Pathmarks (GA 9). Edited by William McNeill, Cambridge University Press, 1998.
Originally published in 1967, by Vittorro Klostermann, Frankfurt. The Gesamtausgabe edition of this book begins with a dedication to Kurt Bauch
There's an excerpt from "What is Metaphysics?" on anxiety manifesting the nothing here.
In the lecture on Aristotle, written in 1939, Heidegger studies Aristotle's treatment of φύσις. In the Physics Aristotle differentiates between the being of animals and plants, which reproduce themselves, from the being of things built by men. Through out the lecture Heidegger provides explanations of several key terms used by Aristotle that differ from the traditional translations of those terms. For Aristotle an essential feature of φύσις was χίνησις, motion. Heidegger remarks that Aristotle was the first to understand movement as the fundamental mode of being. To Aristotle the motion of all beings, was evident by ἐπαγωγής, usually translated as "induction."
Ἐπαγωγής does not mean running through individual facts and series of facts in order to conclude something common and "general" from their similar properties. Ἐπαγωγής means "leading toward" what comes into view insofar as we have previously looked away, over and beyond individual beings. At what? At being.
Aristotle uses αἴτιον, origin or cause, and Heidegger cautions against thinking of cause as "causality", of one being acting on another, but inside as originary cause. Aristotle then uses ἀρχή, , a more definite term, in place of αἴτιον.
Ἀρχή means, at one and the same time, beginning and control. On a broader and therefore lower scale we can say: origin and ordering.
Φύσις is ἀρχή, i.e., the origin and ordering of movedness and rest, specifically in a moving being that has this ἀρχή in itself. We do not say "in its self" because we want to indicate that a being of this kind does no have the ἀρχή "for itself" by explicitly knowing it, insofar as it does not "possess" "itself" as a self at all.
Aristotle defines φύσις as ἀρχή χίνήσεως. He understood the change to not be merely a change in location, but also a change in time--the change in a tree through the seasons.
Φύσις is ἀρχή χίνήσεως, origin and ordering of change, such that each thing that changes has this ordering within itself.
Living things have their changes in themselves, but constructed objects are "artifacts". Their movement comes from artifacts having been planned, and then made. The ἀρχή of an artifact, of something made, is τέχνη.
Τέχνη does not mean "technique" in the sense of methods and acts of production, nor does it mean "art" in the wider sense of an ability to produce something. Rather, τέχνη is a form of knowledge; it means: know-how in, i.e., familiarity with, what grounds every act of making and producing. It means knowing what the production of, e.g., a bedstead, must come to, where it must achieve its end and be completed.
To build a table, we know the end result, a table. We can make a plan, specify the form of the table we want. Τέχνη gets you from the plan to the finished table. Τέχνη is not the physical activity of making a table, but the know-how to get it built. Τέχνη is the ἀρχή, the origin and ordering of the change that produces the artifact.
In The Letter on Humanism Heidegger describes language in terms of being.
In its essence, language is not the utterance of an organism; not is it the expression of a living thing. Not can it be thought in an essentially correct way in terms of its symbolic character, perhaps not even in terms of the character of signification. Language is the clearing-concealing advent of being itself.
Kant's Thesis about Being explains ontotheology.
The question "What are being?" includes also the question, "Which being is the highest and in what way is it?" The question is about the divine and God. The province of this question is called theology. The duality of the question about the being of beings can be brought together in the title "onto-theo-logy." The twofold question, What are beings? asks on the one hand, What are (in general) beings? The question asks on the other hand, What (which one) is the (ultimate) being?
Obviously, the twofold quality of the question about beings must result from the way the being of beings manifests itself. Being manifests itself in the character of that which we call ground. Beings in general are the ground in the sense of foundation upon which any further consideration of beings takes place. That which is the highest being is the ground in the sense of that which allows all beings to come into being.
Send additions, corrections or whatever to email@example.com. Don't forget to put your comments in context (what page, what your going on about, etc.)! Include your email address so that I can reply.
Back to Heidegger books page.
Back to Heidegger home page.