§72 [480-81]

bears the name copula, and which commonly finds its linguistic expression in the form of the 'is'. We asked what is meant by this 'is' and in general by being as referred to in it. We then summarized the Aristotelian analysis in three points: [1.] The 'is' has a meaning in the specific form of meaning that Aristotle designates as πρoσσημαίνειν, 'meaning in addition'; what is referred to in the meaning is essentially related to something else which is to be grasped in what is referred to. [2.] The specific content of the 'is', of being, is a σύνθεσις, a certain kind of connectedness, a together. [3.] What is referred to in the 'is' is not some πρᾶγμα, not some thing, not something at hand of which we could say that it is such and such. Following this, we compared the analysis of the copula with the interpretation of the 'is' provided by Kant in the two places mentioned. If we survey in general the entire tradition of logic in the narrower sense, we notice essential distinctions in the way in which the 'is' is conceived, distinctions which point back to an equivocality of the copula, so that the question arises of where this polysemy comes from. Is it merely due to a multiplicity of conceptions, or does this equivocality of the 'is' reside in the 'is' itself as something necessarily demanded by it? In order to shed light on these questions, we attempted to characterize the main meaning of the 'is' by recourse to typical interpretations that have emerged in the course of the history of logic and metaphysics. We took as our basis the trivial example 'The board is black'. From this we saw: [1.] The 'is' is determined as the linguistic coupling of subject-term and predicate-term, a conception which leads to the 'is' receiving the name and designation of copula or connection. [2.] This approach to interpreting the 'is' in terms of its linguistic function of connecting also points toward an interpretation of the 'is' in respect of its specific meaning. Accordingly, Aristotle and Kant say that the 'is' means connectedness, being connected--although what it is that is connected remains unclarified. If we consider more concretely the intention of the statement 'This board is black', however, the 'is' then means being, it means what that which is spoken about is. [3.] We can therefore say that the 'is' means what-being, whereby a distinction emerges between a thing's being constituted in such and such a way and that which belongs to its essence. [4.] We saw the 'is' in the sense of 'it is called', 'it means'. In such assertions or interpretations of the assertion we do not think of the subject as the being itself that is referred to in the subject-term (this board or this thing), rather the subject in this statement is the subject-term as such; the word 'board' says and means such and such. [5.] In saying 'This board is black', we are not merely referring to the fact that this board in general is constituted this way as a board, but that this board at hand is at hand as constituted in this particular way, so that the 'is' also means being at hand. The 'is' refers to that being as we inquire about it when we ask whether something is. To this question of whether it is, we reply that it is or that it is not, so that we may also designate this meaning of being as that-being.

Page generated by FundaSteller.EXE