57 INT. II
Being and Time

Similarly, 'Being false' (ψεύδεσθαι) amounts to deceiving in the sense of covering up [verdecken]: putting something in front of something (in such a way as to let it be seen) and thereby passing it off as something which it is not.

But because 'truth' has this meaning, and because the λόγος is a definite mode of letting something be seen, the λόγος is just not the kind of thing that can be considered as the primary 'locus' of truth. If, as has become quite customary nowadays, one defines "truth" as something that 'really' pertains to judgment,1 and if one then invokes the support of Aristotle with this thesis, not only is this unjustified, but, above all, the Greek conception of truth has been misunderstood. Αἲσθησις, the sheer sensory perception of something, is 'true' in the Greek sense, and indeed more primordially than the λόγος which we have been discussing. Just as seeing aims at colours, any αἲσθησις aims at its ἴδια (those entities which are genuinely accessible only through it and for it); and to that extent this perception is always true. This means that seeing always discovers colours, and hearing always discovers sounds. Pure νοεῖν is the perception of the simplest determinate ways of Being which entities as such may possess, and it perceives them just by looking at them.2 This νοεῖν is what is 'true' in the purest and most primordial sense; that is to say, it merely discovers, and it does so in such a way that it can never cover up. This νοεῖν can never cover up; it can never be false; it can at worst remain a non-perceiving, ἀγνοειν, not sufficing for straightforward and appropriate access.

When something no longer takes the form of just letting something be [34] seen, but is always harking back to something else to which it points, so that it lets something be seen as something, it thus acquires a synthesis-structure, and with this it takes over the possibility of covering up.3 The 'truth of judgments', however, is merely the opposite of this covering-up, a secondary phenomenon of truth, with more than one kind of foundation.4 Both realism and idealism have—with equal thoroughness—missed the meaning of the Greek conception of truth, in terms of which only the possibility of something like a 'doctrine of ideas' can be understood as philosophical knowledge.


1 'Wenn man ... Wahrheit als das bestimmt, was "eigentlich" dem Urteil zukommt ...'

2 '... das schlicht hinsehende Vernehmen der einfachsten Seinsbestimmungen des Seienden als solchen.'

3 'Was nicht mehr die Vollzugsform des reinen Sehenlassens hat, sondern je im Aufweisen auf ein anderes rekurriert und so je etwas als etwas sehen lässt, das übernimmt mit dieser Synthesisstruktur die Möglichkeit des Verdeckens.'

4 '... ein mehrfach fundiertes Phänomen von Wahrheit.' A 'secondary' or 'founded' phenomenon is one which is based upon something else. The notion of 'Fundierung' is one which Heidegger has taken over from Husserl. See our note 1, p. 86, on H. 59 below.