Moira (Parmenides VIII, 34-41)

This gives us food for thought and thoroughly frees us from the hasty presupposition that thinking is something expressed in an utterance: there is nowhere any suggestion of that.

To what extent can and must νοεῖν, thinking, come to light in the duality? To the extent that the unfolding in the duality of presencing and present beings invokes λέγειν, letting-lie-before, and with the released letting-lie of what lies before us, grants νοεῖν something it can take heed of and thus preserve. But Parmenides does not yet think the duality as such; he does not at all think through the unfolding of the twofold. He does, however, say (Frag. VIII, 35 ff.): Οὐ γὰρ ἄνευ τοῦ ἐόντος ... εὑρήσεις τὸ νοεῖν. "For you cannot find thinking apart from the duality." Why not? Because thinking belongs with ἐόν in the gathering that ἐόν calls for; and because thinking itself, resting in the λέγειν, completes the gathering called for, thus responding to its belonging to ἐόν as a belonging which ἐόν uses. For νοεῖν takes up, not just anything at random, but only that One designated in Fragment VI: ἐόν ἔμμεναι,* whatever is present in its presencing.

Insofar as what is thought-provoking, though not yet thought, is announced in Parmenides' exposition, so far does the fundamental requirement clearly come to light for proper reflection upon Parmenides' statement that thinking belongs to Being. We have to learn to think the essence of language from the saying, and to think saying as letting-lie-before (λόγος) and as bringing-forward-into-view (φάσις). To satisfy this demand remains a difficult task because that first illumination of the essence of language as saying disappears immediately into a veiling darkness and yields ascendancy to a characterization of language which relentlessly represents it in terms of φωνή, vocalization—a system of signs and significations, and ultimately of data and information.

*In the Ionian dialect and in epic usage the verb εἶναι (to be) may appear either as ἔμεναι or ἔμμεναι. In his commentary on Aristotle's Physics Simplicius, for no apparent reason, ascribes both forms to Parmenides. The first variant appears at 144, 29 (Diels- Kranz VIII, 38), the second at 117, 2 (Diels-Kranz VI, 1). Heidegger reproduces the second variant (ἔμμεναι, DK VI, 1) throughout. With a shift of accent to the penult this second form becomes ἔμμεναι, an Attic isomorph—used also by Herodotus, however—which means to dwell in or abide by; or of things, to remain fixed, stand fast.—TR


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