Introduction [4–5]

in a fully positive manner; that it is not thus and so, is constitutive of its being. Chapter 23 deals with ἔχειν, and chapter 24 with ἔκ τινος εἶναι, or “that from which something arises or of which it consists.” Chapter 25 is concerned with μέρος, “part” in the sense of aspect, chapter twenty-six with ὅλον, the “whole,” chapter 27 with κολοβόν, “the mutilated,” and chapter 28 with γένος, “lineage,” “descent.” Chapter 29 concerns ψεῦδος, and chapter 30 concerns συμβεβηκός, that “which is added on to something,” that “along with which something is.”1

We must see the ground out of which these basic concepts have arisen, as well as how they have so arisen. That is, the basic concepts will be considered in their specific conceptuality so that we may ask how the matters themselves meant by these basic concepts are viewed, in what context they are addressed, in which particular mode they are determined. If we approach the matter from this point of view, we will arrive at the realm of what is meant by concept and conceptuality. The basic concepts are to be understood with regard to their conceptuality, specifically, with the purpose of gaining insight into the fundamental exigencies of scientific research. Here, we offer no philosophy, much less a history of philosophy. If philology means the passion for knowledge of what has been expressed, then what we are doing is philology.

As for Aristotle, his philosophy, and its development, you will find everything you need in the book of the classical philologist Jaeger.2 In this work, Jaeger distinguishes himself by claiming that Aristotle’s writings are not books, but rather summaries of treatises that Aristotle did not publish but only conveyed as lectures. (Jaeger’s interpretation has been known for quite some time, since it was explicitly articulated in an earlier work on Aristotle’s Metaphysics.)3 Thus, from now on, any attempt to treat the fourteen treatises of the Metaphysics as a single work and to see in them a unified presentation of the Aristotelian “system” must be curtailed. Regarding the personality of a philosopher, our only interest is that he was born at a certain time, that he worked, and that he died. The character of the philosopher, and issues of that sort, will not be addressed here.4

§2. The Presuppositions of the Philological Purpose: Demarcation of
the Manner in Which Philosophy Is Treated

The lecture has no philosophical aim at all; it is concerned with understanding basic concepts in their conceptuality. The aim is philological in that it intends

1. Aristotelis Metaphysica. Recognovit W. Christ. Lipsiae in aedibus B.G. Teubneri 1886. Δ 1–30, 1012 b 34 sqq.

2. W. Jaeger, Aristoteles. Grundlegung einer Geschichte seiner Entwicklung. Berlin 1923.

3. W. Jaeger, Studien zur Entstehungsgeschichte der Metaphysik des Aristoteles. Berlin 1912, p. 131 ff.

4. See Hs. p. 333.

Martin Heidegger (GA 18) Basic Concepts of Aristotelian Philosophy

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