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The Age of the World Picture

from out of unconcealment and presencing is determined from out of unconcealedness in its particularity.30 But just how far removed is Descartes from the beginning of Greek thinking, just how different is the interpretation of man that represents him as subject? Precisely because in the concept of the subiectum the coming to presence of Being as experienced by the Greeks—the ὑποκεῖσθαι of the ὑποκείμενον,—still resounds in the form of a presencing that has become unrecognizable and unquestioned (namely, the presencing of that which lies fixedly before), therefore the essence of the change in fundamental metaphysical position is to be seen from out of that coming to presence of Being.

It is one thing to preserve the horizon of unconcealment that is limited at any given time through the apprehending of what presences (man as μέτρον). It is another to proceed into the unlimited sphere of possible objectification, through the reckoning up of the representable that is accessible to every man and binding for all.

All subjectivism is impossible in Greek sophism, for here man can never be subiectum; he cannot become subiectum because here Being is presencing and truth is unconcealment.

In unconcealment φαντασία comes to pass: the coming-into-appearance, as a particular something, of that which presences—for man, who himself presences toward what appears. Man as representing subject, however, "fantasizes" i.e., he moves in imaginatio, in that his representing imagines, pictures forth, whatever is, as the objective, into the world as picture.


9. How does it happen at all that that which is displays itself in a pronounced manner as subiectum,31 and that as a consequence


30. In this sentence Heidegger shows the wholly mutual relation that he envisions between Being (Sein) and what is (Seiendes), i.e., between presencing and what presences, that each is forever determining and determined by the other. Cf. "The Onto-theo-logical Constitution of Metaphysics," in Identity and Difference, trans. Joan Stambaugh (New York: Harper & Row, 1969), pp. 61 ff., 128 ff.

31. Here "displays itself" translates sich auslegt. Auslegen is usually translated in these essays with "to interpret." For Heidegger the interpreting accomplished in metaphysics is the correlate of the displaying of itself in its Being vouchsafed by that which is.