founding experience: namely, “we assume from the outset <ἡμῖν ὑποκείσθω> that there are beings in motion” [Phys. A 2, 185a13]. These beings in this how are accessible in a plain and simple manner in ἐπαγωγή. The first book of the Physics exhibits a very tight structure, and the first stage of its critique, namely, that of the Eleatics, makes sense only on the basis of its concrete task of research into the question of access and the necessity of a critical approach here.
According to Aristotle’s explicit comments, the Eleatics in fact do not “really” belong in any sense within the thematic compass of his critique [ibid., 184b27]. Their foreconception, i.e., their theory of being, was such that it, in principle, blocked access to beings as beings which are moved, and thus access to φύσις. The Eleatics were thereby not in a position to catch sight of the basic phenomenon in the subject matter taken up as the theme of research in physics (namely, motion) and to allow this motion itself to provide the decisive points of view for concrete inquiry into it and for concretely defining it.
Aristotle draws the Eleatics into the discussion in spite of their “not belonging there” not, as Bonitz thinks, to have an easy target for refutation but rather so that in this critique of them he can secure the horizon that is decisive for looking at all subsequent problems in physics: namely, that of λόγος, i.e., the κινούμενον as λεγόμενον. Here Aristotle points out the following things. What has been taken up as a theme of research, i.e., the κινούμενον, is as an object of ἐπιστήμη one that is addressed and discussed: ἐπιστήμη and σοφία (as νοῦς καὶ ἐπιστήμη [intelligence and scientific understanding] (Eth. Nic. Z 6, 1141a5) are μετὰ λόγου. These beings must be approached initially within their ontological structure that is constituted in advance in such a way that they are in principle always the “toward-which” of an addressing and discussing, i.e., they are meant in the how of their “as-characteristics.” Beings are always categorially something as such and such, and this means that their sense of being is in principle manifold (having more than one sense). What is prescribed in an a priori manner in the sense of λέγειν is that everything addressed is addressed as something. The idea of the ἀρχή, of the from-“out-of-which” for something, i.e., the “point-of-view as in regard to and for . . . ,” becomes categorially impossible if being is not articulated as having more than one sense, i.e., if the science of physics approaches its domain of objects with the Eleatic thesis, ἓν τὰ πάντα [all things are one] [Phys. A 2, 185a23].
In an intermediary set of reflections in which we provide an interpretation of the decisive ontological contexts in the doctrinal poem of Parmenides, it is shown that Parmenides was the first to have brought the being of beings into view, though in ontological terms things remained at this first “impression of being.” With this first, though decisive view, ontological seeing was already at its end. The idea that everything experienced is in the how of being-an-object became of such importance for the domain of objects in question that this being-an-object was itself in fact thought of as being that “really” is, and from this point of view its sense was decided in a negative manner by exciding all other possible definitions of being. Νοεῖν as a pure and simple meaning something and ϕavnai