Four Seminars [131–133]

is destined as being in the uninterrupted succession of metamorphoses which is metaphysics.

But there was not yet in Being and Time a genuine knowledge of the history of being, hence the awkwardness and, strictly speaking, the naïveté of the “ontological destruction.” Since then, this unavoidable naïveté of the novice gave way to a knowing.

To illustrate the question of the access to being, Heidegger proposes to read a text he wrote during winter 1972–1973. The theme of this text is the “heart of ἀλήθεια,” of which Parmenides spoke. Heidegger explains that this theme resonates with that of Da-sein, for it is a question of the clearing itself. To a certain extent, it is a question of seeing how this showed itself to Parmenides. At the same time, Heidegger makes an essential correction in this text to what was said at the end of the lecture “The End of Philosophy and the Task of Thinking.”123 Opening to this passage, Heidegger reads:

“Or does it happen (that ἀλήθεια as clearing remains concealed) because self-concealing, concealment, Λήθη belongs to the Ἀ-λήθεια, not just as an addition, not as shadow to light, but rather as the heart of Ἀλήθεια?”

He explains: what is said here is not right; Parmenides says nothing of the sort.

It is thus a question of correctly listening to Parmenides. The text is entitled:

Ἀληθείης εὐκυκλέος ἀτρεμὲς ἦτορ

Heidegger reads slowly. What follows reconstitutes as much as possible the movement and articulation of the text as well as the commentaries that were given along with the reading. Ἀληθείη is translated as Unverborgenheit [unconcealment]. This translation is literal. As for what is named in this word, it has nothing yet to do with truth; it is important to emphasize this. On the contrary, here it all comes back to unconcealment, which indicates the There that man has to be.

Εὐκυκλέος is usually understood as “well-rounded,” and is then taken as a quality of things.

But since here the word indicates ἀλήθεια, and since disclosure is not a thing, one cannot translate it in this way. Therefore it must be understood differently. To that end, we think εὔκυκλος as “that which encompasses well, the fitting encircling.” Now ἀλήθεια is understood as what fittingly encircles. Ἀτρεμὲς ἦτορ: the untrembling heart. What is this? To discover it, we consider the first two verses of fragment 8:

“. . . there still remains just one saying of the path which leads there, to the ‘that it is’ . . .”

But precisely what is?

123 Martin Heidegger, Zur Sache des Denkens, p. 78/On Time and Being, p. 71.