Diverse Writings 4

 Absolutely Divine Everyday: 
Tracing Heidegger's thinking on godliness(1)

With an appendix on Aristotle's purely energetic god of the fair

Michael Eldred

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    Table of contents

    0. Abstract

    1. The irreligious Heidegger 

    2. Early Heidegger on Plato and Aristotle

     3. Transzendenz zur Welt 1928 

      4. Heidegger's quiet appropriation of Hegel as the thinker of the mysteries of being

    5. Heidegger with Heraclitus in the kitchen

    6. The perplexing figure of the "last god" 

    Appendix: Aristotle's purely energetic god of the fair 

    I. The initial appearance of the divine in Aristotle's Metaphysics and its misinterpretation by the tradition 

    II. Tracing Aristotle's search for an ou)si/a which is a)i+/dion kai\ a)ki/nhton kai\ xwristo/n in Book Lambda 

    III. The ontological grounding of the god as the formal and final cause of to\ kalo/n seen by nou=j and the finiteness of human mind 

    IV. The fatal first step in the Metaphysics that skips over an alternative path for thinking: The sight of whoness 


    0. Abstract 

    This paper traces Heidegger's thinking on the divine from early to late, calling at some of the salient stations along the way, starting with the 1920s lectures on Plato and Aristotle. One major point of call is Hegel's dialectical-speculative thinking of the Absolute which Heidegger will characterize as onto-theo-logic. In overcoming the hyphen between 'onto' and 'theo', Heidegger will neutralize the venerable metaphysical ambiguity between the ontic and the ontological and hence also between the ontological and theological. This clears the way for thinking the Absolute as the divine embedded prosaically, at home in the everyday itself. How close the uncanny divine is to home is apparent also in Heidegger's retelling of the anecdote about Heraclitus in the kitchen. The trace ends with a brief comment on "the last god". The appendix following endeavours to rethink Aristotle's famous god and godliness in his Metaphysics

    1. The irreligious Heidegger 

    The title of this conference is Heidegger und Religion. Is it an apt title? Should it read rather: Heidegger, nicht Religion? There are many indications in Heidegger's writings that his thinking is concerned precisely with rejecting the claims of religion on thinking, not merely by drawing a line between his own thinking and the theology that resulted from the appropriation of Greek metaphysics by Christianity, but by seeking an access to the divine which religion positively occludes. We shall see that, from the early to the late Heidegger, there is the insight that the divine is close at hand, closer than we think, especially under the influence of the Christian and other monotheistic religions. {In particular, we shall see that Heidegger reads Hegel as a thinker who prepares the way for the Absolute to be brought down to Earth at the consummate end of the metaphysical epoch, and indeed, in such a way that the world in its worldliness becomes the locus of the divine.} If religion is marked by the separation of the divine from the worldly, the sacred from the temporal, the transcendent from the everyday, then the entire thrust of Heidegger's thinking is irreligious, i.e. a counter-movement to religious thinking and religion as normally understood and practised. Instead, his thinking participates in an historical movement embedding the divine in the everyday in such a way that we can speak of an absolutely divine everyday. 

    We shall now begin to concisely trace Heidegger's thinking on the divine from early to late. 

    2. Early Heidegger on Plato and Aristotle 

    Heidegger had insight into the non-religious nature of the metaphysical divine already early on in his lectures on Plato and Aristotle. He draws attention to Aristotle's conception of to\ qei=on as contemplation or speculation of to\ aei)/ o)/n, of that which always is as it is. That which always is is standardly taken to mean the celestial bodies which move in the heavens in 'eternal' circles, but it also means metaphysically or ontologically to\ ti\ h)=n ei)=nai, standardly rendered in English as 'essence' but saying literally 'the what-it-was-being' or 'the what-it-was-ness', a very strange Aristotelean neologism coined to formulate what a being always already was, independently of its factual, ontic existence in the traditional sense. And of course, metaphysical speculation is concerned precisely with learning to see what things always already were in their essences, and this, according to Aristotle, is a seeing of the divine. Heidegger therefore draws a line between to\ qei=on and o( qe/oj, between the divine and the god, in Aristotle, the latter having been appropriated by Christian theology as the summun ens and causa sui on which all other beings depend causally for their very existence. One reason for drawing this line is that a causa sui is a somewhat, and not a 'somewho' with whom a personal relationship were possible.(2)  The essence as divine, however, is a sight or ei)=doj of the being qua being in what it is and always was, and this sight is the genuine ontological insight into beings. Of this insight, Heidegger claims that it is divine but that there is "nothing religious"(3)  about it. Here, already, we have the nub of how Heidegger's thinking distances itself from Christian metaphysics, locating the divine in things themselves, even in the most banal and inconspicuous things. 

    Similarly, in his Plato lectures in the 1920s, Heidegger is at pains to show that Plato's ideas are not located in some transcendent beyond, but are present in everyday things themselves. Hence, according to Heidegger, there is no great gulf between the 'idealist' Plato and the purported 'realist', Aristotle, as commonly asserted. Rather, both are concerned with the divine sight of that which makes a being a being, an endeavour distinct from trying to discover in a supreme being the ultimate cause or ai)/tioj of beings. It has always been an infelicity that Plato's attempts at elucidation of his thoughts by telling mythical parables have invariably been taken at face value for 'the real thing', thus sending entire traditions of commentators on a wild goose chase in their interpretations of the Platonic idea. 

    At one point, Heidegger draws attention to Plato's observation that the philosopher is hard to see because the place where he stands is very bright and he notes, citing Plato, that "the eyes of the many" are unable "to stand looking at the divine for very long".(4)  Here we have Plato himself drawing a demarcation line between what the philosopher can see "steadfastly" and what the rest can see only fleetingly. It is a demarcation line that Heidegger will not put into question. What the philosopher has is wisdom, a knowing insight into the depths of things which discovers their being. Such a sight is divine without being religious. The philosopher does not need to be tied back (religio) to a god as supreme being and hence ultimate cause of all beings, nor, as knowing, does the philosopher need to have faith in the existence of a god to whom he trustingly ties himself. Philosophical insight is also not associated with the celebration of a cult or religious rites. Here we can see already a gulf opening up between philosophical insight and religious experience as commonly understood in both the West and elsewhere. Plato nevertheless concedes that the many can see the divine, but "not for long". The many are not "steadfast" in looking at the sight of the divine, a looking-at that calls for the practice of thinking which, however, still leaves open the possibility of the many, despite their "unpractised eye", being able to at least glimpse the divine in an insight, perhaps not a knowing one, but at least an inkling or sensuously mediated perception. 

    3. Transzendenz zur Welt 1928 

    In the second half of the 1920s we move on to Heidegger's opus magnum, Sein und Zeit, published in 1927. The lectures he gives in Summer Semester 1928 resonate still with the problems with which he engaged in Sein und Zeit. The problem of transcendence takes up a large swathe of the latter part of the 1928 lectures. First of all, Heidegger has to distance himself from the traditional concepts of transcendence which he labels "epistemological transcendence" and "theological transcendence". Epistemological transcendence, he says, concerns the problem within subjectivist metaphysics of how the subject can get from its consciousness within which it is encapsulated to the outside world in order to know it. The transcendence is one of crossing over from the inside of consciousness to the outside with its objects. Theological transcendence, by constrast, concerns 'climbing over' beyond the given beings in the world to the unconditional Absolute on which all else depends causally, hence making them relative, conditional beings (GA26:206). Theological thinking attempts to 'climb over' (transcendere) everyday beings to the Absolute beyond. 

    Heidegger rejects both these conceptions of transcendence (GA26:211) and goes on to elaborate an alternative conception, which could be called ontological transcendence, pertaining to the subjectivity of the subject. The subject, Heidegger says,(5) must have always already, from the outset, "leapt over" beings to that which "enables in the first place" beings to stand over against it as objects. That which enables beings to stand as or qua beings is what Heidegger calls "world", so that the originary transcendence of the subject is accordingly a transcendence to the world itself, which is not to be understood as an ontic totality of beings but as the ontological structure, that is, the world in its worldliness, that enables beings to show up and present themselves as beings in the first place. Because the subject has always already climbed over to the world itself in a preontological understanding of being, there is no epistemological problem of how the subject gets from inside its consciousness to objects out there in the world. Rather, the subject is always already in the world, and therefore Heidegger renames the subject Dasein, whose ontological structure is to 'exist', i.e. to stand out into the world among all that is and thus to be being-in-the-world. 

    Dasein as the ontological structure of human existence is eo ipso transcendent. It is transcendent precisely to the world, not to a transcendent, other-worldly 'beyond'. By virtue of this transcendence it is always already endowed with an understanding of being which, however, is not explicit, but implicit. This implicit understanding of being which enables Dasein to be in the world in an understanding way is what Heidegger calls a "preontological understanding of being". This preontological understanding of being can become explicit, explicated or unfolded ontological insight only through philosophical thinking which brings to light the blindingly inconspicuous ontological structures that enable a world to shape up as a world for Dasein. 

    Heidegger says little in these lectures to distinguish his conception of transcendence as being-in-the-world from theological transcendence. Instead, he concentrates on showing up the inadequacies of the epistemological transcendence that presents itself as a problem within subjectivist metaphysics, and Kantian and Neo-Kantian, Marburgian metaphysics (GA26:209) in particular. Nevertheless there is a highly significant footnote(6)  that explains why the problematic theological transcendence was left to one side, as Heidegger says, because of a "violently fake religiosity nowadays" (heutigentags, bei der gewaltsam unechten Religiosität). The footnote makes an explicit connection between transcendence to the world and the divine. The link lies in the "understanding of being as the overpowering, as holiness" (Übermächtigem, qua Heiligkeit). It is not a matter of "proving the divine ontically in its existence" (ontisch das Göttliche in sein 'Dasein' zu beweisen), he says, but of throwing light upon the "origin of this understanding of being from the transcendence of Dasein" (den Ursprung dieses Seinsverständnisses aus der Transzendenz des Daseins). The divine is hence to be found in uncovering how the "idea of being" belongs to the "understanding of being". It is therefore apparent that Heidegger remains true to Plato and Aristotle in uncovering, albeit in a different way and from a different casting of human being itself as Dasein, the idea of being that transcends all beings, thereby enabling, [or being culpable (ai)/tioj) for,] beings to be beings as such. 

    In further distancing himself from what he regards as "fake religiosity" (unechten Religiosität), Heidegger freely admits that he is an atheist insofar as God is asserted or believed to exist ontically. Indeed, he asks pointedly whether those who profess a "supposed ontic belief in God" are in truth practising "godlessness" and, for good measure, he suggests that a "genuine metaphysician is more religious than the usual faithful, members of a 'church' or even the 'theologians' of every confession" (der echte Metaphysiker religiöser ist denn die üblichen Gläubigen, Angehörigen einer 'Kirche' oder gar die 'Theologen' jeder Konfession). Heidegger's drift is more than apparent at this point: the divine and "holiness" are to be discovered by gaining philosophical insight into being itself as the "overpowering" that overcomes beings, enabling them, in the first place, to stand as beings within Dasein's understanding. Humans themselves are claimed qua human beings by an overpowering that exposes them to the understanding of being that overcomes beings. Dasein's transcendence to the world is therefore holy, the true source of the divine, not in any ontic sense, but as an ontological overpowering. Since "Dasein's transcendence" is claimed by Heidegger to be the source of the "understanding of being", holiness and the divine are located in the transcendence to the world itself. As already noted, the world here is not understood ontically as the totality of beings, but ontologically as the world in its worldliness. As such, according to Heidegger's 1928 lectures as well, the divine is located within the everyday world itself. 

    The traditional distinction between the worldly and the other, transcendent world beyond has no meaning in Heidegger's thinking of the divine either in his early 1920s lectures on Plato and Aristotle, in 1928 or even thereafter. The theological transcendence to an independent, unconditional, absolute being upon which all else causally depends also makes no sense in Heidegger's recasting of transcendence, because the "idea of being" only "overcomes" human being in an interplay within historical time-space. The existential structure of Dasein itself is interpreted already in Sein und Zeit as temporality, so the traditional distinction within theological transcendence between the temporal and the timeless or eternal loses its meaning. Human being as Dasein in interplay with being has been cast as temporally finite, as opposed to the traditional metaphysical casting of the divine as infinite and timeless. Nevertheless, Heidegger has not done away with the divine, but relocated it in the world. 

    4. Heidegger's quiet appropriation of Hegel as the thinker of the mysteries of being

    {The next station we will call at to retrace Heidegger's thinking on the divine is his quiet appropriation of Hegel. I say 'quiet' because Heidegger held relatively few lecture courses focusing on Hegel, published little on Hegel and never launched a thorough-going, explicit destruction of his thinking comparable to his Kant critique. Heidegger certainly often distances himself from Hegel with disparaging remarks about the dialectic, and he characterizes Hegel's system as the unsurpassable culmination of metaphysics, and yet what he ultimately has against Hegel is never spelt out in an explicit wrangling with the Hegelian system, and with Hegel's Logik in particular. Indeed, in a very late seminar at Le Thor in September 1968, we find Heidegger even teaching his students how to understand an Hegelian, speculative proposition. I surmise that the reason for Heidegger's relative reticence on Hegel and his schematic characterization of Hegel's speculative, dialectical thinking is that there is a closer affinity between the two thinkers than Heidegger would ever want to admit. 

