Michael Eldred wrote:
> > you already explicitly characterized Aristotles
> > investigation of the immovable beings in a way that immediately makes
> > corresponding investigation of movable beings an investigation of their
> > being. That is all that is required to draw the direct conflict between
> > you say and what Aristotle says, since then at 1026a he would be saying
> > physics investigates the being of physical beings, and at 1061b30 he
> > be saying precisely the opposite.
>You keep repeating yourself about this alleged taxonomic conflict. Do you
>think that taxonomy is so persuasive?
>Do you deny that Aristotle's Physics investigates what _kinaesis_ is?
But that is still not the same as investigating the being of physical
beings. He explicitly makes that distinction when he says, "physics
investigates the attributes and the principles of things qua in motion and
not qua being." (1061b30)
> > >Furthermore, this alleged contradiction in interpretation is
> > >since
> > >it relies on your rejection of a certain interpretation of _dynamis_,
> > >_energeia_
> > >and _entelecheia_ which you term "non-ontic" or "ontological".
> > It does not rely on my rejection of your interpretation of those terms.
> > the opposite - it relies on precisely your non-ontic interpretation of
> > terms, and the connection you explicitly drew between that and your
> > non-ontic interpretation of the investigation of first causes. That is
> > causes the conflict with 1061b30.
>So it turns upon your introduction of the term "non-ontic", which occurs
Then take out the term "non-ontic." The conflict relies precisely on your
interpretation of dynamis, energeia, and entelecheia, and the connection you
explicitly drew between that and your interpretation of the investigation of
first causes. Accordingly to that interpretation, Aristotle would be saying
at 1026a that physics investigates the being of physical beings, but he says
precisely the opposite at 1061b30.
> > I would interpret Aristotle's analysis of the meanings of "cause" in the
> > same ontic way - as specific existing principles of existing things.
>What is a "principle"?
I am interpreting "principle" in Aristotle in the following sense of
"origin" which Heidegger criticizes:
"If we are to understand the problem of Being, our first philosophical step
consists in not ?telling a story? - that is to say, in not defining entities
as entities by tracing them back in their origin to some other entities, as
if Being had the character of some possible entity." (SuZ 6)
> > For the traditional interpretation, dynamis (as "potency") is not an
> > individual thing or substance, but it still falls under the rubric of
> > Heidegger would call a being, because it is still seen as a specific
> > existing principle in a thing.
>Perhaps you should read Heidegger GA33, his interpretation of Met. Theta.
>you would notice that he is talking of "Seinsweisen", i.e. "modes of
>a medical physician is a being, but being a medical physician is a mode of
>What does it mean for a "principle" to "exist"? You say that a principle is
>a thing. Doesn't that mean that its mode of being is different from the
>being of a thing?
As Heidegger himself says:
"Even if one rejects the "soul substance" and the thinghood of
consciousness, or denies that the person is an object, ontologically one is
still positing something whose being retains the meaning of what is
present-at-hand, whether it does so explicitly or not." (SuZ 114)
That is precisely what I am saying is the case with Aristotle?s dynamis.
Dynamis may not itself be a substance or an individual existing thing, but
it can still retain an ontic meaning, as an existing potency in a specific
individual thing. As an analogy, take the modern concept of "force." "Force"
was not supposed to be an actual substance or itself an individual thing
either, but it clearly retained the meaning of what is present-at-hand,
since it was conceived as some specific existing source of change.
>You're using the word "existing" a lot here. What does it mean? Does it
Even if it does not have a univocal meaning, all the various meanings can
still retain the meaning of what is present-at-hand. I think that is the
case for Aristotle.
> > the traditional interpretation of Aristotle (eg. Aquinas)
> > would also say precisely what you just said, which is that the builder
> > builder only insofar as the dynamis resides in him, for the same reason
> > only then can he bring about the appropriate changes in the materials
> > housebuilding. So this is not yet sufficient to distinguish Heidegger
> > the traditional interpretation at all.
>I am only aiming at finding out what you understand by _dynamis_ in
>and put it into relation to Heidegger's phenomenological interpretation.
>So you would admit that a builder is a being, but deny that being a builder
>mode of being?
"Being a builder" can be interpreted as ontically as anything else. For
example, the question of the being of a builder can be framed as "What makes
you a builder?" in which case the answer would probably be, "I have
knowledge of how to build, I had the ability to gain that knowledge in the
first place, I have the physical attributes and means necessary for
building." If the very technae of building is framed in this way, then the
entire question is conceived ontically. And I think Aristotle frames it in
precisely this way.
>Do we agree that the analysis of _dynamis_ in Met. Theta and Met. Delta 12
>provides the foundation for reading _dynamis_ in the passage (Met. Lambda
>1071b13-22) in which Aristotle initiates his investigation of "unmoving
Yes, I agree.
>The point is that Heidegger's philosophical research, the
>struggle in his thinking which led to SuZ, crucially presupposes his
>engagement with Aristotle. Without Heidegger's discovery and
>Aristotle as phenomenological thinker (which status even Husserl was
>countenance), there would be no thinker called Heidegger.
I am willing to accept that historically that is the case, but are you
saying that his very analytic of Dasein philosophically presupposes the
reappropriation of Aristotle as phenomenological thinker? I simply don?t see
why that is necessary.
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