220

Thesis of Logic [313,314,315]


existence, as something that stands and falls with the existence or the nonexistence of the Dasein-makes all binding and obligating objective decision impossible and declares all objective knowledge to be by the grace of the subject, must it not be characterized from the very outset as untenable? To avoid these fatal consequences, must we not from the very outset presuppose for all science and all philosophical knowledge that there is a truth which subsists in itself, which, as it is said, is timeless?

Such arguments are in fact offered generally or everywhere. Common sense is surreptitiously called to aid, arguments are employed that do not provide objective reasons, surreptitious appeal is made to the consensus of ordinary understanding, for which it would be unbearable if there were no eternal truths. But in the first place it must be said that philosophical knowledge and scientific knowledge in general do not trouble themselves about the consequences, no matter how uncomfortable they may be to the philistine understanding. What is at stake is the sober, unmitigated clarity of the concept and the recognition of the results of investigation. All other consequences and sentiments are irrelevant.

Truth belongs to the ontological constitution of the Dasein itself. When it is said that truth is something intrinsically timeless, the following problem arises: To what extent does not our interpretation explain truth subjectively, level all truth relativistically, and relinquish theory to skepticism? After all, 2 times 2 equals 4 is true not just since the day before yesterday and not just until the day after tomorrow. Surely this truth does not depend on any subject. What does this imply then about the statement that truth is only if and as long as there is Dasein which unveils, is true, exists in truth? Newton's laws, which are often used in arguments having to do with the, interpretation of truth, have not existed from all eternity, and they were not true before they were discovered by Newton. They became true only in and with their uncoveredness, because this uncoveredness is their truth. It follows from this neither that, if they first became true with their uncovering, they were false before the uncovering nor that they will become false when their uncoveredness and their unveiledness become impossible, when no Dasein any longer exists. Before being discovered the Newtonian laws were neither true nor false. This cannot mean that the entity which is uncovered with the unveiled laws was not previously in the way in which it showed itself after the uncovering and now is as thus showing itself. Uncoveredness, truth, unveils an entity precisely as that which it already was beforehand regardless of its uncoveredness and non-uncoveredness. As an uncovered being it becomes intelligible as that which is just how it is and will be, regardless of every possible uncoveredness of itself. For nature to be as it is, it does not need truth, unveiledness. The content intended in the true proposition "2 times 2 = 4" can subsist through all eternity without


Basic Problems of Phenomenology (GA 24) by Martin Heidegger