PLATO'S DOCTRINE OF TRUTH


posthuma X, 396). "Truth or falsehood in the proper sense can be nowhere else but in the intellect alone."

And in the age when the modem era enters its fulfillment Nietzsche sharpens the previous thesis still further when he says, "Truth is the kind of error without which a certain kind of living being could not live. In the final analysis, the value for life is what is decisive." (Note from the year 1885, The Will to Power, number 493.) If for Nietzsche truth is a kind of error, then its essence consists in a way of thinking that always, indeed necessarily, falsifies the real, specifically insofar as every act of representing halts the continual "becoming" and, in erecting its established facts against the flow of "becoming," sets up as the supposedly real something that does not correspond - i.e., something incorrect and thus erroneous.

Nietzsche's determination of truth as the incorrectness of thinking is in agreement with the traditional essence of truth as the correctness of assertion (λόγος). Nietzsche's concept of truth displays the last glimmer of the most extreme consequence of the change of truth from the unhiddenness of beings to the correctness of the gaze. The change itself is brought about in the determination of the being of beings (in Greek: the being present of what is present) as ἰδέα.

As a consequence of this interpretation of beings, being present is no longer what it was in the beginning of Western thinking: the emergence of the hidden into unhiddenness, where unhiddenness itself, as revealing, constitutes the fundamental trait of being present. Plato conceives being present (οὐσία) as ἰδέα. However, ἰδέα is not subordinate to unbiddenness in the sense of serving what is unhidden by bringing it to appearance. Rather, the opposite is the case: it is the shining (the self-showing) that, within its essence and in a singular self-relatedness, may yet be called unhiddenness. The ἰδέα is not [140 {GA 9: 234}] some foreground that ἀλήθεια puts out there tO present things;7 rather, the ἰδέα is the ground that makes ἀλήθεια possible. But even as such the ἰδέα still lays claim to something of the original but unacknowledged essence of ἀλήθεια.

Truth is no longer, as it was qua unhiddenness, the fundamental trait of being itself. Instead, as a consequence of getting yoked under the idea, truth has become correctness, and henceforth it will be a characteristic of the knowing of beings.

Ever since, there has been a striving for "truth" in the sense of the correctness of the gaze and the correctness of its direction. Ever since, what matters in all our fundamental orientations toward beings is the achieving of a correct view of the ideas. The reflection on παιδεία and the change in


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Martin Heidegger (GA 9) Pathmarks