The Thing [78]

must show its outward appearance to the producer beforehand. But this self-showing, this outward appearing (the εἶδος, the ἰδέα), characterizes the jug solely in the respect that the vessel stands across from the production as something to be set here.

What the vessel in this outward appearing is as jug, what and how the jug is as this jug-thing, can never be experienced, much less appropriately thought, with regard to the outward appearance, the ἰδέα. For this reason, Plato, who represented the presence of what is present on the basis of the outward appearance, thought the essence of things as little as Aristotle and all subsequent thinkers. Setting the standard for what was to come, Plato had much more experienced all presencing as the object of a producer; instead of object [Gegenstand], we say more precisely: what stands here [Herstand]. In the full essence of what stands here, a twofold standing-here holds sway; on the one hand, standing here in the sense of a stemming from . . . , be this a bringing forth of oneself or a being produced; on the other hand, a standing here in the sense where what is brought forth stands here in the unconcealment of what is already presencing.

All representing of what presences in the sense of something standing here and of something objective, however, never reaches the thing as thing. The thinghood of the jug lies in that it is as a vessel. We become aware of what does the holding in the vessel when we fill the jug. The base and siding obviously take over the holding. But not so fast! When we fill the jug with wine, do we pour the wine into the sides and base? We pour the wine at most between the sides and upon the base. Sides and base are indeed what is impermeable in the vessel. But the impermeable is not yet what holds. When we fill up the jug, in the filling, the pour flows into the empty jug. The empty is what holds in the vessel. The empty, this nothing in the jug, is what the jug is as a holding vessel.

Yet the jug does consist of sides and base. By virtue of what the jug consists of, it stands. What would a jug be if it did not stand? At the very least a failed jug; and therefore always still a jug, namely one that indeed would hold, but as constantly toppling over it is a vessel that spills. But only a vessel can spill.

The sides and the base, of which the jug consists and by which it stands, are not what properly do the holding. But if

Martin Heidegger (GA 79) The Thing - Bremen and Freiburg Lectures

Page generated by BremenSteller.EXE