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V. The Grounding [359-360]

The two preeminent basic positions in Western history are marked by Plato and Nietzsche.

Plato: specifically (d. the interpretation of the cave allegory23) as that thinker in whom a last glimmer of ἀλήθεια becomes still clear in its transition to truth as located in assertions (cf. also Aristotle, Metaphysics Θ IV).

Nietzsche: with him the Western tradition is gathered into the modern and, above all, positivistic transformation of the nineteenth century and at the same time "truth" is brought into essential opposition- and thereby into intrinsic connection-to art, with both truth and art as basic modes of the will to power as the essence (essentia) of beings. Their existentia is called the eternal recurrence of the same.



233. Incorporating the interpretation of the cave allegory (1931-32, 1933-34) into the question of truth


1. Why this interpretation historically essential? Because a fully developed meditation here shows how ἀλήθεια still essentially bore up and guided the Greek questioning of ὄν, while, at the same time, precisely this questioning and its introduction of the ἰδέα brought about the collapse of ἀλήθεια.

2. Further meditation shows that this collapse is not that of something firmly instituted and is certainly not the collapse of something explicitly grounded. Inceptual Greek thinking accomplished neither this instituting or grounding, despite the aphorism of Heraclitus on πόλεμος and the didactic poem of Parmenides. Yet ἀλήθεια was essential throughout thinking and poetizing (tragedy and Pindar).

3. Only if this is experienced and expounded can it be shown how then a remnant and semblance of ἀλήθεια must in a certain sense be maintained by necessity, since indeed even truth as correctness, and precisely this, must be sheltered in an already open realm (cf. what was said about correctness). That toward which the representation is directed must be open, and so must that whose adequation is supposed to become manifest (cf. correctness and the subject-object relation; Da-sein and representation).

4. If we look backward and forward over the history of ἀλήθεια, proceeding from the cave allegory, which occupies such a key



23. Cf. Lecture course, Vom Wesen der Wahrheit: Zu Platons Höhlengleichnis und Theätet, winter semester 1931-32 (GA34).


Contributions to Philosophy (of the Event) (GA 65) by Martin Heidegger