelled by the most distant god, provided art is the putting into work of the truth.


F R O M T H E FIRST D R A F T

I. Foundational issues in the question of truth.

1. The compelling power of the need arising from the abandonment by Being; terror as the basic disposition of the other beginning. It is transformed into mere curiosity within what is accessible to everyone. Philosophy is still "done," because it was once supposed to belong to the

assets of culture, and caring for culture would presumably impede barbar¬ ism. The primordial questioning knowledge and the holding firm before the concealed have been replaced by a domination over everything, since everything has become obvious. That first luminosity of wonder, which had TnowIe^ge^nTyoTuT?

ot all know-

ing and doing, accessible to everyone and satislying everyone. Beings are—that is not worth a question, indeed it is not even worth mentioning. And to say what beings are, precisely as beings, is empty talk, hbr everyone knows what "Being" means, especially since it is the most ge1WaT^nTHB85Pen"pty determination ot everything, i n this

wasteland ot utter indifference, what in the beginning produced the highest wonder has been lost—and the fact that here and there aca-

demic philosophy is still done diligently does not refute this loss but corroborates it. There are only a very few who in the course of this history of the dis-

solution of the beginning have remained awake and surmise what has transpired. Insofar as they are still compelled to question, the compelling need must change in form and must be more undetermined, since

the uniqueness of the first wonder has been lost and the subsequent tradition of questioning and thinking has forced itself in. What need compelled Kant to the Critique? What need compelle3"Hegel to the system of absolute knowledge? After even this questioning was abandoned and everything was left to calculating experience, slowly and in certain places something like the imminent irrelevance and meaninglessness of all beings flared up. And when an attempt was ventured to think anew

(Nietzsche), starting from an admission of this irrelevance, the former 1

i . C f . Winter Semester 1936-37 a n d S u m m e r Semester 1937. [I.e., Nietzsche: Der Wille zur Macht ab Kunst. GA, Bd. 43, and Nietzsches metaphysische Grundstellung im abendländischen Denken: Die Uhre wn der ewigen Wiederkehr des Gleichen, GA, Bd., 44-Tr.]


169

F r o m t h e first d r a f t [196-97] greatness

o f t h o u g h t , t h e n it b e c a m e

c l e a r that t h e b e g i n n i n g h a d

t u r n e d i n t o t h e e n d a n d t h a t t h e n e e d a n d its c o m p e l l i n g h a d t o b e c o m e d i f f e r e n t , a s s u m i n g that t h e r e is still s u p p o s e d t o b e a n o t h e r b e g i n n i n g . A f t e r N i e t z s c h e , a n d i n a c e r t a i n way t h r o u g h h i m ( f o r as t r u l y as h e is t h e e n d , h e is at t h e s a m e t i m e a t r a n s i t i o n ^ , t l i e o t h e r n e e d c o m e s i n t o play, a n d ' t h i s a g a i n o n l y , as i n t h e casëTHBe~first b e g i n n i n g , f o r a few rare persons, to w h o m

is m e t e d o u t t h e power t o q u e s t i o n a n d t h e

power over d e c l i n i n g in the transition.

lJ„itsg+»g •/ UtH^+n zc/.TSt-

T h e otHêrnêêcT'lnat is, it we m a y say s o , our n e c u , h a s this p e c u l i a r i t y that it is n o t e x p e r i e n c e d as a n e e d . . E v e r y t h i n g h a s D e c o m e c a l c u l a b l e , a n d c o n s e q u e n t l y e v e r y t h i n g is u n d e r s t a n d a b l e . T h e r e a r e n o l o n g e r a n y l i m i t s t o o u r d o m i n a t i o n oyer b e i n g s , i f only o u r will is g r e a t e n o u g h a n d constant e n o u g h . E v e r y t h i n g becomes obvious, without any i m p e n e t r a b l e d e p t h s , a n d this t r a n s p a r e n c y d e r i v e s t r o m a l u m i n o s i t y i n w h i c h t h e e y e o f k n o w l e d g e is d a z z l e d t o t h e v e r g e o f b l i n d n e s s . Q u e s t i o n i n g , at o n e t i m e t h e p r i m o r d i a l e r u p t i o n i n t o t h e o p e n o n t h e p a r t o f w h a t is c o n c e a l e d , a n d t h e p r i d e i n h o l d i n g fast t o w h a t is worthy o f q u e s t i o n i n g n o w s u c c u m b to the suspicion o f weakness a n d i n s e c u r i t y . Q u e s t i o n i n g is a s i g n o f a l a c k o f t h e p o w e r t o act. W h o e v e r a c k n o w l e d g e s a n d e x p e r i e n c e s this s i t u a t i o n , o n e t h a t h a s b e e n b e c o m i n g m o r e ' a c u t e f o r d e c a d e s i n t h e m o s t v a r i e d f o r m s , will find t h a t b e i n g s a r e n o w t a k e n f o r a l l d i a t is, as i f t h e r e w e r e n o s u c h t h i n g as B e i n g a n d t h e t r u t h o f B e i n g . B ^ i n g s j s t r u t as b e i n g s a n d yet a r e . a b a n d p n e d b y Being. T h e nearly unacknowledged ment by Beingjbecomes

n e e d j a r i s i n g frorn^ t h e a b a n d o n -

c o m p e l l i n g i n t h e basic d i s p o s i t i o n , o f . t e r r o r .

O n e c a n n o l o n g e r b e struck b y t h e miracle o f beings: that they areTFor, q u i t e t o t h e c o n t r a r y , this h a s b e c o m e o b v i o u s l o n g a g o . A n d it is a g a p i n g abyss t h a t b e i n g s , a p p a r e n t l y c l o s e r t o r e a l i t y t h a n ' e v e r b e f o r e , c a n be t a k e n f o r a l l t h a t is, w h i l e B e i n g a n d t h e t r u t h o f B e i n g a r e f o r g o t t e n . In w o n d e r ,

t h e basic d i s p o s i t i o n o f t h e first b e g i n n i n g , b e i n g s

first

c o m e t o s t a n d i n t h e i r f o r m . T e r r o r , t h e b a s i c _ d i s p p s i t i o n of.the.Qjher b e g i n n i n g , reveals b e h i n d all progress a n d all d o m i n a t i o n over beings_a (lark e m p t i n e s s o f i r r e l e v a n c e a n d a s h r i n k i n g b a c k i n face o f t h e . first a n d last d e c i s i o n s .

2. The question of the essence of truth as the necessity of the highest need arising from the abandonment of Being. It w o u l d b e a v e r y e x t r i n s i c c o n c e p t i o n o f t h e s e v a r i o u s basic d i s p o s i tions if we w o u l d see i n w o n d e r o n l y i n f l a m e d d e s i r e a n d j u b i l a t i o n a n d seek ter r o r i n t h e n e b u l o u s r e a l m o f a v e r s i o n , g r i e f , a n d d e s p a i r . J ust as wonder Ijeju^jnjtsejnt^wiL^ort-of-terror,.so

d o e s t e r r o r j n v o l v e its

own m o d e of self-composure, c a l m steadfastriessjjnd new w o n d e r . T h e q u i t e d i f f e r e n t q u e s t i o n , i n t o w h i c h t h e basic d i s p o s i t i o n o f t e r r o r c o m pels, c o n c e r n s t h e a b a n d o n m e n t b y B e i n g a n d t h e fact that b e i n g s c a n be


A p p e n d i c e s [197-99]

