Investing Thought with the path taken by the work called Heidegger that Thinks about Energia and Dunimas: A First Word
Aristotle's Metaphysics Θ 1–3
On the Essence and Actuality of Force
The inner will of this course can be characterized by a word from Nietzsche:
Perhaps some centuries later one will judge that all German philosophy finds its authentic worth in that it is a gradual recovery of the soil of antiquity, and that each claim to so called originality sounds trite and laughable in relation to the higher claim of the Germans to have reestablished the apparently broken link with the Greeks, up to now the highest type of “human being.” —The Will to Power, Aph. 419
We direct ourselves to the sense of the word inner, in the phrase “inner will”, already, when we read a word from Kant:
But, as all representations, whether they have for their objects external things or not, belong by themselves, as determinations of the mind, to our inner state, and as this inner state falls under the formal conditions of internal intuition, and therefore of time, time is a condition, a priori, of all phenomena whatsoever, and is so directly as a condition of internal phenomena (of our mind) and thereby indirectly of external phenomena also.
The ancients did not speak of “will” at all. Homer uses the word βουλή, boule, which is correctly translated will, but could have been translated as easily, in the case of “for so was the will of Zeus fulfilled”, by the word plan or the word determination. A determination in this sense is a settlement, it is a setting down, a laying down, as of the law. That which is “fulfilled”, is thereby set in motion according to a plan. A thing supplied with its telos is “fulfilled”. Its meaning is established, it is set in motion, the time has come forth as what is “inner”, the “inner will” is upon the text.
In this we only set ourselves something to understand, in some manner, such as to let our thinking find its way. Insofar as our thinking is a palimpsest, it is thinking everything like Zeus, constantly laying down new determinations which are fundamental. Thus it supplies the thinking with what is entrusted to it, from out of the history of being, which here is thinking “will” according to the way history leaps, according to the movement of time as such. Already we are thinking what stands before us, history, as what is ourselves. Ergo, we proceed by understanding that nothing stands in the past, that what is thought stands before us and is us, in the thinking, and that why one gives, puts there, “human being”, and not human being. We don’t have this determination, of that conception, of those two words, ready made. What we confide then, to the care of that word is being thought now, and not set down in some past time.
When we think of Kant we are not thinking for the sake of the philosophy of Kant, to think of time according to Newton and to science, to raise time up, to raise time and space as the conditions for the possibility of a science, to make science relative to time and space, to raise up and destroy science, as of Newton, and make it include that “Moralism” which, in the higher form of the Kantian science, the science raised up and destroyed, is present and manifests itself in the availability of moral certainty from within the determination of that science. Not at all. Rather, we only bring our thought, in some way, to that “inner” which is named by Kant, understanding as best we can.
Plato knew of no will in the way that was obvious to Kant. And which had already been developed for more than five hundred years before Kant, by the Schoolmen. In Plato, one thinks of the distinction between the two horses of the Phaedrus, and the guide of that horse, the intellect. Insofar as knowing is what is the most important thing, such that, unlike Aristotle, Plato does not allow that Justice, Dike, that even agathos, the Good, can be anything other than knowing, the Socratic position, this “will” is nothing but knowledge!
But the Greeks never make a close distinction between the different forms of knowing. Practical reason, a kind of prudential reason, is not mathematical episteme, and episteme is not the sheer knowing of the determination of each essence which is the higher nous. But all this remains shadowy, and is only the subject of fundamental investigation, and never laid down as the finished result of deliberations, the result of Christian moving above the appetitive, into what is only human, into the non-animal reasoning, not determined by teleological instinct. In other words, if the animal wants something, food, and it plans a way to get it, its reason is dominated by appetite. Only, then, if the thing available, anything, is taken up without what flows from phusis, but from intellect alone, does one fulfill the essence of man as man, and thereby move towards the plan of God’s will to move towards the Utopia, which is what will be thought towards, in the thinking of the perfect laws, when the thinking is given peace to think.
Will becomes what is lower, because the human being is not the divine intellect, and does not have to remember, in the Socratic fashion, what is most natural to it. Rather, it has to surrender to what is only knowable to faith, that is invaded by God’s intellect, which is what Love as such, the energia of God, brings one to. Will in Kant means only that one set oneself, as opposed to the means and the goal, on a path to a goal. Will is in Kant meant to be determined by what is above, by the Freedom, by the noumenal. Will, in the ordinary sense of intention, is no Will to Power. Only if it were to be determined by the actus purus, by energia, which is guided by eros, can it become God, i.e., Will to Power.
In all this we are only getting a look at the ways of thinking this ‘will’, in the text we are now preparing to think, giving our confidence to the path of the thought, “inner will” already does not mean a will of a God, for that is the “ontotheological” thought of what is the same, as what is Life Giving Lie, as the potentia ordinata, as what is an order, in its pragmata, that is eternal, and not what is thought as “holding sway”, such that substance, is no longer thought as what remains the Same, but as what leaps, in the Critical, which is to say, not in what is taken by the measure of experience, or what is by the rule of a law derived by the intellect. It is not here important to ask about whether Nietzsche was rightly thought as “ontotheological” or whether, indeed, some disservice is done to him by this determination.
So far this is how we are thinking, when we enter into this work concerning Aristotle’s commission of the word energia, and the word dunamis, to philosophy, to the philosophy of the Evening Land. Why of the Evening Land only? For the reason that either one starts from where one stands, simply saying what is available to all, building out of the ground where one has come to be, or one must already start with crossing out each other word and making scare quotes around every word. So, in this sense, though it is possible to say where we stand in a very rough way, it is not possible to know how far the circle extends, or who it includes and keeps. At the same time we could have started in another way, simply trying anything, as it were, and so it means this way of embarking is a presupposition.