Martin Heidegger (1889 - 1976)
Hegel and the Greeks
Conference of the Academy of Sciences at Heidelberg, July
title of this conference can be transformed into a question:
How does Hegel present the philosophy of the Greeks within
the horizon of his philosophy? We could respond to such a
question by historically studying Hegel's philosophy starting
from the present point of view and by such means follow in
step Hegel's historical presentation of Greek philosophy.
Such a method provides historical research with historical
connections. Such a project has its proper justification and
something other is in play. By stating "the Greeks" we think
back to the beginnings of philosophy; by stating "Hegel" we
think to its completion. Hegel himself understands philosophy
in such a manner.
the title "Hegel and the Greeks" it is the whole of philosophy
within its history that speaks, and that today in a times
in which the collapse of philosophy becomes flagrant; because
it has migrated into logistics, psychology, and sociology.
These autonomous domains of research assure themselves of
increasing importance and polymorphous influence as functional
forms and performance instruments in the political-economic
world, that is, in an essential sense, of the technical world.
this collapse of philosophy, determined from afar and irresistibly,
is not without further ado the end of thinking, but rather
something else, however withdrawn from public accessibility.
What follows will ponder for a while on this in an attempt
to bring to mind the matter of thought. The matter of thought
comes into play. Matter means here that which, by its nature,
the presentation requires. To correspond to such requirement,
it is necessary that we let ourselves gaze from out of the
matter of thought and prepare for thought , determined by
its own matter, to transform itself.
follows confines itself to show a possibility out of which
the matter of thought is discernible. Why then, if the objective
is attaining the matter of thought, the detour via Hegel and
the Greeks? Because we are in need of this road that surely
in its essence is no detour; because only a just experience
of the tradition bestows us the present, that, as the matter
of thought, presents itself to us and as such comes into play.
The authentic tradition consists so little in lugging the
load of the past that rather it frees us for that which comes
to us and shows us the matter of thought by bearing us in
and the Greeks: that sounds like Kant and the Greeks, Leibniz
and the Greeks, medieval scholastic philosophy and the Greeks.
It sounds so, yet is otherwise. Because Hegel thinks for the
first time the philosophy of the Greeks as totality, and that
totality philosophically. How is that possible? In that for
Hegel history as such is determined in such a manner that
it must be fundamentally philosophical. The history of philosophy
is for Hegel the inherently united and thereby necessary process
of advancement of Spirit toward itself. The history of philosophy
is no mere succession of diverse opinions and doctrines that
without connection supplant one another.
states in the introduction to his Berlin course on the history
of philosophy: "The history we have before us is the history
of the self-discovery of thought" (Lectures on the History
of Philosophy, ed Hoffmeister 1940, Bd. I, S. 81, Anm.). "For
the history of philosophy only develops philosophy itself"
(Hoffmeister a.a.O. S. 235f.). Accordingly, philosophy as
the self-development of spirit into absolute knowledge and
the history of philosophy are identical. No philosophy prior
to Hegel's had acquired such a fundamental grounding of philosophy,
enabling and requiring philosophizing itself to simultaneously
move within its history and be in this movement philosophy
itself. Philosophy however has, following a word of Hegel's
taken from the Introduction of his first course here in Heidelberg
, as "purpose": "the truth" (Hoffmeister a.a.O. S. 14.).
is as its own history, Hegel notes in a marginal comment in
the manuscript of this course, the "reign of pure truth -
not the activity of outer actualization, but the inner dwelling
with self of spirit" (a.a.O. S. 6, Anm.). "The truth" - that
means: the truth in its pure realization that at once brings
to the truthfulness of truth the presentation of its essence.
we now take Hegel's determination of the purpose of philosophy
as truth as a clue for reflecting on the matter of thought?
Presumably yes: as soon as the theme "Hegel and the Greeks",
that means presently philosophy in the totality of its historical
destiny and from the viewpoint of its purpose, the truth,
is sufficiently clarified.
we ask first of all: to what extent must the history of philosophy
as history be in its fundamental traits philosophical? What
does philosophical mean here? What does history mean here?
answers must presently incur the danger of stating the apparently
obvious. However, at no time is the obvious given to thought.
