Franco Volpi - Heidegger and Aristotle

Translated by Pete Ferreira


A consequence of this diagnosis is the re-establishment of the disease of metaphysics and technology, which in the present age has become acute, and can no longer be achieved on the basis of traditional forces. The use of traditional Archimedian points such as the λόγος or ratio is negated by the Heideggerian conviction that they represent the prehistory of technology and that, as such, they may not be able to unburden nor emancipate us from it. Indeed, such an action would implicate us even more inextricable in the vicious cycle of metaphysics and technology.

Renunciation, self-sacrifice, abandonment would then be alternative commandments. They would be the only ways to reawaken conscience from the oblivion of being. And Heidegger waits for the preparations for such an awakening with a meditation on the history of metaphysics as history of the forgetfulness of being and a search for what is other with respect to this story, for something else, like repressed possibility, accompanies it in its deepest unconscious. Stressing his not having universal panaceas to offer, Heidegger appeals rather, in the steel shell that oppresses the disenchanted world of nihilism and technology, to that heroic attitude of thought that should allow us to stay upright in the whirlwind of nihilism; that should open the road to a new beginning; which would placate, in the rediscovered origin, the destiny of Τέχνη.

Now, this diagnosis of the modern disease, that connects technology with metaphysics and Greek thought, threatens to tarnish the positive sense of the confrontation with Aristotle and the Greeks that our survey aimed to highlight, supporting the need for the overcoming and abandonment of metaphysics. Nor is the pretext of the sometimes apocalyptic and messianic tones that characterize this diagnosis, enough to justify the refusal to consider it seriously. Above all because Heidegger captures with great clarity this essential aspect of the modern age, which by some parties is perceived as problematic.

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