ἓν ἕκαστον εἰώθαμεν τίθεσθαι περὶ ἕκαστα τὰ πολλά, οἷς ταὐτὸν ὄνομα ἐπιφέρομεν. "We are accustomed to posing to ourselves (letting lie before us) one εΐδος, only one of such kind for each case, in relation to the cluster (περί) of those many things to which we ascribe the same name." Here εΐδος does not mean "concept" [174] but the outward appearance of something. In its outward appearance this or that thing does not become present, come into presence, in its particularity; it becomes present as that which it is. To come into presence means Being; Being is therefore apprehended in discernment of the outward appearance. How does that proceed? In each case one outward appearance is posed. How is that meant? We may be tempted to have done with the statement, which in summary fashion is to describe the method, by saying that for a multiplicity of individual things, for example, particular houses, the Idea (house) is posited. But with this common presentation of the kind of thought Plato developed concerning the Ideas, we do not grasp the heart of the method. It is not merely a matter of positing the Idea, but of finding that approach by which what we encounter in its manifold particularity is brought together with the unity of the εΐδος, and by which the latter is joined to the former, both being established in relationship to one another. What is established, i.e., brought to the proper approach, i.e., located and presented for the inquiring glance, is not only the Idea but also the manifold of particular items that can be related to the oneness of its unified outward appearance. The procedure is therefore a mutual accommodation between the many particular things and the appropriate oneness of the "Idea," in order to get both in view and to define their reciprocal relation.

The essential directive in the procedure is granted by language, through which man comports himself toward beings in general. In the word, indeed in what is immediately uttered, both points of view intersect: on the one hand, that concerning what in each case is immediately addressed, this house, this table, this bedframe; and on the other hand, that concerning what this particular item in the word is addressed as—this thing as house, with a view to its outward appearance. Only when we read the statement on method in terms of such an interpretation do we hit upon the full Platonic sense. We have long