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§67 [466-567]


and, to keep up the image, we must think of Plato himself, in this discussion, as standing in the middle and undermining both sides from the middle.

What genuinely is at issue in this γιγαντομαχία περὶ τῆς οὐσίας? The issue is the disclosure of beings, the ones that genuinely satisfy the meaning of Being, and consequently the issue is the demonstration of the meaning of οὐσία itself. The way to demonstrate the meaning of οὐσία is to produce the beings which satisfy the meaning of Being. This latter task is not independent but is entirely included in the first. The question of the meaning of οὐσία itself is not alive for the Greeks as an ontological theme; instead they always ask only: which beings genuinely satisfy the meaning of Being and which ontological characters result thereby? The meaning of Being itself remains unquestioned. This does not imply, however, that the Greeks had no concept of Being. For without one the question of what satisfies the meaning of Being would be groundless and without direction. It is precisely the fact that the Greeks did not ask about the meaning of Being which testifies that this meaning of Being was obvious to them. It was something obvious and not further interrogated. This meaning of Being does not naturally lie in the light of the day but instead can be understood explicitly only by means of a subsequent interpretation. The meaning of Being implicitly guiding this ontology is Being = presence. The Greeks did not get this meaning of Being from just anywhere, they did not just invent it, but rather it is the one borne by life itself, by factual Dasein, insofar as all human Dasein is interpretative, interprets itself as well as everything that is a being in whatever sense. In this interpretation there is operative an implicit sense of Being. And indeed the Greeks drew their implicit sense of Being out of the natural immediate interpretation of Being by factual Dasein, where Being means to be there already at the very outset as possession, household, property [Anwesen]—put more sharply: as presence [Anwesenheit]. We will make use of this meaning of Being (which we ourselves first make visible, although of course we cannot discuss it further in this context), namely Being = presence, because it includes the whole problem of time and consequently the problem of the ontology of Dasein. We will simply make use of this meaning of Being if we can demonstrate, by the success of an actual interpretation of Plato's ensuing discussions, that this sense of Being in fact guided the ontological questioning of the Greeks—otherwise there is no way to demonstrate the function of this meaning of Being in Greek philosophy. And this will happen all the more easily to the extent that the following parts of the dialogue are precisely and thoroughly controversial, for that means people have not clearly inquired into what is at issue there.

The battle is first of all over what primarily and genuinely satisfies the meaning of Being, i .e., presence. That includes a battle over which mode of access to the genuine beings is the original one. For the two opponents,