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Lecture III, The Principle of Identity [124–25]

what is it to be thought in the word "positionality" is bewildering above all because it itself is nothing final, but first playfully solicits of us that which genuinely reigns through the contemporary constellation of the human and being.

The belonging-together of the human and being in the manner of a reciprocal challenging forth brings startlingly nearer to us both that and how the human is brought into the ownership of being and being is delivered into the ownership of the human essence. In positionality [das Ge-Stell] there reigns a bringing into ownership [Vereignen] and a delivering into ownership [Zueignen]. It is worth simply experiencing this owning [Eignen] wherein the human and being are appropriated [ge-eignet] to each other, i.e., enter into what we name the event of appropriation [Ereignis].

The word “event” [Ereignis] is taken from ordinary language. To appropriate [Er-eignen] means originally to eye [er-äugen], i.e., to catch sight of, to call into view, to take possession [an-eignen]. More originarily thought, the word "event" is now, as a guiding word, taken into the service of a thinking that attempts to keep in memory that dark word of Parmenides, τὸ αὐτό—the same is thinking and being. The word "event of appropriation" [Ereignis] can be translated just as little as the Greek guiding word λόγος or the Chinese Tao. The word event of appropriation here no longer means that which we otherwise name an occurrence, an incident. The word is now used as a singulare tantum.

Event of appropriation names the letting belong that is to be thought from it, and thus the authentic letting belong that brings the human and being into the ownership of each other. In positionality, what we experience as the essence of this constellation in the modern technological world is a prelude so what is called the event of appropriation. The event of appropriation does not necessarily or even merely remain in its prelude so as to let the human and being belong together the manner of positionality. Rather, in the event of appropriation, the possibility arises that the event as the sheer reign of positionality is converted [verwindet] into a more inceptual appropriating. One such conversion of positionality from the event of appropriation—something never accomplishable by humans alone—would result in the appropriative retraction of the technological world from its position of mastery into