being-on-the-way that, as such and as a process, places forth what is to be pro-duced. The being-on-the-way in φύσις is μορφή (self-placing). Now, the previous section pointed out that from which μορφή as self-placing is on the way: the appearance of the φύσει ὄν is what places itself in the self-placing. But what is yet to be determined is the "whereunto" of the process, or better, the meaning of ὁδός that results from the determination of the "whereunto."

[362 {GA 9 292}] Φύσις is ὁδός ἐκ φύσεως εἰς φύσιν, the being-on-the-way of a self-placing thing toward itself as what is to be pro-duced, and this in such a way that the self-placing is itself wholly of a kind with the self-placing thing to be pro-duced. What could be more obvious than the opinion that φύσις is therefore a kind of self-making, hence a τέχνη, the only difference being that the end of this making has the character of φύσις? And we do know of such a τέχνη. Ἰατρική, the art of medicine, has its τέλος as ὑγίεια, a φύσις-like condition. Ἰατρική is ὁδός εἰς φύσιν. But just when the road seems open to an analogy between φύσις and ἰατρική, the basic difference between the two ways of generating a φύσει ὄν comes to light. Ἰατρική, as ὁδός εἰς φύσιν, is a being-on-the-way toward something that precisely is not ἰατρική, not the art of medicine itself, i.e., not a τέχνη. Ἰατρική would have to be ὁδός εἰς ἰατρική in order to be at all analogous to φύσις. But if it were, it would no longer be ἰατρική, because practicing medicine has as its end the state of health and this alone. Even if a doctor practices medicine in order to attain a higher degree of the τέχνη, he or she does so only in order all the more to reach the τέλος of restoring health - provided, of course, that we are talking about a real doctor and not a medical "entrepreneur" or "time-server."

The renewed attempt to clarify the essence of φύσις by way of an analogy with τέχνη fails precisely here from every conceivable point of view. This means: we must understand the essence of φύσις entirely from out of itself, and we should not detract from the astonishing fact of φύσις as ὁδός φύσεως εἰς φύσιν by overhasty analogies and explanations.

But even when we give up pressing the analogy to τέχνη, one last tempting "explanation" now urges itself upon us. As φύσεως ὁδός εἰς φύσιν, is not φύσις a constant circling back upon itself? However, this is precisely what is not the case. As on the way to φύσις, φύσις does not fall back on whatever it comes forth from. What is generated never places itself back into what it comes from, [363] precisely because the essence of generation is the self-placing into the appearance. If such placing lets the self-placing appearance be present, and if the appearance is, in each case, present only in an individual "this" which has such an appearance, then to this extent,