§56 [376-377]

something we have already become familiar with, the συνορᾶν: they "see together" the very different things someone has said about one single matter. Τιθέντες (b7), when that happens, "they let be seen," ἐπιδεικνύουσιν (b7), what? Αὐτὰς αὑταῖς . . . ἐναντίας (b7f.), that the opinions "as it were, slap each other in the face," that one opinion, which has always claimed to show the matter about which it speaks, covers over what the other opinion shows, and vice versa. They let be seen this peculiar ἐναντίον among the δόξαι and specifically αὐτὰς αὑταῖς ἅμα . . . ἐναντίας (b7f.). The sense of this ἅμα cannot be grasped here in a wholly univocal way. We are tempted to take it without further ado as a temporal determination: "at once"—insofar as the δόξαι are understood as grasping one and the same matter in the very same sense of making present. That means the object of the opinions and the opinions themselves dwell in the character of the now: now the matter is so and so, or now the one opinion says this and the other says the opposite. But we must indeed leave the meaning of the ἅμα open here, and the same applies in general to the entire explication of what is really at issue, as I will show later. First of all it is a question of simply making visible the structures that are supposed to be uncovered in the διερωτᾶν, ἅμα περὶ τῶν αὐτῶν πρὸς τὰ αὐτὰ κατὰ ταὐτὰ ἐναντίας (b7f.). "Ἅμα the δόξαι speak "at the same time," "at once," against each other; περὶ τῶν αὐτῶν: as opinions "about the same matters"; πρὸς τὰ αὐτὰ, considering the same matters "in relation to the same other ones"; κατὰ ταὐτὰ, taking this relation itself for its part "in the same regard." This is a very rich formulation of what ταὐτόν properly means, in regard to which those who question thoroughly in this way see the δόξαι together and bring them together. All these terms, ἅμα περὶ τῶν αὐτῶν πρὸς τὰ αὐτὰ κατὰ ταὐτὰ, are meant to extract clearly the ἕν which must already be seen at the very outset and in relation to which the questions are oriented. What is essential to this διερωτᾶν is to lead the οἰόμενος λέγειν τι λέγων μηδέν in such a way that he sees the inconsistency with himself, the inconsistency within his own comportment. That means it has to be shown to him that he presents the matter at issue sometimes in one way and then again in another way: i.e., he does not have any relation at all to the matters themselves. Here it is always a question of the ἐναντίον of δόξαι, opinions. We must still take the term δόξα in an indeterminate sense, although, if the usual chronology is correct, Plato had already given in the Theaetetus a more precise characterization of δόξα, one which, to be sure, did not yet grasp the genuine phenomenon. What we have here then is a playing off of the δόξαι against each other, in order to make the one who has them confused about himself. But this is in no sense a discovery of the principle of contradiction. That is out of the question.

The principle of contradiction can be discovered only if the principle is