Preparatory meditation on the name and the word ἀλήθεια and its counter-essence Two directives from the translating word ἀλήθεια


§ 1. The goddess "truth." Parmenides, I, 22-32.


a) Ordinary acquaintance and essential knowing. Renunciation of the prevalent interpretation of the "didactic poem" by heeding the claim of the beginning.



1) Outset and beginning. Ordinary thinking and the thinking begun by the beginning. Retreating in face of Being. The few and simple texts. Reference to "translating "


b) Two directives from the translating word ἀλήθεια. The conflictual character of unconcealedness. Preliminary clarification of the essence of ἀλήθεια and of concealedness. Transporting and translating |U bersetzenUbersetzen|.



2) The question of the name of the goddess and how to translate it. The essence of truth as opposed to concealedness, according to the first two directives. Un-concealedness and Un-concealedness.



The third directive from the translating word ἀλήθεια the realm of the opposition between ἀλήθεια and λήθη in the history of Being


§ 2. First meditation on the transformation of the essence of truth and of its counter-essence.


a) The conflictual character of un-concealedness. The third directive: truth in oppositional relations. The resonance of ἀλήθεια in subjectivity. Reference to Hegel and Schelling. Directive toward the oppositions between concealedness and unconcealedness, falsity and truth.


b) The question of the counter-essence of ἀληθές. The absence of ληθές the ψεῦδος. The veiling of basic meanings. The counter-word λαθόν; λανθάνομαι thought in the Greek way. Forgetting as experienced on the basis of concealment. Homer, Iliad, XVIII, 46; X, 22; Odyssey, VIII, 93.



Τὸ ψεῦδος as the opposite of ἀληθές. The relationship between the stems of the words ἀλήθεια and λανθάνω. Reference to Homer. Odyssey, VIII, 93. The withdrawal of forgetting.


§ 3. Clarification of the transformation of ἀλήθεια and of the transformation of its counter-essence (veritas, certitudo, rectitudo, iustitia, truth, justice—λήθη, ψεῦδος, falsum, incorrectness, falsity).


a) The intrinsically different meanings of ψεῦδος and "false." The essential domain of the counter-word ψεῦδος as letting-appear while covering up. Reference to Homer, Iliad, B 348ff. Dissembling concealment: the basic meaning of ψεῦδος. Τὸ ἀψεθδές: the "dis-hiding," and the ἀληθές. Reference to Hesiod, Theogony, Verse 233f. The ambiguity of ἀληθές.



1) The so-called correct translation of ψεῦδος by "false." The manifold meanings of "false" and ψεῦδος. The dissembling and hiding of ψεῦδος in the region of the essence of concealment and unveiledness. Reference to Homer and Hesiod.


b) The un-German word "false." Falsum, fallo, σφάλλω. The Roman priority of "overthrowing" in the Latinization of ancient Greece through the imperium (command) as essential ground of iustum. The transporting of ψεῦδος into the Roman-imperial domain of overthrowing. The real event of history: the assault of Latinizing in the Greek-Roman domain of history and the modern view of the Greek world through Roman eyes.



2) Reconsideration of the essence of the "false" and of the hiding and "dis-hiding" of ψεῦδος. The rule of the Roman imperial "high command" and the breadth of the distinction between ψεῦδος and falsum.


c) The imperial in the form of the curial of the curia. The connection between verum and "true." The un-German meaning of "true" through the Roman-Christian verum. Verum: the established right as counter-word to falsum. Verum and apertum; λαθόν and its counterpart to ἀληθές.


d) The transformation of the essence of ἀλήθεια since Plato. The assumption of the "representation" of ἀλήθεια through ὁμοίωσις (as rectitudo of ratio) into veritas. Rectitudo (iustitia) of ecclesiastical dogmatics and the iustificatio of evangelical theology. The certum and the usus rectus (Descartes). Reference to Kant. The closing of the ring of the history of the essence of truth in the transformation of veritas into "justice" (Nietzsche). The incarceration of ἀλήθεια in the Roman bastion of veritas, rectitudo, and iustitia.



3) The sending [das Geschicht] of the assignment of Being: retrospective consideration of the history of the transformation of the essence of truth. The "balances" of history (Burckhardt, Nietzsche, Spengler). The historical "conferral of meaning" in the modern period.


4) The event of the conversion of the essence of untruth from the Greek ψεῦδος to the Roman falsum. The fulfillment of the transformation of veritas into certitudo in the nineteenth century. The self-assurance of self-certainty (Nietzsche, Fichte, Hegel).