    In his lectures in Summer Semester 1927,(7)  at least, Heidegger is able to praise Hegel for having liberated logic from its formal strictures, thus breathing the life of genuine ontological questions back into it. At the same time, however, he criticizes Hegel for having "dissolved ontology into logic" (die Ontologie in Logik auflöste, GA24:254). Heidegger therefore proclaims that a major task for philosophy in the present age is that Hegel must first be "comprehended" (begriffen GA24:254) and then overcome; indeed he declares the "overcoming of Hegel [to be] the inner, necessary step for developing Western philosophy" (Überwindung Hegels [als] der innerlich notwendige Schritt in der Entwicklung der abendländischen Philosophie, GA24:254). This is a significant claim that deserves underscoring, and therefore it is surprising that in the ensuing discussion of logic in his 1927 lectures, Hegel himself is not cited, but only the post-Hegelian, Lotze. 

    In the present context where we are considering the divine, it is crucial to note that in Hegel's thinking, the Absolute, usually taken as a synonym for God, is thought speculatively and dialectically, with the consequence that the Absolute can no longer be postulated as a being in a transcendent beyond, i.e. as a summun ens on which all else causally depends, but is itself an empty name given many, many predicates throughout the movement of dialectical thinking itself. At each and every stage of the dialectic, says Hegel, the categorial stage reached can also be understood in the form of a statement of the form, "The Absolute is ...". Thus, at the very beginning of the Logik, the Absolute is being per se, then the Absolute is nothingness and becoming, progressing dialectically to more concrete determinations as essence and the concept, and on to the absolute idea. The Absolute is all this, and is hence a movement of ontological thinking that is absorbed in its predicates. 

    Moreover, this dialectical movement of thinking is ontological from start to finish, not any sort of ontic movement such as, for instance, an implicit historical unfolding even though, as we shall see, it has consequences for history. In starting with being per se, and insisting on this starting-point as the only possible, valid one, Hegel marks a turning point for the Western philosopical spirit because now being per se or as such is distinguished from beings as such, thus preparing the way for finally overcoming, in Heidegger's thinking, the ambiguity inherent from the outset of metaphysical thinking in Plato and Aristotle in the term to\ o)/n between being and beings. The dialectical-speculative movement of thinking is ontological also in the sense that it sees the sights of being and beings as such. Hegel undertook what no thinker before or since has attempted, namely, the thinking-through of all the metaphysical categories in a connected, systematic way. Such a dialectical thinking-through means that the traditional categories are no longer taken for granted, as they have been ever since Aristotle set down his list of categories, but rather, their presuppositions are explicitly given successively by deriving them, one after the other, from the most abstract category, which is being itself. Being itself is pure immediacy and indeterminacy and therefore the same as nothingness. As such, it itself has no presuppositions and can therefore serve as a starting-point. 

    Hegel's Logik therefore lays out the ontological structures of metaphysical categories in a connected way which is then to serve, in a further speculative-dialectical movement of thinking, as the foundation for the philosophy of nature and the philosophy of spirited mind. The further thinking moves in its dialectic, the more determinations grow together to derive increasingly concrete categories and phenomena. Each stage in the dialectical movement presupposes what has gone before which, in turn, has been grounded by even more prior categories. Hegel claims that dialectical thinking can speculate on concrete phenomena such as "beauty, truth, ethical life", deriving them step by step from the more abstract categories such as "being, non-being, unity, plurality".(8) The Logik thus serves as the quarry of building blocks from which the world in its ontological worldliness is constructed. Hegel's thinking unlocks the mystery of the ontological structure of the world, enabling ultimately also concrete, human phenomena, and in particular, social phenomena, to be brought to their ontological concepts. He claims, too, that "the ancient philosophers knew very well that such abstract thoughts were invaluable for the concrete" thus recognizing the great and laudable achievement of the ancient Greeks in having uncovered the highly abstract categories as indispensable for insight into the world. They did not achieve, however, the long dialectical movement of thinking that would have linked the most abstract concepts with the most concrete phenomena. 

    At the same time as praising the Greeks for having unearthed the most abstract ontological categories that will serve as building blocks ultimately for the concrete worldliness of the world, Hegel shifts the usual understanding of the Greek mysteries. These, he asserts, for the Alexandrian philosophers, and for the Neo-Platonist Proclus in particular, are not the religious cults of mystery practised at places like Eleusis, but "speculative philosophy" itself.(9) According to Hegel, Proclus discovered in the famous, highly abstract and complex dialectic of the One in Plato's Parmenides,(10) which Hegel lauds as "the most famous masterpiece of Platonic dialectic" (dem berühmtesten Meisterstück der Platonischen Dialektik., VGPII W19:79.),(11)  as "true theology, as the true revelation of all the mysteries of the divine being" (wahrhafte Theologie an, für die wahrhafte Enthüllung aller Mysterien des göttlichen Wesens). How can Hegel make such a claim? "Because," he says, "by God we understand the absolute essence of all things; this absolute essence is precisely in its simple concept the unity and movement of these pure essentialities, of the ideas of the one and the many, etc." (Denn unter Gott verstehen wir das absolute Wesen aller Dinge; dies absolute Wesen ist eben in seinem einfachen Begriffe die Einheit und Bewegung dieser reinen Wesenheiten, der Ideen des Einen und Vielen usf.).(12)  Hegel therefore insofar continues the fateful metaphysical tradition of passing back and forth without care across the ambiguity between being and beings, between 'Wesen' understood as a being and 'Wesen' understood as essence, between the divine understood ontologically and the divine understood ontically as a divine being. 

    All of these Hegelian insights are not antithetical to Heidegger, and he quietly appropriates them, at the same time making a couple of crucial and clarifying modifications. The first modification is that Heidegger, already from early on, is careful to distinguish between being and beings, and especially between being as divine and the divine being. The former is an ontological insight only to be had by the thinking mind. The latter is an ontic thing, albeit the supreme being among other beings, for whom there is no so-called ontological proof of its existence, but only faith in its existence. As we have seen already from his 1928 lectures, Heidegger is content to locate the divine solely in the ontological dimension and to leave ontic assertions about a god's existence alone. In 1957, Heidegger confirms his reticence about speaking of God "in the realm of thinking" (im Bereich des Denkens).(13)

    The second clarifying modification of Hegel's thinking that Heidegger performs in his important study on 'Hegel's Concept of Experience' from 1942/43 is to note simply that Hegel's dialectical-speculative thinking of the Absolute in both the Phänomenologie des Geistes and the Logik, although in a formal sense adequately characterizable as a theology, is in truth thoroughly worldly, i.e. secular.(14)  This turning of the tables on Hegel's Logik, in particular, as the foundation of the entire system, brings it into its proper light as an ontology of the world in its worldliness in which the most abstract and simple concepts serve as the scaffolding on which the world in its concreteness is built.(15)

    But there is a further nexus between Hegel's and Heidegger's thinking at this juncture, and that is both thinkers' thinking on history. The abstract categories thought through in philosophical thinking are for Hegel not merely "word-abstractions" but "deeds of the Weltgeist [...] and therefore of destiny" (Taten des Weltgeistes [...] und darum des Schicksals)(16)  which the philosophers are able to see because they have been initiated into the mysteries of philosophical thinking. These abstract concepts thought in an ontology shape up in world history as the building blocks on which the world rests and of which it is constituted. Hegel provides the example of the trinity, the concrete unity of three in one, through which "the [Neo-Platonic] Alexandrians grasped the nature of spirited mind" (Die Alexandriner [...] haben die Natur des Geistes aufgefaßt. W19:488) and which went on to become world-historical in forming a basis for the Christian world and the Christian epoch. Such an insight into the world-historical import of so-called 'abstract philosophical ideas' is not at all foreign to Heidegger who, within his thinking of the history of being, accords apparently abstract metaphysical concepts such as e)ne/rgeia and certitudo the weight and scope to cast an historical world epoch. 

    This uncanny affinity between Hegel's and Heidegger's thinking on history becomes less odd when we call to mind that Heidegger has been quietly appropriating Hegel's philosophy and adapting it to his thinking on being from his habilitation thesis right up to the very last seminars with his French disciples in Le Thor in the late 1960s. The major difference between Hegel's and Heidegger's thinking on history is that Hegel conceives world history as a continuous unfolding of the Weltgeist in which what has been prepared, or can be seen retrospectively, in abstract philosophical thinking shapes an historical world, whereas Heidegger underscores the leaps and ruptures in the sendings from being.(17)  Thus, for instance, there is a rupture, including a recasting of the essence of truth between the medieval Christian world, whose philosophy is theology, and the Modern Age inaugurated by Cartesian subjectivist metaphysics. 

    As we have noted, one of Heidegger's major adaptations of Hegelian dialectical speculation is to rid it of its ontic-ontological ambiguity. Hegel's Logik, although deserving the title of "onto-theo-logic" which Heidegger attributes to it in 1957,(18)  when read in another, more adequate way, namely, as the systematic dialectical thinking-through of the ontological building blocks of the world, is in truth simply a dialectical ontology in which the qeo/j has become the qei=on of speculative-ontological insight itself. The Absolute can no longer be tied down as a god, as a divine being, but rather, the divine is in the world itself. 

    The divine comes into the world and is prosaically close at hand as the worldliness of the world. Being so close at hand, the world in its godliness is unrecognizable for any religion that experiences the divine as situated in a transcendent beyond and postulates a transcendent god. Hegel is above all a thinker who shows that the Absolute cannot be pin-pointed as a transcendent supreme being with a list of attributes such as omniscience, omnipotence, etc., but commingles in countless ontological shapes with finite beings which, as overpowered by the Absolute, are made to stand as beings and, at the same time, are made infinite, insofar as beings are overcome by the dialectical movement that transcends the limits of merely finite understanding which is unable to see the difference of the ontological dimension and merely seeks to fix its determinations in a rigid, so-called 'logical' order, thus setting up its orderly definitions and limits. This is apparent already in Hegel's interpretation of the Platonic ideas, which he brings down to earth in declaring, "that this essence of things is the same as the divine being" (daß dies Wesen der Dinge dasselbe ist, was das göttliche Wesen, W19:84). Such an interpretation agrees entirely with Heidegger's. The difference between Hegel and Heidegger resides in Hegel's continuation of the metaphysical ambiguity between the divine understood both ontically and ontologically. Only by holding on to this ambiguity can Hegel retain his Christianity. Without it, the world in its worldliness becomes thinkable as infinitely finite and finitely infinite, and hence absolutely divine in its very everydayness. 

    Apart from clarifying and dispensing with the distinction and ambiguity between ontology and theology that marks traditional metaphysics as onto-theo-logic, Heidegger also seeks to find the as yet "unthought unity" (ungedachte Einheit, IuD:51) of these two essential, onto  und theo-logical strands of metaphysical thinking in the famous "step back" (Schritt zurück, IuD:46, 61, 63). The step back brings being itself along with the clearing of self-concealment into view, the mysterious source from which all difference is granted and arises.} 

    5. Heidegger with Heraclitus in the kitchen

    {Around the time when Heidegger was engaged with writing on "Hegel's concept of experience", he also held lectures,} in the summer semesters of 1943 and 1944, <Heidegger held lectures> on Heraclitus. This is an interesting stopping-point for our retracing of Heidegger's thinking on godliness because it shows just how everyday for Heidegger's mind the presence of the divine can be. Heidegger begins his lectures by relating the famous anecdote handed down by Aristotle about Heraclitus receiving a visit from strangers, who were surprised and disappointed to find him quite mundanely standing at the kitchen stove, warming himself. Heraclitus beckons them to come in, encouraging them with the words, "Here, too, the gods are present".(19)

    Heidegger interprets this anecdote by claiming that when Heraclitus says that the gods are present even where he is warming himself at the kitchen stove, he is in truth saying that "only [...] in the inconspicuous everyday" are the gods present. Heidegger goes on to say that: 

    You don't need to evade what is familiar and ordinary and go in pursuit of what is exciting and stimulating in the deluded hope of encountering the unordinary in this way. You should just keep to your daily and ordinary affairs, like I am doing here, staying in the kitchen to keep warm. Isn't what I am doing and that with which I am occupied not sufficiently filled with signs?(20)  (Heidegger, GA55:8 Heraklit
    Once again, Heidegger points to the presence of the unordinary in the ordinary, of the uncanny in the canny, familiar and banal, thus bringing the mystery close to home, even into the kitchen. There is no need to go in search of and to celebrate something otherworldly because the divine, with its "signs", is present right here in the world. Therefore, Heidegger says, the "distress of thinkerly care" is "to care thinkingly about the unordinary in everything ordinary".(21)  The reference to a "distress" of thinking indicates not only that it is difficult to see the presence of the divine unordinary in the inconspicuously mundane, familiar and everyday, but also that it is difficult and dangerous to try to bring others to see it. He points out that "the relationship of the Greeks to the gods is moreover a knowing and not a 'faith' in the sense of a deliberate holding-to-be-true on the basis of an authoritative annunciation. We do not yet fathom in which incipient way the Greeks were the knowing ones." (Wir ermessen es noch nicht, in welch anfänglicher Weise die Griechen die Wissenden gewesen.(22)) Are these Greeks to whom Heidegger is referring the ancient Greeks in general in their world populated also by the gods, or are they, as "knowing ones", only the philosophers? Heidegger rejects that it is only the philosophers who know. He claims, on the contrary, that only the Greeks as knowing "found the beginning of proper thinking. They weren't knowing just because they had a philosophy" (Weil sie es gewesen, deshalb fanden sie den Anfang des eigentlichen Denkens. Nicht etwa waren sie Wissende, weil sie eine Philosophie besaßen.). 

