Anthony Crifasi schrieb Mon, 19 Aug 2002 16:15:15 +0000:
> Michael Eldred wrote:
> >ME: You keep repeating yourself about this alleged taxonomic conflict. Do you
> >really think that taxonomy is so persuasive?
> >Do you deny that Aristotle's Physics investigates what _kinaesis_ is?
> AC: 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)
It's enough for me that Aristotle's Physics is an investigation of the being of
movement. Because that is obviously what it is dealing with in the Physics.
> > > AC: It does not rely on my rejection of your interpretation of those
> > > 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.
> >ME: So it turns upon your introduction of the term "non-ontic", which occurs
> >nowhere in Aristotle.
> AC: 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.
> > >AC: I would interpret Aristotle's analysis of the meanings of "cause" in
> > > same ontic way - as specific existing principles of existing things.
> >ME: What is a "principle"?
> AC: 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)
That is a very restricted understanding of _archae_ in Aristotle. Even a
superficial reading of Met. Delta 1 makes that apparent, for there, several
different meanings of _archae_ are laid out. _Archae_ in Aristotle does not just
mean the beginning of a story!
The allusion in this passage from SuZ you have cited is to Plato's criticism of
those who merely "tell stories" about being, not to Aristotle.
> > > AC: 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.
> >ME: Perhaps you should read Heidegger GA33, his interpretation of Met. Theta.
> >you would notice that he is talking of "Seinsweisen", i.e. "modes of
> >being". E.g.
> >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
> >mode of being of a thing?
> AC: 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 Aristotles 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.
Now you're mixing up the Middle Ages and the modern age with the Greek.
Heidegger is highly critical of the translation of _ousia_ as "substance". And
"consciousness" is the problematic of the modern age.
In any case, you have not answered my question: Aren't you admitting that the
mode of being of a "principle" is different from the mode of being of a thing?
> >ME: You're using the word "existing" a lot here. What does it mean? Does it
> >have a
> >univocal meaning?
> AC: 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.
Then you go along with an underlying meaning of being as presence in Aristotle?
> >ME: 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
> >is a mode of being?
> AC: "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.
If such reformulations are possible, doesn't that mean that no strict line can
be drawn between what something is and how it is, at least in the sense of ontic
on the one hand and non-ontic or ontological on the other? Isn't saying what
something is (ontically) already an ontological determination (what it is)?
Put another way: If a human is a builder, doesn't that mean that the _dynamis_
of the art of building resides in him and that is how he is, his _pos_ (the
> >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
> AC: Yes, I agree.
Then we come back to the question of how _dynamis_ (and _energeia_ and
_entelecheia_) are to be understood.
Aristotle says that we say all meanings of _dynamis_ _pros to auto eidos_, i.e.
"with respect to the same image" (Met. Theta 1046a9) and that all _dynameis_ are
_archai tines_, i.e. "some sort of principle" (1046a9). This guiding or primary
meaning of _dynamis_ is _archae metabolaes en alloi ae haei allo_, i.e.
"starting point for a change, which starting point as such is in another being
than the changing being itself or, if the originating being and the changing
being are the same, they are so in different respects" (1046a10f). The
corresponding formulation in Met. Delta is _archae kinaeseos ae metabolaes en
heteroi ae haei heteron_, i.e "starting point for a movement or change..." (Met.
Delta. 1019a15) (cf. Heidegger GA33:68)
The examples of the art of building and the medical physician's art are relevant
here for making clear what the definition means in a palpable, phenomenal way.
> >ME: 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
> >reappropriation of
> >Aristotle as phenomenological thinker (which status even Husserl was
> >prepared to
> >countenance), there would be no thinker called Heidegger.
> AC: 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 dont see
> why that is necessary.
I think that ultimately, it is the phenomena themselves that decide whether
philosophical thinking is adequate or not. But philosophy deals with a
phenomenon which is very hard for us humans to bring to light (it takes
literally centuries and millennia), so that the critique of how a great thinker
like Aristotle struggled with this uncovering is indispensable. Heidegger's
analytic of human existence needs the foil of preceding thinkers in order to set
it off against the alternative philosophical conceptions of human existence.
Without this marking off, this "Abhebung" from and "Destruktion" of other views,
we fail to get the point.
More than that, Heidegger himself could only win his understanding of the being
of human being in the world through his critical engagement with Aristotle above
all. To do this, he had to learn to read Aristotle as a phenomenological thinker
whose key concepts were won from everyday being-in-the-world.
_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_- artefact text and translation _-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_
_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_- made by art _-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_
_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_ Dr Michael Eldred -_-_-
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