257 I. 6
Being and Time

giving precision to the problem of Being, it is now time to delimit the phenomenon of truth explicitly and to fix the problems which it comprises. In doing this, we should not just take together what we have previously [214] taken apart. Our investigation requires a new approach.

Our analysis takes its departure from the traditional conception of truth, and attempts to lay bare the ontological foundations of that conception (a). In terms of these foundations the primordial phenomenon of truth becomes visible. We can then exhibit the way in which the traditional conception of truth has been derived from this phenomenon (b). Our investigation will make it plain that to the question of the 'essence' 'of truth, there belongs necessarily the question of the kind of Being which truth possesses. Together with this we must clarify the ontological meaning of the kind of talk in which we say that 'there is truth', and we must also clarify the kind of necessity with which 'we must presuppose' that 'there is' truth (c).


(a) The Traditional Conception of Truth, and its Ontological Foundations

There are three theses which characterize the way in which the essence of truth has been traditionally taken and the way it is supposed to have been first defined: (1) that the 'locus' of truth is assertion (judgment); (2) that the essence of truth lies in the 'agreement' of th􀁖 judgment with its object; (3) that Aristotle, the father of logic, not only has assigned truth to the judgment as its primordial locus but has set going the definition of "truth" as 'agreement'.1

Here it is not our aim to provide a history of the concept of truth, which could be presented only on the basis of a history of ontology. We shall introduce our analytical discussions by alluding to some familiar matters.

Aristotle says that the παθήματα τῆς ψυχῆς are τῷν πραγμάτων ὁμιώματαXXIX—that the soul's 'Experiences', its νοήματα ('representations'), are likenings of Things. This assertion, which is by no means proposed as an explicit definition of the essence of truth, has also given occasion for developing the later formulation of the essence of truth as adaequatio intellectus et rei.2 Thomas Aquinas,xxx who refers this definition to Avicenna (who, in turn, has taken it over from Isaac Israeli's tenth-century 'Book of Definitions') also uses for "adaequatio" (likening) the terms "correspondentia" ("correspondence") and "convenientia" (" coming together").


1 Here we follow the older editions in reading '. . . hat sowohl die Wahrheit dem Urteil als ihrem urspriinglichen Ort zugewiesen als auch die Definition der Wahrheit als "Ubereinstimmung" in Gang gebracht.' The newer editions read '. . . hat sowohl . . . zugewiesen, er hat auch . . .'

2 This is usually translated as 'adequation of the intellect and the thing'. Heidegger makes the connection seem closer by translating both the Latin adaequatio and the Greek ὁμοίωμα by the word 'Angleichung', which we have somewhat arbitrarily translated as 'likening'.