    Accordingly, even the cults at Delphi, Eleusis and elsewhere would have to be understood as based on a knowing relationship of the Greeks to their gods, i.e. that their gods were simply present and gave signs, just as Heraclitus says, "The lord of whom the oracle is in Delphi neither says nor hides but gives signs."(23)  These oracular signs, of course, had to be interpreted, thus setting a hermeneutical task for anyone being given a sign from Delphi. Thus, most famously, Socrates received the sign from the Delphic oracle that there was no man wiser than he, a sign which Socrates then went on to examine and test by questioning his fellow Athenian citizens. In this way, Socrates was true to the motto over the entrance at Delphi, gnw=qi s"auto/n "Know thyself". This motto is echoed in an oft-quoted line from Pindar, ge/noi', oi(=oj e)ssi maqw/n. "Become, learning who you are!" (Pindar 2nd Pyth., line 72). Learning and knowing must indeed be distinquished from faith, from holding something to be true on the basis of unknowing, i.e. blind trust. "Become, learning who you are!" can be regarded for the Greeks as a god-given task of uncovering the truth about oneself as a human being by following the enigmatic signs present in the ordinary. 

    Perhaps for the ancient Greeks their gods were present in such a self-evident, matter-of-course way unimaginable to us today for whom it is just as self-evident that there are no gods present in a matter-of-fact way, especially when standing at the kitchen stove to keep warm. Perhaps the matter-of-course sign-giving presence of the gods in the everyday disposed the Greeks to being receptive also to pursuing philosophical insight by taking up the inconspicuous presence of the divine in the signs present even in the most banal and familiar things. The unordinary ontological dimension indicated in the ordinary everyday was not alien to them, and so their exceptional ones were inclined to follow the signs and question more deeply the very close, blindingly obvious and yet enigmatic phenomena of being itself and non-being, the one and the other, the same and the different, movement and standstill, and all the other categories that drew philosophers such as Plato into a dialectic of abstract ideas. 

    Conversely, perhaps the Greek philosophers were also able to 'naturally' draw the attention of even the uncultivated many to the enigmatic signs of the unordinary in the ordinary because the Greeks had a hermeneutic relationship with their gods based on knowing through following indicative signs, and not on faith or authoritative, holy scripture. If we ask today whether ordinary mortals need the unordinary to celebrate the divine, the empirically plausible answer would be, yes, they do. The divine is set apart as the out-of-the-ordinary, and cultivated and celebrated in certain cult ceremonies. Moreover, normal people's relationship to the divine is first and foremost one of trusting faith in a transcendent being dwelling in a separate, transcendent, supernatural realm, about which modern, knowing, scientific thinking, by virtue of its very casting, can only be highly skeptical. By rethinking transcendence and locating it in the world itself, Heidegger has taken a step toward reconciling the dichotomy between modern faith and modern knowing by demonstrating phenomenologically that there is indeed a mysterious, enigmatic dimension present 'in between', even and especially and ubiquitously in the inconspicuous everyday. It is a deficiency in modern scientific knowing itself that it is unable to see this dimension, that is, that it systematically skips over it. Knowing insight into this ontological dimension is one important aspect and one possibility pointed to by the divine presencing closer to home. 

    6. The perplexing figure of the "last god"

    We come now finally to a brief comment on the figure of "the last god" from Heidegger's Contributions to Philosophy (Of Enpropriation) from 1936/38.(24)  "The last god" is a puzzling figure, above all because thinking, Heidegger claims, has the highly mediated task of "preparing the preparedness for keeping oneself open for the arrival or non-arrival of the god".(25)  This formulation indicates that we are at least three steps removed from any arrival or non-arrival of the last god. In the Spiegel interview from 1966, Heidegger hints at the non-arrival and refusal to appear, rather than at the eventual arrival of this last god, which non-appearance, he says, would nonetheless suffice for "a liberation of human beings from [...] succumbing to beings"(26)  and a "rescuing and sheltering of the truth [of beyng] in beings"(27)  by grounding "the clearing of the Da," {i.e. the Here in which beyng can hide itself}.(28)

    How does the thought of the last god square with what Heidegger says otherwise about the divine as ontological and about the non-existence of a god in the ontic sense? Only an ontically understood god could "hate",(29)  for instance, but how can Heidegger speak with such intimate knowledge about a hating god who is yet to arrive in history? Is Heidegger's conjuring of the last god a relapse into religious yearning? Is this last god to satisfy the needs of the many who will never attain proper philosophical insight by following the enigmatic signs? Or is Heidegger's pre-pre-announcement the preparation for the enduring non-appearance of a god, for his merely indicative passing-by in a refusal to appear? Apart from the hints in the Spiegel interview, we have only the Beiträge to go on which, however, Heidegger himself characterizes in the motto over the entire script as "hints [...] reserved in long hesitation as a straight-edge for a formulation".(30)  This says that the Beiträge as a whole, and, in particular, the sketch of the last god, are only notes for a further elaboration which, however, was not forthcoming. To call the Beiträge Heidegger's "second opus magnum" is therefore a misleading misnomer.(31)

    The last god, Heidegger says, echoing Heraclitus, gives only a sign or clue (Wink) in passing by (Vorbeigang). This sign, however, is supposed to suffice for the "innermost finitude of beyng" to "reveal itself".(32)  This last, sign-giving god therefore has nothing to do with timeless eternity, but with coming to know the finite horizon of historical time-space inhabited by mortal human beings, and this insistence on finitude accords with the entire thrust of Heidegger's thinking from beginning to end. It is also plain that Heidegger casts the last god in a counter-casting to the Christian God, since he announces unambiguously in the motto to the section on the last god that he is "the completely other god over against the gods that have been, especially against the Christian one".(33)
    But why cast a god at all, especially a god whose arrival or non-arrival from the future is to be prepared by "preparing a preparedness for keeping oneself open"? Is it not possible for ordinary mortals to become aware of the absolutely divine mystery of the most inconspicuous everyday without invoking a god, albeit a god who will refuse to appear? Or is this god himself only a passing, non-existent indication, an enigmatic sign of the inconspicuously present mystery? 

    Appendix: Aristotle's purely energetic god of the fair

    I. The initial appearance of the divine in Aristotle's Metaphysics and its misinterpretation by the tradition 

    Whether the supposed ontic belief in God is basically godlessness? 
    Ob aber nicht der vermeintliche ontische Glaube an Gott im Grunde Gottlosigkeit ist? Martin Heidegger GA26:211 
    There are two parallel sites in Aristotle's Metaphysics where, famously, the "divine" (qei=on) initially crops up. These are Met. Epsilon/VI 1026a20 and Met. Kappa/XI 1064a36, where Aristotle also introduces the distinction between three "speculative philosophies" (filosofi/ai qewrhtikai/ 1026a19) or speculative "sciences" (e)pisthmw=n 1064b2), namely, physical, mathematical and filosofi/a qeologikh/ (1026a20; cf. 1064b3), this third dealing with the "divine". Because this theological philosophy deals with the divine, it is also the "first" (prw/th 1026a16) among the three speculative or theoretical philosophies. Whether such a theological philosophy exists apart from and prior to the other two, Aristotle claims, depends upon "whether there is something forever and immovable and separable/able to stand for itself" (ei) de/ ti/ e)stin a)i+/dion kai\ a)ki/nhton kai\ xwristo/n 1026a11). In the tradition of commentary on Aristotle, this "something" (ti/) has invariably been taken to mean a being of some sort, the seed crystal of what will turn out to be "the god" (o( qeo/j 1072b31) who first appears in Book Lambda/XII Chapter 7, understood as an ontically existing being. Hugh Tredennick(34)  renders this ti/ as "a thing" and Horst Seidl(35)  as "etwas" or "something" which, in his commentary on this passage, is explicitly understood as "the 'eternal, unmoved and separable' being as different from the (initial) object of physics and mathematics".(36) The three qualities of being eternal, immovable and separable are to qualify a somewhat as divine which, in turn, will prove to be the god. 

    The tradition also mostly understands xwristo/n exclusively as 'separable from matter' and soon entangles itself in contradictions with this single-minded understanding which conveniently makes a dichotomy between physical beings inseparable from matter and intelligible beings separable from matter, including the god and angels, and therefore thinkable in themselves. Tredennick, for instance, renders xwristo/n at 1026a11 as "separable from matter" and Seidl, somewhat better, as "Abtrennbares (Selbständiges)", i.e. "separable (independent, standing for itself)". Tredennick then fudges just a few lines further down where Aristotle speaks of physics as dealing with xwrista\ me\n a)ll" ou)k a)ki/nhta ("separable but not immovable" 1026a14) by translating this phrase, "things which exist separately but are not immutable", whereas Seidl provides a better rendering "von abtrennbaren (selbständigen), aber nicht unbeweglichen Dingen", i.e. "separable (independent) but not immovable things". The Greek xwristo/n does mean 'separable', but also 'standing for itself' or 'able to stand for itself', and it is by no means the case that in Aristotle's writings xwristo/n can be uniformly or even mostly understood as 'separable from matter', for such an interpretation would already make a nonsense of the just-quoted characterization of physics as dealing with xwrista\, since all physical beings are material. Hence, in each individual context it has to be decided whether an interpretation of xwristo/n as 'separable from matter' is appropriate. 

    The next stumbling block or aporia for the interpretation of these parallel passages, which has been controversial for two millennia, concerns the double title for the Metaphysics as filosofi/a qeologikh/, on the one hand, and as the investigation of to\ o)\n v(= o)/n, beings qua beings or beings in their being, on the other. How do these two rubrics fit together? The "theological philosophy" is designated as the "first philosophy" because it deals with an ou)si/a a)ki/nhtoj (1026a29), and this ou)si/a is interpreted as a being, a first being or "substance" (Tredennick) or "Substanz" (Seidl S. 422). The theological philosophy of this first being or substance would be concerned with a specific entity as a somewhat, namely, the divine being or god, separable from matter, whereas the investigation of beings qua beings would be concerned with the whole (kaqo/lou). This corresponds to the distinction in traditional metaphysics between metaphysica specialis and metaphysica generalis. This disparity has been resolved in the (especially Thomist) tradition by interpreting the first, divine "substance" also as the first, divine "cause" (Ursache, Seidl S. 422) on which all beings depend. What kind of "cause" is intended here is at first unclear. Although Aristotle has a fourfold distinction among causes (ai)/tia), it seems at first that the "divine substance" is understood as an effective cause, an effective mover effecting both the existence and movement of all beings.(37)  The various kinds of causes will come to the fore when we follow through Aristotle's line of thought that tracks down the "unmoved mover". 

    It is, however, questionable, or at least worthy of questioning, whether the divine ou)si/a a)ki/nhtoj can or must be understood as a being or substance at all, and it is remarkable that the commentaries do not grapple problematically with the various possible meanings of ou)si/a as summarized in Delta Chapter 8, which range from simply the various kinds of beings, including "animals and daimonia" (1017b12) through to to\ ti/ h)=n ei)=nai ("the what-it-was-ness", usually rendered as 'essence', 1017b22), and o(\ a)\n to/de ti o)\n kai\ xwristo\n v(=: toiouton de e(ka/ston h( morfh\ kai\ to\ ei)=doj ("what is a this-here and standing-for-itself; such, however, is in each case the form and sight", 1017b26). 

    Assuming, however, that the ou)si/a a)ki/nhtoj sought is simply a kind of being, viz. a divine being, compels certain readings of Aristotle's text. Thus, in the parallel section in Book Kappa, Aristotle asks whether there is an ou)si/a xwristh\ kai\ a)ki/nhtoj "which we shall try to show" (1064a36) and continues, "and if there is such a nature (fu/sij) in/among beings (e)n toi=j ou)=sin), here, if anywhere, would be also the divine, and this would be the first and most powerful principle/beginning (a)rxh/)" (1064a38). The phrase, e)n toi=j ou)=sin, can be understood most literally as "in beings", but also as "among beings". Tredennick has "in the world of reality", whereas Seidl has "unter dem Seienden" or "among beings", and these renderings are a consequence of assuming that the divine ou)si/a must be a separate divine being, separable also from matter, that is in the world or among (other) beings, whereas an alternative signification of ou)si/a as an ontological element would allow this divine ou)si/a to be in beings. 

    As we shall see, or as I will endeavour to show,(38)  the key to interpreting the divine ou)si/a in the Metaphysics is provided by the last 'definition' in Delta Chapter 8 as ei)=doj, i.e. the 'sight' which each singular being as a 'this-here' offers of itself as a being, and it is noteworthy that the ei)=doj crops up precisely in connection with the individual 'this-here' as xwristo\n, i.e. standing-for-itself. It is the defining, delimiting sight or look which enables a singular being to stand as a being and to show itself as a being within its defining limits. The signification of ou)si/a as 'substance', on the other hand, is at the best ambiguous, having more to do with one possible signification of ou)si/a as u(pokei/menon (1017b24), i.e. as that which 'underlies' a predicate predicated of a subject, which reduces to signifying merely an independent being of some sort, or as that which 'underlies' the change of something, namely, matter, u(/lh (1070a20). But matter does not have a stand within itself, and of itself is unable to present itself as a being, for it offers no sight of itself as such. 

