Plato's Sophist [186-187]

On the other hand, in the διαίρεσις there resides the moment by which λόγος, because it lets something be seen as something, takes apart (table—black) the whole (black table) at the very outset, yet not in such a way that the νοήματα are placed one next to the other, but ὥσπερ ἓν ὄντων (De An. III, 6, 430a28), in such a way that they are seen as a unity. The whole theory of λόγος can be understood by keeping in mind the basic structure of the ἀπόφανσις, of the letting be seen and of seeing. In this fundamental attitude, affirmation and denial are carried out.6

Aristotle investigates this structure of σύνθεσις and διαίρεσις, and at the same time the phenomenon of the ἀληθές, in a still much more fundamental context than in De Anima III, chapters 6 and 7. I refer specifically to Metaphysics VI, chapter 4; IX, chapter 10; and XI, chapter 8, 1065a ff.

o) The ἀληθές as a character of Being as encountered
(Met. VI, 2 and 4).

We have shown that being true, disclosure, is a mode of Being of human life and refers first of all to the world? Here a problem arises : what connection is there between beings insofar as they are uncovered and the other characters of Being? For, independently of any theory of knowledge and its prejudices, it is obvious that unconcealedness is in a certain way a character of the Being of beings themselves. It is therefore that Aristotle speaks of ὂν ὡς ἀληθές, of beings insofar as they are unconcealed, and correspondingly of μὴ ὂν ὡς ψεῦδος, and he does so specifically in connection with a fundamental constatation of research into the distinction of the various regards in which Being can be spoken of. These are: 1.) the ὄν of the categories, 2.) the ὂν κατὰ συμβεβηκὸς, 3.) the ὂν δυνάμει and ἐνεργείᾳ, and 4.) the ὂν ὡς ἀληθές.8 Here the phenomenon of the ἀληθές arises in connection with the question of the basic determinations of beings themselves. Nevertheless, Aristotle says that this ὂν ὡς ἀληθές does not properly belong within the theme of ontology, inasmuch as the character of the ἀληθές does not provide something of beings which would pertain to them as such but only insofar as they are there, i.e., insofar as they encounter an uncovering discernment.9 It is wrong, however, to maintain that this ὂν ὡς ἀληθές would mean something like truth in the sense of the validity of a judgment, simply because Aristotle excludes the ὂν ὡς ἀληθές from his ontological consideration. That is not what Aristotle means. The ὂν ὡς ἀληθές is not a mode of Being that is taken up as a consequence of a mere factually occurring process of thought.

6. See the appendix.

7. Cf. pp. 12f. and 16f.

8. Met. VI, 2, 1026a33ff.

9. Met. VI, 4, 1027b25ff.