Hegel clarifies: " With him (namely with Descartes) we enter
into autonomous philosophy proper... Here we can state we
are at home and can as a navigator after a long journey in
a stormy sea cry out 'Land'; ..." (WW. XV, 328) With this
image, Hegel means to state: The "ego cogito sum', this "I
think, I am" is the secured base upon which philosophy can
establish itself truthfully and thoroughly. With Descartes'
philosophy, the ego becomes the measure giving subiectum,
that is, that which is deployed beforehand. This subject however
will not be taken possession in a proper manner, namely in
the Kantian transcendental sense, and fully, in the sense
of speculative idealism, until the whole structure and movement
of the subjectivity of the subject unfolds and becomes elevated
into the absolute knowledge of itself. In so far as the subject
knows itself as the knowledge that conditions all objectivity,
it is as this knowledge: the absolute itself. Being in its
truth is thought thinking itself absolutely. For Hegel, being
and thought are the same, and that in the sense that everything
is taken in by thought, and by that becomes determined by
what Hegel simply names "Der Gedanke".
the ego cogito, subjectivity is the consciousness that represents
something, relates this representation back to itself, and
so gathers with itself. To gather is said in Greek, 'legein'.
The gathering of the manifold by the I, is expressed by means
of 'legesthai'. The thinking I gathers the represented to
the extent that it goes through it, transverses it by means
of representation. "To transverse through something" is said
in Greek: 'dia'. 'Dialegesthai', dialectic, here means, that
the subject in the stated process and as such a process, brings
itself out: produces itself.
dialectic is the process of self-production of subjectivity,
of the absolute subject, and as such is its "necessary action".
According to the structure of subjectivity, the production
process has three layers. First of all as consciousness, subjectivity
is drawn immediately to its object. This immediate, therefore
indeterminate, representation, Hegel names 'being', the universal,
the abstract. But the relation of the object to the subject
is thereby overlooked. Only through this relating back of
objects to the subject, will the object as object for the
subject, and the subject for itself, that is, as relation
to the object, be represented Nevertheless, as long as we
only distinguish between object and subject, refection and
being, and remain tied to these distinctions , the movement
from object to subject has not yet produced subjectivity as
this totality for itself. The object, being, is doubtless
already with the subject as mediated by reflection, but this
mediation itself is not yet itself the presentation of this
innermost movement of the subject for itself. Only when the
thesis of object and the antithesis of subject becomes discernible
in its necessary synthesis , is the movement of the subjectivity
of the object-subject-relation established in its trajectory.
This trajectory is departure from the thesis, progression
through antithesis, transition as synthesis, and, as this
totality , the return of this posited establishment to itself.
This trajectory gather the totality of subjectivity in its
developed unity. So assembled it grows, 'con-crescit', becomes
concrete. Accordingly, dialectic is speculative. 'Speculari'
means to discern, to set before, conceive, com-prehend [be-greifen].
Hegel states in the introduction of the 'Science of Logic'
(ed. Lasson, Bd. I, S. 38) : Speculation consists "in conceiving
the opposed in its unity". Hegel's characterization of speculation
becomes clearer when we take note that with speculation the
synthesis results not only from conceptual unity, but , in
the first place and always, from the conception of 'the opposed',
as such. To this belongs the conception of opposites as appearing
against and within one another, which as the reign of antithesis
is in this manner presented in the "Logic of Essence" ( that
is , the logic of reflection). From this self reflecting appearance,
this mirroring, the 'speculari' ('speculum': the mirror) receives
its sufficient determination. So considered, speculation is
the positive totality of what dialectic must signify here:
not transcendental delimitation critically or polemically
thought, but the mirroring and reuniting of opposites as the
spirit's process of self production.
also names "speculative dialectics" simply "the method". By
this appellation he means neither an instrument of representation
nor a peculiar procedural mode of philosophy. "The method"
is the innermost movement of subjectivity. "the soul of being",
the production process through which the fabric of the whole
of the absolute's actualization becomes actualized. "The method":
"the soul of being" - that sounds bizarre. One may consider
our age to have left behind such aberrations of speculation.
