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The Aristotelian Definition of the Being-There [59–60]

of deliberating, of the bringing-to-language of the συμφέρον. Thus, when that which is conducive is brought to language, this means that the τέλος is also there in this bringing-to-language. That which is conducive has in itself the reference to the end. The λόγος, the λογίζεσθαι is fulfilled in the basic structure of the “if-then”; if such and such is the end of a concern, then such and such must be undertaken, brought to language. The manner of fulfillment of this “if-then,” the talking-through of the συμφέρον, is the συλλογισμός. It is λόγοι together, fastened to one another. And, indeed, τὸ ὠφέλιμον, which here means the same thing as τὸ συμφέρον, is brought more precisely to language. That is, κατὰ τὸ ὠφέλιμον, καὶ οὗ δεῖ καὶ ὣς καὶ ὅτε;24 that which is conducive is talked through with respect to “what is required” for the bringing-to-the-end of a concern, as well as “how” and “when” the concern is to be carried through. In this bringing-to-language of the συμφέρον, of the world insofar as it is concretely there, the world is first brought genuinely into the there. The here and now of the being of human beings becomes explicit in a determinate deliberating; through this deliberating, the human being—in modern terms—is in the concrete situation, in the genuine καιρός. The being of human beings is in this λόγος, λέγειν as λογίζεσθαι is a having-there of the world in such a way that I am in the world in a position determined by a here and now.

What does it mean to say that the λόγος expresses the συμφέρον? Λόγος, as opposed to φωνή, is ἐπὶ τῷ δηλοῦν.25 It has the task of “revealing” the world in a character that is fulfilled in λογίζεσθαι. The “if” indicates that the end is fixed for the deliberating. There is no deliberating about the end; it is fixed from the outset. The “if” is the primary deliberative grasp of the τέλος. I want to give my friend a gift, to give him joy; this is the τέλος—joy. The τέλος is anticipated. The “anticipation” of a τέλος, of an “end” of πρᾶξις, is προαίρεσις. If I want that, if it is to be brought to its end, if the other is to be pleased, what then? Now begins the deliberating: how is joy to be brought about for the one concerned? The deliberation yields that I want to give him a book. In this deliberating, my being-there orients itself in this moment through this προαίρεσις. The surveying look in which deliberating moves has its world there. Thus I go to a book dealer, and indeed to a definite one, in order to get the book quickly, so as to bring to its end the concern with joy as its τέλος. It is not through the deliberation that the bookstore becomes a bookstore. The world is at hand in the character of συμφέρον for beings who are in their world in the mode of πρᾶξις μετὰ λόγου. Their being, characterized as being-there, is primarily in this way. The stick that I take in hand, the hat that I put on, are συμφέροντα. The stick is not primarily a piece of wood, or some such thing, but a stick. In this deliberating, the world explicitly keeps to its primary character of as such and such, as conducive to . . . , and precisely because λέγειν in its primary


24. Eth. Nic. Ζ 10, 1142 b 28.

25. Pol. Α 2, 1253 a 14.

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