Saturday, January 12, 2008
{12} The Western Tradition of Philosophy continued.
One might inquire more deeply as to why Heidegger insists upon translating the various words for being which he finds among the Greeks, such as Physis and Parousia, by the German word Anwesen (presence). Since Heidegger often writes the word hyphenated, An-wesen, that means that it is to be understood in its root meaning. He further insists that the word Wesen is to be understood verbally, not as a noun meaning essence or substance, its normal meaning in philosophical German. The word Wesen may very possibly have been chosen by Heidegger to describe the Greek notion of being because of its connection with living substances; and as was noted, Heidegger insists upon the connection of the Greek notion of being with that life. And the particular form An-wesen may also have been chosen by Heidegger because of its added association, along with that of "presence," with property, a piece of land which has been held for generations in the same family. This aspect of solidity was also one aspect of the Greek notion of being in Heidegger's view. On this score Heidegger goes back to the etymologies of the Old German to the word wesan, which meant Währen (i.e., bleiben, remain), the Sanskrit Vasati, which means to dwell, for the meaning of Anwesen as "bleibendes weilen," the "staying around for awhile" by which he translates the Greek word for being. And in translating the Greek word for being by the German word Anwesen Heidegger claims that the true meaning of the presence which comes out from the unconcealed, i.e., from out of truth, is preserved.

What, then, in the view of Heidegger is being for the Greeks? It is, in general, the presence of the present. It is not true to say, says Heidegger, that being for the Greeks is eternal. Being for the Greeks is rather finite and determined. It has limits. Physis is de-finite, in the sense that it is delimited and defined even though it is delimited and defined by itself. In its more solid aspects being is that which breaks forth into unconcealment and in unconcealment stays around for awhile. It is this aspect of the original Greek notion of being as Physis which becomes petrified, as will be seen in greater detail in the next section, in the metaphysics of Aristotle, just as, on the other hand, it is the appearing aspect of being (the Pha- of the related Phy- of Physis) which emerges as dominant in the philosophy of Plato, where being becomes Idea.
Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home
For when Ereignis is not sufficient.

Appropriation appropriates! Send your appropriations to enowning at gmail.com.

View mobile version