Franco Volpi - Heidegger and Aristotle

Translated by Pete Ferreira


Therefore, against Schwegler, against Jaeger and against Ross (and instead adopting the theses of Thomas, Suarez and Bonitz),37 Heidegger not only supports the membership of Chapter 10 in book IX, but also affirms that it represents the pinnacle of the Aristotelian treatment of the problem of being: "The fact that Aristotle closes with Θ 10, interpreting being-true as proper being, indicates that Greek metaphysics' fundamental conception of being here comes to its first and ultimate radical expression."38 Indeed, for Heidegger, Aristotle is here dealing with truth taken in its ontological sense and as such relative to the things themselves (while the truth handled in Metaphysics VI, 4 is the being-true of propositions, i.e. of that connecting and separating that takes place in thought).

Heidegger also intends to show that the priority of being as true in the ontological sense which results from Met. IX, 10, and that is basically the priority of ἀληθές ὂν against the ἀληθεύειν of the connecting and separating of the soul, is closely linked to the Greek and Aristotelian understanding of being as constant presence. To the truth of predication, in fact, you cannot assign as the first-most because predication can discover but can also hide, and because if this characteristic the truth of being that it manifests it cannot guarantee a constant presence. This presence is greater than being itself, which as such cannot be true or false, but it is always true; and then it will ultimately be in that being that cannot be otherwise than it is and whose truth and presence are consistent in the highest degree. This is the case of the simple and indivisible. The character of truth, interpreted in connection with the idea of being as constant presence, ultimately belongs to – in decreasing order of importance – to the simple (ἁπλᾶ), to the disorderly (ασυνθετα) and to the indivisible (αδιαίρετα), and to a lesser extent – again in decreasing gradation – to the composites such as συνκειμενα and as συμβεβηκότα. Ἁπλᾶ, ασυνθετα, αδιαίρετα, συνκειμενα and συμβεβηκότα represent the gradations of being in relation to its function as constant presence and truth.

37 GA 21, 170 ff. [Logic.]

38 GA 31, 82. [The Essence of Human Freedom, 58.]

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