Plato's Republic

been accustomed to looking at the many-sided individual thing simultaneously with a view to its universal. But here the many-sided individual appears as such in the scope of its outward appearance as such, and in that consists the Platonic discovery. Only when we elaborate upon that discovery does the statement cited concerning [175] "method" provide us with the correct directive for the procedure now to be followed in pursuit of μίμησις.

Μίμησις means copying, that is, presenting and producing something in a manner which is typical of something else. Copying is done in the realm of production, taking it in a very broad sense. Thus the first thing that occurs is that a manifold of produced items somehow comes into view, not as the dizzying confusion of an arbitrary multiplicity, but as the many-sided individual item which we name with one name. Such a manifold of produced things may be found, for example, in τὰ σκεύη, "utensils" or "implements" which we find commonly in use in many homes. πολλαί πού εἰσι κλῖναι καὶ τράπεζαι (596 b): " ... many, which is to say, many according to number and also according to the immediate view, are the bedframes and tables there." What matters is not that there are many bedframes and tables at hand, instead of a few; the only thing we must see is what is co-posited already in such a determination, namely, that there are many bedframes, many tables, yet just one ἰδέα "bedframe" and one ἰδέα "table." In each case, the one of outward appearance is not only one according to number but above all is one and the same; it is the one that continues to exist in spite of all changes in the apparatus, the one that maintains its consistency. In the outward appearance, whatever it is that something which encounters us "is," shows itself. To Being, therefore, seen Platonically, permanence belongs. All that becomes and suffers alteration, as impermanent, has no Being. Therefore, in the view of Platonism, "Being" stands always in exclusive opposition to "Becoming" and change. We today, on the contrary, are used to addressing also what changes and occurs, and precisely that, as "real" and as genuine being. In opposition to that, whenever Nietzsche says "Being" he always means it Platonically—even after the reversal of Platonism. That is to say, he means it in antithesis to "Becoming."