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hypothesis / ὑπόθεσις / θέσις / thesis

Si par exemple Platon  , à la fin du VIe livre de la République, parle d’ύποθέσεις pour caractériser le procédé de la Mathématique, θέσις dans ce cas ne signifie ni Hypothèse au sens moderne, ni « pures suppositions ». l’ύποθέσις est plutôt la position de base, la position de la base, ce qui pour la Mathématique est déjà posé devant elle : le pair et l’impair, les figures, les angles. Cette proposition comme ce qui est déjà posé-devant — les ύποθέσεις — est caractérisé en 510 d comme ώς φανερά : ce qui est déjà évident pour tout le monde, ce à quoi on s’en tient. [GA8  ; QAP:188-189]

We may not   translate or understand this ὑποτίθεσθαι ὑπόθεσιν in the sense of “making a hypothesis.” A hypothesis, in our modern sense, is the assumption of a state of affairs so as to ask: if we assume the facts of the [312] [GA19  :450-452] matter to be such and such, does this or that then become intelligible? The hypothetical remains, according to its very sense, precisely in suspense; it acquires its possible rest and genuine persistence only from the measure of its appropriateness to the explanation of given facts. A hypothesis persists only by the grace of what it explains and to the extent it does explain it; the failure of this explanatory function collapses the hypothesis. The Greek ὑπόθεσις, e.g. in Plato’s sense, has the opposite meaning. That which is posited in the ὑπόθεσις is not posited by the grace of something else. The ὑπόθεσις does not persist depending on this other it is supposed to explain but, instead, on the basis of itself as that which from the very outset persists in itself. It is that which exclusively decides the possible Being or non-being of everything else. An example is Parmenides  ’ didactic poem itself, i.e., the principle: beings are. This ὑπόθεσις is not ruled by the “if … then”; on the contrary, the ὑπό is to be taken in the sense of ὑποκείμενον   and ύπαρχον: that which is already there in itself at the very outset, what the ancients called φύσις  . I emphasize this distinction between ὑπόθεσις and hypothesis precisely because recently attempts have been made to interpret Brentano   and, in the usual connection with Brentano, phenomenology as philosophies of the as-if, as fictionalisms, as though Brentano had converted to Vaihinger.1 Thus Kraus, e.g., says in the wretched new edition of the Psychologie   vom empirischen Standpunkt, that Brentano and phenomenology are nothing else than fictionalism.2 The philosophy of the as-if, to the extent there is anything to it at all, lives only on the confusion of the meaning of ontical hypothesis and ontological ὑπόθεσις. If phenomenological research has any relation to Plato at all, then that relation certainly resides in what we have exposed here as the sense of the Greek ὑπόθεσις. We may not transform phenomenology into epistemology and interpret it as concerned with the conditions of possible experience, although this interpretation   is essentially closer to the matter itself than the one just mentioned.