The Question Concerning Technology

to ponder the Being that opened itself to Greek antiquity in such a way as to leave to it its uniqueness and its strangeness. Protagoras' statement runs: πάντων χρημάτων μέτρον ἔστὶν ἄνθρωπος, τῶν δὲ μὲν οντῶν ὡς ἔστιν, τῶν δὲ οὐκ ὄντων ὠς οὐκ ἔστιν (cf. Plato, Theaetetus. 152).23

"Of all things (those, namely, that man has about him in customary use, and therefore constantly, chremata chresthai) the (particular) man is the measure, of those that presence, that they presence as they presence, but also of those to which it remains denied to presence, that they do not presence." That which is whose Being stands ready for decision is here understood as that which presences of itself within this sphere, within the horizon of man. But who is man? Plato gives details concerning this in the same place, when he has Socrates say: Οὐκοῦν οὕτω πως λέγει, ὡς οἷα μὲν ἕκαστα ἐμοὶ φαίνεται τοιαῦτα μὲν ἔστιν ἐμοί, οἷα δὲ σοί, τοιαῦτα δὲ αὖ σοί: ἄνθρωπος δὲ σύ τε κἀὶ ἐγώ;:24 "Does he (Protagoras) not understand this somewhat as follows? Whatever at a given time anything shows itself to me as, of such aspect is it (also) for me; but whatever it shows itself to you as, such is it in turn for you. You are a man as much as I."25

Man is here, accordingly, a particular man (I and you and he and she). And this ego is not supposed to coincide with the ego cogito of Descartes? Never. For everything essential, i.e., that which determines with equal necessity the two fundamental metaphysical positions in Protagoras and Descartes, is different in the

23. Cornford translates; "Man is the measure of all things-alike of the being of things that are and of the not-being of things that are not." Having given his own translation of the quotation at the beginning of this paragraph, Heidegger now proceeds to give, at the beginning of the next, a rendering of it that presents his thinking out or the thought of the Greek passage in his own way.

24. Cornford translates: "He puts it in this sort of way doesn't he?—that any given thing 'is to me such as it appears to me, and is to you such as it appears to you,' you and I being men."

25. This is a literal translation of the German, as the latter is of the Greek. However, it is impossible in English to bring out one emphasis that Heidegger himself gives. Following the Greek word order, he places als (as; Greek ὡς) at the beginning of the main clause in the sentence, in an atypical German construction. He is thus able to stress by a means not available in English the importance here of the appearance to the particular observer.