§19. Time and Temporality [352-353]

some mediation would be needed for the two. It is intrinsically transition. Because it has this peculiar stretching out within itself, we can conceive of the stretch as being greater or less. The scope of the dimension of a now varies; now in this hour, now in this second. This diversity of scope of dimension is possible only because the now is intrinsically dimensional. Time is not thrust together and summed up out of nows, but the reverse: with reference to the now we can articulate the stretching out of time always only in specific ways. Correlation of the manifold of the nows—where the now is taken as transition—with a point-manifold (line) has only a certain validity, if we take the points of the line themselves as forming beginning and end, as constituting the transition of the continuum, and not as pieces present alongside one another each for itself. A consequence of the impossibility of correlating the nows with isolated point-pieces is that the now, on its part, is a continuum of the flux of time—not a piece. That is why the nows in the following of motion cannot ever fragment the motion into a collection of immobile parts; instead, what becomes accessible and the object of thought in the now is the transitional in its transition and the resting in its rest. And, conversely, this entails that the now is itself neither in motion nor at rest: it is not "in time."

The now—and that means time—is, says Aristotle, by its essential nature not a limit, because as transition and dimension it is open on the sides of the not-yet and the no-longer. The now is a limit, in the sense of a closing, of the finished, of the no-further, only incidentally with reference to something that ceases in a now and at a definite point of time. It is not the now that ceases as now; rather, the now as now is, by its essential nature, already the not-yet, already related as dimension to what is to come, whereas it can well be that a motion determined by the said now can cease in this now. With the aid of the now I can mark a limit, but the now as such does not have the character of a limit so far as it is taken within the continuum of time itself. The now is not limit, but number, not πέρας but ἀριθμὸς. Aristotle explicitly contrasts time as ἀριθμὸς with πέρας. The limits of something, he says, are what they are only in one with the being they limit. The limit of something belongs to the mode of being of the limited. This does not hold true for number. Number is not bound to what it numbers. Number can determine something without itself being dependent, for its part, on the intrinsic content and mode of being of what is counted. I can say "ten horses." Here the ten indeed determines the horses, but ten has nothing of the character of horses and their mode of being. Ten is not a limit of horses as horses; for in counting with it I can just as well determine ships, triangles, or trees. What is characteristic about number lies in the fact that it determines—in the Greek sense also de-limits—something in such a way that it itself remains