220 • The Restriction of Being

brings with it the connection to the prototypical and to what ought to be. As Being itself becomes fixed in its character as idea, it also tends to make up for the ensuing degradation of Being. But by now, this can occur only by setting something above Being that Being never yet is, but always ought to be.

Our only goal here has been to shed light on the essential origin of the separation between Being and the ought, or on what is at bottom the same, the historical inception of this separation. Here we will not trace the history of the unfolding and transformation of this separation. Let us mention just one more essential point. In all the determinations of Being and of the separations we have mentioned, we must keep one thing in view: because Being is inceptively φύσις, arising-unconcealing sway, it itself exhibits itself as εἶδος and ἰδέα. This exposition is never based exclusively or even primarily on its being interpreted by philosophy.

It became clear that the ought arises in opposition to Being as soon as Being determines itself as idea. [151|206] With this determination, thinking as the logos of assertion (διαλέγεσθαι) assumes a definitive role. Thus, as soon as this thinking achieves dominance in the modern age, as self-sufficient reason, the real development of the separation between Being and the ought is made ready. This process is completed in Kant. For Kant, beings are nature, in other words, whatever can be determined and is determined in mathematical-physical thinking. The categorical imperative, which is determined both by and as reason, is opposed to nature. Kant more than once explicitly calls it the ought, considering the relationship of the imperative to what merely is, in the sense of merely instinctive nature. Fichte then explicitly and especially made the opposition of Being and the ought into the fundamental framework of his system. In the course of the nineteenth century, definitive precedence is attained by that which is, in Kant’s sense

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