What about this “reciprocal relation”?71 Isn’t there a gap here, and don’t we need to build a bridge across it? An old question seems to emerge here in new form, the question about the participation or μέθεξις of the real (the sensible) in the ideal (the non-sensible). The thinking-of-what-is-thought is; but what kind of being is that? Is it the being of this existent unity of the real-ideal? Let us resist being overawed by the obvious separation of the real and the ideal. Above all, we must maintain that living thinking is the thinking-of-what-is-thought and that this is the only reason we inquire into it and seek its rules. If we do that, we will see that behind the seemingly obvious separation of the real and the ideal there lurks a difficulty, in fact the heart of the problem. In the final analysis, this separation not only contributes nothing to solving the problem but in fact radically inverts the formulation of the problem, and thereby condemns the discussion to futility. But the central problem here is how we can throw a bridge over this gap. As Spranger72 says:

All of us—Rickert, the phenomenologists, the movement connected with Dilthey—we all find ourselves in the great struggle {imagine: the great struggle!} for the timeless in the historical, for the realm of sense and of its historical expression in a developed, concrete culture, for a theory of values that leads beyond the subjective to the objective and valid.73

That is correct except for one thing: Dilthey would have repudiated this association in horror.

But philosophers were able to get almost sentimental about this deep and ponderous thought. But maybe it is time to say thoughtfully for once that in more than two millennia this problem has not made any progress. [92]

Maybe it is time to ask ourselves whether it is a real question at all, or whether there is something fundamentally wrong with it or with our understanding of it, or even whether Plato really meant anything like that. Perhaps this seemingly profound question about bridging the gap between the real and the ideal, the sensible and the non-sensible, the temporal and the timeless, the historical and the suprahistorical, is only

71.An empty determination! For an extreme case, cf. Richard Hönigswald, Die Grundlagen der Denkpsychologie. [Studien und Analysen, 2nd unchanged edition (Leipzig: B. G. Teubner,] 1925), 39–40: “The basic mental function of the temporal/non-temporal determinedness. Just as ‘thought’ can be experienced, just as it must be able to be realized temporally in [the act of] being experienced, so too meaning ‘becomes’ word in precisely the same way.”

72. [Eduard Spranger (1882–1963), a student of Dilthey’s (and briefly arrested by the Nazis in 1944). His works are published in his Gesammelte Schriften, 11 vols., ed. H. W. Bahr et al. (Heidelberg: Quelle & Meyer, 1960–1980).]

73. Logos 12 [1923]. Festschrift for Rickert. On Rickert’s system, cf. p. 198.

Martin Heidegger (GA 21) Logic : the question of truth

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