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Metaphysics θ 3.

only becomes unexplainable without the existence of humans, it be. comes utterly meaningless; but this does not mean that the things themselves are dependent upon humans.

In order, however, actually to bring out these fundamental relationships and truths with complete clarity, and this means to delineate them thoroughly, and above all to circumscribe their boundaries and type of certainty, it would require again the entire effort of a philosophy. Only in this way can we ever fathom the whole site on which we as humans stand. And only when we have traversed this site in its entire situatedness are we capable of deciding with clarity what citonoc; is—to be without site and not able to be accommodated within that which can have a site at all.

Understood in this way, the statement by Protagoras takes on an entirely new meaning, namely, one which raises it to the most lofty principle of all philosophizing. "The human is the measure of all things, of beings that they are, of non-beings that they are not." A fundamental principle-not a cheap and easily accessible assertion, but an initiation and a staking out of the question in which the human goes to the very basis of its own essence. This questioning is, however, the basic activity of philosophizing.

The now-clarified argument of Aristotle which related to the ἄψυχα points to a fundamental question of philosophy. From this we must infer in which essential nexus this thematic question in general moves.


b) The practicing and not-practicing of perception


How much we must comprehend the ἄψυχα as αἰσθητά, in their being perceived, but to be sure not in such a way that αἴσθησις then comes into question in an isolated and detached manner, is demonstrated in the following argument (Met. θ 3):


1047a7—10: ἀλλὰ μὴν οὐδ᾽ αἴσθησιν ἕξει οὐδὲν ἂν μὴ αἰσθάνηται μηδ᾽ ἐνεργῇ. εἰ οὖν τυφλὸν τὸ μὴ ἔχον ὄψιν, πεφυκὸς δὲ καὶ ὅτε πέφυκε [καὶ] ἔτι ὥς [I am reading ὥς instead of ὄν, H.], οἱ αὐτοὶ τυφλοὶ ἔσονται πολλάκις τῆς ἡμέρας, καὶ κωφοί.


"Indeed (a living being) could not even 'have' perception if it were