286
V. The Grounding [361-363]

that "we do not possess the truth,"24 and, on the other, he does ask what truth is, indeed even what it is worth.25

Yet Nietzsche does not ask the question of truth in an originary way. The word "truth" almost always means to him "what is true," and when he asks about the essence of what is true he does so while ensnared in the tradition and not from an originary meditation such that this meditation would at the same time be grasped as bearing the essential decision regarding "what is true."

Admittedly, a more originary questioning never guarantees a more certain answer but only, on the contrary, a higher question-worthiness of the essence of truth. We need this question-worthiness; without it, what is true remains a matter of indifference.

Nietzsche's meditations on "truth," however, do not enter the open realm, because:

1. Nietzsche relates truth to "life" (in the "biologistic"-idealistic sense) as something that serves to assure the continuance of the living being. "Life" is posited simply as a basic actuality, and the general characteristic of becoming is attributed to it.

2. At the same time, however, Nietzsche grasps "being," entirely in the sense of the oldest Platonic tradition, as the "constant." As this and seen on the basis of life and related back to it, "being" is the firmly established and thus is in each case "what is true."

3. Furthermore, this concept of truth, oriented toward "life" and determined by the traditional concept of being, is situated fully on the path of the tradition, inasmuch as truth is a determination as well as a result of thought and representation. This usual view of truth goes back to Aristotle.

All this, taken over without question, impedes an originary questioning of the essence of truth.

To be sure, inasmuch as the question of truth stands at the center of Nietzsche's last meditations (cf. his proposition about the relation between truth—cognitive truth—and art, and d. his teaching of the perspectives of the drives), everything acquires a new vitality, which must not blind us to the fragility of the groundwork, however, especially if we consider that Nietzsche in his own way indeed wants to overcome Platonism.



24. F. Nietzsche, "Nachgelassene Werke: Unveröffentlichtes aus der Zeit des Menschlichen, Allzumenschlichen und der Morgenröthe" (1975-76, 1880-81), in Nietzsche's Werke (Großoktavausgabe), Leipzig: Kröner, 1919, Bd. XI, p. 159.—Ed.

25. F. Nietzsche, "Zur Genealogie der Moral," in Nietzsche's Werke (Großoktavausgabe), Stuttgart: Kröner, 1921, Bd. VII, p. 471.—Ed.


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