§ 4. The foundational words of inceptual thinking (φύσις, ζωή). Their relation to metaphysical thinking and to the thinking of being



a) The peculiar poverty of inceptually thoughtful utterance in the structure of the words τὸ μὴ δῦνόν ποτε and their transformation into ‘perpetual emerging’ (φύειν). On the word φύσις in inceptual thinking, and on the concept of ‘nature.’ Note on fragment 123

Up to this point we have determined the first substantive word of the saying of Heraclitus’s τὸ μὴ δῦνόν ποτε only in terms of its character as a word. When there is talk of ‘the submerging thing,’ we no longer think only of what falls prey to submerging or remains withdrawn from it, but rather of ‘submerging itself.’ However, we think of this in the previously elucidated Greek sense, where submerging is understood as entering into a concealing. And yet, in Heraclitus’s saying, there is no mention of submerging. To the contrary, the saying speaks with unique emphasis of τὸ μὴ δῦνόν ποτε — ‘the not ever submerging.’ μή is a word of negation. Yet, it negates differently than οὐ, which straightforwardly states only a non-being. By contrast, μή negates in the sense that whoever experiences what is negated wants to know what is kept from him by it (namely, the negated). We therefore translate μή as ‘not ever.’ [86] What is named here is experienced as that


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