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Basic Concepts of Aristotelian Philosophy.

GA18:106-108 – ente que fala

§13. Speaking-Being as Ability-to-Hear and as Possibility of Falling

segunda-feira 14 de setembro de 2020, por Cardoso de Castro

§ 13. Das Sprechendsein als Hörenkönnen und als Möglichkeit des Verfallens. Der doppelte Sinn   des άλογον (Eth, Nie. A 13, De an. B 4)

There are ἀρεταί, modes of possibilities of being, that are oriented by genuine speaking, deliberating, concrete grasping. Then there are modes of being able to have being at one’s disposal, in which λóγος is also there, but in which the deciding factor lies in the “taking hold,” the προαίρεσις  . The first are the ἀρεταί διανοητικαί; the second are ἀρεταί ἠθικαί. [1] διανοεῖσθαι: “to think through,” “to suppose in a thorough manner,” “to reckon   through.” Ἠθικóς does not   mean “moral  ”; one must not superficially hold oneself to words when considering the “ethical virtues.” Ἦθος means the “comportment” of human beings, how the human being is there, how he offers himself as a human being, how he appears in being-with-one-another – the way that the orator speaks, has a comportment in the way he stands with respect to the matters about which he speaks. The partitioning of the ἀρεταί cannot be followed more closely now. Later, we will examine the ἀρεταί διανοητικαί [2] since the basic possibility of considering, of scientific research, of the βίος θεωρητικóς, and therewith the basic possibility of human existence, is found in their domain. For us to get λóγος in view, it is important that this fundamental division of human being-possibilities, among orientations to λóγος, is seen in its basic possibility of λóγος.

The human being is a being that speaks. This definition   is not invented by Aristotle  . He says explicitly that with this definition he repeats an ἔνδοξον, a δóξα, that has authority in Greek being-there itself. Already before Aristotle, the Greeks saw the human being as a being that speaks. Even the distinction between λóγον ἔχον   and ἄλογον goes back to the ἐξωτερικοὶ λóγοι. [3] Ἐξωτερικοὶ λóγοι: for a long time, one puzzled about what that really means. The opinion   that was developed and propagated was that it referred to Aristotle’s dialogues since those writings were made public. This opinion did not last  . The real sense of ἐξωτερικοὶ λóγοι was put forth for the first time by Diels in 1883, in the proceedings of the Berlin Academy. [4] Jaeger adopted this meaning and made it fruitful for the determination of the literary character of Aristotle’s writings. [5] Ἐξωτερικὸς λóγος is the mode of speaking outside of science, “how one carries on discourse,” and what is suppressed in this discoursing. Aristotle explicitly refers to this when he takes up the ἄλογον as the basic determination of human beings. That gives us an essential indication of the fact that, ultimately, if the determination of ζῷον   λóγον ἔχον is so fundamental, then this investigation of Aristotle’s must have an actual basis. It is not accidental that, in their natural self-interpretation  , the Greeks defined the being-there of human beings as ζῷον λóγον ἔχον.

We do not have a corresponding definition. At best, an approximately corresponding definition would be: the human being is a living thing that reads the newspaper. At first, that may sound strange to you, but it is what corresponds to the Greek definition. When the Greeks say that the human being is a living thing that speaks, they do not mean, in a physiological sense, that he utters definite sounds. Rather, the human being is a living thing that has its genuine being-there in conversation and in discourse. The Greeks existed in discourse. The orator is the one who has genuine power over being-there: Ῥητορικὴ πειθοῦς δημιουργóς, [6] the ability-to-discourse is that possibility in which I have genuine dominion over the persuasion of human beings in the way that they are with one another. In this basic Greek claim, the ground for the definition of the human being is to be sought. In addition, when the Greek reads, he also hears, and it is no accident that all of the texts that we have from Aristotle are lectures, the spoken word.

One must take fully into account that the Greeks lived in discourse, and one must note that if discourse is the genuine possibility of being-there, in which it plays itself out, that is, concretely and for the most part, then precisely this speaking is also the possibility in which being-there is ensnared. It is the possibility that being-there allow itself to be taken in a peculiar direction and become absorbed in the immediate, in fashions, in babble. For the Greeks themselves, this process of living in the world, to be absorbed in what is ordinary, to fall   into the world in which it lives, became, through language, the basic danger of their being-there. The proof of this fact is the existence of sophistry. This predominant possibility of speaking is taken seriously by sophistry. Protagoras  ’s principle: τὸν ἥττω λóγον κρείττω ποιεῖν [7] – to discuss geometry with a geometer, even if one understands nothing about geometry, to guide the conversation in such a way that I conquer the other without knowledge of the matter discussed. Sophistry is the proof that the Greeks fell prey to the language that Nietzsche   once named “the most speakable of all languages.” [8] And he had to know, ultimately, what the Greek world was. It must be noted that, in the fourth century bc, the Greeks were completely under the dominion of language. [GA18MT   - HEIDEGGER, Martin. Basic Concepts of Aristotelian Philosophy. Tr. Robert D. Metcalf and Mark B. Tanzer. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2009, p. 73-74]

Ver online : GA18:107-109 – zoon logon echon (ζῷον λóγον ἔχον)

[1Eth. Nic. Α 13, 1103 a 4 sq.: λέγομεν γὰρ αὐτῶν τὰς μὲν διανοητικὰς τὰς δὲ ἠθικάς.

[2Editor’s note: A detailed interpretation of ἀρεταὶ διανοητικαί is not found in this lecture. But see the reference to the ἕξις of ἀληθεύειν at p. 263 ff.

[3Eth. Nic. Α 13, 1102 a 26 sq.: λέγεται δὲ περὶ αὐτῆς καὶ ἐν τοῖς ἐξωτερικοῖς λóγοις.

[4H. Diels, Über die exoterischen Reden des Aristoteles . In: Sitzungsberichte der Königlich Preussischen Akademie der Wissenschaften zu Berlin. Jahrgang 1883. Berlin 1883. pp. 477–494.

[5W. Jaeger, Studien zur Entstehungsgeschichte der Metaphysik des Aristoteles . Berlin 1912. p. 134 ff.

[6Cf. Plato, Gorgias 453 a 2.

[7Rhet. Β 24, 1402 a 23 sq.

[815. Cf. F. Nietzsche, “Geschichte der griechischen Beredsamkeit,” in Nietzsche’s Werke , Volume 18, Part Three: Philologica . Second Volume: Unveröffentlichtes zur Litteraturgeschichte, edited by O. Crusius, Leibzig 1912, pp. 199–236: “Das Volk, das sich an solcher Sprache, der sprech barsten aller, ausbildete, hat unersättlich viel gesprochen . . . ,” p. 202.