The End of Philosophy and the Task of Thinking

misleading to call Ἀλήθεια, in the sense of clearing, "truth."1 The talk about the "truth of Being" has a justified meaning in Hegel's Science of Logic, because here truth means the certainty of absolute knowledge. And yet Hegel, as little as Husserl, as little as all metaphysics, does not ask about Being as Being, that is, does not raise the question as to how there can be presence as such. There is presence only when clearing holds sway. Clearing is named with Ἀλήθεια, unconcealment, but not thought as such.

The natural concept of truth does not mean unconcealment, not in the philosophy of the Greeks either. It is often and justifiably pointed out that the word ἀληθές is already used by Homer only in the verba dicendi, in statements, thus in the sense of correctness and reliability, not in the sense of unconcealment. But this reference means only that neither the poets nor everyday linguistic usage, nor even philosophy, see themselves confronted with the task of asking how truth, that is, the correctness of statements, is granted only in the element of the clearing of presence.

In the scope of this question, we must acknowledge the fact that Ἀλήθεια, unconcealment in the sense of the clearing of presence, was originally experienced only as ὀρθότης, as the correctness of representations and statements. But then the assertion about the essential transformation of truth, that is, from unconcealment to correctness, is also untenable. Instead we must say: Ἀλήθεια, as clearing of presence and presentation in thinking and saying, immediately comes under the perspective of ὁμοίωσις and adaequatio, that is, the perspective of adequation in the sense of the correspondence of representing with what is present.

But this process inevitably provokes another question: How is it that Ἀλήθεια,, unconcealment, appears to man's natural experience and

1. How the attempt to think a matter can for a time stray from what a decisive insight has already shown is demonstrated by a passage from Being and Time, 1927 (p. 219): "The translation [of the word ἀλήθεια] by means of the word 'truth,' and even the very theoretical-conceptual determinations of this expression [truth], cover up the meaning of what the Greeks established as basically 'self-evident' in the pre-philosophical understanding of their terminological employment of ἀλήθεια."

Martin Heidegger (GA 14) Basic Writings (1993)