The Restriction of Being • 199

in whose midst we have long been standing, is the dominance of thinking as ratio (as both understanding and reason) over the Being of beings. Here begins the interplay of “rationalism and irrationalism,” which is playing itself out to this very day, in all possible disguises and under the most contradictory titles. Irrationalism is only the weakness and utter failure of rationalism become apparent, and thus it is itself a rationalism. Irrationalism is a way out of rationalism that does not lead us out into the open but only gets us stuck still farther in rationalism, because it promotes the opinion that rationalism is overcome by merely saying no to it, whereas in fact it now just plays its games more dangerously, because it plays them covertly and in a manner less vulnerable to interference.

It is not part of the task of this lecture course to exhibit the inner history in which the dominance of thinking [as the ratio of logic]88 over the Being of beings developed. Apart from its intrinsic difficulty, such an exhibition has no effective historical [137|188] force as long as we ourselves have not awakened the forces of our own questioning from and for our history at this very moment of the world.

Nevertheless, it is still necessary to show how on the basis of the inceptive disjunction of λόγος and φύσις, logos secedes and then begins to establish the dominance of reason.

This secession of logos and its advance readiness to assume the position of a court of justice that presides over Being happens already within Greek philosophy. It even determines the end of Greek philosophy. We meet the challenge of Greek philosophy as the inception of Western philosophy only if we also grasp this inception in its inceptive end; for it was solely and only this end that became the “inception” for the subsequent age,

88. In parentheses in the 1953 edition.

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