However we live in the midst of this presumed phantasm.
modern physics exerts itself to establish the world's formula,
what occurs thereby is this: the being of entities has resolved
itself into the method of the totally calculable. The first
work from Descartes, by which according to Hegel philosophy
and thereby modern science arrives at solid land, bears the
title: Discourse on Method (1637). The method, that is speculative
dialectic is for Hegel the fundamental trait of actuality.
The method determines accordingly the movement of all occurrences,
it's clear from whence the history of philosophy is the inner
movement of the course of spirit, that is, of absolute subjectivity,
towards itself. The outset, progression, transition, and return
of this course are determined as speculative-dialectical.
says: "In philosophy as such, most currently and recently,
is contained what the work from a thousand years has produced;
it is the result of all that has preceded it." (Hoffmeister
a.a.O.S. 118). In the system of speculative dialectics, philosophy
is completed, that is, it attains the highest and thereby
its conclusion. One is astonished at Hegel's statement on
the completion of philosophy. One considers it presumptuous
and descries it as an error that has long since been refuted
by history. Because after Hegel's time there has been philosophy,
and there still is. But the statement on the completion of
philosophy does not say that philosophy is at end in the sense
of a cessation and a breaking off. Rather the completion provides
precisely for the first time the possibility of diverse transformations
even to its simplest expressions: the brutal turnaround and
the massive opposition. Marx and Kierkegaard are the greatest
Hegelians. They are so despite themselves. The completion
of philosophy is not its end, nor does it consist uniquely
in the system of speculative idealism. The completion is only
as the whole course of the history of philosophy, a course
in which its inception belongs just as essentially as its
completion: Hegel and the Greeks.
is the Philosophy of the Greeks, now, determined out of the
fundamental traits, speculative and dialectical, of history?
In the course of this history, Hegel's metaphysical system
is the highest level, that of synthesis. It's preceded by
the stage of antithesis that begins with Descartes, because
with his philosophy for the first time the subject is posited
as subject. By the same token, objects for the first time
become representable as objects. The subject-object relation
then appears clearly as op-position, as antithesis. In contrast,
all of philosophy before Descartes exhausts itself in the
mere representation of the objective. Soul and spirit alike
are represented like objects, though not as objects. Consequently,
according to Hegel, the thinking subject is here already everywhere
operative, but not yet conceived as subject, not as one that
grounds objectivity. Hegel says in the Lessons on the History
of Philosophy: "The man (of the Greek world) is not yet returned
into self as in our times. He is certainly a subject, but
he has not posited himself as such" (Hoffmeister a.a.O.,S.
144). The antithesis of subject to object is in philosophy
before Descartes not the secured base. That stage which precedes
antithesis is the level of thesis. With it begins philosophy
"proper". The complete unfolding of this beginning is Greek
philosophy. This, which the Greeks start and lets philosophy
begin, is according to Hegel the pure objective. It is the
first "manifestation", Spirit's first emergence, that in which
all objects acquiesce. Hegel names it the "universal in general".
Because it is not drawn out the subject as such, not yet in
this manner determined and arranged conceptually and that
means not fully-developed, not concrete, the universal remains
the "abstract". "The first production is necessarily the most
abstract; it is the simplest, poorest, to which the concrete
is opposed." Hegel remarks on this: "and so the oldest philosophy
is the poorest." The stage of Greek "consciousness" is "the
stage of abstraction". At the same time, Hegel describes "the
stage of Greek consciousness" as "the stage of beauty" (WW.
XIII, S. 175).
are these two interrelated? The beautiful and the abstract
do not seem identical. They are if we understand the one and
the other as Hegel does. The abstract is the first manifestation,
demurring purely with itself, the most universal of all entities,
being as immediate, simple appearance. Such appearance, however,
determines the fundamental trait of the beautiful. This pure
self abiding appearance is assuredly also that of spirit,
that is, the subject springing forth as the Ideal; but spirit
"has not represented itself yet as medium, (and therein) itself,
and thereby, founded its world" (a.a.O.)
Hegel structures and presents, from the viewpoint of the stage
of the beautiful, as the stage of abstraction, the history
of Greek philosophy, will not be further illustrated here.
Instead, we will follow a short indication of Hegel's interpretation
of four fundamental words of Greek philosophy. They speak
the language of the key word "being", 'einai' ('eon','ousia').
