202 • The Restriction of Being

However, if we understand the ἰδέα (the look) as coming to presence, then coming to presence shows itself as constancy in a double sense. On the one hand, the look entails the standing-forth-from-unconcealment, the simple ἔστιν <is>. On the other hand, what shows itself in the look is that which looks that way, what stands there, the τί ἔστιν <the what-it-is>.]91

Thus, the ἰδέα constitutes the Being of beings. But here, ἰδέα and εἶδος are used in an extended sense, meaning not only what we can see with our physical eyes, but everything that can be apprehended. What any given being is consists in its look, and the look, in turn, presents the being’s whatness (allows it to come to presence).

But, we will already have asked, is this interpretation of Being as ἰδέα not thoroughly Greek, then? After all, this interpretation proceeds with unavoidable necessity from the fact that [139|190] Being is experienced as φύσις, as emerging sway, as appearing, as standing-in-the-light. What else does what appears show in appearing if not its look, the ἰδέα? How is it that the interpretation of Being as ἰδέα is supposed to differ from φύσις? Is the tradition not completely in the right, if for centuries it has seen this Greek philosophy in the light of Platonic philosophy? The interpretation of Being as ἰδέα in Plato is so little a departure, much less a downfall from the inception that instead it grasps this inception in a more unfolded and sharper way, and grounds it through the “theory of ideas.” Plato is the fulfillment of the inception.

In fact, it cannot be denied that the interpretation of Being as ἰδέα results from the fundamental experience of Being as φύσις.

91. The brackets are absent in the 1953 edition. Instead, only the portion of this paragraph that follows the first sentence is parenthesized.

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