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§ 9. Being, Truth, Presence

d) The Greek Understanding of Truth (ἀλήθεια) as Deconcealment

The Being Which Is True (ἀληθὲς ὄν) as the Most Proper Being
(κυριώτατον ὄν).
The Most Proper Being as the Simple and Constantly Present


Aristotle now poses the problem: πότ' ἔστιν ἢ οὐκ ἔστι τὸ ἀληθὲς λεγόμενον ἢ ψεῦδος.35 When does truth exist and when does it not, i.e. when are beings such that they can be true? How must the being of beings be, such that beings can be true, i.e. deconcealed? When can beings be properly true as such? Answer: when every possibility of the untruth of beings is in every respect excluded. When is that, and what does truth thereby mean? Answer: when truth belongs to being. How is that possible? Answer: when being-true constitutes what is most proper about being as such. But what is being? Answer: constant presence. Thus, when truth is nothing but the highest possible and most proper presence, then truth exists. This is a metaphysical question of the purest kind and has nothing to do with so-called epistemology. How can being-true belong to the being of beings? What is being-true itself, such that it can belong to the being of beings? Aristotle must ask these questions if he wants to show that being-true not only belongs to beings, but constitutes the most proper being of beings: ἀληθὲς ὄν as κυριώτατον ὄν. And clearly, only proper being-true, not just any arbitrary deconcealment of arbitrary beings, can constitute the most proper being of beings.


α) The correspondence between being and being-true (deconcealment).

Two fundamental types of being and their corresponding modes of
being-true


What solution to this problem does Aristotle provide? After everything that has been said, we cannot expect this highest point of the Greek ontological problematic to show, in Aristotle's specific treatment, a different character to that of the Greek problematic in general. Here too the problem stands within the illumination provided by the natural or everyday understanding of being, but without this illumination itself being clarified. I shall sketch out the Aristotelian treatment of


35 Metaphysics Θ 10, 1051 b 5 f.