Seminar in Le Thor 1968 [42-43]

absolute synthesis is the last thing that the understanding, within its horizon and unsettled by reason, is able to perceive; this is the “task” of the understanding, concerning which it can (merely) “speak.”

What have we gained, in sum, working through this page? What emerges is both the lack of an instrument for the task of philosophy and, in the two presuppositions and their unification, the theme of speculation. What the understanding is incapable of understanding is how the limitations at the heart of reason, abolished because they are referred to the absolute, are to that very extent produced in this “abolishing” relation itself. This is why Heidegger refers to that passage from page 33/112 (tm): “The need of philosophy can appease itself by simply penetrating to the principle of nullifying all fixed oppositions and connecting the limited to the Absolute.”

There is “appeasement,” that is, first, “peace,” because only the fixities disappear, while the oppositions appear in their vitality.

In conclusion, reading the text and translation of page 17/94, which closes the session, Heidegger makes two preliminary remarks concerning Hegel’s terms:

—The first bears on the beginning of the second paragraph of “Reflection as Instrument of Philosophizing” and focuses on the expression “Reflection in isolation52 which is better understood as: “the isolating reflection.”

—The second bears on the “standing” [Bestehen]53 which closes that same paragraph, a term that was constantly used by Hegel, but without analysis, as if we were running against a certain limit within Hegelian thought.

September 4

Heidegger opens the session with a remark concerning the word concept [Begriff], encountered on page 16/93 together with the word being: “concept and being.” He clarifies its meaning on the basis of Kant’s representation [Vorstellung], whose meaning is two-fold:

—The particular representation (the intuition)—for instance, of this book;

—The representation in general (the concept)—for instance, of the book as such.

Heidegger specifies that the issue is the latter sense, representation of all objects, of the object as object.

We are then led back to what was the focus of the discussion at the beginning of the preceding session: an interpretation of the text that is not only historical but that also engages the question of being. Heidegger now asks whether it strictly can be said that the question of being is the question of metaphysics. The answer is that if indeed metaphysics

52 TN: Differenzschrift, 17/94; tm.

53 TN: Differenzschrift, 17/94; tm.