Getting to the Topic
if it is to remain what it is. While using δύναμις as power for presence (ἐντελέχεια...), a moving being conserves it as possibility (... τοῦ δυνατού, ή δυνατόν). There are various ways of expressing this. We may say that the plant constantly “goes back into” its δύναμις (Insichzurückgehen)16 as it comes forth into appearance. Or we may say that the plant again and again seeks (re-peats) and draws upon (re-trieves) its δύναμις in order to appear. In order to name this process of drawing upon δύναμις for the sake of ἐνεργεια while allowing dynamic to remain relatively absent, Heidegger comes up with "Eignung," "appropriation." This is Heidegger’s proper title for movement, and it is the basic model of the concept of Ereignis. But there is a lot of mileage between Aristotelian κίνησις and the unique "movement" that is the emergent topos. Three examples, will illustrate how this Eignung respectively (a) operates externally in the movement of constructing an artifact, (b) takes on the formal pattern of “retrieve” in natural movement, and (c) is radically transformed into the pattern of retrieve stricte dicta in resolve, temporality and historicity.17
(a) While underway and unfinished, the process of constructing a table is the on-going appropriation (Eignung) of the appropriate wood (das Geeignete, τὸ δυνάμει ὂν) unto the incompletely attained εἶδος “table.” Note that in the generation of artifacts the appropriation-process is external to the product and does not provide its own appropriate material. The εἶδος προαιρετόν "table," which is the guiding force of the movement of construction, does not provide any wood but sends the carpenter to the lumberyard to buy it. (b) By contrast the movement of natural beings introduces a new element into the appropriation-process. In the growth of a plant the very process of generation is a "self"-provision of the appropriate material The plant "orders up" (bestellt) its own seed, which develops naturally into a flower which in turn "orders up" a new seed. This process of "ordering up" is the most primitive form of "retrieve." The becoming of a plant is the plant’s appropriation of its own δύναμις unto its own ἐνεργεια. In so doing, the plant takes over what it properly is (τὸ τί ἦν εἶναι, Wesen, Gewesenheit), i.e., it appropriates what it already is in δύναμις by becoming it in incomplete
16 "On the Being and Conception of Physis," p. 268.
17 Ibid., p. 254-263.