is no more than a pre-scientifically intended relation to something we still happen to call "tree." In truth, we are today rather inclined to favor a supposedly superior physical and physiological knowledge, and to drop the blooming tree.

When we think through what this is, that a tree in bloom presents itself to us so that we can come and stand face-to-face with it, the thing that matters first and foremost, and finally, is not to drop the tree in bloom, but for once let it stand where it stands. Why do we say "finally"? Because to this day, thought has never let the tree stand where it stands.

Still, the scientific study of the history of Western thought reports that Aristotle, judged by his theory of knowledge, was a realist. A realist is a man who affirms the existence and knowability of the external world. Indeed, it never occurred to Aristotle to deny the existence of the external world. Nor did it ever occur to Plato, any more than to Heraclitus or Parmenides. But neither did these thinkers ever specifically affirm the presence of the external world, let alone prove it.

Summary and Transition

We got into the question : what is this anyway—to form an idea? For the moment, I need not remark on the steps that brought us to this point. But must always keep reminding ourselves of the way we are trying to walk. We mark it with the question: what is called thinking—what does call for thinking? By way of this question, we get into the question: what is this to form a representational idea?

It could be supposed that the forming of thoughts and the forming of ideas may well be one and the same thing. The prospect opens up on this possibility, that the traditional nature of thinking has received its shape from representations,