Moira (Parmenides VIII, 34-41)

Being belongs in the realm of the νοεῖν, the non- and supersensible. Plotinus interprets Parmenides' saying in the Platonic sense, according to which Parmenides wants to say: Being is something nonsensible. Here the emphasis of the saying falls on thinking, although not in the way this is understood in modern philosophy. Being is identified in terms of thinking's nonsensible nature. Interpreted from the Neoplatonic perspective, Parmenides' saying is an assertion neither about thinking nor about Being, nor even about the essential belonging-together of both in their difference. The saying is rather an assertion about the equal participation of both in the realm of the nonsensible.

Each of these three viewpoints draws the early thinking of the Greeks into a region dominated by the spheres of questioning of subsequent metaphysics. Presumably, however, all later thinking which seeks dialogue with ancient thinking should listen continually from within its own standpoint, and should thereby bring the silence of ancient thinking to expression. In this process, of course, the earlier thinking is inevitably accommodated to the later dialogue, into whose frame of reference and ways of hearing it is transposed. The earlier thinking is thus, as it were, deprived of its own freedom of speech. But this accommodation in no way restricts one to an interpretation completely dedicated to reinterpreting the to-be-thought at the beginning of Western thinking exclusively in terms of subsequent modes of representation. All depends on whether the dialogue we have undertaken first of all and continually allows itself to respond to the questioning address of early thinking, or whether it simply closes itself off to such an address and cloaks early thought with the mantle of more recent doctrines. This happens as soon as subsequent thinking neglects to inquire properly into the ways of hearing and frames of reference of early thinking.

An effort at proper inquiry should not end in a historical investigation which merely establishes the unexpressed presuppositions underlying early thought; that is, proper inquiry is not an investigation in which these presuppositions are taken into account solely with respect to whatever subsequent interpretation either validates as already posited truth or invalidates as having been superseded by further developments.