LECTURES & LECTURE NOTES ON PRESOCRATIC PHILOSOPHERS, ESSEX
LECTURE 1 ANAXIMANDER AND THE APEIRON
LECTURE 2 PARMENIDES AND THE WILL TO UNITY
LECTURE 3 HERACLITUS AND THE LOGOCENTRIC NECESSITY
LECTURE 4 EMPEDOCLES & DIVINE STRIFE
Kirk- Raven -Οι Προσωκρατικοι φιλοσοφοι
σ.24 Το κύριο αντικείµενο των πρώτων προσπαθειών να εξηγηθεί ο κόσµος
παρέµεινε η περιγραφή της ανάπτυξης του από µια απλή και γι’αυτό απόλυτα
σ.27 ΞΕΝΟΦΑΝΗΣ ΄΄το κατω µερος της γης φτανει µεχρι το απειρο΄΄απ.28
AΡΙΣΤΟΤΕΛΗΣ ΄Τιµιωτατον γαρ το πρεσβυτατον΄.βλ. ΤΟΠΟΣ ΤΗΣ ΠΟΣΟΤΗΤΑΣ,
ΤΟ ΑΛΗΘΕΣ ΣΥΝΥΦΑΙΝΕΤΑΙ ΜΕ ΤΟ ΠΑΛΑΙΟ ΚΑΙ ΚΑΤΈΠΕΚΤΑΣΗ ΤΟ ΣΕΒΑΣΜΙΟ
ΝΥΧΤΑ σ.35 ΣΕΒΑΣΤΗ ΑΠΟ ΤΟΝ ∆ΙΑ
Ο Πλάτωνας αποδίδει τις οµηρικές αναφορές στον κεανό και την Τηθυ στο λαικο
κοσµογονικο ειδωλο εν επικρατεια.
Σ.39 η ΝΥΧΤΑ ηταν θυγατερα του ΦΑΝΗ ο οποιος καταγόταν από τον ΧΡΟΝΟ,i.e
Phanes is capable of impregnating, that is bringing into unconcealment what
lies concealed (Nyxta).
ΧΡΟΝΟΣ } ΦΑΝΗΣ Timaeus 38 B: Χρονος µετ’ουρανου
Σ.73 Πολυαριθµοι θεοι προηλθαν απ’το σπερµα του Χρονου.
Σ.71 Ο Φερεκυδης συνεδεε το Χαος µε το ρηµα χεεσθαι.
Ο ∆ιας δhµiουργησε τον κόσµο από τα αντιθετα.ΜΕΤΑΜΟΡΦ ΘΗΚΕ ΣΕ ΕΡ ΤΑ2
ΟΤΑΝ ΕΠΡΟΚΕΙΤΟ ΝΑ ∆ΗΜΙΟΥΡΓΗΣΕΙ. ΕΠΕΙΤΑ ΕΠΕΒΑΛΕ ΕΝΟΤΗΤΑ &
Ο αιθερας βυθιζεται προς τα κατω, κατευθυνση που ο Αριστοτελης θεωρει αφυσικη και απορει για
την ιδεα του Εµπεδοκλη. Ο Αριστοτελης όµως δεν προσεξε ότι εδώ προκειται για ένα σηµαδι της
επιδρασης της Αγαπης, που είναι µαλιστα µια από τις προϋποθέσεις για την εµφανιση της ζωης στη
Γη.(Κιρκ,310). «...l’ ether, la presence du present» (Dissemination 349).
«Την αγαπη ποτε δεν την βλεπουν» (Εµπεδοκλης απ.17, στ.25, Συµπλικιος, Εις Φυσικα 158,13)
«Aussi, a l’instant ou s’entame la surface d’assistance, ou s’ouvre l’ouverture et se presente la
presentation, une scene etait. A L’IMPARFAIT. ETAIT DEJA EN PLACE, QUOIQUE
PRESENTEMENT INVISIBLE, AU TRAVAIL SANS SE DONNER A VOIR, SANS SE LAISSER
DIRE PAR AUCUN ENONCE PRESENT, AVANT LE ‘PREMIER’ ACTE» (Dissemination 364).
Cf.Le Desir de l’ etre p.48: «Le premier de tous le dieux, c’est l’Amour (Eros) qu’elle
(la Justice) concut».
ΘΑΛΗΣ Κριτικη σ.101-2.
Αρ.Περι Ουρανου Β13 Ο Θαλησ ισχυρίζεται ότι η γη στηρίζεται στο νερο.
Το ίδιο ισχύει και για το νερο.
Μετ.Α ∆εν υπάρχει απόλυτο γίγνεσθαι η απόλυτη φθορά.(Αυτή ηταν η θεση του
Παρµενιδη, πρ. Κιρκ σελ.298 Υποθετοντας ότι τα στοιχεια αναµιγνθονται για να
σχηµατισουν θνητες ενωσεις, µποπουµε µια ιδεα που ο Παρµενιδης ειχε δειξει ποσο
προβληµατικη είναι¨ότι υπαρχει απολυτη γενεση η απολυτη φθορα .
ANAXIMANDROS¨ ΑΠΕΙΡΟΝ, Η ΑΡΧΗ ΤΟΥ ΣΥΜΠΑΝΤΟΣ
Συµπλίκιος ΄ετεραν τινα φυσιν απειρον ,εξ ης απαντας γιγνεσθαι τους ουρανους
και τους εν αυτοις κοσµους.εξ ων ∆ε η γενεσις εστι τοις ουσι, και την φθορα εις
ταυτα γιγνεται κατά το χρεων.διδοναι γαρ αυτά δικην και τισιν αλληλοις της αδικιας
κατά την του χρονου ταξιν.
Pharmacy or Apeiron? : «Le pharmakon serait une substance, avec tout que ce
mot pourra connoter, en fait de matiere aux vertus occultes, de profondeur cryptee
refusant son ambivalence a l’analyse, preparant deja l’espace de l’alchimie, si
nous ne devions venir plus loin a la reconnaitre comme l’anti-substance elle-
meme: ce qui resiste a tout philosopheme, l’excedant indefiniment comme non-
identite, non-essence, non-substance, et lui fournissant par la meme l’inepuisable
adversite de son fonds et de son absence de fond.» (J.Derrida,La Dissemination
p.79, Edition du Seuil 1972),
πρβλ. Εµπεδοκλης Απ.111 «θα µαθεις όλα τα φαρµακα για τις αρρωστιες και τα
Τοις ουσι refers to beings (ta onta) ;manifold beings in totality;this word indicates
the source from which the fragment speaks, not merely that which it
Xronou What is represented in the word Time is only the vacuity of an illusory time
derived from beings conceived as objects.
Genesis,fthora Anaximander could not have applied these words in a conceptual
fashion since they are first used in this sense in Plato and Aristotle. Conceptual
language is first possible on the basis of the interpretation of Being as Idea, and
indeed from then on it is unavoidable.
Genesis and fthora are to be thought from phusis ,as ways of luminous rising and
Genesis= origination, i.e abandonment of concealment and proceeding into
Fthora= departure and descent into concealment of what has arrived there out of
Adikia= What is adikon? Absence of dike. What is out of joint?In the between
(while) ,what lingers awhile is joined.Everything that lingers awhile stands in
disjunction .To disjunction adikia belongs.
Didonai dike= How can what lingers awhile for the time being give what it does not
have, that is jointure? The jointure belongs to whatever lingers awhile, which in turn
belongs in the jointure. THE JOINTURE IS ORDER. They let order belong (by the
surmounting) of disorder,p.44.
cf.Kirk -Raven p.250,the proem to the Parmenidian fragment:
«There are the gates to the paths of Night and Day,in between a stone threshold
,Standing high on the air, closing with doors of immense proportions AND
PUNISHING JUSTICE HOLDS THE HINGES.
tisis= surely tisis can mean penalty,but it must not.. Tisis is ESTEEM. To esteem
something means to heed it., TO TAKE SATISFACTORY CARE OF WHAT IS
ESTEEMABLE IN IT. They let reck (my note: from reck-on,see dictionnary) belong.
Xreon= That which lingers awhile in presence lingers kata to xreon; TO USE..
As to xreon it is without boundaries, to apeiron.
The XREON enjoins matters in such a way that whatever is present lets order and
reck belong. The xreon lets such enjoining prevail among present beings and so
grants them the manner of their arrival- AS THE WHILE OF WHATEVER LINGERS
Heidegger: « Whatever has its essence in such arrival and departure we would like
to call becoming and perishing,which is to say transiency rather than being; because
we have for a long time been accustomed to set Being opposite Becoming, as if
Becoming were a kind of nothingness and did not even belong to Being; and this
because Being has for a long time been understood to be nothing else than sheer
perdurance. NEVERTHELESS, IF BECOMING IS , THEN WE MUST THINK BEING
SO ESSENTIALLY THAT IT DOES NOT MERELY INCLUDE BEING IN A
VACUOUS CONCEPTUAL MANNER, BUT RATHER IN SUCH A WY THAT BEING
SUSTAINS AND CHARACTERIZES BECOMING (genesis-fthora) IN AN
ESSENTIAL APPROPRIATE MANNER»p.31, Πρβλ.Αξελος σ.46¨Η νοηση χωριζει το
είναι από το µη είναι, ο νους αναγνωριζει το ενα στο άλλο. ΤΟ ΕΝΑ ΤΟ ΑΠΟΛΥΤΟ
ΜΠΟΡΕΙ ΝΑ ΟΡΙΣΘΕΙ Σ ΓΙΓΝΕΣΘΑΙ (Χεγκελ, Ιστορια της Φιλοσοφιας).
THE SIMPLE TRANQUILITY OF BODILY COMPOSURE MAY ACCOMPANY THE
MADNESS OF VISION (p.36)
genesis : PAR-EON ,BEING ALONGSIDE WITH...; What is past and what is to
come also become present as outside the unconcealment. WHAT PRESENTS
ITSELF AS NON-PRESENT ISlingers awhile.IT ENDURES IN APPROACH AND WITHDRAWAL.
What is presently present WHAT IS ABSENT.
Heid. P.38: Aristotle did not have to interpret substance, hypokeimenon, on the
basis of the subject of a predicate phrase, because the essence of substance,
ousia, in the sense of PAR-OUSIA, was already granted. (MY NOTE: cf. Primary
substance=hypokeimenon,ie man horse, secondary substance=ousia, the
Cf. Plato Timaeus 30 A Βουληθεις γαρ ο Θεος ... εις ταξιν αυτό ( τον κοσµο) ηγαγε
εκ της αταξιας.(πρβ. Αξελος σ.108¨ «Ο κοσµος ως ταξη της αταξιας, ως ολοτητα
που περιεχει τα στοιχεια που την αποτελουν, υπακουει στο ρυθµο του χρονου».
34 C-D : Αυτό (ο κοσµος) γαρ εαυτω τροφην του εαυτου φθισιν παρεχον και παντα
εν εαυτω και εφ εαυτου (ΠΡΒΛ. ΗΡΑΚΛΕΙΤΟΣ, ΤΟ
ΠΕΡΙΕΧΟΝ) πασχον και δρων εκ τεχνης γεγονεν , πρβλ. 53 B.
Η χρήση των λέξεων γένεσις και φθορά αποδίδεται στον Θεόφραστο σ.127. (cf.
Heidegger’s counterargument according to the archaic use of the words in Homer).
Kirk p.129: Recompense (Diels trans., penalty-Nietzsche’s translation0 is
irreparable.Time depends on every single occasion. E.g The injustice of the night
towards the day.
