§12. The basic structure of λόγoς

This is the first peculiarity: the what-it-is is now not taken from the thing’s end-for-which but from the very thing about which the statement is made. The proper sense of a statement, is to express something as something, to take the that-in-terms-of-which a thing is to be determined expressly from the thing spoken about.

So we find that the statement has a double aspect: In the first case, what-the-thing-is corresponds to the task to be performed and thus to the kind of concern that is expressed in the statement about the thing. Second, the what-it-is is not taken from any practical function or from any orientation to another thing. Instead, it is taken from the very thing that is spoken about.

Here we find the third characteristic of the statement: [156] the particular kind of showing and uncovering that pertains to the statement is to a certain degree concentrated on what the speaking is about. In dealing with and understanding the chalk, we do not think about the chalk thematically. We don’t even enact our understanding of the chalk thematically and explicitly in terms of its function.

The statement, however, concentrates on the chalk itself as something present. In the statement, “This chalk is white,” the declaration consists in bringing into view something that is already there in the subject matter that the speech is about, and this subject-matter-about-which is likewise already there. This form of indicating and uncovering something that is just there (e.g., the chalk), bringing it closer and into focus in terms of what it is as just being there (its whiteness), is what we call determining. Determining is thus a mode of indicating and uncovering, and as such it has a specific structure to its “as.” The difference between the as-structure of a determining statement and the as-structure of a direct understanding is manifest in the three factors we mentioned above.19

Now our question is: “To what degree must we see the determination of things by statements as a leveling-down of the primary form of understanding, namely, dealing-with?” We saw that in determining by way of statements, the as-what-it-is (the whiteness) whence comes the determination is drawn from the given subject-matter-about-which itself. So the statement, a concernful comportment of existence, is broadly speaking also an act of dealing-with—but not in the way a worker deals with things, but simply as an act of speaking about something. To a certain

19. There are various levels between a functional involvement with something, on the one hand, and a pure determining on the other. However, our analysis deals chiefly with the two “extremes.”

1. A statement in and for a practical function;2. a determining that describes one’s specific lived world;3. a determining as a statement about what is just there, what merely occurs.

Martin Heidegger (GA 21) Logic : the question of truth

Page generated by LogicSteller.EXE