170

while the truth.pf Being remains_forgpjlien.. It asks whether this abysmal state of affairs does not belong to beings themselves, and whether now, after this experience with beings has been endured, the moment does not arrive to raise the question of beings again and indeed in a quite different manner. This other question determines the epoch of an other beginning. This other question can no longer, just as in the case of the first dawn of the day of beings, turn to beings in order then, in face of them, to ask what it means that beings are. The other question proceeds from terror before the groundlessness of beings: that no ground has been laid for them, indeed that grounding itself is held to be superfluous. This terror becomes aware that truths are still claimed and yet no one any longer knows or questions what truth itself is and how truth might belong to beings as such, something that can be asked and decided only if beings as beings have not fallen into oblivion with regard to their Being. Where, on the contrary, beings as beings have become obvious (and ^consequently the question of Being is merely a pursuit of "ontology" as a fixed discipline), then no one thinks to ask how beings as beings come into tHeopen^nd whaTthis opening might be, and~how"Tt~ takes place, such that the usual representations can conform to appear¬ ing beings. The absence of the question of the essence of truth becomes the strongest support for the obviousness of beings. The abandonment by Being is consoled by the absence of the question of truth, without, however, experiencing what bestows on it this consolation of the obvious. i f the abandonment by^Being pxoH"™ the . highest need, which emerges as cofflpejling lfa terror then the question of the essence of what is true, the question o f truth, proves to be the necessity of this need, what has to be surmounted first, precisely before the proper experience of the abandonment by Being. The truth itself—its essentialization—is thefirstand highest truth, in which alone all further truths, i.e., the founded relation to beings themselves, can find their ground. Thus when we raise the question of truth, our motive is not a petty and fortuitous desire to critique and reform the traditional concept of truth. On the contrary, we are compelled by the most hidden and consequently the deepest need of the age, and by that alone. ><i

-

3. The question of truth and the question of Being.

a) T h e unfolding of the question o f truth as a reflection on the first beginning. T h e re-opening o f the first beginning for the sake o f another beginning. Similarly, if the unfolding of the question of truth leads us to the history


1-Yom the first d r a f t [199-200]

171

of truth, that does not happen from some sort of historiographical interest, one desirous of information about how things were in the past and how the present is rooted therein. On the contrary, the need arising from the abandonment by Being is the distress that the first beginning can no longer be mastered. This beginning is not something bygone but is. in the form of the end of the history which has declined from it, more contemporary and more pressing than ever, though also more concealed. If the question of truth is needed out of the deepest distress over the abandonment by Being in our age, then conversely the asking of this question has to articulate that need and in order to overcome it must first make sure that this need no longer remains extrinsic as the need arising from the lack of need, which is the form adopted by the most uncanny—namely the semblance of obviousness. The opening of the need, in which the beginning still dwells in the form of its excess, turns thereby into a reflection on thefirstbeginning itself. This reflection must show that the first beginning, in its uniqueness, can never be repeated in the sense of a mere imitation, and that, on the other hand, it remains the only thing repeatable in the sense of a reopening of that by which the discussion has to commence if a beginning, and consequendy the other beginning, is to come to be historically. The other beginning is not something withdrawn from the first beginning and from its history—as if the first beginning could cast the bygone behind itself— but precisely as the other beginning it is essentially related to the first, and only, beginning. This occurs, however, in such a way that in the other beginning the first is experienced more originally and is restored to its greatness. Afterward, through the domination of what succeeded it, still feeds upon it, and at the same time is declined from it, the first beginning was falsified into the "primitive," something that could not attain the height of the development and progress of what came later. The need of the first beginning has its own form, and as a conse¬ quence wondeFls there the compelling basic disposition, and the pri¬ mordial and lasting question is there the question of beings: what are beings? On the other hand, the need of the other beginningTas the form of an abandonment by Being, to which corresponds the basic disposition of terror Therefore even the primordial question is dif ferent »1 the other beginning^ the question of truth, the question of the essentializatioh oftruth.

b) T h e question of truth as a preliminary question on behalf of the basic question of Being. Truth, however, is the truth of Being, and therefore the question of truth is basically a preliminary question on behalf of the basic question of Being—the genuine question of Being in distinction to the previous question of beings as the guiding question in the history of the first beginning. (Cf. the first unfolding of this question in Being and Time. The


172

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question of the "meaning" of Being. Meaning = region of projection, the open ground of Being itself and of its essentialization. When, by comparison, Nietzsche happens to say that we must first know what "Being" is, what he means is precisely beings, and he is moving within the confusion of beings and Being, a confusion still rampant today. The reason for this aberration, however, resides not only in the fact that the basic question has been passed over, but the old guiding question that has been raised for centuries has not been unfolded as a question and thus is unknown in its own conditions.) These foundational reflections on the question of truth and its necessity will have to make plain what is at stake in them. It should at least now be clear that here the question of truth is no longer a "problem of logic." All areas of sclerotic, and therefore only semblant, questioning have no need or necessity. All extrinsic attempts to found a new science now appear very traditional and flatâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;even prescinding from the fact that the question of truth can not at all be founded sufficiently by science, since every science, especially modern science, is a remote perversion of a definite kind of knowledge which has already decided on the essence and the type of truth normative for it (certitude). II. Leaping ahead into the essentialization of truth.

4. The question of the essentialization of truth as a question that founds history originally. The question of truth, as was clarified above, originates from the innermost need of our history and is the most genuine necessity of the work of founding history. History does not mean for us here the simple gathering of everyday public events, and a fortiori it is not such events as bygone. All of that certainly belongs to history and yet by no means touches its essence. For history is the occurrence in which, through man, beings become "more being." This occurrence involves most intrinsically the coming forth of beings as such into an openness which for its part requires a grounding and shelter in beings. This occurrence of the opening up of beings is, however, the essentialization of truth itself. Examined in its origin and thought with regard to its future, truth has the longest history because with it, following the character of its essentialization, history begins and ends. The question of the essentialization of truth is therefore the originally historical question, the question that grounds history, and is therefore historically different according to the respective historical moment. We understand or, to put it more prudently, we surmise that our historical moment is that of the preparation for the other beginning. Yet this latter may alsoâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;since every beginning is decisive to the highest


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degreeâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;be the final end. If this possibility did not exist, the beginning and its preparation would lose all trenchancy and uniqueness. The question of the essence of truth, as the primordial question of the other beginning, is different from that determination of the essence of truth which throughout the history of the first beginning could not be made primordially but only ex post facto. In every case, however, the determination of the essence is apparently arbitrary, and so little can it be derived from what is given, that it is, on the contrary, the determinateness of the essence which first allows us to grasp a given something as this and not that. And if what is at stake is not only to represent (toio) the essence as whatness but to experience the essentialization, the more original unity of the what and the how, then this does not mean that the how would now be represented in addition to the what. We speak here about the experience of the essentialization and mean the conscious, willful, and affective entrance into the essence, in order to stand in it and to withstand it.

