Sunday, October 29, 2017

Related image


The realm of questioning of our treatise is the ὂν η ὂν: beings as

beings; but now this means being. And what is being asked about is

a way of being that folds itself in four foldings that are simply listed

in a row. τὸ ὂν λέγεται πολλαχώς means: τὸ εἶναι ( τοῦ ὄντος )

λέγεται πολλαχώς. The πολλαχώς ascribed to ὂν and εἶναι refers in
most cases to the four ways of being mentioned above, even when at
times only two or three of these are listed: πολλαχώς = τετραχώς.


Here we will sketch out the general basis for the problem of substance. In the form of an expressionistic light that casts itself towards the place of the great thinkers, hoping they catch a bit of this lesser light, which is but a play attempting to sense their regions. Nothing of the region of these thinkers is genuinely aimed at, rather a formal thinking, concerning the conception of substance, is at work. In Spinoza nature naturing, and nature natured, correspond to the fold of dunamis and energeia. Energia is actus purus for Thomas. The region of potential is divined, through the movment of faith (conceived as the purest knowing) beyond the strictly knowable (for the meditative intellect), as God. In Descartes, this matter of actuality and potential is hardly taken up as the most serious thing, rather, the curious notion of  a duel substance does not seem to speak to this region (it arises through the searching for support for an empirical stock of knowledge, a historia or investigation that builds up and may be styled inductive.) And yet, amidst this useful knowing that aims at commanding nature, there too, in its own way, comes this issue—as though forced against all tendentious historial projects. What stands as the cogito sum, basicly understands perceiving, the action, as what necessarily is as the ground of perception, the knowing. Perceiving, Sather Tower stands there, not for someone, not for someone standing and looking from a distance, but that it is there, is the perceiving, its action. And, let us call it perception, i.e., that it is known. Not known by someone who glances up from the path, looking towards the East, but as what the ground grounds. The Cartesian manner of thinking the perceiving and perceptual power of the phenomena, is the actus purus as a self knowing. The existence of the perceiving as the energia, as the potential, is the ground of the actual, of the perception (of the purest natura naturata.)

Here we have emphasised: πολλαχώς = τετραχώς. 

The “=” must be taken as deliberate. The saying πολλαχώς as τετραχώς is omitted. It is a verbal transformation. The poly means the four. Poly simply says four. 

The nihilistic essence of substance, and power potential, never overcome this fold. Such is at least the primary, or most extrinsic and punctuated, claim of the text with the name Heidegger. Expressed in the saying that Nietzsche is “ontic”. Kierkegaard, too, for his part, is condemned to this dreary ontic region. As for Aristotle, he almost instinctively raised the ontic to the level of the clearest and most sharply acute visibility, where it, as ousia, as though by the high gravity of the primordial, which it was closing out, at the end of the First Beginning, perhaps sealing the wound mentioned in the “peculiar” comment, that the ancients feared being would go away. The terror in the face of the numina, so characteristic of the archaic world, in which Artemis was raised up as cult figure, is wholly alien to our own epoch. Even an inkling of its onslaught can not be said to reach us. For in what smiles out of the reactivation of classical and archaic thought, in the pages of this and that text, and in archaeological artifacts or “traces,” the stench of the blood, as the poet told of it, holds with its recondite cavern of obliterated memorey. All the same, if some dim rummer had not reached us, the attempt to think would not be the injunction already at work in this inquiry we are now undertaking.

ὂν η ὂν: beings as beings; but now this means being

And this names the idle sleepiness and enfeebled activity of the question of primordial being, or, better said, the being which by rubric is not conceptualizable. For now, with Aristotle’s saying of ousia, of substance, a brilliant white sun, utterly blinding, is becoming the Christian region. This dazzling cusp, with its all-encompassing pure light, now stands ready to rise and leave mankind (cf., of course, Hegel, who has dramatized this movment most aptly).  

