ON THE ESSENCE OF TRUTH


pronouncement and reception; rather the proposition says that freedom• is the essence of truth itself. In this connection "essence" is-understood as the ground of the inner possibility of what is initially and generally admitted as known. Nevertheless in the concept of freedom we do not think truth, and certainly not at all its essence. The proposition that the essence [82 {GA 9 186}] of truth (correctness of statements) is freedom must consequently seem strange.

To place the essence of truth in freedom- does not this mean to sub􀇢ttruth to human caprice? Can truth be any more radically undermined than by being surrendered to the arbitrariness of this "wavering reed"? What forced itself upon sound judgment again and again in the previous discussion now all the more clearly comes to light: truth is here driven back to the subjectivity of the human subject. Even if an objectivity is also accessible to this subject, such objectivity, along with subjectivity, still remains something human and at human disposal.

Certainly deceit and dissimulation, lies and deception, illusion and semblance - in short, all kinds of untruth - are ascribed to human beings. But of course untruth is also the opposite of truth. For this reason, as the nonessence of truth, it is appropriately excluded from the sphere of the question concerning the pure essence of truth. This human origin of untruth indeed only serves to confirm by contrast the essence of truth "in itself" as holding sway "beyond" the human being. Metaphysics regards such truth as the imperishable and eternal, which can never be founded on the transitoriness and fragility that belong to the human essence. How then can the essence of truth still have its subsistence and its ground in human freedom?

Resistance to the proposition that the essence of truth is freedom is based on preconceptions, the most obstinate of which is that freedom is a property of the human being. The essence of freedom neither needs nor allows any further questioning. Everyone knows what the human being is.


4· THE ESSENCE OF FREEDOM


[83 {GA 9 187}] However, indication of the essential connection between truth as correctness and freedom uproots those preconceptions - granted of course that we are prepared for a transformation of thinking. Consideration of the essential connection between truth and freedom leads us to pursue the question of the human essence in a regard that assures us an experience of a concealed essential ground of the human being (of Dasein). and in such


a Third edition, 1954: Freedom and clearing of self-concealing sheltering (event of appropriation).


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Martin Heidegger (GA 9) Pathmarks