Plato's Sophist [124-126]

Thus far we know, on the basis of the γένεσις of σοφία, that it more and more renounces practical goals. But that σοφία is μὴ πρὸς χρῆσιν3 is a determination which is given only negatively and only concomitantly, with regard to something else. It does not yet determine σοφία itself. But now it must be shown positively that σοφία is predelineated in Dasein itself in accord with the very possibility of Dasein; i.e., it is the development of a primary possibility of the Being of Dasein itself. Thereby the autonomy of σοφία first becomes ontologically understandable and the discussion of it in relation to φρόνησις at; is planted in the proper soil. The task is to demonstrate the possibility that, first, φρόνησις no longer has as its theme the ζωή as πρακτόν but that, second, as ἀληθεύειν it is precisely a mode of Being of the ζωή.

b) The origin of σοφία in Dasein itself. Θαυμάζειν and
ἀπορεῖν as origin of philosophy. The tendency in Dasein
itself toward pure θεωρεῖν.

The root of an autonomous sheer onlooking upon the world already lies in primitive and everyday Dasein. Aristotle shows that σοφία is unconcerned with ποίησις and πρᾶξις not just by accident and subsequently, but that it is so primordially and originally. ὅτι δ᾽ οὐ ποιητική, δῆλον καὶ ἐκ τῶν πρώτων φιλοσοφησάντων: διὰ γὰρ τὸ θαυμάζειν οἱ ἄνθρωποι καὶ νῦν καὶ τὸ πρῶτον ἤρξαντο φιλοσοφεῖν, ἐξ ἀρχῆς μὲν τὰ πρόχειρα τῶν ἀτόπων θαυμάσαντες, εἶτα κατὰ μικρὸν οὕτω προϊόντες καὶ περὶ τῶν μειζόνων διαπορήσαντες, οἷον περί τε τῶν τῆς σελήνης παθημάτων καὶ τῶν περὶ τὸν ἥλιον <καὶ περὶ ἄστρων> καὶ περὶ τῆς τοῦ παντὸς γενέσεως (Met. I, 2, 982b10ff.). The fact that σοφία, from the very beginning, constitutes an autonomous mode of Being of Dasein, juxtaposed to ποίησις, can be seen on the basis of two primary moments in which Dasein may be actualized: 1.) θαυμάζειν and 2.) διαπορεῖν.4

1.) Σοφία arises from θαυμάζεσθαι, which is attained very early in natural Dasein. θαυμάζει εἰ οὕτως ἔχει (cf. 983a13f.). "Wonder is about something encountered, whether it really is" as it shows itself. θαυμαστὸν γὰρ εἶναι δοκεῖ πᾶσιν, εἴ τι τῷ ἐλαχίστῳ μὴ μετρεῖται (a16f.). "For everyone, it is a matter of wonder when something is supposed to be unmeasurable by means of what is smallest," i.e., more generally, when something cannot be made intelligible by means of what is most known and at one's disposal.

3. Met. I, 2, 982b24f: δι' οὐδεμίαν χρείαν ἑτέραν.

4. See the appendix.

Martin Heidegger (GA 19) Plato's Sophist