Fundamental Concepts of Metaphysics [463-65]

what is pointed out in this activity that points out, the question of that to which all pointing out relates. Here we saw that all pointing out is either the pointing out of something at hand as at hand, or of something not at hand as something not at hand, or of something not at hand as at hand, or finally of something at hand as not at hand. All these variations relate to what is at hand with respect to how it is at hand or not at hand; they relate to whatever is at hand not only in the way it is at hand precisely now, but also in the way it was or will be at hand. Pointing out is therefore ἀποφαίνεσθαι, bringing something into view, and doing so for our seeing that understands and for our grasping. It is a bringing into view of what is at hand in the way in which it is at hand. The being at hand of whatever is at hand, however, is grasped as the presence of something, and ever since antiquity the presence of something has been regarded as the proper meaning of what we designate as being. ἀποφανσις the fundamental accomplishment of the λόγος is a bringing into view of beings in how and what they are as beings. The assertion is not just limited to whatever is present now, but also relates to what has been and to what will be.

f) Summary of the essential definition of the simple assertion and
the determination of its individual components (ὄνομα, ῥῆμα).

Aristotle therefore summarizes the essential definition of the simple assertion as follows: ἔστι θὲ ἡ μὲν ἁπλῆ ἀπόφανσις φωνὴ σημαντικὴ περὶ τοῦ ὑπάρχει τι ἢ μὴ ὑπάρχειν, ὡς οἱ χρόνοι διῄρηνται:18 The simple assertion is therefore an utterance that means something, and that asserts something while referring, in that it deals with something being at hand or not being at hand, and does so in the manner of holding the tempora apart in each case—i.e., grammatically: present, perfect, or future.

From the perspective of this unitary structure of the λόγος ἀποφαντικός we are first able to comprehend what Aristotle asserts concerning the individual components of the λόγος. His characterization of these components later passed over into logic and the study of grammar. The components of the assertion are, as we usually say, subject and predicate. Aristotle initially calls them something else: ὄνομα and ῥῆμα. In each case we find time as a criterion for distinguishing the two. To put it more precisely, in the case of one (ῥῆμα) being-in-time belongs to its meaning, indeed essentially so; in the other case (ὄνομα) no such meaning is associated with it. ὄνομα means the word, the name, that which names something. We call it the noun, although this expression can be distorting, since a verb can also assume the function of a noun. What in fact is an ὄνομα, a name, or better a word that merely names something?

18. Ibid., Chap. 5, 17a 22ff.

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

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