Holscher p.298-99: ‘ The injustice which brings the cycles to an end is compensated
in a larger cycle ,which has its beginning and end in the limitless which directs
p.300 The schema of Anaximander’s thought was the contrast of the finite with the
He sees finitude as encroachment of the finite on finite. FATE IS SENT NOT BY
TIME BUT BY XΡΕ Ν.
The New Rhetoric p.97: When loci relating to order are reduced to loci of quantity
,that which is regarded more anterior is more durable,stable,general».
Σ.137¨Η αεναη αλλαγη στον κοσµο είναι συνυφασµενη µε τη ΘΕΙΑ ΟΥΣΙΑ,
την κινηση του ΑΠΕΙΡΟΥ.
«The idea of intermediate substances surely arose in the first instance out of
Aristotle’s obvious bewilderment at Anaximander’s concept of an originative
material qualified as ΑΠΕΙΡΟΝ αnd as divine and all-encompassing» (Kirk, Some
problems in Anaximander p.329).
WHAT IS TO APEIRON ?
a) Simplicius The arche and element of beings, the oppositions inhere in the
substratum ( ενουσας γαρ τας εναντιοτητας εν τω υποκειµενω ), «πρωτος αυτος
αρχην ονοµασας το υποκειµενον».
b) Hippolytus It is eternal and ageless, container of all worlds
c) pseudo-Plutarch The cause of all coming-to-be(genesis) and passing-away
d) Aristotle Physics Γ4 203β11 Ït contains everything and dominates
everything...this is the divine.
Immortal (athanaton) Imperishable (anolethron) . «IT ( is) refers to ti
(indeterminate) and not to (determinate)Holscher». «Aristotle must have thought that
the apeiron must contain actually or potentially the opposites»Kirk p.332
Timaeus 37 D-E; Wherefore he planned to make a movable image of Eternity, and
as he set in order the Heaven, of that Eternity which abides in Unity he made an
eternal image... that which we have called Time.
Timaeus 38 A : For we say that it «is» or «was» or «will be» , whereas, in truth of
speech (κατά τον αληθη λογο προσηκει ) «is» alone is the appropriate term.
Συµπλικιος¨Ο κοσµος δηµιουθργηθηκε από την αποκριση των αντιθετων.
Αριστοτελης ¨ ‘’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’ εκκριση του στοιχιεου. (cf.Physics 187a27: οι
δ’ εκ του ενός ενουσας τας ενατιοτητας εκκρινεσθαι, ωσπερ Αναξιµανδρος φησι).
Ο Ηοlscher υποστηριζει ότι ο Αριστοτέλης αντικατεστησε το αποκρινεσθαι µε το
p.296 (in his article) : It is clear that the opposites belong to the diakrisis schema.
Cf. His article Anaximander and the beginnings of Greek Philosophy:
P297 ‘In the pseudo-Plutarchian extract the rise of the worlds and their kosmoi is
similarly followed by a sentence about becoming and decaying; it says that both are
eternal while kosmoi return periodically.
Midway between the Being which remains always the same and the Being which is
transient and divisible in bodies he(Demiurgus) blended a third form of Being
compounded out of twain that is to say, out of the Same and the Other. (Timaeus 35
A ,cf.Sophist 244-245).
Psyche 50 C: δεχεται αει τα πάντα και µορφην ουδεµιαν ποτε ουδενι των εισιοντων
οµοιαν ειληφεν ουδαµη ουδαµως...διασχηµατιζοµενον υπο των εισιοντων.
ΧΡΗ ∆ΙΑΝΟΗΘΗΝΑΙ ΓΕΝΗ ΤΡΙΤΤΑ»
α) το µεν γιγνοµενον
το εκγονον (offspring), 52 c « ΕΤΕΡΟΥ ∆Ε ΤΙΝΟΣ ΑΕΙ ΦΕΡΕΤΑΙ (fleets)
, εν ετερω τινι γιγνεσθαι.
β) το δ’ εν ω γιγνεται
τω µητρι, 51 Α αµορφον, πανδεχες, ανορατον ειδος τι.
52 Β-C : τριτον δε αυ γενος ον το της χωρας αει , φθοραν ου
προσδεχοµενον, εδραν ∆ε
παρεχον οσα εχει γενεσιν πασι ,αυτό ∆ε µετ’ αναισθησιας
απτον λογισµω τινι νοθω
... ΠΡΟΣ Ο ∆Η ΚΑΙ ΟΝΕΙΡΟΠΟΛΟΥΜΕΝ ΒΛΕΠΟΝΤΕΣ
ΚΑΙ ΦΑΜΕΝ Α
ΑΝΑΓΚΑΙΟ ΕΙΝΑΙ ΠΟΥ ΤΟ ΟΝ ΑΠΑΝ ΕΝ ΤΙΝΙ ΤΟΠ ΚΑΙ
ΚΑΤΕΧΟΝ Χ ΡΑ ΤΙΝΑ . cf.
Aristotle, Physics 210a10: «Εάν παλι ο τοπος είναι µεσα εις το ιδιο πραγµα, ο τοπος
θα είναι µεσα στον τοπο, διοτι η µορφή κασι το αοριστον µετασχηµατιζονατι και
κινουνται µαζι µε το πραγµα, δεν παραµενουν εις την ιδια θεση, αλλα εκει που είναι
και το πραγµα.ΕΤΣΙ ΘΑ ΥΠΑΡΧΗ ΤΟΠΟΣ ΤΟΥ ΤΟΠΟΥ», πρβ. Αξελος σ.111, Αετιος
Ι,3,11-∆.Α5 «..παλιν ∆ε τον κοσµο και τα σωµατα παντα υπο του πυρος αναλουσθαι
εν τη εκπυρωσει» cf IRIGARAY READER, P.17: IN-STANT- translated as
immediate, could also be translated as immanent. It is the other side of extase, that
which stands inside itself, and corresponds to the non-existant French word en-
stase. It appears notably in the expression extase instante, which appears to be a
contradiction in terms, but functions as a way of referring to the horizon of sexual
difference, in which male culture will no longer need to transcend the feminine in
order to maintain its subjectivity.
γ) το δ’ οθεν αφοµοιουµενον φυεται το γιγνοµενον
LECTURE 1 ANAXIMANDER AND THE APEIRON
«Can the Anaximander fragment still say something to us? By what authority should
Only because it is the oldest? In themselves the ancient and the antiquitarian have
(3Heidegger); ANSWER p.38: «Ta Eonta is a word which,while not yet spoken, is the
unspoken in thinking which addresses all thinking.THIS WORD NAMES THAT
WHICH FROM NOW ON, WHETHER OR NOT IT IS UTTERED , LAYS A CLAIM
ON ALL WESTERN THINKING».
p.18: What once occurred in the dawn of our destiny would then come as what once
occurred ,that is, as the Eschaton, at the departure of the long-hidden destiny of
Heidegger , Early Greek Thinking p.16
«How do we get to what is said in the saying , so that it might rescue the translation
Cf Phaedrus 274 C :akoen g’echo legein ton proteron.TO D’ALITHES AUTOI
Derrida, Dissemination p.83: «La verite de l’ecriture, c’est-a-dire la non-verite, nous
ne pouvons la decouvrir en nous-memes par nous-memes. ET ELLE N’EST PAS
L’OBJET D’UNE SCIENCE , SEULEMENT D’UNE HISTOIRE RECITEE, D’UNE
«We are gathered here in order to pay heed to the initiators of what came to be
called Western Philosophy.What does it mean to pay heed to? Following Heidegger
,we translate this phrase as taking care of ,as maintaining within the presence of
unconcealment. What lies in unconcealment here, what lies before us, is the
beginning of systematic thinking in its embryonic form. And it is because this mode
of thinking is premature that it is close to birth. Historically speaking, or better
historiographically speaking, we stand at the end of what came into life with the
Presocratics. So, the only we can do is gaze back at what they held into view and try
to catch a fleeting glimpse.
What incites us to take this look is not a venerable feeling of dogmatic
reconstitution ,but rather a deep iconoclastic attitude towards what is old. However,
what is old is as new as its recurrence allows it to be. Throughout the prolonged
history of Philosophy, the Presocratics have always been referred to as the
pathbreakers, as the adventurers of thought. They are considered as the transition
from popular mythological beliefs to scientific questioning , however superficial this
distinction may be. And i say this because the ancient mythologemes formed a
symbolic language, which concealed as much as it revealed and to which access
was granted only to the initiated.It is not mere chance that both mythos4 and the
Greek word for initiated ,ie muemenos, share the common theme mu-. (Plato’s
mythological account of the origin of the world in Timaeus: GOD BROUGHT THE
WORLD INTO ORDER OUT OF DISORDER. GOD=APEIRON, BROUGHT=CAME
INTO BEING, ORDER=ORDER OF TIME, CONJUNCTION,
DISORDER=DISJUNCTION, EONTA, DIVINE WILL=ACCORDING TO
NECESSITY5)εκ της αταξιας¨before becoming= nothing, me on
In this mini-presentation we shall be concerned with five prominent thinkers from the
Presocratic era, and these are : Anaximander, Heraclitus , Parmenides ,
Empedocles and Anaxagoras.
Given that our point of departure is Anaximander, we should address a plausible
question, which was hinted upon a while ago. «Can the Anaximander fragment still
say something to us? By what authority can it speak? Only because it is the OLDest
? In themselves the antiquitarian and the old have no weight». In such a rhetorical
fashion Heidegger initiates his readers into his way of heeding.At the same time,
he undercuts rhetoric by redeeming himself from every quantitative consideration
and piety ensuing thereupon. What is old does not need reverence. It needs to be
taken care of. But in order to take care of Anaximander we must first be acquainted
with him, listen to him. «We must listen to our predecessors. For they hold fast to
what is truthful», said Plato in Phaedrus. This dictum certainly incites us to stretch
«No other western civilization was dominated to such an extent from a developped mythological
tradition» (Kirk, Myth: Its meaning and function in ancient and other cultures, Cambridge 1978,p.250).
Leucippus inherited Anaximander’s rationale: «nothing happens at random, but everything from a
reason and by necessity»(fr.B2)
our ears and try to be weary of what is revealed in- between the whirling air and the
cochlea. What is constituted in this auditory framework is what concerns us
What needs to be taken care of is the following phrase or fragment:
«BUT THAT FROM WHICH THINGS ARISE ALSO GIVES RISE TO THEIR
PASSING AWAY, ACCORDING TO WHAT IS NECESSARY; FOR THINGS
RENDER JUSTICE AND PAY PENALTY TO ONE ANOTHER FOR THEIR
INJUSTICE, ACCORDING TO THE ORDINANCE OF TIME».
The so-called Anaximander fragment has been variously interpreted,so much from
ancient authors like Simplicius, Hippolytus, Plutarch and Aristotle as from later
philologists mainly, like Diels & Kranz, who laid the foundations for modern scholarly
research into Presocratic philosophy, Burnet, the renowned Oxford translator of the
Platonic texts, Gregory Vlastos ,Martin Heidegger and others.
Almost all of these interpreters agree upon one thing: that the Anaximander fragment
is a quest for a first principle, an ARCHE as is called in Ancient Greek. Apart from
the dispute which surrounds the matter of whether this word was in use during
Anaximander’s time or it was attributed to the fragment from the Peripatetic School,
that is Aristotle and his disciples, we should stress the importance of ARCHE as a
word that stands for the origin of all things and connotes relevant meanings such as
power, authority and necessity.