    If we put into question a predominant traditional reading (influenced by Neo-Platonism) of an ou)si/a which is a)i+/dion kai\ a)ki/nhton kai\ xwristo/n to mean 'self-evidently' a divine being upon which all other beings causally depend, in order to discover another possible reading and line of thought latent in Aristotle's text, we first have to keep in mind that already the inaugural definition of metaphysics as the investigation of to\ o)\n v(= o)/n, i.e. beings insofar as they are beings, for Aristotle immediately becomes an investigation of ou)si/a. Accordingly, the most precise, neutral and open rendering of ou)si/a in this regard has to be 'beingness', for metaphysics is the philosophy of beings in their beingness, but, significantly, this possible rendering of ou)si/a as 'beingness' or 'Seiendheit' is entirely lacking in the metaphysical tradition, although the Latin 'essentia' does have the required homology but often is used also for to\ ti/ h)=n ei)=nai.(39) The very word, ou)si/a, is already 'built' as the noun-substantivization of the feminine present participle ou)=sa of the verb, ei)=nai 'to be'. The term ou)si/a thus retains an ambiguity that vacillates between meaning simply a being or kind of being (albeit invariably in a mode of being), on the one hand, and, on the other, the decisively ontological being-ness of a being, as brought to expression most incisively in the ontological concepts of the unchanging, immovable to\ ti/ h)=n ei)=nai which turns out to be the ei)=doj, i.e. that which the being always already was as a sight. 

    The metaphysical tradition, however, translating ei)=doj as 'forma', has a tendency toward understanding ei)=doj ontically, being misled perhaps by geometrical forms such as the 'circle' or the 'sphere', as if these forms, because they can be sensuously represented, are merely ontic, or by other sensuously perceptible forms, such as the drawn figure of a human being. But ei)=doj is ontological through and through, and the circle or sphere as such can only be seen ontologically by the mind, i.e. by a mind that is open to beings as or qua beings. To the present day, there seems to be confusion among Aristotle scholars over the thoroughly ontological status of ei)=doj(40)  and indeed all the categories in Aristotle's metaphysics, without exception. They have not properly understood the fundamental, crucial formula for metaphysics, namely, to\ o)\n v(= o)/n, and are blind to the apophantic as that enables a being to show itself as a being. The apophantic as is the inconspicuous, easily overlooked site 'in between' of the ontological difference

    To gain an alternative interpretation of the divine ou)si/a which does not merely assume that Aristotle is 'self-evidently' postulating or affirming the existence of a divine being, we must follow through the elaborate ontological grounding of this problematic ou)si/a provided by Aristotle in Book Lambda/XII in a progression from Chapters 1 through to 6. As we shall see, this book is anything but an ontological proof leading cut-and-dried to a god who 'exists'. 

    II. Tracing Aristotle's search for an ou)si/a which is a)i+/dion kai\ a)ki/nhton kai\ xwristo/n in Book Lambda

    Aristotle himself takes up the question concerning ou)si/a again in Book Lambda/XII, the famous book in which "the god" (o( qeo/j) appears in its 7th chapter. Right at the beginning of this book, in the first chapter, after announcing in the first sentence that "the theory/speculation here is about ou)si/a" (Peri\ th=j ou)si/aj h( qewri/a  1069a18), the three decisive terms, a)i+/dioj, a)ki/nhtoj and xwristo/j, crop up immediately once again in connection with three ou)si/ai, namely, i) the a)i+/dioj ai)sqhth/ (perpetual sensuously perceptible), ii) the fqarth\ ai)sqhth/ (perishable sensuously perceptible) and iii) the a)ki/nhtoj (unmoving/immovable) ou)si/a (1069a30-34) comprising the ei)/dh and perhaps also the maqhmatika/. The first two are movable and changeable and as such are studied by physical science (1069b1), whereas the third is investigated by "another" science "if there is no common beginning/principle to all three" (ei) mhdemi/a au)toi=j a)rxh\ koinh/ 1069b2). Note that this third kind of ou)si/a is not a class of sensible beings and can hardly be regarded simply as a dichotomous ontic classification into movable and immovable beings, i.e. a cutting-into-two into sensuously perceptible, physical beings, on the one hand, and, on the other, intellectually perceptible, metaphysical beings. On the contrary, from the sequel there is no doubt that Aristotle treats the ei)=doj as having the nature of an a)ki/nhtoj ou)si/a, and the ei)=doj is perhaps the most emphatically ontological signification of ou)si/a of all, referring to a being's beingness as the sight which a being (including especially a sensuously perceptible being) presents of itself qua a being. The ei)=doj as a)ki/nhtoj already fulfils one of the criteria for the ou)si/a sought. Unlike physical ou)si/ai, which indeed can be regarded also as kinds of beings, the ei)=doj is not subject to change (metabolh/ 1069b3) and it is not a being understood as ontically or factually existing. It remains unclear, however, whether the ei)=doj is xwristo/n,(41) as "some say" (tine\j fasi 1069a34) and, if so, in what sense. 

    To discover whether and in what sense ei)=doj also fulfils the criteria of a)i+/dion and xwristo/n, Aristotle proceeds in Chapter 2 to analyze at first sensuously perceptible or movable beings further (and not some kind of transcendent, intelligible beings separable from matter), thereby uncovering their ontological "causes" (ai)/tia 1069b33), "elements" (stoixei=a 1070b18) or "principles/beginnings" (a)rxai/ 1070b18), namely ei)=doj, ste/rhsij and u(/lh (1069b34, 1070b19), or the sight, lack and matter. These elements of sensuously perceptible beings, it must be emphasized, can only be seen as such with the mind's eye, which is capable of analyzing. The sight and lack or privation of sight are opposites (e)nanti/wsij 1069b33). An example provided by Aristotle himself is that of the sight of a house, a certain disorder (which is the lack of the sight of a house), and bricks (1070b29). Matter such as bricks is potentially either a house or its opposite, an unsightly heap, in actuality, and the opposites of the sight and the unsightly lack can change into each other. Matter presenting a sight can decay into the unsightly and, conversely, the unsightly can become sightly. Thus, the further ontological categories of du/namij and e)ne/rgeia (1069b17) also come into play, since matter has the potential or power (du/namij) of 'suffering' (pa/sxein) to have a sight, an ei)=doj impressed upon it when the latter sets to work (e)nergei/#). 

    Aristotle analyzes all change as the change of "something by something into something" (pa=n ga\r metaba/llei ti kai\ u(po/ tinoj kai\ ei)/j ti 1070a1). The something changed is matter (u(/lh), changed by "the first mover" (tou= prw/tou kinou=ntoj 1070a2), into something, the ei)=doj (1070a2) or sight. The mover is not an element of sensuously perceptible beings, but it is a cause and principle/beginning and, as such, an ou)si/a (1070b24-26) so that Aristotle says there are three elements, but four causes and beginnings (1070b27). It is apparent from this analysis of movable, sensually perceptible beings into four ontological causes or principles/beginnings that Aristotle undertakes a productivist analysis of beings in their beingness. Such a productivist analysis applies also to physical beings proper that have a beginning or principle of movement within themselves and thus bring forth their own movements of four kinds::bringing themselves forth alongside the movements of change of place, alteration, and growth and decay. Their reproductive or progenerative movement, in particular, is then thought as au)topoi/hsij, i.e. self-production, where the governing starting-point (a)rxh/) of movement is "in itself, (for a human being generates a human being)" (e)n au)t%= (a)/nqrwpoj ga\r a)/nqrwpon genn#=) 1070a8). There are therefore "three ou)si/ai" (1070a10) or ontological 'beingnesses', namely, i) "this matter here", ii) "this nature here and a disposition toward it" (an ou)si/a, namely, the ei)=doj) and iii) what is composed of these in each case "such as Socrates or Kallias" (1070a13). He notes that "with some, the this-here is not (does not exist) next to the synthetic ou)si/a (for instance, of the house the ei)=doj, except as the te/xnh; and there is no genesis and decay of such, but in another way, a house without matter and health and everything according to know-how are and are not), but if so, then with physical beings" (1070a13-18). 

    The significance of this remark is that, in the case of beings produced by know-how, the sight is and is not, exists and does not exist without matter, i.e. apart from in a synthesis or an amalgamation with matter. The "moving causes pre-exist the beings" (kinou=nta ai)/tia w(j progegenhme/na o)/nta 1070a22) produced, whereas the lo/goj or ei)=doj exists "simultaneously" (a(/ma 1070a22), e.g. health is/exists when the man has become healthy (1070a23). In other words, the sight of health is in the healthy man, and the sight of the figure of the bronze sphere is/exists simultaneously with the produced bronze sphere itself (1070a25). Aristotle then says that whether the sight "remains" (u(pome/nei 1070a25) still has to be investigated, but that, in some cases, "nothing prevents this, for instance, the psyche may be such as this, not all of it, but the nou=j" (1070a26). So, in the case of know-how, the sight "remains" in the mind. And, in the case of physical beings, the existing, amalgamated sight is already in the starting-point, since, for example, "a human being generates a human being" (1070a29). From this he concludes "that it is not necessary [...] that the  i)de/aj are/exist (ei)=nai)" (1070a29), an implicit criticism of Plato. That the sight "remains" in the mind already provides a crucial hint,. foreshadowing the transition to understanding the ei)=doj as an a)i+/dioj ou)si/a in the further course of Aristotle's train of thought, starting with Chapter 6. 

    That the sight is in the mind has the further consequence that, in one sense, there are four causes of movable beings, namely the sight, the lack of sight, matter and the mover, e.g. "health, illness, body; the mover: medical know-how, or the sight, a certain disorder, bricks; the mover: the know-how of house-building" (1070b28-29), but, "since in physical beings the mover of a human being is a human being, and in those of thought the mover is the sight or its opposite, in one way there are three causes, but in another four, because health in a way is medical know-how, and the sight of the house is house-building know-how, and a human being generates a human being" (1070b30-34). The mover (to\ kinou=n) is therefore ambiguous in the case of produced movable beings because the sight and the know-how can either be regarded as two different causes or as one and the same, since the sight, as know-how, is in the mind. In the case of physical progeneration, however, this sight is already in the mover as the sight the mover itself shows of itself, the mover moving itself in reproducing itself. If the four causes are thus reduced to three, therefore, the mover is the sight itself. So, when Aristotle says that all change is a changing of something by something into something (1070a1), thus giving three causes, namely, matter, the mover and the sight, these three reduce to two insofar as the mover of the matter is the sight itself, the sight being initially in the matter itself, as in the case of physical reproduction, or in the mind, as in the case of a change brought about by know-how. In other words, the three causes, the material cause, the effective cause (or mover) and the eidetic or formal cause, reduce to two, because the effective and formal causes are the same, i.e. in a certain sense, the sight moves the matter in the case of both physical and produced movable, sensuously perceptible beings. 

    After showing that the four causes, in a certain way, can be reduced to three insofar as the sight itself is the mover, Aristotle adds, "Moreover, besides these [there is], as first of all, the mover of all" (1070b34) This "first mover of all" must therefore be seen in connection with the sight as mover. Tredennick footnotes at this point, "For the first time the ultimate efficient (sic) cause is distinguished from the proximate," even though Aristotle has just reduced the efficient cause to the formal or eidetic cause, i.e. to the sight itself as cause. And Tredennick continues, "Aristotle is leading up to the description of the Prime Mover which occupies the latter half of the book [Lambda]", thus revealing unmistakably that, in Tredennick's view, this "Prime Mover" is to be understood as an efficient cause. But what if this very first mover, the motor of all, has to be understood as the sight? Seidl's commentary on this sentence that this first mover is the "supreme final cause transcending all" (allem transzendente, oberste Zweckursache, S. 556) is closer to the mark, although at this stage only eidetic or formal cause, but not final cause, has been introduced by Aristotle. 

