The Thing [2223]


On the Thing lecture (for summary)

Thing and world referred to differentiation [Unter-Schied]. Cf. the Reisner letter.7

From this differentiation back to difference [die Differenz]. From this to the forgetting of beyng. How to think this? (Ἀ-λήθεια). A forgetting also remains—only transformed after the turn; does there then take place even the authentic harboring and sheltering from out of the counsel [dem Ratsal] itself?

From thing here to world; world / wer-alt <Old High German>.8 Reference to the difference. Not a word with another meaning, but another issue.

The thinking that retrieves [Nach-holendes Denken] is commemorative thinking [Andenken]; to retrieve [nach-holen]—to take into nearness [in die Nähe holen].

The Differentiation [Unter-schied]

From this as the jointure of beyng—all joining of the saying—all rigor of the joining.


How everything presences.—presence—εἶναι. How “is” each thing? How does it stand with this “it is”?

Do the things thing? Are things as things?—or are they only as objects? And the objects—how do they stand? What is the manner of their stance and their constancy?—as standing

7. Letter to Prof. Dr. Reisner of November 3, 1950 .

8. Translator’s Note: The Grimms’ Wörterbuch provides this derivation of Welt (world) from wer-alt, though finds it a “difficult” one. Wer means “man” (as still heard in our word “werewolf”) and alt comes from alan, meaning “generation, nurturance, growth.” World (Welt) is thus the place wherein the human grows (and becomes old, alt). The derivation is said to parallel the Gothic translation of the Greek κόσμος by manaseps, “man seed,” with the sense of world as a “life-supporting circle of human society” in contrast to the mortally dangerous wilderness. See Deutsches Wörterbuch, s.v. “Welt.”

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