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 it must eventually be asked if this bad relativism is not just the apple from a branch whose roots have long ago become rotten, so that it doesn't mean anything in particular to refer to relativism, but testifies (e.g. in what is today known as the sociology of knowledge) to a miscomprehension of the problem.

When we say that the essence of unhiddenness as deconcealment is a human occurrence, that truth is in essence something human, and when one so naturally struggles against the 'humanization' of the essence of truth, everything depends on what 'human' means here. What concept of 'human' does one unreflectively assume? Does one know without further ado what man is, in order to be able to decide that truth could not be anything human? One acts as if the essence of man is the most self-evident thing in the world. However, assuming that we do not know this so easily, assuming that even the way we have to ask about the essence of man is very questionable - who can tell us what and who man is? Is answering this question a matter of any old inspiration? We do not mean man as we proximally know him, as he runs around and is pleased to comport himself now in this way, now in that. From where are we to take the concept of man, and how are we to justify ourselves against the objection of an attempted humanization of the essence of truth?


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