THE ESSENCE OF TRUTH


καὶ θηρίοις, ὅσα διὰ τοῦ σώματος παθήματα ἐπὶ τὴν ψυχὴν τείνει: τὰ δὲ περὶ τούτων ἀναλογίσματα πρός τε οὐσίαν καὶ ὠφέλειαν μόγις καὶ ἐν χρόνῳ διὰ πολλῶν πραγμάτων καὶ παιδείας παραγίγνεται οἷς ἂν καὶ παραγίγνηται;

Παντάπασι μὲν οὖν.


'Is it not true that human beings, as well as animals, from the moment of birth receive sensations through the body, and that these sensations are concentrated in the soul; whereas reflections about these, with reference to their being and usefulness, are only acquired slowly and with difficulty, and only by those capable of much exertion?'

That is precisely the situation.'


The first thing we come across here is that double characterization of perception which we already know from the first step. On the one hand the object of perception contains something that strikes our individual senses, but we also encounter it (albeit in a non-regarding and nonconceptual way) as existing in the multifacetedness of its being. Now at this point of the argument it is no longer a matter of analysing this difference within the object of perception, nor of focusing on the co-belonging of these two aspects (in the sense of the understanding of being as presupposition for what is given to the senses), but something else is in question: how this co-belonging is rooted in the primordial unity of the Dasein of man, how both elements are there in and with this Dasein, and how this unity itself requires a specifically split mode of being of the human being. In this regard, sharply set off against each other are: what we perceive through the senses, which is there φύσει; that what we perceive as existing (in its being) is only unfolded in παιδεία, in the course of the history of Dasein (μόλις καὶ ἐν χρόνῳ).

Φύσει, 'from nature': this means without our doing, but at the same time essentially related to us and built into our activity. The αἴσθησις is from nature, but it is never there as nature. The αἴσθησις of man is from the start something different to nature, even when the understanding of being into which it is built is not yet awake, and remains indeterminate and initially unfolded. But this means that it is already there in its indeterminateness. This indeterminateness of the understanding of being does not mean nothing, but is something positive: something that the animal never arrives at, because it altogether lacks an understanding of being.

Here man and animal are mentioned together only in respect of the perceivable things which press upon them as passive subjects. But nothing


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