5. Indication of the essentialization of truth through critical reflection and historical recollection. a) Preparation for the leap by securing the approach run and by predelineating the direction o f the leap. Correctness as the start of the approach r u n , openness as the direction o f the leap. Now if even the representation of the essence ( ioĂŠct) cannot but appear arbitrary and groundless, yet on the other hand is constantly carried out without any strangeness, then this two-foldness will apply all the more to our entrance into the essentialization. Access to the essence always has about it something of the immediate and partakes of the creative, the freely arisen. We therefore speak of a leap, a leap ahead into the essentialization of truth. Admittedly, this terminology does not at first contribute a great deal toward the clarification or justification of our procedure. But it does suggest that this procedure must in every case be carried out by the individual expressly for himself. Whoever does not take this leap will never experience what it opens up. Speaking of a "leap" is also meant to intimate, however, that a preparation is still possible and necessary here: the securing of the approach run for the leap and the predelineation of its direction. The question of truth, which we can and must raise, no longer dwells in its primordial state. Instead, there is behind it a rich tradition, one that has come down to the obvious representation of truth as correctness. We already know, or at all events believe we know, what truth is. Thereby we possess a starting point for the approach run to the leap


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into the more original essence of truth. In what sense this is the case was already clarified in the first discussions. The reflection on what correctness genuinely is, and would be, leads us to that which makes it possible in the first place and is the ground of this possibility. For a representation to be able to conform to beings as normative, the beings must, prior to this conformity and on behalf of it, show themselves to it and thus already stand in the open. The path or relation to beings must also be open, and on it the conforming and correct representation will move and will remain. Finally and above all, what must stand in the open is that which the representation carries out in order to present to itself the represented and to let the appearing beings show themselves. Correctness is what characterizes the conformity to . . . , and the latter must be able to move in an openness, indeed in that openness wherein there must be opened up that to which the representing conforms as well as the representing itself in its representation of the object. This open region and its openness constitute the ground of the possibility of the correctness of a representation. Consequently, if we take the usual determination of truth as correctness as the starting point of the approach run for the leap into our question of truth, then we may at the same time find therein an indication of the direction of the leap. The task is to leap into this open region itself and into its openness. The essentialization of this openness must be the essence of the truth, no matter how undeterminate and undeveloped it might now appear to us.

b) T h e experience of openness as unconcealedness (otXTjdeict) i n the first beginning. T h e unquestioned character of unconcealedness and the task of a more original experience o f its essence on the basis of our need. The start of our more original question is the determination of truth as correctness. We know, however, that this determination is an old one; it was reached in Greek philosophyâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;by Plato and above all by Aristotle. Now if correctness bears in itself openness as its ground and, as it were, oscillates in it, and consequently cannot be grasped without reference to it, then along with the positing of the determination of truth as correctness must not this openness also have been experienced? That is indeed the case. The simplest evidence is provided by the word the Greeks used in the beginning to name what we call "truth": a\ti'9eia, unconcealedness. The unconcealed stands and resides in the open. Hence the thinkers of the first beginning have also already experienced the original essence of truth and have thought it in advance, and so we have no reason to question more originally; indeed that would not even be possible. To be sure, a distinction has to be made here. It is beyond discussion that the Greek thinkers experienced the unconcealedness of beings. But it is also undeniable that they did not make unconcealedness itself


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a question, nor was it unfolded in its essence and brought upon its ground. Instead, this experience of aXTjdeict got lost. The proof for this unique occurrence within the great Greek philosophy is the fact that when it was imperative to raise the essence of truth to knowledge, aX^'deux became O U A U D O - I ? (correctness). Nevertheless a last echo of the original essence of truth was always retained, without at all being able to prevail in the subsequent history of philosophy (cf. Aristotle, Met. 6 10). All the more pressing, then, is our task of experiencing this original essence of truth explicitly and grounding it. The historical necessity of the question of truth thus becomes surreptitiously richer in compelling power, and the more original essence of truth as openness loses more and more its apparent arbitrariness. For reflection on the ground of the possibility of correctness, as well as the recollection of the origin of the determination of truth as opofrixn.;, both led us to this dark and freefloating openness itself, unconcealedness. At the same time it is clear that the mere change of name, speaking of "unconcealedness" instead of "truth," gains us nothing, even if we were to attempt what is intrinsically impossible, namely to rejuvenate the primordial Greek experiences from which this word arose, a word that, at the same time, first allowed these experiences to be experienced. Indeed it is certain that the essence of truth shone to the Greeks as aXfj'dcux; and it is equally certain that the Greek thinkers not only were incapable of mastering this essence of truth in their thinking but did not even put it into question. For Greek Dasein, aX-rjdeia remained the most powerful and at the same time the most hidden. That the Greek thinkers did not raise the question of the essence and the ground of aXTj-iteua itself is not due to an incapacity of their thinking but, on the contrary, derives from the overpowering force of the primordial task: to speak for the first time of beings themselves as such. If we now have to raise the question of truth in a more original way, that does not mean we may boast of a superiority. On the contrary. But just as litde does it mean that the task is simply to supply a fitting definition of the aVrj-deia which for the Greeks remained unquestioned and without further determination. Instead, notwithstanding all original adherence to the tradition, the task is to experience the essence of truth more originally on the basis of our need and to raise it to knowledge.

6. The abandonment by Being as the need arising from the lack of need. The experience of the abandonment of beings by Being as need in the coming to light of the belongingness of Being to beings and the distinction of Being from beings. Our need is so deeply rooted that it is not felt by everyone. This lack of


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need is die most striking character of the unique need long ago prepared in history. Because this need is not felt by everyone, every reference to it is at first unintelligible or at least readily prone to misinterpretation. We have already spoken of the need arising from the "abandonment by Being." We clarified this designation by saying that historical man deals with, uses, and changes beings, and thereby experiences himself as a beingâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;and the Being of beings does not concern him, as if it were the most indifferent. As progress and success show, one can certainly dispense with Being. Being will then once in a while, as the last remnant of a shadow, haunt mere representations, ones turned away from doing and acting and therefore already unreal. If this Being, compared to hefty and immediately pressing beings, is so negative and keeps its distance from experience and calculation and therefore is dispensable, then this cannot at all be called abandonment by Being. For abandonment exists only where what belongs indispensably has been withdrawn. As soon as we speak of the abandonment by Being, we tacitly admit that Being belongs to beings and has to belong to beings in order for beings to be beings and for man to be a being in the midst of beings. The abandonment of beings by Being is therefore experienced as giving rise to need as soon as the belonging of Being to beings shines forth and the mere fussing with beings becomes questionable. But then, it would appear, the need is also already overcome, or at least the first step to overcome it has been taken. No. The need has then merely developed to a degree of acuteness that renders a decision, indeed tlie decision, inevitable: eitlier, despite the shining forth of the belonging of Being to beings, the question of Being is dismissed and instead the fussing with beings is enhanced to gigantic proportions, or that terror we spoke of gains power and space and from then on no longer allows the belonging of Being to beings to be forgotten and takes as questionable all mere fussing over beings. The lack of need is precisely indifference over this decision. Whether we are really questioning on the basis of need, and hence necessarily, in raising the question of truth and whether and how we thereby must already have traversed this decision and how a decisiveness lies behind our questioning, all that cannot be demonstrated in advanceâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;indeed it cannot be demonstrated at all in the usual sense but can only be experienced in the course of reflection. If the question of truth, as we are putting it in train, is supposed to be nothing else than primordial reflection on Being itself, then there would at least be the possibility that we are questioning compelled by this need and that consequently the leaping ahead can become an impetus to true reflection. For where all roads are trodden and nothing more is left that could pass as inaccessible, it is already a step toward reflection to learn that something worthy of questioning has remained unquestioned. This renewed reference to the enigmatic need arising from the lack ol need should make clear to us that even if we could question on the


