The Problem of a Speculative Explication.—πῦρ ἀείζωον and Time? (Fragment 30).

HEIDEGGER: When Professor Fink interpreted πῦρ ἀείζωον, which occurs in Fr. 11, I asked what he was actually doing. I wanted to drive at the question of how this attempt to think with Heraclitus should be made. In this connection, there was mention of a speculative leap that suggested itself in a certain way in so far as we start reading the text from the immediacy of the expressed content and, in so doing, arrive through the process of thinking at the expression of something that cannot be verified by way of immediate intuition. If one thinks schematically, one can say that we go from a statement according to perception to an unsensuous statement. But what does "speculative" mean?

PARTICIPANT: "Speculative" is a derivative from speculum (mirror) and speculari (to look in or by means of the mirror). The speculative, then, is evidently a relationship of mirroring.

HEIDEGGER: Presumably, the mirror plays a role. But what does the word "speculative" mean in ordinary terminological use? Where in philosophy is Latin written and spoken?

PARTICIPANT: In the Middle Ages.

HEIDEGGER: There existimatio speculativa [speculative judgment] is mentioned in distinction from existimatio practica or also operativa [practical or operative judgment]. Existimatio speculativa is synonymous with existimatio theoretica [theoretical judgment], which is oriented toward the species [type]. Species is the Latin translation of εἶδος [form]. What is meant here is, therefore, a seeing, a θεωρεῖν that is, a theoretical considering. Kant also speaks of the speculative in the sense of theoretical reason. But how does this affair stand with Hegel? What does Hegel call speculation and dialectic?

PARTICIPANT: The speculative and dialectic designate Hegel's method of thinking.

PARTICIPANT: With speculation, Hegel attempted to reach beyond the finite into infinity.

HEIDEGGER: Hegel does not first start out with the finite in order then to reach infinity; rather, he begins in infinity. He is in infinity from the start. With my question about the speculative, I only wish to make clear that the attempt to rethink Heraclitus is not a matter of the speculative in the proper sense of Hegel or in the sense of the theoretical. First of all, we must renounce talking in any manner about the method according