§13. The possibility of λόγoς being false

structure of those things themselves. That is why we said earlier that Aristotle uses σύνθεσις not in a purely formal sense but in an apophantic sense, as related to and with regard to the things themselves.

Σύνθεσις, as the condition of possibility of being false and especially of being true, is a chameleon-like concept, sometimes logical, sometimes ontological—or more precisely, usually both at the same time. More precisely yet: neither the one nor the other. That is the characteristic stage of both Aristotle’s and Plato’s philosophy. We only imagine we understand the problems when we jump into this murky business armed with our seemingly beautiful distinctions and concepts of a modern system instead of guarding this authentically productive lack of clarity. The supposed clarity of the moderns consists merely in the fact that they have killed off the problems beforehand. It is now a matter of clearing out this thicket of relations within the concept of σύνθεσις so that we can understand how σύνθεσις is the condition of the possibility of falsehood and truth.

For Plato, the false—and in connection with it, deception, deceit, and error—were special phenomena that first of all had to be, so to speak, battled with in a particular demonstration that there are in fact such things and that they thus have a certain kind of being. Under the weighty pressure of Parmenides’ proposition, “Beings are, non-beings are not,” it seemed absolutely to be the case that deception, falsehood, and error—as negative, as nothing—were not and could not be.

It remains one of Plato’s undying achievements to have shown that even error and falsehood exist. This was possible for him only because he posed anew the problem of being. Of course, he also did not answer the question of how the being of the false is possible and what it means, [169] any more than Aristotle did, even though by building on Plato’s work, Aristotle pressed further ahead. Aristotle showed how a condition of the possibility of falsehood lies within beings themselves and the possible ways they can be. This is a discovery that later fell into absolute oblivion (where it remains today), because the problem of truth was no longer understood. We think that error and deception are something subjective and have their origin in one’s thinking when it violates its own laws and the like.

If we understand the phenomenon of truth (as uncovering) more radically—from existence itself and what we characterized as its basic hermeneutical structure—then we can understand from the beginning that falsehood necessarily depends on the very beings about which statements are possible.

We have to clarify this briefly and in outline form. Truth is the uncovering of beings. If λόγoς is presumably able to be this possibility in a specific form of performance, then, as λόγoς, it must already have a relation to beings. It is one of existence’s ways of being unto the world

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