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§36 Unconcealment/Event


"expropriation that belongs essentially to appropriation. This includes the question: expropriation whither? The direction and sense of this question were not discussed any further." [P. 43] The event of appropriation-expropriation is the thought of the most tenuous issue for philosophy ever and therefore a tenuous thought, only yo be hinted at. It is the thought of the phenomena's simple entering, always particular and precarious, into intercourse.

One can nevertheless attempt to follow three ways of access. (1) If the event of appropriation is to be understood along the lines of the neutral 'and' as well as of the 'fourfold', the concealment which, as expropriation, is operative in it cannot be broached through questions either about man or about entities that are epochally present or absent. Such arrival and withdrawal of entities within the arena where man is co-present to them was precisely stressed by the recapitulatory incidence, 'unconcealment'. But neither the 'and' nor the 'fourfold' refers to entities or man. The concept of event (if it can be called a concept) is, in a sense, the one most devoid of content that is conceivable. It carries less beingness than Aristotle's category of relation. Indeed: (2) To think being and time "is to think of the most difficult thought of philosophy, namely being as time." [P. 20] The play of appropriation and expropriation seems to address this 'as' prior to, and without regard for, being and time. In the most difficult though of philosophy - since it entails breaking with philosophy - being "disappears." [P. 43] This 'as', always finite and always other, would be permeated with a motility of its own. It would be the locus of the motility that hides and shows. In these hints one should see primarily a way of stating that the moving constellations of presencing continue to operate beyond the metaphysical closure: no longer (as indicated by the transitional category) in an 'epochal fashion, but acknowledged as inconsistent, transient. (3) The 'fourfold' does not signify anything other than the constellations - no longer of entities, nor even of presence and absence - of the event in which the particular 'presences'. In the idiom borrowed from Hölderlin, it signifies the ceaseless newness with which 'the earth and the sky, the gods and the mortals' determine 'the thing', each thing.

Heidegger describes that newness as so radical that one wonders whether it is still possible to speak of things in terms of species and genera. Manifestly, the movement of expropriation accuses extreme finitude. The category of 'event' complements that of 'world and thing' in pointing out the process character in that finitude. The category of 'event' complements that of 'world and thing' in pointing out the process character in that finitude. It brings into focus, not the present particular, but a particular presencing as particular, that is, as permeated with its unique negativity. While 'unconcealment', the recapitulatory incidence of this third category, indicates general constellations of presence endowed with a certain duration, its anticipatory incidence, the 'event' scatters the general, disregards even the particular thing, and fragments any thought-content other than this or that presencing singularized by its distinct absencing. Such plurification is impossible to transcend and thinkable only as a movement of 'rising' or 'clearing'.