The Restriction of Being • 177

1. Violence, the violent, within which the doing of the violence-doer moves, is the whole sphere of machination, τὸ μαχανόεν,62 that is delivered over to him. We are not taking the [122|168] word “machination” in a derogatory sense. With this word we are thinking something essential that announces itself to us in the Greek word τέχνη. Τέχνη means neither art nor skill, and it means nothing like technology in the modern sense. We translate τέχνη as “knowing.” But this requires explication. Knowing here does not mean the result of mere observations about something present at hand that was formerly unfamiliar. Such items of information are always just accessory, even if they are indispensable to knowing. Knowing, in the genuine sense of τέχνη, means initially and constantly looking out beyond what, in each case, is directly present at hand. In different ways and on different routes and in different domains, this Being-out-beyond sets to work in advance that which first gives to what is already present at hand its relative justification, its possible determinateness, and thus its limit. Knowing is the ability to set Being into work as something that in each case is in such and such a way. For this reason, the Greeks call authentic artwork and art τέχνη in the emphatic sense, because art is what most immediately brings Being—that is, the appearing that stands there in itself—to stand [in something present (in the work)].63 The work of art is work not primarily because it is worked, made, but because it puts Being to work64 in a being. To put to work here means to bring into the work—a work within which as what appears, the emerging that holds sway, φύσις, comes to seem.


62. Antigone, line 365. { This appears to be an error. The word in my Antigones is μηχανόεν.}

63. The 1953 edition has neither brackets nor parentheses around this whole phrase.

64. Er-wirkt: erwirken normally means to bring about, obtain or secure; we have formerly translated it as “bring about.” But since here Heidegger is stressing the root wirken, to work, we render er-wirken as “put to work.”


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

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