    In Chapter 5, Aristotle turns first of all to the question of the ou)si/ai as xwrista/ (1071a1) and notes that it is precisely the ou)si/ai which can stand separately for themselves and which are now named as "psyche and body, or mind, appetite and body" (1071a3). These ou)si/ai or a)rxai/ can also be viewed from the viewpoint of du/namij and e)ne/rgeia, so that it is matter that is in the mode of being of potentiality (duna/mei 1071a10), and the sight (and lack of sight) which is in the mode of actuality or at-work-ness (e)nergei/# 1071a8) "insofar as it [the sight] is able to stand for itself" (e)a\n v(= xwristo/n 1071a8). Aristotle has already said (1070a13-18) that, in the case of physical beings, the ei)=doj exists as a this-here and hence stands for itself, and in the case of produced beings, it stands for itself in the know-how which, in turn, is in the mind. Furthermore, as we have seen, it is the ei)=doj which enables a this-here to stand for itself (Delta 8 1017b26) in defining what this-here is through its eidetic limits. So it can be said that the ei)=doj is an ou)si/a a)ki/nhtoj kai\ xwristh/

    With Chapter 6 we come finally to the crucial question as to whether there is an a)i+/dioj ou)si/a, with the candidate for this being the ei)=doj, as carefully prepared in the preceding chapters. Aristotle again picks up the thread from the beginning of Chapter 1 where he has distinguished three kinds of ou)si/ai, two of which are movable, and the third, the sights, is immovable, and says that this last now has to be discussed to show "that there is necessarily an a)i+/dion ou)si/an a)ki/nhton" (1071b4-5). He starts by asserting that movement (ki/nhsin) cannot become or perish because it "was always" (1071b8). Likewise for time (xro/non 1071b8). Furthermore, the only continuous movement is locomotion (ki/nhsij kata\ to/pon 1071b11), and of such motion, circular motion (ku/kl% 1071b12) in particular. Now, if there is something "moving or productive" (ki/nhtiko\n h)\ poihtiko/n 1071b13), it must be at work (e)nergou=n 1071b13), for if it were merely potential there would be no movement. Therefore, he says, it would be "useless" for us to postulate a)i+di/ouj ou)si/ai such as the ei)/dh if they did not have a du/namij as a principle/beginning of change within themselves (ei) mh/ tij duname/nh e)ne/stai a)rxh\ metaba/llein 1071b15-16). "And not even this is enough, nor positing another ou)si/a beside the sights for, if it is not at work, there will be no movement" (1071b17-18). 

    So what is needed are sights that are always at work, continually bringing forth movement, namely, in this case, perpetual circular motion. For this reason, it is also not possible that at first everything arose from "night" and "all things were together" because "how could anything be moved if there were no cause at work (e)nergei/# ai)/tion)" (1071b28) and "matter does not move itself" (1071b29). Such sights as such are, of course, "without matter" (1071b22), and this must be so because matter is du/namij that admits either the impression of a sight or the lack of sight (ste/rhsij) and is therefore not always necessarily at work (e)nergei/#). Aristotle criticizes Leukippos and Plato for simply positing something that is always at work causing movement without saying why or what kind of movement, but praises Anaxagoras in particular for specifying this something as nou=j (1072a5). This mind is thought in analogy to building know-how (tektonikh/ 1071b30) which, through gathering in the lo/goj, fore-sees the sight of what is to be produced, the difference being that, whereas the builder's mind may be asleep or on other things, this first mind is always at work, and its working is time itself because time is "either the same as or an affection of movement" (1071b10). 

    Hence, to assert that both movement and time were "always" (a)i)ei/ 1071b7), which is itself a temporal determination, amounts to saying that they are (exist) only simultaneously, so it makes no sense to ask what was 'before' there was something at work causing movement, whether it be a uniform, "periodic circuit" (perio/d% 1072a9) or the movement of "becoming and decay" (ge/nesij kai\ fqora\ 1072a11), although it is the former that is caused by an unmoving ou)si/a. The train of thought in Chapter 6 is to be deepened in the next chapter. 

    III. The ontological grounding of the god as the formal and final cause of to\ kalo/n seen by nou=j and the finiteness of human mind 

    Chapter 7 begins again with the perpetual circular motion of the heavens from which a mover which is always at work can be inferred. Ultimately, Aristotle argues, there must be a first mover which is itself unmoved, because, within the productivist metaphysical paradigm, any movement demands its cause which brings it forth. An unmoved first mover stops an infinite regress. But what can this ou)si/a be which is forever and always at work, and moves without itself being moved? To answer this question, Aristotle proceeds immediately: "What is striven for (o)rekto\n) and thinkable (nohto\n) move thus. Of these, the first/primal ones are the same. For what is desired is the apparently fair (kalo/n) and what is willed first/primarily is the fair. We strive for it because it seems so rather than it seems so because we strive/reach (o)rego/meqa) for it; the starting-point namely is thinking (no/hsij)." (1072a26). What is thinkable (the sight, the ontological element par excellence seen by the mind's eye) and striven for (for-the-sake-of-which) first and foremost are the same so, in the case of these 'first things' or primal motivation, formal/eidetic cause and final cause coincide

    With this conceptual determination, Aristotle takes the step beyond the unceasing movement inexplicably postulated by Leukippos and Plato by showing thinking perpetually thinking the fair as the mover that is always at work. "Mind, however, is moved by what is thinkable" (nou=j de\ u(po\ tou= nohtou= kinei=tai 1072a31) and what thinking thinks primarily is ou)si/a (1072a32), and more specifically the "simple" or a(plh= ou)si/a (1072a33), i.e. beingness itself in its simple standing presence, which is the sight (ei)=doj) of the desirable fair (to\ kalo\n 1072a26). But isn't Aristotle contradicting himself by asserting that "mind [...] is moved by what is thinkable", if mind is supposed to be the unmoved mover upon which the movement of all beings depends? Is there a way out of this aporia? Here we are confronted with the pith of the problem of movement. One could try to find a way out by making a distinction between physical and intellectual movement, the former involving matter, the latter not, but such a solution seems unsatisfying. Instead, the insight has to be held onto that it is the sight thought that motivates movement, including that of mind so that, strictly speaking, it is the sight of the desirable fair that is the immovable mover, and this mover is perpetually at work (e)nergou=n) precisely as the thinking of mind it induces. This perpetual, energetic thinking of mind is nothing other than the self-showing of the sight of the fair that keeps the world open in the ontological sense. Mind is not a static substantive; rather it is nothing other than pure energy, or at-work-ness, thinking the fair sight of beingness. 

    The fair is not only the sight of the simple standing presence thought, which, as eidetic or formal cause, moves without moving, but is also "the for-the-sake-of-which" (to\ ou(= e(/neka 1072b2), or final purpose reached for, and hence the motivation par excellence, namely, that beings are, i.e. show themselves in the sights of their ou)si/ai, i.e. their ei)/dh, which define what they are. Thinking thinks first and foremost beings as such, or beings in their beingness (ou)si/a), and this sight seen by the mind is fairest of all. This thinking that perpetually thinks the fair sight of ou)si/a pure and simple "can never admit having it another way" (1072b8) because it is motivated by the immovable sight of beingness as such, which is the good and the fair. The immovability of the ultimate sight that generates all movement suggests i) that this generating is the generation of time itself and ii) that there is a forever unchanging ontological order. 

    And active mind must exist, Aristotle claims (1072b10), because, without a perpetual energetic thinking of beingness pure and simple, the fair would not be held open as a motivating sight. One sense of necessity, namely, is "that without which the good cannot be" (to\ de\ ou(= ou)k a)/neu to\ eu)= 1072b12). Furthermore, if the ultimate, fair sight of beingness were merely a potential, the problem would recur (cf. the final part of the previous section) as to how movement came about in the very first place. Hence, there is also no matter (the site of all potential) without the energy that has always already formed it ontologically into a sight, and it is the sights of beings which, as final purposes, motivate all beings' movements, i.e. all movement is always already ordered by an ontological structure of the world that can be seen by mind. (One could conjecture at this point that herein lies a secret, subterranean passageway through history to the relationship between energy and matter postulated by modern physics. Even the "chaos or night" (xa/oj h)\ nu/c 1072a8) of the "theologians" (qeolo/goi 1071b27) in which, according to the "physicists" (fusikoi/ 1071b27) "all things were one and the same" (h)=n o(mou= ma/nta xrh/mata 1071b28), is perhaps not as far removed from the modern physics of the big bang theory as modern physicists are wont to think. Consider, for instance, that the modern physical concept of 'gas' is derived etymologically from Greek 'chaos'. According to modern physics, the celestial bodies (stars, planets, galaxies, etc.) were formed out of gas under the effects of gravitational energy, i.e. these beings were differentiated out of an undifferentiated 'chaos' in which "all things were one and the same".) 

    This thinking of the sight of the fair that is perpetually at work is also "sweet pleasure" (h(donh\ 1072b17) and thinks, i.e. sees the eidetic sight of the "best" (a)ri/stou 1072b19). We humans can partake of such pleasurable thinking of the best "for a short time" (1072b15), "and therefore waking, sensual perception, thinking are most pleasurable" (1072b16) for us human beings (since, in being awake, sensually perceiving and thinking, in ascending order, we are exposed ever more intensely to the fair sight of beingness). But on the perpetual thinking of mind depend "the heavens and nature" (o( ou)rano\j kai\ h( fu/sij 1072b14), that is, all the sensuously perceptible beings in the world, because all movement is motivated finally by the unmoved sight of the fair held perpetually open by the energy of mind. And what is mind? "Mind thinks itself in partaking of the thinkable, for the thinkable becomes by taking hold of, that is, by thinking, so that mind (nou=j) and the thinkable (nohto/n) are the same" (1072b21), i.e. they belong together. Hence the famous formulation, "thinking is the thinking of thinking" (h( no/hsij noh/sewj no/hsij1074b35). 

    Mind, therefore, as the same as the unmoved mover of the sight thought, is itself nothing other than the perpetual energy of thinking that is always thinking the best, the fair whose divine sight mind always sees, namely, ou)si/a pure and simple. "For, what is receptive for the thinkable, and that is, for beingness, is mind, and mind is at work in having its thought" (to\ ga\r dektiko\n tou= nohtou= kai\ th=j ou)si/aj nou=j, e)nergei= de\ e)/xwn. 1072b22). What is thought "seems to be more divine than the mind, and theory is the most sweetly pleasurable and best" (1072b24). We humans think this sight only "sometimes" (pote/ 1072b25), whereas "the god always" (o( qeo/j ai)ei/ 1072b25). God is the mind that perpetually thinks, i.e. sees the sight of beingness which, in turn, is the motivation for all beings to move according to what they are and always were, i.e..their ou)si/a and to\ ti/ h)=n ei)=nai

    Aristotle's god has now appeared in his thinking through the lengthy mediation of an elaborate line of thought starting in Lambda Chapter 1. The sought-for ou)si/a has been found by making the sight that already "remains" (u(pome/nei Lambda 6 1070a25) in the productive mind of know-how (cf. previous section) into a permanent, perpetual sight that is always being thought energetically by divine mind. Prior to this mediation, a divine ou)si/a that is forever, unmoving and able to stand for itself was still ungrounded, merely announced and postulated, and the nature of this special ou)si/a still unclarified. The completion of the line of thought is clearly signalled: "That therefore there is an ou)si/a which is forever, immovable and separated from sensuously perceptible beings is clear from what has been said" (O(/ti me\n ou)=n e)/stin ou)si/a tij a)i+/dioj kai\ a)ki/nhtoj kai\ kexwrisme/nh tw=n ai)sqhtw=n, fanero\n e)k tw=n ei)rhme/nwn 1073a3-5) Only now, having reached Lambda Chapter 7, are we able to see clearly how Aristotle thinks the god, namely, as mind that is always at work thinking the best and most sweetly pleasurable thought of the sight of the fair. 

    We human beings can participate in the divine insofar as we, too, are able to think the motivating thought of the fair and see its sight through the mind "sometimes". We are ourselves divine when we are up to thinking the philosophical, ontological insight into the sights and, above all, the sight of the fair. Our human minds have the potential (du/namij) to be at work (e)nergei/#) seeing the fairest sight of beingness itself, whereas god is nothing other than such a mind ceaselessly at work. What distinguishes the god from human beings in this Aristotelean determination is solely the difference between "always" (ai)ei/) and "sometimes" (pote/), a temporal qualification. The sought-for ou)si/a hangs on a difference between forever and relative permanence, with the god being nothing other than a perpetual, pure thinking, a quite remarkable kind of existence or mode of being which is indeed so strange that it is entirely questionable whether one can speak sensibly of this Aristotelean god 'existing' as a kind of being. In terms of the metaphysical tradition, this god is an 'intelligible being without matter'. The "always" of this pure thinking of the fair by a god is not an "always" throughout time, but is time itself which, Aristotle says (1071b10), is the same as the movement of all that is. Movement and time are thus a tautology. The god is nothing other than the perpetual, energetic thinking thinking the fairest idea that motivates the fair movement of all beings in accordance with their being. 

    Only by virtue of the fair can there be any perpetual movement which, paradigmatically for Aristotle, is the circular motion of the heavenly bodies, whose movement is fair, because it is circular. For, as Aristotle shows in the Physics Book VIII Chapters 8 and 9, locomotion is the primary kind of movement, and circular motion, in particular, is the only kind of locomotion that can be continuous and perpetual because, in contrast to rectilinear motion which has a beginning, a middle and an end, any point of circular motion can equally well be regarded as beginning, middle and end, so that in motion it always has its end within itself, i.e. is e)ntele/xei#, having-its-end or perfect, and so does not have to come to an end in rest to have its end, i.e. to be perfect. The fair is the sight for the sake of which all beings move; its sight motivates their movements, that they correspond to their ou)si/a, i.e. their beingness or essence as it shows itself in the sight seen by mind. 