They speak in ensuing western philosophy constantly up to
our own times.
the enumeration as translated by Hegel,, the four fundamental
words decree: 1.'En', the whole; 2. 'Logos', reason; 3.'Idea',
the concept; 4. 'Energeia', actuality.
is the word of Parmenides.
is the word of Heraclitus.
is the word of Plato.
is the word of Aristotle.
understand how Hegel interprets these fundamental words we
must attend to the following two points: on the one hand,
to that which for Hegel is decisive within the interpretation
of the aforementioned philosophers in contrast to what he
mentions in passing. Secondly, the manner in which Hegel interprets
the four fundamental words within the horizon of the key word
the introduction of his Lectures on The History of Philosophy
(Hoffmeister a.a.O., S. 240) Hegel explains: "The first universal
is the immediate universal, that is, being. The content, the
object is therefore objective thought, the thought of what
is." Hegel means: being is the pure state of thought of what
is immediately thought, without the reflectiveness of thinking
that thinks this thought apart from its notification (Ermittelung).
The determination of pure thought is "the indeterminate",
its notification is the immediate. So understood, being is
the immediate indeterminate representation in general,in such
a manner, indeed, that it keeps awy from itself the omission
of determination and mediation, as it were, inveighs against
them. Out of this, it becomes clear: being as the first simple
objectivity of the object is thought starting from its relation
to the thinking subject thanks to the pure abstraction of
the latter. It is important to note this, first of all, to
understand the direction according to which Hegel interprets
the four philosophers in question, but likewise to measure
the power that Hegel attributes each time to the fundamental
fundamental word is 'hen', the one, that which unites all,
and so the universal. Parmenides explains 'semanta', the sign,
through which 'hen' shows itself, in the great Fragment VIII
with which Hegel is acquainted . Nevertheless, Hegel finds
the "highest thought" of Parmenides not in 'hen', being as
the universal. The "highest thought" according to Hegel is
rather ennunciated in the statement:"Being and thought are
the same". Hegel interprets this statement namely in the sense:
being as "the thought, there is" ("der Gedanke, der ist")
is a production of thought. Hegel draws from Parmenides' statement
a prefiguration of Descartes, with whose philosphy the determination
of being out of the essentially positing subject begins. Accordingly
Hegel will explain: "With Parmenides has philosophy proper
begun.. This beginning is certainly still nebulous and indeterminate"(WW
fundamental word is 'logos', the gathering, that allows the
display and appearance of everything that is, the totality
of entities. 'Logos' is the name that Heraclitus gives to
the being of entities. But Hegel's interpretation does not
orient itself strictly from out of the 'logos'. This is peculiar,
very peculiar given that Hegel concludes his preface to the
interpretation of Heraclitus with the words: "there is not
a proposition from Heraclitus that is not contained in my
Logic" (a.a.O.S. 328) From the point of Hegel's Logic, the
'logos' is reason in the sense of absolute subjectivity. But
the Logic itself is the speculative dialectic by means of
which the movement of the immediate universal and the abstract,
being as the objective , is reflected in its opposition to
the subject. And this reflection is determined as mediation
in the sense of becoming, wherein this opposition is returned
to itself, made concrete, and brought to unity. To conceive
this unity is the essence of speculation that develops as
to Hegel, Heraclitus is the first to recognize the dialectic
as a principle, thereby surpassing and advancing beyond Parmenides.
Hegel clarifies: "Being, as Parmenides thinks it, is the one,
the first; the second is becoming - by this determination,
does he (Heraclitus) go further. This is the first concrete,
the absolute in which the oppossed are united. With him (Heraclitus)
for the first time is the philosophical idea in its speculative
form encountered" (a.a.O.S. 328) Hegel thus rests the power
of his interpretation of Heraclitus on the statements in which
the dialectical, the unity, and the unification of contradictions
come to language.
fundamental word is 'Idea'. For Hegel's interpretation of
the the philosophy of Plato, what one must attend to is that
he conceives the ideas as "the universal determined in itself".
