The Restriction of Being • 153

1. What do τὸ αὐτὸ and τε … καί mean?

2. What does νοεῖν mean?

3. What does εἶναι mean?41

As regards the third question, we seem to have been sufficiently instructed by what was said earlier about φύσις. But the νοεῖν named in the second question is obscure, at least if we do not translate the verb right away as “thinking” and define it in the logical sense as assertion that analyzes. Νοεῖν means to apprehend, νοῦς42 means apprehending, in a double sense that intrinsically belongs together. On the one hand, to apprehend <Vernehmen> means to take in <hin-nehmen>, to let something come to oneself—namely, what shows itself, what appears. On the other hand, to apprehend means to interrogate a witness, to call him to account, and thus to comprehend the state of affairs, to determine and set fast how things are going and how things stand.43 Apprehending in this double sense denotes a process of letting things come to oneself in which one does not simply take things in, but rather takes up a position to receive what shows itself. When troops take up a position to receive the enemy, then they want to meet the enemy that is coming toward them, and meet him in such a way that they at least bring him to a halt, a stand. Νοεῖν involves this receptive bringing-to-a-stand of that which appears. What Parmenides’s statement is saying about apprehending is that it is the same as Being.

41. The conventional answers to Heidegger’s questions are: (1) “the same” and “both … and”; (2) “thinking”; (3) “Being.”

42. This noun corresponding to the verb νοεῖν is conventionally translated as “mind” or “intellect.”

43. “Vernehmen meint sodann: einen Zeugen vernehmen, ihn vornehmen und dabei den Tatbestand aufnehmen, fest-stellen, wie es mit der Sache bestellt ist und wie es mit ihr steht.” This sentence contains a series of plays on nehmen (to take), stellen (to put or set), and stehen (to stand).

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