    For the celestial bodies, this motivation is presumably blind, for they have no mind to see the sight of the fair. They move through blind necessity (and such necessity can be formulated in laws of motion). Their circular motion is perpetual for as long as time generates itself, with the unmoved mover of mind that is always at work, thinking the sight of the fair which is the cosmic order. The 'existence' of a god is thus nothing other than a pure, energetic thinking which is an ongoing granting of the sight of the fair which in turn is nothing other than the opening of world as world which human mind can see at times. Granted the perpetual locomotion of the celestial bodies, the movements of all the other sensuously perceptible beings, whose movements of locomotion, alteration, growth and decay, and reproduction depend in part on the motion of celestial bodies, especially the sun and the moon, also become embedded in the generation of time that is the perpetual motion of the heavens. Such dependence must be thought in the first place as teleological, and not as effective causality. The world is then only open within the time-space energetically generated by the sight of the godly fair, and human mind can sometimes gain insight into its movements insofar as it moves according to the sight of the fair, and not merely at haphazard. 

    If the world and time are absolute correlata, i.e. if they are 'simul' or 'together with' one another, then it makes no sense to ask whether the world is eternal or finite, for time cannot serve as a limit for the world if they are absolutely correlated. As long as world is held open within the generation of time, there is also the human possibility of thinking the sight of the fair that motivates all to be what it is, including that each being moves according to its whatness, its essence. Theory, which enables the sights and above all, the best and sweetest, fairest sight of beingness pure and simple to be seen, remains the humanly divine activity and mind remains the divine human attribute par excellence. What mind can see are the sights, i.e. the looks that beings as such show of themselves, i.e. their beingness, and through thinking, we humans can catch a glimpse of such sights as such. The apophantic as is the highest prize, and speculation is our highest possibility, to raise the sights we always already see implicitly and pre-ontologically, into an explicit, ontological knowing. The sights are not human-made but are the way in which beings shape up and present themselves qua beings to the mind's thinking gaze. 

    Mind is not, in the first place, a human activity but, as the same as the thought thinking thinks, is in the world as the shaping-up of the sights beings as a whole present of themselves. These sights motivate beings to be what they are, for if they do not live up to their sights as seen by mind, they are deficient beings whose existence is merely empirical, accidental, unworthy, even ugly. For the mind there can be only this motivation of a movement toward the best sight of the fair, no matter how much finite human beings themselves, engaging in theory, may quarrel and struggle over how this sight of the fair is to be defined in human language and thought. 

    IV. The fatal first step in the Metaphysics that skips over an alternative path for thinking: The sight of whoness 

    But this sight of the fair which mind can see is, according to Aristotle, a kind of ou)si/a understood as a kind of whatness or quidditas. Let us go back to the very beginning. The metaphysical investigation of to\ o)\n v(= o)/n, namely, is announced as the investigation of beings insofar as they are beings, or beings in their beingness. This first formulation of the subject of Metaphysics is still completely open, presenting us only with the puzzle of how to grasp the import of the v(= or 'qua' or 'as' or 'insofar as' at the heart of this formulation. The Metaphysics will be a search for the first, governing beginnings (a)rxai/) or causes (ai)/tia) for beings insofar as they are beings, where such beginnings and causes are not understood in any temporal or ontic sense, but solely and strictly in the ontological sense of the wherefrom to which beings are indebted for their being. If ou)si/a is named as this first cause, it is so at first in the still open, etymological sense of 'beingness', since the word itself is built as the substantiation of the feminine present participle, ou)=sa, of the verb ei)=nai. The mere detail that ou)si/a is a grammatical substantive should already give us pause, because grammatical categories are not innocent, but themselves laden with metaphysical decisions. The open sense of ou)si/a as 'beingness' is immediately identified in its primary signification as what a being is: "It is obvious that of these [significations of being ME] the first [sense of ME] being is the what-it-is which signifies beingness" (fanero\n o(/ti tou/twn prw=ton o)\n to\ ti/ estin, o(/per shmai/nei th\n ou)si/an Zeta 1 1028a14). This "obvious" should give us another pause for thought. 

    Ou)si/a is explicated as the whatness or quidditas of beings which is further explicated as to\ ti/ h)=n ei)=nai or 'what-it-was-ness' and finally as ei)=doj or the sight or look which a being offers of itself as a being in its whatness. Traditionally, to\ ti/ h)=n ei)=nai has been translated as 'essence', just as ou)si/a has, whereas ou)si/a has been rendered in Latin as both 'essentia' and 'substantia'. It is no accident that in grammar, the noun-names of somewhats is a termed a 'substantive' nor that the grammatical subject of a sentence as 'that about which is something is predicated' is one of the significations of ou)si/a, namely, u(pokei/menon. That which is in the pre-eminent sense is the substance which is that which always was what it was, i.e. that which has an enduring essence which is gathered into the defining limits of a sight or look revealed to the mind's thoughtful eye as its ei)=doj. The look of a being as 'what it always was' is immovable, and it is only in the synthesis with matter (u(/lh) that a singular, physical being exists. 

    The singular being as defined by the limits of its look, by virtue of which it has a standing presence, is situated in its predicament which can be addressed through the categories or predicaments such as quality, quantity, relation, place, time, etc. What a being is is defined further by predicating its predicaments, but its prime definition is given by its substance, i.e. by what it is, independently of the predicament which befalls it accidentally in its accidents. The substance is what endures through time and takes a stand in the definite limits of its look. A being as such is therefore a standing presence. For this metaphysical thinking, the singular human being, Socrates, is such because Socrates materially embodies the look of a human being, such look being the substance and essence of a human being, i.e. what Socrates always already was as an idea, namely, a living being that has the lo/goj which, in turn, gathers, and can therefore see, the defining looks of beings. What the human being always already was as a being is the sight-seeing somewhat. In turn, a singular human being such as Socrates presents the sight of a being with understanding, for understanding is nothing other than the power to gather beings into the defining limits of their sights so that they show themselves as beings. In traditional terms, what makes a human into a human being is its rationality which is the power to understand all beings in their essences that show themselves to the mind's eye in their respective ideas. Metaphysics is nothing other than the explicit unfolding for thought of what the human mind already sees implicitly. 

    Such is the fateful course taken by metaphysics from the very beginning. Beings as a whole, and human beings in particular, have been conceived first and foremost in their whatness, their substance. A corollary to this, as we have seen in detail, is that the god, too, can only be thought metaphysically as a kind of whatness. The summum ens of theology cannot be anything other than a prime mover and causa sui. 

    What, then, is the alternative? Such an alternative can only be a different path in thinking that leads in a different direction on which something else comes into view, thus giving an alternative sense to beings as such, including especially, the sense of human being itself. The originary openness of ou)si/a understood as beingness has to be captured prior to its substantiation into ti/ e)stin, quiddity, whatness and on to what-it-wasness. This is not to say that it is false to take the path into whatness (indeed, this path is inevitable, given the overpowering persuasiveness of the phenomenon of whatness), but rather that taking this path exclusively covers up an alternative possible path for thinking that, although less conscpicuous, opens onto an alternative vista of phenomena which are by no means unfamiliar to us but which have been unable to come to their ontological concepts under the predominance of the metaphysics of whatness. Metaphysics as we know it has always been quidditative metaphysics, but the consequences of this restriction, although inevitably felt in one way or another, have to date hardly been thought through. 

    The alternative path and the alternative vista that calls for thinking is that of ti/j e)stin, quis est, quissity, whoness. First of all, the alternative path of whoness as an alternative can be characterized negatively, namely, it does not lead to a substantial essence of what-it-was-ness perduring as a standing presence. Nevertheless, who a being is does show itself in a look, an ei)=doj, for otherwise it would not be a phenomenon and would have no truth, no unconcealedness. But this look of whoness is not an enduring one, nor does it reside merely in the being itself (kaq" au(to/), but is itself a reflection that comes about in an interplay with the world. Whoness is a shining-forth into and shining-back from the world in a value interplay. As such, it is not substantive, standing on its own, but interrelational and situational (sumbebhko/j). Nor is the look of whoness a universal look, but rather a singular, idiosyncratic one shown to and reflected in the world. Who a being is is always the look of this-here in this singular moment, in this singular, inimitable situation, in an interplay of reflection in which a singular who inimitably and idiosyncratically shows itself and is estimated. The look of whoness is in the middle, in between. On the one hand, it is the look a being shows off of itself and, on the other, it is the look taken by those looking who, in turn, reflect this look in how they evaluate the being to be. 

    A being does not merely show itself, but shows itself off, as who because its self-showing is from the outset oriented toward the reflection of its showing in the world. The looks presented by beings, however, can only be seen by beings who are open to seeing such looks. Such beings are human beings, gifted (and cursed) with exposure to looking at and evaluating the looks of beings as such. The reflection of showing-off in the world is therefore a reflection in the eyes of others who reflect an individual's showing-off by, in turn, comporting themselves toward it in a certain way. Such modes of valuing comportment can be either positive (affirmation, acknowledgement, appreciation, estimation, esteem, etc.), negative (rejection, depreciation, devaluation, denigration, contempt, etc.) or indifferent (ignoring, disinterest, formal politeness, etc.). 

    From this it follows that the value interplay in which beings show themselves off and are mutually evaluated as who they are can only truly come into play among beings who look and can see the reflections of their looks in other beings who can see whoness, i.e. whoness is the value interplay among human beings, mutually evaluating who each other is in a shining back and forth in varying situations that come about. Other beings not gifted and cursed with ontological sight, i.e. with the ability to see the sights of beings as such, only enter into the value interplay indirectly in being valued by human beings and hence deriving value in a value interplay among themselves. Thus, for instance, five pairs of shoes may be reflected as (exchange) values in one bed, and this is derivative of shoes being valued as good by human beings for wearing on the feet, and beds being valued for sleeping in. Shoes in themselves are unable to understand that they are valued by human beings as being useful, whereas a cobbler, who is able to mend shoes, is also able to understand the look mirrored back by his customers, who value his ability to mend shoes by comporting themselves toward the cobbler in a certain affirmative way, thus reflecting his whoness as being-a-cobbler. 

    Although the ability to mend shoes resides in the cobbler himself and hence can also be regarded as a quality inhering in the cobbler in the dimension of whatness, who he is as a cobbler comes about only in the mirroring interplay of others valuing his ability to mend shoes. Similarly, a scholar may have excellent abilities as a scholar, e.g. be diligent in his research, and profound and original in his analyses, but if these abilities are not appreciated by his peers, who reflect them in their comportment toward him or her by, say, citing their colleague, the who-status of the scholar concerned is as nought, i.e. s/he is a nobody with certain unacknowledged abilities. It is always possible to deflect the phenomenological gaze and superimpose the predominating categories of whatness on the dimension of whoness, which is thereby made to disappear. A lack (ste/rhsij) of appreciative reflection of who the cobbler is as a cobbler as shown in a particular way of comporting oneself toward him, however, is not to be thought as a reduction of who to what, but is a phenomenon (of negativity) in its own right, viz. the refusal of the world of others to shine back a who-status as a possible (transient or lasting) outcome of the ongoing value interplay. Such a refusal may be grounded, with good reason, in the individual concerned genuinely lacking the ability which would earn him merit, or it may be the unlucky outcome of how someone's showing-off of his or her genuine abilities is reflected by the others who themselves are lacking the ability to see and appreciate this singular individual's excellences. The much-discussed "society of the spectacle" (Debord) lives from the mirror interplay of appreciating that which and those who can be easily appreciated because the criteria for such appreciation are lowest common denominator ones. 

    But why is whoness a category in its own right, a category sui generis, rather than a certain configuration of the traditional categories of whatness (quidditas), howness (quality), howmuchness (quantity), relation (pro/j ti), etc. characterizing a being in the predicament of its situation? One could say, for instance, that the cobbler's ability as cobbler is a certain quality, and his relation to his customers is just that, namely, a kind of relation, and his estimation by his customers is the quantitative monetary value of his income from mending shoes. There is, indeed, nothing to prevent the categories of whatness being superimposed on the phenomenon of whoness in such a way that the latter phenomenon is made to disappear, and precisely this disappearance is the 'achievement' of traditional metaphysics whose orientation is toward beings in the third person, i.e. as objects that can be described from a safe distance. The dimension of whoness proper, however, is that of the value interplay between and among human beings in what must be called the dimension of you-and-me or the dimension of first-and-second person. This dimension is fleeting, coming about only in the momentary situation, and it is always amenable to a third-person, 'objective' description from outside the mirror interplay itself between you-and-me. In such a mirror interplay, you and I comport ourselves toward each other in a reciprocity of evaluation that shows how we value or devalue, appreciate or depreciate, estimate or despise, esteem or spurn each other. This reciprocal relation of estimation and evaluation is not simply the addition of two one-sided relations in the traditional sense of pro/j ti, but a complex, interwoven interplay that is usually very subtle and therefore easily can be overlooked and made to disappear in any 'objective' description. 

    The abilities or powers an individual possesses can, indeed, be described as certain qualities, but the sociating interplay of whoness is one of reciprocal estimation and appreciation of those abilities or powers by virtue of which an individual, in showing off its abilities and powers, assumes its social standing as somewho or other. The originary powers an individual enjoys in social, sociating interplay with the others are its genuine abilities and excellences that merit acknowledgement by others, but there are also derived powers such as wealth and public office which also lend an individual its who-status. The acquisition of wealth or public office in the first place is attributable to (entrepreneurial or political) ability (one's own or one's lineage). Moreover, wealth and public office have a more substantial appearance than individual abilites since they are possessed or occupied by an individual (and, under certain circumstances, can even be handed down). Nevertheless, both wealth (what money can buy) and public office (a recognized, legitimate political status) themselves depend on their reflection by the others who value what money can buy and honour a holder of public office, and are social powers only within the mirror interplay of sociation in which they are evaluated as social powers. Money, for instance, is a social power only within a society in which the social practice of exchange, in which goods of all kinds are evaluated and exchanged, is customarily practised, and a public office is only a social power by virtue of a certain recognized position within the constitution of a polity. 


