Fundamental Concepts of Metaphysics [39-40]

present-day sense as the object of natural science, yet neither is it to be taken in a broad, pre-scientific sense, nor in Goethe's sense. Rather this φύσις, this prevailing of beings as a whole, is experienced by man just as immediately and entwined with things in himself and in those who are like him, those who are with him in this way. The events which man experiences in himself: procreation, birth, childhood, maturing, aging, death, are not events in the narrow, present- day sense of a specifically biological process of nature. Rather, they belong to the general prevailing of beings, which comprehends within itself human fate and its history. We must bring this quite broad concept of φύσις closer to us in order to understand this word in that meaning in which the philosophers of antiquity used it, who are wrongly called 'philosophers of nature'. Φύσις; means this whole prevailing that prevails through man himself, a prevailing that he does not have power over, but which precisely prevails through and around him-him, man, who has always already spoken out about this. Whatever he understands-however enigmatic and obscure it may be to him in its details-he understands it; it nears him, sustains and overwhelms him as that which is: φύσις, that which prevails, beings, beings as a whole. I emphasize once more that φύσις as beings as a whole is not meant in the modern, late sense of nature, as the conceptual counterpart to history for instance. Rather it is intended more originally than both of these concepts, in an originary meaning which, prior to nature and history, encompasses both, and even in a certain way includes divine beings.

b) λόγος as taking the prevailing of beings
as a whole out of concealment.

Man, insofar as he exists as man, has always already spoken out about φύσις, about the prevailing whole to which he himself belongs. man has done so not only through the fact and for the purpose of talking specifically about things; for to exist as man already means to make whatever prevails come to be spoken out. the prevailing of prevailing beings, i.e., their ordering and constitution, the law of beings themselves, comes to be spoken out. what is spoken out is that which has become manifest in speaking. In Greek, speaking is called λέγειν; the prevailing that has been spoken out is the λόγος. therefore-it is important here to note this from the outset, as we shall see more precisely from the evidence-it belongs to the essence of prevailing beings, insofar as man exists among them, that they are spoken out in some way. if we conceive of this state of affairs in an elementary and originary way, we see that what is spoken out is already necessarily within φύσις, otherwise it could not be spoken from out of it. to φύσις, to the prevailing of beings as a whole, there belongs this λόγος.

The question for us is: What does this λέγειν, this speaking out accomplish? What occurs in the λόγος? is it only a matter of the fact that what beings as a

Martin Heidegger (GA 29/30) The Fundamental Concepts of Metaphysics