The Aristotelian Definition of the Being-There [44–45]

basic possibility of being-there, is, for the Greeks, βίος θεωρητικός: the life whiled away in pure contemplation.

Ad 2. Ontologically, the second direction runs opposite of the clarification of ψυχή. Ψυχή is an οὐσία whose basic aspects, for Aristotle, are κρίνειν and κινεῖν3—the “setting apart and determining” and the “moving-itself” in the world, the moving-about-within-the-world. They provide the ground for the further concrete distinguishing of being-in-the-world, in the further development of the possibility of ἑρμηνεύειν. “Hearing,” ἀκούειν, which corresponds to speaking, is the fundamental mode of “perceiving,” the genuine possibility of αἴσθησις. In hearing, I am in communication with other human beings insofar as being-human means speaking. The explicit emphasizing of ἀκούειν is noteworthy because otherwise the basic possibility of existence, for the Greeks, is located in θεωρεῖν, in ὁρᾶν. Later, we will take up how these go together.4

We are pursuing, in these two directions, the clarification of the being-structure of the being-there of human beings, for Aristotle. In his explication, that which was already vital in the history of the Greek interpretation of being-there explicitly comes to fulfillment. Aristotle’s tendency is only to say what is ἔνδοξον, what lies in the natural being of being-there itself, what is self-evident. But that is, precisely, what is often the most difficult to say. In a certain way, we are already prepared for this consideration of the being-character of being-there. For I have intentionally sketched out a preliminary characteristic of its being-character. Presumably, these characters will also take effect in the determination of the human being. Therefore, we already have a clue to the being-character of being-there; we are already oriented in some way regarding the λόγον ἔχον.

§9. The Being-There of Human Beings as ψυχή: Speaking-Being (λόγον
ἔχειν) and Being-with-One-Another (κοινωνία) (Politics A 2,
Rhetoric A 6 and 11)

We must now come to an understanding of λέγειν. We do not yet have clarity about “speaking” as what constitutes the genuine being of human beings.

a) The Determination of Human Beings as ζῷον λόγον ἔχον:
The Task of Setting λόγος Apart from φωνή

Let us consider Book 1, Chapter 2 of the Politics. The determination of human beings as ζῷον λόγον ἔχον appears here with an entirely definite aim in the context of demonstrating that the πόλις is a being-possibility of human life, a

3. De an. Γ 2, 427 a 17 sq.

4. See p. 104 f.

Martin Heidegger (GA 18) Basic Concepts of Aristotelian Philosophy

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