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The Principle of Reason [152-153]

it holds them apart and yet does not allow them to fall away from each other and hence disintegrate. This holding-together in keeping-apart is a trait of what we call the same and its sameness. This holding [Halten] pertains to a "relation" [Verhältnis] that still stands before thinking as what is to be thought. But through metaphysical thinking it does come to light in a particular shape; it does so most purely in Hegel's Logic.

When we say: being and ground/reason: the same, then being and ground/reason are not clumped into the greyness of an empty oneness such that one may then say "ground/reason" instead of "being" and instead of "being" say "ground/reason" according to one's inclination. Rather, each of the words give us something different to think, something which nevertheless we do not immediately appreciate even if the principle of reason is read in the second tonality: "nothing is without reason." This means that ground/reason reigns in the "is." But ground/reason grounds such that what it grounds is, that means, is a being.

The more sharply we distinguish "being" and "ground/reason," the more decisively are we compelled to ask: how do being and ground/reason come and belong together? To what extent does the principle of reason in the second tonality speak a truth, a truth whose import we can hardly imagine?

In the mean time we have spoken for a number of class periods about "being" and "reason" without our having fulfilled the most pressing requirement, which is to grasp that about which we have continually spoken—namely, "being" as well as ''reason"—with rigorous concepts and thus to secure in advance the necessary reliability for the course of the discussion. Why this neglect? The neglect comes from what we were speaking about when we were recalling the history of being and the principle of reason as one of the supreme fundamental principles. In recalling these things, being was spoken of in the sense of φύσις, of what emerges-on-its-own; being was spoken of in the sense of the objectness of the objects of experience. We talked about reason as ratio and as causa, as conditions for the possibility. Of course what we haven't taken as our immediate topic of conversation, but which nevertheless could and should have shown a little bit of itself in a mediate fashion on the path up to this point, is the following: what we in different ways named "being'' and "reason" and which was brought into a certain light in such a naming cannot, for its part, be put in a definition in the academic sense of traditional concept formation. If henceforward we neglect something that remains inadmissable to the matter at hand, then strictly speaking it is a matter of a neglect that in fact isn't one at all. But does this then mean the names that in various ways bring "being" and "reason" to language—does this mean that the thought we think in the historically diverse names for being and reason is fragmented into a chaotic dissemination? Not at all; for, in what looks like a chaotic manifold of representations when plucked out of history and shoved together historiographically, there is a sameness and simplicity of


The Principle of Reason (GA 10) by Martin Heidegger