"Determined in itself" means: the ideas are thought in their
sameness; they are not merely pure models existing in themselves,
but "the existent in and for itself" as distinct from the
"sensibly existing" (WW XIV, S.199). "In and for itself" means
that which becomes itself, namely com-prehends itself. Accordingly,
Hegel can elaborate: the ideas are "not immediately in consciousness
(namely as intuitions), but (mediated by consciousness) in
cognition". "Therefore one does not posses them, instead they
are brought forth by cognition into spirit"(a.a.O.S.169) This
bringing forth, production, is the concept as the activity
of absolute knowledge, that is "the science". That is why
Hegel says: "With Plato begins philosophical science as such."
"That which is specific to platonic philosophy is the orientation
to the intellectual, supersensible world.." (a.a.O.S. 170)
fundamental word is 'Energeia', which Hegel translates as
"Actuality" ["Wirklichkeit"] (in latin, 'actus'). The 'energeia'
is , "further determined ", the entelechy ('entelecheia'),
which is in itself purpose and realization of purpose." The
'energeia' is "the pure effectivity out of itself". "First
of all it is the energy, whose form is the activity, the effectuating,
negativity itself related to itself" (a.a.O.S. 321).
'energeia' is also thought from out of speculative dialectics
as the pure activity of the absolute subject. While antithesis
negates thesis, and this in turn is negated by sysnthesis,
there prevails in such negation what Hegel calls "negativity
itself related to itself". This is nothing negative. The negation
of negation is rather that position within which spirit through
its own activity posits itself as the absolute. Hegel sees
in Aristotle's 'energeia' a preliminary stage of the absolute
self movement of spirit, that is of actuality in and for itself.
Hegel shows in the following statement how he appraises the
whole of aristotelian philosophy: "If philosophy is taken
seriously, nothing is worthier than the study of Aristotle"
becomes "serious" according to Hegel when it no longer loses
itself in the object and its subjective reflection, but concerns
itself with the activity of absolute knowledge.
elucidation of the four fundamental words allows the clarification:
Hegel understands 'en', 'logos', 'idea', 'energeia' within
the horizon of being, which he comprehends as abstract universality.
Being and thus what is represented in the four fundamental
words is not yet determined nor yet mediated by and in the
dialectical movement of absolute subjectivity. Greek philosophy
is the stage of this "not yet". It is not yet the completion,
nevertheless it is only comprehended from out of this completion,
as the system of speculative idealism.
is according to Hegel the innermost "drive", "the need" of
spirit, to deliver itself from abstraction, in absolving itself
in the concrete of absolute subjectivity and so to free itself
to its own self. Thus Hegel can say: "philosophy is the opposition
to the abstract; it is nothing but the campaign against abstraction,
the constant war with the reflective understanding" (Hoffmeister
a.a.O.S.113). In the Greek world, for the first time, spirit
comes to a free encounter with being. But spirit comes not
yet properly as the self knowing subject to absolute certainty
of itself. Only when this first occurs in the system of speculative
dialectical metaphysics, does philosophy become what it is:
"the innermost sanctuary of spirit itself" (a.a.O.S. 125).
determines the "purpose" of philosophy to be: "the truth".
This becomes attained only at the stage of completion. The
stage of Greek philosophy remains in the "not yet". As the
stage of the beautiful, it is not yet the level of truth.
we become thoughtful - when we traverse the whole of the history
of philosophy, "Hegel and the Greeks", the completion and
the beginning of this history - and ask: does not 'aletheia',
the truth, stand at the beginning of the paths of philosophy
with Parmenides? Why does Hegel not bring this to language?
Does he understand by "truth" something other than unconcealedness?
Certainly. Truth is for Hegel the absolute certainty of the
self knowing absolute subject. But with his interpretation,
the subject does not yet appear as subject for the Greeks.
Accordingly 'aletheia' cannot be the determination of truth
in the sense of certainty.
