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§12. The basic structure of λόγος

only as the privation of an as-structured experience. It occurs only within an as-structured experience and by prescinding from the “as”—which is the same as admitting that as-structured experience is primary, since it is what one must first of all prescind from. [146]

The as-structure belongs, roughly put, to our “comportment,” which is not to say, however, that it is something subjective. Therefore, we must keep in mind that, while we certainly do attribute this as-structure to human comportment, we do not mean that such as-structured comportment—i.e., the act of making-sense-of—is somehow a subjective way of forming and understanding what’s out there.

So making sense of something is an act that always has the as-structure, but this as-structure is primarily enacted in dealing with something. What we are mainly asking now is whether and to what degree the act of sense-making is the basis of any statement qua statement. Using Aristotle, we have already indicated that σύνθεσις and διαίρεσις make up the basic structure of the statement. The question now is (1) whether what σύνθεσις and διαίρεσις (linking-together and separating) refer to is ultimately this phenomenon of the “as,” and (2) to what degree this unified phenomenon of the “as”—which sense-making and understanding always have—can, and first of all must, be understood through σύνθεσις and διαίρεσις.

When we analyze this as-structured comportment of sense-making, we see that, in it, something is always already understood. What is understood therein is the thing’s “what-as,” i.e., that in terms of which I understand whatever object or thing I meet—say, this door here. This what-as is already understood from the outset, and only in terms of it does the thing that I encounter and deal with become understandable as such. This what-as, in the light of which I understand and which I already have from the outset (although unthematically) is, nonetheless, not understood thematically in this “having-from-the-outset.” Rather, I live in the understanding of writing, illuminating, entering-and-exiting, and the like. More precisely, as existing—whether in speaking, entering/exiting, or understanding—I am an act of intelligently dealing-with. My being in the world is nothing but this already-operating-with- understanding in those various way of existing.

If we now look at matters more closely, we see that the so-called direct having-something-present and understanding it—for example, this chalk, this chalkboard, this door—is, when viewed structurally, [147] not at all a “direct” understanding of something. Taken structurally, I do not have direct access to the immediately understood thing. Instead, I understand it in such a way that from the outset, as it were, I already have had something to do with it, i.e., I already understand it in terms of what it serves-for.

So in this apparently direct understanding of the things closest to me


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


GA 21 p. 148

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