purpose - to further highlight the proper essence of φύσει ὄντα and φύσις — only if it stays within the parameters of the guiding perspective, that of an inquiry into moving beings and their movedness and into the ἀρχή of that movedness.

But are bedsteads and garments, shields and houses moving things? Indeed they are, but usually we encounter them in the kind of movement that typifies things at rest and therefore is hard to perceive. Their "rest" has the character of having-been-completed, having-been-produced, and, on the basis of these determinations, as standing "there" and lying present before us. Today we easily overlook this special kind of rest and so too the movedness that corresponds to it, or at least [321 {GA 9 251}] we do not take it essentially enough as the proper and distinguishing characteristic of the being of these beings. And why? Because under the spell of our modem way of being, we are addicted to thinking of beings as objects and allowing the being of beings to be exhausted in the objectivity of the object. But for Aristotle, the issue here is to show that artifacts are what they are and how they are precisely in the movedness of production and thus in the rest of having-been-produced. Above all he wants to show that this movedness has another ἀρχή and that beings that are moved in this other way are related to their ἀρχή in a different manner. ([here is no reason to read ἀρχή in place of ὁρμή in this text, as Simplicius does, for ὁρμή, "impulse," illustrates well the essence of ἀρχή.)

The ἀρχή of artifacts is τέχνη. Τέχνη does not mean "technique" in the sense of methods and acts of production, nor does it mean "art" in the wider sense of an ability to produce something. Rather, τέχνη is a form of knowledge; it means: know-how in, i.e., familiarity with, what grounds every act of making and producing. It means knowing what the production of, e.g., a bedstead, must come to, where it must achieve its end and be completed. In Greek, this "end" is called τέλος. That whereat an act of producing "ceases" is the table as finished — but finished precisely as table, as what a table is and how a table looks. The εἶδος must stand in view beforehand, and this antecedently envisioned appearance, εἶδος προαιρετόν, is the end, τέλος, that about which τέχνη has its know-how. Only for this reason does τέχνη also come to be defined as the kind and manner of procedure that we call "technique." But again, the essence of τέχνη is not movement in the sense of the activity of manipulating things; rather, it is know-how in dealing with things. And τέλος does not mean "goal" or "purpose," but "end" in the sense of the finite perfectedness that determines the essence of something; only for this reason can it be taken


On the Essence and Concept of Φύσις

GA 9 p. 250