§9 [61-62]

This result is all the more astonishing if we consider that the theme of σοφία is beings which always are, whereas φρόνησις aims at and makes transparent precisely the ἐνδεχόμενον ἄλλως ἔχειν, the Being of human Dasein.

A searching investigation is required to see why σοφία is nevertheless the highest possibility of ἀληθεύειν, and in particular:

1.) Σοφία is to be worked out in its own structure versus φρόνησις and presented as the genuine mode of ἀληθεύειν, as the highest possibility of the Being of Dasein—whereby φρόνησις will also appear more concretely.

2.) Aristotle does not force this result dogmatically on the Dasein of the Greeks of that time. Aristotle is not seeking something unprecedented and novel; on the contrary, he understands σοφία as the highest possibility of the Being of Dasein on the basis of the Being of Greek Dasein itself. He thinks that which the natural understanding of the life of the Greeks strove for; he thinks this radically and to its end.

3.) By pursuing this rootedness of the priority of σοφία in Dasein we will at the same time come to understand why the ἀρετή of τέχνη is not φρόνησις but is precisely σοφία as the ἀρετή of ἐπιστήμη, as ἀκριβέστατη τῶν ἐπιστημῶν (cf. Nic. Eth. VI, 7, 1141a17), as the "most rigorous of all sciences."

We will begin with the second point and will see that σοφία was the highest possibility of Greek Dasein and that Aristotle was the first to clarify it as such on the basis of the natural everyday Dasein of the Greeks.

Concerning the method of our interpretation here, as well as of our lecture course in general, let us note that it is grounded in a phenomenology of Dasein, one which we cannot now expound explicitly. Here we can carry out only a brief methodological deliberation. Indeed, methodological speculations make little sense if no specific issue backs them up. We want to pursue our concrete interpretation first and postpone "questions of method." To be sure, the latter then become more than the phrase suggests; that is, they themselves then become actual research into the matter at issue. Thus, methodologically, the interpretation does not proceed to draw in previously unnoticed texts and passages from Aristotle—after all, he has been at our disposal for 2,000 years—but instead the preparation for the interpretation already contains a rich hermeneutic. That is not to imply that the interpretation will be carried out in a roundabout way, uncritical of other standpoints. The presupposition for the interpretation is thus that Dasein be thematic, and if the interpretation interprets something "into" Aristotle, it does so merely to attain and to understand what is genuinely taking place in him. It is one thing to approach a philosophical system from various disciplines, and it is something else to make the issues sharper and the intentions more explicit and not to remain back behind them.