The Principle of Reason [112-113] {GA 10 -}

and directed that it leads forth from what is more familiar [Vertrauteren] to us, namely because for us it is what is more overt , to that which, because it emerges on its own, is in itself more overt and in this sense what is always already taken for granted [Zugetraute]."

We must here forego a thorough interpretation of this sentence, whose linguistic construction is equal to the composition of the most beautiful Greek vase painting. The interpretation of the sentence requires going into the first chapter of the first book of Aristotle's Physics. This short chapter is the classic introduction to philosophy. Even today it still makes entire libraries of philosophical literature superfluous. Whoever has understood this chapter can venture the first steps in thinking.

In the cited passage Aristotle distinguishes τὰ ἡμῖν σαφέστερα from τὰ σαφέστερα τῇ φύσει. Each is concerned with τὸ σαφες: that which is oven. More precisely, Aristotle on the one hand distinguishes what is more oven insofar as it is seen in terms of us and in regard to our perceiving; on the other hand he distinguishes the more overt which is of such a son that it opens and manifests itself on its own. The latter is what is meant by the word φύσις: being. The "more overt" first mentioned, that is, that which is more accessible to us, is particular beings. Now, according to Aristotle's sentence the path of philosophy leads from what is more overt to us towards what emerges on its own. Consequently, we never immediately bring being into view. This is due to the fact that our eyes by themselves are not fit for directly bringing being into view, which means that in no way is it due to the fact that being withdraws. But Aristotle's sentence says exactly the opposite of that to which, through its introduction, the sentence was to bear witness for us, namely that being itself withdraws. Aristotle says: φύσις and what belongs to it is τὰ ἁπλῶς σαφέστερα. Being is what of itself is more overt. Without regard to whether or not it is expressly brought into view by us, it already shines; for it already shines even where we experience that which is only for us the more overt: particular beings. These show themselves only in the light of being.

However, if we were to be overhasty and completely ignore what is decisive, then we would concur with the assessment arrived at above that says being of itself is the more overt and is precisely what does not withdraw. If so, the question arises: has being also already cleared and lit its own essence and the provenance of this essence in the aforementioned self-nonwithdrawal? We must answer: no. In this emerging-on-its-own, in φύσις, there reigns after all a self-withdrawal, and this so decisively that without the latter the former could not reign.

Already before Plato and Aristotle, Heraclitus—one of the early Greek thinkers—had said: φύσις κρύπτεσθαι φιλει:33 being loves (a) self-concealing. But what does φιλεῖν, "to love," mean when thought in a Greek manner? It means: belonging together in the same. Heraclitus wants to say: To being there belongs