is the system, σύστημα. The systematic and system-building way of forming ideas through concepts takes control.
Concept and system alike are alien to Greek thinking. Greek thinking, therefore, remains of a fundamentally different kind from the more modern ways of thinking of Kierkegaard and Nietzsche who, to be sure, think in opposition to the system, but for that very reason remain the system's captives. By way of Hegelian metaphysics, Kierkegaard remains everywhere philosophically entangled, on the one hand in a dogmatic Aristotelianism that is completely on a par with medieval scholasticism, and on the other in the subjectivity of German idealism. No discerning mind would deny the stimuli produced by Kierkegaard's thought that prompted us to give renewed attention to the "existential." But about the decisive question-the essential nature of Being—Kierkegaard has nothing whatever to say.
But must here give attention to another matter. The interpretation of Greek thinking that is guided by modem conceptual thinking not only remains inappropriate for Greek thinking; it also keeps us from hearing the appeal of the problematic of Greek thinking, and thus from being held to a constantly more urgent summons to go on questioning. We must not fail, of course, to reflect on why and in what way it was precisely the thinking of the Greeks that essentially prepared the development of thinking in the sense of forming conceptual ideas; indeed, Greek thinking was bound to suggest that development. But on the path which we are following here, the important thing for us is first to see that our modern way of representational ideas, as long as it stubbornly holds to its way, blocks its own access to the beginning and thus to the fundamental characteristic of Western thinking. The translations alone make this point clear:
We now translate