with Thomas Sheehan on the Aristotelian roots of Ereignis
Because for Aristotle experience in the broadest sense is always experience of beingness, it is therefore always of the presentness of beings in their stable telos or ergon (cf. en-tel-echeia, en-erg-eia). Movement, however, is the very lack of stable presentness and fulfilment, and for that reason would seem to be excluded from beingness (cf. Physics, III, 2, 201b 20f.: me on). But the genius of Aristotle, as Heidegger likes to repeat,’4 is precisely that he grasped movement as a kind of beingness (energeia tis, 201b 30f.), the condition of a being which at once stands in its telos (en-tel-echeia) without having fully arrived there (tou dynatou hei dynaton, 201 b 5), the state of a being which Is presentin partial appearance, yet absent in relative non-appearance (energeia ateles, 201 b 32).Continued
"Relative non-appearance"—that is, non-appearance for the sake of appearance—is what Heidegger takes Aristotle to mean by dynamis; indeed, this dynamis is the possibilizing condition for a moving being’s partial and negatived appearance. Precisely this "atelic" quality of a moving being is what allows it to remain in movement, for were the dynamis brought forward into the telos, the being would be achieved and the movement would cease. This atelic presentness constitutes a unique interplay of presencç and absence, for along with its limited presence, a moving being’s non-presence or possibilizing absence also becomes present in a special way. For example, the absence of Pierre from the café and of my stolen bicycle from the rack are indeed present and given, even when the absent beings are not. Likewise in a growing natural . being, the relative non-appearance of the source of growth indirectly becomes present in allowing the flower to appear. To spell out dynamis in terms of presence and relative absence is to lay out the geneologically most primitive form of “retrieve” (Wiederholung). Indeed if it may be said that Heidegger’s topic is the emergent topos (physis) and if, as Heidegger argues, physis is kinesis or energeia ateles, and if this atelic presence has the fundamental structure of drawing dynamis finitely into energeia while ever allowing dynamis its non-appearance, then we may begin to see anew the unity and simplicity in Heidegger’s thought precisely by discovering its Aristotelian roots.