Consideration of Definition [35–36]

for Aristotle, εἶδος has “species” as its meaning. Why it means “species,” and why γένος means “genus,” is not understood if one does not know that εἶδος is an entirely determinate being-character. Initially, it means the being that is there in its “appearing.” As a master-builder builds a house, so he lives and operates initially in the εἶδος of the house, in the way it looks.

The τὸ τί ἦν εἶναι has in itself the determination of the ἦν: the being-there of a being, and indeed with an eye to what it was, to its descent. If the human being is determined as ζῷον λόγον ἔχον, the speaking comes in this way from its ζῷον-, being a “living thing”; this is its γένος. I see a being that is there with respect to its being, in the way that it is there as coming from out of . . . I see a being that is there genuinely in its being when I see it in its history, the being that is there in this way coming from out of its history into being. This being that is there, as there in this way, is complete; it has come to its end, to its completedness, just as the house is complete in its εἶδος as ποιούμενον. The ὑποκείμενον is already complete; I need not produce it. The body has its completedness through the surface.

Therefore, being-there means, in summary: 1. primarily presence, present, 2. being-complete, completedness—the two characters of the there for the Greeks. In these two characters, all beings with regard to their being are to be interpreted.49

§8. Ὁρισμός as Determinate Mode of Being-in-the-World: The Task of
Fully Understanding the Basic Concepts in Their Conceptuality
in Being-There as Being-in-the-World

Λόγος as ὁρισμός is the type of “speaking,” of “addressing” the world, such that beings are addressed with regard to their completedness, and this completedness is addressed as present. Ὁρισμός is λόγος οὐσίας in the sense that οὐσία designates τὸ τί ἦν εἶναι. Thus the λόγος is, as ὁρισμός, a completely distinctive λέγειν; it is a determinate possibility within λέγειν. The λέγειν is not primarily accomplished in such a way that it is a ὁρίζειν, but instead the world is primarily given in its immediacy as συγκεχυμένον,50 “obscured,” “covered over,” “unarticulated.” A particular organizing is required, a particular opening of the eyes, in order to see that which is there in its being.

Aristotle was explicitly aware of the fact that, in the everyday, λόγος is not ὁρισμός. He formulated this in the introduction to the investigation of οὐσία, Metaphysics, Ζ3: “Learning, becoming acquainted with something, is accomplished for everyone by proceeding from what is less familiar to what is more

49. See Hs. p. 346 ff.

50. Aristotelis Physica. Recensuit C. Prantl. Lipsiae in aedibus B. G. Teubneri 1879. Α 1, 184 a 22: συγκεχυμένα.

Basic Concepts of Aristotelian Philosophy (GA 18) by Martin Heidegger

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