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Some Attenuating Exposition on a Reception of the Historial Region in Question

The chapter begins (1017a7): τὸ ὂν λέγεται… In introducing ὂν
according to the forms of the categories, Aristotle says: ὁσαχῶς γὰρ λέγεται [ τά οχήματα της κατηγορίας H.) τοσαυταχῶς τὸ εἶναι σημαίνει. "For as the forms of the category are said in various ways, being has various meanings." Incidentally, η κατηγορία is an
Indication: the singular here signifies the preeminent saying of the
being [das Seiende] in every individual assertion about this or that
being. The category: the saying of being in the assertion (λόγος) of beings. τό είναι
is found instead of τό ὂν in the cited sentence; that is: τό ὂν is understood in the sense of τό ὂν η ὂν. And it is the same with the remaining modes of ὂνἔτι τὸ εἶναι σημαίνει καὶ τὸ ἔστιν ὅτι ἀληθές (a31, a passage of great importance that we cannot go
into at this time)."Furthermore, being signifies 'is' in the sense of 'it
is true."' Just as we too say something is so—in emphasizing the "is,"
we mean to say: it is in truth so. Here then the concern is with the
being of being true. Finally, the ὂν as δύναμις and ἐνέργεια is introduced
(a35f.): ἔτι τὸ εἶναι σημαίνει καὶ τὸ ὂν τὸ μὲν δυνάμει, [ῥητὸν] τὸ δ᾽ἐντελεχείᾳ; "Furthermore, being also means the being δυνάμει as well as ἐντελεχείᾳ. Τὸ εἶναι σημαίνει καὶ τὸ ὂν: being means the being [das Seiende] (actually being [Seiende and not beings). Being (εἶναι) means nothing other than the being (ὂν) insofar as the being
is this and nothing other.



We must recall to ourselves that to deny methodology is a methodology. The attempt to think rests on such matters, as the passionate movement of the awareness that on such matters everything depends, on not despising such apparent triviality. Which, when one comes to it, is everything. We look more to the problem of being, in the passage above, and we do this proximately by what follows; there, we look at, as though empirically, i.e, by looking at this issue, and than going further to that, and one throws oneself adrift in the teeth, in the stringency, of what, nonetheless, has no noisome principle of errancy. 

In Kant the presupposition of a manifold, in the sense that no particular sensing of a thing is the be all, for instance, seeing the sharp profile of a red pine before the brilliant blue, above which is pink, white, and then again a hazy blue, in the place of the Western horizon at morning. Is the manifold potentially infinite? The question is like the question about subitizing, simple counting (as a 'seeing'), is it the fact that counting things can come in anywhere, ergo, a fact about things, or, about beings, or about some faculty of the mind? The being of whatever has a manifold, in Kant, is not the copula, the “is”. Kant does not exclude being in the sense of the being of beings (but, rather, in the sense of a "meta" being, neither category or peculiar empiric/intuited being). Each being, is a being, that has a manifold. Is manifoldness itself a category? Part of the intellect? The being of beings for Kant is itself the categorical system only if it does not include that to which the manifold refers. Because the manifold refers back to the noumenal, to the thing itself. The thing itself means exactly that the philisophic material, what is called in Leibniz the monad, determines the individual character of a thing. For instance, that milk is really and truly for young animals, for the nourishment. The thing itself is the actual individual, and Aristotle reaches in this thought back beyond the motion in a manner that remains obscure. And yet, in such an account, we indifferently move over modulations of thinking that belong to wholly different thinkings in the sense: only the attempt to think has been made. In other words, in the seeming rolling out of a single bolt of cloth, there is in fact something more like a Persian carpet, woven by different hands, so that no uniform art controls it. 

In order to ask about ousia in Aristotle we need an exacting look at a specific thinking. Let us attempt to come towards this through Spinoza’s teaching that there is only the necessary or the false.  This so called Necessitarianism, in what follows, we shall hold up alongside the Megarian teaching. We shall come to the Megarians further on in the treatise we are reading, the reading of Aristotle’s Metaphysics Theta in the work with the name Heidegger on it. Superficially these theses declaim in the same way. For the striking feature is that both decry possibility. Everything must be as it is, and as it will be. Yet, a large and deep gulch, from which the one view takes cognizance of the other, sends an uneasiness into all concern with this issue. 

