Notes for Martin Heidegger An Introduction to Metaphysics
I. THE FUNDAMENTAL QUESTION OF
(1) Why are there essents rather than nothing? That is the question.
This had been a hyperlink to PHI.
(4) But if this question is asked and if the act of questioning is really carried out, the content and the object of the question react inevitably on the act of questioning.
this privileged question "why" has its ground in a leap
through which man thrusts away all the previous security, whether
real or imagined, of his life. . . . We call such a leap,
which opens up its own source, the original source or origin
<Ur-sprung>, the finding of one's own ground.
(5) No questioning and accordingly no single scientific "problem" can be fully intelligible if it does not include, i.e. ask, the question of all questions.
Philosophy is foolishness of questioning, putatively incompatible with Christianity.
(6) Philosophy is this very foolishness. A "Christian philosophy" is a round square and a misunderstanding.
First invocation of being-there, a key concept of Heidegger, Heideggerian discourse.
Philosophy is one of the few autonomous creative possibilities and at
times necessities of man's historical being-there.
(10) granted that we cannot do anything with philosophy, might not philosophy, if we concern ourselves with it, do something with us?
This contiguous section was in red.
Roman translations of Greek.
(11) In the age of the earliest and crucial unfolding of Western philosophy among the Greeks, who first raised the authentic question of the essent as such in its entirety, the essent was called physis. This basic Greek word for the essent is customarily translated as "nature." This derives from the Latin translation, natura, which properly means "to be born," "birth." But with this Latin translation the original meaning of the Greek word physis is thrust aside, the actual philosophical force of the Greek word is destroyed. This is true not only of the Latin translation of this word but of all other Roman translations of the Greek philosophical language. What happened in this translation from the Greek into the Latin is not accidental and harmless; it marks the first stage in the process by which we cut ourselves off and alienated ourselves from the original essence of Greek philosophy.
Language and words.
Physis denotes self-blossoming emergence.
Self-blossoming emergence aspect of physis, what ancients fantasized as living writing, instantiated by contemporary cyberspace.
But now let us skip over this whole process of deformation and decay
and attempt to regain the unimpaired strength of language
and words; for words and
language are not wrappings in which things are packed for the
commerce of those who write and speak. It is in words and language
that things first come into being and are. For this reason the misuse
of language in idle talk, in slogans and phrases, destroys our
authentic relation to things.
What does the word physis denote? It denotes a self-blossoming
emergence (e.g. the blossoming
of a rose), opening up, unfolding, that which manifests itself in
such unfolding and persevers and endures in it; in short, the realm
of things that emerge and linger on.
(13) The great begins great, maintains itself only through the free recurrence of greatness within it, and if it is great ends also in greatness. So it is with the philosophy of the Greeks. It ended in greatness with Aristotle. Only prosaic common sense and the little man imagine that the great must endure forever, and equate this duration with eternity.
Rest of chapter in red beginning with question how does it stand with being.
(32) To ask "How does it stand with being?" means nothing less than to recapture, to repeat <wieder-holen>, the beginning of our historical-spiritual existence, in order to transform ti into a new beginning.
Demonic as destructive evil emasculation of spirit through misinterpretation.
Destructive evil applied to America and Russia as closed world superpowers.
The prevailing dimension became that of extension and number.
Intelligence no longer meant a wealth of talent, lavishly spent, and
the command of energies, but only what could be learned by everyone,
the practice of a routine, always associated with a certain amount of
sweat and a certain amount of show. In America and in Russia this
development grew into a boundless etcetera of indifference and
always-the-sameness--so much so that the quantity took on a quality
of its own. . . . It has become an active onslaught that destroys all
rank and every world-creating impulse of the spirit, and calls it a
lie. This is the onslaught of what we call the demonic
(in the sense of destructive evil). . . . One of these signs is the
emasculation of the spirit through misinterpretation;
we are still in the midst of this process.
