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PHENOMENOLOGICAL INTERPRETATIONS

cussing, and defining undertaken in research. Thus Aristotle arrives at an understanding of the meaning of philosophy through an interpretation of a factical movement of care with respect to its ultimate tendency. However, these dealings consisting in a pure and simple looking at . . . prove to be such that they cannot any longer really see in their toward-which that very life in which they are. Insofar as these dealings, as pure understanding, still temporalize and unfold life, they do this only through their kind of movement.

The concrete possibility of actualizing this pure understanding lies in freeing oneself from the concerns and apprehensions of going about those dealings directed to routine tasks. This is the how in which life, with a view to one of its basic tendencies, makes a sojourn. Θεωρεῖν is the purest kind of movement life has available to it. It is due to it that life is something “divine.” But in Aristotle the idea of the divine did not grow out of an explication of an object to which access was first gained in a founding religious experience. Rather, θεῖον [divine] is a term for the highest character of being coming to light in an ontological radicalization of the idea of beings that are moved. The θεῖον is νόησις νοήσεως [thinking of thinking] [ibid., L 9, 1074b35] only because of the fact that with regard to the basic character of its being, i.e., of its movement, such perception satisfies most purely the idea of being-moved as such. This divine being must be pure perceiving, i.e., it must be free of any emotional relation to its toward-which. The “divine” is incapable of jealousy, not because it is absolute goodness and love but rather because in its being as pure movement it can neither hate nor love at all.

But this means that the forehaving of being that is decisive here, namely, beings in their motion, and the particular ontological explication of these beings are the motivational sources of the basic ontological structures that later decisively influenced the notion of divine being in the specifically Christian sense (actus purus [pure act]), the inner life of the divine (the Trinity), and thereby also the being of God’s relation to man, as well as consequently the sense of man’s own being itself. Christian theology, the philosophical “speculation” standing under its influence, and the anthropology always also growing out of these contexts all speak in borrowed categories that are foreign to their own domains of being.

That nonetheless precisely Aristotle’s ontology of the soul provided support for the temporalizing and unfolding of a rich, far-reaching interpretation of the being of life within the Christian life-world is due to the fact that it was within his concept of motion and precisely by means of it that the decisive phenomenal character of intentionality came into view and consolidated a particular direction of looking.


Phys.. Α, Β, Γ 1-3


The phenomenon of motion is ontologically explicated according to its categories in that kind of research having been handed down to us under the title of