understood without συγκείμενα, without that which lies together, lies together before us, that which I can refer to as together.
From this brief yet quite fundamental interpretation of the meaning of being qua 'is' in Aristotle, we shall take three things: [1.] The guiding meaning of the 'is' is meaning-in-addition. It is not an independent meaning, such as the naming of something. Rather in its meaningful function as such, the meaning of being and 'is' is already related to something that is. [2.] In that which means-in-addition, the 'is' means synthesis, connectedness, unity. [3.] The 'is' does not mean πρᾶγμα, does not mean some matter or thing.
Precisely this same interpretation of the 'is' was provided, centuries later, by Kant, perhaps without his knowing this place in Aristotle, yet while being guided by the tradition, which he then managed to grasp more profoundly in this interpretation of the copula. Kant deals with being in general and in particular with the 'is', the copula, in two places: [1.] In his short essay of 1763, his so-called pre-critical period, entitled "The Sole Possible Grounds for Demonstrating the Existence of God." [2.] In the Critique of Pure Reason (1781, 1787), namely in the Transcendental Doctrine of Elements, Second Part (The Transcendental Logic), Second Division (The Transcendental Dialectic), Book II (The Dialectical Inferences of Pure Reason), Chapter 3 (The Ideal of Pure Reason), Section 4 (The Impossibility of an Ontological Proof of the Existence of God), A592ff., B 620ff. In the Critique of Pure Reason, Kant speaks of the 'is' and being in the same context as in the first essay.
Kant's interpretation is consistent with that of Aristotle with respect to the two main points that he makes in the same way as Aristotle: Being is not the determination of some thing, or, as Kant puts it: Being is not a real predicate. 'Real' here means: not pertaining to a res, to a matter or thing. Furthermore, he says: Being, insofar as it is used in the sense of the 'is' in the assertion, is a connecting concept, synthesis, or, as he also puts it, respectus logicus, a logical relation, i.e., one belonging to and grounded in the λόγος. The analysis in the first section of the 1763 essay is entitled: 'Of existence in general'.22 Kant here understands by the term 'existence' [Dasein] what we call being at hand, existing, in the sense that existence "is not at all the predicate or determination of any thing."23 In the second part of the first section Kant says: "The concept of position or positing is completely straightforward and identical to that of being in general."24 Kant thus says that being means positing, or better: being posited. He continues: "Now, something can be thought as posited merely relatively, or better, we can merely think the relation (respectus logicus) of something as a
22. Kant, 'Der einzig mögliche Beweisgrund zur Demonstration des Daseins Gottes'. Immanuel Kants Werke. Ed. E. Cassirer. Vol. 2 (Berlin, 1922), pp. 74ff. [Trans. G. Treash, The One Possible Basis for a Demonstration of the Existence of God (New York: Abaris Books, 1979), pp. 53ff.]
23. Ibid., p. 76.
24. Ibid., p. 77.