1. The crux of the matter is the reinterpretation of the spirit as intelligence, or mere cleverness in examining and calculating given things and the possibility of changing them and complementing them to make new things.
2. The spirit falsified into intelligence thus falls to the level of a tool in the service of others, a tool the manipulation of which can be taught and learned.
Conscious cultivation and planning.
Values as standards of production and consumption.
soon as the misinterpretation sets in that degrades the spirit to a
tool, the energies of the spiritual process, poetry and art,
statesmanship and religion, become subject to conscious
cultivation and planning. They
are split into branches. . . . These standards of production and
consumption are called values.
4. In the end the spirit as utilitarian intelligence and the spirit as culture become holidary ornaments cultivated along with many other things.
Language worn out.
(42) One would like to integrate the individual fact that for us being remains no more than an empty word and an evanescent vapor with the more general fact that many words, and precisely the essential ones, are in the same situation; that the language in general is worn out and used up--an indispensable but masterless means of communication that may be used as one pleases, as indifferent as a means of public transport, as a street car which everyone rides in. Everyone speaks and writes away in the language, without hindrance and above all without danger. That is certainly true. And only a very few are capable of thinking through the full implications of this misrelation and unrelation of present-day being-there to language.
2. ON THE GRAMMAR AND ETYMOLOGY OF
THE WORD "BEING"
1. The Grammar of the Word "Being" <Sein>
(47) What gives this development its entire meaning is that Western grammar sprang from the reflection of the greeks on the Greek language. For along with German the Greek language is (in regard to its possibilities for thought) at once the most powerful and most spiritual of all languages.
2. The Etymology of the Word "Being"
3. THE QUESTION OF THE ESSENCE OF
(69) For to speak of an essent as such includes: to understand that it in advance as an essent, that is, to understand its being. Assuming that we did not understand being at all, assuming that the word "being" did not even have its vaporous meaning, there would not be a single word. We ourselves could never be speakers.
(70) Questioning is the authentic and proper and only way of appreciating what by its supreme rank holds our existence in its power. Hence no question is more worthy of being asked than that of our understanding of being, unless it be that of being itself. The more authentic our questioning, the more immediately and steadfastly we dwell on the most questionable of all questions, namely the circumstance that we understand being quite indefinitely and yet with supreme definiteness.
(74) In each of its inflections the word "being" bears an essentially different relation to being itself from that of all other nouns and verbs of the language to the essent that is expressed in them.
(75) "Over all the summits/ is rest"; that is to say???
(77) Accordingly, "being" has the meaning indicated above, recalling the Greek view of the essence of being, hence a determinateness which has not just dropped on us accidentally from somewhere but has dominated our historical being-there since antiquity. At one stroke our search for the definition of the meaning of the word "being" becomes explicitly what it is, namely a reflection on the source of our hidden history. The question "How does it stand with being?" must itself remain within the history of being if it is, in turn, to unfold and preserve its own historical import. In pursuing it we, in turn, shall hold to the discourse of being.
LIMITATION OF BEING
(80-81) being is anything but an empty word and is indeed determined in so many aspects that we have difficulty in orienting ourselves so as to keep a sufficient grip on the determinateness. But this is not enough. The experience must be developed into a fundamental experience of our future historical being-there. In order that we may from the very outset effect (and participate in) the distinctions in the proper way, it may be well to give the following pointers:
1. Being is delimited from something else; in this delimitation it already has determinateness.
2. It is delimited in four interrelated aspects. Accordingly, the determinateness of being must either become ramified and heightened or else diminish.
3. These distinctions are by no means accidental. What is held apart in them belonged originally together and tends to merge. The distinctions therefore have an inner necessity.
4. Consequently the oppositions, which look at first sight like formulas, did not arise fortuitously and find their way into the language as figures of speech. They arose in close connection with the development of the concept of being, a process crucial for the history of the West. They began with the beginning of philosophical questioning.