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basis of this need and enjoy the privilege of being allowed to question in such a way, yet at first and for the most part it would still appear that here, as elsewhere, we were merely dissecting words and concepts and were fabricating empty theories, perhaps ones even more intricate and bizarre. But this too belongs to the enduring of the need arising from the lack of need, namely that this appearance be taken over as inevitable. 7. Directive sketch of the essence of truth on the basis of the need arising from the abandonment by Being. But how are we now supposed to set in motion the leap ahead into the essentialization of truth? "Leap ahead" is ambiguous: on the one hand, it means that a sketch of the approach run of the genuine leap and of its direction would be given in advance, and on the other hand it means that in all this an exemplary prior exercise of the leap has already been performed. At the beginning of this leaping ahead we know two things: (1) critical reflection and historical recollection direct us to the essentialization of truth as the openness of beings; (2) we attain the essentialization of the truth only by a leap, in virtue of which we come to stand in the essentialization, which is not the same as thinking a concept of the essence of truth under the guidance of a definition. We will initially carry out the leap ahead as a directive sketch of the "essence" of truth on the basis of the need arising from the abandonment by Being. Even if we do not actually experience this and remain insensitive to it, we can still gain in a roundabout fashion an initial knowledge of what comes to pass in it. a) Openness as the clearing for the vacillating selfconcealment. Vacillating self-concealment as a first designation o f Being itself. We are always comporting ourselves to beingsâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;actual, possible, and necessary. We ourselves, as beings, belong in this circuit of beings. Beings as a whole are known and familiar to us in a definite way; even where we do not turn to beings explicitly, they lie before us and surround us as accessible. We shall now deliberately attend to this obvious state of affairs that goes unnoticed in our everyday dealings. In so doing, we shall put aside all the theories and doctrines which might suggest themselves and which presumably have this state of affairs in view in some manner or other: e.g., that we are conscious of objects, that a subject, and several subjects together, relate to objects, etc. We shall now attend only to what precedes all that, and our directive shall be that beingsâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;and we ourselves in their midstâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;lie in a certain sense open. In beings, such an openness holds sway. Ourfirstand only effort shall be to


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draw close to this openness, without falling prey to the temptation to explain it prematurely, after scarcely perceiving it in the roughest manner. In this openness, beings are familiar to us and known in different ways according to their different regions. Beings stand in a luminosity of knowledge and of sovereignty and afford ways and paths of penetration for the most diverse ways of being elaborated, formed, and considered. In every case, beings thereby prove to be independent and grounded in themselves. Beings dwell in a luminosity and provide, in very different degrees, free access to their autonomy. We may determine this closer and recapitulate by saying that beings stand in a luminosity, in a light, and allow free access and entrance—they are lighted. We speak of a clearing in the woods, a free luminous place. The openness of beings is such a clearing. But at the same time beings are placed differendy, and indeed not only by a being that is not accessible to us, and perhaps never will be, but by something concealed which conceals itself precisely when we immerse ourselves in the clearing, submit to the open beings, and are lost to them. That is exactly when we heed the least and are most rarely touched by the fact that these beings dwelling in the open "are"—or, as we say, "have" a Being. This latter, by which beings are distinguished from non-being, and owing to which they are and are such and such, does not stand in the clearing but in hiddenness. Consequently, the attempt to grasp this Being as if it were a being yields emptiness. Being is not merely hidden; it withdraws and conceals itself. From this we derive an essential insight: the clearing, in which beings are, is not simply bounded and delimited by something hidden but by something self-concealing. Now, however, if Being is decisive for beings, and knowingly or not presses all activity and development of beings, beings we ourselves are not and ones we ourselves are, toward the Being of beings, toward what and how they are, then the clearing not only proves to be delimited by the self-concealing but is for the self-concealing. We can and even must understand this determination of the self-concealing—seen in terms of the clearing of beings—as a first essential designation of Being itself. Since beings, and what is known as beings, stand in the clearing, Being reveals itself in a particular way. Its self-concealment is therefore one primordially proper to it. It shows itself and withdraws at the same time. This vacillating self-refusal is what is properly lighted up in the clearing, and yet for the most part it goes unheeded—corresponding to our comportment in the midst of beings. E.g., if we stand in a clearing in the woods, we see only what can be found within it: the free place, the trees about—and precisely not the luminosity of the clearing itself. As little as the openness is simply the unconcealedness of beings, but is the clearing for the self-concealing, so little is this self-concealment a mere licing-abseni. It is rather a vacillating, hesitant refusal. In our recollection and critical deliberation we found that the ground of the possibility of "correctness" as the usual concept of truth lies in an openness of beings, and that this openness was already experienced in the beginning and was named aX-rjdeia. This openness of beings has


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now shown itself to be the clearing for the vacillating self-concealment, which constantly points into the clearing. Accordingly, truth is not simply the unconcealedness of beings— ctXiideia—but, more originally understood, is the clearing for the vacillating self-concealment. The name "vacillating self-concealment" is a name for Being itself, and, by the most preliminary allusion, it implies that the essence of truth is in the most intimate way related to Being itself, so intimately that perhaps Being itself is in need of truth for its own most proper essentialization, and truth is not a mere supplement to it. 1

b) T h e clearing for self-concealment as the supporting ground o f humanity. Man's grounding of this supporting ground as Da-sein. An essential step is still outstanding, a step that belongs intrinsically to the fulfillment of this preliminary directive sketch of the essence of truth. We first characterized truth as the openness of beings (unconcealedness). It might appear that the further determination of truth in terms of the concealedness inherent in it was merely an ancillary representation on our part. But the clearing is the clearing for the self-concealing, and, above all, the clearing of beings is not something we ourselves merely think or represent. On the contrary, it is something in which we ourselves stand and apparently nothing of our own doing. We stand in this clearing in such a way that it first opens for us a relation to beings—and to ourselves as well. It is the supporting ground of our humanity, insofar as this is essentially determined through the distinctive ability to relate to beings as such and hence to be determined by beings as such. But the clearing of beings is this supporting ground only insofar as it is the clearing for the vacillating self-concealment, for the entrance of Being itself into what is lighted up. On the other hand, it also holds that if man would not be, then neither could this clearing corn,^ (¡0 pass. The clearing for the self-concealing—truth—is the supporting ground of humanity, and humanity comes to pass only by grounding and being exposed to the supporting ground as such. While man stands as a bem^nTtheTopenness of beingsrhe musralsoaTthe'same time stand in a relation to what is self-concealing. The ground of humanity must therefore be grounded through humanity as ground. Thus, if we would understand the essence of truth in its essentialization, we will have to see that a representation of the correctness of knowledge is not sufficient—indeed, even further, that a representation will never attain the essentialization of truth. For truth as the clearing for the self-concealing is the ground of humanity—something other than we ourselves are, and to which we nevertheless belong and must belong, if we propose to know truth originally. Thus the essentialization of truth will be attained only if the usual everyday way of being human is successfully dislocated, as it were, 1. [Reading drmnach

for dennoch, following the second edition.—Tr.]


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and is then allowed to settle on its proper ground. Hence the need of the leap, which we can now prepare only as regards its direction. Truth, however, is grounded as the ground through that which we call Da-sein, that which sustains man and is entrusted to hlrnonly rarely, as both donation and destiny, and only to those among men who are creative and are grounding. The "Da" [the "there"] refers to that clearing in which beings stand as a whole, in such a way that in this "Do" the Being [Sein] of open beings shows itself and at the same time withdraws. To1 be this "Pa* is a destiny of man, in correspondence to which he grounds that which is itself the ground of the highest possibilities of his Being. Ever since man has comported himself to beings as such and formed himself as a being on the basis of this relation, ever since man has been historical, the clearing for the self-concealing must have come to pass. Which does not imply that since then this ground of historical humanity was experienced as ground and was grounded. It was not by accident that this ground was surmised within the Greeks' experience of what they called ctVfrdciot. But very soon, and again not accidentally, it was misinterpreted and forced into oblivion. The representation of man was itself not determined originally, on the basis of his most original essence, because that has remained concealed up to this very hour: namely, that man is the being which, in the midst of beings, bears the truth of Being. Instead, the concept of man was constructed with reference to animals and living things in general, i.e., with reference to something other than man himself. Man was distinguished from the animal only insofar as he was declared to be the "rational animal," a determination which is still, in different variations, powerful and respectable today. And this non-original determination of man is now also supposed to represent the ground for the interpretation of everything proper to man as man—his knowledge and his creations, his self-surpassing and his self-destruction. The ground of humanity and thereby the essence of truth thus remain hidden in their full essentialization. It is as if the most extreme need into which man was pressed historically —the need arising from the lack of need, the pursuit of truths without a relation to truth itself—it is as if this need had to compel him now to reflect on the ground of his essence. And should we then be surprised if this ground—supposing we could look into it—would open itself up for us precisely as an abyss, since we still live all too much on the basis of the habits of a previous age and take the usual and the obvious for the essence?

