Aiken Aristotle&Heidegger 1991.pdf


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D. WYATT AIKEN

30
recondite

frequently

that

language
peculiar

discourse

actually

of ontology,
very

corresponds

metaphysical

but
closely

also

it is a

because

own

to Aristotle's

terminology.2

I

The Language
of the Onto-metaphysical
at the outset
to
of any
establish
pensable
then
very

a consistent

to sustain,
precise,

albeit

linguistic
language

poetic

the thing-that-is-there

Nichts),
is-there

and

is (das Was-sein),

Discourse.

concerning
fact

that

and

treatise,

philosophical
environment.

Heidegger's
nothingness

{das Seiende), what
the

It is indis

(das

the thing-that

the-thing-that-is-there

is present in the world (dasDa-sein), is ideally suited to that purpose.
In a poetically trenchant, but otherwise quite workable depiction
of the relationship between nonbeing (potential being) and being
(actual being) in his Was istMetaphysik? Heidegger emphasizes the
idea
only

are perceived
to be there?that
is, as Da-seiende?
objects
that they throw against
because
of the shadow
the emptiness

that

ofNichts.
It is only in contrast to no-thing (Nichts) that some-thing
comes to light as [being] phenomenally present.3 The type of lan
stresses
the idea that objects
that Heidegger
guage
employs
clearly
as some-things,
are defined
in the process
of
and not as no-things,
no
it is only against
of
the back-drop
Thus,
recognition.
epistemic
to
is
that
be
some-thing
perceived
some-thing.
thing-ness
in their
and Aristotle
differ
Of course, Heidegger
this
is
the ontological
and
difference
discourse,
certainly
to make
strives
the clearest
for while Heidegger
possible

distinction
upon

the

between
strictly

Sein and Nichtsein,

theoretical

the allusion

generally
be seen, when Aristotle

remains
speaks

concept

Aristotle

of Sein

as such,

to

approach
significant,
theoretical

rarely touches
or

and nonexplicit.
peripheral
or
of ousia
ti, he is referring

if he does,
As

shall

uniquely

to the particular and individual identity of each phenomenal entity.
less restrictive philosophical use of the term
Although Heidegger's
should perhaps be considered typical, the strict rigor surrounding
Aristotle's

2
The

definition

of ousia

as

the

integral

identity

text for this article
is Jaeger's
edition
primary
Press, 1957).
(London: Oxford University
Metaphysics
18-19.
Was ist Metaphysik?,
Heidegger,

of each

par

of Aristotle's