5. These distinctions have remained dominant not only in Western philosophy. They permeate all knowledge, action, and discourse even where they are not specifically mentioned or not in these words.
6. The order in which the titles have been listed provides in itself an indication of the order in which they are internally linked and of the historical order in which they were shaped.
The first two distinctions (being and becoming, being and appearance) were developed at the very beginning of Greek philosophy.
The third distinction (being and thinking) was foreshadowed as early as the first two; its decisive unfolding occurred in the philosophy of Plato and Aristotle, but it took on its actual form only with the beginning of the modern era.
The fourth distinction (being and the ought) was only remotely foreshadowed by the designation of the on <the essent, that which is> as agathon <the good>. It belongs wholly to the modern era.
7. If one is to ask the question of being radically, one must understand the task of unfolding the truth of the essence of being; one must come to a decision regarding the powers hidden in these distinctions in order to restore them to their own truth.
All these preliminary remarks should be borne constantly in mind in connection with the following considerations.
1. Being and
(82) Anyone living today who knows the measure of such thinking discourse must lose all desire to write books.
2. Being and
(83) Hitherto this connection has been inaccessible to us. It has not been possible to redevelop the second distinction in its true meaning. To do so one must understand it in its original, i.e. Greek, sense.
(88) In experiencing and dealing with essents, we are always forming views of their appearance.
Problem here, for this word in Latin is audacia, the very thing against which Cicero rails. Perhaps conscious of the danger inherent in willing power to sustain the great undertaking (odyssey) in the midst of the State (republic), he taught the deference to the standing order, and so on, preserving the Odysseus concealed in his political.. Odysseus [also remember how in NE we are taught only to bother with the contingent, leaving aside the necessary: how does that fit? as appearance?].
Intrinsically the indications of the threefold path are one:
The path to being is inevitable.
The path to nothing is inaccessible.
The path to appearance is always accessible and traveled, but one can go around it.
A truly sapient man is therefore not one who blindly pursues a truth, but only one who is always cognizant of all three, that of being, that of nonbeing, and that of appearance.
Returning to tolma for the challenge to conduct digital humanities scholarship from the heart of technology.
(96) This knowledge includes what the Greeks in their great age called tolma: to undertake the venture of being, nonbeing, and appearance all at once, i.e. to take upon oneself being-there as a de-cision between being, nonbeing, and appearance.
3. Being and
(98) Thinking sets itself off against being in such a way that being is placed before <vor-gestellt, represented> it and consequently stands opposed to it <entgegensteht> as an object <Gegenstand>. This is not the case in the previous distinctions. Now we see how this distinction can achieve a pre-eminence. It predominates because it does not situate itself in between and among the other three decisions but represents them all, and thus representing them <vorsichstellend, placing them before itself> transposes <umstellt> them, as it were. So it comes about that thinking is not merely the contrary member of some new distinction but the foundation and fulcrum on the basis of which the opposite is determined, so much so that being takes on its entire interpretation from thinking.
(99) It can be overcome only by a return to its origins, i.e. we must place its initial truth within its own limits and so put it on a new foundation.
Suppose this predominance of the line of sight (Vorblickbahn) can be related essentially to the book form of philosophical production, with its outlines and numbers (kephalaia) that made no sense to represent in the oral tradition, where other heuristics were employed.
(99) The line of
sight must be laid down in advance. We call it the "perspective,"
the track of fore-sight <Vorblickbahn>. Thus we shall see not
only that being is not understood in an indeterminate way but that
the determinate understanding of being moves in a predetermined
(99) We have become immersed (not to say lost) in this perspective, this line of sight which sustains and guides all our understanding of being.
(99) What does thinking mean?
(100) Thinking brings something before us, represents it. . . . From these listed characteristics of what we commonly call "thinking," we shall for the present single out three:
1. Re-presentation "of our own accord"--considered as a uniquely free act.
2. Re-presentation as analytical synthesis.
3. Grasp of the universal through re-presentation.
(101) Logic relieves us of the need for any troublesome inquiry into the essence of thinking.
