Plato's Sophist [196-197]

Λόγος can take upon itself the actual performance of a disclosure, but it does not have to. Factually, however, it is precisely λόγος which ordinarily permeates all modes of uncovering, such that all the forms of ἀληθεύειν we saw in Aristotle, with the exception of νοῦς, are determined by the character of the μετὰ λόγου: they are carried out in discourse. Aristotle, however, does not consider more closely this bond between λόγος and ἀληθεύειν. In fact, he gives no more than the indication that all modes of ἀληθεύειν are first and for the most part μετὰ λόγου. Λόγος, addressing something in speech, is our most immediate mode of carrying out ἀληθεύειν, whereas νοῦς, pure perception, is as such not possible for man, the ζῷον λόγον ἔχον. For us, νοεῖν is initially and for the most part διανοεῖν, because our dealing with things is dominated by λόγος.2

Λόγος can therefore take upon itself ἀληθεύειν, yet it does not do so on its own but from the νοεῖν and διανοεῖν in each case, i.e., from the respective αἴσθησις. According to its original sense and according to its original facticity as well, λόγος is not disclosive at all but, to speak in an extreme way, is precisely concealing. Λόγος is at first mere prattle, whose facticity is not to let things be seen but instead to develop a peculiar self-satisfaction at adhering to what is idly spoken of. The domination of idle talk precisely closes off beings for the Dasein3 and brings about a blindness with regard to what is disclosed and what might be disclosive. But if it is λόγος in this facticity as prattle which first permeates Dasein, then the pressing ahead to beings as disclosed must precisely pass through this λόγος. The pressing ahead must be such a speaking that, by means of speeches pro and con, it leads more and more to what is at issue and lets that be seen. Διαλέγεσθαι therefore possesses immanently a tendency toward νοεῖν, seeing. Yet insofar as the consideration remains in λέγειν and as διαλέγεσθαι continues on in thorough discussion, such "speaking through" can indeed relinquish idle talk but cannot do more than attempt to press on to the things themselves. Διαλέγεσθαι remains a matter of speeches; it does not arrive at pure νοεῖν. It does not have at its disposal the proper means to attain its genuine end, i.e., to attain θεωρεῖν. Although διαλέγεσθαι does not reach its goal and does not purely and simply disclose beings, as long as it still remains in λέγειν, it need not be a mere game but has a proper function insofar as it cuts through the idle talk, checks the prattle, and in the speeches lays its finger, as it were, on what is at issue. In this way, διαλέγεσθαι presents the things spoken of in a first intimation and in their immediate outward look. That is the fundamental sense of Platonic dialectic.4

2. Thus in Heidegger's manuscript.

3. AH: of man (in place of what is crossed out in the text: and for life.).

4. AH: Marginal note: in the sense of the original meaning of this philosophizing.