Simplicius notes in his Physics that « Anaximander called the origin(ARCHE) and
element of all things(ONTON) the infinite (APEIRON)» and
Hippolytus stresses that «he (Anaximander) was the first to give the origin(ARCHE)
such a name (i.e APEIRON)».
This information is not cited for the sake of historiographical considerations, which
leave in their greatest part the interpretative task aside ,while counting on the clarity
and univocity of what is referred to, but for the sake of illustrating the treatment the
word ARCHE received from later commentators, who although in historical proximity
to Anaximander, were so far from taking care of his already antiquated saying. This
saying concerns the then newly-emergent discipline of cosmology, which came to
replace the popular cosmogonies and the authors which had been elevated to the
status of authority, like Hesiod , Homer and Pherekydes.
As the words themselves suggest, the distinction concerns the transition from the
mythopoetic account of the origin of the world , i.e Hesiod’s account from Theogony
«In the beginning there was Chaos...and from Chaos arose Night and Erebus and
then Aether and Day»and so forth...to the rationalized account of the origin of the
world out of primary natural elements, most dominantly fire, earth, water, air. What
is noteworthy about Anaximander is that he does not refer at all to any particular
elements in order to explain the origin of the world and this was noticed even by
Aristotle, who used to refer to all thinkers antedating Socrates as Physicists
(Physikoi), due to their aforementioned preoccupation. Simplicius insisted that
«Anaximander says that neither water nor any other from the so-called elements is
the APEIRON, but some other substance from which the heavens and the worlds
that are in them sprung forth».
For Anaximander the origin of the world is the Apeiron, that is the infinite. The
opening line of the fragment refers to this first principle and posits us immediately at
the heart of Anaximander’s thought. What is contestable about this word is the
plural number in which «that from which» appears in the original text: we read «ex’on
i genesis»6.The that refers to eonta , that is beings ,and consequently birth-genesis
is attributed to them.Heidegger stresses that «eonta is a word that lays claim on all
Western thinking». Given that the apeiron is the first principle and place of origin, we
infer that beings and the infinite are the two sides of the same coin. It is
tempting to assume that the apeiron is equivalent to the Heraclitean eternal fire, as
both suggest the unity in multiplicity, or the sameness that pierces through the
transformation between opposites. Aristotle in his Physics described it as «that
which dominates and contains everything..the divine»(cf.Metaphysics 983b24: «το
δ’εξ ου γιγνεται τουτ’εστιν αρχην παντων»).But that something has already been
interpreted as the beings, while the fragment refers to that as the origin of beings.
Beings, thus, arise out of themselves. Apeiron is nothing else but the in itself , of
itself and for itself, the infinite cause of coming-into-being and perishing of itself,
while the in-itself is not a substratum that underpins the transformation between
opposites, but the opposites themselves in their self-transformation.The Apeiron is
not separated from beings and conjoined thereafter, as in a manner of contrast
between the Infinite and the finite, or the difference between Being and beings
(although cf.Holscher p.298 ft.43: «Cherniss thinks wrongly that the plural ex on
indicates the plurality of the arche, which would then be a mixture of all materials
as in Anaxagoras»Why is this so since Anaximander does not qualify Apeiron as
consisting in certain materials?). The deprivative A- does not suggest an
unbridgeable absence from the transient realm of beings, but rather the very core of
beings as finite (peperasmena) in their infinite transformation. The A- is not
something that could belong to eonta as an additive feature to be striven for. The A-
manifests the plenitude of Eon in its infinite fragmentation. But the fragments do not
belong somewhere else.The Apeiron would not be a CONTAINER if it did not contain
beings. Beings are self-contained in their multiplicity.Simplicius ,writing under the
influence of Theophrastus,the latter writing under the influence of Aristotle, could not
conceive of this assertion as he was still conveying the seeds of a prolonged
tradition that derived from Plato’s seminal separation between the Forms and the
beings partaking in them.He misinterprets the Apeiron as having separate reality, if
this Platonic language be permitted, as is explicitly stated in the opening of the
fragment, «etera tina fusis».If this be granted, the question as to how it is possible
that the Apeiron be other than what it already is, thus revealing the possibility of
change, arises. The very language in which the phrase is written suggests its
implausibility: Other nature. How can genesis belong to the Apeiron since it is only
met within the province of eonta, that is transience? If it had indeed come into being,
then another Apeiron should be presupposed and so on ad infinitum .Here, perhaps,
Heraclitus is more up-to-date than ever: ALL IN ONE , ONE IN ALL (cf.Heidegger:
«Jointure belongs to whatever lingers awhile, which in turn belongs in jointure»).
The rest of the fragment can be interpreted in the light of these considerations:
Necessity is attributed to the transience of eonta according to the order of time.
What is necessary in this transience? That it be sustained, that is that eonta follow
the pattern of birth and death and it is precisely in this manner that metaphysics and
physics overlap. Metaphysics is a giving-account-of-physis, of birth and death, of
becoming. Eonta come into being and pass away according to their necessity, which
is immanent and cosmic. Temporality conveys this eternal rule in order.As Heidegger
interprets «the while grants order to what lingers awhile», or the apeiron conjoins
eonta in their succession. «TIME is the precondition for the understanding of the
« The paraphrase starts with ‘ex on’, while the singular ‘physis apeiros’ precedes. Hence, ex on
cannot refer neither to the apeiron nor to tyhe heavens and the skies. These plurals do not refer
immediately to the infinite, but to the opposites that sprout from it (apokrinintai)» (Th. Veikos, The
aletheia of beings, the emergence from absence into presence, it is the HORIZON in
which they are understood as what they are».
However manifest the Aristotelian influence may be, that is the interpretation of
presence as the jointure of what was and what will be, as being-alongside (pareon),
Heidegger makes plain that parousia is the bringing forward into unconcealment of
what was and will be in their absence.Kirk claims that Aristotle’s interpretation of
Apeiron as intermediate substance arose out of his bewilderment at Anaximander’s
thought. Absence means from-Being (apo to On ,ap-on). In these respects,
presence brings forth absence, that is whatever discloses beings as being side by
side, discloses them from them-selves(also examine the ‘self’: tauton in
Aristotle). A-peiron (also read ap-eiron, from irony) is Ap-ousia insofar as
becoming is parousia, that is being coming out of itself7. Mythology had already
revealed this tremendous and unshakable truth: Day was born out of Night
(Heidegger’s ANS LICHT KOMMEN) according to the Hesiodian model, phanerosis ,
coming-into-being, out of ab-sence,from-being. This self-subsistent infinite process
was captured in Anaximander’s words: ex’es i genesis, from which the coming-into-
being. The feminine pronoun es refers to the Arche, that is the Apeiron, and
therefore cannot be enclosed within the explanatory set of the ontical categories of
being and not-being. Moreover, it does not locate Being in absence. Being is
Becoming out of itself into itself without any further qualification.(cf. Ft.2)
Thus, Anaximander was the first to conceptualize the principle of Becoming as
equivalent to Being and time as the locus of appearance and disappearance
according to its inherent order and necessity. Infinity does not reside in absence,
according to this model, on the contrary absence is a mode of becoming out of
itself8. Ta eonta are not contrasted to Being, in an unbridgeable manner, but rather
they are what they have always been, self-subsistent fragments.
The INFINITE cannot be said either to be or to not to be. It can only be taken care of
by listening attentively to its blowing into.
«A kind of stasis is already manifest in the Presocratic conception of physis as abiding emergence.
But this standing in itself is not a static state but an ecstatic process whereby the hidden (cf.Nietzsche’s
‘hidden something’) stands out in unconcealment and nevertheless continues to stand in itself, as the
dynamic generating ground of what is made to stand out» (W.Marx p.xxv). «Physis as an appearing
presence is thus related to an absence without light»(W.Marx 141,also 148: absence= mode of
concealment). «The infinite is something other than the elements from which they arise» (Aristotle,
Physics 204b 24-29). «The shift to the plural (allillois) can mean only that the Boundless is explicitly
thought of as a plurality» (G.Vlastos, Equality and justice in early Greek cosmologies, in D.F.Furley,
Studies in Presocratic philosophy, p.73). «It is like nothing so much as that sea of dissimilitude into
which, in the myth of Plato’s Politicus, the cosmos is periodically in danger of sinking..Affiliated to
Aristotle’s prote arche. Materia prima, the substrate which is the indeterminate potentiality of all
properties, none of which it has actually...there is at any moment an infinite number of such worlds, all
of which arise from and pass away into the unlimited which encompasses them all..αγηρω, αθανατον,
ανολεθρον,guides and encompasses all things..» (H.F.CHERNISS: The characteristics and effects of
presocratic philosphy, p.4, also cf.p.8, the contrast between the Hesiodian Chaos and the Apeiron, the
first being equivalent to a chaotic vacuum (??), the second being a plenum, positive and active).
« INFINITY in general does not come about by the sublation of finitude in general:the truth is rather
that the finite is only this, through its nature to become itself the infinite. The infinte is its affirmative
determination , that which it truly is in itself. Thus the finite has disappeared in the infinite, and what is,
is nothing but the infinite» (HEGEL, Logic I 126 (138) ).
PARMENIDES AND THE WILL TO UNITY
«Le meme penseur de l’Etre immobile et du nous rationnel qui saisit fermement
l’Immuable (l’Etre qui ne souffre pas chez Melissos fait echo au «coeur sans
tremblement de la verite chez Parmenide,p.50.Mais contrairement a la joie de
l’homme qui s’eleve vers l’Etre que decrit Parmenide ,Melissos envisage la tristesse
de celui qui,quoi qu’il fasse,restera exlu de l’Etre qui’il ne peut pas acceullir..),
semble contraint a admettre le mouvement de la vie et par suite la necessite , pour
l’homme, etre doue de raison et vivant mortel tout a la fois , de venir vers l’Etre avec
autre chose que la Raison Pure.La philosophie de l’Etre ne va pas, chez
Parmenide, sans une psychologie de l’existence et de la vie.
«Pour penser l’Etre immobile, eternel et fini, Parmenide fait essentiellement appel a
la fermete de l’intellect» p44.
«L’homme est entraine(carried away) envers la realite absolue par la
fougue(impulse) de son thymos , de son coeur»p.45
«face au vrai l’homme eprouve une foi veritable (pistis alethes)».
«Si le role de la Raison est capital, dans la mesure ou l’Etre se decouvre au nous, ou
le nous est le lieu de la revelation de l’Etre, une place importante est cependant
liaissee aux facultes non directement rationnelles.UNE FOIS ENCORE PARMENIDE
REFUSE DE PENSER L’ETRE EN TERMES DE FROIDE RAISON». (Face aux
fragments 1-6:«La persuasion est le chemin de la persuasion car il suit la verite»)
νοησις αυτό εστι τε και ειναι
πρβλ. Αξελος Ηρακλειτος και Φιλοσοφια σ.65¨ Ο Ηρακλειτος πιστευει ακραδαντα
στην πρωτη ανταποκριση στη θεµελιακη συµπτωση του είναι και της σκεψης.
Cf.Krell: Intimations of mortality p.86: Heidegger’s reference to vision is compelled
to become part of the destructuring of the ontological tradition..He also identifies it
with noein, THE PURELY INTELLECTUAL APPREHENDING, that constitutes the
«fundament of Occidental philosophy» from Parmenides through Hegel.
