170 • The Restriction of Being

Rather, πόλις is the name for the site <Stätte>, the Here, within which and as which Being-here is as historical. The πόλις is the site of history, the Here, in which, out of which and for which history happens. To this site of history belong the gods, the temples, the priests, the celebrations, the games, the poets, the thinkers, the ruler, the council of elders, the assembly of the people, the armed forces, and the ships. All this does not first belong to the πόλις, is not first political, because it enters into a relationship with a statesman and a general and with the affairs of state. Instead, what we have named is political, that is, at the site of history, insofar as, for example, the poets are only poets, but then are actually poets, the thinkers are only thinkers, but then are actually thinkers, the priests are only priests, but then are actually priests, the rulers are only rulers, but then are actually rulers. Are—but this says: use violence as violence-doers and become those who rise high in historical Being as creators, as doers. Rising high in the site of history, they also become ἄπολις, without city and site, lone-some, un-canny, with no way out amidst beings as a whole, and at the same time without ordinance and limit, without structure and fittingness, because they as creators must first ground all this in each case.

The first phase shows us the inner contour of the essence of the uncanniest, the domains and extent of its sway and its destiny. We now go back to the beginning and attempt the second phase of the interpretation.

The second phase. Now we follow the sequence of the strophes in light of what has been said, and hear how the Being of the human, to be the uncanniest, unfolds. We will attend to whether and how the δεινόν in the first sense is meant, whether and how the δεινόν in the second sense comes forth in unison with the first, and whether and how in the reciprocal relation of both, the Being of the uncanniest builds itself up before us in its essential form.


Introduction to Metaphysics, 2nd ed. (GA 40) by Martin Heidegger

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