289 §48. Objections and Answers

actuality, its Janus face turned toward the past, is the most violent principial grip ever. But because it is the rationality of control fully deployed at last, it also harbors, pointing ahead, the possibility of a turning toward a non-principial mode of presencing. "Higher than actuality stands possibility. " It is this possible turning that letting-be, or 'releasement', prepares.


4 . Poiein kata phusin.

The hypothesis of closure obliges us to understand the turning (die Kehre) as an occurrence that comes about in the twentieth century's economy of presence. The turning in Heidegger's thinking is, then, secondary, an echo of the turning in the contemporary arrangement of phenomena. Now if this turning, rendered possible today, completes a movement begun twenty-five centuries ago, it affects the domain of the doable as much as that of the thinkable. Furthermore , if this turning consists in an emancipation from epochal principles, we will no longer need to invest certain among us with a special mission, that of establishing reference points legitimating praxis. There will no longer be 'philosophers', but perhaps there will be 'thinkers'.

Philosophy and reason in general are in league with the epochal principles. Reason imprints, imposes , informs. Thinking, for its part, is essentially compliant with the flux of coming-to-presence, with constellations that form and undo themselves. To think is to follow the event of appro­priation, to follow phuein . Therefore in the final analysis, there is only one rule for the direction of thinking: phusis understood as the movement of emergence out of absence into presence.

What would the acting be that would prepare an economy freed from ordering principles? It would be an acting following that same rule. Heraclitus described it as poiein kata phusin, "acting according to presencing. "13 Since an ordering principle initiates and commands, since it is the arche of an epoch, such acting preparatory to a post-modern economy would be literally an-archic.


§48. Objections and Answers

1. Granted, Heidegger can argue that the technological turn yields the potential of a transition toward an anarchic economy of presencing. But if entities and their representations have indeed lost their mensurating power—if being alone is to provide the measure—does that turn not, on the contrary, risk preparing the terrain for a regime more 'archic' than ever? This danger should already be empirically evident: nothing produces its contrary more surely than lofty ideas about social relations at last freed from all coercion, especially when 'thinking' is to function as the sole thread of Ariadne toward freedom. More fundamentally, is the very argument for an end of principial economies not fraught with danger? It is not


Reiner Schürmann - Heidegger On Being and Acting