And yet--we should like to raise one question. What does "logic" mean? The name is an abbreviation for episteme logike, the science of the logos. And logos here means statement. But logic is supposed to be the doctrine of thinking. Why then is it the science of the statement?
(102) It began when Greek philosophy was drawing to an end and becoming an affair of schools, organization, and technique. It began when eon, the being of the essent, was represented as idea and as such became the "object" of episteme. Logic arose in the curriculum of the Platonic-Aristotelian schools. Logic is an invention of schoolteachers, not of philosophers.
To think is intelligere in Latin.
(103) To think
is intelligere in Latin. It is the business of the intellect. If
we wish to combat our adversary, i.e. we must know that
intellectualism is only an impoverished modern offshoot of a
development long in the making, namely the position of priority
gained by thought with the help of Western metaphysics. . . . The
misinterpretation of thought and the abuse to which it leads can be
overcome only by authentic thinking that goes back to the roots--and
by nothing else. . . . To surpass the traditional logic does not mean
elimination of thought and the domination of sheer feeling; it means
more radical, stricter thinking, a thinking that is part and parcel
(104) We must merely free ourselves from the notion that originally and fundamentally logos and legein signified thought, understanding, and reason.
(105) to gather; but at the same time the one is marked off against the other. That is how the Greek mathematicians used the word. . . . Long after the noun logos had come to mean discourse and statement it retained its original meaning in the sense of "relation of the one to the other."
(106) Only the most radical historical knowledge can make us aware of our extraordinary tasks and preserve us from a new wave of mere restoration and uncreative imitation.
(106) Nietzsche was a victim of the current (and false) opposition between Parmenides and Heraclitus.
So what do we make of Socrates ethic: a distractedness, or a ruling-by-the-rule-of-the-good-and-possible?
confronting the logos, men are uncomprehending (axynetoi)--they do
not comprehend the logos. Heraclitus uses this word frequently (see
particularly Fragment 34). It is the negation of syniemi which
signifies "bring together": axynetoi; that is to say, men
are those who do not bring together . . . what do they not bring
together? the logos, that which is permanently together,
(110) Physis and logos are the same. Logos characterizes being in a new and yet old respect: that which is, which stands straight and distinct in itself, is at the same time gathered togetherness in itself and by itself, and maintains itself in such togetherness. Eon, beingness, is essentially xynon, collected presence; xynon does not mean the "universal" but that which in itself collects all things and holds them together.
(112) If being is to disclose itself, it must itself have and maintain a rank. That is why Heraclitus spoke of the many as dogs and donkeys.
(115) Fragment 5 puts it thus: to gar auto noein estin te kai einai.
(116) This receptive bringing-to-stand is meant in noein. It is this apprehension that Parmenides says to be the same as being.
(118) What is man where being and apprehension reign? The beginning of Fragment 6, which is already known to us, gives us the answer: Chre to legein te noein t'eon emmenai.
(121) It is only such conflict that edeixe, that shows, that brings forth gods and men in their being. We do not learn who man is by learned definitions; we learn it only when man contends with the essent, striving to bring it into its being, i.e. into limit and form, that is to say when he projects something new (not yet present), when he creates original poetry, when he builds poetically.
The thinking of Parmenides and Heraclitus was still poetic, which in this case means philosophical and not scientific.
(122) Men can retain basic truths of such magnitude only by raising them continuously to a still more original unfolding; not merely by applying them and invoking their authority.
(125) Man, in one word, is deinotaton, the strangest.
(126) Because he is twice deinon in a sense that is originally one, he is to deinotaton, the most powerful: violent in the midst of the overpowering.
(127) Everywhere man makes himself a path; he ventures into all realms of the essent, of the overpowering power, and in so doing he is flung out of all paths.
(129) The first strophe names the sea and the earth, each of them overpowering (deinon) in its way.