Parmenides’ saying is neither an assertion about thinking nor about Being, nor even
about the essential belonging-together of both in their difference.The saying is
rather an assertion about the equal participation of both in the realm of the
p.87: We must be alert to the duality of Being and beings in order to attend the
discussion Parmenides devotes to the relation between thinking and Being.
Νοειν πεφατισµενον εν τω εοντι.
p.89: In legein the letting-lie-before of what is present in its presencing occurs.
ACCORDINGLY THE NOEMA AS NOUMENON OF THE NOEIN IS ALREADY A
LEGOMENON OF THE LEGEIN.
How are we to experience an uttering which gets its name from φασκειν and
91: noein takes up not anything but only that One designated in fragment VI: eon
emmenai, whatever is present in its presencing.
Cf. Xenophanes: «αει δ’εν ταυτω µιµνει κινουµενος ουδεν»
«Our reading of Anaximander took place on the grounds of a pluralist assumption
about the nature of the One, the principle of the Infinite.
Indeed, this pluralist assumption is the core point that distinguishes Milesian from
Eleatic philosophers. Parmenides, the mid to late 5th C thinker from Southern Italy,
was quite attentive to the Logos of the One, which he conceived in a strictly monistic
manner, according to various scholars, a view that is highly debatable (cf.Plato
Sophist 242d: In my country the Eleatic school, starting with Xenophanes, explains
by recourse to myth that what we call «many» are in reality One) . The major
influence for Parmenides came from his Ionian predecessor Xenophanes, whose
central theological viewpoint was that «there is one God among gods and men,
totally dissimilar to the mortals in body and spirit».
The epistemological and metaphysical edifice of Parmenides’ thought is contained in
the so-called extant proem of his poem «The Way of Being»,at which the
interpretative focus of this lecture will ponder. As the title of our topic suggests we
shall be concerned with two complementary aspects of the poem, WILL and UNITY
and the will to unity.
What is will for Parmenides? The key role this concept performs is evidenced from
the opening line of the poem, which reads:
«The horses which carry me as far as my soul wills»..Will is the psychic state that
regulates the approximation of and distancing from what is willed. The horses were
often used in ancient Greek mythology as the personification of the Truth, which
truth resides in will (epi thymos ikanoi) The beginning of the poem lays bare its end.
Something has to be reached. The potentiality for reaching this something inhabits
«We asked about the value of this will. Suppose we want truth: why not rather untruth?and
uncertainty? Even ignorance?» Nietzsche, Beyond good and evil, aph.1. «Determined by erring , dasein
turns only to the transitory and fleeting aspects of its concerns, and turns away from authentic untruth,
from concealment, from which all all unconcealent comes forth and which pervades dasein as
mystery»(WM.148). «None of these modes is null in the sense of nihil negativum but that they all
essence insofar as they continually pervade the openness, the clearing» (149). «Εκεινος οστις θα
επλανατο θε ειχε και τις δυο αντιθετους γνωµες συγχρονως» (Μεταφυσικα 1005β35). «Εάν τα
φαινοµενα είναι αληθη τοτε παντες βρισκονται εν τη αληθεια» (Μεταφ.1009α10-15). «Περι ∆ε της
αληθειας, ως ου παν το φαινοµενον αληθες, πρωτον µεν ότι ουδ’η αισθησις ψευδης του γε ιδιου εστι,
The next line refers to this something as the destined place. This is the way of the
multi-named or multiply revealed (poly-fimon)God (daimon). Parmenides recites his
poem as if in a manner of lived experiences, something like Descartes’ sudden
illumination, which we infer from the reference to himself as the one who is carried
by the horses, in the second line (m’es odon bisan..).This way «raises the man from
every city to knowledge, it brings the light of knowledge» (ferei eidota fota),line 3.But
it also conceals knowledge. One must be ready for gaining access to the realm of
the One that unifies the illusory multiplicity. This readiness is yielded by the practice
of dialectic, which evades the common-sense assumptions that bind mortals to an
earthly life-pattern. THE REALM OF BECOMING AND APPEARANCES CANNOT
BE IDENTIFIED WITH DETERMINATE BEING, THUS WE CANNOT SAY OF IT
THAT IT IS THIS OR THAT, WHEREAS BEING IS IDENTIFIED WITH CERTAIN
IMMOBILE PROPERTIES THAT BESTOW PERMANENCE UPON IT. But how can
Parmenides escape the charge of petitio principii? Isn’t the result he reaches just the
assumption he was working with? But this is inevitable, as it is evidenced from the
poem: «You have to learn everything, the silent heart of circular truth and the false
opinions of the mortals» How are we to distinguish between the two modes of
thinking, that which is truly and falsely? As against Xenophanes, Parmenides
conceives of the One as finite and the multiplicity as infinite. He also conceives of the
multiplicity as finite, so long as it is viewed from the standpoint of the whole, thus
reduced to partia totalis. In Plato’s Parmenides the view that phenomena are infinite
in that they suffer alterations is put forward, only to be concluded with the remark
that they are finite as well, because they are enclosed within the boundaries of the
One. What is called for in the poem is the revelation of this oneness, which can only
be shown under the auspices of Justice. Nevertheless, trickery is employed in order
to enter the gates where Truth resides. Trickery only achieves to create a vast
CHASM between truth and falsity, which does not permit entrance to the uninitiated.
Its circular character manifests what remains concealed in the way to
unconcealment. Heidegger suggests that we must be attentive to the duality of Being
and beings, although he does not qualify what this duality amounts to. Duality refers
to opposites, although here there is no case of two distinct opposites, each being
one. It is not a matter of the One that is different from ones, which implies that there
is another One by recourse to which the difference is measured. The One is not an
aggregate either, as the parts from which it would be aggregated would themselves
be ones, thus presupposing its existence. Parmenides, still in the homonymous
Platonic dialogue, stresses that existence involves time and time involves change.
Insofar as the One cannot change, as it would then become other than it already is,
we infer that it cannot exist. But this is antiphatical since the multiple ones that are
predicated of the One exist. How then could the non-existent be predicated of what
αλλ’η φαντασια ου ταυτον τη αισθησει» (1010β5, πρβ. Θεαιτητος ¨ το φανταστον ταισθητον,
πρβ.Περι Ψυχης 2,6). «ου το φαινοµενον εστι, αλλα το φαινοµενον ω φαινεται (υφισταται δι’αυτόν εις
τον οποιον φαινεται), και οτε φαινεται και η και ως (εφ’οσον και πως)»(1011α25). «Το µεν γαρ λεγειν
το ον µη είναι η το µη ον είναι ψευδος, το ∆ε το ον είναι και το µη ον µη είναι αληθες»
(1011β30).Καστοριαδης¨ψευδος=το ετερον της παραστασης. «Ψευδος είναι οσα µεν αναµφιβολως
είναι οντα, αλλα τοιαυτα ώστε να µη φαινονται όπως είναι εις την πραγµατικοτητα, αλλα διαφορετικα,
όπως είναι η οφθαλµαπατη και τα όνειρα, που εχουν µεν καποια οντοτητα, αλλ’οχι εκεινη που
εκφραζει η παρασταση τους» (Βοοκ ∆ 1024β25). «Fusis kruptesthai filei» (Heraclitus fr.123). «This
aphorism means for Heidegger that every luminous presentation is related to ane pervaded by darkness»
(W.Marx p.142) «Untruth belongs to original truth, to the disclosure of Dasein, because Dasein-as a
result of its essential immersion in beings- must again and again overcome disguise and concealment in
order to come to the discovery of beings»(WM 148). «Mais il ne suffit pas de rappeler la presence, de
faire apparaitre l’air lui-meme, a supposer que cela soit possible, pour effacer l’oubli, l’illusion,
l’erreur» (Dissemination 349). Cf. Aristotle’s Metaph. Quoting ... : There animals, bug there is no such
thing as animality» AND «Attentifs a ce qui presente nous ne pouvons voire sa presence» (Derrida,
is in existence? But «in existence» means within the boundaries of the all-
encompassing One as aforementioned. And since this something is referred to, then
it cannot be nothing. In this way the paradoxical nature of the duality, which is not a
duality in the strict sense, is established. The riddle that surrounds the duality cannot
be hinted at, unless recourse to a transcendental stratification is granted, as
attempted by Plato for example and his theory of the separate realms of existence.
But this method does not allow for logical proof and rests on literary devices, while
suffering from infinite regress.
As it was aforementioned, the way to Truth is not revealed solely through Reason, as
the object of the logical analysis is foreclosed in thymos, that is will. Parmenides
holds that overabundant joy stems from the will to unity10, which is the proper task of
life, as against his successor Melissos, for whom this will is the source of despair
and the will-to-nothingness, to use a familiar Nietzschean expression.It is thymos
that creates an amalgam between dialectic and rhetoric, the multiplicity of referential
strategies and what they refer to.Conviction is indispensable to the way of truth. One
has to find one’s way through the grand forest that shelters Being, lose oneself and
rejuvenate one’s resources by mingling with becoming. The beautiful daughters that
accompany Parmenides’ chariot seduce Justice and bring her secrets into full-light.
Their weapon is conviction. As Heidegger, Derrida and others have stressed
repeatedly, there is an etymological affiliation between the hand and joy. This is
manifest in Parmeindes’ description of the gesture that marks his encounter with the
Goddess. He lends his hand to her. The joy stems from the gesture, rather than
thought. It is in gesture that Truth reavels herself, rather than empty contemplation.
The goddess was convinced to touch Parmenides, to grant her light to him. The
gesture abridges the gap that lays open between Being and non-being, that is Truth
that lies in concealment and appearance that brings truth partially into
unconcealment. (Krell, p.89: LICHTUNG itself manifests the character of revealing
and concealing. Yet it is not a proscenium..the clearing itself hides (βιωσε λαθων,
πως να το ερµηνευσουµε? Ζησε συµφωνα µε την φυση, την αληθινη διαλεκτικη, δηλ.
την ταυτοχρονη αποκαλυψη και αποκρυψη, κρυβεται=λανθανει= always already in
untruth, in error) behind what is present; it betrays a radical silence).
But truth (or BEING?) can only be reached through phenomena and non-being,
hence Parmenides’ insistence on learning both the opinions of the mortals and the
benevolent circle of truth. The gap that laid open between truth and truth due to the
trickery of the divine daughters lurks in every step of the approximation to the realm
of Being. This is why the circle is good rather than vicious. What is disclosed at every
instance is the good that is willed and sought after in a circular fashion. Truth and
untruth are not two mutually exclusive realms, but complement each other in the
dialectical ascent to true Being. The gap reveals what is absent in an anticipatory
fashion that manifests itself in the longing will. This classical metaphysical postulate,
which Parmenides was the first to cover under a semi-poetic, semi-conceptual cloak,
cannot be sustained with view to the vast literature developed throughout our
century. The overmastering One ruling over the multiplicity of phenomena and
grounding their existence, has long ago, since its inception, been the presumed
authoritarian backdrop of being, or the Being of beings. The concept of the
determinate one and the indeterminate Two, as put forward by Plato in a
Parmenidian fashion, exemplified the mutually necessitating nature of truth and
untruth.Being cannot be without phenomena. Does the same hold for phenomena?
Do they have to be appearances of something other than themselves, something
that persists in self-identity, while they are in incessant flow?
