Plato's Sophist [45-46]

"The healthy comes to be by means of the following course of disclosure: since health is such and such, it is necessary, if there is to be something healthy, that such and such be on hand for it.... And one goes on to disclose always more and more until what is ultimate is reached, i.e., what one can bring about oneself." This ἔσχατον is also called τὸ τελεοταῖον τῆς νοήσεως (cf. b 17), "the ultimate of circumspective disclosure." The circumspection of τέχνη reaches what, as the uttermost, is the first to be accomplished, the place where the undertaking can break in. This circumspection does not run through any theoretical steps, but instead it isolates that with which the action, the bringing into being, the ποιεῖν, begins. The νόησις is here a τεχνάζειν (Nic. Eth. VI, 4, 1140a11), a disclosure that is "on the lookout" for the ὑπάρχοντα, ἡ ἀπὸ τούτου κίνησις ποίησις (Met. VII, 7, 1032b10). "The movement which begins from this ultimate of νόησις is ποίησις." The latter is the properly productive action, whereas the movement of νόησις is a type of elucidation. Νόησις and ποίησις belong together. Their connection constitutes the full movement of the enterprise. συμβαίνει τρόπον τινὰ τὴν ὑγίειαν ἐξ ὑγιείας γίγνεσθαι (b11). "The result is that in a certain sense health comes from health," i.e., from the εἶδος of health ἐν τῇ ψυχῇ. Hence the εἶδος is the ἀρχή of the whole connection of νόησις and ποίησις in τέχνη. Therefore ἡ οἰκοδομικὴ τὸ εἶδος τῆς οἰκίας (cf. b13). "Architecture is the εἶδος of the house."

On the basis of τέχνη, the Being of the house is understood as something made, as corresponding to the "outward look." The presence at hand of the house is related, genuinely and uniquely, to the modes of becoming, the modes of production; all other determinations are κατά συμβεβηκός. <τὸ κατὰ συμβεβηκὸς> οὐδὲν μέλει τῇ τέχνῃ (Nic. Eth. V, 15, 1138b2). "The determinations κατὰ συμβεβηκός are by no means a concern of τέχνη." (Φύσις is also understood in an analogous way: as the process of self-becoming, as the process by which something brings itself from itself into its form and its outward look.) This conception has its ground in the philosophy of Plato. The εἶδος is, as we said, nothing else than a designation of the Platonic Idea. The usual exposition of Plato places the doctrine of the Ideas in the center and takes it as the guiding line for an interpretation of his whole philosophy. We will see to what extent that is a prejudice and to what extent it touches the actual state of affairs. For one who has learned to understand an author it is perhaps not possible to take as a foundation for the interpretation what the author himself designates as the most important. It is precisely where an author keeps silent that one has to begin in order to understand what the author himself designates as the most proper.