PATHMARKS


themselves arc, the εἴδη, (ideas), constitute the essence in whose light each individual being shows itself as this or that, and only in this self-showing docs the appearing thing become unhidden and accessible.

The level of dwelling that has now been reached is, like the others, defined in terms of what is normatively and properly unhidden at this level. Therefore right at the beginning of his description of stage three Plato speaks of τῶν νῦν λεγομένων ἀληθῶν (516 a3), "of what is now addressed as the unhidden." This unhidden is ἀληθέσταρον, even more unhidden than the things illuminated by the man-made fire in the cave were in distinction to the shadows. The unhidden that has now been reached is the most unhidden of all: τὰ ἀληθέοτατα. While it is true that Plato does not use that word at this point in the text, he does mention τὸ ἀληθέστατον, the most unhidden, in the corresponding and equally important discussion at the beginning of Book VI of the Republic. There (484 c5ff.) he mentions οἱ ... εἰς τὸ ἀληθέστατον ἀποβλέποντες, "those who gaze upon the most unhidden." The most unhidden shows itself in each case in the whatness of a being. Wιthout such a self-showing of the whatness (i.e., the ideas), each and every specific thing - in fact, absolutely everything - would remain hidden. "The most unhidden" is so called because it is what appears antecedently in everything that appears, and it makes whatever appears be accessible.

[128 {GA 9: 222}] Already within the cave, to shift one's gaze from the shadows to the glow of the fire and to focus on the things that show themselves in the firelight was a difficult task that proved unsuccessful; but now being freed into the open that is outside of the cave requires fully every bit of endurance and effort. Liberation does not come about by the simple removal of the chains, and it does not consist in unbridled license; rather, it first begins as the continuous effort at accustoming one's gaze to be fixed on the firm limits of things that stand fast in their visible form. Authentic liberation is the steadiness of being oriented toward that which appears in its visible form and which is the most unhidden in this appearing. Freedom exists only as the orientation that is structured in this way. But what is more, this orientation as a turning toward ... alone fulfills the essence of παιδεία as a turning around. Thus the fulfillment of the essence of "education" can be achieved only in the region of, and on the basis of, the most unhidden, i.e., the ἀληθέστατον, i.e., the truest, i.e., truth in the proper sense. The essence of "education" is grounded in the essence of "truth."

But because the essence of παιδεία consists in the περιαγωγή δλης τής ψυχής, then insofar as it is such a turning around, it constantly remains an overcoming of ἀπαιδευσία. Παιδεία includes within itself an essential relation to lack of education. And if, according to Plato's own interpretation,


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Martin Heidegger (GA 9) Plato's Doctrine of Truth