ANAXIMANDER'S SAYING


To hunt for dependencies and influences between thinkers is a misunderstanding of thought. What every thinker is dependent on is the address of being. The extent of this dependence determines the freedom from irrelevant influences. The broader the dependence the more capacious the freedom of thought; and therefore the danger that it will wander past what was once thought only, perhaps, to think the same.

We latecomers, admittedly, must, in recollection, first have thought Anaximander's saying in order to meditate on the thought of Parmenides and Heraclitus. If we have done so, then the view that the philosophy of the one is a doctrine of being, the other a doctrine of becoming is exposed as a misunderstanding.

But to think Anaximander's saying we must first of all - but then again and again - take the simple step by means of which we cross over to what that always unspoken word ἐόν, ἐόντα, εἶναι says. It says: presencing in unconcealment. Still concealed in the word is this: presencing itself brings unconcealment with it. Unconcealment itself is presencing. They are the same, though not identical.

What is present is that which, presently and unpresently, presences in unconcealment. Along with Ἀλήθεια, which belongs to the essence of being, the Λήθη remains completely unthought and, as a consequence, "presently" and "un-presently" as well; that is to say, the area of the open region within which every being that presences arrives and in which the presencing-to-one-another of beings that stay is unfolded and delimited.

Since the being is that which, having arrived in unconcealment, presences in the manner of staying awhile, it can - lingering there - appear. Appearance is an essential consequence of presencing and of its nature. Only what appears - thinking this always from within presencing - shows visage and aspect. Only thinking which, from the beginning, has thought being in the sense of presencing in unconcealment can think the presencing of what presences as ἰδέα. Yet what stays awhile in presences stays at tl1e same time as that which is brought forth into unconcealment. It is so brought forth when, arising out of itself, it brings itself forth. Or it is so brought forth when it is pro-duced by man. In both cases what comes forth into unconcealment is, in a certain sense, an ἔργον, thought in the Greek manner: something brought forth. The presencing of what presences, its ἔργον character thought in the light of presence, can be experienced as that which presences in brought-forth-ness. This is the presencing of what presences. The being of the being- is ἐνέργεια.


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