PATHMARKS


being (beingness) of beings. Therefore the "categories" are special ways of addressing things - κατηγορία in an emphatic sense - for they sustain all our habitual and everyday ways of addressing things; they underlie those everyday statements, which in turn get developed into assertions, "judgments." Conversely, only for this reason can one discover the "categories" by using the assertion, the λόγος, as a clue. This is why Kant has to "derive" the table of categories from the table of judgments. Thus, knowledge of categories as determinations of the being of beings — what people call metaphysics - is, in an essential sense, knowledge of λόγος — i.e., "logic." Therefore, metaphysics receives this name at the stage where it comes to the full (as full as is possible for it) consciousness of itself, in Hegel. [The Science of Logic is absolute knowledge of the knowable as something known or represented. (In modern philosophy, the state of being represented is beingness or being.)]

In the text we are considering, κατηγορία is used in a preterminological sense. Inasmuch as we consider something produced — e.g., a bedstead within the horizon opened up by the everyday way of addressing and naming, we take such a being according to its appearance as something of use. In this capacity it does not have the ἀρχὴ κινήσεως in itself. But we can consider it from a second perspective: we can take this very same being, the bedstead, as something made out of wood, hence as a piece of wood. As wood, it is part of a tree trunk, a growing thing. This tree has the ἀρχὴ κινήσεως in itself. The bedstead, on the other hand, is not wood as such, but merely wooden, made out of wood. Only what is something other than wood can be wooden. This is why we never call a tree trunk wooden, but we do say a person's bearing is "wooden," and in German one can say an apple is "wooden." What the bedstead is when taken according to the κατηγορία, namely, a usable thing that looks thus and so, has no absolutely necessary relation to wood. It could [324] just as well be made out of stone or steel. Its woodenness is συμβεβηκός, that is to say: in reference to what the bed "really" and properly is, woodenness appears only incidentally. Insofar — but only insofar — as it is just wood, a bedstead certainly does have the ἀρχὴ κινήσεως in itself, for wood is the what-has-grown of a growing thing.

On the basis of this contrast between artifacts and growing things Aristotle can summarize what he has said up to now and thus establish an initial outline of the essence of φύσις:


V. "Accordingly, φύσις is something like origin and ordering and therefore originary [source[ of the self-moving and resting of something in which it antecedently (ὑπὸ)


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Martin Heidegger (GA 9) Pathmarks