PATHMARKS


animal) does not "make" itself and its kind, because its appearance is not and never can be merely a measure or paradigm according to which something is produced from something orderable. Rather, such appearance is that which comes to presence [das An-wesende] itself, the self-placing appearance that alone in each case orders up the orderable and places it as appropriate into appropriateness. In γένεσις as self-placing, production is entirely the presencing of the appearance itself without the importation of outside help — whereas such outside help is what characterizes all "making." Whatever produces itself, i.e., places itself into its appearance, needs no fabrication. If it did, this would mean an animal could not reproduce itself without mastering the science of its own zoology. All this indicates that μορφή — not just more than ὕλη, but in fact alone and completely — is φύσις. And this is exactly what the supposed truism above would have us understand. But as soon as it becomes clear that φύσις is γένεσις in this sense, its state of movedness requires a definition, one that in every respect identifies its uniqueness. Therefore a further step is necessary [361 {GA 9 291}]:

XVII. "Furthermore, φύσις, which is addressed as γένεσις — i.e., as deriving-and-placing-something so that it stands forth — is (nothing less than) being-on-the-way toward φύσις. (And this), of course, not as the practice of medicine is said to be the way not toward the art of medicine but toward health. For whereas the practice of medicine necessarily comes from the art of medicine, it is not directed toward this art (as its end). But φύσις is not related to φύσις in this way (namely, as medicine is to health). Rather, whatever is a being from and in the manner of φύσις goes from something toward something insofar as this being is determined by φύσις (in the movedness of this going). But 'toward what' does it go forth in the manner of φύσις? Not toward that 'from which' (it is derived in any given instance) but rather toward that as which it is generated in each instance." (193 b12-18)

Characterized as γένεσις in the previous section, φύσις is now understood as determined by ὁδός. We immediately translate ὁδός with "way," and we think of this as a stretch lying between the starting point and the goal. But the "way-ness" of a way must be looked for in another perspective. A way leads through an area; it opens itself up and opens up the area. A way is therefore the same as the process of passage from something to something else. It is way as being-on-the-way.

If we are to determine the γένεσις-character of φύσις more exactly, we have to clarify the movedness of this kind of movement. The movedness of movement is ἐνέργεια ἀτελής, the standing-in-the-work that has not yet come into its end. But according to what we said earlier, ἔργον, work, means neither making nor the artifact made, but that which is to be pro-duced, brought into presencing. In itself, ἐνέργεια ἀτελής is already a


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Martin Heidegger (GA 9) On the Essence and Concept of Φύσις in Aristotle's Physics B, I