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§ 9. Being, Truth, Presence

the problems treated in the chapter and book respectively. We must inquire into what fundamental meaning of being makes it possible as well as necessary to treats being-true in the context of being-actual, and indeed such that being-true constitutes the most proper meaning of being. Before answering this question, and thus positively establishing the inner necessary connection between Θ 10 and Θ, the doubts concerning this connection must be briefly dealt with. We shall begin by discussing the argumentation directed against the κυριώτατα.

If one assumes from the start that Θ 10, since it concerns the ὄv ἀληθές, relates to a problem of logic and as such does not belong to the overall theme of Θ, then one must deny the possibility that the ὄv ἀληθές could be referred to as the most proper being, κυριώτατα ὄv. This κυριώτατα must therefore be removed. There are two alternatives here: 1. striking it altogether out of the text, 2. reinterpreting it, so that it conforms to the presupposed content of the chapter. The second procedure is adopted by Schwegler and especially by Jaeger. The first procedure is to be found in the most recent treatment by Ross: seclusi: an post μὲν (a34) transponenda?23 There is not the slightest justification for such a violent intervention in the text, which is completely in order at this point. It is just that the κυριώτατα is anomalous vis-a-vis the presupposed content of the chapter. Schwegler's commentary simply bypasses the κυριώτατα. What this implies can be seen from his translation of the Metaphysics, where he translates κυριώτατα by 'mainly': being is 'mainly' addressed as being-true. Jaeger holds to the same conception of κυριώτατα: κυριώτατα ὄv 'is the most common meaning of being, the most frequent meaning of being in everyday usage'. 'And it is plain that this is the esse of the copula.'24 What can we say about this view? There is no evidence for it in Aristotle. That the 'is' for the most part functions as the copula is correct, but it is not the case that the copula for the most part means 'is true', being-true'. This is not because the copula only seldom has this meaning, but because it always does, whether explicitly or not. To say, with Jaeger, that the copula mostly means being true is like saying that 2 plus 2 mostly comes to 4. But while being-true is always intended by the copula, 'being' is for the most part not understood in this way, but in the sense of what-being, so-being, being-present. There is no substantive basis for the thesis that 'is' mostly means being-true, and thus there is no basis for claiming that ἀληθὲς ὄv as κυριώτατον means being in its usual


23 Aristotle, Metaphysics (Ross), Oxford 1924, Vol. II

24 Jaeger, Studien zur Entwicklungsgeschichte, p. 52.