Overman and cyberpunk.
beginning is the strangest and mightiest. What comes afterward is not
development but the flattening that results from mere spreading out;
it is inability to retain the beginning; the beginning is emasculated
and exaggerated into a caricature of greatness taken as purely
numerical and quantitative size and extension.
(132) He is without issue because he is always thrown back on the paths that he himself has laid out: he becomes mired in his paths, caught in the beaten track, and thus caught he compasses the circle of his world, entangles himself in appearance, and so excludes himself from being. He turns round and round in his own circle.
Death stopped Socrates, who never wrote anything as was therefore the purest; all the rest its anticipation drove to compose productions calculated to rouse interest in the future, as Nietzsche said, now let us create the being who is not superfluous.
(133) All violence shatters against one thing. That is death.
Machination taken as something disclosed in Greek techne.
power, the powerful, in which the action of the violent one moves, is
the entire scope of the machination <Machenschaft>, machanoen,
entrusted to him. We do not take the word "machination" in
a disparaging sense. We have in mind something essential that is
disclosed to us in the Greek word techne. . . . Knowledge in the
authentic sense of techne is the initial and persistent looking out
beyond what is given at any time. In different ways, by different
channels, and in different realms, this transcendence <Hinaussein>
effects <setzt ins Werk> what first gives the datum its
relative justification, its potential determinateness, and hence its
limit. Knowledge is the ability to put into work the being of any
(134) Thus techne provides the basic trait of deinon, the violent; for violence <Gewalt-taetigket> is the use of power <Gewalt-brauchen> against the overpowering <Ueberwaeltigende>: through knowledge it wrests being from concealment into the manifest as the essent.
(135) Being, physis, as power, is basic and original togetherness: logos; it is governing order <fuegender Fug>: dike.
(137) As history the overpowering, being, is confirmed in works.
(139) Techne is the overpowering order. Dike is the violence of knowledge. The reciprocal relation between them is the happening of strangeness.
We now maintain that the bond between noein (apprehension) and einai (being) stated in the maxim of Parmenides is nothing other than this relation.
(142) Logos here cannot mean ingathering as the hinge of being, but must, equated with apprehension, signify the (human) act of violence, by which being is gathered in its togetherness.
(142) It remains to be asked why the legein is mentioned before the noein. The answer is: it is from the legein that the noein first takes its essence as gathering apprehension.
(145) All by itself the logos does not make language. The legein is a need: chre to legein, needful is the gathering apprehension of the being of the essent. (Why this need?)
(146) Logos as legein opposes physis.
(148) Legein and noein, to gather and to apprehend, are a need and an act of violence against the overpowering, but at the same time only and always for it.
(149) This development sets in only when the logos loses its initial essence, when being as physis is veiled and misinterpreted. Man's being-there changes accordingly. The slow end of this history, the slow end in which we have long been standing, is the domination of thinking as ratio (in the sense of understanding as well as reason) over the being of the essent.
(150) This secession of the logos which started logos on its way to becoming a court of justice over being occurred in Greek philosophy itself. Indeed, it brought about the end of Greek philosophy. We shall only master Greek philosophy as the beginning of Western philosophy if we also understand this beginning in the beginning of its end.
(150-151) 1. What was the relation between physis and logos at the end of Greek philosophy, in Plato and Aristotle? How was physis understood? What form and function had logos assumed?
2. How did this end come about? What was the actual ground of the transformation?
Ad 1. In the end the word idea, eidon, "idea," came to the fore as the decisive and predominant name for being (physis). . . . But what does it mean that physis should have been interpreted as idea in Plato?
(152) But if the essential consequence is exalted to the level of the essence itself and takes the place of the essence, what then? Then we have a falling-off, which must in turn produce strange consequences. And that is what happened. The crux of the matter is not that physis should have been characterized as idea but that the idea should have become the sole and decisive interpretation of being.
