the fact that science itself does not think, and cannot think—which is its good fortune, here meaning the assurance of its appointed course. Science does not think. This is a shocking statement. Let the statement be shocking, even though immediately add the supplementary statement that nonetheless science always and in its fashion has to do with thinking. That fashion, however, is genuine and consequently fruitful only after the gulf has become visible that lies between thinking and the sciences, lies there unbridgeably. There is no bridge here—only the leap. Hence there is nothing but mischief in all the makeshift ties and asses' bridges by which today would set up a comfortable commerce between thinking and the sciences. Hence we, those of us come from the sciences, must endure what is shocking and strange about thinking—assuming are ready to learn thinking. To learn means to make everything we do answer to whatever essentials address themselves to us at the given moment. In order to be capable of doing so, we must get underway. It is important above all that on the way on which set out when we when we learn to think, we do not deceive ourselves and rashly bypass the pressing questions; on the contrary, we must allow ourselves to become involved in questions that seek what no inventiveness can find. Especially moderns can learn only if always unlearn at the same time. Applied to the matter before us: we can learn thinking only if we radically unlearn what thinking has been traditionally. To do that, we must at the same time come to know it.

We said: man still does not think, and this because what be thought about turns away from him; by no means only because man does not sufficiently reach out and turn to what is to be thought.

What must be thought about, turns away from man. It withdraws from him. But how can we have the least knowledge of something that withdraws from the beginning,

What Is Called Thinking?

GA 8 p. 10