Part I

§13. The conditions of the possibility of λόγος being false.
The question of truth

With this examination of λόγος as an apophantic determination of what’s there in its thereness we are sufficiently prepared to answer the question, What makes the λόγος that has this structure able to be false? From the start, we have intentionally formulated the question in this pointed way. In its complete form the question is: “What makes λόγος able to be true or false?” As we shall show, the way in which the λόγος can be true is co-determined by the kind of falsehood that pertains to λόγος. The false, says Aristotle, is always and only where there is σύνθεσις. Now, on the basis of σύνθεσις as originally understood, how are we to clarify the degree to which λόγος, which is structured by such σύνθεσις, can be true or false? We know what the structure of λόγος is, but we certainly do not yet know what “true” and “false” mean, nor, therefore, what kind of determinations can pertain to λόγος.

If you recall the chart that we began with earlier, you will remember that, in characterizing the chart, we said that our expressions “true” and “false,” “truth” and “falsehood,” are not adequate to what the Greeks meant by the corresponding expressions ἀληθές and ψεῦδος. By these terms, the Greeks understood that truth = the act of uncovering or uncoveredness, and ψεῦδος or falsehood = covering-over or dissembling. Further, in discussing truth and falsehood we have already said that it would be a prejudice to think that Aristotle championed a theory of truth as a copy-theory [Abbildtheorie], as if truth consisted in the fact that representations within the soul reproduce things outside. Aristotle’s concept of truth and the Greek concept of truth generally are neither oriented to images nor to be understood in terms of this kind of correspondence. [163] Rather, our understanding of them should be oriented to uncovering and covering-over.

a) Preparatory interpretation. Metaphysics IV 7 and VI 4, and De interpretatione 1

Now we first attempt to provide a very general characterization of truth and falsehood as Aristotle understands them. That will serve as the necessary basis for asking how σύνθεσις makes truth and falsehood possible. I will discuss somewhat briefly only two citations that can provide you with a rough idea of what kind of interpretation of truth one finds in Aristotle:

(logically) in terms of the statement defined as synthesis. This becomes clear from Aristotle’s definitions of true and false.

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