(153) Idea, appearance as what is seen, is a determination of the stable insofar and only insofar as it encounters vision. But physis as emerging power is by the same token an appearing. . . . Appearing in the second sense merely circumscribes and measures the space that has already been opened.
(154) We have
shown briefly how in the course of the change from physis to idea,
the ti estin (quiddity, whatness) emerged and the hoti estin
(quoddity, that-ness) came to be distinguished from it. We have thus
indicated the origin of essentia and existentia.
(154) The idea now becomes a paradeigma, a model. At the same time, the idea necessarily becomes an ideal. The copy actually "is" not; it merely partakes of being, it is a methexis.
(154-155) Because the actual repository of being is the idea and this is the prototype, all disclosure of being must aim at assimilation to the model, accommodation to idea. The truth of physis, aletheia as the unconcealment that is the essence of the emerging power, now becomes homoiosis and mimesis, assimilation and accommodation, orientation by . . ., it becomes a correctness of vision, of apprehension as representation.
(155-156) In the transmission the truth detaches itself as it were from the essent. This can go so far that the repetition becomes a mere babbling by rote, a glossa. Statement is always exposed to this danger. (See Sein und Zeit, 44b)
From this it follows that the decision regarding the truth is effected in conflict between authentic discourse and mere babbling. . . . Initially the logos as gathering is the event of unconcealment, grounded in unconcealment and serving it. Now logos as statement becomes the abode of truth in the sense of correctness. And this process culminates in Aristotle's proposition to the effect that logos as statement is that which can be true or false.
(156) Logos is now legein ti kata tinos, to say something about something. What is spoken of is what in every case underlies the statement, what is set before it ready made <das ihm Vorliegende>, hypokeimenon (subjectum).
(156) Properties, magnitudes, relations are determinations of being. Because, as modes of being-said, they are derived from logos--and because to state is kategorein--the determinations of the being of the essent are called kategoriai, categories. Thus the doctrine of being and of the determinations of the essent as such becomes a discipline which searches for the categories and their order. The goal of all ontology is a doctrine of categories.
(157) But logos, phasis, speech in the sense of statement, has become the arbiter over the being of the essent in so profound a sense that whenever one statements stands against another, when a contradiction, antiphasis, occurs, the contradictory cannot be. . . . The suspension of the principle of contradiction in Hegel's dialectic is not an end to the domination of the logos but only its extreme intensification.
(157) In the form of the statement logos itself became something already-there. It became something handy that one handles in order to gain and secure the truth as correctness. The next short step was to take this method of acquiring truth as a tool, organon, that had to be handled in the right way. . . . For the benefit of this process the logos had to be fashioned into a tool. Logic was about to be born.
(158) For despite Kant and Hegel, logic has not made a single advance in the essential and initial questions. The only possible step that remains is to stand on the very ground from which logic rose and to overturn it (as the dominant perspective for the interpretation of being).
(160) A beginning can never directly preserve its full momentum; the only possible way to preserve its force is to repeat, to draw once again <wieder-holen> more deeply than ever from its source. And it is only by repetitive thinking <denkende Wieder-holung> that we can deal appropriately with the beginning and the breakdown of the truth.
(160) Unconcealment occurs only when it is achieved by work.
(161) This transformation of unconcealment by way of distortion to undistortion and then to correctness must be seen in one with the transformation of physis to idea, of logos as gathering to logos as statement. On the basis of all this, the definitive interpretation of being that is fixated in the word ousia now disengages itself and comes to the fore. It signifies being in the sense of permanent presence, already-thereness. What actually has being is accordingly what always is, aei on.
(161) The hypokeimenon is the forerunner of the subsequent interpretation of the essent as object. Apprehension, noein, is taken over by the logos in the sense of statement. Thus it becomes the apprehension by which, in determining something as something, thinks-through <durch-nimmt, durch-vernimmit> what it encounters,dianoeisthai. This discursive thinking-through defines the understanding in the sense of evaluating representation. Apprehension becomes understanding; apprehension becomes reason.
