THE ESSENCE OF TRUTH
this is like saying that obeying is following, that silence is reticence - a simple switching of words!
Where and how is this deconcealment? We see it as an occurrence - something that happens 'with man'. A daring thesis! The essence of truth qua ἀλήθεια (unhiddenness) is deconcealment, therefore located in man himself: this means that truth is reduced to something merely human and so annihilated. Truth is usually regarded as something that man seeks in order to bind himself to it normatively, i.e. as something over him. How then can the essence of truth be something human? Where is the man who has best secured the truth and through whom it is best demonstrated? Would he then become the norm? What is man, such that he could become the measure of everything? Can the essence of truth be given over to man? We are all too familiar with the unreliability of human beings - swaying reeds in the wind! Does the essence of truth depend on such beings? We immediately rebel against the idea that the essence of truth can be located in a human occurrence. This resistance is natural and obvious to everyone, which is why philosophy has always used such considerations to protect itself against so-called relativism.
But what kind of looking (perceiving) is this? It is not a staring at something present, not a simple finding of something and receiving of something into our vision, but a looking in the sense of per-ceiving [Erblickens]. This means first forming what is looked at through the looking and in the looking, i.e. forming in advance, modelling. This pre-modelling perceiving of being, of essence, is already bound to what is projected in such a projection.
At the origin of the unhiddenness of beings, i.e. at being's lettingthrough of beings, the perceiving is no less involved than what is perceived in perceiving — the ideas. Together these constitute unhiddenness, meaning they are nothing 'in themselves', they are never objects. The ideas, as what is sighted, are (if we can speak in this way at all) only in this perceiving seeing; they have an essential connection with perceiving. The ideas, therefore, are not present but somehow hidden objects which one could lure out through a kind of hocus-pocus. Just as little do they carry around subjects, i.e. are they something subjective in the sense of being constituted and thought-up by subjects (humans, as we know them). They are neither things, objective, nor are they thought-up, subjective. What they are, how they are, indeed if they 'are' at all, is still undecided. From this you could make an approximate measure of the progress of philosophy. But there is no progress in philosophy. The question is undecided not because the answer has not yet been found, but because the question has not yet been asked seriously and in a way that measures up to antiquity, i.e. because it has not yet been sufficiently interrogated in its ground. Instead, one or the other of two familiar possibilities has been prematurely seized upon. Either the ideas as objective (and since one does not know where they are, one eventually arrives at 'validity' and 'value'), or as subjective, perhaps just a fiction, a phantasm, a mere 'as if. One knows nothing except subjects and objects, and especially one does not know that precisely this distinction between subject and object, this distinction from which philosophy has so long been nourished, is the most questionable thing of all. In view of this completely confused situation within the most central problem of philosophy, it was a valuable and genuine step when the ideas were made creative thoughts of the absolute spirit, in Christian terms, of God, for example with Augustine.