EARLY GREEK THINKING


Does this word give us an answer to the question of how thinking belongs to Being, in that it says both are "the Same"? The word gives no answer. In the first place, because the determination "the Same" precludes any question about "belonging together," which can only exist between things that are different. In the second place, because the word "the Same" says nothing at all about the point of view from which, and for what reason, difference passes over into sameness. Thus τὸ αὐτό, the Same, remains the enigmatic key word for both fragments—if not for the whole of Parmenides' thought.

Of course if we are of the opinion that the word τὸ αὐτό, the Same, means "identical," and if we accept "identity" completely as the most transparent presupposition for the thinkability of whatever is thinkable, then by this opinion we become progressively more deaf to the key word, assuming that we have ever heard its call. It is sufficient, however, to keep the word in our hearing in its thought-provoking character. In doing so we remain listeners, prepared to let this enigmatic key word alone for a while in order to listen for a saying which could help us to contemplate the enigma in all its fullness.

Parmenides offers some help. In Fragment VIII he gives a clearer statement as to how we should think the "Being" to which νοεῖν belongs. Instead of εἶναι, Parmenides now says ἐόν, "being" [das Seiend], which enunciates the ambiguity of the duality of Being and beings. But νοεῖν calls to mind νόημα: what has been taken heed of by an attentive apprehending.

Ἐόν is explicitly identified as that οὕνεκεν ἕστι νόημα for the sake of which thankful thought comes to presence. (Concerning thinking and thanking see What Is Called Thinking?* Part 2, Lecture 3, pp. 138 ff.)

Thinking comes to presence because of the still unspoken duality. The presencing of thinking is on the way to the duality of Being and beings. The duality presences in taking-heed-of. According to Fragment VI, taking-heed-of is already gathered to the duality by virtue of a prior λέγειν, a prior letting-lie-before. How does this come about?


*What It Called Thinking? New York. Harper & Row, 1968.—TR


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Martin Heidegger (GA 7) Moira (Parmenides VIII, 34-41)