(162) the being of the essent inevitably becomes thinkable in terms of pure mathematical thought. . . . Essent is only what, when correctly thought, stands up to correct thinking.
(162) And Greek philosophy has been interpreted retroactively, i.e. falsified from top to bottom from the stand-point of the dominant concept of substance--the concept of function is only its mathematical variant.
(163) Becoming is
seen as change of place, phora, transposition.
(163) thought establishes its domination (in respect to the crucial determination of essence) over being and at the same time over what is opposed to being.
differentiation between being and the ought, on the other hand, is
upward. This suggests that while being is grounded in thought it is
surmounted by the ought. . . . For since the idea presents a view
<Aussehen>, it is in a sense an essent (on), and as such
demands in turn a determination of its being, i.e. once again a
single view. According to Plato the idea of ideas, the supreme idea,
is the idea tou agathou, the idea of the good.
(164) The supreme idea has become the model of the models.
(165) the ought is opposed to being as soon as being defines itself as idea. With this definition, thoguht as the logos of statement (dialegesthai) assumes a crucial role.
(165-166) In the course of the nineteenth century the priority passed to the essent in the Kantian sense--the empirical world of the sciences which now took in the historical and economic sciences. This predominance of the essent endangered the ought in its role as standard and criterion. The ought was compelled to bolster up its claim by seeking its ground in itself. . . . History came to be regarded as a realization of values.
(166) The works that are being peddled about nowadays as the philosophy of National Socialism but have nothing whatever to do with the inner truth and greatness of this movement (namely the encounter between global technology and modern man)--have all been written by men fishing in the troubled waters of "values" and "totalities."
(167) His [Nietzsche's] entanglement in the thicket of the idea of values, his failure to understand its questionable origin, is the reason why Nietzsche did not attain to the true center of philosophy. Even if a future philosopher should reach this center--we of the present day can only work toward it--he will not escape entanglement, but it will be a different entanglement. No one can jump over his own shadow.
(169) The determinateness of being is the power which still sustains and dominates all our relations to the essent as a whole, to becoming, to appearance, to thinking, and to the ought.
(169) From a metaphysical point of view, we are staggering.
(169) To forget being and cultivate only the essent--that is nihilism.
(170) Being is delimited over against becoming, appearance, thought, the ought--these are not something that has just been dreamed up. They represent powers that dominate and bewitch the essent, its disclosure and configuration, its closing and disfigurement.
(171) Thought guided by logos as statement has supplied and maintained the perspective in which being is seen.
(171-172) The whole Western view of being, the whole tradition and accordingly the relation to being that still prevails, are summed up in But being and time <Sein und Zeit> is a title that cannot in any way be equated with the differentiations we have been discussing. It points in an entirely different direction of inquiry.
But why time? Because in the beginning of Western philosophy the perspective governing the disclosure of being was time, though this perspective as such remained hidden--and inevitably so. When ultimately ousia, meaning permanent presence, became the basic concept of time, what was the unconcealed foundation of permanence and presence if not time? But this "time" remained essentially undeveloped and (on the basis and in the perspective of "physics") could not be developed. For as soon as reflection on the essence of time began, at the end of Greek philosophy with Aristotle, time itself had to be taken as something somehow present, ousia tis. Consequently time was considered from the standpoint of the "now," the actual moment. The past is the "no-longer-now," the future is the "not-yet-now." Being in the sense of already-thereness (presence) became the perspective for the determination of time. But time was not the perspective specially chosen for the interpretation of being.
Heidegger, Martin (1961). An Introduction to Metaphysics, translated by Ralph Manheim. Garden City, NY: Anchor Books, Doubleday & Company, Inc.
Heidegger, Martin. An Introduction to Metaphysics. Trans. Ralph Manheim. Garden City, NY: Anchor Books, 1961. Print.