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Metaphysics θ 3.

actuality is essentially transformed with the essence in the more narrow sense, where only what-being is expressed. The full essence of a being, however, and this is something which we first have to learn to understand, pertains both to the what of a being and to the how of its potential or actual actuality. Of course, what a thing is must be determined without regard to whether it is actual or not; the essential determination of a table holds also for a potential table or a table which is no longer at hand. And yet not to consider whether the what-being is actual or not does not at all mean that it also matters little whether it is asked how this actuality according to its essence is, an actuality which is prescribed for this respectively determined what-being.

Admittedly, Aristotle did not in our context explicitly unfold the question of a full knowledge of essence. Although he did, in fact, bring the delimitation of the essence of actuality into the closest discerning connection with the determination of what a capability is. But for reasons which lie locked in the ancient and Western conception of being and thereby of what-being, neither is this central problem of the question of essence posed later.

We contend that the guiding question relating to the actuality of δύναμις κατὰ κίνησιν compels one to take ἐνέργεια κατὰ κίνησιν also into regard, and to draw it as well into the definition of this actuality, not as is the case with the Megarians but precisely in such a way that the relation of ἐνέργεια to κίνησις; and thereby to δύναμις becomes apparent. Only when ἐνέργεια is necessarily thematic in this manner does it now make sense for Aristotle to begin to speak explicitly about the word and the word's significance. The way this occurs must lay aside completely all doubts about the theme of chapter three.


1047a30-32: ἐλήλυθε δ᾽ ἡ ἐνέργεια τοὔνομα, ἡ πρὸς τὴν ἐντελέχειαν συντιθεμένη, καὶ ἐπὶ τὰ ἄλλα ἐκ τῶν κινήσεων μάλιστα: δοκεῖ γὰρ ἡ ἐνέργεια μάλιστα ἡ κίνησις εἶναι,


"It is, however, the name and meaning of ἐνέργεια—being at work, a meaning which in itself is directed toward ἐντελέχεια—holding itself in completion, which has also gone over to the other being, namely from its prevailing usage in reference to movements; for mostly and


Martin Heidegger (GA 33) Aristotle's Metaphysics θ 1-3