      1. Paper presented to the conference Heidegger und Religion in Meßkirch 04-07 June 2008 organized by Holger Zaborowski and Alfred Denker. Parts enclosed in curled brackets {} were omitted when delivering the paper in Meßkirch. Back to 1

      3. "[...] Causa sui. This is the appropriate name for the God of philosophy. Human beings can neither pray nor sacrifice to this God. Before the Causa sui a human being can neither kneel out of awe nor dance and make music." ([...] Causa sui. So lautet der sachgerechte Name für den Gott in der Philosophie. Zu diesem Gott kann der Mensch weder beten, noch kann er ihm opfern. Vor der Causa sui kann der Mensch weder aus Scheu ins Knie fallen, noch kann er vor diesem Gott musizieren und tanzen. 'Die onto-theo-logische Verfassung der Metaphysik' in Identität und Differenz Neske, Pfullingen 1957 S. 70.). Back to 2

      5. "Qei=on in Aristotle is nothing religious: qei=on as the authentic being of being-always." (Qei=on bei Aristoteles ist nichts Religiöses: qei=on als das eigentliche Sein des Immerseins. Grundbegriffe der Aristotelischen Philosophie SS 1924 ed. Mark Michalski, Klostermann, Frankfurt/M. 2002 GA18:243). Back to 3

      7. "He [the philosopher ME] is difficult to see dia\ to\ lampro\n th=j xw/raj (cf. 254a9) 'because of the brightness of the space where he has to stay, for this brightness is blinding, so that in it, in turn, no differences can be seen by the unpractised and unworthy eye. The eyes of the many, namely, Plato says, are unable pro\j to\ qei=on karterei=n a)forw=nta (cf. 254b1) 'to stand looking at the divine for very long'." (Er [der Philosoph ME] ist schwer zu sehen, dia\ to\ lampro\n th=j xw/raj (vgl. 254a9) 'Wegen der Helligkeit des Ortes', an dem er sich aufzuhalten hat. Denn diese Helle blendet, so daß in ihr selbst wiederum keine Unterschiede zu sehen sind für das ungeübte and unwürdige Auge. Die Augen der Menge nämlich, sagt Plato, sind außerstande, pro\j to\ qei=on karterei=n a)forw=nta (vgl. 254b1) 'Das Hinsehen auf das Göttliche lange auszuhalten'. Heidegger Sophistes GA19:531) . Back to 4

      9. "The transcendence which from the start has skipped over beings and nothing else enables in the first place what has already been skipped over to ontically stand-over-against as a being, and as something standing-over-against, what has been skipped over is now graspable in itself. [...] Whither the subject transcends is what we call world." (Die Transzendenz, die im vorhinein Seiendes, und nichts anderes, übersprungen hat, ermöglicht allererst, daß dieses zuvor Übersprungene als Seiendes ontisch gegenübersteht and als Gegenüberstehendes nun an ihm selbst erfaßbar ist. [...] Wohin das Subjekt transzendiert, ist das, was wir Welt nennen. Metaphysische Anfangsgründe der Logik im Ausgang von Leibniz Sommersemester 1928 ed. Klaus Held GA26:212) Back to 5

      11. "The problem of transcendence must be taken back into the question concerning temporality and freedom, and only from there can it be shown in what way the understanding of being qua overpowering, qua holiness belongs to transcendence itself as essentially ontologically different. It is not a matter of ontically proving the divine in its 'existence' but of actually illuminating the origin of this understanding of being in the transcendence of Dasein, i.e. the belonging of this idea of being to the understanding of being. [...] This is intentionally not dealt with in the lectures because precisely here nowadays, with its violently fake religiosity, the dialectical illusion is particularly great. Rather swallow the cheap accusation of atheism which, indeed, if it is meant ontically, is fully justified. But whether the supposed ontic belief in God is basically godlessness? And the genuine metaphysician is more religious than the usual faithful, members of a 'church' or even the 'theologians' of every confession?" (Das Problem der Transzendenz ist in die Frage nach der Zeitlichkeit and nach der Freiheit zurückzunehmen, und erst von da kann gezeigt werden, inwiefern zur Transzendenz selbst, als wesentlich ontologisch differerenter, das Verstehen von Sein qua Übermächtigem, qua Heiligkeit gehört. Es geht nicht darum, ontisch das Göttliche in sein 'Dasein' zu beweisen, sondern darum, den Ursprung dieses Seinsverständnisses aus der Transzendenz des Daseins, d.h. die Zugehörigkeit dieser Idee von Sein zum Seinsverständnis überhaupt zu erhellen. [...] Dies wird in der Vorlesung mit Absicht nicht behandelt, weil gerade hier heutigentags, bei der gewaltsam unechten Religiosität, der dialektische Schein besonders groß ist. Lieber den billigen Vorwurf des Atheismus einstecken, der sogar, wenn er ontisch gemeint ist, völllig gerechtfertigt ist. Ob aber nicht der vermeintliche ontische Glaube an Gott im Grunde Gottlosigkeit ist? Und der echte Metaphysiker religiöser ist denn die üblichen Gläubigen, Angehörigen einer 'Kirche' oder gar die 'Theologen' jeder Konfession?, footnote GA26:211). Back to 6

      13. Martin Heidegger Die Grundprobleme der Phänomenologie Gesamtausgabe Band 24 ed. Friedrich-Wilhelm von Herrmann, Klostermann, Frankfurt/M. 1975. Back to 7

      15. "When Plato speaks of the good, the beautiful, these are concrete ideas. However, there is only one idea. It is still a long way to such concrete ideas when one starts with such abstractions as being, non-being, unity, plurality. Plato has not achieved this, to continue these abstract thoughts to beauty, truth, ethical life; this development/unfolding, spawning is missing. But already in the knowledge of those abstract determinations themselves lies at least the criterion, the source for the concrete. [...] The ancient philosophers knew very well that such abstract thoughts were invaluable for the concrete. In the atomistic principle of unity, plurality we thus find the source for a constuction of the state; the ultimate thought-determination of such principles of state is precisely the logical dimension." (Wenn Platon vom Guten, Schönen spricht, so sind dies konkrete Ideen. Es ist aber nur eine Idee. Bis zu solchen konkreten Ideen hat es noch weit hin, wenn man von solchen Abstraktionen anfängt als Sein, Nichtsein, Einheit, Vielheit. Dieses hat Platon nicht geleistet: diese abstrakten Gedanken fortzuführen zur Schönheit, Wahrheit, Sittlichkeit; diese Entwicklung, Verpilzung fehlt. Aber schon in der Erkenntnis jener abstrakten Bestimmungen selbst liegt wenigstens das Kriterium, die Quelle für das Konkrete. [...] Die alten Philosophen wußten ganz wohl, was sie an solchen abstrakten Gedanken hatten für das Konkrete. Im atomistischen Prinzip der Einheit, Vielheit finden wir so die Quelle einer Konstruktion des Staats; die letzte Gedankenbestimmung solcher Staatsprinzipien ist eben das Logische. W19:85). Back to 8

      17. For the Alexandrians, musth/rion does not have the meaning that we understand by it, but rather, for them it means speculative philosophy in general. (Musth/rion hat aber bei den Alexandrinern nicht den Sinn, den wir darunter verstehen, sondern es heißt bei ihnen überhaupt spekulative Philosophie. G.W.F. Hegel Vorlesungen über die Geschichte der Philosophie II Werke Suhrkamp, Frankfurt/M. 1971 Band 19 S.467, cited in the abbreviated form VGPII W19:467). Back to 9

      19. "This dialogue is, properly speaking, Plato's pure theory of ideas. Plato shows of the one that, if it is, and likewise, if it is not, it is equal and not equal to itself, movement as well as rest, arising and fading away, or, the unity as well as all these pure ideas are and are not, the one is one as well as many. The proposition, 'the one is', implies also 'the one is not one, but many', and conversely, 'the many is' says at the same time, 'the many is not many, but one'. They show themselves to be dialectical, are essentially the identity with their other, and that is what is genuinely true. An example is provided by becoming: In becoming there is being and non-being; what is genuinely true of both is becoming, the unity of both as inseparable but nevertheless different, for being is not becoming, and neither is non-being." (Dieser Dialog ist eigentlich die reine Ideenlehre Platons. Platon zeigt von dem Einen, daß [es], wenn es ist, ebensowohl als wenn es nicht ist, als sich selbst gleich und nicht sich selbst gleich, sowie als Bewegung wie auch als Ruhe, Entstehen und Vergehen ist und nicht ist, oder die Einheit ebensowohl wie alle diese reinen Ideen sowohl sind als nicht sind, das Eine ebensosehr Eines als Vieles ist. In dem Satze 'das Eine ist' liegt auch, 'das Eine ist nicht Eines, sondern Vieles'; und umgekehrt, 'das Viele ist' sagt zugleich, 'das Viele ist nicht Vieles, sondern Eines'. Sie zeigen sich dialektisch, sind wesentlich die Identität mit ihrem Anderen; und das ist das Wahrhafte. Ein Beispiel gibt das Werden: Im Werden ist Sein und Nichtsein; das Wahrhafte beider ist das Werden, es ist die Einheit beider als untrennbar und doch auch als Unterschiedener; denn Sein ist nicht Werden und Nichtsein auch nicht. W19:81f). Back to 10

      21. "As far as Plato's speculative dialectic is concerned, this, which begins with him, is the most interesting, but also the most difficult aspect of his works, so that one usually does not get to know it when studying Platonic writings. [...] Plato's investigation turns entirely upon pure thoughts, and to contemplate the pure thoughts in and for themselves is dialectic. [...] Such pure thoughts include being and non-being (to\ o)/n, to\ ou)k o)/n), the one and the many, the infinite (unlimited) and finite (limiting). These are objects he contemplates for themselves thus the purely logical, most abstruse contemplation; this of course then contrasts starkly with the notion of the beautiful, graceful, pleasant content of Plato's thinking." (Was nun die spekulative Dialektik des Platon anbetrifft, so ist dies, was bei ihm anfängt, das Interessanteste, aber auch das Schwierigste in seinen Werken, so daß man es gewöhnlich nicht kennenlernt, indem man Platonische Schriften studiert. [...] Platons Untersuchung versiert ganz im reinen Gedanken; und die reinen Gedanken an und für sich betrachten, heißt Dialektik. [...] Solche reine Gedanken sind: Sein und Nichtsein (to\ o)/n, to\ ou)k o)/n), das Eine und Viele, das Unendliche (Unbegrenzte) und Begrenzte (Begrenzende). Dies sind die Gegenstände, die er für sich betrachtet, also die rein logische, abstruseste Betrachtung; dies kontrastiert dann freilich sehr mit der Vorstellung von dem schönen, anmutigen, gemütlichen Inhalt des Platon. W19:65, 67)  Back to11

      23. "However, the Neo-Platonists, particularly Proclus, regard this explication in the Parmenides as the true theology, as the true revelation of all the mysteries of the divine being. And it cannot be regarded as anything else, [...] because by God we understand the absolute essence of all things; this absolute essence is precisely in its simple concept the unity and movement of these pure essentialities, of the ideas of the one and the many, etc. The divine being is the idea par excellence, as it is either for sensuous consciousness or for understanding, for thinking." (Indessen sehen die Neuplatoniker, besonders Proklos, gerade diese Ausführung im Parmenides für die wahrhafte Theologie an, für die wahrhafte Enthüllung aller Mysterien des göttlichen Wesens. Und sie kann für nichts anderes genommen werden. [...] Denn unter Gott verstehen wir das absolute Wesen aller Dinge; dies absolute Wesen ist eben in seinem einfachen Begriffe die Einheit und Bewegung dieser reinen Wesenheiten, der Ideen des Einen und Vielen usf. Das göttliche Wesen ist die Idee überhaupt, wie sie entweder für das sinnliche Bewußtsein oder für den Verstand, für das Denken ist. VGPII W19:82) Back to 12

      25. "Those who have experienced theology, both that of Christian faith and that of philosophy, from an evolved tradition, today prefer to remain silent about God in the realm of thinking." (Wer die Theologie, sowohl diejenige des christlichen Glaubens als auch diejenige der Philosophie, aus gewachsener Herkunft erfahren hat, zieht es heute vor, im Bereich des Denkens von Gott zu schweigen. 'Die onto-theo-logische Verfassung der Metaphysik' Identität und Differenz S. 51)  Back to 13

      27. "The one and the other theology [i.e. Phenomenology of Spirit and Logic, ME] is ontology, is worldly/secular. They think the worldliness of the world insofar as world here means beings as a whole." (Die eine und die andere Theologie [d.h. PhdG und Logik, ME] ist Ontologie, ist weltlich. Sie denken die Weltlichkeit der Welt, insofern Welt hier bedeutet: das Seiende im Ganzen. Heidegger 'Hegels Begriff der Erfahrung (1942/43)' in Holzwege 1950 S. 187) For the very same reason, Christian theologians criticize Hegel. Back to 14