c) T h e question of truth, and the dislocation of humanity out of its previous homelessness into the ground o f its essence, i n order for man to become the founder and the preserver o f the truth o f Being. As inexorably as genuine questioning throws us back entirely upon our-


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selves and will tolerate no dissent, and as certain as history is grounded only in the overcoming o f the historiographical, that is how little we can detach ourselves from all previous history and place ourselves, as it were, in a void. We must insist over and over that what is at stake in the question o f truth as raised here is not simply an alteration o f the previous concept o f truth, nor a supplementation o f the usual representation, but a transformation o f humanity itself. T h i s transformation is not the result of new psychological or biological insights. For man is not here the object o f any sort o f anthropology. O n the contrary, man is here in question in the most profound and the most extensive respect, the one properly foundational; i.e.. we are questioning man in his relation to Being, ofT after the turning, we are questioning Being and its truth in relation to man. T h e determination o f the essence o f truth is accompanied by a necessary transformation o f man. Both are the same. T h i s transformation signifies the dislocation o f humanity out o f its previous home—or. better, from its homelessness—into the ground o f its essence, in order for man to become the founder and the preserver o f the truth o f Being, to be the "there," as the ground employed by the essence o f Being itself. T h e dislocation o f humanity—to be this ground—turns man away from himself the furthest and into a relation to Being itself. B u t only out o f this furthest distance can man truly find himself back, i.e., be who he is. We have been speaking o f " m a n , " expressing ourselves as concisely as possible. B u t the man that concerns us is historical man, which means the one who creates history, is sustained by history, and is beset by history. T h i s historical man is not a separate "individual," dragging his past behind himself. Nor does it mean several individuals, belonging together in the form o f a society. Individuation and society are themselves only possible a n d necessary modes o f historical humanity and d o not at all exhaust it. Historical man: that shall mean for us the unexhausted unique fullness o f essential human possibilities and necessities, specifically—which is decisive here—ones arising from man's relation to the truth o f B e i n g itself. Questioning on the basis o f such a pre-view, we would represent precisely the possibility o f the beginning o f an entirely different history, in which the destiny o f the single individual as well as o f society would be determined differendy, so differently that the previous representations could no longer suffice. T h u s the dislocation o f man back into his ground has to be carried out in the first place by those few, solitary, and uncanny ones^who in various ways as poets, thinkers, as builders and artists, as d o e r s a n d actors, ground a n d shelter the truth of Being in beings through the transformation o f beings. T h r o u g h the rigor o f the decisions which lie ahead, theyTxcome, each in his way and unknown to~the many, a silent sacrifice. IT we appraise the reflection on this dislocation \VerrOckimg\ o f man from the standpoint of sound common sense and"Ttspre38minance, we


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will reject it as deranged ["verrückt"], to play cleverly with a word, and will not even take the pains to reject such reflection but will simply ridicule it. But this will not mislead ones who know, to the extent that there are any. For a case which has not yet been mastered is still in the air, the latest in the history of German thought, the case of Nietzsche. Fortunately, we have the incontrovertible fact that this thinker lapsed into madness. By means of this circumstance it is possible to ward off his most decisive meditation—the thought of the eternal recurrence of the same—in its totally strange character and in the inexorableness of its perspectives and questioning, by interpreting it as a precursor of madness and an offspring of despair. But what about that other one, still greater, whose poetry was further in advance, namely Hölderlin? Have we at all considered sufficiently that something miraculous comes to pass whenever the history of the West, in its most profound meditations, surmises its unrolling to its end? The miracle is that the ones who suffered such meditation, and created it, and hence bore the knowledge of what was entirely other, were prematurely torn away from the sanity of their Dasein—and this in wholly different ways in their own respective domains: Schiller, Hölderlin, Kierkegaard, van Gogh, Nietzsche. Did they all merely "break down," as an extrinsic calculation would perhaps ascertain, or was a new song sung to them, one that never tolerates an "and so forth" but demands the sacrifice of the "shortest path" (Hölderlin)? These names are like enigmatic signs, inscribed in the most hidden ground of our history. We hardly give a thought to the sheer power of this series of signs, which is not to say that we would be strong enough to understand it. These signs are harbingers of a change of history, lying deeper and reaching further than all revolutions" within the compass of the activities of men, of peoples, and of their contrivances. Here something comes to pass, for which we have no measure and no space—at least not yet—and we therefore force it into disfiguration and disguise, if we speak about it by means of language as constituted hitherto. So if we are pointing to it in our sketch of the question of truth, then that is only meant to indicate how far we are turned away from the real path of our history and how much there is need for even the most minor power to prepare ourselves and future ones to enter into this path once and for all. Such preparation requires, prior to all truths, that truth itself become a question and a necessity. Necessity arises only from original need. And this is exactly what we withdraw from the most when we steal away on the exits to the past. d) T h e question of the essentialization of truth as the question of the essentialization of Being. The question of truth is fundamentally the question of the openness for


F r o m the first d r a f t [217-19] the self-concealing. And what, in an exceptional and unique sense, conceals itself in the domain of open beings is Being. We experience this in the most prosaic and yet most enigmatic event, namely that beings most immediately press upon us and impose themselves and that only beings seem to be. But perhaps our seeming to manage, in the domain of beings, with beings alone is the most uncanny semblance that plays with us, a semblance that certainly prevails constandy and erupts, but which can nevertheless be overcome. When we set forth on the path of the question of truth, we take pains to overcome this semblance to the effect that if beings are, then only beings are open. For openness is on behalf of self-concealment. And what conceals itself is Being. Insofar as selfconcealment requires openness, this latter belongs as well to the essentialization of Being. The question of truth is the question of the essentialization of Being. Being, however, is that which needs man as the founder and preserver of its truth: man as this or that one, but not simply any man but only the one who bestows to truth its ground and home, and who bears the openness for the self-concealing, who is the "there" [Da]. That is how truth as the essentialization of Being comes to pass, founded in the Da-sein of man, between Being [Setn] and beingthe-there [Da-sein]. Truth belongs to the essentialization of Being without exhausting its essence. Truth belongs to the appropriating event, and truth belongs to Being. That is why the Greeks experienced for the first time, in the thinking of beings as such, unconcealedness as the beingness of beings. But because they did not ask about Being itself, truth degenerated into correctness, became something for itself, and lost the essential relation to Being. If we now recollect the traditional and ordinary conception of truth as correctness and consider that it was finally determined as a relation between subject and object, then we can recognize in the subject-object relation a very remote layer of that relation between Being and beingthe-there, a layer entirely ignorant of its origin. The question about truth begins with this view in order to unfold for the first time its full tearing and to lose completely the character of an isolated question. Indeed still more: not only is it inserted into this most extreme and broadest realm of thoughtful knowledge in general, but the question of truth becomes at the same time, in terms of the approach we characterized, the first leap into the heart of the basic question of philosophy. Therefore it should not be surprising that everything we say beyond the ordinary concept of truth will atfirst,and for a long time, seem very strange. Therefore we must all the more assure for ourselves what is already accessible in the tradition as an echo of the original essence of truth and which is expressed in the word otXiifleia (unconcealedness). In this way our question of truth will become historical in a double respect: on the one hand, insofar as there is prepared in it a transformation of humanity hitherto and its relation to beings (and consequently the "hitherto" necessarily enters into the discussion) and on the other hand, insofar as even the more original determination of the essence of


A p p e n d i c e s [219-20] truth already and by necessity appears in the knowledge of truth in the first beginning, without being explicitly mastered. Thus what our question needs for its justification and elucidation, and at the same time for the removal of the suspicion of arbitrariness, is an explicit carrying out of historical recollection. And only its actual execution will allow us to see the extent to which this is distinct from historiographical acquaintance with past opinions on truth. III. Recollection of the first shining forth of the essence of truth as d:\Tj-9eia (unconcealedness).

