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§52 [322-24]

qualitatively different as a possibility from that possibility, i.e., that potentiality [Können], which we ascribe to a capacity. Equipment has a certain readiness. The organ, we now claim, in each case has a capacity. We shall see later whether this way of speaking is wholly appropriate. First we must elucidate this second way of having and offering possibility more precisely and thus begin to approach the essence of the organ and the organism. Then we shall also be able to distinguish the organ from a piece of equipment, from an instrument, and from a machine.

Equipment always has a particular readiness, while the organ always has a capacity. Yet the eye, for example, which we have hitherto distinguished from the pen as a particular organ, no more possesses an independent capacity for seeing than the pen has a capacity for writing, especially as we pointed out that the possibility of seeing is itself the condition of the possibility of the eye as an organ. We must hold fast to the fact that the organ in itself does not have the capacity for seeing either, and must not force facts for the sake of the distinction we wished to identify between readiness and capacity. But are we holding fast to the facts when we say that the eye, taken independently, no more possesses a capacity than does the pen? When we consider it independently in this way, are we treating the eye as an eye? Or have we not already committed a crucial mistake which is precisely what allows us to equate the eye as an organ with an independent piece of equipment present to hand? An eye taken independently is not an eye at all. This implies that it is never first an instrument which subsequently also gets incorporated into something else. Rather, the eye belongs to the organism and emerges from the organism, which of course is not the same as saying that the organism makes ready or produces organs.

Organs have capacities, but they have them precisely as organs, i.e., as something belonging to the organism. The instrument, by contrast, essentially excludes that kind of belonging to something else through which the character of a capability [Fähigsein] is acquired. If on the other hand the organ as organ (i.e., as something belonging to and growing out of the organism) has capacities for something, then we must put it more rigorously and say: It is not the organ which has a capacity but the organism which has capacities. It is the organism which can see, hear, and so forth. The organs are 'only' for seeing, but they are not instruments. The organs are not subsequently incorporated into this capacity in addition, rather they grow from it and are absorbed into it, they remain within it and come to an end with it.

How are we to understand this relationship between the organ and the capacity? One thing is clear: we cannot say that the organ has capacities, but must say that the capacity has organs. Earlier on we said that equipment is of a certain readiness, while the organ has a capacity. Now we can see that it is more appropriate to put it the other way round: in being made ready, the