The Interpretation of the Being-There of Human Beings [104–105]

its being itself is being-with-one-another. This being-with-one-another has its basic possibility in speaking, that is, in speaking-with-one-another, speaking as expressing-oneself in speaking-about-something. Λόγος comes into play not only with this fundamental determination, but also precisely where Aristotle poses the question concerning the possible ἀρεταί. The investigation thereof is divided according to the investigative clue that Aristotle himself carries through with regard to the λόγον ἔχον. The λόγον ἔχον is only superficially clarified. An entire series of determinations is found therein.

The being-there of human beings, characterized as λόγον ἔχον, is more precisely determined by Aristotle in such a way that in the human being itself, its speaking-being still plays a fundamental role. In being-with-one-another, one can be the one speaking and the other the one hearing. Ἀκούειν, “hearing,” is genuine αἴσθησις. Whether or not seeing in connection with θεωρεῖν reveals the world in the genuine sense, it is still hearing because it is the perceiving of speaking, because it is the possibility of being-with-one-another. The human being is not only a speaker and a hearer, but is for itself such a being that hears itself. Speaking, as self-expression-about-something, is at the same time a speaking-to-oneself. Therefore, the definition of λόγον ἔχον further contains in itself that the human being also has λόγος in the mode of hearing this, its own speaking. In human beings, there is a being-possibility that is to be characterized as ὑπακούειν. Aristotle exhibits this basic phenomenon through concrete contexts of being-there themselves, through peculiar phenomena that are touched upon in Book 1, Chapter 13 of the Nicomachean Ethics, and that Aristotle designates as παράκλησις, “incitement,” νουθέτησις, “making notable,” ἐπιτίμησις, “reproach.”2 All of these modes of natural speaking-withone-another carry in themselves the claim that the other does not merely take notice of something, but takes something up, follows something, reflects on something. The other repeats that which is spoken in such a way that in repeating he listens to it, such that the following results: in the being of the human being as concernful lies the possibility of listening to its speaking.

This possibility of hearing, this ἀκουστικόν,3 is more precisely found together with the mode of being that is fundamentally found in πρᾶξις, with ὄρεξις.4 Every concern has tendency in itself; it is after something, directed at an ἀγαθόν that is always there as λεγόμενον, as “something addressed.” This being-after listens to what is spoken, to what is given in advance of that with which it should be concerned and how it should be concerned. We are seeing more clearly that concernful living, within which there is also the speaking that speaks in such a way that it thereby listens to itself. Ζωὴ πρακτικὴ μετὰ λόγου speaks in such a way that it listens to itself. This concernful listening to the

2. Eth. Nic. Α 13, 1102 b 34 sq.

3. Eth. Nic. Α 13, 1103 a 3.

4. Eth. Nic. Α 13, 1102 b 30 sq.: τὸ δ’ ἐπιθυμητικὸν καὶ ὅλως ὀρεκτικὸν μετέχει πως [λόγου].

Martin Heidegger (GA 18) Basic Concepts of Aristotelian Philosophy

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