8. Recollection of the first knowledge of truth at the beginning of Western philosophy as an indication of the proper question of the more original essence of truth as openness. The recollection of the first knowledge of truth at the beginning of Western philosophy should serve to indicate what is announced in the essence of truth as openness regarding essential relations, even if there they are undetermined and ungrounded. The carrying out of this recollection is more difficult than might appear at first sight. What the Greeks thought about truth has been known for a long time and has been presented in a more or less full account ever since there has been historiographical research into the history of philosophy. O f course, these historiographical reports have been guided by the traditional concept of truth as correctness. Thus we discover what the Greeks said about truth in that sense, and we can observe how far they progressed in the unfolding of this concept of truth and to what extent they fell short. We find only what we seek, and in historiography we are seeking only what we may know in relation to the guiding concept of truth as correctness. We are thereby precisely not seeking unconcealedness. To be at all able to carry out the recollection of the first shining forth of the essence of truth as o\tj{)â&#x201A;Źict, we ourselves must have already asked about the more original essence of truth as the openness of beings. We are thus moving in the well-known circle of all understanding and interpretation. Conversely, one could now say that if we have already inquired into the original essence of truth and consequently have at our command a knowledge of it, then it is superfluous to drag the past back in. Our foregoing considerations have already eliminated this objection and its very foundations. From now on it is to be noted that we can focus on the first shining forth of oVrjdetct only if we ourselves at the same time, and above all, investigate the original essence. We will better see the essential the more decisive our questioning is and in that way encounters past history. The carrying out of the recollection of the first shining forth


F r o m the First d r a f t [220—22]

185

of àXriûeiot conies down to a discussion o f the essential steps o f the basic movement o f the great Greek philosophy, whose beginning and end are attached to the names Anaximander and Aristotle. What later arises as so-called "Greek philosophy" has anodier character, no longer the original; what we then have are either scholastic trends in the wake o f Plato and Aristode, or practical-moral philosophies like those o f the Stoa and Epicurus, o r even attempts at a renaissance o f the ancient Greek philosophy under the influence o f Christian faith or the religious systems o f later antiquity, renaissances which go by the name o f Neoplatonism. Subsequently, all these "philosophies" became historically more influential than the genuine and originally great Greek philosophy. T h e ground o f this fact resides in the linkage with Christianity. T h e great Greek philosophy fell more and more into oblivion, and when it was i n deed sought out it was completely covered over. T h a t Aristode became the principal master o f "philosophy" in the middle ages does not contradict this, for on the one hand what was called philosophy in medieval times was not philosophy but only a preamble o f reason o n behalf o f theology, as required by faith. A n d , on the other hand, Aristode was precisely therefore not understood in the Greek way, i.e., on the basis o f the primordial thought and poetry o f Greek Dasein, but in a medieval fashion, i.e., in an Arabic-Jewish-Christian way. T h e first attempt at a philosophical reflection on the beginning o f Western philosophy, and hence o n the great philosophy o f the Greeks, was carried out by Hegel on the basis o f the system he himself elaborated. T h e second attempt, entirely different in direction and character, is the work o f Nietzsche. Yet neither o f these two attempts to restore the broken bond with the Greeks—employing a creative recollection to make essential for us what was essential for them, i.e., not merely imitating the Greeks o r taking them over—is original enough, because they were not ignited o r supported by the question, the one through which the primordial Greek thinking must surpass itself and enter into another beginning.

9. Articulation of the historical recollection in five steps of reflection. T h e heart o f this question is the question o f truth as we have developed it. T h e carrying out o f the recollection o f the first shining forth of a\Ty8€ic<—in the sense o f a discussion o f the essential steps o f the basic movement o f the great Greek philosophy between Anaximander and Aristotle—is impossible within the framework o f these lectures. T o l>e sure, neither can we take as a substitute the extensive scholarly research o f the historiography o f philosophy. T h i s research knows all the names and doctrines and writings and presents them time and again. It can draw all the lines o f connection between the thinkers and all their


i86

A p p e n d i c e s [222-23]

dependencies on one another, but philosophy itself does not thereby make an appearance, for no real question is asked—and that is because, as ones who have come later, and specifically as people of today, we can claim to know better, and already do know everything much better, than these old thinkers did. The recollection of the first shining forth of a\f|$eia, as we require it and which we hold to be possible only on the basis of the question of truth, may be articulated in five levels of reflection: 1. The unexpressed flaming up of aXijdeux in the pronouncements of Anaximander. 2. The first unfoldings of ctXirjdcia, though not ones explicitly directed to a foundation, in Heraclitus, Parmenides, the tragic poets, and Pindar. 3. The last glimmering of aX-rj-fteioc within the question of beings (T£ T 6 <5V) as the basic philosophical question in Plato and Aristotle. 4. The extinguishing of aX-fydeiot and its transformation into ououocas (correctness). 5. The mediate and mediated transition from aXfj'deia to ofioCums on the by-way over incorrectness (falsity—t)»ew8os). For the purpose of these lectures, we will follow only the middle of these five levels, the third, and even then only the last glimmering of dtXT)deux in Plato. We will do so, of course, not in the mode of an empty survey of Platonic philosophy but by participating in Plato's philosophizing. All of his dialogues, indeed nearly every fragment of his dialogues, direct us mediately or immediately to the question of a\-rjueia. We will choose, however, a pre-eminent fragment from a dialogue, which not only deals explicitly with aX'rjdeia, but also displays a pre-eminent character in the very way of dealing with it, insofar as Plato there, as we say, speaks in an "allegory."


S U P P L E M E N T T O §40

Need (the need arising from the lack of need: the abandonment of beings by Being) determines the necessity (of the question of the truth of Being); the necessity determines the direction of the question (the question of the Being of truth) as a preliminary question and hence determines the content of truth, the sphere of its essence. Truth: as overcoming the end, not correctness; as a transition to another beginning, not ¿\Tjdeux. And yet only "not"; but ctXTjdeict more originally as such: openness; the openness in itself: as it holds sway originally: Da-sein. It is not the mere critical exposition of the prevailing concept of truth, but the necessity of the present need, that determines the essential approach to truth. Therefore that critical discussion—apparently coming from nowhere like a bolt from the blue—is already determined from the experienced necessity of the question of truth, which springs forth from the end of metaphysics to the beginning of the truth of Being (appropriating event). The displacement, according to which man is at once posited both into the free space of the daring act of creating and into the unprotectedness of the perseverance of his dwelling. Both of these belong to the essence of the openness of the "in-between"; both become especially important in the question of how this openness as such is supposed to be grounded. But both are submerged, turned around, and distorted if, out of that dislocation into the primordial essence, man issues forth as the rational animal; and that is what actually happened.