§ 4. The multiplicity of the oppositions to unconcealedness in its essential character.


a) The rich essence of concealedness. Modes of concealing: ἀπάτη, (μέθοδος), κεύθω, κρύπτω, καλύπτω. Homer, Iliad, XX, 118; Odyssey, VI, 303; III, 16; Iliad, XXIII, 244. The disclosive power of muthos and the question of the Greek divinities.


b) The connection between μῦθος and the Greek deities. Earth, day, night, and death in relation to unconcealedness. The mysterious as one of the modes of concealment. Rejection of the negativity in falsity and in dissembling as the one and only counter-essence to the truth.



Supplementary clarification: the "way" of the arriving thinker in the "didactic poem." The connection between the essence of the goddess and the ways toward and from her home. By-way and off-way. The question of the other counter-essence to disclosedness. The essence of disclosure and concealment as expressed in word and legend. The loss of the word in its preservation of the relation of Being to man. The Roman transformation of τὸ ζῷον λόγον ἔχον into "animal" rationale. Reference to Kant, Nietzsche, Spengler. Μῦθος ἔπος λόγος.


§ 5. The opposite to ἀληθές: λαθόν, λαθές. The event of the transformation of the withdrawing concealment and the human behavior of forgetting.


a) The prevailing of concealment in λανθάνεσθαι. The concealment of the forgetter in the forgotten: oblivion. Hesiod, Theogony, V. 226f. Λήθη and the hidden essence of Eris (Strife), the daughter of the night. Reference to Pindar.


b) Awe in Pindar, Olympic Ode VII, 48f.; 43ff.; and in Sophocles, Oedipus at Colonus, 1267. Ἀρετή (resoluteness) as the disclosedness of man, determined on the basis of ἀλήθεια and αἰδώς.



1) The three titles of the essential history of the Occident. Reference to Being and Time. Essential thinking. Reference to Hölderlin and Pindar. The beginning of the essential relation of Being to man in word and legendary word. The Greek essence of man. Reference to Hesiod.


c) Πρᾶγμα: action. The word as the realm of the essence of the human hand. Handwriting and typewriting. Ὀρθός and rectum. Essential action and the way toward the unconcealed. Oblivion as concealment. Man's being "away" from unconcealedness, and the word of the sign-less cloud. Darkening. The withdrawal of λήθη. Reference to Pindar and Hesiod.



2) The correlation between being, word, gathering, hand, and writing. The irruption of the typewriter into the realm of the word and of handwriting. The consequence of technology within the transformed relation of Being to man. Bolshevism: the pre-arranged completely technically organized world. The thinking and poetry of the Greeks as regards ἀλήθεια and λήθη.


§ 6. The Greeks' final word concerning the hidden counter-essence of ἀλήθεια, λήθη, (I): The concluding myth of Plato's Politeia. The myth of the essence of the polis. Elucidation of the essence of the demonic. The essence of the Greek gods in the light of ἀλήθεια. The "view" of the uncanny.


a) The πόλις, the pole of the presence of beings as determined out of ἀλήθεια. Reference to Sophocles. The reverberation of the conflictual essence of ἀλήθεια in the counter-essence to πόλις: ἄπολις. Reference to Burckhardt.


b) Preparation for a detour over the path of a commentary on Plato's dialogue on λήθη and the πόλις. Order: Δίκη. The mortal course of the sojourn in the polis and the presence of beings after death. Christian Platonism. Reference to Hegel.



1) Politeia: the τόπος of the essence of the πόλις. The essentially unpolitical character of the politeia of the polis. The pole of πέλειν. The impossibility of interpreting the polis on the basis of the "state," Δίκη, and iustitia. Death: transition from "here" to "there." Platonism.


c) The question of the "here" and "there." Politeia, X, 614b2, and the questionableness of this "reference" to the myth.


d) Ψυχή: the ground of a relation to beings. The thinker's knowledge of the daimonia. Reference to Aristotle and Hegel. Δαιμόνιον: the presence of the uncanny, the extraordinary, in the ordinary. The δαίμονες, the ones who point to and indicate what is ordinary.


e) The looking (θεάω) that offers the sight of Being. The outward look (sight) of Being (εἶδος). The Greek god (δαίμων) that in looking presents itself in unconcealedness. What looks into the ordinary: the extraordinary, the uncanny. The appearance of the uncanny in human looking.



