Fundamental Concepts of Metaphysics [451-53]

of the symbol occurs, which we interpret as the agreement of man with that toward which he comports himself. On the basis of agreement with beings, man can and must come to utter his understanding, form those alliances of sounds which are the coining of meanings, utterances that we call words and vocabulary. All discourse is determined by this γένεσις of the σύμβολον. But not all discourse is a λόγος σημαντικός, a propositional discourse, one which has the tendency to point out as such that which is being spoken about. What is it, then, that determines such a λόγος? The fact that ἀληθεύειν ἢ ψεύδεσθαι occurs in it, revealing or concealing. The λόγος that points out, therefore, is that λόγος which has the intrinsic possibility of revealing and concealing. We must note, however, that this possibility of revealing and concealing is not a contingent property of the λόγος, but its inner essence. The λόγος that points out must point out even when it conceals. In order to make a false judgement, in order to deceive, I must, insofar as I speak discursively, live in a discursive tendency that is concerned with pointing something out. Even concealing is grounded in a tendency to point out. The other person must have taken my discourse as though it were supposed to communicate something to him. The character of this tendency to point out lies at the basis both of revealing and of concealing.

c) Apprehending something as something in forming a unity
(σύνθεσις νοημάτων ὥσπερ ἕν ὄντων), the 'as'-structure, as the
essential ground of the possibility of the revealing-concealing
pertaining to the λόγος as exhibiting.

If we now wish to pursue this structure of the apophantic λόγος more carefully, we must ask how this specific λόγος ἀποφαντικός is connected with the general essence of the λόγος, namely σημαίνειν. We have heard that the essence of discourse in general, both non-apophantic and apophantic, lies in σημαντικός, in the γένεσις of the σύμβολον, in the occurrence of this fundamental connection of an agreement that holds together. If a discourse becomes apophantic, then this σημαντικός must become transformed in the manner indicated, i.e., what happens is not simply an agreement in general between the meaning and what is intended, rather the meaning and the meaningful content of the λόγος σημαντικός agrees with what is meant in such a way that this λόγος as discourse and in its discursivity seeks to point out what is meant itself. Discourse now has the tendency to let whatever the discourse is about be seen—to let it be seen, and this alone. The 'propositional statement' is a kind of discourse which in itself, in accordance with its discursive intention, is either revealing or concealing. However elementary this characterization may be, it is nevertheless decisive for understanding the whole problem of the λόγος. It also provides a measure of the history of this problem, of the extent

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