201 I. 5
Being and Time

uniform plane of that which is merely present-at-hand. It dwindles to the structure of just letting one see what is present-at-hand, and letting one see it in a definite way. This leveling of the primordial 'as' of circumspective interpretation to the "as" with which presence-at-hand is given a definite character is the specialty of assertion. Only so does it obtain the possibility of exhibiting something in such a way that we just look at it.

Thus assertion cannot disown its ontological origin from an interpretation which understands. The primordial 'as' of an interpretation (ἑρμηνεία) which understands circumspectively we call the "existential-hermeneutical 'as'" in distinction from the "apophantical 'as'" of the assertion.

Between the kind of interpretation which is still wholly wrapped up in concernful understanding and the extreme opposite case of a theoretical assertion about something present-at-hand, there are many intermediate gradations: assertions about the happenings in the environment, accounts of the ready-to-hand, 'reports on the Situation', the recording and fixing of the 'facts of the case', the description of a state of affairs, the narration of something that has befallen. We cannot trace back these 'sentences' to theoretical statements without essentially perverting their meaning. Like the theoretical statements themselves, they have their 'source' in circumspective interpretation.

With the progress of knowledge about the structure of the λόγος, it was inevitable that this phenomenon of the apophantical 'as' should come into view in some form or other. The manner in which it was proximally seen was not accidental, and did not fail to work itself out in the subsequent history of logic.

When considered philosophically, the λόγος itself is an entity, and, [159] according to the orientation of ancient ontology, it is something present-at-hand. Words are proximally present-at-hand; that is to say, we come across them just as we come across Things; and this holds for any sequence of words, as that in which the λόγος expresses itself. In this first search for the structure of the λόγος as thus present-at-hand, what was found was the Being-present-at-hand-together of several words. What establishes the unity of this "together"? As Plato knew, this unity lies in the fact that the λόγος is always λόγος nv6s. In the λόγος an entity is manifest, and with a view to this entity, the words are put together in one verbal whole. Aristotle saw this more radically: every λόγος is both σύνθεσις and διαίρεσις, not just the one (call it 'affirmative judgment') or the other (call it 'negative judgment'). Rather, every assertion, whether it affirms or denies, whether it is true or false, is σύνθεσις and διαίρεσις equiprimordially. To exhibit anything is to take it together and take it apart. It is