90
Introduction [114–115]

In the word, in discourse, beings exhibit themselves in their disclosedness. Neither is there just a being and next to it a word, nor is there a word as a sign without the being. Neither of the two is separate, and neither is attached to the other in a one-sided manner; rather, both are attached to the being in the word.

Above all, the originary gathering of keeping silent loses itself, disperses itself, and displaces itself in the multiplicity of words and their organization. But it is not as if everything drifts apart into individual things; rather, because they arise from keeping silent, word and discourse remain tied to silence and operate as the bond that stamps—as gathering, in a secondary sense. And this is the character of language that the Greeks experienced directly and named with the names λόγος, λέγειν, selecting, gathering. What these words express is that the human being, as a discursive being, stands by that very fact in confrontation with beings, and wills to become powerful in the face of multiplicity and obscurity and boundlessness through the simplicity, clarity, and stamping force of saying. This gathering in the λόγος puts what is talked about together and thereby exhibits it. In such exhibition beings are gathered as what they are and are thus revealed, δηλοῦν.


g) Language as lawgiving gathering and revelation of the structure of beings


Earlier we heard that Being is οὐσία for the Greeks, stamped, subsistent presence of something; not-Being is simply the absence of οὐσία. The broader sense of presence implies that if beings are a multiplicity, then this being and that being are insofar as they have co-presence. Hence we encounter this characteristic of Being early on: the co-presence of the one with the other. Strictly speaking, there simply cannot “be” something single, something solitary in itself as a being. For a being as single—for itself—already lives, as it were, by excluding all that is absent and therefore in a relation to it: ὄν [that which is] is always ξυνόν [common, being with], οὐσία [Being] is always παρουσία [Being present].

In Heraclitus, we find a saying that teaches us something about this: διὸ δεῖ ἕπεσθαι τῷ ξυνῷ . . . τοῦ λογοῦ δ’ ἐόντος ξυνοῦ ζώουσιν οἱ πολλοὶ ὡς ἰδίαν ἔχοντες φρόνησιν.12 “Therefore it is necessary to follow the co-present . . . Although discourse {as gathering} pertains to co-presence {of the one with the other}, the human crowd behaves as if each had in each case his own understanding.”13 This saying contrasts the masses with—whom? The difference is not between the


12. Heraclitus, fragment 2 (92); loc. cit. (Diels, 4th edition), p. 77.13. [A conventional translation would be: “Therefore it is necessary to follow what is common . . . while reason is common, the many live as if they had an understanding of their own.”]

13. [A conventional translation would be: “Therefore it is necessary to follow what is common . . . while reason is common, the many live as if they had an understanding of their own.”]


Being and Truth (GA 36/37) by Martin Heidegger

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