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§17 [45-46]

matter of course since the beginning of the modern era. That line of questioning—not only the one belonging explicitly to the "theory of science"—must be completely renounced.

Philosophy never builds immediately upon beings; it prepares the truth of being and stands ready with the views and horizons which thereby open up.

Philosophy is a conjuncture in beings such that it is compliant to beyng and disposes the truth of beyng. [Die Philosophie ist eine Fuge im Seienden als die sich dem Seyn fügende Verfügung über seine Wahrheit.]


17. The necessity of philosophy


All necessity is rooted in a plight. Philosophy, as the first and most extreme meditation on the truth of beyng and on the beyng of truth, lets its necessity in the first and most extreme plight.

This plight is what propels humans around among beings and brings them for the first time before beings as a whole and in the midst of beings and thus brings humans to themselves and thereby lets history begin or perish.

What propels humans around is their thrownness into beings, a thrownness that destines humans to be projectors of being (of the truth of beyng).

The thrown projector carries out the first—i.e., grounding—project as the projection (cf. The grounding, 203. The projection and Da-sein) of beings onto beyng. In the first beginning, when humans first come to stand before beings, the projection itself, its character, its necessity, and its are still obscure and veiled and yet powerful: φύσις — ἀλήθεια ἕν — πᾶν — λόγος — νοῦς — πόλεμος — μὴ ὄν — δίκη — ἀδικία ["nature — unconcealedness — one — all — discourse — understanding — strife — nonbeing — justice — injustice"].

The necessity of philosophy as meditation consists in the fact that It may not do away with that plight but must instead withstand it, ground it, and make it the ground of the history of mankind.

That plight is nonetheless different in each of the essential beginnings and transitions of this history; yet it must never be taken superficially and hastily as deficiency, misery, or the like. It stands outside the possibility of all "pessimistic" or "optimistic" evaluation. The basic disposition that disposes toward the necessity is in each case correlative to the primordial experience of this plight.

The basic disposition of the first beginning is wonder [Er-staunen]: wonder that beings are and that humans themselves are and are in the midst of that which they are not.