philosophy in its essence. Philosophy did not spring from myth. It arises solely from thinking and in thinking. But thinking is the thinking of Being. Thinking does not originate: it is, when Being presences. But the collapse of thinking into the sciences and into faith is the baneful destiny of Being.

In the dawn of Being's destiny, beings, τὰ ἐόντα, come to language. From the restrained abundance of what in this way comes, what does the Anaximander fragment bring to utterance? According to the presumably genuine text, the fragment reads:

κατὰ τὸ χρεών διδόναι γὰρ αὐτὰ δίκην καὶ τίσιν ἀλλήλοις τῆς ἀδικίας

In the standard translation:

according to necessity; for they pay one another recompense and penalty for their injustice.

The fragment still consists of two clauses; of the first one only the closing words are retained. We will begin by commenting on the second clause.

The αὐτὰ refers to what is named in the previous clause. The antecedent can only be τὰ ὄντα, the totality of what is present, whatever is present in unconcealment, whether or not at the present time. Whether or not this is expressly designated by the word ἐόντα may remain an open question since the text is uncertain. The αὐτὰ refers to everything present, everything that presences by lingering awhile: gods and men, temples and cities, sea and land, eagle and snake, tree and shrub, wind and light, stoνe and sand, day and night. What is present coheres in unifying presencing, as everything becomes present to everything else within its duration; it becomes present and lingers with the others. This multiplicity (πολλά) is not a muster of separate objects behind which something stands, embracing them as a whole. Rather, presencing as such is ruled by the lingering-with-one-another of a concealed gathering. Thus Heraclitus, catching sight of this essential gathering, unifying, and revealing in presencing, named the Ἕν (the Being of beings) the Λόγος.

But before this, how does Anaximander experience the totality of things present; how does he experience their having arrived to linger


Martin Heidegger (GA 5) The Anaximander Fragment