is the case with Hegel. However, if 'aletheia', concealed
and unthought as ever, prevails over the beginning of Greek
philosophy, must we not ask: is not certainty in its essence
dependent on 'aletheia', supposing that we do not interpret
this imprecisely and arbitrarily as truth in the sense of
certainty, but think it as disclosedness? If in this manner
we dare to think this, the 'aletheia', then two matters come
before us to consider: By no means is the experience of 'aletheia'
as unconcealedness and disclosedness based on the arbitrary
etymology of a word , but rather on the matter of thought
put into question here, to which Hegel's philosophy cannot
be totally withdrawn. If Hegel describes being as the first
emergence and manifestation of spirit, then it remains to
be considered if in this emergence and self display, disclosedness
[R&AW1]must not already be here in play, no less than
the pure appearance of the beautiful, by which Hegel describes
the level attained by Greek "consciousness". And if Hegel
lets the fundamental position of his system culminate in the
absolute idea, in the complete self display of spirit, then
it becomes compelling to ask if in this appearing, that is,
in the phenomenology of spirit and hence in absolute self
knowledge and its certainty disclosedness must not already
be in play. Moreover, we are presented with the wider question,
if disclosedness has its place in spirit as the absolute subject,
or if disclosedness itself is the place and shows the place
wherein the like of a representing subject can first "be"
what it is.
we are detained by something else that is worth considering
insofar as 'aletheia' comes to language as disclosedness.
What this word names is not a passe-partout that unlocks all
the enigmas of thought, instead 'aletheia' is the enigma itself
- the matter of thought.
it is not us that establishes this matter as the matter thought.
To us it has long addressed itself and been transmitted by
the whole history of philosophy. It is only a matter of becoming
attentive to the tradition and therein to attest to the pre-judgments
[Vor-Urteile], in which each thought, in its own manner, abides.
Of course, such examination can never conduct itself as a
tribunal that directly decides the essence of, or the possible
relations to, history; because this examination has its limit,
which can be described as follows: the more thoughtful, and
that means the more responsive to its language, the more decisive
for it is the unthought, and , even , the unthinkable.
Hegel interprets being speculative-dialectically [spekulativ-dialektisch]
from the vantage of absolute subjectivity as the indeterminate
immediate, the abstract universal, and explains from this
perspective of modern philosophy the Greek fundamental words
for being, 'En', 'Logos', 'Idea', 'Energeia', we are tempted
to judge that interpretation as incorrect.
every historical statement and legitimization itself moves
within a certain relation to history. Prior to a decision
as to the historical correctness of the representation it
is therefore necessary to consider if and how history is experienced,
from whence does it determine its fundamental traits.
regards to Hegel and the Greeks this means: all correct or
incorrect historical statements presuppose that Hegel has
experienced the essence of history out of the essence of being
in the sense of absolute subjectivity. There is at this hour
no experience of history that can, philosophically speaking,
historically correspond to it. However, the speculative-dialectical
determination of history brings with as consequence that it
prohibits Hegel from regarding 'Aletheia' and its prevalence
as the proper matter of thought, and this, precisely, in that
philosophy that determines the "reign of truth" as the "purpose"
of philosophy. Because Hegel experiences being, when he conceives
it as the indeterminate immediate, as the determining and
comprehending subject's posited. Consequently, he cannot disassociate
being in the Greek sense, the 'einai', from its relation to
the subject, and release it to its proper essence. This latter
however is pre-sence [An-wesen], that which out of concealedness
abides [vor-Wahren] in disclosedness. In pre-sence the unconcealed
plays. It plays within 'en' and within 'logos', within the
properly gathered bestowment [Vorliegen] - that which lets
truth be [An-wahren-lassen]. 'Aletheia' plays within the 'idea'
and within the 'choinomia' of the ideas, insofar as these
mutually bring to appearance and so compose the existent being,
the 'ontos on'. 'Aletheia' plays within 'Energeia' which has
nothing in common with actuality, but only with the Greek
experience of 'ergon' and its manner of being produced before
us within pre-sence.
'Aletheia', unconcealedness plays not only within the fundamental
words of Greek thought, it plays within the totality of Greek
language, which appears to speak otherwise, so long as we
do not put out of play its Latin, Medieval, and Modern representation,
and view the Greek world in terms of either personalism or
how is it with this enigmatic 'Aletheia' itself, that for
the interpreter of the Greek world is an outrage, as long
as one halts at this isolated word and its etymology, instead
of reflecting on it out of the matter of thought, as given
in disclosedness and unconcealedness? Is 'Aletheia' the same
as being, that is, pre-sence? That with Aristotle 'ta onta',
the existent, the present, means the same as 'ta aletheia',
the disclosed, speaks in it favor. Yet how do disclosedness
and presenceness, 'aletheia' and 'ousia' belong together.?
