Will to Will as Genuine Philosophizing
To inquire into δύναμις and ἐνέργεια, as Aristotle proposes to do
in our treatise, is genuine philosophizing. Accordingly, if we ourselves
have eyes to see and ears to hear, if we have the right disposition and
are truly willing, then, if we are successful, we will learn from the
interpretation of the treatise what philosophizing is. We will in this
way gain an experience with philosophizing and perhaps become more
experienced in it ourselves.
Anthropos, the human being, is supposed to, basically, be a questioning being. That is the essence of the human being, which is peculiar to it. Any being, then, that does not question, is no longer to be regarded as properly human. According to the universal, wherever we find a human, we find, at the same time, inquiring. This is the “Socratic” definition found in the Apology of Socrates. But, this which is in the popular mind the notion of the conceit about the “unexamined life”, belongs only to Plato’s text. An earnest probing into the human things is not an idealization, the Socrates by Plato, but rather it is a picturing of the aristos philosophos, the best philosopher. It is a concrete picture, which Strauss calls an exposition of the “life of a sage”. Everywhere in Plato’s philosophizing, the vulgar reader is given to the asinine notion that the views of Socrates are the Platonic teaching, or, what is the same, that Plato intended to present the views of his idol. Rather, Socrates is only given as the constant exponent of the aristos, which is the peak in the range of beings, when viewed according to the standard of high and low, but which is only part of the eidos, which is not complete without the low and the high parts. So that Callicles and Thrasymachus are equal, as parts, to Socrates or Prodicus. We are trying to see, in general, if you like, what “genuine philosophizing” is.
Philosophizing points, and has its weight in, the question about what it is. It asks: What is this? It moves in another direction than does an inquiry about how to do things. If one approaches the question of genuine philosophizing as though one where supposed to say what it is, in the ordinary sense, of an explanation sufficient for political understanding, one does not thereby put a straitjacket onto the subject. The political explanation, that of ordinary life, is not a definition. The definition is the aristos knowledge of some subject matter, or thing. It is the best orientation. Yet, the madman which is explained, in the basic political explanation, refers to the meaning of life. Which is to say, to the common sense understanding as told, one to another. When philosophizing is genuine, it recognizes this as the in medias res, which is that to which one is thrown, out of which one must consider the madmen, the political ones, in the primary understanding, as those who have not got to the ground. What is inconceivable, is then grasped as what is sane, against the political understanding. This is conceptualized as ousia, in the paradoxy of a view which takes all thinking to grasp concepts of percepts, things thought, of things seen. However this is not how Aristotle thinks, he thinks of ousia as neither percept or concept.
When Carl Andre speaks of the meaninglessness of art, he speaks of ousia. The thing, thing being the vaguest reference to what we can point to, is without meaning. In this sense he thinks phenomenologically. When, the ergon of Heidegger thinks the words of Angelus Silesius, the flower has no why, it blooms because it blooms, it thinks ousia. For the novelist a brilliant ray of light dances on the petals, and warms the young flower. For the political man, a person with a green thumb buys some seed, and plants them. For the man of science the metabolic processes transfer energy from the tap roots, taken out of the soil, and from the heat in the light. The cause, then, in the mystical poetic Phenomenology of Silesius, is meaningless. Ousia is not the Truth (or, truth as the causal), it is a thing, thought in its "meaninglessness", but what we are trying to do is to see the truth of beings. In this we are moving ontically, yet, in the ergon of Heidegger, we are already on the look out for the event. In “becoming more experienced” we do not limit ourselves to becoming more true, as in what was said already in the last post, concerning the ontic notion of truth. Insofar as a sample space includes ousia, or the thing, or category, or the “work of art” which is meaningless, a definite Synthetic a priori is stricken according to the possibility of any coming forth. We must, then, keep watch over the extraordinary fact that the road of possibility is not some station called δύναμις which has been all the time grasped by the road, such that the road belonged to the organization of the station.