and misleading, especially when we understand ‘art’ [203] in the way it is meant in the common pairing and differentiation ‘art and science.’ But even if we take ‘art’ in the broadest sense of ‘skill,’ the essentially knowledge-based (and thus Greek) dimension of τέχνη is thereby still not expressed, and the sense of proficiency and dexterity predominate. How exclusively the Greeks think a dimension of knowledge within the word τέχνη is exhibited by the fact that it oft en means something like ‘cunning,’ which in our language originally meant something like ‘knowledge’ and ‘wisdom,’ without the additional connotations of the deceitful and the calculating. On the other hand, it would be erroneous if we were to think that ἐπιστήμη – τέχνη, as a type of ‘knowledge,’ were to account for, as is commonly said, the theoretical side of ‘practical’ doing, making, and executing. One may see how crooked and confused the thinking of this view is if one looks to the fact that, for the Greeks, ‘the theoretical’ (i.e., θεωρεῖν ) is the highest form of action itself. Of what use, then, is our thoughtless and groundless differentiation between the ‘theoretical’ and the ‘practical’? The still-veiled essential feature of the essence of ἐπιστήμη and τέχνη consists in their relation to the unconcealment of what is and what can be.

ἐπιστήμη, the understanding-of-something, and τέχνη, the knowledge of something, are so near to one another in essence that very oft en one word stands in for the other. This was already the case in the ancient Greek world: indeed, it is through ancient Greece that an essential connection between all knowledge and τέχνη is founded. The fact that now, at a turning point of Occidental fate—if not the Occidentally determined fate of the earth as a whole—τέχνη in the form of modern mechanized technology is becoming the admitted (or the not yet fully admitted) fundamental form of knowledge as a calculating ordering, is a sign whose immediate interpretation cannot be dared by any mortal. The ‘philosophies of technology’ now running wild are all only the spawn of technological thinking itself or, at best, mere re-actions against it (which amounts to the same). [204] At the moment, we can only make a supposition regarding what surely gives more than enough to think about: namely, that the fate of humanity and of peoples is intimately rooted in the particular relation of the human toward the respective appearing or self-withholding essence of unconcealment—that is, of truth. Whether and how the true is fatefully sent is grounded in whether and how the truth itself shows itself in its essence. If we consider that the essence of truth first opened itself for the Occident in general, and then decisively for the ancient Greek world, we then recognize to what extent the fate that unfolded in the ancient Greek world is nothing bygone or antiquated, and also nothing ‘ancient,’ but is rather something still undecided and still approaching us toward which we the Germans—preeminently and, for a long time also, probably alone—can and must direct our thinking. I say ‘thinking’: this is why it is necessary to learn how to think. Does ‘logic’ help in this regard? Once again we ask: what does ‘logic’ have to do with thinking? Why does thinking find itself subject to the laws of ‘logic’? We are in the process of elucidating this term in its totality.

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