S U P P L E M E N T T O §41

Openness is not only the condition of the possibility of the correctness of an assertion. As such a condition it appears for the first time only in the subsequent critical reference. But to be such a condition does not exhaust the essence of openness, nor does it touch the heart of this essence. For openness expresses something even more original than ctXtideia, not only the unconcealedness of present beings, but also what is illuminated in the clearing and the clearing itself, in which an unconcealed being can stand forth in thefirstplace. What is this clearing in the midst of beings? What must it be, so that in it beings can encounter and belong to one another? Where is its ground and how does this illuminated "in the midst" come to presence, into which man is displaced by disposition and which he has to occupy and preserve in the forbearance of his creative activity? The openness of the illuminated "in-between," in which man comes to stand, reveals itself in this way as the ground of humanity itself—not of some sort of universal humanity, but of that man who by means of the question of the essence of truth as opennessfirstraises the question of whoTîeîs. In our retrospective sketch of the beginning of Western thinking, we said that man was determined there as the custodian of the unconcealedness of beings and later declined into the rational animal. In asking about the more original essence of truth as the openness of beings, the question of who man isfirstattains its keen edge and its necessity. For this question now asks whether man really is the steward of the essence of truth and whether all his truths and correctnesses do not remain fragmentary and preliminary, as long as and as often as he forgets this stewardship. The essence of openness is not exhausted there but is more original. That is the reference of what was said about disposition and its dislocating and casting asunder of beings. Openness is not only what makes this possible—i.e., a particular human comportment, the predicating and judging about objects—but is what makes man himself possible in the first place, insofar as he is finally and genuinely understood in terms of that which his Western history primordially throws him into, in order that, as it seems, at first he would not grasp it but would only disfigure it by forgetting it. And what is this? The fact that man is not only—as we interpreted him in our retrospective sketch—the preserver of the unconcealedness of beings but is the steward of the openness of Being itself, in who~se~ play of space and time beings first come to be beings (more so and less). Then this would be the décision of future mankind and the preparation ol the present, that man of today might overcome himself and his truth. and instead of continuing on, i.e., continuously treading in the same place, might find His essence out of a more original ground and begin to become tna^essence—namely, the guardian of thetruth of Being. Openness comes to pass as die clearing of self-concealment, as the "there" [Da] in the grounding-there [Da-erùndune\ of SeTnVthe-there \Da-sHn\.


EDITOR'S A F T E R W O R D

T h i s v o l u m e , n u m b e r 45 i n the series, is the text o f a lecture c o u r s e M a r t i n H e i d e g g e r p r e s e n t e d o n e h o u r p e r week d u r i n g the W i n t e r semester 1937-1938 at the U n i v e r s i t y o f F r e i b u r g . T h e course b o r e the same title as this b o o k a n d is p u b l i s h e d h e r e for the first d m e . T h e editor h a d available Heidegger's o w n m a n u s c r i p t as well as two different typed transcriptions o f it w h i c h H e i d e g g e r charged Fritz H e i d e g g e r [his brother] to prepare a n d a t h i r d typescript by H i l d e g a r d Feick. T h e m a n u s c r i p t at h a n d is i n G e r m a n script a n d presents the text o f the lectures fully elaborated a n d f o r m u l a t e d . T h e m a n u s c r i p t begins w i t h pages a t h r o u g h d a n d then continues w i t h sheets n u m b e r e d 1 t h r o u g h 50; occasionally, a n u m b e r is used for m o r e t h a n o n e page by v i r t u e o f a small letter a d d e d to it. T h e manuscript also includes the "recapitulations." T h e s e are o n separate pages a n d are again fully elaborated a n d f o r m u l a t e d . H e i d e g g e r annotated t h e m w i t h the page n u m b e r o f the m a n u script to w h i c h they refer a n d inserted t h e m h i m s e l f i n the a p p r o priate places. T h e written text o f the lectures a n d recapitulations proceeds w i t h o u t a break o n the left-hand side o f the page, a n d the w r i t i n g is crosswise. H e i d e g g e r reserved the right side for s u p p l e ments, corrections, a n d m a r g i n a l remarks. T h e s e c o n d t r a n s c r i p t i o n by F r i t z H e i d e g g e r followed the first after some t i m e a n d is d i s t i n g u i s h e d f r o m the e a r l i e r by i n c o r p o r a t i n g the e m e n d a t i o n s H e i d e g g e r h a d i n t r o d u c e d i n t o the m a n u s c r i p t . T h e first copy o f this s e c o n d t r a n s c r i p t i o n is e x t a n t i n b o u n d f o r m , a n d , as the h a n d - s i g n e d d e d i c a t i o n attests, H e i d e g g e r p r e s e n t e d it to V i l i Szilasi o n his sixtieth b i r t h d a y . T h e h a n d w r i t t e n title p a g e bears the m o t t o : "Attn. Âť|nrx"r| CTO9(OT&TTI xcti cxpixm\ ( H e r a c l i t u s 118): dispassionate s o u l â&#x20AC;&#x201D; wisest a n d most n o b l e . " T h e typescript H e i d e g g e r i n s t r u c t e d H i l d e g a r d Feick to p r e p a r e i n c o r p o r a t e s a n u m b e r o f his h a n d w r i t t e n revisions o f this gift c o p y for W i l h e l m Szilasi. T h e editor w o r k e d entirely w i t h i n the framework m a r k e d o u t by


Editor's A f t e r w o r d the directives H e i d e g g e r h i m s e l f gave for the p r o p e r preparation o f his texts for publication. T h e transcriptions were checked several times both against the o r i g i n a l manuscript a n d against o n e another. S o m e misreadings were discovered. F u r t h e r m o r e , beyond the first handwritten e m e n d a t i o n o f the manuscript, which was already i n corporated i n t o the second transcription o f Fritz Heidegger, the m a n u s c r i p t o f the lecture was reworked by H e i d e g g e r once again, this time m o r e l i g h d y a n d f o r the most part l i m i t e d to matters o f style, all i n accord w i t h the directives he h i m s e l f conveyed to the e d itors o f his writings. T h i s revision was also i n c o r p o r a t e d i n t o the present v o l u m e . I n a d d i t i o n , the second transcription p r o d u c e d by Fritz H e i d e g g e r was also subject to a few m i n o r h a n d w r i t t e n corrections a n d a larger h a n d w r i t t e n r e w o r k i n g o f that part o f the text w h i c h comprises §§36-38 o f the present v o l u m e . T h i s r e w o r k i n g , however, does n o t exceed the level o f the reflection i n h e r e n t i n the lectures as delivered. S i n c e , o n the w h o l e , the m a n u s c r i p t o f the lectures, i n c l u d i n g the r e c a p i t u l a t i o n s , c o n t a i n s n o d i v i s i o n s , the text was subseq u e n d y a r t i c u l a t e d m e a n i n g f u l l y i n t o sections. H e i d e g g e r h i m self largely a t t e n d e d to t h e n u m b e r i n g o f the sections; w h e r e necessary, this was revised a n d m a d e u n i f o r m by the e d i t o r . T h e e d i t o r also d e l e t e d the epithets a n d interjections, characteristic o f the l e c t u r e style b u t d i s t u r b i n g i n a p r i n t e d text, to the e x t e n t that they w e r e n o t already s t r i c k e n by H e i d e g g e r h i m s e l f . T o present a detailed table o f contents, the text was t h o r o u g h l y a r t i c u l a t e d a n d titles were g i v e n to each segment. A c c o r d i n g to H e i d e g g e r ' s d i r e c t i v e , such a table was to substitute f o r a n i n d e x o f n a m e s a n d subjects, s o m e t h i n g h e d i d not at a l l want. T h e m a n u s c r i p t o f the l e c t u r e c o n t a i n s o n l y two tides: that o f the present s e c o n d c h a p t e r o f the p r e p a r a t o r y p a r t as well as the tide o f the m a i n p a r t . T h e a r t i c u l a t i o n o f the text i n t o p r e p a r a t o r y a n d m a i n parts, the f u r t h e r p a r t i t i o n i n t o chapters a n d sections, the d i v i s i o n o f the latter i n t o subsections, a n d a l l the titles, w i t h the e x c e p t i o n o f the two j u s t m e n t i o n e d , were the w o r k o f the editor. T h e s e tides were d r a w n exclusively f r o m the w o r d s H e i d e g g e r h i m s e l f e m p l o y e d i n the respective s e g m e n t . T h e q u o t a t i o n marks s u r r o u n d i n g many words c o r r e s p o n d faithfully to t h e i r occurrence i n the h a n d w r i t t e n manuscript. I n o r d e r not to interfere with the text by i n t r o d u c i n g a n interpretation, Heidegger's distinctive way o f w r i t i n g "Seyn" [archaic f o r m o f


