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Seminar in Le Thor 1969 [82–84]

Later this formulation was given up in favor of that of the “question concerning the truth of being,” and finally in favor of that of the “question concerning the place or location of being,” from which the name “topology of being” arose.

Three terms which succeed one another and at the same time indicate three steps along the way of thinking:

MEANING—TRUTH—PLACE (τόπος)

If the question of being is supposed to become clarified, what binds together the three successive formulations must necessarily be disclosed, along with what distinguishes them.

First, truth.

Let us observe that the expression “truth of being” has strictly no meaning when truth is understood as the correctness of a proposition. On the contrary, truth is here understood as “unconcealment,” and more precisely still, taken from the perspective of Dasein, as clearing. Truth of being says clearing of being.

What then has happened in and through the alteration that lets truth take the place of meaning?

First, what does “meaning” signify? Meaning in Being and Time is defined in terms of a project region, and projection is the accomplishment of Dasein, which means the ek-static instancy [Inständigkeit] in the openness of being. By ek-sisting, Dasein includes meaning. The thinking that proceeds from Being and Time, in that it gives up the word “meaning of being” in favor of “truth of being,” henceforth emphasizes the openness of being itself, rather than the openness of Dasein in regard to this openness of being.

This signifies “the turn,” in which thinking always more decisively turns to being as being.

Now, what is the binding factor that unites meaning and truth (as unconcealment) and relates them to each other?

The ordinary sense of meaning is signification [Bedeutung]. As, for example, in the title from Franz von Brentano: On the Manifold Meaning of Being in Aristotle . Here meaning is understood as a bestowing of meaning, which means the conferring of a meaning. Husserl, too, treats of “sense-giving” acts in the chapter of the Logical Investigations entitled, “Expression and Meaning."86

Nevertheless, Being and Time does not undertake to present a new signification of being, but rather to open a hearing for the word of being—to let itself be claimed by being. In order to be the there [Da], it is a matter of becoming claimed by being.

But a question here announces itself: does being speak? And do we not already run the danger of degrading being into a being that speaks? But who decided that only a being can speak? Who has so gauged the essence of the word? Obviously these considerations lead directly to a new meditation on the word: On the Way to Language.