      29. Thus Sören Kierkegaard writes on Hegel's "system lacking an ethics" (fehlt dem System eine Ethik), "...should not these fabulous pure thinkers be a sign that humanity is facing an impending misfortune, e.g. that it is about to lose the ethical and the religious?" (...sollten so diese märchenhaften reinen Denker nicht ein Zeichen sein, daß der Menschheit ein Unglück bevorstehe, daß sie z.B. des Ethischen und Religiösen verlustig gehe? 'Abschließende Unwissenschaftliche Nachschrift zu den philosophischen Brocken' Zweiter Teil, Kapitel III. 'Die wirkliche Subjektivität, die ethische; der subjektive Denker'. in Sören Kierkegaard Philosophische Schriften transl. Chr. Schrempf, W. Pfliderer, H. Gottsched, Zweitausendeins, Frankfurt/M. 2007 S. 898). . Back to 15

      31. "This is not just a strange notion of philosophy, but a jolt to the spirited human mind, the world, the Weltgeist. The revelation of God has not happened to him as if by a stranger. What we contemplate here so drily and abstractly is concrete. People say that such stuff, the abstractions we contemplate when we let the philosophers quarrel and argue with one another in our cabinet and come to some agreement or other, are word-abstractions. No! No! They are deeds of the Weltgeist, gentlemen, and therefore of destiny. The philosophers are closer to the Lord than those who nourish themselves from the crumbs of spirited mind; they read or write these cabinet orders straight in the original: they are obliged to copy them down. The philosophers are the mu/stai who went along and were present in the innermost sanctuary at the jolt; the others have their particular interests: this reign, these riches, this girl. That for which the Weltgeist needs a hundred or a thousand years we do more quickly because we have the advantage that it is a past and takes place in abstraction." (Dies ist nicht so ein Einfall der Philosophie, sondern ein Ruck des Menschengeistes, der Welt, des Weltgeistes. Die Offenbarung Gottes ist nicht als ihm von einem Fremden geschehen. Was wir so trocken, abstrakt hier betrachten, ist / konkret. Solches Zeug, sagt man, die Abstraktionen, die wir betrachten, wenn wir so in unserem Kabinett die Philosophen sich zanken und streiten lassen und es so oder so ausmachen, sind Wort-Abstraktionen. Nein! Nein! Es sind Taten des Weltgeistes, meine Herren, und darum des Schicksals. Die Philosophen sind dabei dem Herrn näher, als die sich nähren von den Brosamen des Geistes; sie lesen oder schreiben diese Kabinettsordres gleich im Original: sie sind gehalten, diese mitzuschreiben. Die Philosophen sind die mu/stai, die beim Ruck im innersten Heiligtum mit- und dabeigewesen; die anderen haben ihr besonderes Interesse: diese Herrschaft, diesen Reichtum, dies Mädchen. Wozu der Weltgeist 100 und 1000 Jahre braucht, das machen wir schneller, weil wir den Vorteil haben, daß es eine Vergangenheit [ist] und in der Abstraktion geschieht. VGPII W19:488f). Back to 16

      33. "How being gives itself is determined each time by itself in the way it clears and reveals itself. This way, however, is a sent/destinal way, an epochal coining [...] We only come close to what is sent through the suddenness of the moment of a commemorating thinking-upon." (Wie es, das Sein, sich gibt, bestimmt sich je selbst aus der Weise, wie es sich lichtet. Diese Weise ist jedoch eine geschickliche, eine je epochale Prägung [...] In die Nähe des Geschicklichen gelangen wir nur durch die Jähe des Augenblickes eines Andenkens. Heidegger 'Die onto-theo-logische Verfassung der Metaphysik' in Identität und Differenz Neske, Pfullingen 1957 S. 65) . Back to 17 

      35. "Onto-Theo-Logik" Heidegger 'Die onto-theo-logische Verfassung der Metaphysik' in Identität und Differenz Neske, Pfullingen 1957 S. 56. Back to 18

      37. ei)=nai ga\r kai\ e)ntau=qa qeou\j ... Aristotles De part. anim. A5 645a17. Back to 19 

      39. "When the thinker says: kai\ e)ntau=qa 'here too', e)n t%= i(pn%= 'in the oven/kitchen', the monstrous/unordinary is present, then in truth he wants to say that only here do the gods presence. Where? In the inconspicuous everyday. You don't need to evade what is familiar and ordinary and go in pursuit of what is exciting and stimulating in the deluded hope of encountering the unordinary in this way. You should just keep to your daily and ordinary affairs, like I am doing here, staying in the kitchen to keep warm. Isn't what I am doing and that with which I am occupied not sufficiently filled with signs?" (Wenn der Denker sagt: kai\ e)ntau=qa 'auch da', e)n t%= i(pn%= 'im Backofen', west das Ungeheuere an, dann will er in Wahrheit sage: nur da ist Anwesung der Götter. Wo nämlich? Im unscheinbaren Alltäglichen. Ihr braucht dem Vertrauten and Geheueren nicht auszuweichen und dem Ausgefallenen, dem Aufregenden and Aufreizenden nachzujagen in der trüglichen Hoffnung, so dem Ungeheueren zu begegnen. Ihr sollt euch nur an euer Tägliches and Geheueres halten, wie ich hier, der im Backofen sich aufhält and sich wärmt. Ist das, was ich tue and wobei ich mich aufhalte, nicht genug erfüllt mit Zeichen? Heidegger, ed. Manfred S. Frings 1979 GA55:8 Heraklit). Back to 20 

      41. "Then this rejection [of the crowd by Heraclitus ME] refers indirectly to the necessity of the peril/distress of thinkerly care, namely, to care thinkingly about the unordinary in everything ordinary." (Dann verweist diese Zurückweisung [der Menge durch Heraklit ME] mittelbar in das Nötige der Not der denkerischen Sorge, nämlich denkend um das Ungeheuere in allem Geheureren besorgt zu sein. Heidegger, GA55:12 Heraklit) Back to 21 

      43. "The relationship of the Greeks to the gods is moreover a knowing and not a 'faith' in the sense of a deliberate holding-to-be-true on the basis of an authoritative annunciation. We do not yet fathom in which incipient way the Greeks were the knowing ones. Because they were, they found the beginning of authentic thinking. They were not knowing just because they had a philosophy." (Der Bezug der Griechen zu den Göttern ist überdies ein Wissen und nicht ein 'Glauben' im Sinne eines willentlichen Fürwährhaltens aufgrund autoritativer Verkündigung. Wir ermessen es noch nicht, in welch anfänglicher Weise die Griechen die Wissenden gewesen. Weil sie es gewesen, deshalb fanden sie den Anfang des eigentlichen Denkens. Nicht etwa waren sie Wissende, weil sie eine Philosophie besaßen. Heidegger, GA55:15 HeraklitBack to 22 

      45. "The lord of whom the oracle is in Delphi neither says nor hides but gives signs." (o( a)/nac, ou(= to\ mantei=o/n e)sti to\ e)n Delfoi=j, ou)/te le/gei ou)/te kru/ptei a)lla\ shmai/nei. Heraclitus Diels-Krantz Fragment 93)  Back to 23 

      47. VII. Der Letzte Gott, in M. Heidegger Beiträge zur Philosophie (Vom Ereignis) ed. Friedrich-Wilhelm von Herrmann, Gesamtausgabe Band 65 Klosterman, Frankfurt/M. 1989 S. 405-417.  Back to 24 

      49. "Vorbereitung der Bereitschaft des Sich-Offen-Haltens für die Ankunft oder das Ausbleiben des Gottes." ('Spiegel-Interview' in Antwort: Martin Heidegger im Gespräch (eds.) Günther Neske and Emil Kettering, Neske Verlag, Pfullingen 1988 S. 101.) Back to 25 

      51. "[...] eine Befreiung des Menschen von dem, was ich in Sein und Zeit die Verfallenheit an das Seiende genannt habe." ('Spiegel-Interview' in op. cit. S. 101).   Back to 26 

      53. "Bergung der Wahrheit im Seienden" GA65:410, 413. Back to 27 

      55. "Das Sichverbergen des Seyns in der Lichtung des Da." V. Die Gründung GA65:342.  Back to 28 

      57. "denn all dieses [Schein der Ausgleiche, des 'Glückes' and der falschen Vollendung] hasset der letzte Gott zuerst." (GA65:406) Back to 29 

      59. "Here is recorded by way of hints what has been reserved in long hesitation as a straight-edge for a [further] formulation. " (Hier wird das in langer Zögerung Verhaltene andeutend festgehalten als Richtscheit einer Ausgestaltung. Motto Beiträge zur Philosophie (Vom Ereignis) GA65:XVVII).  Back to 30 

      61. Cf. the blurb on the dust-jacket of GA65: "Die Beiträge zur Philosophie dürfen mit Fug and Recht als das zweite Hauptwerk Heideggers bezeichnet werden.".  Back to 31 

      63. "Here the innermost finitude of beyng reveals itself: in the sign from the last god" (Hier enthüllt sich die innerste Endlichkeit des Seyns im Wink des letzten Gotts. GA65:410).  Back to 32 

      65. "Der ganz Andere gegen die Gewesenen, zumal gegen den christlichen." GA65:403.  Back to 33 

      67. Aristotle Metaphysics transl. Hugh Tredennick The Loeb Classical Library Vols. XVII and XVIII Harvard U.P. 1933.  Back to 34 

      69. Aristoteles Metaphysik transl. Hermann Bonitz, revised and with a commentary by Horst Seidl, Philosophische Bibliothek Vols. 307 and 308, Felix Meiner Verlag, Hamburg, 2nd. emendated edition 1982.  Back to 35 

      71. "Der (Ziel-)Gegenstand der Metaphysik, das 'ewige, unbewegte und abtrennbare' Seiende als verschieden von dem (Ausgangs-)Gegenstand der Physik und Mathematik" (my italics Seidl op. cit. Vol. 307 S. 418). Back to 36 

      73. Such an interpretation seems justified by passages like the following; suneplh//rwse to\ o(/lon o( qeo/j, e)ndelexh= poih/saj th\n ge/nesin ("the god fulfilled the whole in the (only) way remaining by making genesis continuous/perpetual." De Gen. II 336b32). If the god "makes" genesis perpetual, this seems to be a clear indicationof the god as an effective cause, a maker, but a motivator can also been a 'maker' of movement, as should become apparent in the sequel. Back to 37 

      75. After writing this in February 2008, I discovered an independent confirmation of the thrust of my line of thought, which follows the question concerning an independent, unmoving, perpetual ou)si/a, in Th. Kobusch's article on Aristotle under the entry for "Metaphysics" in the Ritter/Gründer Historisches Wörterbuch der Philosophie, where we read e.g., "Diese selbständige und unbewegte Wesenheit, die Aristoteles als eigentlichen Gegenstand der M. versteht, kann nicht schon der transmundane unbewegte Beweger sein, denn Aristoteles spricht in den ersten elf Büchern der M. allgemein vom Seienden als solchen und deutet nur gelegentlich, dann aber unmißverständlich, die Einbeziehung dieses ausgezeichneten Gegenstandes in den Bereich dieser Wissenschaft an. Daher muß mit der unbewegten Wesenheit oder 'unbewegten Natur' das Wesen der Dinge selbst gemeint sein." (Vol 5 Col. 1192); English: "This independent and unmoving essentiality [ou)si/a ME] which Aristotle understands as the object proper of M. cannot already be the transmundane, unmoving mover because in the first eleven books of the M. Aristotle speaks generally of beings as such and only occasionally, but then unmistakably, indicates incorporating this distinguished object into the scope of this science. Therefore, by unmoving essentiality or 'unmoving nature', the essence of things themselves must be intended." The question concerning the existence, non-existence or mode of existence of a "transmundane, unmoving mover" however, still remains for me a point of contention with Kobusch on possible readings of Aristotle's text. Back to 38 

      77. Cf. e.g. "Thomas setzt hier quiditas mit to\ ti/ h)=n ei)=nai gleich, nachdem er zuvor essentia mit quiditas zusammengebracht hat unter Hervorhebung der Tatsache, daß aufgrund der essentia etwas definiert, also begrifflich festgelegt werden kann." Franz Leo Beeretz, notes to his translation of Thomas von Aquin De ente et essentia Reclam Jun. Stuttgart 1979 S. 82. English: "Here Thomas equates quiditas with to\ ti/ h)=n ei)=nai after already having brought essentia together with quiditas whilst emphasizing the fact that, on the basis of essentia, something can be defined, that is, conceptually fixated." Thomas renders to\ ti/ h)=n ei)=nai also as "quod quid erat esse" (De ente Cap. I [30]). Back to 39 

      79. E.g. "Bei Aristoteles ist to\ ti/ h)=n ei)=nai das begriffliche Gegenstück zum ontischen ei)=doj (forma)." Franz Leo Beeretz, notes to his translation of Thomas von Aquin De ente et essentia Reclam Jun. Stuttgart 1979 S. 82. English: "In Aristotle, to\ ti/ h)=n ei)=nai is the conceptual counterpart to the ontic ei)=doj (forma).".  Back to 40 

      81. Cf. the above-quoted definition of ei)=doj as xwristo/n. from Delta 8 1017b26 which, however, is merely precisely a definition and not a phenomenological explication in thought.   Back to 41 

      83.   Back to 42 



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