Ruben Berezdivin in his article «In stalling Metaphysics: At the threshold» provides a
plausible answer: « As a ruling principle in the Kosmos the Two is not altogether
Parmenides conceived of On as an eternal nun, while Melissos as eternity (aei).
controlled by the One and its ideality; its two-foldness is needed (to xreon) in order
that the ab-Original One may be split open and apart, so that beings may scatter far
and wide throughout the whole order of things, so that beings may wander astray,
because of the power of the SELF-REPLICATING TWO, THE OTHER OF BEING,
NOT SELF-SAME»(cf.Silverman p.291:the onefold is the place of the Eigen,which is
repeated at the crossing). Even more dramatically, Jacques Derrida concludes his
treatise on the Pharmacy of Plato with the following paradoxical assertion: « Truth is
untruth . Non-presence is presence. Differance, that is the concealment of the
originary presence (DISPARITION DE LA PRESENCE ORIGINAIRE), is at the
same time the condition of the possibility and the condition of the impossibility of
truth» According to Parmenides’ model, originary presence is the presence of what
lies in concealment beyond the gap to itself. The gesture in between the goddess
and Parmenides is an invitation beyond the gap. Although this invitation can be
turned down, not be taken care of, left to its narcissistic self-complaisance. As we
might as well have OTHER things to do, than revolving incessantly around the
whirlpool of a presumed necessity. As Nietzsche remarked «We can only find what
we put there».
However deep we might dig, like children looking for the hidden treasure, the
hiddenness of which depends on their being reminiscent of it, we shall always
displace our treasury, bring it beyond sight, suppressing the horizon that
leads us to what lies before us.
The will, being the generative force of untruth brings forth truth. Hence Derrida’s
assertion is justified in front of Parmenides’ court. Let us repeat and receive the
message anew: Truth is untruth. One is many. Being-is in between them. -is is Being
is is Being and so forth.......
The ideal crossing of or plunging in the gap is the phenomenal diaspora over and
above the circle. Will captivates and releases, binds and frees.
Free to be fragment bound to be one.
The will is coming to a close.
The One is here.
Phere eidota fota.
«Man’s role here is to listen to the soundless saying that speaks to him through his
basic words. The preservation of this power of the most elemental words is in the
end what philosophy is all about»(W.Marx p.xxiii).
HERACLITUS : ALL IS ONE AND ONE IS ALL
Kostas Axelos: Heraclite et sa philosophie
p.46:Η Ηρακλειτική διαλεκτική δεν είναι όµως εννοιολογική. Είναι µια λογική που
ενεργοποιεί µια θεµελιακή διαίσθηση των αντιθέτων.. Η φωτια είναι ΑΡΧΗ (=αυτό
που δεν αφηνεται πισω, που δεν παυει να κυριαρχει, Χαιντεγγερ, Τι είναι Φιλοσοφια)
χωρις να ερµηνευεται µεσω ιδεαλιστικων η υλιστικων προκαταληψεων (σ.101).
Cf. W.Marx, Heidegger and the tradition: «Hegel terms the truth the synthesis that is reached each
time in the dialectical process through thesis and antithesis. This definition implies that the preceding
stages, thesis and antithesis represent the UNTRUTH. Since, in the stage by stage movement of the
Logic, each synthesis reached is again the basis of a new movement leading to the antithesis, this means
also that THE TRUTH IS THE UNTRUTH OF THE SUCCEEDING STAGE»(p.51).
Σ.47¨ Ο ρυθµός είναι ένας δεσµός που κρατάει ενωµένα τα αντιθετα πραγµατα.σ.53
Αυτος ο ρυθµος είναι ο Χρονος. ΧΡΟΝΟΣ ΠΑΙΣ ΠΑΙΣΣΕΥ Ν (πρβλ.Αριστοτελης,
Φυσικα 251β20¨ Εάν είναι ο χρονος αριθµος καποιας κινησης, τοτε εφ’οσον ο
χρονος υπαρχει παντοτε, αναγκαστικως και η κινησις πρεπει να είναι αιωνια¨). «Η
φωτια είναι ο φυσικος χρονος» (Χεγκελ,σ.108).
«ΕΙ ΟΥΝ Α∆ΥΝΑΤΟΝ ΕΣΤΙ ΚΑΙ ΕΙΝΑΙ ΝΟΗΣΑΙ ΧΡΟΝΟΝ ΑΝΕΥ ΤΟΥ ΝΥΝ,
ΤΟ ∆Ε ΝΥΝ ΕΣΤΙ ΜΕΣΟΤΗΣ ΤΙΣ, ΚΑΙ ΑΡΧΗΝ ΚΑΙ ΤΕΛΕΥΤΗΝ ΕΧΟΝ ΑΜΑ,
ΑΡΧΗΝ ΜΕΝ ΤΟΥ ΕΣΟΜΕΝΟΥ ΧΡΟΝΟΥ ΤΕΛΕΥΤΗΝ∆Ε ΤΟΥ ΠΑΡΕΛΘΟΝΤΟΣ,
ΑΝΑΓΚΗ ΑΕΙ ΕΙΝΑΙ ΧΡΟΝΟΝ» (Φυσικα 251β24-30)
«Its (the finite) ceasing to be is not merely a possibility, so that it could be
without ceasing to be, but the being s such of finite things is to have the germ
of decease as their Being-within-itself: THE HOUR OF THEIR BIRTH IS THE
HOUR OF THEIR DEATH»
[hegel, Logic I 117 (129) ]
Σ.51¨Τα αντιθετα είναι αποτελεσµα µιας συγκρουσης, αυτά προκαλουν την
Σ.52¨Η διχονοια κανει αντιθετα και είναι δίκαιη. Η αναγκαιότητα δεν είναι σε καµια
περιπτωση µονοτονη, είναι ασύµφωνη, και η ασυµφωνια είναι αναγκαια και µαλιστα
Σ.55¨το ένα και το όλο είναι αλληλένδετα και η Ενοτητα και πολλαπλότητα έχουν µια
διαλογική σχέση.(σ.σ όπως το ιδιο και το άλλο, πρβ.σ.109¨τα φυσικα πραγµατα
µεττοπιζονται, γινονται ΑΛΛΑ, µεσα στο χρονο, παραµενοντας συγχρονως
Ι∆ΙΑ...διαρκεια του ιδιου µεσα απ’ολες τις διαδοχικες διαφοροποιησεις.Το συνολικο
γιγνεσθαι είναι. Η κάθε στιγµη του κι’ολες οι στιγµες του χρονου ΕΙΝΑΙ. σ.111¨Η
καθηλωση είναι θανατος. Η κοπωση και η εξάντληση που προκαλεί η βασιλεία του
ταυτόσηµου αποφευγονται επειδη το ιδιο γινεται αεναα άλλο. πρβ.Παρµενιδης,
Σ.57¨Ο λογος είναι αυτό που συνδέει τα φαινόµενα µεταξύ τους, που τα συνδέει ως
φαινόµενα ενός και µόνο Σύµπαντος και αυτό που συνδέει την οµιλία µε τα
φαινόµενα.(cf. Heidegger, Logos & Heraclitus: Logos, thought as the LAYING THAT
GATHERS, would be the essence of saying as thought by the Greeks»)
ΠΑΙΧΝΙ∆ΙΑ ΠΑΙ∆Ι Ν ΟΙ ΑΝΘΡ ΠΙΝΕΣ ∆ΟΞΑΣΙΕΣ (απ.70).
ΠΑΡΟΝΤΕΣ ΑΠΟΥΣΙΑΖΟΥΝ (απ.34).
ΠΟΛΥΜΑΘΙΗ ΝΟΟΝ ΕΧΕΙ ΟΥ ∆Ι∆ΑΣΚΕΙ (40).
Ο λόγος της ψυχής αυξάνει απ’τον εαυτό του(απ.115)= εν γιγνεσθαι είναι. Σ.106¨Η
κοσµικη κινηση είναι κυκλικη , γι’αυτό το λογο η αρχη και το τελος συµπιπτουν κι’ο
δροµος που ανεβαινει και κατεβαινει είναι ο ιδιος... «Ο κυκλος εχει για περιφερεια
µια µεγαλη σειρα κυκλων. Η ολοτητα είναι µια µεγαλη ακολουθια
µετασχηµατισµων που ξαναγυριζει στον εαυτο της» (ΧΕΓΚΕΛ)
Αρµονιη αφανής φανερής κρειττων (απ.54).
Η φύση αγαπά να κρύβεται (απ.123).
σαν σωρος σκουπιδια χυµενα στην τυχη ο ωραιοτερος κοσµος(124).
Όχι εµένα αλλά τον λόγο αφού ακούσετε είναι σοφό να οµολογήσετε ότι Ένα είναι τα
Αυτος ο κοσµος, αν και ο ωραιοτερος είναι σαν σωρος σκουπιδια χυµενα στην τυχη
ΧΡΗ ΓΑΡ ΜΑΛΑ ΠΟΛΛ Ν ΙΣΤΟΡΑΣ ΦΙΛΟΣΟΦΟΥΣ ΑΝ∆ΡΑΣ ΕΙΝΑΙ (35)( ..να
ερευνουν πολλα πραγµατα).
Σ.87 Ο φιλοσοφος δεν καταεχει την σοφια, αλλα προχωρει µε αγαπη και σοφια για
να την συναντησει.
Σ.63¨Ο λογος ∆ε βρισκεται ουτε στην αρχη ουτε στο τελος. Βρισκεται µεσα στο δικο
του γιγνεσθαι. Ρ ΤΑΕΙ ΚΑΙ ∆ΙΚΑΙΟΛΟΓΕΙ ΤΟ ΚΑΘΕ ΤΙ ΠΟΥ ΕΙΝΑΙ, Χ ΡΙΣ Ο
Ι∆ΙΟΣ ΝΑ Ρ ΤΙΕΤΑΙ ΡΙΖΙΚΑ.Σ.69¨η µνηµη στην πιο ολοκληρωτικη της λειτουργια
εµποδιζει να µας φαινεται ξενο αυτό που συνανταµε κάθε µερα.
Σ.69¨Ο ρολος που ο Σεξτος δινει στη µνηµη µεσα στη θεωρια του γνωριζωντος
λογου είναι πολύ σηµαντικος και µοιάζει αυθεντικός.
Η ΜΝΗΜΗ ΕΞΑΣΦΑΛΙΖΕΙ ΣΤΗ ΣΚΕΨΗ ΤΗΝ ΣΥΛΛΗΨΗ ΤΗΣ ΣΥΝΕΧΕΙΑΣ ΠΟΥ
ΕΝΥΠΑΡΧΕΙ ΣΤΟ ΓΙΓΝΕΣΘΑΙ.
Σ.70¨ΤΟ ΠΕΡΙΕΧΟΝ είναι ισως ακοµα πιο σφαιρικο από το συµπαν. ΕΙΝΑΙ ΙΣ Σ Η
ΑΝΟΙΧΤΗ ΟΛΟΤΗΤΑ ΠΟΥ ΕΝΟΠΟΙΕΙ ΤΟ ΕΙΝΑΙ ΚΑΙ ΤΗΝ ΣΚΕΨΗ, ΣΥΝ∆ΕΕΙ ΤΗΝ
ΑΝΘΡ ΠΟΤΗΤΑ ΜΕ ΤΗΝ ΘΕΟΤΗΤΑ ΚΑΙ ΤΟΥΣ ΠΕΡΑΣΜΕΝΟΥΣ ΧΡΟΝΟΥΣ ΜΕ
ΤΟΥΣ ΜΕΛΛΟΝΤΙΚΟΥΣ.σ.102¨ «Οσο για το ΠΕΡΙΕΧΟΝ δεν µας αποκαλυπτει τι
είναι» (∆ιογενης Λαερτιος ΙΧ,7,8,9).
