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Introduction

ἐνέργειαν, ὡς ἀληθὲς ἢ ψεῦδος, κατὰ συμβεβηκός)? Is the unity here also that of analogy? And if so, what then is the πρῶτον ὅν, πρὸς ὁ τὰ τέτταρα λέγεται? What therein is the φύσις τις. that which is determined and governed from out of itself? Here everything becomes obscure. We always find only the itemizing juxtaposition. And in addition we find the claim: the ὅν has for its multiplicity the unity of analogy.

The analogy of being-this designation is not a solution to the being question, indeed not even an actual posing of the question, but the title for the most stringent aporia, the impasse in which ancient philosophy, and along with it all subsequent philosophy right up to today, is enmeshed.

In the Middle Ages, the analogia entis-which nowadays has sunk. again to the level of a catchword-played a role, not as a question of being but as a welcomed means of formulating a religious conviction~ in philosophical terms. The God of Christian belief, although the creator and preserver of the world, is altogether different and separate! from it; but he is being [Seiende] in the highest sense, the summum ens; creatures-infinitely different from him-are nevertheless also being (seiend), ens finitum. How can ens infinitum and ens finitum both be named ens, both be thought in the same concept, "being"? Does the ens hold good only aequivoce or univoce, or even analogice? They rescued themselves from this dilemma with the help of analogy, which is not a solution but a formula. Meister Eckhart-the only one who sought a solution-says: "God 'is' not at all. because 'being' is a finite predicate and absolutely cannot be said of God." (This was admittedly only a beginning which disappeared in Eckhart's later development, although it remained alive in his thinking in another respect.) The problem of analogy had been handed down to the theology of the Middle Ages via Plotinus, who discussed it-already from that angle-in the sixth Ennead.

The first and ultimate πρῶτον ὅν. πρὸς ὁ τὰ ἄλλα λέγεται, which is thus the first meaning for the πολλαχῶς in the broad sense, is obscure. And therefore the πρώτη φιλοσοφία, genuine philosophizing, is inherently questionable in a radical sense. All this is later erased by the thesis that being is the most self-evident. (This questionability