At first let us consider Aristotle’s situation. Plato was not, as it is often said (following the word found in Aristotle, though misunderstanding it), a Pythagorean, if that is supposed to mean that he took Pythagoras as a summit. Rather, mathematical thought was the lowest and minimum entry to the school. This is incontestable and one need only look at the relative place of dianoia, which Plato and Aristotle places bellow noesis. Noesis has its source in Parmenides. The only great thinker to appear in all his power in the Platonic dialogues, apart from Socrates. And he appears only when Socrates is as yet undeveloped, and still lower. Dianoia is the simple thinking that brings clearest access to the first step of philosophy, the distinction between the pattern, and the instance of the pattern. Someone notices that a tree is a tree, that in its absence, on can still think of other trees. And trees one has never seen, are, in a way, already known. Yet, Nous, noetic being the adjectival form, is the name given to the first clear awareness that human beings think the whole. All things. Kant speaks of the human constitution being such that men can not help of thinking of the most remote ages of Man. For the ancients, however, nous, did not mean primarily remoteness in time or space, but the oneness of the whole. That all was thought, as though, already. Mathematical thinking, any thinking that pre-thinks, comes to think of the whole that is being pre-thought. Aristotle puts the whole to work with his architectonics of being, which is noetic in character, discerning what is highest and the arrangement of all things. This one being, is thought categorically, everywhere in advance the categories, or predicaments of man, are already known, or part of this ousia, which is the toning, or keying in, of nous. Yet, what is strange is that Artemis (goddess of beings, later, broken and stripped of power in the Atheanian cults, of wild animals) is at work in the treatise on dunamis and energeia. Which is to say, the primordial. That which is not part of the movement from nous to ousia, or from the time before the earliest philosophers were named, and so became public, and the time of Aristotle. 

Both Aristotle and the Megarians on this ground, and their active thinking diverges over the same gathering of historial support. How much different is the case with Spinoza? Is there any sense in the claim that both the Megarians and Spinoza teach that there is no possibility? Why would the word speak at all in the same way? Yet, if one gives an example of what we mean by possibility, it must surely seem that from the time of the ancients, until now, daily life, has many simply unchanged features. That I say that I went to the Piraeus, under a certain social pressure, but, nonetheless, willing, and not all unwilling, do I not speak of what anyone can understand? Yet, if the matter is taken up from the phenomena, i.e., without philosophy, possibility never comes to sufficient stringency to say anything at all. It grows into the legal thinking by experience, an experience which is simply thoughtless habit. Anders Breivik suddenly finds himself in a cell far finer than many men live throughout the world. Since punishment has ceased to be sensible when possibility no longer seems a cogent principle of neuronal activity. It happens as it does. The human is not responsible, but that responsibility means the going well of the system of electrical activity.  Punishment as such loses its moorings. The coming of the change of thinking, with respect to legal thinking, linked to a general mentality, such as the falling out of the belief that comets can be omens, itself is the dream of thoughtless habit. If it is thought, drawn into awareness, it might become cybernetics, and it might become the view that as yet one does not think through all that is there adequately. 

The ground from which possibility comes forward is the peculiar character of a support which is coming forward historialy, thus it is not stable and always in the same way at hand. In Aristotle’s time possibility had to do with thinking about art. In the sense that something can be made by an art, something learned, i.e., a become thing, a becoming of nature, which becomes a particular way of becoming. A modification of nature’s art, of becoming according to nature. Yet, for Spinoza, everything grips, already, the Cartesian thinking's attempt to grapple with the rising of a mathematical thinking, which most of all harmonizes with extension. The inadequacy of of a double being, a duel substance, leads to the teaching of a being that is essentially split as one being. The question of possibility becomes the human ability to prognosticate according to a false apprehension of extension. Basically, the Megarians are not at all interested in prediction. A philosophy of prognostication, a telepathic philosophy that intuites the future, never existed before Galileo. The future, according to the older philosophies, was the true knowledge of what now is. It was the knowledge, which according to its knowing, produced the future. This means, in Aristotle, though contemplation, as with Plato, is purest human being, reflection, does not produce, so far as morality is concerned, moral knowledge, on the other hand, the art of wisdom, produces. There is a theoretical practical art subordinated to the theoretical zenith. To reiterate, extension suggests forecasting of the future out of the necessary, that someone grasps the outcome from the extension, if they learn badly, they say what is false, if they grasp the outcome they speak truly. The knowledge is not essentially, though it might be accidentally, productive of the outcome. The mind is somehow outside. Its true and false are functions of talking about the object. With the Megarians the question concerns the hypothetical character of the become. Of the art that things flow from, that a man knows how to make this or that and can do it, or not. The hidden structure is put into suspense. True and false have nothing to grip onto, so that they can be positively stated, in the sense of Spinoza. To forecast correctly is accident. This position of the Megarians is theoretical. One must see that it can’t be upheld for common sense. Common sense perpetually is inspired by its stock of reliable manners of self orientation. Yet, they change, as with the sense of what comets can be. 

