The Question Concerning Technology

The common and narrower meaning of "occasion," in contrast, is nothing more than a colliding and releasing; it means a kind of secondary cause within the whole of causality.

But in what, then, does the playing in unison of the four ways of occasioning play? These let what is not yet present arrive into presencing. Accordingly, they are unifiedly governed by a bringing that brings what presences into appearance. Plato tells us what this bringing is in a sentence from the Symposium (205b): ή γάρ τοι ἐκ τοΰ μη ὄντος είς το ὂν ίόντι ότωοΰν αἰτία πασά ἐστί ποίησις. "Every occasion for whatever passes beyond the nonpresent and goes forward into presencing is ποίησις, bringing-forth [Her-vor-bringen]."

It is of utmost importance that we think bringing-forth in its full scope and at the same time in the sense in which the Greeks thought it. Not only handicraft manufacture, not only artistic and poetical bringing into appearance and concrete imagery, is a bringing-forth, ποίησις. Φύσις, also, the arising of something from out of itself, is a bringing-forth, ποίησις. Φύσις is indeed ποίησις in the highest sense. For what presences by means of φύσις has the irruption belonging to bringing-forth, e.g., the bursting of a blossom into bloom, in itself (ἕν έαυτώ). In contrast, what is brought forth by the artisan or the artist, e.g., the silver chalice, has the irruption belonging to bringing-forth, not in itself, but in another (ἐν ἄλλω), in the craftsman or artist.

The modes of occasioning, the four causes, are at play, then, within bringing-forth. Through bringing-forth the growing things of nature as well as whatever is completed through the crafts and the arts come at any given time to their appearance.

But how does bringing-forth happen, be it in nature or in handicraft and art? What is the bringing-forth in which the fourfold way of occasioning plays? Occasioning has to do with the presencing [Anwesen] of that which at any given time comes to appearance in bringing-forth. Bringing-forth brings out of concealment into unconcealment. Bringing-forth propriates only insofar as something concealed comes into unconcealment.