150 • The Restriction of Being

We were attempting to display the essential belonging of λόγος to φύσις, with the intention of comprehending, thanks to this unity, the inner necessity and possibility of their separation.

But now one could almost object to our characterization of the Heraclitean logos as follows: the essential belonging of logos to Being itself is so intimate here that it is still completely problematic how the opposition between Being and logos as thinking is supposed to spring from this unity and selfsameness of φύσις and λόγος. Certainly, that is a question, the question that we absolutely do not want to make too easy for ourselves, although the temptation to do so is very great. But for now, we may say only that if this unity of φύσις and λόγος is so original, then the separation must also be correspondingly original. If this separation between Being and thinking is also different in kind and different in orientation from the previous separations, then the disjunction of the one from the other must also have a different character here. Therefore, just as we endeavored to keep our interpretation of λόγος at a remove from all later falsifications and to grasp it on the basis of the essence of φύσις, we must also attempt to understand this happening of the disjunction of φύσις and λόγος in a purely Greek way, that is, once again on the basis of φύσις and λόγος. For in view of the question about the disjunction and the opposition of φύσις and λόγος, Being and thinking, [104|144] we are exposed almost more immediately and obstinately to the danger of modern misinterpretation than in the interpretation of the unity of φύσις and λόγος. How so?

When we determine how Being and thinking stand opposed to each other, we are working with a well-worn schema. Being is the objective, the object. Thinking is the subjective, the subject. The relation of thinking to Being is that of subject to object. The Greeks, so one believes, still thought of this relation in an altogether primitive way, for at the very inception of philosophy they were not yet sufficiently schooled in epistemology.

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