Franco Volpi - Heidegger and Aristotle

Translated by Pete Ferreira


As we tried to show, precisely in the determination of the mode of being specific to being-there, and more precisely in defining the character of the connection that being-there has always had in confronting its being as having-to-be, Heidegger takes as the connecting thread of his analysis, the Aristotelian thematization of acts as πρᾶξις and of virtue in action as φρόνησις. In the horizon opened by this consideration, we are tempted to read in this light, some fundamental determinations of being-there, such as the Zu-sein, Sorge, Befindlichkeit, Verstehen, Gewissen and Entschlossenheit, and to suggest the hypothesis that in them are reprised and recast in an ontological framework the meaning of an equal number of Aristotelian determinations, such as πρᾶξις, ὄρεξις, νοῦς πρακτικός, φρόνησις and προαίρεσις.

However, this attitude of productive appropriation is progressively incorporated into a stance critical of the tradition in general and Aristotle in particular. This progressive detachment evolves, as we have seen, in conjunction with another thorough interpretation of Aristotle, namely in concomitance with the interpretation of the Aristotelian understanding of the phenomenon of time, through which Heidegger comes to the belief that the Aristotelian thematization of human life captures its fundamental attitudes, especially the theoretical, practical, and poetic, but he doesn't yet explicitly set himself the problem of the deep unitary connection on which they are based. In other words, Aristotle would not have explicitly posed himself the problem of determining what is the mode of being specific to human life, of the soul, which makes possible the plurality of other ways in which it is in the truth.

A page from Franco Volpi's Heidegger and Aristotle