Editor's A f t e r w o r d

»9»

"Sein," " B e i n g " ] a n d "Sein" was also c a r r i e d over f r o m the m a n u script, even where a c o r r e c d o n m i g h t have suggested itself f r o m the context. T h e few footnotes i n this v o l u m e d e r i v e w i t h o u t e x c e p t i o n f r o m H e i d e g g e r a n d were o n l y s u p p l e m e n t e d b i b l i o g r a p h i c a l l y . I n v e r i f y i n g the citations, H e i d e g g e r ' s o w n copies o f the texts were c o n s u l t e d . Page 81 o f this v o l u m e contains a reference H e i d e g g e r i n serted i n the c o n t i n u o u s text o f the m a n u s c r i p t a n d p u t i n p a rentheses: " ( U n s a i d : the passing o f the last g o d . C f . : Vom Ereignis)." H e is r e f e r r i n g h e r e to his m o s t c o m p r e h e n s i v e , still u n p u b l i s h e d , treatise f r o m the years 1936-1938, w h i c h he h i m self relegated to the t h i r d m a i n d i v i s i o n o f his collected works. T h e " o f f i c i a l title" o f this m a n u s c r i p t — a s H e i d e g g e r says at the b e g i n n i n g o f the treatise—is Beiträge zur Philosophie [ " C o n t r i b u tions to P h i l o s o p h y " ] , b u t its "essential s u b t i d e " is Vom Ereignis [ " O n the A p p r o p r i a t i n g E v e n t " ] . E v e r since that treatise, " a p p r o p r i a t i n g e v e n t " has b e e n the g u i d i n g t e r m o f his t h i n k i n g , as H e i d e g g e r notes i n a m a r g i n a l r e m a r k to his " L e t t e r o n h u m a n i s m " (Cf. Wegmarken, GA 9, p. 316). T h e first a p p e n d i x o f the present v o l u m e , " T h e question o f t r u t h " — i n s e r t e d i n the manuscript before the b e g i n n i n g o f the m a i n p a r t — b e a r s , near the tide, the parenthetical r e m a r k , " N o t to be d e l i v e r e d . " T h e first draft o f the lectures was p r o v i d i n g for t h e m to be w o r k e d o u t a c c o r d i n g to the ten divisions listed i n that outline. T h i s p l a n was stopped short a n d a b a n d o n e d , a n d H e i d e g g e r decided to elaborate the m a i n part o f the lectures exclusively u n d e r the title w h i c h stands first i n the outline, namely " F o u n d a t i o n a l issues i n the question o f t r u t h . " Pages 19-36 o f the first draft are preserved, however, a n d they are p r i n t e d here as the second a p p e n d i x . T h i s fragmentary text begins with the conclusion o f division I a n d continues w i t h the complete division II a n d the incomplete division III. T h i s fragment, too, is fully elaborated a n d f o r m u l a t e d i n the manuscript a n d was i n c l u d e d i n Fritz Heidegger's first transcription. T h e articulation o f the divisions i n t o sections with arabic n u merals a n d the f o r m u l a t i o n o f the titles o f these sections are the work o f the editor. B o t h supplements, to §§40 a n d 41, were i n serted as such by H e i d e g g e r into his h a n d w r i t t e n m a n u s c r i p t a n d were i n c l u d e d i n both typescripts o f Fritz Heidegger.


192

Editor's Afterword

I owe g r e a t thanks to H e r m a n n H e i d e g g e r , the a d m i n i s t r a t o r o f his father's literary r e m a i n s b y the latter's o w n last w i l l a n d testament, f o r his c o n f i d e n c e , c o l l a b o r a t i o n , a n d t h e g e n e r o u s d i a logue which accompanied a l l my editorial work. I also express m y c o r d i a l t h a n k s to H a r t m u t T i e t j e n f o r his h e l p f u l assistance i n t h e p r e p a r a t i o n o f this v o l u m e . I t h a n k L u i s e M i c h a e l s e n f o r h e r very t h o r o u g h a n d c a r e f u l c o l l a b o r a tion i n reading the proofs. I thank H a n s - H e l m u t h G a n d e r for a large share o f the p r o o f r e a d i n g as well as f o r f a i t h f u l h e l p i n vari o u s stages o f the w o r k ; t h e repeated c o m p a r i s o n o f the d i f f e r e n t texts fell to h i m . I also express m y g r a t i t u d e t o S o n j a W o l f , o f the F r e i b u r g S e m i n a r f o r Classical Philology, f o r the final i n s p e c t i o n o f the page p r o o f s . Friedrich-Wilhelm von H e r r m a n n F r e i b u r g i . B r . , J u l y 1984 AFTERWORD T O T H E SECOND EDITION

T h i s s e c o n d e d i t i o n h a s c o r r e c t e d the few t y p o g r a p h i c a l e r rors i n t h e first. U n d e r the tide, " F r o m a discussion o f the question o f t r u t h , " M a r t i n H e i d e g g e r p u b l i s h e d a slighdy revised extract o f the text o f the present lecture course (printed here o n pages 78-81) i n a small almanac o f Neske Publishers, o n the occasion o f their tenth a n n i versary (Zehn Jahne Neske Verlag. P f u l l i n g e n , 1962, p p . 19-23). T h e editor neglected to i n c l u d e this i n f o r m a t i o n i n his afterword to the first edition a n d hereby makes u p f o r that omission. I n h i s a f t e r w o r d t o t h e first e d i t i o n , (p. 191), t h e e d i t o r e x p l a i n e d H e i d e g g e r ' s r e f e r e n c e ( o n page 81 o f t h e present volu m e ) to the m a n u s c r i p t "Vom Ereignis" by a l l u d i n g to t h e major w o r k Beitr채ge zur Philosophie, w h i c h was at that t i m e still u n p u b l i s h e d . I n t h e m e a n w h i l e , this m a n u s c r i p t has c o m e o u t , m a r k i n g t h e o n e h u n d r e d t h a n n i v e r s a r y o f H e i d e g g e r ' s b i r t h , as t h e t h i r d m a i n d i v i s i o n o f his collected w o r k s (Gesamtausgabe B d . 65). F o r m o r e p a r t i c u l a r s o n t h e special r e l a t i o n t h e present lecture c o u r s e f r o m t h e W i n t e r semester 1937-1938 has to t h e Beitr채ge zur Philosophie, w h i c h was w o r k e d o u t between 1936 a n d 1938, see the editor's a f t e r w o r d to the latter v o l u m e , p . 513f. Friedrich-Wilhelm von H e r r m a n n F r e i b u r g i . B r . , M a r c h 1992

Heidegger, martin basic questions of philosophy (indiana, 1994)  
Heidegger, martin basic questions of philosophy (indiana, 1994)  
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