of genuine questioning. Let us once more briefly characterize the sequence of steps taken up to now.
Our question about the essence of truth began with the determination of truth as the correctness of an assertion or, in general, of a representation, a determination which still today provides the standard and has done so for two millennia. This beginning was executed immediately in the form of a critical reflection. The result was the following: truth as correctness of representing presupposes, in order to be what it is (assimilation to the object), the openness of beings by which they become capable of being ob-jects in the first place and by which the representing becomes a faculty of presenting something before itself as such. This openness appeared consequently as the ground of the possibility of correctness. Accordingly, correctness cannot constitute the original essence of truth if it itself is dependent on something more original. The original essence of truth must then be sought in a return to this openness.
But this simple critical reflection, which transcends the traditional concept of truth, is tenable only if correctness already contains in some way, even if not originally, something of the essence of truth. That it does so was at first only tacitly presupposed. What about this presupposition? How and to what extent is the traditional positing of the essence of truth as the correctness of an assertion founded? We will discover, if at all , the foundation of this essential determination of truth in an immediate way where this essence of truth was established for the first time. That happened at the end of the great philosophy of the Greeks, in the thinking of Plato and in the doctrines of Aristotle.
But in order now to interrogate with certitude the legitimacy of the essential determination of truth as correctness, we have to know what those thinkers intended by what we call "essence." This led to the exposition of what Plato understood as ἰδέα. The essence is the whatness of a being, understood as its look or countenance, which is kept in view in advance for every comportment toward the individual being present at hand. If now, after this elucidation of the Greek concept of essence, we examine in which way the just-mentioned determination of the essence of truth—as the correctness of an assertion—is founded, then we discover that a "foundation" is lacking. The positings of the essence