Wednesday, July 5, 2017




Going on with the look at Will to Will as the text: On the Essence and Actuality of Force 



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If we do not let ourselves be swayed by the tradition and resist being talked into anything, and if we therefore reject the readily available information that the treatise is "metaphysical," what then? How else are we to locate the realm of questioning in which the treatise belongs? Or should we leave the matter open and undetermined? In which case, our attempt to enter into Aristotle's inquiry, and thus to inquire along with it, would be without direction or guidance for some time. Before we begin, we need to clarify the aim of this treatise, as well as its sequence and the scope of its point of departure. In what realm of questioning, then, does the treatise belong? The text itself provides the answer in its first few lines:


περὶ μὲν οὖν τοῦ πρώτως ὄντος καὶ πρὸς ὃ πᾶσαι αἱ ἄλλαι κατηγορίαι τοῦ ὄντος ἀναφέρονται εἴρηται, περὶ τῆς οὐσίας (κατὰγὰρ τὸν τῆς οὐσίας λόγον λέγεται τἆλλα [30] ὄντα, τό τε ποσὸν καὶ τὸ ποιὸν καὶ τἆλλα τὰ οὕτω λεγόμενα: πάντα γὰρ ἕξει τὸντῆς οὐσίας λόγον, ὥσπερ εἴπομεν ἐν τοῖς πρώτοις λόγοις (9 I, 104Sb27-32)

"We have thus dealt with beings in the primary sense, and that means, with that to which all the other categories of beings are referred back, οὐσία. The other beings"-please note:  τὸ ὂν : being [das Seiend] (participial!}-"the other beings (those not understood as οὐσία) are said with regard to what is said when saying οὐσία, the how much as well as the how constituted and the others that are said in this manner. For everything that is (the other categories besides οὐσία) must in and of itself have the saying of οὐσία, as stated in the previous discussion (about ousia)." (Regarding πρωτως: the sustaining and leading fundamental meaning, see below, p. 34fT.).


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Here the translation does not have the standard reading of ousia as substance. But rather maintains the primitive ousia, in the sense that one may think of a word that has come out of growth, grown into the language, and then, without ever being entirely understood, not by Aristotle, or anyone else, it comes into the thinking. In Heidegger we have recourse, in such cases, to the saying that: something remains worthy of thought in the banal. The “soil of antiquity” is here in the Aristotle, that is thought in Heidegger, as what is obscured by the Latin transition, away from the First Beginning.

Ousia means what one points to. “This one”, all that is great in the work called Heidegger rests on bringing the consideration of what is simple to the front in the most powerful form. It is entirely possible to say, in this regard, the work with the name Heidegger has never been rivaled. The whole inquiry depends on the force of the look into what is too self-evident; to suspend the force of thought, in the thinking of what one is done with as soon as one hears of it, or, as it were, even sooner.  


“We have now dealt with Being in the primary sense, to which all the other categories of being are related; i.e. substance. For it is from the concept of substance that all the other modes of being take their meaning; both quantity and quality and all other such terms; for they will all involve the concept of substance, as we stated it in the beginning of our discussion.”

What would bother us in this is the way we are carried away from the phenomena, into the sense of a world “behind”, a hypostasis, another world. However, what is this invisible something, being, the ontic, that is not apart, but “this one”, as what stands there in each thing or being? The light and the colour, with a shape, are they “this one”? Or what is gathered by the logos upon what is there? Here we must begin to sense carefully the way the text is moving, and be prepared to be moved by the tonality of “this one” when it leaps from substance to ousia, to being. Being, the ontic, may not say ousia, the primitive.  

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