§4 [15-16]

concerns beings as a whole, for only that is at issue here. Beings as a whole—noncompliance? And we experience anew: an attempt to delimit beings in what they are, in their Being, leads us to the brink of nothingness and to the abyss. For does not an abyss exist and yawn open if we think deeply into Anaximander’s pronouncement: beings as a whole, more precisely, their Being—noncompliance?

With this outlook on nothingness and darkness, we come now to the last section of the full statement. |


§4. Being and time

a) Beings κατὰ τὴν τοῦ χρόνου τάξιν. Time as measure

κατὰ τὴν τοῦ χρόνου τάξιν, “according to the measure of time.” This final section of the full statement still belongs to the grounding; it says that the reciprocal bestowal of compliance and correspondence, which indeed characterizes appearance, happens according to the measure of time. The overall task is to state how beings as a whole are as beings, what the Being of beings is. Thereby time now finally turns up, and the issue is the τάξις τοῦ χρόνου.

Beings—(Being) appearance → noncompliance—time.

It is superfluous to remark again that with regard also to the basic words now under discussion, χρόνος—τάξις, what was said earlier still holds. It seems there is no danger of misinterpretation here. For it is clear that things and all processes elapse in time and that time is therefore the universal order (τάξις) of the sequence of positions which pertain respectively to every event. Certainly—to us today this is commonplace, and we of today are quite capable of invoking the testimony of philosophy, namely, the fact that Kant indeed apprehends time as a form in which the manifold of the sequence of appearances is ordered, and so time is a universal form of the order of succession of things as appearances. This characterization of the essence of time is hardly self-evident. It views time purely and simply as time presents itself in the calculative investigation of nature, especially in physics. I.e., time is understood here purely and simply with respect to the sequence of natural processes in the sense of their succession according to antecedent and consequent, cause and effect.

We see, however, that Anaximander: 1) asks not at all about a determinate region of beings as nature but, instead, about beings as a whole and 2) understands beings not at all primarily as development,