"Furthermore, being signifies 'is' in the sense of 'it is true."

For Aristotle the truth is the full. The false is privation of the truth. Stated positively, the being of the false, which is, is the being of lack. Aristotle, let us note in passing, unlike Hegel, does not extend the false to ousia, but only asserts that one of the folds is like that. 

What is this false? Recently a squatter inhabited one of the palaces of San Francisco for some months. When he appeared, through the large windows, whoever looked up at him saw someone who belonged to the house. If we follow Hume in this, we must say they falsely brought the ought to the deed of walking before the window. They tacitly said, everything is as it should or ought be. Nothing needs doing here. Yet, if one abstracts from the certainty of the positive law, and in one’s heart fathoms the difficulties of property, even correct appraisal of the deed, the vagrant and his unlawful entry, this truth appears unfull. Aristotle did not exclude this question, but only treating the unfull as something that could not be unfull, as what was not a error. That the unfull could be only as the lack of the full. Not as abyssal movement of the genetic difficulty. When the false and the true refer to the human heart, to the man in his grappling with what may be beyond him in the region of the moral, it does not move at all in the region of Spinoza’s Ethics. And yet, Spinoza was not nihilist nor relativist. But, rather, a rationalist in the sense of the metaphysics of that sound reason from which decent morals emerge, hence to be governed by the necessary. Until Kant, as much in Hobbes as in Machiavelli, a certain region remained undisturbed. That is the deeper sense of the basic ground of a historial age, the being gripped by one’s own. By the age. This basic ground is called in Nietzsche Life, Nietzsche, according to the work with the name Heidegger, never grasps the primordial, but always moves with the stimulus of the basic and the world of the basic. But, Strauss says, this is the claim (in Heidegger) to “knowing better”, the long subject concerning what a sense in thought that is not referring to any kind of truth or falsehood is meant to be. The talk of the primordial requires in itself a special exemption from the region of knowing. This has been addressed above at several points, but should remain with us as awareness of the radical presupposition of being in the peculiar manner it pierces the phenomena almost as though form within, yet rather in the shining forth itself, like a sword’s blade.   


Friday, October 20, 2017

Diverse Considerations, in the teeth of the range of the History of Being 


Chapter seven of Book V (Δ) of the Metaphysics makes it absolutely clear that

Aristotle is referring to the being of beings. Book V is by no means constituted

of a single investigative treatise. It is rather a compilation of the various meanings

of some basic concepts of philosophy. Chapter seven enumerates the different meanings of ὄν, namely the four that we just became acquainted with in E2. Here in Δ 7, they are again presented in a different sequence.


“up until now the highest type of “human being”" (From the inscription, the word of Nietzsche's, which is also a guidance, that stands over the text.)

Let us limit ourselves to pointing to the stimulus of Nietzsche's scare quotes, in this comment that is intended to remind us of the guiding word, which stands over the text and should continue to grow, to be active, beginning spontaneously at each point of our methodos, an arche, a point where the germ is invisible, but growing. All that we need to know about the scare quotes is that prior to Nietzsche they had no philisophic meaning. They belong to the sense of the creative. The philisophic is only philosophic when it is a thinking that comes to hold sway in the world essence. A word of Justice Kennedy speaks for itself on this point: “At the heart of liberty is the right to define one's own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe and of the mystery of human life.” Such is the spirit of nihilism

One word about how the text we are now reading is at work. Those who hold that Aristotle is of especial importance to Heidegger speak correctly, yet this correctness conceals as much as it makes visible. Aristotle, here, is held up to be confronted, that means: not to be debated. Whoever attempts to distort, to win points, to show failings, to win applause, to show up Aristotle as a ridiculous prescientific curiosity, does not confront. Yet, in yielding to Aristotle, one never leaves aside what one brings to Aristotle. The methodos brings something to Heidegger, and Heidegger to the thinking of dunamis and energeia according to the ergon of Aristotle. Thereby, Aristotle does not stand in scare quotes, but rather something more like the doctrine of reading out of the text, is modulated according to the reality that one always reads into texts. At the same time, the power of nihilism is incalculable; Heidegger must keep watch over its arrogating power. Not by setting it aside, but by allowing to have its say. Strauss says, concerning the guise of the philosophising of Aristotle: the moon and things that appear particularly beautifully in moonlight, never would appear in the light of the sun. 

