206 • The Restriction of Being

Inasmuch as the likeness always falls short of its prototype, what appears is mere appearance, really a seeming, which now means a defect. Now ὄν and φαίνομενον <what is and what appears> are disjoined. This involves still another essential consequence. Because the ἰδέα is what really is, and the ἰδέα is the prototype, all opening up of beings must be directed toward equaling the prototype, resembling the archetype, directing itself according to the idea. The truth of φύσις—ἀλήθεια as the unconcealment that essentially unfolds in the emerging sway—now becomes ὁμοίωσις and μίμησις: resemblance, directedness, the correctness of seeing, the correctness of apprehending as representing.

When we properly grasp all this, we will no longer wish to deny that the interpretation of Being as ἰδέα stands at a distance from the original inception. If we speak of a “fall” here, then we must insist that this fall, despite everything, still remains at a height and does not sink down to a low level. We can measure this height by the following considerations. The great age of Greek Dasein is so great—it is in itself the only classical age—that it even creates the metaphysical conditions of possibility for all classicism. In the basic concepts ἰδέα, παράδειγμα, ὀμοίωσις and μίμησις, the metaphysics of classicism is delineated in advance. Plato is not a classicist yet, because he cannot yet be one, but he is the classic of classicism. The transformation of Being from φύσις to ἰδέα itself brings about one of the essential forms of movement within the history of the West, not just the history of Western art.

Now we must trace what becomes of logos, in accordance with the reinterpretation of φύσις. The opening up of beings happens in logos as gathering. Gathering is originally accomplished in language. Thus, logos becomes the definitive and essential determination of discourse. Language, as what is spoken out and said,

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