Franco Volpi - Heidegger and Aristotle

Translated by Pete Ferreira


The fundamental novelty that Aristotle had introduced was precisely the ontological consideration of the genesis of language, which Heidegger, summing up his interpretation, thus intends as: "Words emerge from that essential agreement of human beings with one another, in accordance with which they are open in their being with one another for the beings around them, which they can then individually agree about-and this also means fail to agree about."9 And it is essential to emphasize that this agreement does not depend on the will of individuals participating in the agreement, but it is the horizon within which their participation happens.

This aspect of language, which precedes and influences participation in it, is stressed by Heidegger as well in the interpretation of the semanticity of the λόγος in general, also too as the ontological basis of the apophanticity of assertive discourse, and precisely in showing the interconnections of the structure of the λόγος to the structure of the world. Here, too, Heidegger recalls that the be-true or false of the λόγος comes from its σύνθεσις or διαίρεσις character expressed in the copula, which is here defined as the indifference of Was-sein, Daß-sein and Wahr-sein10; and even here, that character is based ontologically in man's discovering attitude (Verhalten)11, indeed it is in the power (Vermögen) that man has to discover the entity and to establish a world,12 here is the establishment of the world and the "ground of the inner possibility of the λόγος".13 However, while previously Heidegger had seen the basis of the discovering attitude in the structure of the hermeneutic as-long-as which connotes being-there itself as understanding, here he asserts that the structure of the as-long-as is, even before the structure of understanding, the essential determination of the world itself in the sense of the manifestness of the entity in itself. In this way the structure of the as-long-as is connected to a common root not only and not so much with being-there, but also and especially with being itself.

9 GA 29/30, 447. [The Fundamental Concepts of Metaphysics, P. 308-309.]

10 See GA 29/30, 456-483. [Ibid, 315-333.]

11 Ibid, 486. [Ibid, 335.]

12 Ibid, 489. [Ibid, 337.]

13 Ibid, 486. [Ibid, 335.]

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