18 ● Heidegger and Aristotle

ἀρχή belongs to their being and does not come from outside, gets overlooked. The being of a being is seen as outside of the being itself.

What σοφία, in the sense Aristotle speaks of it when he means philosophical thinking, uncovers in its pure beholding is the ἀρχή of beings, the origin. Philosophy takes for granted the concern for beings and raises that concern to the level of questioning why. This question points in the direction of what lets the being be revealed. The treatise where he makes this ἀρχή-questioning explicit is the Physics. The ἀρχή as the movement that constitutes the being of beings is the subject matter of this treatise. The starting point for ἀρχή-research, that is, for an ontological investigation of beings, is the fact that beings move. To deny motion is to preclude oneself from the question. The Eleatics did precisely this. Their insistence was that being has to be understood, as Parmenides dictated, as one and not many. But motion implies a manifold. Thus, they concluded, motion cannot be. Aristotle instead will attempt to think multiplicity at the heart of unity.

Heidegger does use the words Dasein and Existenz in this essay in reference to his interpretation of Aristotle, but for the most part he speaks of factical life. Facticity is the fundamental way of being that constitutes human life for Aristotle, in Heidegger’s understanding. In fact Heidegger uses the word care (Sorge) to characterize this movement of facticity. Existence is interpreted here as a possibility of factical life that can be retrieved only indirectly by making facticity questionable. To do this—to make factical life questionable—is the task of philosophy. Heidegger calls this questioning movement of retrieve the decisive seizing of existence as a possibility of factical life. But this existential return is also a recovery from the movement of fallenness that Heidegger calls an Abfall, a descent from itself, and a Zerfallen, a movement of dispersion and disintegration. But the primary category of life (Dasein) is facticity rather than existence. It is the movement of fallenness and not existence that opens up world and that Heidegger here explains through the care structure. Thus, in 1922, under the influence of Aristotle, Heidegger still remained preoccupied with phenomenological concerns over facticity.

Existence, as a countermovement to care and the movement of fallenness, has a temporality other than that of being in time. It occurs in the kairological moment and is not called care but the Bekümmerung, the worry or affliction of being. Through the Greek notion of the καιρός, Heidegger has here already begun to distinguish temporality from the chronological sense of time associated with being in time. In a very revealing footnote, Heidegger suggests that the notion of care needs to be thought more

Walter Brogan - Heidegger and Aristotle