The Principle of Reason [84-86]

enough. Therefore, the errant course we have in view can instruct us as soon as we simply attend to it.

Sometimes we see and clearly have before our eyes a state of affairs. Nevertheless, we do not bring into view what is most obvious in what lies present before us. Seeing something and expressly bringing into view what is seen are not the same thing. Here, bringing into view [er-blicken] means to see into [ein-blicken] that which genuinely looks [anblickt] at us from out of what is seen-which means, what looks at us in terms of what is most proper to it. We see a great deal and bring into view very little. Even when we have brought into view what is seen, seldom are we capable of sustaining the aspect [Anblick] of what is brought into view and of holding in view what is brought into view. A constantly renewed, that is, more and more original appropriation is needed in order for mortals to have a true beholding of something. When thinking does not bring into view what is most proper to what is seen, then thinking looks past what lies present before it. The danger that thinking may overlook things is often exacerbated by thinking itself, namely by the fact that thinking too hastily presses forward to a false rationale. Such a pressing forward can be especially detrimental to a discussion of the principle of reason.

We can now apply what was briefly said about seeing, bringing into view, and overlooking to the case of the article entitled "On the Essence of Reasons. " For in this article, it is plain as day that the principle "nothing is without reason" says something about beings and doesn't shed the slightest bit of light on what "reason" means. But this view of the apparent content of the principle does not attain an insight into what lies closest at hand. Instead it allows itself to be compelled to take a step that is almost unavoidable. Thus, we can portray this step as an inference:

The principle of reason is a statement about beings. Accordingly, it gives us no information about the essence of reason. So, especially in its traditional formulation, the principle of reason is not fit as a guide for a discussion of what we have in mind when we contemplate the essence of reason. We see that the principle of reason says something about beings. But what do we keep from coming into view if we acquiesce to this assessment? What is there in what we have seen that can still be brought into view? We come closer here to what can be brought into view as soon as we more clearly hear-and keep in our ear-the principle of reason in that intonation that we provisionally called the normative intonation: "Nihil est sine ratione": "Nothing is without reason." The intonation allows us to hear a unison between the "is" and "reason," est and ratio. Indeed we already heard this unison before we made the assessment that the principle of reason speaks about beings and their having a reason.

Our thinking should now bring into view what has really already been heard in the intonation. Thinking should bring into view something one can hear. In so doing it brings into view what was un-heard (of) [Un-erhört][24] before.