208 • The Restriction of Being

Truth becomes the correctness of logos. Thus, logos steps out of its original inclusion in the happening of unconcealment in such a way that decisions about truth, and so about beings, are made on the basis of logos and with reference back to it—and not only decisions about beings, but even, and in advance, about Being. Logos is now λέγειν τί κατά τινος, saying something about something.98 That about which something is said is in each case what lies at the basis of the assertion, what lies before it, ὑποκείμενον (subjectum). From the point of view of the logos that has become independent as assertion, Being displays itself as this lying-there. [The possibility of this determination of Being is prefigured in φύσις, as is the ἰδέα. Only the sway that emerges from itself can, as coming to presence, determine itself as look and lying-there.]99

That which lies at the basis can be exhibited in asserting in various ways: as what is in such and such a state, as what is so and so large, as what is related in this and that way. Being-in-a-state, Being-large, Being-related are determinations of Being. Because, as ways of Being-said, they have been created from logos—and because to assert is κατηγορεῖν—the determinations of the Being of beings are called κατηγορίαι, categories. On this basis, the theory of Being and of the determinations of beings as such becomes a theory that investigates the categories and their order. [143|195] The goal of all ontology is the theory of categories. Today it is taken to be self-evident, as it has been for a long time, that the essential characteristics of Being are categories. But at bottom, this is strange. It becomes intelligible only when we grasp that, and how, logos not only separates itself from φύσις, but at the same time comes forth over against φύσις as the standard-setting domain that becomes the place of origin for the determinations of Being.

98. Aristotle, De Interpretatione, chaps. 5–6.

99. In parentheses in the 1953 edition.

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