Consideration of Definition [16–18]

in the fact that universale means: unum quod est in pluribus, as opposed to praedicabile: unum quod de pluribus praedicatur. Hence the question of whether the general actually exists in the things or is only the generality of apprehending thought (Realism—Nominalism). This question also has its origin in determinate concrete contexts of Greek philosophy, or better in scholastic misunderstandings thereof.

b) The Aristotelian Determination of ὁρισμός as λόγος ουσίας

We are now investigating conceptuality and its indigenous character by going back from definitio as technical instrument to ὁρισμός, “limitation.” Ὁρισμός is a λόγος, a “speaking” about something, an addressing of the matter “itself in that which it is,” καθ᾿ αὑτό.15 A λέγειν καθ᾿ αὑτό: the matter “in itself,” and only it, is and should be addressed. Thus the ὁρισμός is determined as οὐσίας τις γνωρισμός.16 Γνωρισμός means: “making known with . . . ,” “making familiar with . . . ,” presenting a matter. Ὁρισμός is making one familiar with a being in its being. What does λόγος ουσίας say? (1) λόγος, (2) ουσία?

Λόγος: “speaking,” not in the sense of uttering a sound but speaking about something in a way that exhibits the about-which of speaking by showing that which is spoken about. The genuine function of the λόγος is the ἀποφαίνεσθαι, the “bringing of a matter to sight.” Every speaking is, above all for the Greeks, a speaking to someone or with others, with oneself or to oneself. Speaking is in concrete being-there, where one does not exist alone, speaking with others about something. Speaking with others about something is, in each case, a speaking out of oneself. In speaking about something with others, I express myself (spreche ich mich aus), whether explicitly or not.

What is this λόγος? It is the fundamental determination of the being of the human being as such. The human being is seen by the Greeks as ζῷον λόγον ἔχον, not only philosophically but in concrete living: “a living thing that (as living) has language.” This definition should not be thought in biological, psychological, social-scientific, or any such terms. This determination lies before such distinctions. Ζωή is a concept of being; “life” refers to a mode of being, indeed a mode of being-in-a-world. A living thing is not simply at hand (vorhanden), but is in a world in that it has its world. An animal is not simply moving down the road, pushed along by some mechanism. It is in the world in the sense of having it. The being-in-the-world of the human being is determined in its ground through speaking. The fundamental mode of being in which the human being is in its world is in speaking with it, about it, of it. Thus is the human being determined precisely through the λόγος, and in this

15. Met. Δ 8, 1017 b 22: οὗ ὁ λόγος ὁρισμός. H 1, 1042 a 17: τούτου δὲ λόγος ὁ ὁρισμός.

16. Aristotelis Organon Graece. Novis codicum auxiliis adiutus recognovit, scholiis ineditis et commentario instruxit Th. Waitz. Pars posterior: Analytica posteriora, Topica.

Lipsiae 1846. An. post. Β 3, 90 b 16.

Martin Heidegger (GA 18) Basic Concepts of Aristotelian Philosophy

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