Ο Ηράκλειτος δεν εξηγεί τη φύση του περιέχοντος, επειδη θεωρώντας το σαν την πιο
ανοιχτη ολοτητα, δεν πιστευει πως η σκέψη µπορει να το συλλάβει.
Σ.89¨Ο Λογος-το σοφον- για το οποιο µιλαει ο Ηρακλειτος κατεχει στον υπερτατο
βαθµο µια υπερβατικη ενυπαρξη.
Σελ.81¨Η σκεψη του Ηρακλειτου στοχαζεται το Ολο, ενώ η σκεψη των σοφιστων-
σκεπτικων στοχαζεται το Μηδεν. Η πρωτη καταφασκει, η δευτερη ακυρωνει.
84¨Η Ηρακλειτικη διαλεκτικη είναι τραγικη επειδη ο κοσµος δεν εχει άλλη δικαιωση
από τον ιδιο του τον εαυτο...η αληθεια εκφραζεται µεσα από την πλανη.
89¨αφου η ολοτητα βρισκεται σε γιγνεσθαι, ο δροµος που οδηγει στη συλληψη της
δεν µπορει παρα να είναι κι’ αυτος ΕΝ Τ γιγνεσθαι.
Krell, Intimations of mortality p.89:
«Horderlin also refers to nature as lightly embracing all things in its openness, its
lightening. We arrive at the apparent source of the visualist tradition in Heraclitus’
mysterious invocation pyr aeizoon.If Heraclitus is the obscure, questioning into the
clearing, it may be because he thinks the lighting differently.»(my italics) the
TRANSCENDENTAL SIGNIFIED vs the EMPIRICAL SIGNIFIER.
J.Silverman: Inscriptions p.286: «Here (Part III, Heraclitus and Logos) is where
Heidegger allows for the beginning of a DE-LOGOCENTRALIZATION of language in
«Heidegger takes as his enterprise the transportation of Logos from its home in the
One where only identity and homology can live in the place of difference».
«Unlike the metaphysics of Heraclitus, there is no Logos outside of us to which we
can refer and which does not depend upon us. With Heidegger logos enters into our
own activity-we cannot be separate from it. Thus just as we are located within the
Being of beings, just as we are that identity of difference, saying the Logos (and
thinking the saying of the logos) means that we are said as well» (290).
LECTURE 3: HERACLITUS AND THE LOGOCENTRIC NECESSITY
Biographical data: - Timon the Phliasian (3d c. BC satyrical poet) called him
«ainikten» (ainigmatopoio), Cicero (de finibus II,5,15) called him obscurus. The
extant fragments that have been handed down to us were formulated as oral
apophthegms , rather than as sections of an elaborate treatise.
« oυκ εµου ακουσαντας αλλα του λόγου, σοφόν εστί οµολογείν έν πάντα είναι»
Tonight we shall be concerned with the founder or rather the precursor of what came
to be known as the dialectical tradition, the advent of which was marked in Hegel’s
Logic. The lasting impact of Heraclitus on the evolution of Western philosophy is still
evident in contemporary philosophical writings concerned with the limits of Logos
and its encompassing legitimacy. The famous fragment above cited, urges us to
share Heraclitus’ passion and get carried away by its imposing absoluteness.
Although we should guard ourselves against reaching hasty conclusions about its
truly absolute character, its engendering force, as well as its reductive nature.
But first let us turn towards an examination or rather a re-interpretation of Heraclitus’
fragment. What might he mean by the phrase, so categorically asserted, « By
listening not to me but to Logos, it is wise to confess that All is One»? (cf.
Empedocle, fr.23, Kirk p.301: µην σε πλανεψει λοιπον η απατη και φανταστεις πως
άλλη είναι η πηγη των αµετρητων θνητων πραγµατων που γυρω βλεπεις, παρα βαλε
καλα στο νου σου αυτά, ΓΙΑΤΙ ΘΕΟΥ ΤΟ ΛΟΓΟ ΑΚΟΥΣΕΣ ( θεου παρα µυθον
It is a tedious commonality among scholars to assert that Logos according to
Heraclitus is completely divergent from the scientific conception of Logic as a
complete system of principles12, axioms and proofs, which conception was initiated
by Aristotle in his Posterior and Prior Analytics. For Heraclitus, Logos is first principle
(at least according to the scholarly identification of certain elements with principles,
as was the case with Anaximander, Anaximenes, Thales ), conceived in its
primordial signification, that is as gathering and bringing together, the revival of
which was rendered in the Heideggerian writings. Kostas Axelos, a prominent
Marxist, describes logos as a principle «that activates a fundamental intuition of the
opposites».Heidegger stressed in his «Introduction to Metaphysics», «lego,legein
originally meant to lay one thing with another, to bring together into one, in short to
gather»13.Logos was identified by Heidegger with the way phenomena are made
apparent, as the manner whereby they present themselves to us. « Presenting
occurs as logos in the form of a laying. The laying lays down in unconcealment and
at the same time it is a laying out and a laying forth in it». Another word for the
participial form ‘laying’ is the noun ‘text’ and subsequently the verb deriving
therefrom would be ‘to textualize’14. Hence the second sentence as above quoted
would read: «The text textualizes unconcealment». Axele interprets the «all» as «the
many», as the multiplicity of phenomena, and holds that the oneness that binds them
together, is the Logos that constitutes phenomena as such, that is as what lets them
appear, what textualizes them. Logos brings the world into order, or better
orders the world out of chaos15. Logos constructs the world out of the word, that is
out of the primary material that appears within the horizon of speech, that is uttered
and thus made apparent. Logos per se, that is the textualization as a text, the arche-
text (cf.Heidegger p.63: The original legein, laying, unfolds itself clearly and in a
manner ruling everything unconcealed as saying and talking), cannot be uttered. It is
«των αρχων ουκ εστι ετερον αιτιον αιδιων ουσιων» (Φυσικα 252β 5).
«But gathering is more than mere amassing. To gathering belongs a collecting which brings under
shelter» (Heraclitus, Dawn of Western thought, Logos p.61).
«The κεισθαι , the lying-before-for-itself of what is in this fashion deposited, i.e the keisthai of the
hypokeimenon, is nothing more and nothing less than the presencing of that which lies before us in
unconcealment» (Heidegger p.63), also look for the Stoics’ fictional somethings, incorporeal lekta.
« Αλλα µη ουδεν γε ατακτον των φυσει και κατά φυσιν. Η ΓΑΡ ΦΥΣΙΣ ΑΙΤΙΑ ΠΑΣΙ ΤΑΞΕ Σ. ΤΟ
∆’ΑΠΕΙΡΟΝ ΠΡΟΣ ΤΟ ΑΠΕΙΡΟΝ ΟΥ∆ΕΝΑ ΛΟΓΟΝ ΕΧΕΙ. ΤΑΞΙΣ ∆Ε ΠΑΣΑ ΛΟΓΟΣ»
(Φυσικα 252α15) Αριστοτελης ο αρχιλησταρχος Νταβελης.
only uttered through its utterances, that is in the presencing of what is present.
Recalling our analysis of the Anaximander fragment, what is present in speech is
what lingers awhile in presence, that is what is and what is not at the same time,
spoken of not in terms of full-presence, but in terms of inexorable differ a nce 16.
Although, this would be an over-romanticized interpretation, as the identity of Logos
suggested by Heraclitus, hardly seems to leave enough space for the deployment of
what is irreducibly other. Logos, being «everywhere and indifferently univocal»
imposes itself on phenomena and renders them redundant. Forced to signify what is
most proper to them, what is at the kernel of their existence, they lose meaning and
lapse into lethe.
The oneness of Logos can only be recognized on the grounds of a prolonged
educational procedure («the selfsame is attentive learning, which expresses a
coordination of Being and attentive learning as the unity of an order») reminiscent of
Aristotle’s training program, that aimed at recognizing the proper meaning of words
in relationship to their signifieds. One must learn to be attentive to the Logos itself,
not to Heraclitus. Wisdom can only be granted at the end of this mystifying process.
Although, the content of this wisdom is unutterable, given that its object is what
permits the occurrence of textualization17, while itself persistently defying every
attempt at being textualized. Then how can the homology18 be established between
the acquisition of wisdom and the object thereby acquired? What is the similarity
«It is the nature of Being to continually escape (cf.Cambridge Companion to Hegel p.146: the
necessity of these transitions consists in the drive to escape the self-contradictoriness of the two
preceding categories. «the drive to find a stable meaning in Being or in both [Being and Nothing] is this
necessity itself, which leads Being and Nothing to develop and gives them a true
meaning»Encyclopedia par.87)becoming an essent (carved out of the Latin essens, essentia). Being
continually differentiates itself (Unterschied: radical separation, not just Differenz) from the essent.
Being has no location (although see Aristotle’s Physics: topo en topo) since it is always at the
horizon» (Silverman, p.48). «Being is a self-moving order knowing toward itself» «Identity and
difference are the standard categories wherein the particular trait of self-sameness obtained expression
in Hegel. HEGEL CONCEIVED DIFFERENCE AS SO PROPERLY A PART OF IDENTITY THAT
HE TREATS OF BOTH THESE CATEGORIES AS ONE, THE CATEGORY OF NON-IDENTICAL
IDENTITY. Identity is repulsion toward difference, which at the same time is repulsion which
recalls itself into itself(W.Marx,61). The Oedipal Mechanism: « The distinction between the sameness
of order and the indeterminacy of hyperdifferentiation is transposed into a distinction between identity
and undiferentiation: some bodies are what they are and are good; others are not what they seem to be
and they are bad» (Massumi, Deviations from Deleuze and Guattari, p.110). «The absolute difference
in the perpetual change could not be ascertained or held on to, it would float away like rain from the
stone»(The Problem of time in Nietzsche,p.66, also p.62: absolute flux,cf. Theatetus, Cratylus) «The
speculative moment, or that of positive reason, apprehends the unity of the determinations in their
opposition» (Hegel’s dialectical method, in Cambridge Companion, p.147, from Science of Logic
p.56). «When finitude is thought dialectically in that which is in truth, it unveils itself as in-finity, as
the process of self-sameness in otherness which Hegel termed AFFIRMATIVE INFINITY» (W.M 64).
« CE QUI RETOURNE SANS CESSE A CET IMPARFAIT N’APPARTIENT PAS...CETTE
NON-APPARTENANCE- LA TEXTUALITE ELLE-MEME-INTERVIENT, C’EST-A-DIRE
INTERROMPT, DES LA PREMIERE TRACE, QUI DEJA SE MARQUE DE DUPLICATION,
D’ECHO, DE MIROIR, SE PRESENTE UN PEU COMME «LA TRACE DE SON REFLET»(Drame)
TOUJOURS AU MOINS GEMINEE EN DEUX PARTIES, CHACUNE PLUS GRANDE QUE LE
TOUT» (365). «Cette coupure, cette ouverture, cette pure apparence de l’apparaitre par laquelle le
present semble se liberer de la MACHINE TEXTUELLE (histoire, nombres, topologie, dissemination
etc) se denonce en fait en chaque instant...La presence, ou production, n’est qu’un
produit...L’immediatete apparente de ce qui semble se donner a la perception presente DANS SA
NUDITE D’ORIGINE, dans sa nature,tombe deja comme un effet: SOUS LE COUP D’UNE
STRUCTURE MACHINE QUI NE SE LIVRE PAS AU PRESENT, CELUI-CI N’AYANT RIEN
AVEC ELLE» (Dissemination342).
