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§13. The possibility of λόγος being false

about the structure of truth-and-falsehood, and about truth in general. This will clarify how synthesis constitutes the framework and the clue for understanding truth and falsehood conceptually. Simultaneously our discussion should find an explanation that had decisive significance (although in a rather implicit way) for the history of the problem of truth and of logic.


b) Truth and being. Interpretation of Metaphysics IX 10


To reach these goals we have chosen Metaphysics IX 10 as the basis of our interpretation of the problem of truth. This text is the basis from which we must develop the problem of truth historically, both backward [171] to Parmenides and forward to the Stoics, Boethius, the Middle Ages, Descartes, and modern philosophy right up to Hegel.

We limit ourselves to these guiding questions. The first is: To what degree is synthesis the condition of the possibility of falsehood and truth? In pursuing an explanation we will keep in mind our promise to explain how the question of truth in the Greeks is primarily oriented to knowledge as intuition, a fact that determines all succeeding epochs. Moreover, we will demonstrate more concretely than heretofore that the problem of truth is inextricably linked with the question about being.

Metaphysics IX 10 is the concluding chapter of a book (or treatise) that is one of the most difficult of the treatises gathered under this title of Metaphysics. This treatise Θ (or book IX) itself belongs together with the two that precede it, Ζ and H (books VII and VIII), in such a way that in IX 10, which deals with truth as such and with truth and falsehood, we reach as it were the highest pinnacle of the fundamental investigation of ontology. But this seems contradictory and impossible to traditional philosophy, where truth is a characteristic of judgment and thinking—ἔν διανοίᾳ, as even Aristotle himself says. Exactly for that reason truth is not, in the tradition, a determination of the being of beings—and least of all the “most proper” determination. This explains all the embarrassment, uncertainty, and wavering on the question of whether this chapter even belongs to book IX of the Metaphysics.

In his first book, Studien zur Entstehungsgeschichte der Metaphysik des Aristoteles,28 Werner Jaeger drew the final consequences of the earlier work of Hermann Bonitz and others regarding the literary character of the treatise. He forcefully demonstrated that book IX is a collection of individual treatises, parts of lectures, and introductions all of which deal with ontology but which do not belong together in any obvious fashion as regards their content and method. Jaeger emphasized the coherence of Ζ, Η, and Θ [books VII, VIII, and IX]. [172] He likewise


28.[Werner Jaeger, Studien zur Entstehungsgeschichte der Metaphysik des Aristoteles(Berlin: Weidmann, 1912).]

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