§25 [175-177]

Seeking is not yet being in the presence of the unconcealed, whereas the pure tarrying of knowledge, of seeing, of having in view, is an abiding with a being in its unconcealedness. Therefore Aristotle can say of the ancients, insofar as they were genuine philosophers: φιλοσοφήσαντας περὶ τῆς ἀληθείας (Met. I, 3, 983b2f.), "they philosophized about truth." This does not mean they philosophized about the concept of truth or the like, but rather that they were friends of the truth, they had decided in favor of the pure disclosure of Being in its unconcealedness.

5.) The fifth moment which is attributed to εὐδαιμονία and which fulfills the θεωρία of σοφία is the αὐτάρκεια, that comportment of man which is dependent only on itself. ἥ τε λεγομένη αὐτάρκεια περὶ τὴν θεωρητικὴν μάλιστ' ἂν εἴη (Nic. Eth. X, 7, 1177a27f.) Aristotle emphasizes: τῶν μὲν πρὸς τὸ ζῆν ἀναγκαίων καὶ σοφὸς καὶ δίκαιος καὶ οἱ λοιποὶ δέονται (cf. a28f.). The philosopher, exactly as is the case with every man, requires the necessities of life. He cannot detach himself from them; he can exist only insofar as they are at his disposal. ὁ μὲν δίκαιος δεῖται πρὸς οὓς δικαιοπραγήσει καὶ μεθ' ὧν (a30f.). In addition, "the one who, as judge, wants to act justly needs other people, toward whom and with whom he can act justly. " The same applies to one who wants to be prudent, σώφρων, or courageous, ἀνδρεῖος. Not only these, but all possibilities of Being with regard to the πρᾶξις of prephilosophical man are dependent, in their very sense, on being with others. Therefore they cannot be man's proper possibilities of Being, and this is so although they are in each case an ἀγαθόν καθ᾽ αὑτὸ αἱρετόν. But now our concern is precisely the proper Being and presence of life. We are asking about the radically and ontologically grasped most proper Being, which is itself the ontological basis for the factual concrete existence of man. Thus whereas the possibilities of Being with regard to πρᾶξις are dependent on being with others, the pure onlooking upon what always is is free of this bond. ὁ δὲ σοφὸς καὶ καθ᾽ αὑτὸν ὢν δύναται θεωρεῖν, καὶ ὅσῳ ἂν σοφώτερος ᾖ, μᾶλλον (a32f.). The philosopher, who is concerned purely and exclusively with understanding and disclosing beings, can be who he is only if and precisely if he is καθ᾽ αὑτὸν ὢν, alone with himself. And the more he is with himself and strives only to disclose, the less he is in need of others. βέλτιον δ᾽ ἴσως συνεργοὺς ἔχων, ἀλλ' ὅμως αὐταρκέστατος (a34f.). Perhaps, to be sure, it is still better if he has companions who strive along with him, ones who work with him and who persevere in this attitude with him. But even then he is what he is only if in each case he by himself sees things as they are. Nobody can see things on behalf of someone else, and no one can have things present on account of some other person's disclosure of them. Pure seeing is a matter of the single individual, although precisely he who sees for himself, if he sees the same things as the others, is with the others, in the mode of συμφιλοσοφεῖν, philosophizing together.