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Seminar in Zähringen 1973 [137–138]


[Be-greifen], there is the gesture of taking possession. The Greek ὁρισμός on the contrary surrounds firmly and delicately that which sight takes into view; it does not con-ceive.


In the silence that follows, Jean Beaufret notes: The text we just heard completes, as it were, the long meditation in which you have turned first towards Parmenides and then Heraclitus. One could even say that your thinking has engaged differently with Heraclitus and Parmenides. Indeed, in Vorträge und Aufsätze, the primacy seemed to be given to Heraclitus. Today what place would Heraclitus take with respect to Parmenides?

Heidegger: From a mere historical perspective, Heraclitus signified the first step towards dialectic. From this perspective, then, Parmenides is more profound and essential (if it is the case that dialectic, as is said in Being and Time, is “a genuine philosophic embarrassment”125) In this regard, we must thoroughly recognize that tautology is the only possibility for thinking what dialectic can only veil.

However, if one is able to read Heraclitus on the basis of the Parmenidean tautology, he himself then appears in the closest vicinity to that same tautology, he himself then appears in the course of an exclusive approach presenting access to being.