«The role of the human legein as a legomenon was limited to listening to the nonhuman occurence
of logos in a collected way» (Werner Marx p.222).
between wisdom19 and its object, that is the One? What is the One? The one is the
presencing, that is the process of incessantly becoming other in the self-
sameness of becoming . The principle of becoming applies to the constant
generation of words, that is of apophanseis-appearances, generations of speech ,
i.e Logos. According to Aristotle’s analysis of the concepts of difference (diafora) and
alterity (heterotis) in book IV of his Metaphysics, difference applies to non-
selfsameness in terms of phenomena, which may still subsist within the same genus,
shape, number or analogy, while alterity applies to non-selfsameness with regard to
shape, material or essence.
According to this schema, Heraclitus’ logocentric identity applies to both
distinctions , in that however different phenomena may be among them, although
identical with regard to their belonging-together to the same genus or having the
same material, or however alterior essences may be among them, they still need
Logos in order to be affirmed as such, that is in order to be made apparent as such.
Logos is the eschaton hypokeimenon , the self-subsisting ground that grounds
itself, the «groundable (-less) grounding» as Heidegger called it (OR the tain-less
mirror, as Derrida re-called it?). Does the Heraclitean phrase, then , amount to an
essentializing discourse, a metaphysical axiom that strives to appropriate or prove
(apo-deixei: let it come forth from itself in itself) the kernel, the center of things, while
falling prey to the metaphysics of grammar suggested by the hastily interpreted
«OF»? Is Logos the center of things or the center in things, however de-centralized
this may be, that is the essence in presencing of a thing as such, the mode of its
thinghood (or reification)? Isn’t the category of modality prevalent, not in its
categorial status, but in its primordial signification as the way to be, or being as
being? Logos as the mode of being or ontification, is the way of presencing of the
world in utterances (το γαρ δυναµει σαρξ η οστουν ουτ’εχει πω την εαυτου φυσιν,
πριν αν λαβη το ειδος το κατά το λογον, ο οριζόµενοι λεγοµεν το εστί σαρξ η
οστουν, ούτε φυσιν εστί, Αριστοτέλης, Φυσικα 193β1-5), in their coming forth within
the horizon of language.For Heraclitus Logos amounts to a primordial theo-logy
where Logos is God (Theos) and God is Logos. «Logos is , among others, the
element that creates the opposites between them. God is the common element of
Logos is the arche (principle) that regulates the transition between opposites, such
as the succession of day and night, winter and summer, as manifested in fragment
67 ‘God is day and night, winter and summer, hunger and saturation. It changes like
FIRE and when it mixes with various odors, it is named after each one of them». But
Logos is neither a word or a concept, it is the necessary rule that differentiates and
Heideger interprets sophon as: «Legein is dispatched to what is approprate, to whatever rests in the
assemblage of the primordially gahering laying-before, in that which the laying that gathers has
sent»(68). Homologein : «Homologein occurs when the hearing of mortals has become proper
«En is the unique one, as unifying. It unifies in that, in gathering, it lets lie before us what lies before
us as such and as a whole.THE UNIQUE ONE UNIFIES AS THE LAYING THAT GATHERS »
«The category of becoming can be said to preserve in a way the categories of Being and Nothing while
simultaneously modifying their senses and to this extent abolishing them- what is simply becoming in a
sense has being, while in a sense it is nevertheless nothing- and it can be said thereby to render these
two categories no longer contraries and hence no longer afflicted with their original self-
contradictoriness» (Cambridge Companion to Hegel, op.cit. 147)
«Unconcealment occurs when those who do battle, the creative men, nominate things to their
meanings, when they wrest works away from concealment, works of language ,of art, when the
openness of a world is formed» (W.Marx p.150).
«∆ιοτι είναι αδυνατον να ισχυρισθη κανεις ότι το αυτό αντικειµενον υπαρχει και δεν υπαρχει, καθως
τινες φανταζονατι ότι ειπε ο Ηρακλειτος». (Αριστοτελης, Μεταφυσικα 1005β25).
Kirk, Raven: The presocratic philosophers p.109.
binds phenomena, thus creating a multiplicity of worlds that extend ad infinitum.
Heraclitus’ invitation, just like Parmenides’, consists in a project which was to be
elaborated later on by Aristotle in his Metaphysics, that is the science of the ontos
on, the Philosophia Prima, that investigates into the first principles grounding
phenomenal existence. What Aristotle understood as prime mover (proto kinoun)
Heraclitus conceived of as Logos, with the sole difference that whereas for Aristotle
the prime mover was unmoved, for Heraclitus Logos was neither a part of the world
nor the world as a whole, as a collection of parts24, but the process of the world’s
worlding, that is of the world’s being constituted as such. No hint of an already
existent logical substratum that underpins appearances, like the Aristotelian
principia, is made in Heraclitus. The one is not opposite to the many, but goes
beyond the many or rather inheres in the many. Their radical identity, which should
not be interpreted according to the traditional principle of non-identity, as was
implicitly stressed above in our analysis of the Aristotelian concepts of difference-
alterity, consists in the means whereby the many are constituted as such in their
presencing. The one can be located neither in the realm of Non-being, what
persistently keeps within itself, nor as the ideal backdrop of every single phenomenal
appearance, i.e as the oneness of the one phenomenon. It should rather be
interpreted as the essencing of the essence, the worlding of the world, the coming-
into-being or what we termed ontification of the different phaseis (The Aristotelian
apophanseis) of Logos. Hence Heraclitus’ insistence that one is everything, that
every thing is one in its being reified. This philosophical standpoint carries its
repercussions in the famous Heraclitean metaphor of the everflowing river (cf. Plato,
Cratylus 402a, Aristotle, Metaphysics Gamma 5,1010a13), which however multiple
directions it might take (direction=fora was one of the basic traits of being according
to Aristotle, hence dia-fora, according to the tropes of speech), it still remains the
same in its becoming different within the identity of becoming. Axele names this
rationale «being in becoming» and suggests a name for the science of the all
encompassing One: This is Periexontologia25, or the science of the
cf. Aristotle’s Metaphysics Book Λ ¨ΑΡΧΑΙ Τ Ν ΟΥΣΙ Ν ΚΑΙ ΝΟΟΛΟΓΙΑ «Εφ’οσον τας αρχας
και τας αιτιας των ουσιων αναζητουµεν, διοτι βεβαιως και αν θεωρησωµεν το συµπαν ως ολον τι, η
ουσια είναι το πρωτο µερος. Και εις ην περιπτωσιν η ενοτης του συµπαντος είναι µια ενοτης
διαδοχης, παλιν ερχεται πρωτη η ουσια, επειτα ρτο ποσον, επειτα το ποιον...
3 ειδη ουσιας¨ (α) αισθητη (β) αιδιος (γ)ακινητος
« ΟΛΑ ΓΙΝΟΝΤΑΙ ΑΠΟ ΤΟ ∆ΥΝΑΜΕΙ ΟΝ (το ένα του Αναξαγορα)» (=υλη)1069β25
«Η ΤΕΧΝΗ είναι η αρχη ενεργειας ητις βρισκεται µεσα εις άλλο , εξω από το γιγνοµενον(η µεν ουν
τεχνη αρχη εν αλλω). Η φυσις αντιθετως είναι αρχη µεσα εις το ιδιο το αντικειµενο (η δε φυσις αρχη
«Cette fois se donne comme la multuplicite d’un evenement qui n’est plus un evenemnt puisque SA
SINGULARITE SE DEDOUBLE D’ENTREE DE JEU, se dissimulant aussitot dans un double fond
inintelligible de la non-presence, a l’instant meme ou il semble se produire, c’est-a-dire se
presenter»324. «Le present se presente comme la simplicite du fond. Un temps passe qui ne marquerait
qu’un autre present s’assurerait sur un fondement simple, cache derriere la surface de l’apparence
presente. LE DOUBLE FOND de l’imparfait en appelle, ici du moins, a un temps sans fondement et
sans limite, un temps, somme toute, qui ne serait plus un «temps» sans present, le compte total privant
le carre de son sol, le laissant suspendu dans l’air» (Dissemination 342-3). «Ce qui (ne) serait rien si le
tain n’etait aussi transparent, ou plutot transformateur de ce qu’il laisse transparaitre. Le tain de ce
miroir reflechit donc- imparfaitement- ce qui lui vient (sc.see ft.1: the semantic affiliation of the noun
Xaos with the verb xeesthai = pouring forth, coming into being in a flooding manner, ‘a copious flow or
stream, as of sunlight, lava etc; abundant or excessive supply)- imparfaitement- des trois autres murs et
en laisse -presentement- passer comme le fantome, l’ombre deformee, reformee selon la figure de ce
qu’on appelle present: la fixite dressee de ce qui se tient devant moi, debout; «les
inscriptions...apparaissent la inversees, redressees, fixes» (ibid,349).
«Οσο για το περιεχον δεν µας αποκαλυπτει τι είναι» (∆ιογενης Λαερτιος ΙΧ, 7,8,9). «If we try to
avoid this weakness by reinterpreting the maximal proximity in conceptual content in question not as
Encompassing. It should also be questioned whether Heraclitus actually refers to
differences according to the oppositional system of being and non-being, as it was
traditionally interpreted. Let us take for example one of the famous Heraclitean
fragments, no.51 that reads : «ou xyniasin okos diaferomenon eauto xymferetai»,
which is most commonly rendered as « They don’t understand how it is possible, to
be in agreement while being in opposition with itself». Nevertheless, diaferomeno
eauto does not refer to oppositional logic, but rather to difference within sameness,
to the process of becoming other within itself. Selfhood should not be interpreted in
spiritualist terms , i.e of Geist coming to its ultimate differentiation, but in terms of a
play between ontical differences that proliferate in the bodily quest for definite
selfhood. Of course, this interpretation could not possibly have crossed Heraclitus’
mind, thus seemingly violating the initial context. The major problem, though, occurs
when questions about the proper nature of that con-text arise; The problem, we hold,
is mediated by re-cognizing the «con» as What comes-alongside beings, that is what
presents itself along the process of ontification-textualization, which is no other than
the illusory hidden structure that founds presencing. This ‘fond’ located in the
margins of the Heraclitean discourse, constituting its infinite blankness, is the germ
of Western Metaphysics, which comes to a closure at its very inception. «The time of
its birth is the time of its death». It is the text that differs, while the con-text remains
the same. Being other within sameness, founding the coming-into-being in presence,
being the «plus-que-present», as Derrida called it, symferomenon regulates
diaferomenon by reducing its mund-ane playfulness to its surplus, marginal, value.
The mundus of the diaferomenon is transformed into an heteronomous surface-
world appertaining to the «la» (hepekeina). But the many is not one in its presencing,
unless we buy that what comes-along allows for the many, gives it to us (Gibt).
Sorry..Out of cash! However radically the cash-box may allow for the flow of cash
towards whoever is in need, the flow of textualized products does not need Being. It
is only the reverse that sustains in the face of its imminent suspension-deferment.