Are both of the same essential rank? Or is presenceness referred
back to disclosedness, but not, inversely, the latter to the
former? Then, being would have everything to do with disclosedness,
but not disclosedness with being. Moreover: if the essence
of truth, valued as correctness and certainty , can only exist
in the realm of disclosedness, then truth has everything to
with 'Aletheia', but not this with truth.
belongs 'Aletheia' itself, when it is unbound from references
to truth and being and must be set free to what is proper
to it? Has thinking already the realm's vision, if only to
conjecture, what takes place in unconcealment, precisely within
the concealment that disposes of all unconcealed?
enigma of 'Aletheia' comes closer to us, but, simultaneously
, the danger, that we are hypothesizing it as a fantastic
have already remarked variously that an undisclosedness in
itself cannot be given. Instead, undisclosedness is undisclosedness
for "each one". Thus it would be unavoidably "subjective".
must the human, as considered here, be determined necessarily
as subject? Does "for mankind" mean without qualification:
posited through mankind? We must deny both and recall that
although 'aletheia', understood in the Greek manner, prevails
for mankind, the human remains determined through 'logos'.
The human is the saying one. To say, in high German 'sagan',
means: to show, to let appear and be seen. The human is the
essence, that lets the said of the presented in its presenceness
be bestowed and attends to the bestowal [Vorliegen]. The human
speaks only insofar as being the one that says.
oldest testimony for 'alethein' and 'alethes', disclosedness
and disclosed, we find with Homer and, indeed, in connection
with the verbs of saying. One has cursorily concluded that:
thus disclosedness is "derived" from the verb 'dicendi'. What
does "derived" mean her, when saying is the letting be of
appearance and also is that which disguises and conceals?
It is not disclosedness that "derives" from saying, rather
every saying belongs [braucht] already in the realm of disclosedness.
Only where this already prevails can something statable, visible,
demonstrable, perceivable come forth. When we hold in view
the enigmatic prevalence of 'Aletheia', the unconcealed, we
are lead to the conjecture that even the whole essence of
language reposes in the un-concealed, in the prevalence of
'Aletheia'. However talk of prevalence remains makeshift if
its mode of play receives its determination otherwise than
from out of the unconcealed itself, that is from the clearance
of the self concealed.
and the Greeks" - meanwhile we have apparently explained foreign
matters , far removed from our theme. Nevertheless we are
closer to our theme than before. In the introduction to the
lecture it was said:The matter of thought comes into play.
By means of its theme, it attempts to bring this matter into
determine the philosophy of the Greeks as the beginning of
"philosophy proper". Notwithstanding, it remains as the level
of the thesis and abstraction in the "not yet". The completion
in the antithesis and synthesis remains outstanding.
reflection on Hegel's interpretation of the Greek doctrine
on being attempted to show, that the "being" wherein philosophy
begins, only emerges as presenceness insofar as 'Aletheia'
prevails, that "Aletheia' itself nevertheless as regards its
essential origin remains unthought.
have we experienced , in view of 'Aletheia', that with it
our thinking is called to correspond to something which from
before the beginning of "philosophy" and through the whole
course of its history, has already drawn thought to itself.
'Aletheia' is the historical course of philosophy anticipated,
but in such a way that it withholds itself from philosophical
determination, as that which requires thoughtful consideration
[Erorterung]. Thus 'Aletheia' remains for us the worthiest
of thought - of thought delivered from the metaphysically
conveyed retrospective view of the representation of "truth"
in the sense of correctness and "being" in the sense of actuality.
says of Greek philosophy: "Only to a certain degree is satisfaction
to be found there", namely the satisfaction of the drive of
spirit to absolute knowledge. This estimation of Hegel concerning
what is unsatisfactory about Greek philosophy is spoken out
of the completion of philosophy. In the historical course
of speculative idealism, Greek philosophy remains in the "not
yet" of its completion.
if we attend to the enigmatic of 'Aletheia', that hovers over
the beggining of Greek philosophy as well as over the course
of the whole of philosophy, then Greek philosophy likewise
appears in a "not yet". Only, this is the "not yet" of the
unthought, not at all the "not yet" of the unsatisfying, but
rather the "not yet" to which we are not sufficient and never
qu'on fait n'est jamais compris mais seulement loué ou blâmé.
Nietzsche, Gay Science