and six when it is not worth going home? Why are we here? Do we know what we are letting ourselves in for?
b) Homesickness as the fundamental attunement of philosophizing, and the questions concerning world, finitude, individuation.
Philosophy-an ultimate pronouncement and interlocution on the part of man that constantly permeates him in his entirety. Yet what is man, that he philosophizes in the ground of his essence, and what is this philosophizing? What are we in this? Where do we want to go? Did we once just stumble into the universe by chance? Novalis on one occasion says in a fragment: "Philosophy is really homesickness, an urge to be at home everywhere."1 A strange definition, romantic of course. Homesickness--does such a thing still exist today at all? Has it not become an incomprehensible word, even in everyday life? Has not contemporary city man, the ape of civilization, long since eradicated homesickness? And homesickness as the very determination of philosophy! But above all, what sort of witness are we presenting here with regard to philosophy? Novalis—merely a poet, after all, and hardly a scientific philosopher. Does not Aristotle say in his Metaphysics: πολλὰ ψεύδονται ἀοιδοί:2 Poets tell many a lie?
Yet without provoking an argument over the authority and significance of this witness, let us merely recall that art-which includes poetry too-is the sister of philosophy and that all science is perhaps only a servant with respect to philosophy.
Let us remain with the issue and ask: What is all this talk about philosophy as homesickness? Novalis himself elucidates: "an urge to be everywhere at home." Philosophy can only be such an urge if we who philosophize are not at home everywhere. What is demanded by this urge? To be at home everywhere—what does that mean? Not merely here or there, nor even simply in every place, in all places taken together one after the other. Rather, to be at home everywhere means to be at once and at all times within the whole. We name this 'within the whole' and its character of wholeness the world. We are, and to the extent that we are, we are always waiting for something. We are always called upon by something as a whole. This 'as a whole' is the world.
We are asking: What is that—world?
This is where we are driven in our homesickness: to being as a whole. Our very being is this restlessness. We have somehow always already departed
1. Novalis, Schriften. Ed. J. Minor (Jena, 1923). Vol. 2, p. 179, Frgm. 21 . [Tr: The term "urge" translates the German Trieb, more literally "drive" or "instinctual drive." Trieb and its cognates (e.g., treiben, vertreiben, wegtreiben, zutreiben) are prominent both in the analyses of boredom and in the discussions of animal life which constitute the two major themes of the course.]
2. Aristotelis Metaphysica. Ed. W. Christ (Leipzig, 1886). A 2, 983a 3f.