«A difference: The cause is radically this». Nothing is brought along (sym-feretai) the
divisibility (dia-feromenon) of the arche-text. Divisibility is not in need of the center of
Logos, it is rather the center of Logos that is in need of a circumference. The center,
rendered as the abstract machinery (grammar, tradition, race, nation, Sun, Father)
that allows for textualization falls from grace in view of its dethronement by its own
texts. The Cronian Con-text is castrated by Zeus-Deus, the desire-driven machine
that unites and separates according to will, and not according to necessity...And this
will is by no means necessary, at least to the degree that its decentering power
scorns the re-amassment of the arche-text and does not bow before present-perfect
maximal proximity relative to all known categories, but as m.p simpliciter, then it becomes unclear if
this condition is genuinely meaningful and, even if it were, how one could ever tell it obtained»(C.C.to
Hegel,148). «Ouvrant ici, limitant et situant toute lecture (la votre, la mienne), la voici, cette fois enfin,
montree: comme telle (J.Derrida, Dissemination 322)... la voici cette fois enfin non pas montree mais
montee (323)... Montee: non pas dans une machinerie cette fois enfin visible mais dans un appareil
textuel faisant place, donnant lieu, sur l’une seulement de ses quatre series de surfaces, au moment de
la visiblite, DE LA SURFACE COMME EN- FACE, DE LA PRESENCE EN VIS-A-VIS,
CALCULANT AINSI L’OUVERTURE, DENOMBRANT LE PHENOMENE...DANS UN THEATRE
QUI COMPTE CETTE FOIS AVEC LE NON-REPRESENTABLE (ibid)». «Le monde com-prend le
miroir qui le capte et repricoquement» (351). «Cette reciproque contamination de l’oeuvre et des
moyens, empoissone le dedans ,...,comme elle empoissone les textes cites a comparaitre et qu’on aurait
voulu tenir a l’abri de cette violente expatriation, de cette abstraction deracinante qui l’arrache a la
securite de son context originel» (352).
« συλλαψιες όλα και ουχ όλα, συµφεροµενον διαφεροµενον, συναδον διαδον. Εν και εξ ενός παντα»
(Αριστοτελης, Περι Κοσµου 5, 396 β 20). « τον πολεµον ξυνον και δικην (πρβ.Κιρκ-Ρειβεν
σελ.201¨ενδεδειγµενος τροπος, από το ρηµα δεικνυµι) εριν (δικη σηµαινει ανταγωνισµος) γινοµενα
παντα κατ’εριν και χρεων» (Ηρακλειτος απ.80).
«Une difference; la cause est radicalement cela. Elle n’est point positive , elle n’est
point incluse au sujet. Elle est ce qui lui manque essentiellement.») la
MULTIPLICITE numerique ne survenant (eperxomai, epiphainomai) pas comme un
menace de mort a un germe (arche, sperma) anterieurement un avec soi. Elle fraye
(dianoigo dromon, ootoko, also - un paissage: blaze new trails) au contraire la voie a
la semence (sperm) qui ne se produit donc, ne s’avance qu’ au pluriel. Singulier
pluriel qu’aucune origine singuliere n’aura jamais precede. GERMINATION,
DISSEMINATION. Il n’y a pas de premiere (artificial fertilization). La semence est
d’abord essaimee (bee-hive, multiple, to move, to migrate). L’ insemination
premiere est dissemination. Trace, greffe dont on perde la trace. Chaque terme est
bien un germe, chaque germe est bien un terme. Le terme, l’element atomique,
engendre (give birth) en se divisant, en se greffant, en se proliferant. C’est une
semence et non un terme absolu. Mais chaque germe est son propre terme, a son
terme non pas hors de soi mais en soi comme sa limite interieure, faisant angle
avec sa propre mort. (Dissemination, p.338).
«1.UN DISCOURS (PRESENT) PRETEND AU HORS TEXT, A L’INTERRUPTION
DU RECIT (ECRIT), PAR LA DROITURE D’UNE FRANCHE PAROLE ET
L’EXPLICATION D’UN COMPLICE, COMME SI LE DISCOURS PRESENTEMENT
TENU N’AVAIT EN SON SURGISSEMENT IMMEDIAT ET FRONTAL AUCUN
COMPTE A RENDRE, SE TENANT LUI-MEME, EN CONSCIENCE ET SANS
2.QU’IL RETOURNE NEANMOINS A L’ECRITURE, QUE LA FONCTION
IRREDUCTIBLEMENT GRAPHIQUE DE LA PARENTHESE APPARTIENT A LA
TRAME GENERALE DU RECIT, LA PRETENTION AU HORS TEXTE, A LA
CONFIDENCE DES COULISSES (backstage), ETANT ELLE-MEME, PAR VOIX
D’ASSISTANCE, DEMASQUEE; OU PLUTOT RENDUE A SON MASQUE ET A
SON EFFICACE THEATRALE;» (Diss.364).
FAUST: (to Margaret) « Oh, shudder not! But let this glance,
And this clasp of hands tell you What is unspeakable:
To yield oneself entirely and feel A rapture which must be eternal.
Eternal! For its end would be despair. No, no end! No end!»
F.Solmsen: Love and strife in Empedocles’ cosmogony
(in Studies on the presocratic philosophers, X )
Fragment 35: «In her (Love) do all these things come together to be one
alone»(πάντα συνέρχεται εν µόνον είναι). Τhis one has to be understood as the final
goal of the developments initiated by Love.(p.223). ...the tissues entered into a
variety of combinations and items seemingly heterogeneous were yet identical in
substance (228). As strife seeks to keep the elements apart, it may well be
responsible for the disintegration or death of the mixed forms, while love is
responsible for their origin (229). «LOVE, whom one would suppose at that point to
be reduced to a last ditch defensive position (if not completely gone out) would have
to have an astonising degree of initiative and aggressiveness to produce
something teleion» (232)
If these ideai are identical, one statement concerning their nature would cover all of
them (227). Inasmuch as Aristotle took up and carried farther Empedocles’ essays in
comparative physiology, the hope of recovering from him additional thoughts for
Empedocles’ comparative scheme should be kept alive (228).
Question ; «What would be in the space betwen the elements if they do not touch? -
Void. But «of the whole nothing is void» (230).
«Simplicius informs us that strife creates the cosmos, while Love creates the Sphere
or the ‘intelligible cosmos’» (232).
Αριστοτελης, Φυσικα 252α23-26 «Καλυτερα θα ηταν να πουµε µαζι µε τον
Εµπεδοκλη η οιονδηποτε αλλον που υπεστηριξε την ιδιαν θεσιν ότι το παν
ευρίσκεται εναλλάξ εις ηρεµιαν και µετα εις κινησιν. ∆ιοτι ηδη τουτο παρουσιαζει
Τα τεσσερα σταδια της κοσµογονιας¨Αιθηρ, Φωτια, Γη, Νερο.
«ουτω µη σ’απατη φρενα καινυτω αλλοθεν είναι
θνητων, οσσα γε δηλα γεγακασιν ασπετα, πηγην,
αλλα τορως ταυτ’ ισθι, ΘΕΟΥ ΠΑΡΑ ΜΥΘΟΝ ΑΚΟΥΣΑΣ» (23).
«But I will come back again to that path of the songs
which I proclaimed before , drawing discourse from discourse,
this one: When strife had come to the lowest depth
of the whirl (dine), and Love was in the middle of the eddy
in her (Love) do all these things come together to be one alone,
not all at once, but congregating all from different directions at will.
And as they mingled together countless tribes of mortal beings poured forth.
Yet many things stand unmixed , in alternation with the mingling things,
whatever strife still held in check, aloft; for not altogether had it gone apart from
them, to the extreme bounds of the circle but parts of its body remained within,
parts had withdrawn outside. As much as it streamed outward, so much always there
entered a gentle immortal stream of blameless Love.
At once what formerly had learnt to be immortal grew to be mortal,
things before unmixed grew to be mixed, changing their ways.
And as they mingled together countless tribes of mortal beings poured forth,
endowed with forms of every kind, A WONDER TO BEHOLD.»
231: Simplicius statements suggest that the builder of the cosmos is STRIFE,
whereas LOVE manifests her power in the mixing and fashioning of living beings.
Love creates the sphere of INTELLIGIBLE COSMOS.
Strife creates the sphere of perceptible cosmos.
------------------EMPEDOCLES & DIVINE STRIFE----------------------------
Empedocles , along with Parmenides, Zeno and Philolaus , is one of the most
prominent exponents of the philosophical movement developed in Southern Italy
during the 5th C BC. The fundamental principles of his cosmogonic model were
LOVE & STRIFE, along with the four natural elements, present in almost every
philosophical thought, with the respective variations in their employment.
Our topic already invites us to wonder, just like Empedocles’ wonder on the
polychromous multiplicity of the cosmos as evidenced from the closing line of
fragment 35, at the sight of the strife that surrounds us. The word Empedocles
employs for strife is Neikos, to which he counterpoises Love, named after a variation
of the familiar word Filia , that is FILOTES. From a preliminary reading of the
fragment at hand we can extrapolate that the world was made up by the union of
initially separate elements, through the intervention of Filotes. This was the
Aristotelian interpretation which read like « The cosmos is composed out of elements
that are separated». But, as F.Silmsen commented, Love’s work is to bring together,
not to separate . This problem might be somehow mediated by the interpretation
often put forward in favour of a dual cosmogonic model, the one aspect of which
referring to the genesis of an intellectual world under the auspices of Love, while the
other concerning the coming-into-being of the perceptible world through Strife.
Although, this crude distinction hardly seems to gain in plausibility once the original
Empedoclean fragments are paid sufficient attention.The problem should be
approached, it is our opinion, by looking at the role performed by the Whirl (dine), in
bringing forth the cosmos. If we turn to the fragment, we find that the whirl is the
encompassing topos28 where the contest between the two cosmic powers is enacted.
Empedocles locates strife at the lowest depth of the whirl29, while love in the middle.
What sort of emphasis, physically speaking, should be given to this description? It is
evident that the lowest depth is the center of all turmoil that is the dominant state of
the world’s coming-into-being. This image evokes an immense entropic30 basket
where the energy produced cannot be converted into malleable and recognizble
material, unless stabilized under the power of Love. This is suggested by two
phrases: First and foremost, by the fifth line which puts forward that « in love the
multiplicity of beings (panta) comes into the oneness of being (sunerxetai en mono
einai)» -the same vocabulary and mode of thought we encountered in Heraclitus-
and secondly by the sixth line where the standpoint is further explicated by adducing
that this coming was concluded by the particular beings’, belonging to the initially
unformed multiplicity, gathering under a common umbrella, while sprouting from
Love and Strife in Empedocles’ cosmogony, p.234.
Ο Συµπλικιος θεωρει σαφως ότι το συµπερασµα του Αριστοτελη βασιζεται σε παρανοηση και
παραθετει το 360 για να δειξει ότι η δινη εξακολουθει να λειτουργει και µετα το σηµειο καµπης, όταν
αρχιζει να αυξανεται η κυριαρχια της Αγαπης (βλ. Περι Ουρανου, 528,11-14, 530, 16-22).
Notice that in ancient Greece, the people of Argolida sacrificed adorned horses to an underwater
spring , which they called DINE, in the name of Neptune (today this place is called Anavolon).
SOS: Soren Kirkegaard, The Concept of Anxiety, Princeton 1980, p.20: DOGMATICS MUST NOT
EXPLAIN HEREDITARY SIN BUT RATHER EXPLAIN IT BY PRESUPPOSING IT, LIKE THAT
VORTEX (WHIRL) ABOUT WHICH GREEK SPECULATION CONCERIING NATURE HAD SO
MUCH TO SAY, A MOVING SOMETHING THAT NO SCIENCE CAN GRASP.
ENTROPY (Definition): 1. An index of the degree in which the total energy of a thermodynamic
system is uniformly distributed and is unavailable for conversion into work 2. An information theory, a
measure of the uncertainty of our knowledge (en=in, trope=turn).