Thursday, March 29, 2018


On Sameness


[The Paragraph starting with]

Accordingly, Aristotle explicitly states: Being is said with an eye to something that is 
somehow common to all the various ways, and which cultivates a community with 
these so that these many are all of the same root and origin.  …


Here we are directed to ask about sameness. “Indeed, ὅν and ἐν are different conceptually, but in 
their essence they are the same, that is they belong together.”

Here ἐν speaks of what is ready or available, the thing that exists. Whereas ὅν speaks of 

the one that is as it is, as “this one”. This one means the primary ousia, or substance, 
for Aristotle, but this is a qualification on ὅν, as what upon reflection is what is “before” us, or, 
alongside us. A hand that claps is some what that is cast into the predicament of clapping. 
It is this some-what as a thing “standing under” which is ‘symbolized’ in the predicament of 
clapping. The saying of ὅν, as such, is prior to the “something as something” in precisely the 
sense that Kant says being is not a predicament. The primordiality of language increases 
the concealment in ὅν, forbidding with greater force than with the “something as something” 
(its own order of thinking being present in its grammar), such that concealment and oblivion 
most viably hold their breath like the faint light in the crevice of a closed door before the thinker. 
On the one hand it is what is long the most cogent to vague sense of everyday Da-sein, that this 
that is here, the oozing torso of an octopus on the deck of a small vessel going at sea, has a 
content that does not refer back to any concept. For the reason that it evades the general 
sense of being, e.g., an octopus, so far as it is ‘just once, just this time’, here, and not in another 
place, and ‘so on’ (in a vague sense). Whether all this is “available” to man as man, as what is 
 “present” or ἐν, in the sense of what is effective or real (real for technical logistics, and power 
[not in the Nietzschean sense, but)  in the sense of the standing-reserve or stock of knowledge 

at the ready to be deployed, of “Science” as such), remains a dark question. It seems to be the 

region of the contestation of “Da” and “Sein” over the fate of Being (in the sense of the  ‘presupposition’, that is, of what a rubric may not be able to say but is supposed to draw forth  
according to the ergon of the work called Heidegger).  


While two clapping hands come together in the same act, that of clapping, they are not identical 
nor do they belong together in the sense of “Indeed, ὅν and ἐν are different conceptually, but in 
their essence they are the same, that is they belong together.” This belonging, as being the same, 
is different from being equal. Equality in the abstract sense of Greek science, of mathimatikos, 
means, e.g., that the mathamatical unit, which exists as a perfect whole number, e.g., 1, is = to 1, 
in and only in the region that is available to the essence of man as man, to ratio, as what is destined 
to last forever. Nothing like such a thing, according to the Greek science, exists as what is available 
amidst the beings that change and come to be.  

There is a sameness in what Socrates sees beyond the walls of Athens, along the banks of the  
Ilisus, under the shade of a planetree, and that that Phaedrus sees. However, we do not here think 
of questions of perspectivalism (though, we do think of the just mentioned sameness). There is a difficulty in the construction of the classicists' notional 
view which removes all that we know from the “sameness” that is to be rescued. In Strauss we 
have the claim that the social scientist refuses the notional view for the sake of historical context 
(and often for the children's tale of Progress, of the past as the road to this), thereby we are meant to take up a notional view, 
not for the sake of taking proper care of the understanding of the text through preservation of the 
translation, and most of all through keeping the way to explore the text open in the passing down of 
scholars betwixt themselves, but, rather, for Strauss the assumption that we know no more, are not in a sphere of greater sophistication than, 
the writers we speak to, and listen to, aims at sailing amidst the high winds of modernity as though 
the absolute clear sky of antiquity was in itself sufficient to keep afloat in the winds. Strauss 
is an historicist in this respect, he knows that in entering the water, as one who does not follow the 
vulgar style of historical contextualization, the more subtle difficulties of the high winds can not be 
kept wholly out. This makes all the difference in his work. His road, when judged against the claim 
of “knowing better” of the historial view (not the contextualising historicist view) is actively struggled 
with. So that in Strauss there is a limit state of historial thinkng (of thinking the history of Being), 
where the dangerous gust that winds men about is suppressed, a standing still, as opposed to throwing the doors open to the storm 
wind. Just as motion, in modernity, that the earth still stands still, as it were, even when one 
knows motion is no longer what it was, but relative, and therefore, not motion at all. This limit state 
of historial thinking, is perhaps the opposite of the confrontation with historial thinking. It must be noted, that, 
generally speaking, though historial thought is everywhere the case, the experience, and holds sway, taking a stand 
on it that is raised to discourse is in the hands of most theorists, not to speak of the immense 
masses of those who never think of their destiny, a dry etching without the power to make its 
stamp a passion for thought. The question of what one has long called sameness moves in 
this region, and comes to comforntation here. This region menaces with its threat to be swallowed 
up by oblivion.  

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