2) The undemonic of the δαίμονες. The disclosing emergence of Being: the self-clearing. Looking (perceiving), the primordial mode of the emergence into the light. The intermediate position of the animal (Nietzsche, Spengler). Man: the looked upon. Θέα and θεά: the same word. Reference to Heraclitus, Fragment 48. Insufficient elucidation of the Greek divinities. The look as what is decisive for the appearance of the uncanny within the ordinary. The uncanny as showing itself within the ordinary, and its relation, founded on Being, to the divinities.


f) The difference between the Greek gods and the Christian God. The word as naming Being in its looking-into, and myth as a mode of the relation to appearing Being. Man: the God-sayer. "Decline" of cultures (Nietzsche, Spengler). The basic character of the oblivion of being: A-theism.


g) The divine as it enters into the unconcealed. The daimonion: the look in its silent reception into the appurtenance to Being. The disclosive domain of the word. The "correspondence" of the divine and legend-ary (τὸ θεῖον and ὁ μῦθος). The setting into work (art) of unconcealedness and its medium of word and myth. Εὐδαιμονία and δαιμόνιος τόπος.


§ 7. The Greeks' final word concerning the hidden counter-essence of ἀλήθεια, λήθη (II). The concluding myth of Plato's Politeia. The field of λήθη.


a) The district of the uncanny: the field of withdrawing concealment. The exclusiveness of the uncanny in the place of lethe. The sight of its emptiness, and the nothingness of the withdrawal. The uncontainable water of the river "Carefree" in the field of λήθη. The saving of the unconcealed by thoughtful thinking; the drink of the thinker.



1) Field and lethe. The divine for the Greeks: the uncanny in the ordinary. The θεῖον in primordial ἀλήθεια and λήθη. Ἀλήθεια and θεά (Parmenides).


b) The measure of withdrawing concealment in unconcealedness. The countenance of the ἰδέα in Plato and the grounding of anamnesis (as well as forgetting) in unconcealedness. Λήθη: πεδίον. The interpretation of the beginning of Homer's poems and of Parmenides' utterance. The unforgetting of ἀλήθεια through the withdrawal of λήθη. The overcoming of experience since Plato through procedural operations (τέχνη). Reference to Homer, Iliad, XXIII, 358ff.



2) The origination of man out of the uncanny district of withdrawing concealment. The inception of the transformation of man's basic position. The coming to presence together of ἀλήθεια and μέμνημαι. Reference to Homer, Iliad XXIII, 358ff.



The fourth directive from the translating word ἀλήθεια The open and free space of the clearing of Being. The goddess "truth."


§ 8. The fuller significance of dis-closure. The transition to subjectivity. The fourth directive: the open, the free. The event of ἀλήθεια in the West. The groundlessness of the open. The alienation of man.


a) Preparation for the fourth directive. The insufficiency of "unconcealedness" as the translation used up to now. The ambiguity of the word "dis-closure" and its fuller significance. The conflict in primordial ἀλήθεια. Proximity and beginning. Reference to Homer. The two senses of appearance: pure emergence and being-encountered. Egohood. Reference to Kant. Descartes, Herder, Nietzsche. The priority of selfhood since Plato and Aristotle (Περί ψυχῆς, 8, 431; Μετα, 1).


b) The fourth directive: the open as the primordial essence of unconcealedness. Reference to Being and Time and Sophocles, Αἴας V, 646f. Time as letting appear and concealing. Reference to Hölderlin. Time as "factor" in the modern period. The upsurge of the open into unconcealedness. The "identification" of openness and freedom. Ἀλήθεια as the open of the clearing.


c) Light and looking. The "natural" explanation of truth as lighting in terms of the "visual" Greeks, versus the disclosing look. The perceptual look. Ἀλήθεια: the event in the landscape of the evening that conceals the morning. Θεᾶν—ὁρᾶν and theory.


d) The open at the beginning of the meditation on the word ἀλήθεια. Essential thinking: the leap into Being. Unconcealed beings in the security of the groundlessness of the open (the free) of Being. The concealment of the decision of the bestowal on man of unconcealedness in the securing open. The entitlement. through the bestowal of Being, to see the open: a historical beginning. The alienation of man from the open.


e) The open in the form of the unrestrained progression of beings. The open: the free of the clearing. The "open" of the "creature" in Rilke's eighth Duino Elegy. Reference to Schopenhauer and Nietzsche. The exclusion of the animal from the strife between unconcealedness and concealedness. The excitability of what is alive.


§ 9. Θεά—Ἀλήθεια. The looking of Being into the open lighted by it. The directive within the reference to the word of Parmenides: the thinker's journey to the home of ἀλήθεια and his thinking out toward the beginning. The saying of the beginning in the language of the Occident.

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Parmenides (GA 54) [GA App]