The Anaximander Fragment

by an abyss—from the actualitas of actus purus in medieval scholasticism.

In any case, Parmenides' ἔστιν does not mean the "is" which is the copula of a proposition. It names ἐόν, the presencing of what is present. The ἔστιν corresponds to the pure claim of Being, before the division into a first and second οὐσία, into existentia and essentia. But in this way, ἐόν is thought from the concealed and undisclosed richness of unconcealment in ἐόντα known to the early Creeks, without it ever becoming possible or necessary for them to experience in all its perspectives this essential richness itself.

From a thoughtful experience of the ἐόν of ἐόντα, spoken in a preconceptual way, the fundamental words for early thinking are uttered: Φύσις and Λόγος, Μοῖρα and Ἔρις, Ἀλήθεια and Ἕν. By means of the Ἕν, which is to be thought back into the realm of fundamental words, ἐόν and εἶναι become the words which expressly indicate what is present. Only as a result of the destiny of Being, as the destiny Ἕν, does the modern age after essential upheavals enter the epoch of the monadology of substance, which completes itself in the phenomenology of spirit.

It is not that Parmenides interpreted Being logically. On the contrary, having sprung from metaphysics, which at the same time it wholly dominated, logic led to a state of affairs where the essential richness of Being hidden in these early fundamental words remained buried. Thus Being could be driven to the fatal extreme of serving as the emptiest, most universal concept.

But since the dawn of thinking "Being" names the presencing of what is present, in the sense of the gathering which clears and shelters, which in turn is thought and designated as the Λόγος. The Λόγος (λέγειν, to gather or assemble) is experienced through Ἀλήθεια, the sheltering which reveals things. In the bifurcated essense of Ἀλήθεια, what is essentially thought as Ἔρις and Μοῖρα, which at the same time mean Φύσις, lies concealed.

In the language of these fundamental words, thought from the experience of presencing, these words from the Anaximander fragment resound: δίκη, τίσις, ἀδικία.

The claim of Being which speaks in these words determines


Martin Heidegger (GA 5) Early Greek Thinking