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Fundamental Concepts of Metaphysics [496-97]

makes assertions, prior to the accomplishment and for the accomplishment of every assertion. The ability as such must accordingly already be tuned in [eingespielt] to the 'either/or' of conforming or not conforming to those beings that the discourse of the λόγος is about. Man's being open for beings them­selves, which can become the object and theme of an assertion, is not the being at hand of a gaping emptiness that could be filled, an emptiness that appears in man as distinct from things and their determinacy. Rather this being open for beings as they are sustains the λόγος and as such brings with it the possibility of a pointing out that can be bound by beings. Being open for ... is from the very outset a free holding oneself toward whatever beings are given there in letting oneself be bound. The possibility, which can become binding, of tuning in to beings, this relating to them in comporting oneself in such and such a way, is characteristic in general of every ability and comportment as distinct from capacity and behaviour. In the latter we never find any letting oneself be bound by something binding, but merely a sphere of instinctual drives becoming disinhibited while remaining captivated.

Not only must a pre-predicative manifestness in general constantly already occur and have occurred, however, if the assertion as pointing out is to be accomplished in whatever way, but this pre-predicative manifestness must itself be this occurrence in which a particular letting oneself be bound occurs. This is the prior relation to that which gives pointing out in assertion its measure: beings as they are. This giving of measure is transferred to beings in advance in accordance with a comportment that lets itself be bound, so that conformity or nonconformity is regulated according to beings. Propositional comportment must intrinsically already be the providing of something that can give a mea­sure for the very making of assertions. This provision of, and subjection to, something binding is in turn only possible where there is freedom. Only where there is this possibility of transferring our being bound from one thing to another are we given the leeway to decide concerning the conformity or non­conformity of our comportment toward whatever is binding. If we consider the old, traditional definition of truth from this perspective—the definition veritas est adaequatio intellectus ad rem, ὁμοίωσις, conformity, assimilation of thinking to the thing that is thought-then we can see that this old definition of truth is indeed correct in its approach. Yet it is also merely one approach, and not at all what it is commonly taken to be, namely a determination of the essence, or the result of a determination of the essence of truth. It is merely an approach to the problem of asking what grounds in general the possibility of conforming to something. What must underlie adaequatio is the fundamen­tal character of being open. Letting oneself be bound must already bring toward itself in advance, and as something that can be binding, whatever is to provide the measure and be binding in one way or another. This holding oneself toward—toward something binding—which occurs in all propositional

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