Much has Nietzsche directed his invective towards the theoretical, the Sacred Heart, the Socratic Eros, and the moon-eyed. In Nietzsche this region, that of ego, intellect, and ultimately pride (i.e., Power), becomes the Dionysian. The Dionysian corresponds to the Sky, and the Apollonian to the Earth. What is most characteristic of Heidegger, is the inclusion of the Artemisean, i.e., the primordial which skulks, dragging its shadow behind it, into the open. Ousia is never primordial, it is always, during the First Beginning, and most of all at the conclusion of the First Beginning, already mixed up in the discussion about the distinction between Earth and Sky. Earth is where Nietzsche finds Rausch, the raging wave, and in the Sky is the pure dazzling vision, which first of all is ousia, when the crystallized intellect perceives the actual, letting what is dormant in all actuality silently stand as the support of the system of agential causes. First among them nature. When nature becomes the system of space and time, it ceases to have any intelligible link to the Aristotelian world. It is wrongly said that several of the Aristotelian causes remain. Not one of them does. Efficient cause, for instance, and even the instrumental cause, which is its subpart, have nothing to do with post-Kantian (i.e., epistemic) notions of nature. The most common sense in which nature is today said does not speak to any of the Aristotelian causes. Yet, they have come out of the older thinking, which has since become idle but has never gone away.  


“Chapter seven enumerates the different meanings of ὄν, namely the four that we just became acquainted with in E2. Here in Δ 7, they are again presented in a different sequence.”

Being here is not said in the sense that nature means a system of relations, of things in space and time. It is not said in the sense that the Apollonian thing, has poured over it through a sieve, a paint, in the form of a story about what it is. I.e., such that the “is” connects the natural object to the asserted prediction. There is not a heap of mass, within the sacred precinct of a symbolic logic, which is saved form the experience known to folk sense. Being is the always and the ever. It stands as the actual, as the true and the false, as the situation or predicament of each accidental being, in another sense of the accident, it is a being and its accidents. If this is taken up conceptually the effect would be a mere arbitrary agglutination, since any part of the four fold, here listed (in V.vii) could be represented as the predicate of anything else. 

In a certain sense there were no concepts for the Greeks. One notices that a figure delineated, in haphazard fashion, is a circle. It is more like a scribbled line, than it is like a thing that has everywhere on its surface an equal distance to go to get to its center. The question how does it happen that we see here a circle might be interpreted as a “concept”, but it also can, and was, first noticed simply (and of course later as the doctrine of ideas). I.e., simply as insight, as what shows forth worthily, to man as man. Already, when the Greeks add, to man as man, they speak in the turbulent stinging style of the Socratic dialogic which seeks truth in the fertile matrix of the
polis, of the men of the polis, as their whole essence is presented in the logos of the most capable men of the polis. It is obvious that, in one sense, nothing of this attitude remains in the notion of nature, now prevalent, with its emphasis on its independence from “agreement”, or from the older point of view, from man, from the hominem, the conviction. A human being, in its bare meaning, is that which understands something of what one says. This is possible only in a being with opinions. In a certain sense, one can see that even dogs have opinions, i.e., that they understand and can show this externally. This transformation of the meaning of nature shows even in the usage of the phrase ad hominem, which has become, since Kant, a fallacy (though some with a knowledge of the older usage still remain amidst the general lack of sense). There was always made a distinction between the argument and the man, but this distinction meant that the intelligibility was different than the being-swayed to the conviction (or firm opinion). It was never said in a way that suggested a world wholly apart form the human. Essentially, the empirical character of Aristotle, even though his polyphonic works, his dialogues have not come down to us, is linked to the human race, to its opinions. Let us not forget this, considering what we bring to the text, i.e., what we necessarily bring to the text, as we confront it. To confront is to yield.