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PHENOMENOLOGICAL INTERPRETATIONS WITH RESPECT TO ARISTOTLE

like “begetting” and “proceeding”), that indicate how alien the Greek categories are to the Christian factic life experience, in which the encounter with the Divine is temporal and historical through and through. The sharp break between the “theater” of the theoretical and the chiaroscuro action engaged in the fully temporal world of the practical is thus ultimately to be regarded as a mistaken step, a major faux pas in the history of Western philosophy/theology that Heidegger in 1922 wants to “destroy.” Heidegger suggests that more promising insights into the “being of life in the Christian life-world” might be found in the way Aristotle’s “ontology of the psychic life” treats the movement of temporal ripening and maturation in terms of the “crucial phenomenon of intentionality” that he contributed to bringing to the forefront of contemporary phenomenology.


Physics I, II, III.1–3


Aristotle’s basic book of nature’s motion and its “whences” (ἀρχαί) likewise gets a dress rehearsal in Heidegger’s lecture course of SS 1922, clearly in preparation for his planned treatise on Aristotle (see Kisiel, Genesis, 238–48, for a summary account of this lecture course). The critique of the Eleatic thesis that Being is One finds its counterpoise in the repeated insistence that “being is said in many ways.” The problem of motion in this context comes down to the varying expressions of the problem of the One and the Many. Aristotle assumes from the outset that beings are on the move and assesses his precursors, the “ancient nature philosophers,” in terms of how far and how well they allowed the phenomenon of movement to speak for itself. And if the whences or ἀρχαί of motion are many, how many are necessary to account for the movements of Nature? By way of examples like the “coming- to-be of the statue from bronze,” drawn from the human movement of pro-duction, Aristotle will derive his theory of the four causes to account for any natural motion. But the question arises as to whether this account is sufficient for every human movement, like the movement of research guided and determined by a background structure of pre-possession and pre-conception which is clearly ahistorical in origin. In fascination and laudation, Heidegger highlights two concepts of motion that emerge in the middle of Physics II, τύχη (chance) and αὐτόματον (spontaneity), both of which probe deeply into the “happening” of history and thus come closest to characterizing the thoroughly historical movement of factic human life in the midst of beings which “also can be otherwise.”